A SPECIAL STORY... The Story of Blizzard, a Border Collie (Under Construction)


I am angry this evening. Came across Night Shade's page tonight online.  They now have a puppy contract to return puppies for "any reason", but at your expense.  Since I believe Blizzard did not get properly socialized or even taught his name, I could not see me just sending him back from whence he came.  I loved this boy too much and had so much invested in him. I wanted to make sure he got a good home that would understand his needs and love him as much as I did. I chose NEBCR after I attempted to get him a home via Uncle Henry's. The evaluator was local. He and his wife came to my place and evaluated my beautiful white- headed boy. I told them he had fear issues with dogs and I did not want him euthanized because of his issues. The evaluator crossed out the euthanization clause in the contract, and I signed the paper. I handed over his AKC papers, training notebook and vet receipts, removed his little tag from his collar, carried his bed down and put it in the back of the evaluator's truck. As luck would have it they WOULD fall in love with my boy and decided to keep him for themselves. I heard through members of a local agility group that they were doing good work with him and that he was doing well.  That was a few years following the year after when I got to see Blizzard with is people at a fund raising event for a local shelter.  

I read some of Night Shade's page, but didn't want to torture myself too much.  They can think what they want about me, but their daughter (apparently his breeder even though her name was not on Blizzard's paperwork anywhere) did lie to me about Blizzard, and about a contract that I supposedly signed.  She stated "Because of me" they had to begin to have puppy contracts.  The person who has one of Blizzard's littermates must think negatively of me as well since she saw I was searching for a new home for Blizzard (from Dogster).  She got her puppy at 8 weeks and was able to make sure he was raised and socialized correctly.  Blizzard wasn't so lucky.  She didn't know he came to me at 8 months or that he had all sorts of issues right off the bat, and she certainly didn't know me or how much I loved him and worked so hard to keep him. It made me so angry.

Night Shade Ranch is made up of Mom and Dad, and now 2 daughters who are grown and live in their own homes and have their own "kennels".  I always talked to Mom.  She was nice and I trusted her.  There were some red flags that went up during some of our discussions, but she seemed honest, and I liked her. I don't think they knew as much as they should about border collies for breeders, but I let it go.  They didn't know what a BAER test was, and I was concerned about Blizzard's hearing since he had a predominately white head, and predominately white ears (love me those brindle freckles though!)

My problem was with the daughter who I didn't even know existed since her name wasn't on any of the paperwork.  When she contacted me on Dogster, she thought I was a rescuer and had no problem lying to me about a puppy contract and saying how she had pictures of Blizzard inside her home to prove he was brought up indoors (photos that I too had because her mother had sent them to me).  And I believe he probably was, up to about 8 weeks when he was put out with everyone else and probably mercilessly teased by the other dogs.  He probably watched all his littermates get homes, and he didn't. She said that Blizzard could recall (come when called) "from the other side of the pond". Blizzard did not know his name.  In fact, the human voice had absolutely no meaning or value to him at all.  He did not know how to behave inside a home.  At 8 months, he was not potty trained.  Anyone who had ever had a border collie knows how easy it is to train a BCpup.  They are like sponges.  They want to please you.  They will go out of their way to do want they think you want them to. They want to learn! This woman had the audacity to ask for Blizzard back!  She had no problem lying to a "rescuer" and then asking for the pup back.  What was she going to do, resell him??  (Too bad for her I had him fixed already... didn't want him to pass along any behavioral issues that might be genetic.) All of a sudden they had time to train him?  Too late now, he missed a very crucial socialization period, and you can't get that back. This woman who never talked to me on the phone (or otherwise before this) thought she could lie about me like that? Just pass ME off as the liar?  No.  You don't get this dog back.  He deserves better than that.  He deserves to be loved, trained, live indoors and have a consistent life.  He needed to be understood. No more moving around for Blizzard.

My intention for Blizzard was to train him as my next service dog.  From what "Mom" said, it sounded like he might have what it takes.  In their web site, they now say that some of their dogs are low drive and can be alert dogs and stuff.  They need to learn what it takes for a puppy to become a service dog or therapy dog, and I don't think they have a clue.  They didn't know Blizzard at all, I discovered. 

Originally, Blizzard was going to be flown out to my husband who was living on the west coast at the time.  We were supposed to relocate out there together. My husband could not take Blizzard (Blizzard was going to be flown to him as my housing fell through here in Bangor) because the night before Blizzard was to be flown out, my husband was in a nasty car accident and had partially amputated fingers.  No way he could control Blizzard the freight train on a walk.  I tried to keep this handsome boy, but I could not make it work. The day I said goodbye to him, I knew by his look that I had in a big way failed him. My heart will forever be broken. I so miss this boy (he'd be about half Rosie's age, and she turns 11 tomorrow (Sept. 3). If I remember correctly, his birthday was May 6.

Here is what I am going to do with what I learned... always meet the breeder and dogs personally before thinking of purchasing. Evaluate the dog yourself. If you cannot do this yourself, stick with a reputable breeder and send a person in your place (Just as knowledgeable as you, or more knowlegeable) to meet the dogs and do the evaluation. Do not send money until the evaluation is done and everything checks out (including health testing, vet records)  Use your brain first, heart last. I will probably stay with local breeders next time.

Blizzard learned to run after Rosie and wait for her to drop the ball.  Rosie has a dainty little trot where as Blizzard holds nothing back and leaps and bounds around with his excessively long tongue lulling about.  They are beautiful:)

I am deleting one of my blogs today and moving some of the content over here to share the story of a special dog who really touched my life and broke my heart.  He has gone on in his life and now has a new name and a very good, loving, consistent forever home about an hour away from me.  I don't see him (once since he has gone to his new home) anymore, but feel very good about his new family and wish him the very best.  He is a sweet and loving dog who had a bad start.

Anyway, instead of totally getting rid of Blizzard's story on the internet, I am seeing what I can move over here instead.  It is something for me to come to whenever I need to see his picture and be reminded of his story.  Whenever I need to grieve.

He is my lesson I have learned.  Maybe I can help others with his story.

After going over the first two entries in Blizzard's blog, I notice there is a great lack of information to fill in the gaps left between entries.  What I will do is fully move his blog over to this page and then go back and add details in.

Blizzard ("Brindle Butt") watches for Rosie to drop the ball.  

PART 1- 2009-- The Puppy
Blizzard at 8 weeks, when all his siblings were finding forever homes, he stayed put.  Why?
Earlier this year (2009) I began looking for a pup that I could train to help or take over the service dog position my 5 year old border collie has.  I checked my flagged list of links of border collie breeders and this pup's breeders were on this list.  They had one pup left from 2 litters born in March and then May (this pup's birthday).  They sent me photos and I fell in love with this face. The breeder called him Blizzard, no doubt because of his predominantly white head (and body). What you can't see here in these first pictures is that he is brindle in color... kind of a red Sable and black blotched together. He was a one of a kind, most loved pup in the litter and the only one left. Unfortunately, I was unable to get another dog because of my living situation. So I tried to forget this pup and move on. His best formative months were zooming by this pup as I tried to forget.  I informed them that I could not purchase Blizzard at that time and to keep trying to find him a good forever home.  All of my service dog user friends thought though that HE was THE one.  There was nothing I could do but wait for things to change so I could go ahead and purchase Blizzard (or whatever pup I decided was THE ONE.  Indeed in that same year, opportunity would knock at my door once again and I would call the breeders back up and inquired about Blizzard.

I had emailed them previously to inquire about a litter of pups, but none were left except this pup. I eyed him for several months before I actually sent an email.

