Thursday, September 10, 2009

Border Collie Rescue Video Series

As a continuation of the first post where Episode One was featured - this post includes links to view all six videos.

Nice work is an in house 'Colliewood Films' production about the work of UK based Border Collie Rescue (BCR), directed by Scottish filmmaker, Jim Closs with it's footage filmed at the York centre and in the homes of the dogs featured.

Like the Animal Planet series 'Project Puppy', which features Gael from BCR as one of the 8 dogs covered, Nice Work is about the subject of rescued dogs being re-homed to work with people in various capacities, but in this instance they are all Border Collies and they have all been assessed, selected and re-homed by Border Collie Rescue.

This mini series is in six, ten minute episodes looking at a number of dogs rehomed by BCR and also covering Gael's training, Sally's pups growing up and other aspects of work at the BCR Assessment and rehabilitation centre.

The series features interviews with BCR staff and with people who have adopted dogs from Border Collie Rescue and trained them to be Sheep Dogs, Cattle Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs and Police Dogs as well as two dogs, selected and placed together on a small holding as companions for a special reason.

It gives good insight into the sort of work they do and the attention to detail spent on the care and re-homing of each individual dog.

This mini series is being released at the same time as Border Collie Rescue is being featured on Project Puppy on Animal Planet. If you are not an Animal Planet subscriber, you can follow Gaels progress on Nice Work, either on Youtube or on The Border Collie Rescue website.

The Border Collie is designed to be a sheepdog and was originally used for herding livestock in the English and Scottish Borders. Border Collie Rescue assesses all dogs coming into our care for herding ability and will rehome them as stockdogs if that is what they need to do but we also assess and rehome for scent discrimination skills to the Police, Prison Service and Excise to detect drugs, explosives and firearms -- to SARDA and other rescue organisations for mountain rescue and search and rescue work -- to help deaf, blind or otherwise disabled people as well as for working trials, flyball, agility, obedience and other interactive sporting disciplines and many of our dogs have qualified for Crufts in these disciplines. Those that show us they do not need or want to work are rehomed as PAT dogs, pets and companions.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Success Story - Spur & Sadie

We hadn’t planned on adopting a dog (let alone two) so soon after our 15 yr. old Marty had passed away. But there they were on the PNW Border Collie Rescue site: Spur and Sadie - sitting shoulder to shoulder with their heads cocked to one side.

View Spur & Sadies original adoption bio here

Four days later on a November afternoon, we returned home with the 9 yr. old brother and sister in the back seat of our car.

We never considered their age (we don’t think of ourselves as older either) - it was just them - they were the ones that we had to have. Spur was taller, more athletic, and a real clown. Sadie was timid, utterly attached to Spur, with a quiet charm.

The first days were busy with getting new beds, checkups with the vet, and exploring the neighborhood. They each had some minor medical procedures and came home with cone collars. In case they wondered why their new parents would do this to them, we showed solidarity by piling dog beds together and sleeping with them on the floor that night.

Then we settled in as a family - trips to the dog park, rides in the car, waiting for “daddy” to come home from work. Our routine was so natural, we couldn’t remember life without them. Spur loved running up and down the stairs - Sadie loved to play in the snow. They would sit side by side smelling dinner simmering on the stove.

In February, we stayed at Iron Springs in Copalis Beach - Spur and Sadie ran in the sand until they dropped. But each night - Spur would sit in the car confused about why we were staying in “that cabin”. He was very relieved at the end of the week to see that we were going “home.”

One day in June, after their usual run through the woods and morning nap, Spur could not stand. An hour later in the emergency room, we were told he had a splenic tumor that had burst. As Bob held him in his arms and told him we loved him - Spur passed away.

Time doesn’t count in matters of the heart - in just 7 months, Spur had an impact on our lives. He taught us that if you loved again - you could move on past life’s difficulties. He also taught us that by giving a dog love (easy for us) along with discipline (hard for us) - a dog would be happy and feel protected.

And he left us Sadie. We worried for her without Spur. But she stepped up to the plate and grew into her bigger self.

Now on our daily walks through the woods - we take our daughter’s dog - Otto - a 2 year old rat terrier rescued from a puppy farm in Texas. My daughter says he never had a “mom” - so Sadie has been teaching him how to be a “dog in the woods” - she is very proud of herself - and we are too.

We are driving to the Oregon Coast in September, with a list of “dog friendly” motels. Now it is the three of us: like most families - happy to be together and armed with memories of loved ones passed.

Thank you Heather, Mike, Marian - and all the other members from PNW BC Rescue - for your support - and the part you played in bringing Spur and Sadie into our lives.

-Bob & Judy Shaw