Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Vet Runs!

Usually once or more each week, one of the GHF staff members has to make a run to the vet.
This could be for either routine procedures or for more serious or complicated surgeries, like Genie's recent surgery to repair her damaged legs. 
We have a local vet that we typically use for spays, neuters, dentals, and other common/basic surgeries. This also includes vaccines. 
If a dog, (like Genie) has a more complicated problem, the vet trip is usually much longer and can mean a drive to Cornell or a more specialized vet, capable of handling unusual or difficult cases. 
GHF has a vehicle on-hand to be ready for both emergency and run-of-the-mill vet runs. If it's something the on-site staff can't handle, off to the vet we go!

Seen below are new girls Annie and Grace returning from basic dental procedures that they had done.  They both rode well in the car and seemed to be happy to come back to GHF after being stuck at the vet!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Dog Training at GHF

While the mission of GHF isn't to train dogs as perfect exemplars of obedience, some of the staff members do work with them in order to help burn off mental energy, make them think, and make them ready for their new forever homes! 
The 'work'/training we do with the dogs varies on what their needs are. 
Many of the dogs have worries about strangers and men so, when we can, since we have a staff of all women, we take advantage of male volunteers!

One of our volunteers, Jeff, is seen below helping with some of the training and socialization of two different dogs, Pip and Quincey. We have been working with Quincey on 'back up' since he at times feels protective over toys and high value items; Pip, on the other hand, is an ex-Sprakers dog and has fears with meeting new people. She is pictured in the pictures below working with one of our staff members and Jeff to have a calm and positive greeting in the parking lot. 
Quincey is pictured in his room working on basic obedience like down, sit, and back up, so he can engage meaningfully with a human being as well as learn when to hand over the toy to a human companion. 
It's all in a day's work here at GHF!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Rolling in the Snow

Here's Baxter, an adoptable dog at GHF rolling in the snow! Sorry Baxter, but we hope the snow is gone ASAP... 

Heath Care at GHF

There's certainly plenty of dogs to take care of at the Farm, with plenty of veterinary needs!
Our trained and observant staff are prepared for emergency situations and all of them have lots of dog experience, vet tech and the like. 
GHF is also stocked with antibiotics, emergency equipment, GI meds, etc. If an emergency situation occurs, many times we can just handle it at the farm instead of driving all the way to the vet office!
Here's an example of some of the 'med cards' we make up for the staff to follow... it helps to make sure that the dogs get the proper dose and that we can keep track of how long the dog(s) are on meds!

The medial supplies have been redone recently and so now it's easy and simple for everyone to access the supplies and medicine... very quickly if need be!

The medical supplies include needles for blood samples, ear and eye medicine, anti-coagulants to stop bleeding from minor wounds, antiseptic spray, pain relief meds, etc. 
We even have a microscope to test for parasites! 
The Farm is thoroughly prepared for any mishaps or accidents! 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Decoding Memes


This meme is very funny... however it also sheds (pun intended) light on why so many BCs end up in rescue. People are attracted to border collies because of their famous intellect, which, while certainly a true characteristic of the breed, is in many cases a downfall when they are placed in mainstream homes.
People buy BC puppies for their intelligence... then quickly learn they are ill-suited to care for the dog's evolving and complex needs. Often, they are not good with children and exhibit herding behaviors towards them (such as nipping, etc.)... yet another reason why we see so many BCs. 
This image capitalizes on a popular meme in a humorous way, but it also epitomizes the sad truth of why border collies need rescue in the first place. 
Dog owners, do your research! 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Bath Time

8 year old Jessie gets a bath today...
although he wasn't thrilled about it, he certainly did well and he seems to like the after-effect of having a nice, unmatted coat!
Jessie's coat was very dirty and so we had to give him two baths to try and get the stink and stain out.
Poor Jessie lived much of his life chained up and finally ended up making his way to GHF.
Jessie needs to have his teeth cleaned, to be neutered and to get some good nutrition in him, but we hope that with time (and with spring!) his spirits will brighten up quickly!
His bath today with special shampoo and conditioner are all part of the process!

Knuckle Bone Time!

With all the cold (yep, still cold) weather we got last week, the dogs were dished out some nice, juicy knuckle bones to help combat the winter boredom!

Both Kobey and Drew enjoy munching on their knuckle bones on their kuranda beds...

Friday, February 13, 2015

More indoor activities

With this crazy cold weather we've been having (wind-chills of -30 I heard on the radio yesterday... eek) it becomes very difficult to give BCs the stimulation they need... I know my own dogs certainly have cabin fever...

any suggestions from the audience? We just posted a link for some great puzzle toys but there are other DIY ways to combat the winter blues!

Check out this homemade treat puzzle concept: treat puzzle with toilet paper rolls

And here are some other (pretty basic) indoor activities for you and your dog: indoor games

And yet another quick peek at an article on having herding dogs, but no sheep: dog, no sheep

During the winter time we have many nice volunteers that sign up for stretches of time to come and stay (usually about a week). They come to help take care of the dogs in the mornings (when it's the most hectic, everyone wants their food and has to pee!) and also to help assist the day caretaker by playing with dogs, etc.

The volunteers are SUCH an unbelievably great resource to have, and many are actually surprised at what we usually have them do most while they're here: just sitting with the dogs and keeping them company. Just sitting with the dogs (not playing with them, etc) may seem counterintuitive, however, it is one of the most important activities we can do with the dogs. It helps in so many different ways: calming them, reassuring them, making them feel more at home, etc.

Sitting with the dogs is one of the best winter activities we can have the volunteers do!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Puzzle toys to battle winter boredom!