(Will be posting here soon)

If I had entered all the emails regarding the purchase of Blizzard, you would see that I was planning on moving soon.  In October, my husband went out to Oregon to begin a job.  The plan was that after a month or so he would come back for me and we would drive out with the animals with a moving truck trailing behind.  We had also considered picking up the pup on our way out, but it was a big detour.  When the plan to purchase Blizzard was made, my husband and I had discussed everything, My friend and I discussed on this end the possibility of my moving into her family's attic.  I helped them do some major cleaning and was even preparing to fix a pane of glass that had broken.  The putty that held all the little panes of glass in this window had dried right out and needed to be replaced anyway.  I had my friend's okay to bring Blizzard into the folds since I was only going to be waiting for my husband for maybe a few months.  

Everyone eagerly anticipated this pup's arrival!

Part 2-  Dec. 2009:  Blizzard Arrives in Maine
It was a Tuesday night when we picked Blizzard up at the Bangor In't Airport.  Rosie was with me (of course) and my friend Page.  We knew the poor dog had been in a crate on a plane for most of 11 hours, and it was now nighttime.  The woman at the desk said he was there and she went back to get him.  There she was carrying a huge crate in her arms because the crate had NO handles!  He weighed 37 pounds at that point.  I looked into the crate and saw that little white face I had seen in the many photos I'd seen.

We were excited to get Blizzard out of the lobby and outside so we could take him out of the crate and see what kind of a character was inside. I place a bandana I made especially for him around his neck and put him on the leash. I learned then that he pulls like a freight train.  Indeed, he needed help learning how to heel!

Blizzard checking Rosie out after his 11 hours on the plane.
Rosie setting Blizzard straight with who the boss is and who calls the shots in this relationship.  She can be so charming... NOT.
When Rosie and Blizzard met, and it wasn't love at first sight.  He wanted to check her out and she didn't like him in her face so she gave him the Elvis Presley (bottom picture).  I don't believe a corrective snap was given... just a warning.  He understood and gave her no more problems.

Blizzard's first foster home was great because I could go over and see
Blizzard a lot and take him for runs easily.

Unforeseen Problems:
"Wanna love me?"
How 'bout you?  Wanna love me?"
Adam takes a moment to cuddle with Blizzard.
From the photos above, you can see he loves people and seeks love and attention from them.  He is quite sweet and likes to cuddle a bit.
Blizzard meets the house cat, Lucky.
He also did okay with the cats.  With other dogs?   Not so much.  Not a good sign and totally not something the breeder told me about at all.

It appeared he was terrified.  His breeder agreed.

Blizzard's first trip was out for a run with the other dogs at Saxl Park. There was some frozen snow covering the field and sub-zero wind chill factor (a few days after arriving). Though he didn't feel comfortable around other dogs and would often go at them for no apparent reason inside the house, (leaving them afraid of him... accept for Rosie.  He never touched her.)  he seemed fine here.

I was able to take Blizzard out when we went to the field to let the dogs  play off leash.  I left him on a 20 ft. long-line.  He did fine with the other dogs in this setting. He did beautifully on a loose  long-line and didn't try to run off.  There were no dog scuffles.

The cold and wind was bitter Blizzard's first day out to play.  The snow was also crusty.  This was to be his first winter.

Your really not in Kansas anymore, my boy!  Luckily he fit in one of Rosie's old fleece-lined, shell plaid coats.
Looking stunning in Plaid!
So many new things, new dogs, new people, and it was freezing cold outside for this little country boy!
It done wore him out!

Heartbreak and Hard Times

When I had Blizzard shipped to Bangor from x Kansas, I did so with the knowledge that I would have a place for him once he got here. There would be a foster period and then I would move into my friend's attic and take over his care. I wanted to direct his training and rehab so I knew what technique was tried and at the same time, love him like he should be. I wanted consistency for the pup.  Poor Blizzard was here not even a week when my friend bailed out on me just before Christmas. Not only can you not live in our attic, Blizzard needs to go somewhere else. Mind you this is a Saturday before Christmas (09) which meant he needed to be out by Tuesday, two days before Christmas. ("But you are still welcome to spend Christmas with us.")
Blizzard at about 5 months all
It isn't so much that I had no place to go that I could afford, but Blizzard had no where to go either. He had no control over that and I had dragged a dog that already has a few issues into my life (adding yet one more issue to my own list). I felt left out in the cold with no real choices, and this let down angered me... will I ever totally forgive? (THAT is another story.)


Blizzard running with the other dogs (and Rosie)

I found Blizzard a temporary foster home with a family from my church who I really had never had a chance to learn too much about. The first family that offered had an incident with their dogs and had to decline at the very last moment.  Not their fault.  I hated doing this because for a family I know little about (pretty much) I was dumping a lot in their arms all at once. One downfall of his placement was that I saw him less frequently than I would have at my friend's house. I did my best to include him on any runs my friend and I did with the dogs, but that wasn't very many times.

Away for Training

Blizzard in MA with Taffy (Standard Poodle) and Sophie (German Shepherd)

So after about a month or so, I found him another placement with a service dog acquaintance in MA who trains service dogs. My friend and I did the trip together, with Rosie and Blizzard as the only animals allowed on board for the trip. We were to share expenses, and they were ridiculously high. I ended paying for not only gas but also supper at a not so cheap restaurant, (but it was very good!) Blizzard got along with the two main dogs very easily while I was there and the three of them were out running around in the yard (all fenced in and large) playing chase. Rosie was allowed to join in which she kind of did while at the same time letting all the dogs know that her personal space was about 5 or 6 feet around her.  With this placement, I was hoping that Blizzard could get some consistent training, and maybe even some TLC too. I wasn't even aiming for a service dog status for him at this point. I just wanted him to be a good pet for an active family. So it is about 2 months now since he has been there and recently I have heard NOTHING of his progress and the training she is doing with him, and no pictures of him have been sent to me for quite a few weeks. What is going on with my dog? Is he getting any better or worse? Is he learning anything at all? Is he going out on walks on a leash (because he really needs that)? AND...

Did Blizzard knock up her Standard Poodle or not?? (I don't want this, and am not in support of overpriced "Designer Hybrids").

The problem is that this family (my own) was split thousands of miles apart from each other. My husband is in Oregon, and I should have been there by now, but once he got there, his funding to complete the move were pulled and I got left behind. Blizzard, Rosie, and the 3 cats and I should be there with my husband living in a house together in Oregon.

My husband, Rosie and Me at the beach in 2009
Right now I am going to again look at my options and see if there is something better I could be doing for that poor dog. All we need is money to move and that would take care of everything. Problem is, that costs a plane ticket (for my husband to fly back over here) and close to $3,000 to pack and load a truck which will be driven by professionals because my husband is just not safe driving stuff like that... and towing a Subaru Forester behind. Where would everyone sit even? To drive out I think we need another $1,200. That would have to be worked out. I am living beyond my means, though my husband is trying to help out which means not much is saved for a move. Blizzard costs $75 to be in MA, plus I send food, Frontline Plus and Interceptor on a regular basis. (I would pay for that anyway if he were here). We just need a loan or something and all the chaos could end.

Rosie and Blizzard

Some options people might give me are not options for us. One is to get rid of Blizzard... Sell him (as a stud) and try to get my money back. Someone suggested. Give him up to a Border Collie Rescue. Not an option for me. First of all, he cost to damn much for me to just hand this guy over to strangers. Second, I want him, Third... even though they have never met, my husband wants this dog. He has fallen in love with a dog he has never met. Going to more foster homes isn't a different approach. Giving a pet away via humane sociely or rescues doesn't tend to look very good on a puppy application either (and leaves a sour taste in my mouth too).

