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About Lewie'sMom

  • Birthday 02/28/1956

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Aubrey, TX
  • Interests
    dogs (of course!), God, singing, piano, (not necessarily in that order)

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  1. I adopted Scotch Dec 4, so it’s been just 6 weeks that I’ve had him. He is sweet, smart, funny, obedient (usually), a great snuggler, agile, a little stubborn at times, and sensitive. He has really helped fill the void left by Lewie’s passing in September. Scotch seemed to bond with me right away and it didn’t take long before he wiggled his way into my heart. He and I are really enjoying getting to know each other. We already have a bit of a routine for play time, snuggle time, and life in general. He is very good in the house, no chewing inappropriate things, no potty-ing, etc. I’m a big advocate of crating but he definitely does not like being crated. Since he's so good in the house I don't force that. But, he will crate himself, occasionally. He gets on the furniture and bed when I'm not home which is something I’ve never allowed with my previous dogs. But, I’ve decided to pick my battles and not sweat that for now. Scotch does have some real sight and sound reactivity issues. He gets really amped up if he hears unfamiliar sounds or if he sees someone in the neighborhood when we’re in the back yard. Forget about walks! A few times he has "gone Cujo" and gotten scary. It was never directed at me, always another person. He's never been anything but wonderful with me. I can't help wonder if some of the reactivity is triggered by experiences from his previous life. The reactivity has calmed down a tiny bit since having him home, but I am seeking advice/help from a behaviorist who specializes in behavioral problems. She was recommended by foster mom and holds classes for fearful and aggression behaviors. I need someone with more knowledge/experience than I have to assess whether it’s “normal” for him or if there’s some psychological issues. Since Scotch is my first (assumingly) full BC, I have much to learn. I’d like to be able to expand his little world, take him on walks, car rides, and just give him and me a fuller life. Anyway, for now, we are getting to know each other and having a blast!
  2. Every time I reread this thread I think, "This would make a great window cling!"
  3. Thank you all for your responses. It is one of the reasons I value this forum so much...kind and knowledgeable BC peeps. I went to a meet and greet with the boy in question. My sister and BIL went with me. My sister because she is my take-care-of-the-dog back-up person, and my BIL because he drove for us since neither sis nor I have great night vision and we didn't know where we were going. Anyway, Scotch, as he is currently called, was quite charming with just the right amount of ham. The three of us sat on the couch and Scotch went right down the line greeting us, then came back around for round two. The only time I saw any hint of insecurity in him was when my BIL stood up to get a toy. He is a tall and not small man and I think just his size was a bit scary for Scotch. But, he recovered quickly after one bark and scooting behind foster mom until he could assess my BIL actions. It was only a matter of seconds before he recovered and was happily playing fetch with us. I wasn't able to make a decision that night. My heart and mind hadn't stepped over what I'll call the "grief boundary line" yet. The three of us talked about Scotch on the ride home. Both my sister and BIL really liked him. I know FM was disappointed that I couldn't say "yes" right then and there, but that was only because I hadn't allowed myself to let go of Lewie. Scotch and Lewie were foremost in my thoughts all day Tuesday. I vacillated many times about whether I wanted him or not. Not because of him, but because of me. I had to get to the point of allowing myself permission to enjoy another dog that isn't Lewie. Life has been completely lackluster since his death and I want my sparkle back. I texted FM on Tuesday and told her I'd love to be Scotch's new mom! So, I'm going to pick him up this coming Monday. I'm pretty excited and looking forward to continuing the great work she has started in him to become a secure and (relatively) stable BC. Now, the funny thing is, this rescue group is an Aussie-only rescue group. So, why did they accept Scotch? Well, to my relatively unacknowledged personage, I can see how someone may have assumed he is Aussie just by his coloring. But, his frame is more delicate that what I think an Aussie normally is and FM has had him for 8 months and she believes he is all BC. I have to believe she knows better than I do, as she is the region rep for the group. But, y'all take a look and tell me what you think. I did just a tiny bit of research and I think he is a saddle-patterned blue merle.
