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Chanler – Adopted!

You must complete an adoption application with WBCR before we will consider you for one of our Border Collies (under the “adoption” link). One of our volunteers will check your references, and then another will come to your home to meet you & your family in person before the board will vote on your application. If you are approved, we will arrange a time for you to meet the dog(s) you are interested in. If you decide he/she is perfect for you and the board agrees, we will schedule a day for you to pick up your Border Collie, sign adoption paperwork, and pay the $250 minimum adoption donation. This whole process may take a month or more, as all WBCR members are volunteers and we’re committed to making a perfect match for our border collies. Thanks for your patience!

Please contact Amy for more information on Chanler (Adopted)

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December 26

Life has been busy with all the same stuff lately. Chanler continues to play hard with his foster siblings, run at the dog park, and snuggle as much as possible. He takes the cold weather and snowy conditions in stride. He’s not a dog who avoids going outside when it’s less than ideal. However, it’s been dangerously cold the last few weeks so we’ve had to get creative, playing hide & seek and working puzzles to keep his mind active.

I’ve mentioned it before but caught video this time to show what a good boy Chanler is about being groomed. You can see him calmly getting his toenails trimmed here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tyu_DuuMntk He gave my husband kisses afterwards (pictured with his foster sister). It’s so obvious Chanler just wants to be loved.

We’re very surprised his family hasn’t come along yet. We didn’t even take him to visit Santa because we thought he’d be home for Christmas, but Chanler is still waiting for a family with an assertive dog to wrestle & roughhouse with and humans to cuddle & pet him who will keep his brilliant mind challenged. We know they’re out there! Chanler is super excited to meet them!

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November 15

Chanler & I visited my friend’s 2 cats yesterday to see how he’d react to them. Since her cats do not live with dogs, my friend was worried they’d high-tail it to the basement so she graciously isolated the cats in a room for us. Chanler stood still, ears & tail up, and just watched them from across the room as they quietly growled and hissed at him. I sat on the floor halfway between him & the cats and got Chanler to come to me, slinking over with ears back since I was asking him to walk towards those scary kitties. Chanler got braver when I pet the cats, taking a few steps closer to them but, as soon as they hissed or growled, he immediately stopped and retreated. We only stayed about a half-hour so as not to torment the poor cats, but as we were leaving, Chanler got brave enough to bark and play bow to them. All I had to do was say his name and tell him to sit, and he did. He certainly wasn’t obsessed with chasing them or anything. I was happy he started to see them as playmates instead of scary things, and I was thrilled that he respected their boundaries & kept his listening ears on. I’m confident he could successfully live with dog-savvy cats.

At my friend’s house, Chanler was much more interested in getting her & her mom to pet him than whatever the cats were doing. My friend’s mom is disabled and was incredibly nervous that Chanler would jump on her. I assured her Chanler was a gentleman and asked him to sit at her feet, which he did without hesitating. She tentatively pet his head and, when he didn’t move, she relaxed and enjoyed the moment – which turned into 10 full minutes. Chanler would’ve sat there for hours if I let him 🙂 I told her what I’ve told everyone else: Chanler would make an amazing therapy dog.

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Last week we had to run to the vet because Chanler had bad diarrhea for a few days. Poor guy was having accidents in his crate even though I was coming home every 2 hours to let him out. He was a very good boy, even when the doctor had to take a scraping, and we learned that he’s gained another couple pounds; he’s up to 35 lbs now! His test results showed a bacterial infection so antibiotics & probiotics were prescribed, and Chanler was back to normal within a day! We were happy it wasn’t anything serious and easily remedied.

Now that the weather is changing, we’ve raked a LOT of leaves! As my husband used the loud leaf blower to push the leaves from the yard, Chanler sat in the middle of the pile as the leaves swirled around him. Chanler sat there like he was at the spa! My own dogs were chasing the leaves and barking at the rakes while Chanler quietly and regally sat in his leaf mountain so, of course, we had to take his picture. He’s such a handsome guy!

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October 24

As Chanler gets more comfortable, he’s getting bolder. Instead of hovering at the gate of the dog park, he now herds any & all dogs there. He spent a week or so actually nipping our dogs when they didn’t go where he wanted them to, leaving scabs on their shoulders. He’s gotten better – and gentler – since then, but it’s worth noting since he’s bound to test the waters with his forever family, too.

Speaking of water, Chanler went swimming for the first time this past weekend. He behaved exactly as he always does with new things: like he’s going to die if he tries then later acts like he never had a problem with it in the first place. Our own dogs love to swim so we had the oldest come in with Chanler to show him how it’s done (you can hear our middle child throwing a tantrum in the background because he had to wait). You can see Chanler’s first swim here: VIDEO The owner of Dog Paddle Beach slowly acclimates the new dog to the water and guides them using the handles on the life vest until they seem comfortable. Once Chanler relaxed a bit, we let our other dogs in to play, too, and Chanler willingly stepped down into the pool and jumped in all on his own: VIDEO 2  We did take the life vest off after a while, but he seemed more nervous without it and, in the hour we were there, he never got as excited about swimming as our dogs are. Given how he approaches every new situation, repetition will likely be the solution to his nervousness in this case, too.