Blizzard in his Crate in MA

I can only pray and beg that this move will take place very soon so I can just pick up Blizzard, put him in the car with all the other animals and drive off in to the sunset (literally).

But is there something better in the meantime for my boy??

Blizzard: Looks like fun!

What Blizzard Should be Learning
What Blizzard Should Be Learning:  A more detailed plan is at the end of this page.

Blizzard accepting a treat.  When he first got here, he would not take treats.  
This made training very difficult.  (He didn't play with toys either. Probably never had any.)

Phase 1
The 8 Puppy Basics of Obedience

Goal: Blizzard will learn the eight puppy basics in order to move on to more advanced dog training. (The next class will prepare him for the Canine Good Citizen test). The puppy basics gives him the means to have more self control, to learn minimal house pet skills, and to learn that humans are a source of good things. This also makes him less of a danger to himself.

This is NOT how a dog should walk on a leash.

Objective 1- Walking on a Leash. (Prerequisite to heel)

A. Blizzard will learn how to walk on a leash in public.

B. Blizzard will be exposed to different things while on a leash.

C. Blizzard will walk by dogs and other animals while on leash.

D. Blizzard will do umbilical cord training for at least an hour a day in order to form a closer link with the humans in his life and to learn how to move with his person.

E. Blizzard will get treats through out his leash training and praise to let him know that he is doing the right thing and to let him know that being on a leash is not all bad.

"You called???"

Objective 2: Learning his name. (Prerequisite to recall training and "Watch Me" training)

A. Blizzard will learn to respond to his name no matter who says it. A person will call his name and when he responds, he will be rewarded with praise and treated.

B. This skill can easily be practiced through out the normal day, and will come into use when doing the other commands with him (as his name should be said before the command.)

Hand signal: Index finger and middle finger, pointing up with palm towards my face (backwards peace sign) pointing at my eyes while saying "Watch"

Objective 3: The “Watch Me” command

A. Call Blizzard’s name and when he looks up say “Watch“ or “Watch me“, treat and praise him before he looks away.

B. Blizzard will look at the person for longer periods of time as person says “Watch me” and treat.

C. Slowly build up the time he looks up at the person by saying the “Watch me” command several seconds apart for about 3- 5 times.

D. Once this skill is a bit more perfected, begin using this to distract him from things, including other male dogs.

E. Practice this command through out the day treating and praising him when he does it.

Use a treat at first to lure dog into a sit command.  Slowly work this lure hand position into the proper "sit" hand signal.

Objective 4: Learning to Sit (Prerequisite to “Down”)

A. Using a treat, lure Blizzard into the sit position by holding the treat up above his head and slowly behind his head so he must sit back to get the treat.

B. Gently guide his butt to the sitting position.

C. Manual assistance in sitting- grab the collar behind his head and gently pull back towards his tail and at the same time, push gently down on his butt until he sits. Treat and praise every time this is done.

D. Practice this skill several times a day through out the day and during training sessions.

Hand signal for the "down" command.

When starting, using a food lure is a helpful tool to guide the down into a down position from a seated position.

Objective 5: Learning the “Down” Command.

A. Lure Blizzard into the sit position. Then lure him downward, holding the treat near or on the floor until he drops into a lying position.

B. You may need to bring the treat towards you to get the dog to go down as it will force the dog to move his front legs away from his body towards the trainer.

C. Manually, a dog can be gently forced into the down from a sit by gentle pressure on the dog’s shoulders. A lure can be used at the same time.

D. This skill must be practiced several times a day during the normal working day, and also at training sessions with success being marked by praise and a treat.

Palm pointing out towards dog... like a stop sign in front of the dog's face, work your way back to the full length of the leash.

Objective 6: Learning to “Stay”(Prerequisite to “Come” command)

A. Either standing, sitting, or in the down position, on an 8 foot leash, have Blizzard sit (or whatever) in front of you.

B. Begin facing each other and say “Stay”. Start with very short periods of time to build up the skill and to keep him interested by success and rewards.

C. If he stands up or moves from his spot, manually correct him, give the command “sit” and then “Stay” again.

D. Praise and reward for him staying and sitting for a few seconds, then move on slowly to longer times.

E. When this seems to be going pretty well, step back (while still holding the leash) and give the command again, giving only a few seconds and building it up. Continue to step back giving more space between you and Blizzard, returning to correct him if he gets up and moves.

F. “Stay” can be practiced through out the regular work day anywhere. It should also be made part of the regular training session.

G. ALWAYS Praise and treat. Reinforce his new skill.

Start "recall" a short distance away.  Work on "recall" by giving more and more space between you and dog.

Objective 7: Learning to Come when called (Recall practice)

A. Either have someone hold Blizzard or have him in a sit stay on the end of an 8 foot leash.

B. When called forward always call his name first. Example: “Blizzard, Come!” Hold a high value treat, be exciting. Wave your arms to lure him to you.

C. When he succeeds in his recall, give lots of praise and butt rubs and treats. This skill is very important.

D. If he does not succeed, bring him back and make him sit stay and maybe stand closer next time. Give him every chance to succeed to keep him interested.

E. This skill should be practiced daily and especially during training sessions.

While standing along side the dog, hold palm up in front of dog's face, Palm towards dog's face.  Move hand backwards to straighten out dog's stance.

Objective 8: Learning the “Off” Command.

A. This skill is only necessary if Blizzard is jumping up on people. However, if he is misbehaving, this can come in handy with out the “off” being said.

B. If Blizzard begins to jump up, fold your arms and tell him to sit and stay.

C. When he understands that he must stay in the sit and be still, then he can receive attention from the person.

D. If he gets up from his sit and gets wiggly again, fold arms in front of you again until he sits. If he reverts to jumping, folding arms and turning around should be done.

E. This skill can be practiced when the opportunity arises. Do not let people let him get away with the jumping behavior… tell them the rules so they don’t foil Blizzard’s training!

Blizzard is kept on a long lead in open areas with out a fence until his recall is strong. 

I expect that Blizzard can learn these skills fairly easily, since he is a Border Collie.  I am sure that by the time I pick him up from MA that he will at least have these skills pretty much down and all I have to do is keep him up on it.  The self control he can get from learning these things will be a great thing for him to have on our long trip west.

Massachusetts Bound:  Blizzard goes to Boarding School

This will be Blizzard's first real road trip!!

Apparently, the trip to Massachussets was long and boring if you were a border collie.

Rosie finds an unusual way to stretch out in the van heading south.  She is actually sleeping here.

On the road through Massachussets via highway
The sign to Leominster was a sign that told us we were almost there!  My friend and I ate at an awesome southern food place there on the way home.  It is called Tennessee Barbeque... awesome, tastes like the real thing!  Soon we saw a sign that we needed to see:  STERLING.

Blizzard meeting Taffy while he was on the leash (and she wasn't) was not a pretty sight.  However once we took his leash, the two dogs sniffed each other over, and off he went with her .  The below pictures are their first playtime pictures right after their meeting inside.  They enjoyed a game of tag.

