Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday Tails!

There is now a new blog hop, created by Dogs N Pawz, to help shelter dogs find their forever homes.  I use to feature these dogs on Fridays, but this week I am joining the Tuesday blog hop.

The dog I decided to feature is a senior.  These dogs make the best pets, as they have so much love to give, and they are usually past the stage of chewing on your furniture!  Meet Belle!
She is in Chantilly, VA.  Belle is a super sweet girl of about 10+ years old. She was found alone in a VA subdivision which leads us to believe that she was abandoned there. She is very well behaved, housebroken, walks great on a leash, and gets along fabulously with all her foster siblings. She is being treated for double ear infections, Lyme Disease and malnutrition. She will receive a dental once she is recovered from her ailments and then she'll be ready to start a happier, loving life.
Her link is here:

Monday, April 29, 2013

Mischief Managed!

Yesterday our collie club held a “Duck Day” at a club member’s house.  The purpose of the event was to introduce our collies to stock, and see what kind of instinct they had for herding.  There were three rough tri-colored collies, and all three of them were very excited and did well herding the ducks in an x-pen.  Because these rough girls were so excited, the ducks were kept safely contained in the pen, to avoid any accidental injury.  The smooth collies also showed herding instinct, but they were not as excited by the ducks, so they were allowed to try herding the ducks outside of the x-pen.
Raven went first...


 Then Amber...
Followed by Kyleigh

Miley's turn!

Then Zoe gave it a try!

My two girls were also there, Abby went first, and we thought she would be excited by herding ducks.  She loved herding sheep when we took her for a herding instinct test, but the ducks weren't that interesting to her...
And then it was Kori's turn...
She was very focused!
They were all very good collies, and while Abby clearly prefers herding sheep to ducks, I was proud of how well both my girls did.  So while the collies were doing what collies do...I'm sure the ducks thought they were up to nothing but mischief!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Park Day and Spring is finally here!

Finn and Charlie hosted a blog hop, to encourage everyone to hike in a park with their dogs.  We didn't get to post yesterday, but we joined them!

We only took Holly to the park, as she has been asking for a day to herself.


Today, we decided to take some pictures of the Spring flowers in our garden...

And the prettiest flower in our garden, was the collieflower!


Thursday, April 25, 2013

All-natural is best!

Have you noticed how many chemicals we are putting on and in our pets?  With canine cancer on the rise, I cannot help but wonder if we are actually making our best friends sick.  I lost my collie, Lad, to cancer when he was only 7 years old.  We still deeply miss our boy, and I hope to never go through that heartbreak again.  Losing a beloved dog is hard enough, losing him at a young age is devastating.

 As a result I have become even more careful about what dog food I choose to feed my collies, what vaccines they are given and also how we treat fleas and ticks.  For choosing a dog food, there are plenty of websites now to help you choose a high quality food.   But a good rule of thumb, stay away from any dog foods that are sold at grocery stores or at Walmart.  If those dog foods are your only option, then do your research, and determine which of the foods available have the best quality ingredients.  And pay attention to which foods have been recalled in recent years, that might indicate a problem with quality control.  These websites will help:


There is also a growing concern that we are over-vaccinating our dogs.  If you think this might be the case, then talk to your veterinarian.  Your vet’s main concern is the health and well-being of your dog, so they should be able to advise you on which vaccines are necessary.  To learn more, take a look at these articles:

The final issue, flea and tick prevention, is the one that is concerning me the most right now as we are already seeing ticks in our area.  When we put a topical flea and tick treatment on our dogs, we are essentially putting a pesticide on them.  A pesticide, that we as humans, are cautioned to not let touch our skin.  So I can’t help but wonder, how safe is it really?  I remember one instance, shortly before Lad was diagnosed with cancer, when I went to put Frontline on him.  My brave boy ran from me, and sat shaking in a corner.  I am not sure if it was the smell of the product, or if it was something else that caused this reaction from him.  But I can’t help but worry, whenever I  remember his fear, even though he had never reacted that way before.  Last year I switched to a different flea and tick preventative, and I used it sparingly.  But after researching all-natural alternatives, I have decided to give them a try this flea and tick season, to see just how effective they are in preventing and repelling pests.  I thought I would share these alternatives with you, in case any of you are also trying to avoid putting pesticides on your dogs this summer.

The first all-natural flea and tick repellant is apple cider vinegar.  I first learned about this solution from another blogger, Collies of the Meadow.  It is a very simple, inexpensive and easy to use solution.  Buy a spray bottle, mix one third apple cider vinegar with two thirds water, and spray on your dog’s coat weekly.  Avoid getting the mixture in their eyes, and make sure you get behind their ears, chest, armpits, and the base of their tails.  Some of you may be wondering about the smell, as vinegar has a strong scent.  But I have been using this mixture for years to clean windows and counter tops, and as it dries, the smell disappears.  I am told it will also leave your dog’s coat shiny and healthy.  Some sites have also suggested adding one tablespoon of vinegar per gallon of drinking water, in addition to spraying the dogs’ coats, as this will aid in repelling fleas and ticks.

Another all-natural flea and tick repellant, for dogs only, is also relatively simple.  This tip came from Wellness dog food.  Buy a bandana, and rub either eucalyptus, lavender or citronella oil onto the bandana.  The scent of any of these essential oils repels fleas and ticks, so choose your favorite and give it a try.  The oil will have to be reapplied once a week to the bandana for it to remain effective.  (and let it dry before putting it on your dog)  Personally, I know that dogs do not care for the smell of citronella, so I think I will try the lavender.

Will you give any of these a try?  Do you have any tips or suggestions?  And we also wanted to thank all you who signed the petition we mentioned in yesterday's post.  We really appreciate your help!


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

We need your help!

Novartis has announced that they are not going to be producing Interceptor any longer.  Interceptor is a heartworm preventative that is safe to use for herding breeds.  Many herding breeds, including collies, have a sensitivity to drugs.  Interceptor is one of the few safe heartworm preventatives.  We need everyone to sign this petition, even if you do not use this preventative, every signature counts!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Dog shows!

We have been busy lately, so have been neglecting the collie blog!  So what have we been doing?  Well, first there was the Collie Club of America National show, which was held in Wisconsin this year.  Over 600 collies attended, and we drove from New England to Wisconsin so we could be a part of it.  We took Scarlett, and we had a wonderful time.  We met a lot of collie breeders, and visited with friends we had not seen in a while.  The National was held in La Crosse, right on the banks of the Mississippi river!


This weekend we attended a collie specialty show.  It’s one of our favorite dog shows, as it's held at a horse farm, with beautiful, rolling green hills.  As we sat watching the collies competing in the show ring, we were surrounded by lush, emerald green fields with horses playing and grazing in the distance.


These two yearlings were curious about the collies.  They came right over to say hello, and get a closer look!


At the show, Scarlett won Reserve Winners Bitch.  She looked beautiful, and so did Kori, the judge had trouble deciding between my two girls!  I think they are going to both have nice show careers ahead of them.  They both seem to enjoy dog shows, which  makes it fun for all of us.

Captain, Scarlett’s littermate, was at the show too.  He won Winner’s dog, and this was a very exciting win, as it finished his championship!  He is the first puppy, that I have bred, to become a champion, and it was so wonderful being there to see it!  You can see all the puppies from the litter on this post:


It has been a very nice Spring so far.  And we can't wait to see what will happen in the upcoming months!  But for now, the collies are just going to enjoy this beautiful weather!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Lad - In Loving Memory

Our Lad would have been 9 years old today.  We still miss him, all the time.