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from THE FOUNDER's CHAIR
Lessons and experiences of Lillie Goodrich 
Co-Founder of Glen Highland Farm - Sweet Border Collie Rescue

"If Dogs Could Talk",   "Who is a Dog Person?",   "Gifts Beyond Rescue",   "Dogs Love Dogs",  ROC's message


IT'S TIME TO HELP Sweet Border Collie Rescue
CHANGE A DOG'S LIFE!

 

We 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.
 

Click here


This 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.

Roc 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 Farm.

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.

We 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.

JAZZ 
HALEY
NELL
BUDDIE
OSCAR
STOSHU
KIP
DEKE
TOREY
MAXY
BUDIE
MASON
MIRKE
QUINN
SAMANTHA
DUTCH
ZANE
MIK
SARA
GUNNAR
KATEY
CARSON
ROBBIE
DENVER
SEBASTIAN
OREO
BAKER
DUKE, our very special friend
and Lillie's beloved LIL who died a month ago

Even when 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 from danger 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 over again.

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.

WHO
IS
A
"DOG
PERSON"?

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 pretty crowded.

So, who is the dog person?  

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 exhibit problems.

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 whatsoever)

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'.
1     go 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

3     observe...watch and learn what makes your dog comfortable or nervous

4     lead...step 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

7     reassurance...rather 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 floor.  
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.


"THE GIFTS BEYOND RESCUE"


fine tuning your intuitive abilities

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 knowledge. 
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 their humans.
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.

Border 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. 
That 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 life.
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 in love.
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’. 
This deep ‘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.

NOTE:  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" services.  (Click here for more information.)


"Dogs
 Love
  Dogs"

....
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.  

We 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 happiness.  
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!!!   
Glen 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!"