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Keegan (Adoption Pending!)

You must complete an adoption application with WBCR before we will consider you for one of our Border Collies (under the “adoption” link). Then go to our PayPal link to pay the $15.00 application fee. 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 $350 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 (a/k/a Fran) for more information on Keegan – 8 Month Old Male (Rochelle, IL) – Adoption Pending!

August 29

Keegan is still seeking his perfect forever family. While he’s been waiting, he has discovered that belly rubs are the greatest thing ever. He throws himself to the floor, belly up, and if you don’t scratch him quickly enough, he puts his paws together over his head and waves at the air. It’s so stinking cute that you just have to rub that little belly!

Keegan has also discovered that laying in front of the fan is the coolest place in the house on a warm day. We find him there often, but he spent almost all evening there after tagging along to my dogs’ outdoor agility classes a few weeks ago. Between classes, I took Keegan through the gated weave poles and over a few jumps (with the bar lowered to 8″ because, even though he clears the baby gates at our house like a gazelle, he’s too young for repeated stress on his still-developing bones & joints). He wasn’t intimidated by the equipment in the slightest and happily ran the little mini course without hesitation. He made friends with every dog and human there, but he did bark and cry while in the x-pen. He was not keen on other dogs having fun without him. By the end of the 3 hours, he must’ve figured out it wasn’t helping his case – or he was just too worn out to waste the energy – because he quit the nonsense and patiently watched the action. He definitely has the energy and seems to have the interest to become an agility dog if his family would like to pursue that with him.

July 15

To help you get to know Keegan better, I sat down for a little Q&A with him this weekend.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to play with?
A: Well…it’s usually something I’m not supposed to play with like Steve’s tools or Amy’s shoes. The TV remote was awfully fun until they took it away. Of the things I’m told are “toys”, stuffed animals are probably my favorite. Balls are pretty cool, too.

Q: What’s something you’re still working on?
A: I really don’t understand this whole “off” thing. I just want to be close to people. I don’t see how I can do that with all my feet on the floor. And my foster parents seem really annoyed when I bark a lot so I’m trying hard to find other ways to get my friends to play.

Q: How do you show people you like them?
A: I jump on them, but that usually backfires, like I said. And I give kisses. So many kisses! I would kiss them forever and ever if they’d let me.

Q: How do you like people to show you affection?
A: I just melt when they pet me. I love it when they scratch my belly and when they let me sit on their lap and when they let me kiss them. Did I mention I love kisses?

Q: How do you get along with other dogs?
A: I love playing and snuggling with other dogs! I know how to get everyone to play with me – even the dogs that aren’t that playful! Not to brag, but I have a knack.

Q: What about other animals?
A: I haven’t been too close to them yet, but I’m very sure that birds will be very tasty. Rabbits too. Ooh! And I heard about these things called cats. Not sure if they’d play with me or if they’d make a good snack.

Q: What did you think of the 4th of July fireworks?
A: What do you mean? Was there something happening that day? I didn’t even notice.

Q: What’s the most important thing you want in a forever family?
A: I don’t like to admit it, but I get really sad when I’m not around other dogs – even if I have all the human’s attention – so it’s really important that my family has at least one other dog. But it’s almost as important that my humans like kisses because, as hard as I try, I can’t control it! I just love giving kisses!

June 24

Keegan’s surgery to be neutered went very well. He hasn’t gotten any bigger since he arrived in foster care – weighing just 24 lbs for the last 6 weeks – so it’s probably safe to say he’s going to stay pretty little. The vet always texts when a dog wakes up after surgery to let me know everything’s okay, and the text I got yesterday called him “Sweet Keegan.” When I went to pick him up, the tech took longer than usual to bring Keegan out. When he finally emerged, he said, “As soon as I let him out, he crawled into my lap and started kissing my face.” Yep, that’s Keegan! Apparently the tech seized the opportunity for some cuddles before he brought Keegan up front 🙂 Keegan slept a little more that evening than normal, but between naps, he was adamant he was fine enough to wrestle and run up & down the stairs. Much to his dismay, he was not allowed to continue. Now that it’s been a few days though, he’s 100% back to being rowdy and rambunctious.

