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A Border Collie Day
Meet Tim the Border Collie
This is my happy, friendly, eager-to-please border collie, Tim. Like most border collies, he can be a little neurotic if he doesn't have a job and mental stimulation. Border collies were bred to herd sheep and most have the instinct and desire to work. Since we live in the suburbs and only have a small yard, we don't have any livestock for Tim to herd. So he has created a job for himself defending our yard from squirrels.
We do take him for 2 or 3 long walks each day and give him the opportunity to run off leash for at least a little while each day to provide him with enough exercise to help him relax. He also has our other dog, Skye, as a companion to play with and to help keep him busy.
Come along to see a typical day in the life of Tim, a border collie living in the burbs.
All Photos by the author unless otherwise credited.
6:30 am - Good Morning - The Day Begins
6:35 am - Time to use the Doggie Door to Go Outside
Pet Door for Sliding Glass Doors
This is the model of pet door we have installed in a sliding glass door at our home. We've had it for over 10 years and it's had heavy daily use with multiple dogs in our household. We've never had to replace a flap or any other parts.
Doggie Doors are a Great Convenience - Your Dog Can Let Himself In and Out
If you have a securely fenced yard, installing a doggie door to allow access for your dog to go outside is very convenient. Whether to patrol for squirrels or for whatever reason, your dog can go in and out anytime. No more worrying if your dog is uncomfortable trying to "hold it" while you are gone. We have one that fits into our sliding glass patio door, so it is easily installed and removed and can be taken with us if we move. As you will see as you continue down this page, our doggie door is well-used. We also have a second doggie doors in our shop that is installed in the wall. If you have a safe fenced area for your dog outside, there is probably some type of doggie door that you can use to provide your dog with a way to go in and out whenever he needs or wants to.
Tim's Early Years
Not a very good start in life
Because Tim is so friendly and happy, most people who meet him wouldn't imagine that he didn't have a very good start in life. He was born in about 2005 and spent about the first four years of his life in rural Eastern Washington state. The climate in eastern Washington is harsh with hot summers and cold winters. It is common for working farm dogs to be "outdoor" dogs, but they are usually busy working all day with the companionship of people and other dogs. Most are provided with a warm place to sleep at night in a barn or outbuilding when the weather gets cold. We were told that Tim spent most of his time the first year or two of his life alone outside in the yard tied up.
When Tim was somewhere between about one or two years old, his owner left on vacation leaving Tim behind tied up to a tree with a small plastic bowl of water as his only nourishment. A neighbor became concerned when no one came to feed or check on him and so he was untied and set free. Tim wandered around the area for a few days and visited another neighboring farm where a woman started feeding and caring for him. After Tim's original owner returned from vacation it was decided that the woman at the neighboring farm would keep Tim even though they aleady had several other dogs.
In Tim's second home, he was still outside most of the time, but he was not tied up, he was fed and cared for and he was brought inside to sleep in a crate on cold winter nights. He was given the love and affection he craves from the woman who took him in and he had a job to do. Every evening he helped to herd up the livestock and bring them in at night. Tim created another job for himself by taking up a post right outside the door to the house and this is what ended up causing him problems. One of the older dogs in the home didn't like passing by Timothy to enter the house so he wouldn't come inside. It became clear that it would be best if a new home could be found for Timothy.
With a heavy heart, the woman contacted a volunteer for the border collie rescue who lived a few miles away and asked for help in finding a new home for Tim. The volunteer explained that if he passed a temperament evaluation, the border collie rescue would take him and put him in a foster home until a new permanent home could be found. The volunteer already had as many dogs as she could foster, so she sent out an email to all of the volunteers in the regional border collie rescue organization letting them know that a foster home for a 4 year old male border collie named Timothy was needed. One of the volunteers in western Washington indicated that she could squeeze him into her home if no one else had room, but help was needed to transport Tim over the mountains from the east side of the state to the west side.
Tim passed his temperament evaluation and was relinquished to Pacific Northwest Border Collie Rescue.
What do you think about pets in shelters and rescues?
Where did you get your most recent dog or cat?
7am - Breakfast Time
Flint River Ranch Dog Food
Tim's Favorite Food
Flint River Ranch Lamb Millet & Rice
Of course Tim would prefer people food anyday, but the next best thing is Flint River Ranch Lamb Millet & Rice Formula. Made in the USA with people food quality ingredients. (All natural with USDA human food grade ingredients) Oven baked - not steam extruded and never a recall from spoiled grains or tainted ingredients
A Border Collie Rescue Volunteer
A Newbie at Transporting and Fostering
No that's not me in the picture - it's another picture of Tim, riding in the back seat of our pick-up truck.
Since we travel back and forth across the width of our state several times a year, we volunteered to help the local border collie rescue by transporting dogs needing to get from one side of the state to the other. We also offered to occasionally foster dogs who would be easy to foster for two people who worked full time and were also newbies at fostering.
We met Tim at the rural home of the volunteer who evaluated him. He was all smiles, friendly and eager to please. He hopped up into the back seat of our pick-up truck with no hesitation. During the 3 hour drive from the eastern to the western side of the state he sat next to our granddaughter obviously enjoying the ride and basking in her attention and affection.
