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Adopt a Senior

28 May

blog 262It started out over a year and a half now with a friend who’s wife was in the hospital. I was friends with the wife for 6 years and found out he had lost his driver’s license because of his first signs of memory loss.  I volunteered to drive him to visit his wife whenever he wanted to go.  I then discovered like most men in their 80’s that the wife did all the cooking and he was trying his best.  So it became that I visited him twice a week and cooked supper for him and left him with dinner for 2 nights each time. One night he asked me if I could stay for dinner with him as he found it lonely to eat alone and no one to have tea with after dinner. So I did ,twice a week. Eventually his wife of 60 plus years passed away and he was a lost soul, devastated that he had lost his soul mate…..and soul mates they were.  They were like two little love birds right to the end. He would visit her as she laid in her hospital bed , holding her hand and telling her about his day.  I am sure she could hear him although there was not a stir in her body.

After she passed away and the girls were home from out west for the funeral we had a family meeting. The girls asked me if I could take care of their Dad as he wanted to stay in his home for as long as he could. I was going to be paid now and it was “a job” now. I spent about ten to twelve hours a week with him. Cleaning his house, doing his laundry, cooking dinners, taking him out shopping, paying his bills, doing his banking and going out for meals with him. Basically I was doing all the things a daughter would do only I was getting paid and he wasn’t my Dad.

When you are 89 years old you don’t have many friends left.  He has since had to go to a retirement home which he has accepted to living there now  and is doing well. It has made my life easier as I don’t have to worry about him when I am not with him. I still spend about 10 hours a week with him taking him out for lunch or dinner and a nice drive each time and still looking after everything else.

I have convinced his former neighbour to join us on our “Saturday outings.” She is about 85 and has no family at all here. We have so much fun on our outings and go to a different place to eat every week. They both have wicked sense of humours and we laugh sometimes until tears start. The three of us now have a special bond and we consider ourselves “family” and look forward to our Saturday adventures and with me in control of the car and my no sense of directions ,,,they are sometimes a real adventure.

I feel for both of these seniors and not to blow my own horn but if I hadn’t stepped up to the plate both of these lovely wonderful ,story telling people, would be sitting alone both in their home and the retirement home.  They have so many stories to tell us and so happy to be taken out. Living alone you miss the hugs and the feeling that someone cares about you and having someone that you can care about. The three of us have that now.

I really realized this today as we got out of the car and walked to the door of the restaurant. As I looked back to make sure they were ok walking , there they were, arm in arm walking with their canes and chatting away as the best friends they have become. It brought tears to my eyes as I saw the happiness that our Saturday trips were bringing.

The Pastor who lives at the end of my street last week stopped me while walking my dog. He wanted to know how I was doing and if there was anything he could do for me and if he could say a prayer for me.  He caught me off guard as I wasn’t expecting such a powerful question.  I said he could ( hoping he would pray for my golf games.) and that everything was good and that I just got back from taking my senior friend out and we had such a good time out.  He looked at me and asked me if I thought my friend got more satisfaction from us spending time together or if I benefitted more from our relationship.

I smiled at him and told him I knew that he was grateful for our friendship but I knew it was me who was the winner of this one.

So my point is that if you have the time, please consider “adopting a senior”. There are so many lonely seniors with no family who would love to have your company, if only for a few hours a week.  I compare it the same as being a blood donor…..”It’s in you to give then give” so please give your heart and time to a senior….make the time, you won’t regret it.

cheers.

K

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Foster Fail 101

16 Jan

Foster Fail 101

I have been a Foster  Mom for The Collie Rescue Network for the past 12 years.  It has been so rewarding and at the same time so heart wrenching.   Some of my fosters were with me for only 2 weeks and the longest was 14 months.  What made me decide to foster??  I had a Blue Merle older puppy and I wanted to see if he needed a companion so thought this was the best way to test the waters. I mean if it didn’t work out “no problem” , the dog was going to be adopted to another home right?  Well that didn’t work out.  Isadora was my first foster and I failed fostering 101.  She was nine years old when she came as a foster. She was an “old ” nine year gal. Full of arthritis and slow moving.  Well a few weeks taking Glucosamine and the job of mothering a puppy she suddenly felt she had a job to do and perked right up. The change in her was amazing and she fit right in with Antrim, my cats and me.

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So we became a family of five.  Being a member of Collie Rescue Network (CRN)  I knew there were others that needed fostering.  To me it’s like being a blood donor…if you can do it then you should .  So my next foster came and stayed for about 2 months.

