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Pickles

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 $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 Megan for more information on Pickles

July 15

Pickles update #1

Pickles here! My foster mom took me to “a cabin on a lake” over the 4th. Boy was it fun! It started out a little crazy though – mom literally packed me right in! Boxes and bags surrounded my crate. As usual, I was quiet and slept on the car ride. Once we got there – THERE WAS A LAKE! I am a very good swimmer, but right now following the other dogs is more fun that trying to get the bumper myself. I am an excellent dock jumper, my form is quite excellent. That first night we went to a water ski show – I met a ton of new people, young and old, and enjoyed all the extra pets. The crowd did not bother me one bit! I sat nicely between the bleachers, and foster mom paid me with cookies for being so extra good.

The next day, I let foster mom sleep in. Wasn’t that nice of me? Shhh…don’t tell her I was tired, too, after all the swimming from the day before. This day ended up quite excellent too – I went on a pontoon boat! I behaved myself and enjoyed having my ears flap in the wind! We did EVEN MORE swimming that day. After everyone was tired of swimming (not me…but apparently mom says my older foster brother needs breaks more often), we sat around a fire and made dinner and smores. It was nice to relax after the day. There were also lots of big bangs across the lake both nights I was there, and none of them bothered me. Foster mom thought that was pretty good of me. The next day we packed up to go home already – and once again, I had boxes and bags all around my crate. It was such a good time up there, I wonder why we couldn’t just stay there ALL the time? Foster mom agreed with me, but she had to get back to work.

Pickles update #2

Pickles had an exciting weekend up north, and behaved himself quite nicely. The extra activity was very good for him. He has started to bark in his crate if he hasn’t had enough exercise for the day, so it was great to get in some practice of quiet crating, and rewarding for such. Days I work are occasionally hard to get him enough exercise (by his standards). He typically does best if he can have an off leash run in a nearby park daily, and being able to wrestle with another dog is also a favorite activity of his. One of my dogs started to enjoy wrestling with him last week, which Pickles enjoys. But my dog doesn’t enjoy it for as long as Pickles would like. My other two dogs still refuse to engage. I think Pickles would do best in a home with another dog who will wrestle with him, but could also be successful as an only dog if someone could commit to his exercise needs. I do suspect some of his exercise needs are related to him being a young teenager, (both my personal dogs could “take a day off” without constant exercise around 1.5-2 years), but Pickles isn’t there yet 🙂

He will also get the zoomies and race around the yard, but still not quite interested in chasing the toy himself. I have been taking him out on his own to try to develop this, but it hasn’t come very far yet. When I’m out playing ball/frisbee with my dogs, Pickles tends to fixate on one of my dogs, which is no fun for my dog as Pickles doesn’t respond to his corrections well. I’ve been managing it, by putting up my dog, or not having Pickles out at the same time.

Pickles has really caught on to training in the last two weeks. He’s really “learning how to learn”, which is excellent. He is really starting to understand his release cue, “break”, and it’s fun to see his wheels turning at mealtimes. When he just eats out of a bowl (no puzzle feeder), I will make him sit and wait while I put his bowl down, and he must remain there until I say break! If he tries to leave position from his sit stay, I just pick up his bowl, and we try again. He knows his name quite well, and sit is coming along nicely. Down isn’t something we’ve worked on a ton yet, but he does follow a lure nicely. Pickles is also becoming an expert at getting release from his crate – He must lay down and stay there until I open the door and then wait until I say that release word – break! Not only does this make my life nicer, it’s also safer for him to learn he cannot barge out of the crate (or any door really). I think he would really benefit from some more one on one training as it is another great way to work his brain. If there is nothing for him to do, he will make his own fun. Kongs are something he really enjoys chewing on, even if there’s nothing in them. So I ensure to have several out as appropriate chewing options.

Pickles is a hungry dude – and he won’t let you forget mealtime 🙂 My own dogs are pretty relaxed about when meals come, but Pickles will start trying to open my food container and start air sniffing my counters (he has never counter surfed!). But acting like “if mom won’t feed me, I’ll find my own food!”. He still LOVES puzzle toys – the other day I gave him a new one, kibble in a plastic juice bottle wrapped in a paper grocery bag. He had a lot of fun tearing open the paper bag and tossing around the plastic bottle trying to get all the kibble out. I’ve been trying to make his puzzle toys harder, as this is really enjoyable for him (and me to watch him figure it out!).

