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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 us for more information on Timber – 2 or 3 Year Old Female

October 17

Timber has been with WBCR (our rescue) for 3.5 weeks (this Friday will be 4 weeks) and she’s making nice progress! Apologies this will get a bit lengthy, but Timber is making wonderful progress and we really hope that her people- whoever that ends up being– enjoys reading about her learning to be brave instead of wanting to cower in a corner or run away and never looking back. Enjoy learning about Timber and the sweet, smart girl that is in that cute little head of hers- she is definitely a ‘hidden treasure’ who with time, love, and patience will flourish.

Timber is a young adult (?1-3 yr?). She was a very scared lost/stray dog. It took some nice shelter workers in Iowa 3-4 weeks to catch her. When they were able to get her she then moved to the shelter for a few weeks before the shelter reached out to WBCR to see if we could help. On Sept 22 Timber moved up to WI and WBCR!

Timber is a shy girl who is re-learning what it is like to be safe and cared for. She is scared and slowly learning to trust and gain confidence. As you can imagine, Timber was a big ‘flight risk’ due to taking ages to catch when a stray and not trusting things around her. Currently, even in a fenced yard, Timber is on leash.

Timber currently lives with a kid and multiple dogs. She is fine around the child and dogs. Timber is scared/unsure, but not at all aggressive. She definitely will take ‘flight’ or ‘fight’. With the other dogs she has slowly started to sniff them or watch them more, but has yet to ask to engage with them. When they try to engage her she stands there and tolerates it, but does not reciprocate interaction beyond random sniffing.

Over the past 3 weeks Timber has earned time loose in the house and slowly decided that walks outside are good. In the house, Timber is unsure. She has a few places she prefers to sit, but has branched out to add another location and also start to lie down. Last night one of the younger dogs was trying to get Timber to interact. I couldn’t see all of what was going on and I didn’t want to get up since I know what interaction, if any, from Timber would stop once I was part of the picture. It sounded and appeared like she was tolerating the annoying younger dog, but wasn’t engaging. Timber took a bit to settle down (a bit of pacing– which for most dogs isn’t good, but for Timber was great– it showed she was unsettled and trying to calm herself) and then curled up in the bathroom until it was bedtime (she sleeps in a crate and is crated when we are not home).

Timber eats in her crate. At first she was unsure of eating and took awhile to finish her food. Then she would only eat when I wasn’t in the room. Now I can be in the room and she’ll eat, but I can’t be right next to the crate staring at her 🙂 This is great progress! Timber also likes to chew. The first few week she didn’t and then as she adjusted a bit she chewed quite a bit for a few days. Now she chews less, but still will at times. Thew chewing gave her something to do when she was getting bored, but not quite ready to handle more. Now we are slowly introducing more into her life and it takes her a bit to mentally process and handle the changes. Timber does enjoy raw marrow bones, peanut butter kongs, and antlers 🙂

There have been 3 incidents of possible resource guarding toward dogs. All 3 times Timber was in her crate and at least 2 of them had food and/or bone/antler and a dog approached near her crate. It hasn’t happened for 1-1.5 weeks, but I also have made sure the other dogs give her more space when she has things in her crate. She has never shown any resource guarding toward me when I take things in/out of her crate.

The first 1-2 weeks Timber was here she’d go outside for potty breaks and possibly a walk around the yard and then go back in. Noises, leash touching her, or who knows what would make her bolt- she’d run to the end of the leash and then swivel around like a whirling dervish. If she wasn’t doing that she would try to go b/t your legs. We quickly worked on those things so she could learn to stand in a quiet yard on her own and to pause before trying to bolt. She no longer does the between the leg hide. Her attempts at bolting are much fewer and also less intense. She will try to walk in a big circle around you and used to not be able to stop and go the other way; Timber now switches directions and will stop the circling if asked– wahoo Timber! this is all big progress!

But wait! there’s more! for the past 2.5 weeks we’ve slowly tried taking walks and succeeding! At first it was just getting out of the fenced yard and standing on the driveway. Then it was going down the driveway, then going to the corner about 60-80 feet away. She has built up to walking not only around the block, but around 2 blocks! She did so well with adding a 2nd block last week we started changing the path so now we sometimes head left to go around the block (and half the time will add in another block) and a few times we’ve headed right to go around part of a park.