Keegan has a hard time sitting still and being patient. To be fair, what 6- or 7-month-old Border Collie doesn’t? But most of the time he finds some cute way to stay busy. For example, when I’m filling food bowls, he balances on a little ledge next to me to “help.” I find it fascinating that he knows it’s time to eat once food is in the 7th bowl. I’m pretty sure he can count. You can see in the video that he leaves his ledge before I even stand up. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BPGqWXOcKoY What doesn’t show is that he then runs from his perch on the ledge to his mat in the kitchen where he eats. He quickly learned he must sit and wait for us to set down his bowl for meals, and he’s getting pretty good at waiting for the “Go!” command.

June 19

When Keegan arrived in foster care, he had a scraggly, uneven coat that animal control had pulled several burrs out of (and we found 4 ticks buried in, but that’s a separate issue). Now that he’s consistently eating quality food, all that dull, scraggly hair has grown out, and Keegan has the shiniest, curliest coat! My mom mused that he might be part poodle because it’s so curly. He doesn’t have long feathers like rough-coated BCs have,! but he doesn’t have a smooth coat either. Keegan’s fur is somewhere in the mid-length range. Lots of people try to guess what he might be mixed with, but most just approach him asking, “Border Collie?”

I mentioned before how much Keegan likes shoes and that he hasn’t chewed them, and that remains true. However, we’ve discovered what he really likes are the strings. He really, REALLY likes to chew through skinny things – shoestrings, drawstrings, backpack straps, bra straps, etc. – and it only takes him a second. By the time I realize he has something in his mouth, the string or strap is severed. The other day he chewed the legs off a stuffed toy, and he had more fun playing with the severed legs than he ever did when the animal was intact. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eeeA5sFD7dY

The most exciting event for Keegan recently was learning to swim! We visited Dog Paddle Beach (an indoor, dog-only pool) where he donned a life vest and jumped in before we were even ready for him to! (That may have had something to do with my crazy, dock diving dog being chosen to set the example for Keegan.) Once we slowed him down a bit, the facility owner guided him around the pool for a full lap and declared he didn’t need the life vest. Keegan is a beautiful swimmer! (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6_eudp8lh0o) After an hour there, he was still nervous to step off the deck and into the pool but – to be fair – it’s a very big step for such a little dog. As long as I set him on that first step, he voluntarily swam with the big dogs. (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VyWl0VqKuL8) He was exhausted the rest of the day, so it was fantastic all around!

Tomorrow, Keegan goes to the vet for his neuter surgery so he’ll be forced to rest and recover for a few days. Poor guy is not going to understand why he’s not allowed to wrestle with his friends, but we’ll find something fun for him to do while he heals.

June 3

In just 2 weeks, Keegan has come to love his crate! Several times, I’ve gone looking for him in the house just to find him sleeping in his crate – usually belly-up with his head hanging out the door 🙂

He craves the attention and companionship of my dogs and has even won over our dog who has personal space issues. She lets him stand or lay near her and even groom her which she has never let any other dog do. Keegan is overly-excited by her sometimes though. When she gets nervous, she runs laps and Keegan tries to stop her from doing it with some misplaced herding behavior. He tends to bite at her ribs instead of her ankles then he gets mad when she corrects him – like kids that are fed up with each other after being inside for too many rainy days. The squabbles haven’t been anything more than noise though. We live where it’s rained almost daily for months so the dogs have been cooped up more than normal lately, and we believe a lot of this behavior stems from pent-up energy. The first day it was semi-dry, Keegan visited the dog park and got to run like a mad man! The mosquitoes were terrible though even without the lakes of standing water so we only stayed about 20 minutes before we just couldn’t stand it anymore, and I double-checked that everyone is up-to-date on their heartworm preventative when we got home!

