Snip, snip

Dropped Prairie off this morning for his surgery. He has no idea what he’s in for! He’s young, though. I was told the older the dog the worse it is. Poor Fergus had a really rough time with it. I forgot Prairie’s microchip, though. Kicking myself because it’s a big needle and so much easier on the dog if they’re out when they insert it, but it can be done, so I’ll bring it tomorrow when I pick him up. I wonder if he’ll be sporting the “cone of shame”.
I talked to a potential adopter last night. They live in Wausau (my birthplace). They’ve been looking at other dogs, too. They have a 10-year-old collie from MWCR, so they want a dog who will be easy on her. Prairie could be that dog. From our conversation she thinks Prairie would be a good fit, but she doesn’t think her senior would do well on a trip for them to meet. We discussed meeting in Eau Claire and it could still happen, but she’s passing for now. At least until they meet some other dogs that are closer to home.
So, onto the next!
I was asked yesterday if I’d hold a puppy overnight and if I didn’t have to work at Foss, I would have. Someone else said yes and I’m seeing pictures today of her. What a cutie!



I woke up this morning to the sound of rain pummeling my window. It faces east, so this is rare. I could hear it hitting the air vent while I showered, too. As I left my room to start the process of “letting the dogs out” Prairie races to the door demanding to be first. I use a tie-out so they get let out one at a time. I open the door to grab the lead and Prairie takes a step backward. Ah yes, this is not going to be pretty. I hooked him up and pulled, then shoved him out the door. He quickly turned and came back in before I could get the door closed. Shoved him back out. Then shoved him off the step and quickly shut the door. I didn’t stand there to watch, but I left him outside for about 10 minutes. He was out in the grass mud, but I don’t know if he did anything. It’s his problem, though, as he is kenneled until I get home from work.
I haven’t met a collie yet who likes water.

Walking the dog

Finally got all the dogs out for a real walk today. I got home from Foss and it was just too nice. Got Brett and Thor hooked up to the double lead and put the new retractable lead on Prairie. Prairie is going to need a lot of leash training. Not sure if I’ll have the time to really work with him. Hard to train with two other dogs along. He walks well on a leash except for the fact that he walks out front and goes side-to-side. I’m more than a little paranoid about tripping and falling, eh?
We went into the park as the trail is clear of snow. At least halfway around. The other side is still snow covered and icy, so we turned around and came back through the playground. Two girls came over to pet the dogs and Prairie devoured them with niceness. He’s definitely the kind of dog who thinks everybody wants to hug him.

Good news!!!!!!

I took Prairie for a recheck yesterday. They drew blood for a renal panel to see how his kidneys are. Called today to say everything looked really good. Dr. said just by looking at him, he seems like a completely different dog, in that he physically looks like he feels better.
We can now move forward with his neutering. Pre-op and retest blood is scheduled for Monday, the 28th, and surgery is scheduled for that Wednesday. One thing that might hang me up, though, is usually with my other vet, I was able to pick the dog up the same day. This vet wants to keep him overnight, pick up Thursday after three. Doesn’t work with my schedule, so I asked if I could pick him up before three. She said I could call in the morning and most likely can pick him up an hour early, which will give me time to get him home and take myself to Foss. Once he recovers from the surgery he can be listed as available!!!
I asked Dr. about the contagiousness of the Lyme’s now. As we move into tick season, can a tick bite Prairie, then us and infect us? He couldn’t tell me no as they just don’t know. He knows a dog can have been treated and be with other dogs in the same house and there isn’t any infection, but that it’s always a good idea to get all dogs vaccinated and keep them protected with Frontline..
A side note. I found out my regular vet has finally retired at the age of 88. I knew he was old, but not that old. He fell on the ice this winter and apparently it really knocked him down, figuratively. No announcement. My neighbor told me. I was on track to bring in my dogs in May. Neighbor said someone from Mendota Heights has taken over the clinic and is charging way more than Dr. Bruce.

MWCR at the Pet Expo

What a great day and let me start out by saying, Terry Libro does an amazing amount of work organizing these events, set up and tear down, and she is there both days, all day. We were there until 2:00 and it was busy.

Linda Riegger was very popular with face painting.
KJ would sit inbetween clients, then when he was done, he was walking around and telling people where they could get their faces painted. He also enjoyed helping out with the booth and running the wheel. For $1.00 people could spin the wheel where it would stop on a 1 or 2 and the spinner could pick 1 or 2 items from certain bins. 
The Jezebelle collars are probably the best sellers. The dogs model them. We had someone with a boxer wanting to buy one before we even officially opened. These can also be ordered from the collie shop on the website:
They’re pretty far down on the page.
Prairie absolutely loved the whole experience. What an attention hog. If someone was petting Thor or Cat’s tri-color, Prairie would sidle up inbetween the petter and the pettee. He especially loved the babies in strollers. One, in particular, was so sweet. Prairie put his nose up to the baby’s face and the baby leaned his face into Prairie’s, in a cheek-to-cheek hug. Wish I was camera ready for that one. I actually failed as a photographer. I didn’t take any pictures of our stars. Not trying to make excuses because I could have taken some, but for the most part I did have two leashes in my hands. 
We had a pretty good location, better this year than last. Just one booth in from the end of the aisle. We were right next to a guy who had wall-to-wall home made treats. Prairie was trying to scam some every chance he got.
The really cool part was I got a chance to have a reading done on Prairie by Ilga Cimbulis.
I explained a few things, about his moaning in the evening.  I wanted to know if Prairie was in any pain from the Lyme’s or anything else. She said Prairie was not in pain. Explained that his moaning is left over from his previous owner who was in a lot of pain and depressed. Ilga felt Prairie was being sympathetic and mimicing her. He was feeling depressed by his owner’s pain. Ilga felt that the antibiotics were working really well, but that he may need another round and then be fine. She said Prairie felt very welcome at our house and is getting back to his free-spirited self. He loves all the joking around in our house. She said that he was very well trained, grounded, and that while he missed his old place, giving him up was the right thing to do for him. Ilga also said bringing him to the Expo was making him so happy and he was enjoying seeing all the people and getting so much attention. She felt he could go to any kind of home and would easily find that home once he is cleared for adoption.

