FOUNDER's CHAIR Lessons and
experiences of Lillie Goodrich
Co-Founder of Glen Highland Farm - Sweet Border Collie Rescue
Dogs Could Talk", "Who is a Dog
Person?", "Gifts Beyond
Rescue", "Dogs Love Dogs", ROC's
TIME TO HELP Sweet Border Collie Rescue CHANGE
A DOG'S LIFE!
invite you to read and share
this year's Holiday Newsletter
Meet several dogs that have found safe haven
at the Farm, Lillie shares medical news
and Farm tidbits, and adopters share greetings from home.
year has brought numerous deaths we didn't expect. While loss is
incredibly painful, we wanted to share a special perspective from a
special soul that graced the Farm - ROC. He left his body on June 30th,
leaving a legacy of will and love and miraculous inspiration.
Four years ago, 9 year
old Roc came into rescue and surprised us with the discovery that he was
in congestive heart failure and he was given only 30 days to live. He
remained at the Farm with Lillie, who was drawn to be with him, til the
end. No one could have foreseen that their love would lead to four more
years of life together. Cornell vets were mystified how he could defy all
odds to be alive so long. The final medical advice was to ignore whatever
they said and just continue to do what you're doing because clearly
something miraculously was underway. That "miracle" was love.
and Lillie were inseparable. Being together on borrowed time, they
traveled together, they went to the office together, he went with her to
seminars all over the east coast, they went everywhere together. Their
hearts linked with the deepest love possible. Anyone who saw them, could
see this bond. In the early days, Roc ran like other 9 year old Border
Collies but his body, as well as his heart, was broken, having been hit by
a car or golf cart at some time while working on the golf course chasing
geese. He limped on a fractured front leg and bunny hopped with a busted
back end, nothing repaired long ago by whomever cared for him. Yet, his
energy was light and joyful and he blossomed into better health at the
For the last year, his
injuries and weaknesses took over, leaving him immobile. A wheelchair
couldn't support him to move. A sling wouldn't work so he landed on a
special bed where he sat upright on one side and laid comfortably on the
other. Roc and Lillie were side by side all day long in the office where
he continued his amazing work of the heart.
We wanted to share his
message. It is a way of understanding the work of the heart and why dogs
are with each of us, loving us so deeply.
want to honor the dogs that have passed in 2010, so far, and share Roc's
perspective on this very special love between humans and canines.
DUKE, our very special friend
and Lillie's beloved LIL who died a month ago
their bodies are giving out,
their hearts are completely alive and well, til the end and FOREVER ON.
"IF DOGS COULD TALK"
Ever wondered what rescue means? Webster
defines rescue this way : "To save, as fromdanger or imprisonment"...
"An act of rescuing: deliverance." Now, before you focus on the dogs,
why not be really open minded and ask yourself - exactly WHO needs to be
rescued? Is it just the dogs? I would contend that it's both dogs AND humans.
Some of you may agree.
In our world today, the heart is not the
guiding force heralded as the main motivator for a happy life. Its' importance
is really hidden by much louder distractions like money, fame, material
possessions, and an overall striving for something better... whatever is in
possession is just not enough.
Someone once said something quite
interesting about dogs (all animals), they come into this world with fur, no
collar, no tag, no leash, no guarantee of a home....they just arrive, as is.
They wear no clothes, own no real estate
and in fact, own nothing of particular value. They are just here. The interesting thing about dogs, and especially
rescue dogs, is that they have their priorities completely in line. Bonding with
a loving human is what they really want; finding security in activities and a
routine filled with love is all that matters; and yes, some great food, too.
So, who needs to be rescued? The dog who
finds pleasure in giving unconditional love? Or the person who has yet to
experience life filled with unconditional love?
Deliverance is the operative word....dogs
deliver us to our hearts. Our hearts deliver us to a real life, the one we're
longing to embody. From the view I have, this truth plays out over and over and
Each time an adopter finds the dog for
them, I feel that heart connection 'click', it's as if two spirits have
recognized each other and no longer feel it's right to live apart...they must be
joined. I call these miracles of a higher order, a divine order, where some
recognition goes beyond the mind, instead blossoming from a deeper place of
meaning. Witnessing this is what inspires me to continue rescue. I am forever
grateful to participate in this moment.