People say “how can you give them up, I couldn’t do what you do.”….Well the CRN really screens adoptive parents.  Some people who apply object to this and say they can go to the pound and get a dog without all the hassle.  Well we want the best for our Collies and them to have the Furever home they deserve.  These wonderful dogs come to our Rescue for different reasons.  I really don’t like the word “rescue” as to me it implies they have been saved from a bad situation .  This is not always true thank goodness.  Some of my fosters have been surrendurd  by their owners because they were moving to other provinces, they lost their jobs, their owner passed away or they did come from a bad situation.  The great thing is that they DID come to CRN where they were put in a foster home where they could receive whatever care they needed and stayed in a family environment  to be assessed to their likes and dislikes.  They are looked after like a family member and we learn every thing we can about them eg: cat friendly, dog friendly , any aggression issues, how they are with kids, how obedient are they etc.

To adopt one of CRN Collies you must first fill out an application to adopt and if you are interested in a particular Collie you state your interest in it.  Next you are contacted by our adoption co-ordinator . Then a conversation with the foster parent is arranged and any questions either side has are answered.  Next CRN arranges a home inspection to check out the possible new home for safety, who all lives there, are there children, other animals. where will the Collie be in the house etc.   If the home inspection goes well and all parties are satisfied then sometimes if it’s possible a “meet and greet”is arranged.

If that goes well and it’s a match we have another success story to tell.  There is an adoption fee which goes to CRN and no we don’t make money on “selling” Collies”. All of these Collies are Vet checked and up to date on shots.  Some that come to the rescue need major Vet care like my last foster’s vet bills came to $1500.00. CRN operates through donations and fund raisers.

So how can I give these dogs up after loving them and nurturing them ???? I can because I know they have been matched up with what we think is the perfect home.  The adopter also has to sign paperwork that if their situation changes they must give the Collie back to CRN.  So you see we try to find their Furever home…..not just any home.

I have now fostered 14 wonderful Collies and have loved every one of them but by knowing they were going to a great home I was able to “let them go” to make room for the next Collie who much needed a foster home.

Yes I failed my first fostering by adopting her but we say that failing in fostering is a good failing…and I am happy to say I have failed again on my 14 foster. Jessie is 10 and was in sad shape when she came to me 2 months ago. She needed healing and could not walk around the block and could hardly get up my 6 stairs. She also was a Blue Merle and looked so much like my beloved Antrim who has passed.  With a lot of loving, proper diet and a little meds she can now go around the block 5 times a day and the stairs are no problem at all.  It has been amazing to see how far she has come in such a short time and I couldn’t part with her because I want to be a big part in seeing just how far she can go.  Sometimes you just get one that steels your heart!  It doesn’t mean you still can’t foster…..she loves other dogs.Welcome to your Furever home Jessie….

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Collie Rescue and Canadian Tire Money

1 Mar

I know I posted this before but it is ongoing…thanks

Ok all Peeps and Followers  … pay attention.   Some of you know I have worked with the Collie Rescue of Canada for about 10 years now.  This is an amazing organization with such hard working volunteer men and women.  We work primary with Rough and Smooth Collies only as you do have to draw the line but occasionally a cross sneaks in like my dear foster who I have now. Coby is a cross between a Border and Rough Collie who was in a shelter for SIX months up north. She finally found her way to the Collie Rescue and has been my foster girl up for adoption ever since and will be at my house till she gets adopted.  People who can not look after their Collie anymore for any reason (life happens)  can surrender their pet to the Collie Rescue and they are put in a loving foster home until they get adopted. Some dogs have an unfortunate life and have been seized from their owner.  They match up the foster home with the foster dog to make things go smoothly.  We are always short of foster homes so if you think you would like to do it please contact us.  Some of our fosters have multiple dogs because of this need. You never know how long you will have the foster . I have had them as short as 2 weeks and Coby has been my longest at 8 months. A lot of us fail fostering 101 and fall in love with our foster and end up adopting them.  So if you have any questions about fostering please contact us.

BUT…

That is not the total reason for this blog….. The exciting  news is that the Collie Rescue is accepting Canadian Tire Money .  Everyone has some sitting in their cupboard somewhere.  Who ever remembers to redeem it eh???  We use it to buy the much needed collars, leashes, bedding and dog food. Most dogs come with nothing and these things are necessary.  My great friends have given me what they found in their cupboards and to date I have been able to send $158  to the Collie Rescue.. It’s amazing how fast those 5 an 10 cent coupons add up .