Keegan was a very good boy while getting his nails trimmed this week. He doesn’t mind us holding his paws or ! even playing with his toes, but he was pretty sure Steve was trying to kill him by asking him to sit still so I sat on the floor too and just pet Keegan while Steve clipped his nails. Once Keegan realized it wasn’t so bad, he completely relaxed and even started to doze off. After Steve was done clipping his nails, Keegan refused to get up. He wouldn’t let us trim the other dogs’ nails after that! He laid on top of them, wiggling his way in to be the center of attention. The more I tried to move him out of the way, the more he weaseled his way in. He so wants to love and be loved. When I come home from work, Keegan tries to climb up into my arms like a toddler wanting to be held. He simply must give kisses and your face is just so far away when you’re standing up! When you’re sitting down and at his level…well, all bets are off! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dQnwILB8wyo

May 21

Keegan nor Hops came with names since they were strays, but it took less than a week for Keegan to learn the name we gave him. He’ll come running from the opposite side of the house when we call him. We didn’t even try that hard to teach him! We didn’t teach him to sit to put his leash on or off either, but he does it without prompting. He doesn’t pull much on walks (unless he sees a bird, rabbit, squirrel, etc), but he does zigzag back and forth in front and behind me so we’re working on straight-line walking. I keep reminding Keegan that I don’t need to be herded, but he’s pretty sure I do.

Typically, we crate fosters separately from our pack to minimize bonding, making their transition to their forever home a bit easier. However, Keegan has demonstrated he really prefers company whether it be human or canine. He just hates b! eing alone. So we put a crate near our dogs’ crates for him to be near his friends when we can’t be home with them and also moved a crate into our bedroom so he can be near us and our dogs overnight. He still doesn’t willingly enter his crate, but he’s quiet and relaxed once he’s in it now. He has tried several times to jump up onto our bed (which we don’t allow any of our dogs to do) so I’m pretty sure he’d love to sleep in bed with his forever family, but he’s content to sleep next to our bed for now.

Keegan loves shoes! He hasn’t chewed them up (yet), but any shoe or slipper he finds is carried to a different room. He gently and easily hands it over when asked to so he’s not a resource-guarder in the slightest. I have to say, it’s actually kind of cute. I won’t encourage it or leave my shoes out on purpose, but at least it’s adorable when it happens instead of a struggle. He’s starting to play more with toys and is gaining confidence daily. He no longer follows me around the office every second of the day, and I had to shut some doors because he’s brave enough now to leave my side and go exploring on his own. All of his baby teeth have fallen out too, so he’s done a lot of maturing this past week – except when it comes to playtime. Keegan loves to wrestle! Luckily, our youngest does too so they play very well together: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NqB9z1QUZJ4

May 16

Keegan has only had one piddle accident since he arrived at our house. He’s very good about not pottying inside, but we do have to be patient and stay out quite a while for him to go potty outside. He’s just more interested in everything around him than he is in going potty. The only other “accident” he had was puking in the car the first day. Between driving from Wisconsin to Illinois then from my office to my house, my house back to the office, to the vet a half hour away, to an appointment I had afterwards…as we were leaving town to head back home, it proved too much for his already-stressed system. The weirdest part was that he was totally silent. If I hadn’t looked back at him, I wouldn’t have known he’d gotten sick at all. Good thing he was in a crate! Easily cleaned up and back on the road quickly. I thought he would’ve been all tuckered out and ready for a good night’s sleep, but he proved me wrong. He barked every couple hours that first night. The next few nights, he slept quietly until around 5am so he’s already getting more comfortable with our routine, but he’s definitely not comfortable in a crate. Since crates are so important for a long list of reasons, we’re working on teaching Keegan that being in a crate isn’t so bad.

At this point I would call Keegan a borderline Velcro dog. He definitely likes to be near me. He’s been hanging out at my office with me during the day and is absolutely a dream office pet. He doesn’t make a peep and just sleeps at my feet unless I stand up. As soon as I’m up, he’s up, and he followed me wherever I went the first couple days. Now that he’s getting more comfortable, he waits and watches me from his spot under my desk. It’s common for quiet dogs to start testing boundaries once they get comfortable with their environment so I’m mentally preparing myself that this might just be the calm before the storm.