His potty training is still a work in progress, but it appears as though there is a light at the end of the tunnel (for real this time!). A few weeks back, I thought I saw him indicating he had to go out, but then we back slid and had several accidents. I chalked them up to my fault, but wanted to ensure there was nothing wrong on his end and checked for any sort of infection. No infection, he received a clean bill of health. This last week in a half, he has started to stand and stare at me (for like 3 seconds) from my back door when he needs to go out. So not the best indicator, but I’ll take it. Overall, our trips outside are becoming less frequent, and it appears as though most time he is emptying his bladder. We’ve only had two potty accidents in 2 weeks, which again, I’ll chalk up to my fault! He still cannot hold it in a kennel more than 4-5 hours – which he has started to wake me up in the middle of the night to go outside to go potty (rather than just pee in his kennel!) so that’s a huge improvement for Pickles as well! Sadly, on some days he is left longer than that in a kennel while I’m at work, and he does still relieve himself in his kennel. I really need to find a workable way (for me!) to systematically increase the amount of time he’s in his kennel to see if we can stretch that 4-5 hour time limit on his bladder a bit 🙂 Regardless, he is headed the right direction, and things are looking up on this front!

June 29

Foster mom took me to this really strange place today. Doors that open by themselves! And so many smells. Mom said some people keep these green things as pets- I didn’t understand. Dogs like me are much fluffier. This place also kept good smelling things where I could smell them- they smelled very good. Mom was a party-pooper and said I couldn’t have any. She said we’re going to “up north by the lake” this weekend, and I needed a better name tag. I promised her I wouldn’t go far. But mom still insisted – “just in case.” Why is mom always right? I love her anyway. Actually, I love everybody!

June 24

Pickles here, catching you up after my short vaca at a WBCR foster home close to my foster Mom Megan’s (“MM”) home. MM told me she had to attend to some “prior commitments” she’d made before she knew I was coming to live at her house. (Say wha? I am the greatest commitment she could ever have!)

But vacation was great! That home had cats! My temp foster mom said I was calm and totally “appropriate” around them. What I remember is that on the first morning there, they came to my crate just to check me out. I’m an optimistic guy- new things in life do not faze me- but I was thinking bout there being three of them and just one of me when my temp foster mom let me out of the crate. When one of them stood up to rub her head on my chin, I decided to stand really still and wait. Turned out she was being friendly, so I knew this cat thing was going to be fine.

I had fun playing with the dogs who lived there. They’d run to catch balls and frisbees and I’d zig zag in front of them. Running’s great, but I don’t see the point in bringing a ball back. (Both my moms say I’ll learn.) Give me a squeaky toy or deflated ball any day! And if those aren’t available, I make my own fun with sticks and rocks (temp mom laughed when she saw me rolling the! big rocks she had put along the bottom of the garden fencing). In fact, I learned some gardening cuz I stayed right beside her while she was planting flowers and stuff. I really love being close to my people and cuddling every chance I get. My moms say that I’m a big puppy and it’s true… I love learning new things (like how to hold it longer and longer before I go outside to pee) and if my family is happy and encouraging me, it’s total heaven!

Did I mention that I love water? I love it in puddles, I love splashing it out of water bowls (but only outside ones) and I love it in baths (I’m even chill about having a nail trim after). Best of all, I swam in Lake Michigan – awesome beaches – and had meet and greets with other people and dogs! When four high school guys came rolling right past me down the paved trail on their skate boards, I stood still to watch and soak it in. When three teenage girls wanted to pet me, cooing how cute I am, I just sat down and offered my paw. Wowed them! And temp mom was so proud of me when a gigantic backhoe began work right next to our trail. Did I flinch or cower? Nope- I just strolled by! I was so calm the guy sitting way up in the cab, who had paused to watch us, gave a thumbs up. Like I said, I love learning and there’s lots to learn!

Well, I’m going back to MM today and looking forward to that. Car rides are a blast, so going home is all around great! Check out my vaca pics throughout today’s update.

Cheers,
Pickles

June 12

Pickles has discovered toys, and thinks they’re really great. Not quite playing fetch, but hopefully soon! He had a lot of fun with a floppy frisbee that was at my parents house. (Click Here)

Pickles is really quite good about going to his kennel, and knows to run there from across the house during mealtimes. This keeps him out of trouble trying to snitch from my dogs, who are not willing to share 😉 Pickles also still loves puzzle toys for meal times too! I’ve attached two videos, one of him running into his kennel for breakfast, another of him working on a “puzzle feeder.”