Fun, fun fun!

Thor – my collie

It took me awhile, but I always knew I’d get another collie someday. I had one growing up (Kelly), and wanted to raise collies. My love for collies came from watching Lassie and reading every collie book I could find. Lassie, Lad a Dog, etc. I had two dogs between Kelly and Thor. Both were obtained by default. One, Travis, I got while working at a shelter in Idaho. He was a sheltie/spaniel mix. After him, came Jazz, a collie/border collie mix, whom I got from the neighbor of a friend of my mom’s. You know?
When Jazz turned 12, I decided I was going to get another collie. I started searching Petfinder. Found one pretty quick through S.A.F.E. A general rescue based in Faribault, I believe. I called and was told he would be at an outdoor adoption fair that weekend. These are a first come first serve kind of adoption process. No home visit, no reference check. No guarantee I’d be able to adopt him if somebody else got there before me. I had talked with his foster family. They lived in Wisconsin.
I arrived early. He wasn’t there yet. I waited. I watched. For some reason I saw another woman who seemed to be doing the same thing. Just an instinct. I saw a car pull in with Wisconsin plates. I walked.Thor jumped out of the car, gorgeous, fluid, alert. I introduced myself, took his leash and started to get to know him. I feel a little guilty for being so aggressive about it, but I knew I wanted him and was ready to deal with any issues he may have had. 
He came into the rescue as Sebastian. From Kansas City. A year old. His owner had become disabled and had to give him up. Sebastian was kind of a mouthful for me, so I renamed him Thor, which turned out to be appropriate, as he barks at thunder. A lot.
Thor is now almost eight and starting to slow down. Still pretty active, but overall a really great dog. Yes, he has his issues. He likes to fight with other dogs but once he gets to know them, he’s fine. It’s hard to bring him to the dog park, though. I don’t want to be that person with the problem dog and it often turns out to be so.
I think Thor is very helpful with my foster dogs. Especially the shy ones who need help learning stairs, walking on a leash and just general house dog stuff. 
My favorite story about Thor is how he thought he was tricking me. He knows he’s not supposed to be on the couch, but gets up there anyway when no one is around. He’ll hear me come down the hall and get off the couch. He’s not as fast as he once was. One time, by the time I got to the living room he was on the floor, laying flat out as if he was sleeping and had been there the whole time. I put my hand on the couch and it was warm, so no fooling me, although he tried!
This is why I like collies. They can be a lot of work, need regular brushing and I am always covered with hair. They are intelligent dogs. Now through rescue I have seen these dogs adapt and learn so quickly. Definite learning opportunities for the humans to learn from the dogs, too.

Twin Cities Pet Expo

The Pet Expo is this weekend at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
KJ and I will bring Thor and Prairie. We’ll be there 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sunday.
Last year I had Thor professionally groomed for this and he looked so nice. Because I’m still doing the Friday shift at Foss, I won’t have any day this week where I can bring him in and pick him up on the same day, so I’m thinking we’ll have to do the DIY at Petco either Wednesday or Saturday afternoon.
If the Pet Psychic is there, I may have her do a reading on Prairie to see if she can tell me if/where/what is bothering him. He’s still doing his moaning and snarling at himself, but it doesn’t seem to be as often.
The woman who does the face painting will also be there. She was pretty busy and did this on KJ last year, after it slowed down a bit. 

Companion dog in training

Saturdays I teach swimming for five hours straight. No break. That’s fine, I don’t like breaks. I’d rather start a half hour later or get done a half hour earlier if I’m going to have a break. Anyway, when I’m done, I’m pretty tired, so I almost walked right past them. Sitting right next to the break room door was a woman with a smooth collie. Seriously, I almost kept walking, until it occurred to me that there was a dog at the pool AND it was a collie. Her name is Dazzle. She’s 11 months old and she’s training to be an autism dog. She was donated to the service by a breeder who donates a dog every so often. There was a smooth collie last year at the annual MWCR dinner who was in service. I believe this is from the same breeder donation.
I sat and talked to them for a bit. Dazzle was doing great, especially for such a young dog. The pool area is noisy and wet kids are everywhere. Lots of commotion, giggling, excited screaming, splashing. Dazzle was “down”, alert, but calm.
Pretty cool.