Then they ran around outside in the yard... Basically it was love at first sight!  Look below, he is standing there with his woman, a blonde named Taffy!
The two lovebirds

The Neuter Dilemma

Blizzard has had a few issues with other dogs that has brought me to a big decision.  First, let us look at the issues at hand.  When Blizzard first arrived her from the airport, he first met Rosie.  Rosie immediately let him know she was in charge and that was that.  They did fine with each other.  We drove him to the place where he would be fostered (with my friend) and just as I had gotten him out of the van, he was immediately made to face and meet 3 barking dogs.  His response to this sudden introduction appeared aggressive, barking and lunging on the leash.  It was suggested by the breeder that he must have  been very scared.  Maybe.  Upon further observation, it was obvious that it was aggressive.  He seemed to have the biggest problem with my friend's Shih-Tsu, a male named Charlie.  Blizzard would for no reason go after Charlie.  No fight was given by Charlie.  My friend and I worked on it, but just when we thought we were making headroom, Blizzard would again go after Charlie.

A few days later, my friend and I took the dogs (including Sofian, Chloe and Charlie as well as Rosie) to the field for a romp in the snow.  In the car, we did not restrain Blizzard and there was no problem.  During the whole time outside, he interacted with all the dogs and there were no incidents.  Later we left  him in the van with the other dogs while we went into a store, and again no issues.

Several days later, Blizzard was placed in another foster home.  The people that took him in already had a big, older male Border Collie name Cedric, and were planning on adopting a 3 year old female Beagle in a few days.  I was nervous when I took Blizzard over to meet the dog, but there were no problems.  Not even a few days later with the new arrival of the Beagle.  The foster even said that he was submissive to Cedric even.  Blizzard would roll over on his back and lick Cedric's mouth and tried to initiate play with the dog.

Blizzard playing with Sofian (a male dog)

One day in January, we took the dogs out to the City Forest for a run on the trails.  Blizzard had to remain on leash as he had not learned to recall yet.  We had a long line on him, but I had to reel him in as I was still unable to catch this little speed demon enough to maintain any sort of control.  We always meet up with other dogs, so when we bumped into the woman with the Clumber Spaniels, it was pleasant for me as I love the Clumbers.  They are both male dogs, the older one was leashed.  The younger one came over to meet Blizzard, and I could tell the greeting wasn't going well.  I was trying to bring Blizzard in towards me because this dog was between me and Blizzard, when the spaniel mounted Blizzard and began to hump him.  Blizzard when berserk.  Luckily I was right there at doggy level and was easily able to keep Blizzard under control while the owner of the spaniel managed to get her dog under control and back with her.  Previously there had been a meeting with another dog (possibly male?) while we were walking, but I only allowed a quick sniff and when I saw Blizzard begin to get nervous, I continued to walk away briskly.  Situation avoided.

Taffy with Blizzard who is gnawing on a bone

After about a month of foster care, it was time to take Blizzard to the training place in Massachusetts.  There were new dogs for him to meet there and so I was a bit nervous as to how the intro would go.  At that point, I thought that it was possible that Blizzard had leash aggression.  In Massachusetts, I took Blizzard to the door on a leash and he met the Standard Poodle, Taffy.  He began growling and getting all worked up so we removed the leash.  Blizzard and Taffy hit it off really well and took off together to play.

Taffy, Sophie in the middle, and Blizzard playing

After the introduction with the Standard Poodle, we headed down to meet Sophie the German Shepherd.  Again, when we set them all lose outside, they took off with a rowdy game of tag in the large fenced in yard.  Rosie even wanted to join... kind of.  She just let everyone else know to stay out of  her space (which happened to be like a 6 foot bubble around her.)  She just wanted to run because everyone else was running.  She had had a long ride too and needed to let some energy out.

Rosie on the front right takes some time to run in the company of other dogs but not WITH them

There happened to be 3 other dogs staying in the house, but Blizzard would pretty much share his space with Taffy and Sophie.  I was told that the intro with Lilly the Springer Spaniel was a little rough, but that he was now doing okay with it.  The spaniel wanted to play, but Blizzard didn't want to yet.  The most nerve wracking intro I think was probably the one to the Giant Schnoodle, Curly, a male.  This introduction has not gone well, and Blizzard continues to squabble at Curly when Curly has to be down in what is pretty much "Blizzard's territory".  Curly would ignore him I was told.  One day, Blizzard was out in the kennel with his girlfriend when Curly came over and started something.  A 'through the fence" fight ensued. It was not broken up and Curly ended up having his nose bitten "pretty good".  So was this really Blizzard's fault?  If Blizzard had done the same to Curly, I would not blame Curly for biting Blizzard even if it were a bad bite.

Blizzard runs full blast... there is no way I will be able to get a hold of that line (leash trailing behind him)  Maybe I can tackle the dog?  (No that didn't work either.)

My friend, the "trainer" and I have been discussing getting Blizzard neutered as soon as we can to see if this is some sort of a male aggression issue and he needs to get rid of the excess testosterone pumping through his young system.  If it doesn't work, then Blizzard will have to leave the facility.  I don't think he is learning anything there anyway (he could be), but I have no where to put him next until my husband can get the move more underway.  Once the move begins, we are going to pack Rosie and Blizzard and the 3 kitties up in the back of the car (dogs on the back seats, cats in the rear, gated off from the rest of the car), and just take off, forever keeping Blizzard all to ourselves.  It has been an unexpectedly slow process though.

Rosie and Blizzard have a face off.  Rosie always wins.  Pretty much, Blizzard just wants to play with Rosie. (with Charlie and Chloe in the front)

To Breed or Not to Breed
Having to get Blizzard fixed has been disappointing for me because I had the possible option of breeding Blizzard.  Let's look at why that isn't a good idea.  Blizzard's family health is uncertain.  I never got papers saying what his parent's hip scores were, and I don't believe any other areas of the parents were even tested for health.  Blizzard's mother came from lines that were easy to track and see what kind of dogs his ancestors were.  There were even hip scores and some other genetic testing done on some dogs.  However, Blizzard's father is from herding lines only, and the lines are untrackable.  His grandfather and great grandfather are cattle herding champions, but everyone else, who knows.  Then there is temperament.  Even though it seems like Blizzard's core temperament is a rather low-strung, mellow border collie who seems to take things a stride, his aggression issues are of great concern.  We do not need aggression like this, even if it is hormonal in origin, being spread to a litter of pups.  Lastly, even though this is not absolutely necessary, Blizzard's parents don't do anything.  Their ancestors have been herding champs, conformation champs etc, but for at least a couple of gens, the dogs have not been used for anything (at least anything that was recorded.)  They say that you can tell a lot about a pup by the parents.  If the breeder spends the extra time to get their dogs titled, etc, this tells you a bit about the potential of the pup, and a bit about the relationship of the breeder with the dog.  I feel if the dog is not going to be in dog shows, and that it may not compete at all, the champion lines aren't necessary. Temperament, socialization and health are 3 very important parts of breeding though.  A breeder wants to improve the breed.  So I will have to wait a little longer before I can get my foundation dam or sire.  I just want Blizzard to be as much as he can be.  He has not been given a whole lot of opportunities for that.

Blizzard runs to play with Charlie (who is on the far right)

Upon looking into the cost of neutering, I have discovered that Massachusetts is very expensive.  It would make the most sense to keep him there and get him fixed, but look at these numbers.  The cost of a neuter at the vet that my friend uses down there is $300.  The office visit is only $42, but once I show you all the numbers, you will see that that means very little.  The Low income spay/neuter program will pay for $150 of a neuter.

