Saffron aka Sassy

Saffron aka Sassy

May 26, 2004 – July 30, 2018

On the Colorado Ranch

I lost our Sassy today, after over 14 years together. She was my wounded child…..my sensitive one.

Cinnamon about to jump on Sass in the whiskey barrel at the Scotland House

She had a horrible accident at 7 weeks old and nearly died. It changed her and she was never the same again.

In the kitchen of the Scotland house

She was the one who lived in such a bubble of fear in her own mind but drew on me as her anchor and protector. I adored her and miss her so much.

My ball

So here are photos of her and her life. She lived a full one.

Nutmeg with her sisters, Sassy and Chloe passed out on top of her….always together

From being born in Scotland, flying to Michigan, driving to Colorado, driving back to Michigan, and to her final place under the Norwegian Fir tree between her sister Chloe, and Rick. I love you my baby, Sassdiddydos!

All 7 Scottish Border Collies in our backyard at the house in Scotland
On the side of the mountain on the Colorado Ranch
I am visiting Loch Ness in Scotland, What you looking at?
Every old gal needs her princess and the pea bed!
Sitting with Mom by the French Doors in the Michigan house
All 7 Scottish Border Collies at the Colorado Ranch
Rick and Rachel

Rick and Rachel

We lost a couple more dogs here at Alba Ranch as well.  This has been a difficult time for us.  I thought I had better get caught up a bit with what has been going on…but for a while I just wanted to take a moment.

 

 

Rick

Rick

(Feb 2016-March 21, 2018)

 

Rick we had to let go just two days after Cinnamon and Nutmeg passed over.  He came to use at about 10-11 months old and where he had been before was not good for him.  He had been abused so much by a family and returned to the breeder after extreme damage had been done to him….both mentally and physically.

He was the sweetest boy and had such a sweet loving heart but he could not trust humans and had anxiety that was off the charts.  We worked with him for almost 1.5 years but he was having so many physical issues as well as mental issues that it was just better for him and for all the dogs in the house that we let him go.  His pain had to be ended.

Whatcha sayin?

 

on the move

It was one of the hardest ones I have ever had to let go…and trust me none are easy ….but this one was super hard.  85% of the time he was our loving boy Rick and would sit for hours letting you pet him or just lie near you.  The other 15% he was unpredictable, dangerous and in so much mental anguish and pain.  That anguish and pain was coming out against the other dogs, against me and against any person that might be here.  Rick did not want to be that way but he could not control it.

I truly hope that those people that had him will never have another dog or animal in their entire life as what was done to him was unthinkable and certainly unforgivable.

He is free now and no longer in pain of any kind, nor can he harm any other person or dog which was one of his fears as well.

 

Rachel

(October 2014-June 4, 2018)

Rachel guarding

 

Rachel came to us from Ohio with two of her brothers, Ike and Toobies.  She has been one of our Livestock Guardian Dogs  (LGD) ever since.  I really did like Rachel and she loved to be petted.  She also tried to lick me to death and would dig some pretty intensive holes everywhere.  She was also the one that told us about any coyotes, or any other predators about and would not stop telling us until they left…which could be all night. ha!

She was with Willow when we had the predator attack last year.  The attack that killed Willow and really injured Rachel but no goats were harmed or lost.  They both did their jobs protecting.  Rachel has been struggling every since that time.  She was in pain, and seemed to be having some mobility issues….she was very grumpy with her goaties which I don’t recall being normal for her before this time.  Baby goaties jumping on her was very painful when normally the LGD would lie still and let the kids climb on them.

Rachel and the kid

 

She also was much more anxious and fearful than before the attack.  I think that attack forever changed Rachel and she was just not up to things anymore.  It was with a heavy heart that we said good bye to her a few weeks ago….it was hard but I know that she is no longer in pain, either physically or mentally.

 

Nutmeg and Cinnamon have passed over…..

Nutmeg and Cinnamon have passed over…..