  4. I lost my beloved Lewie in September to cancer (cancer sucks in any species!). Some folks may remember I posted about him in the “In Memoriam” section. I miss him every day and the special relationship we had. I’ve been looking for another BC, stalking Petfinder.com, Petango.com and Allpaws.com daily. I’ve filled out numerous applications to rescue groups (not all rescue groups are created equal, I’ve learned), visited many of the local shelters multiple times in the last 12 weeks. I’ve been approved by two local rescue groups after passing the reference checks and home visits. Yippee! So, on Monday I am going to visit the foster home of a dog I’m interested in learning more about. I’ve spoken/texted with foster mom several times. She has shared with me what she knows of the dog’s previous life. He is about 1-1/2 years old so he is still young. She says that she thinks he may have been neglected and not gotten proper socialization as a youngster, possibly being left crated most of the time without a lot of attention or structure. She shared a short video with me of his reaction when she asked him to go in his crate. There was a lot of avoidance/calming signals going on, moving away from her, looking away, lip licking. She said he will go in, but it’s not a happy place for him. I believe I can work with him on that. I also think she said he gets along fine with the other dogs in the house, but may be a bit shy around new people. FM said the dog is perfectly fine with her husband so I don’t think it’s timidity based on human gender. Those sounds like things I can work with but, but my $64,000 question is: what other issues might he have that I’m not aware of if he was neglected or wasn’t socialized properly when younger? I know how sensitive and “odd” BCs can be (I call it "Border Collie weirdness" ) and I don’t want to do more harm to his psyche if I do decide I want to adopt him. I don’t have that type of experience since all of my dogs I raised from pups. I sure would appreciate any advice, things to look for, be aware of, etc., etc., etc. on my first visit. Thanks loads!
  5. D'elle, yes, I have put in adoption apps with both Border Collie Rescue of Texas and also Border Collie Rescue and Rehab of Texas. I did that shortly after I lost Lewie so the paperwork and legwork should already be done. I do follow BCRT on FB and check both their sites pretty regularly. And, as the wonderful folks here have said, the right dog is out there, somewhere, maybe waiting just as much for me as I am for him. Again, I can't tell you how much your words and shoulders are appreciated. *tears*
  6. Apologies for the radio silence. I'm currently suffering from some kind of gastrointestinal bug and have been down for a week. I did go back to the shelter intending to adopt the Little Shelter Dog, but he had already been adopted. Good for him, not so much for me. So, my search continues. I scour petfinder.com daily, sometimes multiple times a day, and have search parameters set for email alerts. I may be too hung up on finding another BCx like Lewie. I know that's a long shot but I also know I'm still grieving for him. This too, shall pass, but damn, I miss my right-hand man.
  7. Thank you all for your wisdom and input! I am very encouraged to hear your experiences. I have a feeling that I will be going back to the shelter to take another look at this petite shelter boy at the beginning of next week. I work weekend nights so Monday is the soonest I will be able to get back there. I have a feeling that if he is still available, he won't be after I get back there! Thank you again all so much! I can't tell you how much I appreciate hearing your experiences!