An older, retired couple came to see a
dog we were fostering in Ct. They had seen his picture and felt 'pulled' to meet
him. They felt an instant attraction, having never even touched this dog or
spent any time with him. They had to come. Having heard this described to me so,
so many times, I knew what was about to happen.
As they appeared in the
driveway, the dog was outside in the yard, racing around. The gentlemen, in his
60's, found himself breathless.
In person, this gorgeous Border Collie stunned
him. He hadn't been prepared for all he felt upon seeing this furry creature so
happily exploring nature. Upon sitting with the dog inside the house, he
actually felt more helpless than he expected. He was completely and utterly
smitten and could not envision leaving without this dog. He worried that I would
not allow him to adopt and wondered how he'd handle such rejection.
But, it was quite clear that the dog had
found him, too. Sitting by his feet, enjoying the stroking of a loving hand,
this dog and this man were one. Everything happened so quickly and yet, if you
were watching, it was flowing moment by moment, leading to an obvious
conclusion. The dog was letting me know his choice, too.
The day this gentlemen and his wife drove
away, was a day he describes as one of the most joyful he'd ever had. A former
Border Collie guardian, he'd been searching for his new companion. That search
come from a deep longing that was filled upon meeting this dog.
Sometimes, people come to adopt, assuming
they are saving a dog. What I see is far more meaningful...it is they who are
being saved. Their hearts will be fuller because they are being 'delivered' to
the their heart again. When I speak to this adopter and check-in, what I
feel is always a warm marvelous sense of belonging, way beyond 'getting a new
dog'. As he says, 'this is the best dog I've ever had.' I'm know the dog feels
exactly the same way.
Imagine walking into
your kitchen and finding the scene pictured here...well, that's our
kitchen one morning after Gibson explored. Once a stray, he's got a
nose for food and a hard time knowing he's guaranteed meals in this house.
How would you react? The answer tells you a bit about whether you
are a dog person or not!
In the rescue world, we often describe good
adopters as 'good dog people'. It's a quick way to identify who can
handle dogs that need some special care and attention. It's also a
way to clarify who will respect and care for their beloved companion as a
family member rather than 'just a dog'.
In adopting dog after dog, we know that there
will be quirks that arise as the dog adjusts to their new home. Some
peeing, pooping, chewing, bolting out the door, even snarling or
growling. All signs of the transition from one life to another in a
new home. We always hope that people will understand this change
from the dog's perspective, but often they don't. Just imagine the
pressure placed on a dog who is thrown into a totally foreign household
with a variety of people he/she has no relationship to and then is
expected to be happy go lucky, friendly with everyone and perfectly well
behaved at the same time.
We'd never expect that of a child
yet many people carry the fantasy of 'perfect' dog into the
adoption. We'd ask that you really question whether you are a 'dog
person' or a person who wants a dog? There is a huge difference and
for the sake of the rescue dogs, they will always vote for a dog person.
A dog person is someone who steps over their
dog lying in front of the kitchen counter rather than moving them. A
dog person is someone who picks up poop and pee on the floor time after
time, without feeling that the dog is stupid.
A dog person is someone who knows
on a very deep level that their dog would die for them and they would be
willing to return the favor.
A recent story
illustrates how dogs know who you really are, before you even utter a
sound. Our first family rescue dog, Luke, was at a hospital for some
therapy work when he encountered the Head Nurse. She proceeded to
say hello, welcome him in a friendly manner and reach to touch his
head. Uncharacteristic of Luke, he held back and was quite reserved
and hesitant to go toward her. Then, moments later, another nurse
entered the room, again, happily encountering Luke, saying hello,
welcoming him and reaching to touch his head. He instantly went
toward her, quite comfortable to be near her and touched. A totally
different dog appeared in the room, yet only moments had passed.
What did he sense? From all outward appearances, the two women
looked the same in their approach and skill level with respect to dogs.
The facts then emerged. The Head nurse
thought rescuing dogs was quite noble but frankly, she'd never allowed any
animal to live in her house. Dogs always lived outside. That's how
it was all her life and how it should be. The second nurse began
describing the date her king size bed would arrive which they now needed
in order to accommodate the two dogs, cat and she and her husband.