After spending the afternoon with Tim, we arrived at our meeting point and met the volunteer who had offered to foster him. Since he seemed so easy to handle, we suggested to her that we thought we could handle fostering him. Since she already was fostering several other dogs, she agreed with our suggestion and we continued on home with Tim with the intention of fostering him until a good permanent home could be found.
7:15 am- Time to go back outside and check for squirrels
Here's one of those pesky Douglas squirrels!
Tim's Favorite Activities
The dog park
Playing with Skye
Laying next to Dad on the sofa
7:30 am Going for a Ride in the Jeep
8am - Loganberry Lane Dog Park, Everett-WA
This 20 ounce Gulpy Water bottle includes a basin to make it easy for your dog to get a drink.
Remember to Provide Drinking Water - Prevent Dehydration
Many dog parks don't have water faucets and a dog running and playing at the off leash dog park will need water to drink, so I have made it a habit to always bring along a water bottle or two to make sure they stay hydrated.
Tim sitting by one of the trail marker posts
Tim and Skye running the trails
Tim and Skye swimming in the pond at the dog park
Tim meets a new friend at the dog park
A little fresh air while we stop for gas on the way home
10:15 am - Cleaning up after the romp in the dog park
Things Tim doesn't like:
Sound of gunshots
Any loud noise
The Vet's Office
10:30 am - Taking a nap under the desk at mom's feet
11:30 am - Back to Squirrel Patrol
Noon - Time to take a nap under the bed
12:30 pm - Squirrel!!!
1 pm - Where's Tim? - Taking another snooze under the bed
2 pm - Sitting on the front porch with Skye watching Dad wash his truck
2:45pm - Squirrel!!!
3 pm - Tim relaxing on the sofa
3:30 pm - I thought I heard a squirrel!
We were failures as a foster home
Sometimes good things happen to those who fail
Tim became a member of our family because we were miserable failures as rescue volunteers at fostering. When Tim arrived home with us, he was overdue for a visit to the vet, he had a lot of matted fur on his hind legs and he was dirty and he smelled a little gamey. Probably totally acceptable for an outdoor farm dog from the rural east side of the state, but not acceptable for a dog to be adopted as an indoor dog in an urban or suburban home on the west side of the state.
So here were some of the things we needed to do to get Tim ready for his new family:
1. Make sure he knows the toilet is outside. (Tim only had one accident!)
2. See how many simple obedience commands he knows (Tim already knew "come" and "sit" and learned others quickly)
3. Work on leash walking without pulling (that's a tough one!)
4. Get him checked by our vet and get his immunizations up to date
5. Get him a bath and grooming to get rid of the matted fur
After we got him all cleaned up he was ready to have his profile posted on the rescue website as available for adoption. We kept finding reasons to put off posting his picture and information. He and Skye had become great pals, running together and playing which helped tire both of them out. Tim knew many basic commands and was much better about coming when called than Skye. We noticed that Skye's recall improved dramatically after Tim came to live with us.
After about a month, one of the other volunteers from the border collie rescue contacted us to ask how Tim was doing. It prompted us to make a decision about what to do about Tim. We decided to adopt Tim ourselves, so that is how Tim became a member of our family.
4pm - Sleeping snuggled up next to Dad on the sofa
4:30 pm - Squirrel!!!
5pm - Tim Plays with his Favorite Toy
Combines two canine favorites; the squeaker toy and the tennis ball
Made in the USA from durable, high-quality tennis-ball material
Hidden squeaker; felt covering won't abrade dogs' teeth
Recommended for larger breeds
Measures 9-inches long
Tim's Favorite Toy - A Squeeky Air Kong Dumbbell
Tim isn't very interested in fetching but this is his favorite toy anyway. He loves to run around carrying it and squeeking it. Then he drops it, pounces on it and grabs it again.
6 pm - Out the Doggie Door on evening squirrel patrol
Evening Squirrel Patrol
Tim waiting for the ok to eat his dinner
7 pm - Tim enjoying his dinner
8 pm - Tim upside down enjoying some attention
Tim Enjoying an Evening Treat - Chicken Jerky Treats
A Jerky Treat Every Evening
Tim enjoys having a chew every evening which helps to keep his teeth clean. With all of the recalls and concerns about pet foods and treats imported from China, I buy him only treats that are made in the USA like these Flint River Ranch chicken jerky treats.
9 pm - Tim and Skye waiting to go on their evening walk before bedtime
An evening walk before bedtime
10 pm - Tim in his bed in the corner of our bedroom
This is the bed like the one Tim is using in the photo. It is washable and can be used both inside his crate or on the floor.
Comfy Dog Beds - A great place to sleep
Since Tim usually likes to be where we are, he has numerous bed scattered around the house for whenever he may need a nap. The one he usually sleeps in at night is also the one that fits in his crate.
Why did we call him Tim?
We were told that Tim's name was Timothy, but he responded well to "Tim". Originally we were only going to foster Tim so we thought we'd leave his name as it was while he stayed with us in case his new adoptive family might want to give him a new name. We didn't mind the name Tim and it didn't sound like the name of either of the other two dogs we had at the time, so each one would know who we were talking to. We didn't want to confuse Tim by trying to teach him a new name when he had so many other adjustments to make. We actually thought it was pretty funny that he is now "Tim Sims". It looks like he thinks it is pretty funny, too!
© 2010 Vicki Green