Blizzard adores Rosie while all the dogs run together in the field

Lets hop up here to Maine.  Blizzard's vet up here can neuter Blizzard for $135, and that is the full price.  The office visit is more than in Mass. at $47.  The State's Low Income spay/neuter program (helpfixME) will cost me only $40.  I don't know when and if I will get this voucher.  I am waiting to go to the local humane society to check into their voucher system to see if I can get one faster than the state's program.  I plan on going in on Tuesday with my worker to look into this.

Okay, here is the number... it would cost me less to pay for my friend to bring Blizzard way up here, get him fixed here and to bring him back to Mass. than it would to just get him fixed down in Mass, and that is with the plan down there, and with the plan up here.

                         Cost of office visit /Cost of Neuter/Low-income Neuter Program Cost/ Travel
Massachusetts:     $42             $300                      $150                                 0
Maine:                   $47             $135                       $40                                  $100

Massachusetts-  $ 150    $300            Maine-  $ 40     $ 135
                         +$ 42   +$ 42                         $ 47      $  47
                       =$ 192  =$ 342                    +$ 100  +$ 100
                                                                   =$ 187   =$ 282

Unfortunately, as much as I want to see Blizzard and as much as I would like him to go to my vet, and even though it will be a bit more expensive, it would be easiest to apply for the low income program down in MA and have him fixed there.  There is a chance that my vet would not charge me for an office visit since he was seen this year.

It seems to me that Blizzard really is not an aggressive dog.  From the pictures, he is even able to play with dogs that inside he doesn't appear to like at all.  He has been quite submissive with his fellow border collies, and has had successful intros with other breed dogs as well.  The pattern of his mostly showing aggression with males though seems telling.  I am hoping and praying that a neuter will make all the difference for him.
Waiting to go out to go potty

Look Who Got Neutered or Blizzard's 1st Birthday
Still sedated and safely coned, Blizzard is driven home from the vet after his neutering day.

So I did the responsible thing and had Blizzard neutered last week.  I cannot breed a dog that I know has ANY sort of temperament issue, even if it is male aggression issues.  Hopefully getting Blizzard fixed is going to help him be less reactive and will ease the training and desensitization training.  He could have been a great father to some awesome pups, being a carrier to some really neat color combos, and being such a cuddlebug couch potato when inside (going all out when he is outside). However, hormonal issues could also be passed on.  I could find later that he also lacked the correct socialization as well.

In order for me to afford a neuter in Massachusetts (a whopping $300 average), I needed to get financial assistance.  Many states have programs to help people with a low income get their animals spayed or neutered.  I applied and was accepted for a discounted neuter through MA's SNAP which covers half of the cost.  They had a list of veterinary hospitals that accepted the SNAP and I called several of these places to find the most affordable.  The winner?  Lunenberg's Veterinary Hospital, Lunenberg, MA.  Blizzard could get fixed for $119.50 including pre-op exam etc.  Many places added the pre-op exam on for an added $50.  Here in Maine, the total cost for a male dog Blizzard's size to get neutered is $135 at my vet's: Bangor Veterinary Hospital.  If I applied for any of the spay/neuter programs for low income individuals, it would have been considerably less.  Why it costs so blessed much in MA for a neuter?  I have no idea.  I will be thankful to be back with my husband as that will make our financial situation much better.

Our move west is still lacking funding, but I know this much:  we will be renting a house with a fenced in yard and a double car garage.  The fence is great for Blizzard.  Rosie is trained not to leave the lawn.  She will not chase toys even across the sidewalk.  Chris, my husband is hopefully getting some money soon and we will be able to jump start this move with that.  There will be a lot of getting rid of stuff.  I am hesitant about getting rid of my "agility" stuff out back even though it is all coming apart and torn and faded. It would be great for Blizzard to learn how to run a course, perhaps one day becoming trained enough to do real agility.  Blizzard will be picked up and will be going on one heck of a road trip in a car filled with EVERYONE!  3 Cats, Rosie and 2 humans, westward bound.  I look forward to this trip, I look forward to getting my little family back together the way it should be.

May 6th was Blizzard's first birthday.

Blizzard's Homecoming!
Blizzard has come back into the Bangor/Brewer area!  I am ecstatic as is his foster family across the river!  We are hoping that his potty training has greatly improved at the very least, but I'm frustrated that since February the only things he seems to have learned new is Sit, short distance/short term stay, and assisted down.  Yes, he was poorly socialized early on, but he is still a Border Collie!  He has the ability to learn quickly, but someone has to work with him or he cannot learn these skills.

Anyway, he is home.  I haven't been able to take the boy out for a walk on the town to see how he is dealing with the community, noises, people, especially other dogs.  Once I have taken him out several times I should be able to create a new training/treatment plan around what I have observed.  Meanwhile, I know he is getting lots of love and attention from his 6 foster human siblings and 1 fellow border collie foster brother.  He is a good boy who is well loved around here.

I was delighted that I was able to see him in MY apartment before we went over to his foster home to drop him off.  He has never been up here before, but that will not last long.  I warned the landlord that I would be having him over to play, train and visit.  As long as he is not staying here the landlord is fine.
Playing in Bangor- The backyard
Thank you for all of you who have supported me during the past months since Blizzard has entered my life and been just out of my reach.  We have wanted so badly to get him either home here, or sent to Oregon to be with my husband.  Since my husband was in a bad car accident last week, the plan to ship Blizzard out there fell through and I was able to get him back in with his awesome foster family.  So Here's to the Boy!!

Blizzard sitting on my couch, acting like he really belonged there.
He seems at home.
Blizzard with his foster siblings.  Number 6 is just out of site on the far left.
He is loved!

Blizzard's First Weeks Back
The GSD that Blizzard shared space with in Massachussets.  Rather obnoxious dog really.
Blizzard made it back from Massachusetts in pretty much one piece... but he really didn't learn that much in 7 months.  He knows sit (which he was getting the hang of back in January before he left), down with  hand signal guiding him to the floor, and a very short term stay along with a short recall (which he was also getting the hang of before).  I didn't care so much though because he was home again.  He would not spend hours or rainy days in a crate ever again.  He would not be left in an outdoors kennel along ever again. He would not have to play rough like the German Shepherd again (and hasn't because he really didn't like it).  His foster family from before was willing to take him back which was wonderful.  My husband was in a car accident when we were trying to get things set to ship Blizzard out to Oregon to be with my husband there, so we had to revert to plan B which seems to be working well.  I get to see him all the time and I take him out at least every other day if I can and we play, train, and practice living in a home environment.  He has survived the wrath of some of my cats and I feel the worst of that is over.  The cats seemed to have mellowed out a bit now that Blizzard's newness is kind of wearing off.
TOP: Blizzard with a Gentle Leader on.  I stopped by briefly at the Folk Festival to see how far Blizzard could go.  He made it just inside the middle entrance.  We sat here and just took in everything (as well as water someone brought us).  This GL really helps keep him focussed even though his head still tries to move all over the place to look at everything which is still new to him.  A person brought their Aussie over to meet the dogs and I said he is not so friendly yet but Rosie was.  While Rosie was meeting the dog, I held Blizzard's head forwards while the dog sniffed his butt and went on her way.
BOTTOM:  Rosie takes it all in like a pro... which she is!

The first day I walked by the American Folk Festival and we sat just at an entrance because that was as far as Blizzard could go.  We sat there and took a break before heading off to my house.  The play field was obviously not going to be easy to get to during the Folk Festival.  We played in the yard... Blizzard on his long red lead running around, sniffing and then sitting for a photo with Rosie.  Upstairs I would take a photo of all three of us... First one since January.
Rosie, Blizzard and myself posing for our first group photo since January.
Rosie and Blizzard strike a pose on the first day out with Blizzard.
Blizzard sleeps at my apartment... tongue sticking out
Blizzard and Rosie pose for a photo during a romp in the field.
Blizzard can prance like a show dog!
Full speed ahead!
Wet dog found a place to sniff around and dry off.
Waiting for Rosie to swim in.
From a dry place, Blizzard watches Rosie retrieve a ball in the river.