We have had a few more losses here at Alba Ranch.  It seems like a lot lately but the reality is the entire pack was aging and all approximately the same age as well so it was a flood of them leaving one after the other as they have finished their lives over these last few years.  I knew that it was coming but that doesn’t make it any easier.

All 7 Scottish Border Collies

This post is not a poor me my babies are gone…even though seriously…poor me my babies are gone…I mean for reals….but a celebration of their lives with some photos of them growing up just to give you a glimpse of their life….all the years we have had with them.

You will see and know why we loved them from the photos.

 

 

 

 

 

Nutmeg as a pup

Nutmeg  (aka if her name is NOT Meg….what is it?)

May 26, 2004-March 19, 2018

 

Nutmeg was one of 8 pups from Pru…and we kept 3 of them.  She and her 2 sisters and her half sister Cinnamon, along with Auntie Tessa, Abbey and Pru were our 7 Scotland border collies that came over to the USA when we moved back.

Nutmeg was always my shy tri except at home.  At home she was a bully.  She ruled with a quite but iron paw.  And even Rowan, the 90 pound Anatolian, cowered in fear with just a silent lip curl from Nutmeg.  Respect…..

Nutmeg with her sisters, Sassy and Chloe passed out on top of her….always together

Nutmeg did not like little old ladies with brollies (umbrellas for you usa folks).  nope…not them at all.  She never did take to car rides.  She did not get sick in the car, or have accidents or bark and carry on, she would just sit bolt upright, panting in terror and never settle down.  When we drove from MI to CO, she did that for those two days.  And she tried to bolt out of the suburban and managed twice and took off with us chasing her after her in a parking lot, a field or whatever to get her before she hit the highway.  Needless to say, Nutmeg stayed to home a lot and that suited her just fine.

 

Nutmeg with Charlie

 

She could play football (soccer for the usa folks) like nobody’s fool.  And amazing air…oh my…she would do almost a complete flip and roll at about 4 ft high in the air for a ball.  Dive into the pond after a toy, into a puddle or a padding pond…no matter…if there was a ball…she was after it.

 

Nutmeg all grown up

She was a quiet dog and faded into the background a lot….but she was still my shy tri and I loved her until the end.  She was very still with us mentally but her body was failing when we let her go at just 2 months shy of her 14th birthday.  That is a good long life for a border collie.  Rest in peace my Nutmeggers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cinnamon the puff ball pup

Cinnamon (aka Cinnaminimoooooos)

June 3, 2004-March 19, 2018

Cinnamon was a pup from Abbey’s litter of six pups.  She had the same sire as the pups from Pru but Abbey for a mom.  She was their half sister born about 10 days after.

Charlie was taken with Cinnamon from the day he saw her.  I was not sure though.  When we were trying to decide which pups to keep, we took charlie back to work in Abredeen from Peterhead when we were living in Scotland.  I suggested he pick a pup he was considering and take that pup on the ride and see how he felt.  He chose to take Cinnamon and she promptly threw up on him…twice…so he said she had to stay being she threw up on him.

 

Cinnamon about to jump on Sass in the whiskey barrel

 

Cinnamon suffered with getting car sick for many, many years after that and it was only with a lot of work that we could get her finally OK with the car enough to NOT be sick through some nausea meds, and than began the work of getting her calm enough to even give it a go.  I mean if you got sick in the car every time you rode, you would refuse to go too.  We started with short drives like to the mail box or the end of the drive.  Or just sitting in the car and NOT going anywhere.  Even that was trying for her in the beginning as she has begun to associate the car with begin sick so much that to even be in it she would get sick.  It took a long time but she finally cracked it and than she was happy and willing to go anywhere.