She adored having them sleep side by side but admitted it had gotten
So, who is the dog
It's obvious now in light of the facts, yet
Luke knew just by the energy each was carrying in their approach to
him. Luke, like your dog, knows what people are communicating
energetically and THAT is what a dog reacts to...
a good dog person understands this.
When we hear of problems dogs are
having entering their new homes, we often think about the energy of the
situation. What is the dog experiencing? What's occurring that
the people have no awareness of whatsoever? In almost every
situation, it is the humans lack of understanding that causes the dog to
Here is some of what we hear:
1. the dog snapped at the
children... actually the children were crowding the dog's space (day
3) and he had no other way to manage them because the parents were not
teaching the children what's okay and what's not
2. the dog is peeing and
pooping in the house and even after walking outside, still does it..... actually
the emotional situation in the house was a disaster, amidst a move and
tons of changes, the dog just reflected how everyone was feeling - totally
stressed (this dog went to another home and never had any accidents
3. the dog is barking
non-stop, turning over trash cans & needs too much attention....
actually the dog is bored, insecure about his new home and not getting
enough leadership to help him adjust, he's being asked to be just like the
other dogs (both 12 & 14 yrs old) instantly when he's not comfortable
in any shape or form as to why he's there
A dog person will take into account
everything in the environment that the dog is facing...the people, the
chaos, the changes, everything. Then, they can help adjust the
situation so the dog can win and not be penalized for reacting. Here
are some pointers to help those who want to be good 'dog people'.
slow....do not introduce lots of people in the first few weeks
2 set a
schedule....a routine for eating, sleeping, being in the house
and learn what makes your dog comfortable or nervous
into the leadership of an alpha, letting the dog know the rules without
domination, GUIDING the dog in the first few weeks *read the Dog Whisperer
and The Dog Listener to understand this
5 be patient...experts
say a dog's intelligence is akin to a 2 year old and a border collie's
intelligence is that of a 4 year old...while the difference is dramatic,
dogs are still somewhat like kids who need your patience
6 manage the
energy...dogs feel everything, words do not matter so check the energy
of the situations your dog is facing...check for high stress & chaos
which cause behavior problems
than judging every behavior as 'good or bad', let the dog know he/she is
accepted and loved and welcomed...let them feel your
willingness to help them, no matter what comes up, rather than judge them
So, you're probably pretty clear about what
we did after seeing the trash on the floor of our kitchen. Mind you,
it had happened a number of times already. In fact, we found him on
all fours ON our kitchen counter, EVERYTHING knocked onto the
But, no, we didn't rub his nose
in it....no, we didn't throw anything...and no, we didn't take him back to
the pound - believe me, dogs land in the pound for reasons like this as
well as more unbelievably petty reasons like 'hair in the house'.
Rather than punish Gibson for instincts that
probably saved his life while on the street, we now use our mobile
invisible fence unit (a small device for special areas), place it so the
range includes the counters and trash can. The beeping sound stops
him from entering that area so without penalizing him, the behavior is
managed. We are committed to working with whatever behavior's
come up, from turned over trash cans to biting. I suppose that's why
we do rescue.
fine tuning your
At the Farm, we are focused on
helping Border Collies…those that are left in a shelter, slated
to die or those given to us because they can no longer remain in their
homes. We respond to life and death situations, much like an emergency
room specialist. Phone calls, emails, quick communication and
coordination that truly matters. Our intervention often prevents a dog
from being euthanized at that instant and/or one being surrendered to a
kill shelter. We are proud that since our doors opened at the Farm, 500 dogs now safely live new lives in addition to the 70 we helped from our
home in Connecticut.
We made this commitment to turn
our lives toward service because there is an even deeper understanding
that motivates us. To us, these furry friends are wise teachers leading
humankind to experience our hearts more deeply. They are not just Border
Collies. They join us from morning to night, offering the simple gesture
of unconditional love.
They have agreed to be with
humans on this journey of life in order to offer truths which inevitably
help us become more humane, more caring and more loving. If there was a
grand force at work to help humans evolve, what would be made available
to us 24/7? A way to learn about love. Dogs are that way.
Our philosophy at the Farm is one
of genuine respect. We believe that every Border Collie that makes it to
the Farm is meant to teach. They want to work, sharing their wisdom and
It is our job to hold
the space and environment for them to overcome trauma and neglect so
that they may fulfill the true potential of why they are here.