Blizzard had to get wet to get to the correct shoreline and again to greet Rosie when she came back with the ball.
Partners in Crime... Just where they need to be!  The child and
dog are there willingly, and just for the photo.  Notice how they look alike!

Blizzard Must Find a New Home : (

We have tried everything possible to hold on to this dog.  Unfortunately nothing has worked out since he got here.  Had I known that I wouldn't have a place for him where I live I would have never had him sent up here to Maine.  That was the biggest let down from my friends who had originally opened their home to him (and myself). 

Blizzard's habit of bolting out doors and wanting to fight with every non-border collie male he sees was what the final breaking point for his stay here.  He was living with friends of mine, and my husband and I were presently trying to have him shipped to Oregon... where my husband was and where I will be moving soon.  By October 1st, he would have been on his way (or already there) to Oregon.  The urgent phone message on my phone this morning has upped the anti a bit and I have spent the day putting ads in Uncle Henry's, calling BC rescues etc.  This is so totally not what I want to do with this dog that I have invested so much time, love, and even money into.  We have tried so hard to hang on to him and it seems we have failed.  My husband will never get to meet the boy and he so wanted to meet him.
I wish NO MORE KENNELS for Blizard
It is my dream that Blizzard will be adopted out to an active family in the country, or maybe even to a farm to help herd.  I could see him doing dog sports and I could see him working on a golf course chasing the birds off the course as well.  He is swift, very strong, and has a good herding drive... not a low drive like his breeders said he had.  They didn't know him from my butt!  Sad but true.  I want him to have a stable family willing to work with him and love him and will keep him into his old age to his dying moment.  He needs consistency.

It so breaks my heart to have to do this to my handsome boy... as thick as he is :)  I tried so hard. I realize now that I will probably not ever do any Border Collie rescuing.  This whole thing with Blizzard has just broken my heart.  What I really was looking for was a future service dog for when Rosie must retire.  I let my heart get in the way though.  I should have known better to not go through a bad breeder with no puppy contract, and to get an older pup who was beyond the ideal socialization period.

As painful as it can be sometimes, we live and we learn.

Please look through his photos and see how awesome he is.  God, I will miss him.

My Time is Running Out

Today I played with Blizzard and Rosie down in the field downtown.  Blizzard isn't taking off for the roadside part of the field anymore.  When he did recently, I yelled "No" and told him to come sit, and he did!  At his foster home the other night the 3 yo let him out the front door again and off Blizzard goes, running for the road!  "Blizzard... come sit!"  What a good boy.  There is hope for him.  He just needs consistent training.  If I had him with me 24 hours a day, no doubt he'd have all that down pat before  now.

It began to rain so I packed us all up and headed home.  After I made myself some lunch I prepared the shower for Blizzard and vise versa.  He got a good scrub down and all the dirt from the foster home ran down the drain.  His handsome white fur glistened.  I wanted to cry.  This would be our last shower together.  I felt his muscles on his back legs again and felt his sturdy frame and cleaned that big block head of his and I kissed him.  Crying.  I was making him pretty for the evaluation on Thursday.  Some people were coming on Thursday morning from the New England Border Collie Rescue to evaluate him.  I know he will do okay.  He is a sweet boy.  He has some issues but they think it will be something they can work through with him.  I trust the BC rescue will get to know him and what his needs are and find him the very best home.  I want it to be his forever home.  He deserves that!


I was putting Blizzard's collar back on and I looked at his little pirate name tag I had gotten him recently.  I looked at his flashy blaze orange reflective collar as I put it on thinking my name would not be on him much longer.  He has grown to look forward to my coming to pick him up for an afternoon run and evening in a home environment.  I was learning more about him too.  One visit he actually presented his nose for his gentle leader!

I talked to my husband a bit today.  We are both very frustrated that we are not together yet.  And he is very upset that he will not be able to meet Blizzard.  I am having to change my whole mindset so that I don't include Blizzard in my future plans.  He won't be there anymore.  I just feel so sad and like I really failed this animal.  I begin to wonder if turning him in to the rescue will ruin my ability to adopt from the rescue in the future or how this will look on a puppy questionairre.  I remind myself that even though this hurts like hell, I am doing what is best.  If my husband had just gotten us moved a little faster... but he didn't.  The fact that I haven't seen my husband in almost a whole year has really begun to eat away at my morale and I am depressed about it.  First there is hope  for a move, then it's gone.  Like poor Blizzard, first he is living there then he's not.  First he is flying out to Oregon, then he's not.

I enjoyed seeing Blizzard relax here in my apartment with his tongue sticking out.  I will no doubt miss that when he goes for good.  I wanted to keep him so bad I did anything I could think of to keep him as mine until we were all able to move happily west together.  I tried SO HARD!

Tonight when I walked him back across the river to his foster home we were just down the road and that stupid white ShihTzu that has attacked Rosie a few times was out with his incompetent owner.  I had been waiting for this moment since Blizzard came back into town.  I relaxed my right arm a bit (where I held him) and let him pull forward towards this yappy thing lunging at us.  He began to do his whiney scream thing and then we passed.  I was hoping that dog would break free from the woman's grip again, but no such luck.  I would have put Blizzard between that dog and Rosie.  Blizzard did well.  I did not scold him for this one.  I praised him.  This may be the last time I will have that opportunity to use Blizzard to make us feel more secure while out walking.

I cannot communicate the pain and sorrow I hold now with knowing my time with my Blizzard will be short and then I will most likely not ever see him again.  His sweet eyes and soft ears... and my husband will never get the joy of meeting this special boy.  I expect I will cry again about this.  Rosie will just have to tolerate it.

Please find the North East Border Collie Rescue link on the side of Blizzard's blog page.  If you have what the dog needs and you want a great friend, adopt one of these awesome dogs.  Learn about responsible puppy breeding and what to look for when you are looking for the breeder of your next bred puppy.  Blizzard never got the headstart of a good puppy breeder.  When I told them he had some problems, they never emailed me back... ever.  There's more too.  Through the rescue you can give a dog like Blizzard a second (or third) chance at a good life with a loving family.  If you aren't in the position to adopt but want to help, donate money or other things.  Some rescues have a wish list.

Everyone with a Border collie give him or her or them a big kiss.

It would be Blizzard's eyes that would get me most as I saw him off in the back of the volunteer's truck.

Part- 3-- Training Program:
I originally wrote this out when Blizzard was in Massachusetts supposedly getting some training.  The "trainer" didn't seem to be doing anything so I wrote out the plan so she knew exactly what my goals for Blizzard  were (also for the long term).  It would seem to me that a trainer with the top 3 most trainable dog breeds right under her nose that at least her 2 dogs would be trained to behave and follow commands.  She had 7 months to teach this dog to do something and managed to teach basically nothing, and had dogs at her residence with worse aggression issues than Blizzard did.  I am sure that didn't help my boy at all.
Blizzard’s Training Program Goals:
Update on 7/2010
AKC Registered Name: xxxxx xxxxxxx Vernal Nor’easter
Call Name:  "Blizzard"
Gender: Altered Male
Coloration: White and Brindle, Brown eyes
(White speck on left Eye… Blue coloration)
License #: 10585
Rabies #: 2198

DOB: 05/06/2009 Kansas, USA
Veterinarian: Drs. Richie and Remington
Based on what I observed and others that spent a lot of time have observed and reported, I have created a list of goals specific to Blizzard's present needs.  I have included his entire training plan so when one skill or bunch of skills are mastered, the trainer and he can begin the next level.  Only positive training methods should be used.  We don't want to ruin him.