Not only is it cold outside but the mounds of snow are unbelievably tall! Many of the dogs don't want to plow through the huge snow piles, and we certainly don't want them to get hurt doing so...

unfortunately, this means that the dogs get stuck inside more. The staff has to come up with new ideas constantly to challenge their minds so they don't become frustrated.

For example, today the staff talked about challenging Banner (see the GHF website) mentally since he is a quite complex BC, always ahead of the game and CONSTANTLY interpreting his environment... thinking and making sense of his world.

Treat puzzles are a great way to challenge dogs mentally... indoors! This link has a few that seem like good ones, complex enough for the intellectual BCs!

Doggie Puzzle Toys

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Rob the Wonderdog

Robbie, one of our available dogs, enjoying a sunny, snowy Sunday!
He's waiting for the circus to come into town!

Wishlist Thank You

Look at all these fabulous toys!
Thanks to our 2014 Amazon wishlist, all the dogs will have plenty of new and interesting toys to help keep them entertained through the winter!
Through your generous and thoughtful help, we received various kinds of toys, such as puppy-specific toys that are small in size and good for teething puppy mouths. We also got jolly balls that are great in the snow and tough enough to stand up to our intense players!
The 'hide-a-way' toys are well-suited for dogs that crave more of a challenge, while the west-paw brand toys are durable enough to endure hours of chewing, tossing and play!
There are also endless types of squeakers and noise-making toys, perfect for the dogs with prey drive.
Thanks again for all these wonderful hedgehogs, snakes, piggies and squirrels! The dogs will be entertained for months to come :)

Something's Coming...

Sneak preview... GHF's food room is being revamped! Our medical storage--where we keep all the emergency equipment and medications--is being reorganized! Here's a quick look at Kory helping out to set up our new bins! Finished pictures to come soon!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Fun in the snow with the "Kong Bounzer"

Today was one of the first 'mild' days in a long while, it got up to about 40 degrees here in Morris, NY... and so that means play time outside for the dogs!

Most of the BCs love the "Kong XL Bounzer" toy, which can be found still on our Amazon wishlist:
GHF wishlist

As it's stated in the name, these toys BOUNCE! They bounce in erratic directions and are soft enough  for the dogs to grab onto. They work perfectly in the snow, easy to see and large enough not to get lost or buried in the snowbanks!

The younger dogs, like Banner and Bud (pictured below) love these because they can chase them down, grab onto them with their paws, and come back for more!

Pip is hanging out in the background (she prefers the jolly balls.)

Banner loves anything that you throw and usually enjoys playing keep away from the GHF staff... but he really seems to love the unpredictability of the Kong Bounzers! This guy is all action and has mastered the art of capturing the Bounzer!

Ready, set, BOUNCE

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Ball Dogs!

It's easy to exercise many of our BCs since they love to play with, of course, tennis balls!

GHF border collies have lots of energy to burn, as typically they come from situations where their needs aren't being properly met. Many of them have been chained, crated, or kept in small areas for long hours (or all the time!) so they have lots of built up anxiety and frustration. So it's up to the staff to figure out diverse ways to combat their seemingly endless energy and give them a healthy physical outlet! Whether it's hurling tennis balls as far as they can go (for dogs like Jaz) or for short tosses (dogs like Corky) GHF is all about those little yellow orbs!

We adjust the 'work-out' routine to fit each of the dog's physical capabilities. Like mentioned before, dogs like Jaz, seen below here...

is able to run for long distances, and gets lots of pent-up energy if she doesn't get a chance to play regularly! Tired dogs are happy dogs so we try to make sure they get the physical outlet and stimulation that they need, accompanied with periods of rest, in order to produce a well-rounded, happy dog!

Jaz told me to delete this one ;)

Corky is older than Jaz and is currently on a weight-loss program... so we give her short tosses a few times--a shorter session in general--since her extra-weight makes it more difficult to move as nimbly as Jaz. We want to make sure we're not putting any additional stress on Corky's joints or hips and we want to adjust the ball-time for her age and tolerance level! But she's clearly ready to go!!!

Believe it or not, these were taken recently (it was during the winter-warm spell) but it is generally harder to exercise the dogs in the winter. Jolly-balls tend to work well, since they're essentially 'weather-proof' and won't get lost in the snow.

 Ice build up and heavy, thick snow cut play-time short much of the time. This means more inside play (usually involving mind-games in the form of treat puzzles) and just spending time giving attention to the dogs... where it's warm and cozy! 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Internet Rescue

As quoted by our recent newsletter on puppies in 2014:

The internet is making it so very easy for pups to be sold or rehomed so we've re-oriented our rescue effort to provide a faster response time.

Rescue has changed... remarkably. And this is a perfect example regarding the type of change it's undergone. Like most things, there are pros and cons, and surely overall the results are positive, but it does constitute a new and evolving style of rescue.

It's easy and understandable to fall in love with the picture of a puppy (or adult dog, even) yet quite answer story once the dog or puppy is a personal responsibility. The internet means instant gratification in many ways--it contains such a vast magnitude of information--that it can often mask truth or, in the case of rescuing dogs, it can often place a good dog in inappropriate or ill-informed hands.

As the newsletter stated, we have tuned our efforts in order to get BCs into responsible, knowledgable hands as soon as possible... that way, the pups are understood and appreciated for their true natures, instead of being in a non-understanding environment, which may (and does) lead to future issues.

The key to responsible internet rescue is research and critical thinking. A good or reliable rescue website will have extensive knowledge and information. For example, the GHF website has breed history, characteristics, information about why BCs are relinquished, recommended reading, and of course, border collies for adoption! 

After all, it's all about the dogs and their well-being... doing whatever is necessary to ensure they are cared for in a loving, responsible way. 

Newsletter: Puppies

This is the latest newsletter from GHF! We discussed seniors and now it's all about the puppies!

Puppies in 2014