So please check your stashes and donate it to the Collie Rescue of Canada… we would really appreciate it.

I have attached pictures of my “Foster Kids” that I have helped through their journey of life over my 10 years with them… I will admit I failed my first fostering and ended up adopting my sweet Isadora.

 

My current foster Coby

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Blaze , my Smooth Coated foster

 

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Laddie

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Lady

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Luna. what a little lady

 

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Randy

 

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Napoleon

 

 

 

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Misty and her sister

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Cassie who was a real sweetie and never let her total blindness stop her from being a playful dog.

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Shine

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Jack was a big boy….such a gentle giant.

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And my dearest sweet Isadora who was my first foster who I adopted myself as a companion for my Antrim.

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How about pink??

4 Feb

I finished the green socks and really like them ……hmmmm what to do next?? Hey I had a ball of varigated pink so decided to do a pink pair… I think I like them more than the green.  Which ones do you like best??

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Growing Old

10 Jan

As most of you know I just had my 60th birthday on January 5.  Turning a new decade is different than just any birthday.  I know I am older on paper but don’t feel older inside.  I am still a working girl and have my own home business doing manicures and pedicures. Until my business grows to suit my lifestyle I clean houses in between.  Half of my clients are seniors.  I don’t usually work on Saturdays but my week was crazy so I did two of my senior’s places today.  The first was a lady that I go to every 2 weeks.  We have made it a routine that I sit and have a coffee with her to start and she wants to know everything that happened to me since she saw me last. We have a real good visit and then I clean her house.  We have become friends and she  considers me “family” . I have been going to her place for 3 years now. The second place I went to was a gentleman’s and I have been going to their place going on 5 years now.  I have seen many changes with his wife and him.  Several years ago it was touch and go with his health.  He rebounded and will be 89 this year.  His wife recently took ill and was in the hospital for quite sometime and is now in a nursing home in another town.  When I arrived he asked me if I could sit for a minute before I started cleaning.  So we sat and talked about different things that were going on around town.  I then cleaned his house and did his dishes and laundry. He is one of those men that didn’t do housework or cooking as his wife looked after all that.  He is not about to start doing it at his age.  Don’t get me wrong he is all for 50/50 and is a very nice man. His wife just enjoyed doing that part and it has worked for them all the  70 years they have been married.  But now he spends his days at the nursing home visiting her and evenings home alone.  He also is not allowed to drive anymore which makes his life even more sad.  I didn’t know he couldn’t drive anymore until I was almost leaving and he was almost not going to say anything.  I told him to put on his coat and I would drive him to the nursing home to see his wife.  He asked me if he could stay for an hour to visit if that was ok with me.  I asked him how long did he usually stay and he said sometimes all day when he could drive himself as she found the days long in the nursing home and he found his days so lonely with out her company. I made up an excuse that I had “things to do” and if he would mind if I dropped him off and picked him up 3 hours later.  A big smile was on his face and he said “are you sure”???    As it is a 1/2 hour drive from my place that gave me just enough time to drive home and put my feet up for a while before driving back to pick him up. He talked on the way home telling me that it just sucks getting old , feeling crappy sometimes and losing your driver’s licence and how he hated his wife being in the nursing home but realizes he can’t care for her at home.   I didn’t  respond to his statements but just listened as he talked the whole way home. I went in with him and we sat for a bit more.  He poured a drink for himself and offered me one. (as I was driving I declined)  He asked me if I could come every week instead of every 2 weeks. I told him yes and I would take him to the nursing home as often as I could . Also to make a grocery list and we could pick up things on our way home anytime.  Monday will be our next visit to the nursing home.

Yes some things suck getting older. But I wouldn’t want the alternative.  So my point is…. seniors are people too with the same feelings we have inside.  They are often lonely but are too proud or shy to admit they need help or maybe just a visit and a hug.  My one 98 year old lady who still lives in her own apartment and I clean and do her laundry every 2 weeks always has some sort of baking and a cup of tea for me when I am done .  Is this a way of keeping me there longer???? You betcha. I told her one day that I only drink tea when I am with her and it is so nice to have someone make you a cup…….her quick response was ….” I think a cup of tea tastes better if you have someone to share it with”…..  I couldn’t agree more with her… so take the time if you know a senior who is alone.  It will do wonders for both of you.