PART 1- Primary Indoor Etiquette:

Blizzard's behavior would indicate poor skills due to possible lack of indoor living, he was perhaps never taught the basics of indoor living. He spent most of his little life outside (as the breeder indicated), or in a crate inside maybe. Human interaction appears to be minimal as he did not respond to his name let along any commands common to basic obedience.. He probably had more contact with the dogs than the people of the house. These people do not believe that dogs belong indoors. Typical farmer’s myth. It appears he had little or no interaction as far as training him or talking to him. He is, as a result, developmentally delayed. He will take a bit more effort than the typical 9 month old border collie pup, but he is reachable.

1- Potty Training, Goal- NO ACCIDENTS! Absolutely NO going pee anywhere he pleases.

2- Going on command (Comes later)

3- Appropriate crate training, limiting to one area of the house.

4-Stay off furniture (not necessarily couch etc. but kitchen table, counters, coffee tables etc.)

5- Leave food alone

6- No jumping (up on people)

7- No running to the door, no running out the door.

8- Learn to chew appropriate items.

9- Learn that interactions with other dogs… NO means NO. ( Does not readily pay attention and heed body language of other dogs… ie- Rosie)

Part 11- Introduction: Puppy Aptitude Test

1) Social Attraction:
A- Degree of social attraction to people- Medium
B- Confidence (Recommend agility obstacles to increase confidence)- Needs work
C- Dependence- Very Independent
(Needs more attachment and bond with people)
D- Pack Drive- medium

2) Following:
A- Willingness to follow a person-
Needs work… never appears to have really bonded with a human)
B- Pack Drive- Medium

3) Restraint:
A- Degree of dominance/submissive tendency- Mildly submissive
B- Ease of handling in difficult situations-
He’s got a really sturdy and resistant stance, but he is very mellow… dealt with an invasive vet exam with no problems.
C- Fight or Flight Drive- More apt to run away, though if he feels trapped, that may change.

4) Social Dominance:
A- Degree of acceptance of social dominance by a person- More on the submissive
B- Pack Drive- He’s a follower

5) Elevation dominance: See above
A- Degree of accepting dominance while in position of no control- Needs further observation
B- Fight or Flight Drive- I believe he goes at other dogs because he feels like he can't get away.  Perhaps he was chained when the other dogs were teasing them (as the breeder reported to have happened.)

6) Retrieving:
A- Degree of willingness to do something for you- No
B- Together with social attraction and following- Some
C- Key indicator for ease/difficulty in training- Tough, until he
connects with a human.
D- Prey Drive- Medium

6) Touch Sensitivity:
A- Degree of sensitivity to touch.- Great. He is not super sensitive
B- Key indicator to type of training equipment needed- Will need Gentle Leader or similar, positive methods

7) Sound Sensitivity:
A- Degree of sensitivity to sound- Low, looks around to locate
the source of the noise.
B- Rudimentary test for deafness- Pass
C- Prey Drive- Medium, likes to play chase with dogs. Presently has poor self-control.

8) Sight Sensitivity:
A- Degree of response to moving object/bikes/children/squirrels- Mild/Moderate
B- Prey Drive- See Above

9) Stability:
A- Degree of startle response to a strange object- Mild/Mod.
B- Fight or Flight drive- More apt to run away.

10) Structure:
A- Degree of structural soundness- Sound,
Teeth/ bite are not a perfect alignment… may fix its self.
He’s a ruggedly build little fellow!

1- Straight front

2- Straight rear

3- Shoulder lay back

4- Front Angulation

5- Croup Angulation

6- Rear Angulation

Part III- Puppy Beginner’s Obedience-

First 6 Are Primary Commands that he should learn first.

1) Sit

2) Stay

3) Come- is presently coming when name is called 60% +/- times.

4) Down

5) Off

6) Recall

7) Heel/Finish

8) Watch Me

Part IV- STAR Puppy Program-

1) Beginner’s Puppy Basics:
Needs work greeting other dogs on leash.

A- Free of aggression toward people- X

B- Free of aggression towards other dogs- Male dogs- needs rehabilitation, leash aggression?
Some initial aggression showed when he first arrived after an 11 hour plane flight, He’d never been off the farm before and the introduction was done incorrectly... no doubt he was probably overwhelmed to have 2 yappers greeting him just as he exits the van.

C. Tolerates Collar or Harness- X

D- Tolerates jackets and vests without fuss- X

E- Handler can hug and hold puppy- X

F- Puppy allows people to take food, treats or toys away- X

2) Pre-Canine Good Citizen

A- Allows (in any position) petting by a person-
So far no problems at all

B- Grooming Tolerance, Exam Tolerance-
Definitely needs work here… I don’t believe he ever was groomed on the farm. Squirms when I cut his nails, Tries to escape when I brush him.

C- Walks on leash- Follows handler on lead in straight line- Needs lots of work

D- Walks by other people- Walks on leash past other people 5 ft. away-
Needs work on a leash

E- Sit on Command- may use lure- Needs work. Use motivator food. He is improving.

F- Down on Command- may use lure- No

G- Comes to handler from 5 ft. away when name is called- No, 7-2010 will come when called unless he is out running around.

H- Reaction to Distractions- presented 15 ft. away.- Varies

I- Stay on leash with another person, handler walks 10 steps away and returns-
He could probably do this after he is leash trained.


**Blizzard is NOT ready for Part V (primary or otherwise) or higher at this point 1/2010**

Part V- Canine Good Citizen-

1) Accepting a Friendly Stranger

2) Sitting politely for petting

3) Appearance and grooming

4) Walk on a loose lead

5) Walking through a crowd

6) a-sit b-stay c-down

7) Comes when called

8) Reaction to another dog

9) Reaction to distraction

10) Supervised separation

Part VI- Public Access Test-

1)  Controlled unload out of vehicle.
A- Wait in vehicle until released
B- Wait outside the vehicle under control
C- Remains under control when another dog walks by

2) Approaching a building.
A- Stayed in relative heel position
B- Calm around traffic
C- Stops when handler stops

3) Controlled entry through a doorway.
A- Wait quietly at door until commanded to enter.
B- Waited on the inside until able to return to heel position

4) Heeling through the building.
A- Dog was within prescribed distance of the handler
B- Dog ignored public, remaining focused on the individuals
C- Readily adjusted to speed changes
D- Readily changed direction, turn corners without being tugged or jerked
E- Readily maneuvered through tight quarters.

5) Six foot recall on lead.
A- Responded readily to the recall command- 1-did not stray away, 2-seek attention from others, or 3-trudge slowly.

6) Sits on Command.
A- Responded promptly to the command to sit
B- Remained under control around food: 1-not trying to get food 2-not needing repeat corrections
C- remained composed while the shopping cart passed: 1-did not shy away 2-show signs of fear
D- Remained in a sit-stay while being pet by a stranger

7) Downs on Command.
A- Responds promptly to the command
B- Remained under control around food (not trying to get at it, no repeated corrections)
C- Remains under control while a child approaches
D- Maintains down-stay while a stranger steps over him

8) Noise Distraction
A- Remains composed during sound distraction (may startle but recover quickly)

9) Restaurant behavior
A- Dog is unobtrusive and out of the way of patrons and employees as much as possible
B- Dog maintains proper behavior, 1-ignore food 2-being quiet

10) Off Lead
A- Drop leash & maintain control, pick up leash again

11) Controlled Unit
A- Another person can take the dog’s leash and handle moves away without aggression or undue stress on the part of the dog.
B- Team will return to vehicle in same manner as entering.