Because Chanler’s young and new to our house, we want eyes on him at all times to make sure he’s not chewing something inappropriate or pottying somewhere he shouldn’t. Last night, everyone was playing in the living room and my husband & I realized we didn’t know where Chanler was. As we stood up to go search for him, motion caught my attention and we discovered a little Chanler nose peeking out of the cave bed. He’s laid on top of it before, but last night was the first time he’s crawled inside of it. It’s his new favorite spot, and it’s ridiculously adorable!


October 9

We had our first potty accident in the house this week. Chanler’s been so good that my husband and I both kinda forgot how young he is, and we waited too long to let him outside. We’re more careful now, and we don’t let him come in until he pees (he’d rather be pet on the patio than go into the grass to potty), but we are still learning his “tell.”

Since he gets your undivided attention, Chanler loves to be brushed/combed. He was a bit unsure about getting his toenails trimmed at first, but he only flinched for the first nail. Then he just laid his head down on the floor and relaxed while my husband clipped all 4 paws in no time without a hint of resistance. Chanler also offered his belly for scratches for the first time this week. He wanted us to love on him since day 1, but he took a couple weeks to actually trust us.

The first few times we visited the dog park, Chanler wrestled with our dogs when they initiated it, but he preferred to sit at the gate, just waiting to leave. Now he’s just as excited as they are about visiting! He chases! our dogs when they run after a ball or frisbee, and he’s even started to chase the toys themselves. He also teams up with our 2-year-old male to herd other dogs on the rare occasion we’re not the only ones at the park. He’s quite the Border Collie – complete with crouch & zig-zag out runs! It’s a lot of fun to watch this guy blossom!

September 30

Chanler is starting to feel comfortable enough at our house to start challenging us, testing to see if we’re serious about our rules. He’s also demonstrating rather pushy behavior, demanding we pet him by pawing at us or forcing his way between us & any other dog we’re petting. He’s not mean to the other dogs about it – not protective or anything – he just HAS to be pet at all times. We’re teaching him to sit & wait his turn, and I feel like we say “Off!” 3 million times a day. But he’s so cute and sweet that we still love the guy to pieces.

We went for our first long walk yesterday, and Chanler impressed me with his leash-walking skills. He didn’t maintain a consistent pace, but I only needed to tap the leash with one finger to get him to slow down. A couple of rabbits darted across the yard near us, and Chanler perked up but didn’t forget his manners. We also passed children of various ages during our 3-mile walk. Chanler approached all of them and sat on his own accord. While the youngest (under the age of 3) hesitantly tapped his head, Chanler looked at me, a bit worried, but he continued to sit nicely. Since it was clear that child didn’t have much experience with dogs, we didn’t stay long. However, we could’ve hung out with the 10-year-old we passed for the rest of the evening! Chanler sidled up to him, sitting at the kid’s side and, when the kid crouched down, Chanler laid his head against his chest and just soaked up the attention. The kid kept saying what a good boy Chanler is, and I couldn’t agree more. Keep in mind, though, that most kids do not sit quietly to pet dogs in their daily lives. Children run and play and yell, which can creat! e challenging situations for a herding breed.

Chanler continues to try getting our 13-year-old dog to play with him and, although she’s progressed to wagging her tail the entire time, it doesn’t go any farther than a barking match (Chanler barking, “Play!” and Isabel barking, “No!”). Chanler hasn’t shown much interest in playing with toys even though we’ve introduced every kind of toy we can think of: squeaky toys, stuffed toys, bouncy toys, big toys… He chases a ball around sometimes like a cat, but the only thing he spends any length time with are the Nylabones. We purchased a few extras so we always have one within arms’ reach to swap out when he puts his teeth on the rug, the drawer, the trim, the dresser, the bed… He happily takes the bone and runs off to add it to his stockpile. We can always tell when Chanler’s been in a room because there’s a pile of toys left behind. He’s a collector 🙂 I’m hoping his interest in playing with toys will grow, but given his sweet personality and incessant need to be pet, I am convinced he’d make an amazing pet-assisted therapy dog.

September 26

Chanler’s vet appointment went well. The vet said he appears to be very healthy aside from the lingering cough. Chanler was given an anti-inflammatory to continue him on his path to wellness, and we learned that he’s gained 4 lbs since arriving at our house just 6 days prior. He was rather nervous at the vet, laying his oh-so-expressive ears back against his head and tucking his tail (which was still waggin, by the way!) under his belly the whole time we were there, but he allowed the vet to do anything that was needed, including manually removing stitches from his neuter surgery. The ! vet and the tech both commented what a sweet guy he is.

To relieve some of the stress, afterwards we headed to the local frozen custard shop where Chanler greeted everyone who looked at him by sitting sweetly with a wagging tail. We also stopped at PetCo where Chanler completely ignored all treats and toys in the aisles, instead making a bee line towards everyone in sight. Being a pet-friendly place, no one walked away without loving on him, and he just ate it up. We then stopped at the park to pick up my race packet for the next day’s dog-friendly 5K, and Chanler greeted every person and dog with equal enthusiasm. My husband and I decided the actual race might be asking too much of him though so he and our 13-year-old dog, Isabel, stayed home for that.