  8. I hope this doesn't come across as offensive 'cuz I sure don't mean it to be. How can a person tell if a BC is a "real" BC who is maybe depressed from shelter life or a not-so-smart Barbie Collie? It's been a hard month since I lost Lewie. But, I'm ready to start looking for another BC. I've filled out apps with two BC rescues in the state just to get the paperwork out of the way, but neither has anybody whose picture speaks to me. The closest rescue is having a Meet and Greet on Oct 21 but the waiting is starting to make me feel like a victim (dumb, I know). I've been stalking Petfinder.com and AllPets.com looking for somebody who could be The One. Today I went to one of the local shelters to look at a Border Collie from Petfinder.com. He is beautiful but is very small. His head only comes up to my knee and I don't think he weighs 30 pounds. Being used to Lewie's height and 60+ pounds the shelter dog seems tiny to me. I asked about him: transferred from another shelter, 5-ish years old, neutered male. He's very pretty, has an adorable face. The shelter peeps got him out of his kennel so I could interact with him. He seems to be very low key and a bit of a Velcro dog but that might just be from being in the shelter. I took him outside into one of the runs to let him off-leash. He wasn't interested in any of the toys, didn't really do much sniffing, just stayed close to me. I sat on the ground with him, petting, cooing, touching. He didn't seem to have any issues with being handled, feet, ears, privates, didn't really like having his teeth looked at but no snarky or warning behavior, just turned his head away. I asked him to sit with no response, even gave a little push on his tiny butt. I patted the ground asking him to lie down by me. He did, and tentatively rolled on his side to expose his tummy. At one point, I did see a tiny spark go across his face while I was petting him, like maybe he had a glimmer of hope? Maybe he's just depressed and needs time to come out of his shell? To everyone who has way more experience than I do, is there a way to determine if he has the "real" BC intelligence and intuition or if he's just a pretty face? If y'all think I'm silly or too superficial, or anything, please tell me. Sometimes I need it.
  9. Oh, my heart is in my throat and my eyes are tearing! I know EXACTLY what that is like. When I was younger, I had a lab mix. Sweet dog, but loved to chase anything that moved; Birds, squirrels, leaves...it didn't matter. I had nearly the same experience at Tea (Tea, I'm sooo sorry!). Buddy was SOLID on basic obedience commands which saved his life. Chasing a squirrel, he was going to follow the stupid squirrel into the road. Car coming, my heart in my throat, screamed, BUDDY DOWN!! Danged if that dog didn't drop in his tracks. Squirrel kept going, car went past, me bawling and poor Buddy looking at me going, "What the heck??" Yep, I whole-heartedly agree, solid recall saves lives.
  10. It’s been, golly, three years since I’ve posted in the BC Forums. I hate that I’ve come back to post in this particular topic. Lewie wasn’t a working dog, heck, he wasn’t a purebred. But, he was by far the best dog I’ve ever had. His death is proving harder for me than any other of my past dogs and writing about him is cathartic. The following is the post I made on FB about Lewie the day I let him go. *********************************************************************************** Today turned out to be the day every pet owner knows is coming but dreads to think about, the day we must make the hard decision to put a cherished pet to sleep. Today was that day for me. Lewie, my beloved Border collie mix, has given me 10 years of companionship, devotion, challenges, laughs, and yes, love. Today was the day his body finally said, “I’m too tired. I’m done.” Lewie has suffered with a myriad of health issues since the age of 4 starting with a life-threatening auto-immune disease called Evans Syndrome, then Pancreatitis and finally, Diabetes. Today I discovered that his bladder was housing not just a raging infection, but had a developed a thickened wall while the inside had become “honeycombed’. If it had just been a bladder infection we may have been able to treat him with antibiotics. However, the vet also discovered a sizable tumor sitting behind his stomach. Even without a biopsy, he was 90% certain that it was cancerous. We talked about possibilities and options, but even with a healthy dog this type of tumor is difficult, at best, to remove. I won’t share the graphic details of the tumor and what it would have meant to Lewie’s remaining quality of life, but those details made it easier to opt for the hard but humanely simple choice of euthanasia. It was quiet, quick and painless. I cupped Lewie’s head in my hands, my face touching his face while I whispered the sweet nothings he was so used to hearing from me. I stroked his head and drank in his brown eyes for the last time, wanting to always remember. I’ve been through this before with pets that preceded Lewie, but this time was special. Lewie was special. He was my right-hand man and the best companion I’ve ever had or could have hoped for. I loved his Border collie intuition and