12) Controlled load into vehicle
A- Dog stayed in relative heel position
B- was calm around traffic
C- Stopped when handler came to a halt

13) Controlled Load into Vehicle
A- Waited until commanded to enter vehicle
B- Readily entered vehicle on command

14) Team Relationship
A- Handler praised dog when he did well
B- Dog is relaxed, confident, and friendly
C- Handler kept the dog under control.

Part VII- Task and Work Training-

PTSD/Panic Attacks/Dissociation/Major Depression/Meniere’s Disease/Fibromyalgia

1) Grounding Aid

2) Alert to someone behind me

3) Alert to increase in anxiety/panic

4) Counter balance/ light brace work

5) Reality assessment

6) Stop and brace (Don’t budge) at a curb

7) Pick things up and hand it to me


Level VIII- Sports and Conformation Training-

1) Agility

2) Flyball

3) Rally

4) Herding

5) Frisbee

Disc-Connected K9s Lawrence Frederick on of his dogs


Notes and Observations-
I feel that once we begin training with his motivator that he will begin to learn quickly. He is fast, rugged, and high energy, and could physically stand up to any sport. Hopefully with training under his collar, he will learn skills of self-control. Then he will have more of an on/off button.

Biggest Strengths-
Blizzard is very laid back and super loving. His new Vet thought he was awesome. He was so mellow and really did super during the exam.

Biggest Obstacles to Training-
1) He has never had a strong working/loving bond with a human.
2) No one ever bothered to teach him anything.
3) He is really picky about food/treats and the treats will be a key to successful training for Blizzard.

Blizzard is a diamond in the rough. Given time and stability in an inside living situation, I feel he will be a wonderful dog… whether for service work or other activity, or just a great companion pet.


Diamond Puppy/Core Wellness/Chicken Soup Puppy- Is not so much eating his food, eating Ol’ Roy with the foster’s other dogs. (has begun eating some of his own food. Should be fed the lower amount of food suggested on bag for a 30 pound/9 month old pup. (about 1 c. 2x q day)
Sent him off with at least a months worth (or more) of puppy food.  He is now eating his food and taking treats on a regular basis.

Frontline Plus-
Purchased a supply… Was totally crawling with fleas during his vet visit. Frontline was applied on the spot. (Was sent off with 3 applications).

Purchased a supply… Given to Blizzard the day of his Vet exam. (Was sent off with 3 doses)

Ham, Chicken gets his attention really well. Probably he’d eat any human-type meat foods. Also expensive blueberry and cranberry treats. Cheese Gold Fish crackers… Beggin' Strips and the like.  He has begun taking regular dog treats. (A sign he is more relaxed.)

First Veterinary Visit in Maine: January 8th, 2010 ($199.50)
Snap Test for- Worms, Lyme, Heartworm, etc.- Tested Negative
Eye checked- Clear, White spot on left eye is blue pigmentation.
Shots- Got Kennel Cough shot (next kennel cough- due in 6 months), and 1st Lyme Disease booster
Microchip- (will be inserted during second visit along with Lyme booster #2.)

January 22, 2010 Veterinary Appointment ($91.99):
Second dose of Lyme vaccine- No other booster for this is needed till next year
Quick Exam
Microchipped- See Microchip # above

Preparing for Massachusetts:

Training- Now knows name! Will be discussing the cost of basic obedience classes.

Boarding- Will be coming from Foster care in Brewer, ME to boarding and training at Bright Horizons, Sterling, MA. Minimum cost- $75/month

Toys- Coming with a large pressed rawhide bone, a small tennis bone, and a small red and white Kong.

Behavioral Notes:
I would suggest using Rescue Remedy on Blizzard to help him with his nervous excitement. He trembles all over when he is excited. The key is to give him the remedy the first signs of anxiety or excitement.  Along with this is to teach him some self soothing, distractions skills... increasing self control will help this along.

1- Blizzard is a chewer and will eat anything, de-fluff pillows, chew off collars that hang down, leashes if left unattended. He will need chew toys and bones to learn to chew on appropriate items.

2- Blizzard has either fear-aggressive issues or dominance issues, On-leash aggressive tendencies. Incident yesterday: While on our walk in the forest, a male Clumber Spaniel was sniffing him over and he began to feel anxious as the dog was checking him out too long. I was trying to get Blizzard away, but the other dog was in the way. The spaniel proceeded to side up to try to mount and hump Blizzard and Blizzard lost it. To me it was beyond a simple corrective snap. His entire face showed his feelings, and he was vocal and lunging at the Spaniel. Luckily he was on a leash I don’t know if this only happens to him if he is leashed or if he was unleashed it would have been different… he could have gotten away easier. This is the first time I have seen this display of behavior from him. He seems to get along with all dogs, even if they don’t seem to like him as much.

3- Blizzard is a high energy dog and needs plenty of exercise and run time, and lots of training to give guidance to his abundant energy. Maybe he could become a sports dog, perhaps introduce him to Frisbee or ball and see if he can begin to have a healthy obsession with the toys and the sport.

4- Blizzard is a very sweet and loving dog who loves to get his belly rubbed, and his neck scratched. He will roll over to let you rub his belly. He loves to cuddle. For a Border Collie, he is not a high drive dog.

List of Supplies Traveling with Blizzard:

1 medium sized plastic crate (needs new screws or tabs for around the edge)
1 Folder of Records
3 doses of Interceptor de-wormer
3 doses of Frontline Plus

1 plastic storage container with Diamond Puppy food in it
1 partial bag of Diamond Puppy
1 bag of Wellness Puppy
1 bag of Chicken Soup Puppy
1 -2 cup metal food bowl
1 -4 cup metal water bowl

1 Raw hide bone
1 Small tennis bone
1 Red and white Kong
1 small hard plastic purple ball
1 -10 foot Bright Yellow Nylon (hand stitched) lead without handle for free play off leash

1 -20 or 30 foot Cotton Red lead for distance training
1 -6 foot Black nylon leash with travel handle and regular handle
1 -16” Black rolled leather collar
1 -16” Metal chain training collar (he ate his nylon one)
1 -6 foot Black leather leash
1 red gentle leader
1 black muzzle

1 bottle of Clean Eyes
1 tube of toothpaste (Has plaque on back molars)
1 K9 tooth brush
1 Blue chew toothbrush
1 blue finger toothbrush
1 Metal container of Yippy Yappy

1 partial bottle Winston’s Digest All
1 partial bottle of Whitening Shampoo

1 yellow and black fleece jacket
1 yellow reflective shell and black fleece wind/cold weather coat
1 Red Bandana

When I had Blizzard shipped to Bangor from Douglass, Kansas, I did so with the knowledge that I would have a place for him once he got here. There would be a foster period and then I would move into my friend's attic and take over his care. I wanted to direct his training (and rehab as I soon discovered) so I knew what technique was tried and at the same time, love him like he should be. Poor Blizzard was here not even a week when my friend bailed out on me just before Christmas. Not only can you not live in our attic, Blizzard needs to go somewhere else. Mind you this is a Saturday before Christmas (09) which meant he needed to be out by Tuesday, two days before Christmas.

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