Running to kennel…(Click Here)

It’s 5:00 somewhere….(Click Here)
P.S. He does not destroy cardboard or other things unless he’s specifically given it.

Pickles is pretty much off leash in my yard all the time- he sticks around and has a pretty nice recall at this point. When we are in the yard or garage working(aka. Not paying attention to the dogs 100%), he is on a long line tie out. He’s ok with this, although doesn’t like it if we leave his sight for too long. At our walks at the park, I still have him drag his 6 ft, but he probably doesn’t even need that- I’m just being cautious. He is SO SO good about staying near by- he loves his people. Continues to walk on a loose leash!

Potty training is going very well- I’m getting better at learning his habits, and I think he’s starting to understand. He will wait by the door, so we go outside, and when he potties we have a big party! I’m still just taking him out as a preventative/”set him up for success”, but when he waits by the door I’m trying to associate that with we go outside. He’s seeming to get better about his excited peeing ! in the kennel when I come home from work/first thing in the AM too!

Pickles is also getting better at relaxing in the house! Finding a dog bed or corner and just laying down. I’ve been trying to keep him off my furniture (hard when my dogs are allowed;) but the other day he hopped up on the couch and laid down immediately with a huge sigh. So sweet, I couldn’t say no. Bad foster mom!

span style=”color: #000080;”>Two weeks ago I made him do stairs for the first time-NOT happy, hit the deck afraid. He wouldn’t walk past our basement door for a few days without sneaking up and SPRINTING past, quite afraid. We did some “I’m going to guide you and you get lots of cookies” a bit last week- but today! Look at him go! (Click Here.)

June 3

Today, I met the new foster dog, Anna. She’s pretty cool, but she kind of ignored me. But then my dream came true – I got to visit my litter mate, REX! We had sooooo much fun!

May 21

Pickles is going to make someone very happy. He aims to please, and loves to spend time with people and receive their affection. Pickles was found as a stray, and ended up in a shelter. He was still very social there, but the shelter thought he would be better placed in a rescue and out of the shelter environment. So he came in with his brother, Rex, who is at another foster home. Pickles has been with me for a week, and he’s already come so far!

Pickles is GREAT on leash, rarely pulls. He is right at your side or right behind you. Even when we go visit a large field where he can drag a 30 ft line, he’s right next to me. Rarely goes beyond that 30 ft leash. He recalls quite nicely, although I suspect it’s just because he loves his people, still working on name recognition and cues, like sit and down. He’s doing well with learning those!

He can act very puppy like in his behaviors, with people and dogs. He will approach my dogs dancing at their feet and licking their lips. He gets along well with all the dogs he’s ever met, and if he gets too rambunctious for my older crew, he takes correction well and walks away. He showed some interest in ball for the first time yesterday, tossed it up to himself to play. It was short lived, but seeing that makes me think he’ll enjoy toys eventually. I have toy cray dogs, and he is not a “get in the thick of it” kinda guy, so he just happily follows them around. I suspect with some more one-on-one time with just him and a toy he’ll learn to love fetch. He’s just not willing to compete!

We are working on potty training, treating him like a puppy. He can easily hold it while I’m at work for 8 hours, and keeps his kennel clean. So he certainly can hold it, just trying to increase amount of time that he can hold it while he’s loose at home. We’re setting him up for success with frequent outside visits and only a few accidents (probably my fault!). He does have some “submissive urination” going on, but this has improved SO much in even the last week, that I think this will be a thing of the past soon. He really only displays this when I leash him up first thing in the AM and right when I get home from work – I suspect excitement, me reaching into his kennel to leash him (so we can go straight outside with no pit stops on the way through the house!), and presumably, his bladder is most full at these times. I think if I could not reach in to leash him, this would probably go away completely. But my yard isn’t fenced, and I’d prefer he leaks in the kennel where it’s super easy to clean, rather than at my back door 🙂

He’s also learning nicely to settle in the house and lay down while we’re eating/relaxing. He loves puzzle toys to get his meals – slow feed bowls, food dispensing balls, cardboard boxes, kongs, milk jugs, etc. I have loved watching him figure out how all the new puzzle toys work, and see his brain in action.