Allowing them to heal at the Farm is a privilege for us. Whatever
time they need here, we offer them. Some stay one week, others nine
months. They are guests stopping by, enroute to their true destiny. The
Farm is a place where they can return to their true nature, no longer
pressured by human interference. They let go of emotional wounds,
regroup and are ready for their continued journey. We listen carefully
to where they want to go next, honored to be asked to help them find
We are facilitators,
holding the bridge over which these dogs can cross to get to the places
where they want to teach. Here’s what they give to those that are
open: a profound experience of unconditional love; the tangible
sensation of joy everyday; an understanding of being in the present
moment, not the future or the past and tolerance for they never judge us
or anything around them as bad, it just is whatever it is.
Sometimes they also teach us
patience but always, they teach love in its most pure form, healing
those they touch. Your dog works directly on your heart, healing your
wounds, graciously holding you in love. When was the last time you were
loved so fully? Such seemingly simple creatures, asking so little of us,
willing to give so much to us.
Collies have another unique trait that adds to this teaching. They are
bred to work independently yet bonded to a shepherd which means they
relate to humankind with an intuitive link, sensing what is needed and
where they are needed. If you’ve ever watched their eyes, you know
they are sensing everything with such keen observation that they most
certainly know more than you.
That is the infamous
'border collie eye’, observant, aware, alert and ever ready to
participate. Their cellular nature is about responsiveness. Noted dog experts agree that this breed
excels in intelligence, able to comprehend a 200 word vocabulary and
able to problem solve at a higher level than many other breeds.
intuitive ability combined with their deep capacity to share love offers
profound experiences for the humans in contact with them. Ask any Border
Collie guardian and they will admit that their dog(s) changed their
At the Farm, we welcome people in
search of a deeper relationship with their dog. We encourage various
teaching to support greater deepening in our summer camp. We know
that the journey of canine and human is meaningful. In fact, we
believe that this joint journey is full of transformation. Your dog is
willing to be with you in the purest, most honest relationship, grounded
Each adoption offers
an opportunity for us to witness the miracle of how these dogs choose
their humans. An intuitive experience guides the entire process, the dog
sending information to Lillie so she can clearly know the choice. After
meeting and assisting over 200 dogs to find their place, the moment of
magic is still revelatory. These dogs are communicating their choices.
Lillie’s job is to hear them and respond.
Ever since childhood,
she has been listening to dogs. Now, her keen intuitive abilities
can assist them in their journey. She and the dog become a team, tuning
into each other, heart to heart, allowing for a flow of ‘knowing’.
‘knowing’ is what guides everything at Glen Highland Farm. The dogs
know it. We know it. And, while people think they are rescuing a dog, we
know the dog is rescuing them. And, the dog has willingly agreed to
teach everything important in life.
We are all born with intuitive abilities, but few people take the time
to understand or develop those skills. If you're interested in
knowing what your canine family members want to "say" to you
or if you have questions to ask them, Lillie Goodrich, the co-founder of
Glen Highland Farm, is now offering "Animal Communication"
here for more information.)
.... more than people????
At the Farm, we're in a unique position to
see a truism at play all the time - 'dogs love dogs' - they
invent their own games, they race and chase, they play tug of war and they
outwit each other constantly. While they
love their humans, the joy of dog play is so obvious that we always place
dogs together whenever we can.
Whether a dog from the Farm joins
another dog in a home or two dogs from the Farm go together, it is always
a better life for both.
If you're considering whether to add a
second dog or adopt only one dog, please reconsider the added joy you
provide for them by giving them a furry friend! Can you
imagine a life without another human friend? Of course not.
believe if you asked your dog what they wanted, they'd always choose a pal
on four-legs. Because we have so many social play groups, it's easy for us
to see that this one truth makes a world of difference in your dog's
And yours, too, because you can endlessly participate in
their world which they can only show you when there is another dog around. Many adopters agree, watching doggie play is
much better than TV!!!
Highland Farm is proud of our multiple dog adoptions...
and on behalf of all these
lucky dogs - we thank their guardians for understanding
"the truth" - "DOGS LOVE DOGS!"