Timber does better on walks in the evening when all is quiet and calm. She’s living in a quiet suburban neighborhood (even during the day), but there’s something about the calm of night that reassures her when on walks. We’ve started adding in some short walks during the day and she’s starting to take those in stride. This past Fri we went on the ‘new route’ during the day for the first time– while the High School marching band practiced (about 1/2 mile away, but you could nicely hear them), a neighbor 3 homes down was getting a new roof, and a garbage truck rumbled around the neighborhood. Yes, Timber went on a walk with all that noise and things going on. She was definitely unsure, but guess what she did? She showed stress signs! What?!? yes, this is great! You see, Timber was so tense, nervous, and unsure upon coming here she was always tense, never relaxing. Nervous/stress was her norm– she didn’t know what it felt like to feel like anything else. Now she does! Timber a few weeks ago would have walked tense and hoping the Earth opens and eats her. Timber last Fri did some bouncing strides, some slow, loose tail wags, and she shook off, she did giant yawns, she paused to look around. Instead of bolting she paused and scanned her environment! She felt herself getting tense and scared and she tried to de-stress by shaking off (full body shake/shiver like dogs do when shaking water off), she did giant yawns to release tension in her jaw and neck! This is HUGE! Happy tears that Timber is starting to know what relaxation feels like and can tell when she doesn’t feel good– from never feeling good to realizing she doesn’t feel good and wanting to feel good again! We cut that amazing walk short– it was a lot for her and she was doing Fantastic! Oh, and prior to that walk when she initially went outside to potty? She jumped on me! <3 yes, she jumped on me! I have tried to get her to do it again, but she hasn’t– I’m positive she will again 🙂

When on walks if Timber looks like she’s getting nervous or just to check in to say “how are you doing Timby? You okay?” I stop and wait for her to turn and come into me. She often will and we do a light shoulder/neck scratch. If she doesn’t I say her name and she if she’ll check in. If she doesn’t we turn around for a bit and see if she will get more relaxed. Timber have fairly clear body language. Now that she’s not tense all over the main areas she caries tension are over her shoulders and on her hips (more toward the mid/back of hips). Her ears and eyes are very reflective of her state of mind too. As she gets more nervous the tension will transfer either down her entire spine or from her shoulder to base of neck and down to her elbows on her forelegs. As that happens she is also getting ready to try to get out of that situation so getting her attention and asking her to come into you before she decides she needs to try to escape/bolt helps diffuse the situation.

If she does try to bolt, I just stand still and wait for her to calm down From there I ask her to come with me and we move on like nothing happened. Leashes swinging/hitting her, moving a pooper scooper, accidentally dropping something near her cause her to be uncomfortable and want to get out of there. Before it was almost anything made her want to bolt so she really is learning to handle ‘things’ and start to think instead of just freak/react.

If you used a scale of 1-3 with 3 being the best Timber has more 2-3 days than she has 1s. What 2 or 3 weeks ago would’ve been a day that was 2-3 is now a 1 As Timber adjusts, learns, and starts to trust a bit the scale of expectations/ good-bad day assessment adjusts. What was a 3 ‘good day’ 2 weeks ago is now her average and sometimes even a 1 🙂 Timber is making progress. With progress and learning there is always regression. Any major changes in her life (e.g. going to a new home) will bring about some regression, but as she learns the new rules and schedule she’ll adapt and bounce back.

Timber is not quite ready to handle field trips. Lifting her up and into a crate in the car makes her very nervous. Right now I try to only put one change/known stressor in per day and also have at least 2 days of minimal stress/change for her so she has decompression days for her system. The stressors/changes are minor and calculated/adjusted by how she is each day. Last week she had a day of doing great (score ‘3’) so we did the new route for a walk and also left her loose for most of the evening. The day prior was a ‘1’ day (not so hot) so we didn’t do any changes, and asked less of her. As mentioned, the 1 days are fewer and what is now a ‘1’ would’ve been a 2 or 3 just a few weeks ago.
Since Timber will need to ride in a car we are starting to put her into the car and let her hang out for a bit and then come out and go into her crate with a peanut butter kong. Slowly let her learn that being lifted into the car and a crate in a new place isn’t bad and there’s no pressure/stress after, but good things.

Timber has yet to decide to take treats from my hand, but will now eat a treat if it is tossed to her in her crate and I’m a few feet away. Since she’s done a good job in starting to trust hopefully taking treats or eating treats tossed near her will be one of the next ‘happy tear’ moments we have with her. We now get daily tail wags and a bouncing step for part of every walk! 🙂 Yay Timber- it takes a lot to go from taking almost 1 month to be caught to now learning that life can be safe and hopefully soon you’ll learn it is fun too 🙂


September 23

Timber just came in yesterday. She’s a very shy girl. More information to come!