 

Cinnamon, what a beauty

 

Cinnamon was a very head strong dog who was also a destructo dog.  There was barely a toy in the house that could not be destroyed by Cinnamon.  We had to have all the footballs…soccer balls…deflated but even that did not work as she would tear the leather off and rip the bladders out.  I have no idea why she had to rip things apart but there was that one day she had her first encounter with a chicken and well….you guessed it…30 seconds later the chicken was in three pieces and dead and Cinnamon never did get near a chicken again.  In her defence, the chicken had flown its coop area and flown over the fence into the dog pen so…..you know…fair game….at least in her mind.

 

Cinnamon out back

We tried Cinnamon with herding lessons but she really didn’t have any thoughts to herd.  She was like la de dah….running through the field..whats that…oh sheep..OK well…la de dah…running through the field….yup..not a sheep herder.

She would sit next to me on the couch whenever she had the chance and be so over joyed to be there that she would wiggle and drive me nuts…but she did so love being close to me.  I miss Cinnamon…she was in a fair bit of pain towards the end…and she had some tumours.  We had removed some a few years before right around the time that she lost Abbey and she never really recovered well from that.

 

Abbey and Cinnamon, side by side

She was such a mama’s girl that Abbey passing sort of took the stuffing from Cinnamon.  She even lost her will to destroy in those last couple of years.   The girls would all play and run and leap together and the four pups were the best of friends.  Rest in peace Cinnamon, you are missed.

 

The Scotland Border Collies were born in Scotland, flew to Michigan, drove to Colorado, drove back to Michigan and now are at rest in the woods near Lake Michigan.  Both Nutmeg and Cinnamon went together and they were even kenneled as pups together as well.  We felt it was fitting that they were buried together as well so their worn out fur bodies would be forever together.

 

 

Dogs of Alba

Dogs of Alba

It is the one year anniversary today of my Darling Abbey Gail passing away.  I miss her dreadfully and it still feels like it was last week.  I saw her yesterday during an energy treatment…she visited with BJ.  She is still as beautiful as every.

Abbey

All my border collies and a couple of my LGD are sick  right now.   So right now I am thinking all about the dogs.  I think I have figured out what it is but don’t know if the damage is too extensive in a few to the point that they may die.

I have been feeding Taste of the Wild Dog Food and every time I get their digestion calmed down and start to re introduce the food, they get violently sick again. I have tried to re introduce their food twice and will not try again. I didn’t go from feeding raw or a bland diet to just their kibble, I did a small bit first for two days and that was all it took last time. This time I did small bit two days and they seemed OK but on the third day I gave them only their TOTW dog food but in a smaller amount than normal and the hell started again. Mucous and bleeding from their bums. Throwing up and total loss of control. I am at a loss.

I have sick dogs for 3 weeks and they have been to the vet and I have called numerous times. I decided to try some holistic things and started with pumpkin which cleared the diarrhea up so fast it made my head spin.  I gave them that with yogurt and kefir to fix the bacteria in their gut. I can’t feed raw with 3 giant breed dogs AND the border collies as I don’t have enough freezers or money to fill them.

Last night about midnight, I did a search on the internet for Taste of the Wild Dog Food + sick dogs.  OMG.  The reviews that have popped up all over about how sick dogs that have been eating this food have been in March, April and May of 2017 is staggering.  Taste of the Wild Dog Food is made my Diamond Food Company.  They also make Kirkland dog food in Costco and Nature’s Domain, which is the grain free formulas also available at Costco.

I found one site Consumers Affairs that had a lot of details and information  about the reaction of the dogs to the Taste of the Wild Dog food.  The symptoms were scary as they were exact to what my dogs are going through.  Unfortunately the reviews that had the best details and information, were also the people that lost their dogs.  The dogs went from being healthy to in kidney and liver failure in 3-4 weeks and having to be either put down or dying in their owners arms.  My dogs have been sick for three weeks.  I have two in particular that have been bleeding and worse than others.  That is my Nutmeg and my Chloe.  I don’t know if they will survive.  I have called my vet office and they are checking to see if they want to repeat the blood work tests and compare them to the ones already done for Nutmeg and Chloe.  I don’t know if there is any course of action as the damage is already done.

