It’s hard to believe that it’s been eight weeks since my family was blessed with three tiny border collie puppies. It’s been an interesting journey for us and we’ve learned so much. We decided right away that we would keep one of these puppies and let the other two go to homes. The kids understood this and we’ve enjoyed every minute with them, but when it came time to let the other two go, it was very hard. You really can’t help falling in love with puppies that you’re with from the time they’re born. I knew it would be hard for them because we have bonded with all three of them, but we decided that we would stick to the original plan to keep Bowie and let Fig and Lotus go to a new home.
A few weeks ago, I took all three in for their vet checkup where they were examined, received vaccinations, wormer, and their flea and tick treatment. Their weights were perfect and there was only one problem–Lotus was found to have an inguinal hernia. At first, I was shocked. I’m not a professional breeder and this is the first litter we’ve ever experienced. I didn’t even think about the fact that there could be some things that might go wrong. The vet assured us that it really isn’t that big of a deal, but that she might require surgery later on in life, or she could also outgrow it. When I got home I started doing tons of research. I called all the vets in my area to find out how much the surgery would cost and what age she could have it. I knew there would be no way we could sell her with the chance that she might require surgery in the future. The responsible thing to do is to have it fixed beforehand, but the problem is that three out of four vets that I called recommended waiting until six months. Only one vet said they would do the surgery and she couldn’t even tell me on the phone the last time they did one of these types of surgeries. That just wasn’t going to work. With us just losing Toby last month, I’m not willing to risk the surgery when we don’t even know for sure that it will remain. There’s a good chance it will heal with time.
I decided that we would do one of two things–we would either keep her or rehome her to someone we know very well. I want to be sure that she will receive the care that she needs and I’m very leery about listing animals for free. In the past, we had a litter of kittens we raised and needed to find homes for them. When they were old enough, I listed them on Craigslist for free. Within an hour of listing them, I received two or three emails from different people telling me to remove the listing because I was putting the kittens at risk. As I read on, the person explained that there are people who look for animals on ads for free because they can take them to animal testing centers and make money off them. ?? I was shocked and never even heard of this! As I continued reading, I was warned of another risk of someone coming to get free animals to take home and torture. That really shocked me even more. It was also explained that these people often bring children with them to make it look like they are giving them a good home to trick you into giving them your animals. Seriously? I immediately removed the kittens and I’ve never listed animals for free on Craigslist ever again. Are these things true? Are there really people out there that do these things? I’m not willing to take that risk. I don’t think any level of interviewing can really make it safe and I’ve never forgotten the experience. I realize that there isn’t much control in how the animal will be cared for once it’s out of your hands, but I guess it makes sense that offering an animal for free might put it at more of a risk.
Lotus went to her new home and it’s right down the road from our house. We know the family very well and my oldest child works on the farm there. It couldn’t have worked out more perfect because my kids hang out there with the horses often. They can see her whenever they want to. I was really hoping to just keep Lotus with us, but I feel like she’s better off where she is. They showed so much interest in her and we knew this would be her forever home. There are other border collies there, another puppy she plays with, and she can herd the horses and experience many other farm activities. She’s just like Cynder and we knew right away that she was going to be a busybody and that she’d need work with mental stimulation to stay happy.
Last week we listed Fig on a reputable site and sold him to a family that lives about an hour away from our home. The nice thing is that we hit it off with the man right away and it turned out to be a positive experience.
We’ve been keeping in touch via text and he’s willing to send us pictures every once in a while so that we can see him as he grows. I miss him so much and think about him a lot. I’m glad that this worked out for Fig though. It was incredibly hard for us and I was up half the night thinking about him the first night. Keeping in touch with them is helping a lot, especially with the kids.
I still remember when we were searching for a border collie and in the process, I would find all of these rescues and breeders who would request your address and would want to come check out your house–they would even ask for references. I used to think it was crazy until these guys came along. I feel very protective of them and this was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
So now, we just have Bowie. We have decided to keep her for sure. I’ve questioned myself because they are a lot of work, but we’re really excited and it’s nice to have a pup from Cynder and Winston. She started jumping out of her pen so we began crate training and it’s amazing how well she’s doing. She’s already showing strong signs of intelligence. She’s learned her name plus sits and downs. It appears that she’ll be more laid back like Winston.
Here’s something interesting though. We named her Bowie when she was born before her eyes were opened and it turned out that she has two different colored eyes which reminds me of David Bowie!
David Bowie had anisocoria which made his eyes appear different due to the pupil size. Our Bowie also has a right blue eye and a brownish left eye which looks similar to David Bowie’s. Isn’t that cool?
Originally I was worried that having another dog might be too hard, especially since it’s a puppy, but overall, this has been a good experience for us. Having another dog may be more work, more hair to clean up, more food, but most importantly…
Cynder and Winston are back to normal and Winston is really happy to have his best friend back.
I hope to post more about Bowie as time moves on. Thanks for checking out our puppy update!