Keegan tried out every dog bed in our house like he was Goldilocks & ended up settling down in the basket of dirty laundry in my closet of all things. He fluffed it, turned around a few times, and flopped down. The following morning, when I opened my closet door, he jumped right back into that basket again. Silly boy. He was awfully scared of our stairs at first so I sat about 4 steps down and waited for him to find his courage as I coaxed him down. He anchored his back feet on the top stair and stepped down 2 stairs with his front feet in order to be pet. Once he was rewarded for his bravery, he tried a few more, reached the landing, and headed back up then back down then back up then back down… It was really cute to watch him “practice.” In 10 minutes, he was a pro.

We visited our local dog-friendly frozen custard shop, and Keegan got his very own pup cup. However, he’s not very food motivated. He walked away from that dish of whipped cream 3 times. He eventually finished it, but he’s just not excited over food of any kind. I gave him a treat ball with his lunch in it and, well, you can watch and see how he was more excited to play with the ball than eat the food that fell out of it. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VLq48m3kkDY He’s not super toy-motivated either, but he’ll do just about anything for praise and petting. His little tail wags really fast when you say, “Yay, Keegan!”

Keegan was found with Hop (the dog Andrea is fostering), and they get along very well but neither was concerned when the other dog left the room, protective of each other, or displayed any behavior that made us think they must stay together. Since heading to their foster homes, neither dog has shown any more signs of stress than the average dog coming into foster care. They’re engaging with people and other dogs, eating and drinking normally, etc. I introduced Keegan to each of my dogs individually on day 2 then, since introductions went well, he interacted with my pack as a whole on day 3. Keegan loves to play, chase, and wrestle with other dogs, and he respects my grouchy dogs’ boundaries (I have one that’s 15-years-old who doesn’t like puppy bs, and I have one that prefers more personal space). This was their first group playtime, and you can see everyone’s getting along quite nicely: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HHFxrETDGi0 I also thought this video of Keegan meeting our 4-year-old female was cute ! enough to share. He’s adamantly trying everything he can think of to win her over and get her to play with him 🙂 https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hcFl0clcDj4

May 13

WBCR was contacted about two male strays picked up together in Wisconsin. A woman saw them sitting near the road on her way to work and asked her husband to go check on them. He drove out a bit later and found them in the same spot his wife saw them in so animal control believes they were dumped. The bigger dog had a microchip but the people he was registered to said they knew nothing about the younger dog and had given the older (they said he’s 10-months-old) dog to someone else because his kids were allergic. He tried contacting the person he’d given him to, but no one ever responded or came to reclaim the dogs, so we arranged transportation and set up foster homes for each. Andrea is fostering the 10-month-old black and white male, and I get the privilege of getting to know the tri-colored pup whom we’re calling Keegan.

As we left the township building where he was being cared for, Keegan barked in the crate for a few minutes then got quiet but just sat and shook for about 10 more minutes. Soon, though, he laid down and relaxed for the rest of the hour-long drive. We hung out at my office for the afternoon, got a bath (which he was VERY good for!), then headed to the vet to get him up-to-date on vaccines and preventatives, get a HW & fecal test, have a few ticks removed, and be microchipped.

The vet believes he’s about 5-months-old since he still has several baby teeth so he’s too young to neuter at this time. Since we typically keep dogs in foster care for 4 weeks to get to know them and best match them with an appropriate home, Keegan will likely be neutered before he’s adopted. Otherwise, a special contract and deposit will be required in order to adopt him and have him neutered later, when he’s older. Keegan’s very tiny though – even for a young dog. He’s only 23 lbs so it’s unlikely he’s 100% Border Collie, although some purebreds can be small (it’s a lot less common). He possibly has herding instinct though! A bird landed nearby in the parking lot that he stalked; he was rather intent on the geese at another stop; and he darts at cars that drive past. We’re already correcting and redirecting the car-chasing, but it could to be misdirected herding instinct. Time will tell if it’s instinct to actually herd or just chase.

Another character trait that’s absolutely obvious upon meeting Keegan is how incredibly friendly he is. Every person who he sees – even if they’re a block away! – gets his full attention, and his tail starts wagging. If they’re within approachable distance, he tries his best to kiss their face. Random strangers even at the vet’s office got leaned on and kissed. If they’ll let him climb into their lap, he’s in heaven. You can see for yourself in his introductory video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sxGi5wKu5Kk