Speaking of which, Chanler is bound & determined to get Isabel to play with him. It’s one of the cutest things I’ve seen in a while because even our own dogs are intimidated by her grouchy “I’m too old for that nonsense” demeanor. Chanler, however, apparently sees it as a challenge. 🙂 You can see his playful efforts here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwJoTUVKs1A&feature=em-upload_owner

As soon as Chanler got home from his Friday night adventures, it was bathtime! The water ran black through 2 shampoos, but he’s so much softer and smells so much better now! He wasn’t overly happy about bathtime, but he never put up a fuss or tried to jump out of the tub. I took a quick video as proof: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qq7tDwLIuL8&feature=em-upload_owner He sat calmly to be combed, too, but we haven’t tried to trim his nails so not yet sure how he’ll respond to that. My guess is he’ll be resigned and sweet about it since that’s how he handles everything else.

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September 23

Chanler has been at our house just shy of a week now, and is settling in enough that we heard him bark for the first time last night. Our dogs were wrestling and playing, and Chanler spoke out of excitement, jumping into the midst of things to be part of the action. He’s certainly comfortable with our young dogs. He climbs on them, lays next to them, gets between them when they play… I did capture a few minutes of video on day 2 as he was figuring out who would play how. In the sea of black & white, Chanler is the little prick-eared dog with the cough: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TbrSM76J16M

Chanler also jumped up onto our couch for the first time last night. At our house, there is one couch the dogs are allowed on. Chanler has watched our dogs jump on & off, and he’s put his front paws on the couch and laid his head in our laps throughout the week, but when we picked his butt up onto the couch, he kept a worried look on his face and panted the whole time. So we were thrilled that he was comfortable enough to jump up & snuggle all on his own.

At only 6 months old with an uncertain background, Chanler is very well-adjusted. He’s completely housetrained – not a single accident since he got here – and he’s silent in his crate all night long save for the thump of a tail wagging when my husband or I get up during the night. Chanler’s tail rarely stops wagging – ever! He’s a sweet, happy guy who learns quickly. When we went to the dog park earlier this week, Chanler put on the brakes when our dogs jumped into the car. He pulled against the leash and tried to run back through the gate to our yard. He calmed down as I sat and pet him then he willingly walked with me to the door but flattened himself on the ground when I asked him to jump up (we saw this flat dog when trying to get him up the stairs, too, but more on that in a moment). I picked him up, and he rode nicely in the front seat, placing himself away from the rest of my dogs for the 1 mile drive to the empty dog park. After a half-hour of sniffing, exploring, and wrestling, Chanler willingly walked to my car, jumped right in, and joined my dogs in the back like he never had an issue with it.

So… the stairs. After Chanler’s panic attacks over the stairs on his first night at our house, he was walking up the main staircase on his own the very next morning. By that afternoon, he was RUNNING up & down even the servant’s staircase which is quite steep and curved. The boy just needs a bit of time to process new situations, but he always rallies his courage & realizes it’s not nearly as bad as he thought. Loud noises don’t seem to bother him at all from the coffee grinder to the hair dryer to the thunderstorms. He is a bit of a counter surfer – more curiosity than anything, putting his front paws on the edge of the counter to see what he can see. As soon as we say “Chanler – Off!,” he sits. He reminds me of a kid getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar. “What?! I wasn’t doing anything!”

Chanler is visiting the vet tonight to have his stitches removed from the neuter surgery, microchip inserted, and get a once-over to make sure nothing was overlooked at the shelter. His cough is improving (he didn’t cough at all during the night last night) so we’re certain it’s just a virus working its way out of his system. I can’t wait to see how much more energy he has when he feels 100%!

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September 19

Chanler is a 6-month-old male who was relinquished with his littermate, Truman, to a shelter in Kentucky by their owner’s family when he entered a nursing home. Even after spending over a week at the shelter, going through surgery to be neutered, traveling 6+ hours, and meeting lots of strangers, Chanler & Truman both just curled up in our laps to be loved & petted when they arrived at the end of Border Collie Day.

Chanler was quiet as a mouse (except for his mild cough) during the following 2-hour drive from Racine to his foster home in Rochelle IL. He was panting but curious, exploring our house with a wagging tail until it was time to go upstairs. It’s very obvious Chanler has never been on a flight of stairs before. We lured him up a few steps with treats but had to force the issue tonight to get him to his crate. We fed him dinner then gave him some quiet time in his crate, during which he quietly cried. We’re certain this is the first time he’s ever been apart from his brother and are being pretty lenient with him because of it. We brought him downstairs to sit with us while we recovered from Border Collie Day, & he was SO much more relaxed & comfortable. He acts like he’s been around our dogs for weeks instead of hours. My husband has already declared we need to find a home for Chanler quickly because it’s going to be way too easy to fall in love with this guy!