I have been researching and found some companies that do HUMAN GRADE food in a human grade facility made in the USA and it is dehydrated food. You add warm water and stir and give them it 3 minutes later. They have both regular formulas and grain free. The regular ones that have grain are cheaper so I might be able to afford it if I stop eating myself!! The grains they use are barley and oats. There is NEVER wheat, soy, corn or any GMO in it. I am going to try it.   The Honest Kitchen is the food.  Take a look at it yourself and see if you like it.

 

Update on the dogs as of May 19:

I have been talking to the vet at Diamond and she has had no issues with the batches of dog food I have had. If it is the dog food, I am the only one with those issues with those production batches. I gave her codes on like 11 bags. She recommended Metronidazole for them before I even told her that one had a confirmed positive test for Giardia. but we did 5 days in a row of heavy Panacur/safeguard granules for that per my vets instructions. After just one does of that panacur/safeguard I went from 1 dog with bloody diarrhea to 6 dogs with diarrhea although not all had blood in their poo. I called vet immediately and they insisted I keep on it. Five days of hell went on and still no slowing of the the poo. I was also advised to start cooking rice and boiled hamburger for them and did that from after that first dose. I have been doing that interspersed with chicken and sometimes a bit of oatmeal instead of rice right now….been doing that for 3.5 weeks. They are still sick.

Every time I get them mostly firm when I use a bit of pumpkin, I slowly start to reintroduce TOTW and they get sick all over again after either 2 or 3 doses of the food. I have tried this two times. The first time they were still having the bland diet along with a sprinkle of the TOTW and by two days into trying to blend in the TOTW they were right back into explosive poo. The second time we did sprinkle of TOTW for two days and by the third day were at only TOTW but in a much smaller dose. Still same thing, huge mucous and diarrhea and blood with some vomiting but not as much of the vomit. When there was vomiting it was full of mucous as well. I have given them yogurt and kefir most days to help them out with the good bacteria their gut. So now I am not sure if it is the food or not. I won’t be running out to get any new bags if you are wondering. 

Vet at Diamond said that the bland diet with the rice gives a false sense of them being firmed up because the rice absorbs the excess water in the poo. That is logical.  Perhaps??  Pumpkin does as well and so does the oatmeal to an extent. Vet at Diamond thinks that they still have Giardia as the med prescribed for it does not work for that. Checked with a vet up in Ludington that I have used occasionally and they also said same med as the vet from Diamond. The other vet up in Ludington also said that Panacur/safeguard does NOT fix Giardia. I researched what meds to use for this and panacur/safeguard is NOT one for Giardia. My dogs have been through hell for nothing as well as are still contagious to me.  I have used a small forest of paper towel and so many vinyl exam gloves.  My hands are raw and cracked from washing them so much.  The house stinks like bleach from bleach power washing the floors and the food dishes and dog toys.  I have almost no dog beds or blankets left as have had to throw so many away.  I don’t know how much more any of us can take.

The vet from Diamond plans on paying for the vet visit for Chloe and Morag.  Those are the two she wanted seen today as they were both up all night with diarrhea.  She also said she would cover their meds.  She is considering covering the meds for the other 4 as well.  However, I feel that our vet should do the exam for these two and give us the meds for all of them no matter as the original med prescribed was incorrect.  I am going armed with receipts to show that I did buy the med for all the dogs as I got it for five form the feed store and 1 from the vet.  and that she should cover these vet visits as well.  Either way, I am not paying as I don’t have anything to pay with.  I am also going armed with receipts for over $200 alone for chicken, rice, oatmeal, hamburger, paper towel and trash bags to show her what this has cost us.  Unfortunately I don’t ahve receipts for the $45+ of laundry where i had to bleach wash all the rugs including 3 large sheep skins that are supposed to be dry cleaned only.  I am sure that bleach wash and dry shortened the life of those skin rugs considerably.  So we are off to the vet for now.  will have to see if this will work or not.