intelligence. Even as a senior dog, he quickly learned new things. And, he was smart enough that he challenged me to be a better owner. He loved people. It didn’t matter if he knew you or not, he loved everyone. And, many people were drawn to him, too. It may have been because he was so fluffy and soft, or maybe it was how he would nearly prance at the chance of greeting someone, known or new. He was the Best.Dog.Ever. and I will dearly miss my sweet boy. *********************************************************************************************** Lewie was on daily meds for the Evans Syndrome and Diabetes. He had also developed cataracts due to the Diabetes and was struggling. It broke my heart every time he bumped into something. So, I started the ball rolling and he had cataract surgery on July 31. He regained his eyesight and was doing beautifully and was enjoying life again. The cloudy white cataracts had been removed and his beautiful brown eyes could see me again. So much of my time was spent caring for Lewie’s medical and daily needs I have far more time on my hands than I know what to do with. I’m trying to feel normal by doing routine things but anything I did with Lewie is emotionally difficult. I decided to go for a walk the other evening, something we did if it wasn’t too hot. I walked out the front door and immediately froze, emotionally paralyzed. I didn’t know which direction to go. I’d always let Lewie choose the path we took since our walks were more for him than for me. I did manage to give myself a mental kick in the arse and got moving but it was a bit unnerving. Dumb, I know, but it kind of sums up my reality right now. Someday, maybe soon, maybe not, I’ll probably be ready to adopt another Border Collie. I am a hardcore Border Collie girl now. A great dog will spoil you for anything else, but I know I’m preaching to the choir. I’ve put in adoption applications with two local Border Collie rescues so that when I am ready the legwork is done. Until such time that I’m ready and the right dog comes along, I’m taking it day by day. Lewie, the Border Collie…BEST.DOG.EVER
  11. Julie, yes, while Lewie was in the throes of the Pancreatitis last week, there was much discussion (hope) that the Diabetes was going to be transient. I guess it's much more common in cats than in dogs, but here's hoping Lewie is one of the lucky(?) dogs.
  12. I think we may have turned a corner yesterday. Lewie started acting more like himself, watching the neighborhood out the window, watching me more. We popped into the vet's office this morning for his glucose level check (happily my vet is very near). An hour after his insulin injection his glucose number was at 131. I thought that was good but Doc kept him for monitoring. She seemed concerned that it may have dropped too fast, and that maybe he is trying to regulate himself. Here's hoping that the Diabetes does end up being transient due to the Pancreatitis. ps the cats like Lewie's new low-fat kibble
  13. We seem to be finding our groove. Lewie is still not eating as well as I'd like but we're moving in the right direction. Last night, however, supper time proved to be less meal time and more a comedic skit, starring Lewie as the straight man and mom as the punch line. He wouldn't touch the kibble I put in his bowl. I'm pretty sure it's not a taste issue, it's just that he really doesn't want to eat yet. So, I offered canned dog food...nope. Some canned chicken which would normally pique his interest...nope. I ran to the local Walgreen's for some Ensure (they used it at the vet's to get him to eat) and made a little gruel with it and the canned...nope. I tried dipping my finger in the chicken broth and running it over his lips and gums...not interested. Same with the gruel...bug off, lady. I swear, he had a doggy smorgasbord laid out in front of him but he would have none of it. I had to put the cats away to keep them out of all the yummies. By now I was at my wit's end, watching the clock, desperate to get something in him so I could give him the insulin injection. I was about ready to find a hose and funnel and just pore it down his throat! My last option was to put some kibble in his Everlasting Treat Ball, which he adores. Oh my gosh!...Success!! I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner. I added just a couple slivers of his normal treats (for the scent), which I'm sure are not good for him anymore. The treat ball worked again this morning, but so far he'll only take about 1/3 cup (79 ml) which isn't enough for a dog his size. He's down from his normal 70 pounds (31.75kilos) to 60# (27.2 kilos). But, it's movement in the right direction. And speaking of movement, he's having nice little BMs which is a relief. Ever since he's developed Evan's, his digestive track is very fussy. But, so far, no pudding poop. Yeah! I think he's still having a little occasional discomfort from the Pancreatitis, but at this time he's feeling a whole lot better that he was a week ago, and so am I!
  14. Aaah, a boy and his dog...or maybe it's a dog and his boy. What a heart warming video. How lucky your son is to have such a wonderful companion. I loves me a fluffy butt!
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