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 :)
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!
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!
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!
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.