Fall trees

28 Sep

These beautiful trees are just down a couple of blocks from me.  The camera doesn’t really show the almost fluorescent orange of the big tree. It is just stunning. If you click on the picture to make it bigger it gives you more of the true colour of this tree.

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My Foster Girl

22 Sep

My foster girl Coby is still looking for her furever home…  She loves running and playing ball in a fenced yard.  Coby also has lots of manners and is very cuddly and can be totally trusted in a home…. no counter surfing at all.  Pass the word.

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Coby.. my new foster girl

19 Jul
Here are some pics of Coby. Coby is a Border Collie/Rough Collie mix. She is about 45 to 50 pounds.  Except for her leash craziness which we are working on here is what I think of her.
Coby is a very friendly and cuddly girl of almost 10 years old but you would think she was 3.  She loves to play fetch and has no problems with stairs.  She does not act or look her age. She is cat friendly to cats that are dog savvy but she may chase one to play if they are not used to dogs. Because of her collie playing I wouldn’t recommend her to be placed with kids as she really gets excited playing and may do the collie nip which some folks may take as biting. She follows me everywhere in the house and just wants to be with you.  She loves being cuddled and petted. She is totally housetrained and can be trusted loose in the house.  I have never needed to crate her.She very seldom barks unless someone knocks on the door . She is very friendly to everyone that comes to my house. She loves the men!! She is just an all around sweetheart
cheers
Kerry.
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Fostering….It’s a priviledge.

29 Jun

As some of you know I have been a foster mom with the Collie Rescue of Canada for the past 8 years.  Some of my friends and family don’t understand why I do it. I feel blessed that I have had experience in dog training and have had Collies in my life for 42 years now. Most people like to help out people in life . My outlet is helping Collies. I just love Collies and think they are the best. It has been so rewarding to give these wonderful Collies a safe and loving home until they find their forever home.   I really don’t like the word “Rescue” as to me it implies that perhaps the dog coming was “abused”  some people  are afraid of volunteering to be a foster parent. It’s true that some have not had an easy life but most of mine were surrendered to the Collie Rescue because their owner’s life situation had drastically changed and they could no longer look after their friend.  Perhaps a death of the owner , moving , or just hard times and can no longer afford the proper care.  Sure some poor older dogs are just “dumped”  .  As a foster parent it is not our place to judge the reason but to just accept it and give the poor dog the best home they can have while waiting for their “forever” home for as long as it takes. Sometimes this will only take a couple of weeks but sometimes longer. The dog stays with you until it gets adopted unless there is a problem . The Collie rescue looks after all the vet bills and I pay for the food. I failed my first fostering.  I was fostering an older dog “Isadora”.  She had been with me for 3 months and sometimes it just takes longer to find that special family that would like to adopt an older dog.  My Blue Merle “Antrim” became so bonded with her and so did I so she stayed .  Others came and went.  How do you let a foster go???  I have been asked this so many times.  The Collie Rescue really screens the family who want to adopt your foster and makes sure it is a good match before everything is final . I have seen an adopter refused before so feel comfortable letting them go . Also it makes a much needed space for the next foster.  Fostering is so rewarding knowing that you have helped a needy dog along his or her life journey.  If you like dogs please consider fostering .  The Collie Rescue tries hard to match the foster dog with your family so it’s easy for everyone. There are all sorts of “Rescues” and homes are needed.  It’s so nice for a dog to go into foster care and be with a family instead of a cold and lonely shelter…. remember most of these dogs were someone’s pet at one time and they are terrified in a shelter by themselves. They have been “plucked away” from their home and don’t understand why.  In my opinion a dog from a rescue that has been in foster care is the perfect dog to adopt as they just want to be with a loving family and be treated like a family member so they seem to try harder.  Please consider fostering and if you have any questions please just ask me…And if you are not able to foster please consider any donation of money.  The Collie Rescue operates on it’s own through some fund raising and mostly donations.  All Collies that come to our rescue get fully vetted  and neutered before adopting. The average cost per dog for this is about $700.  Some can be more , some can be less. The adoption fee of $350 only covers a portion of this as you can see. Any donation is always appreciated.

cheers

Kerry

 

The Merle was my boy Antrim and Isadora the Sable was my first foster .  I failed fostering 101 and ended up adopting her as she just fit into my family so well.

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These are pics of some of my fosters over the past 8 years……They were all lovely Collies and went to wonderful homes.

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Friday’s toes…

6 Jun

Playing around with some colours today… lots of fun at Antrimlea Nails.

Call to make your toes happy….. 705 632 1911

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