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Category Archives for Puppy Pix

Clover’s Story – Hello, Fate!

Here, friends, is post #3 (of 5), telling the adoption story of border collie puppy, Clover. When we left off yesterday, I’d just hit SEND on an adoption application to Blue Ridge Border Collie Rescue >>>> You see, the electronic application didn’t just go to the rescue group’s adoption committee or leadership or just to her foster family, it went to EVERY single volunteer in the organization. Everyone saw everything I wrote. Everyone (I suspect) felt the emotion behind Lilly’s loss. Everyone got probably too intimate of a look into my life and into my heart.

That includes a veterinarian (Dr. Beth) who volunteers for the rescue group, who just happens to be really, really good friends with our primary care veterinarian. They went to veterinary school together.

When she saw my application with my veterinarian’s name listed, she essentially told everyone, including some naysayers of the idea of a long-distance adoption, “Let me make a call.”

And, that was the first appearance of fate into the adoption process. Well, maybe the second … if you count me seeing her adoption photo out of the blue on Facebook, the day AFTER I sent the draft of the first book based on Lilly’s life off to beta readers. (I suspect that big step freed my heart in some way.)

Friday morning, I learned about Dr. Beth’s role in our possible adoption approval right before I took Ginko to see our vet. I was anxious to see our vet’s face when she walked into the exam room. I figured I’d know right away if Dr. Beth had called her yet or not. She hadn’t, but when I told our vet the story, showed her puppy pictures, and explained how complicated the adoption logistics might be (early on, I thought I would fly to Virginia and fly back with the puppy), she basically said she would not only give us a glowing recommendation but that she would tell them they should bring the puppy to me.

Pretty good reason for Dr. Beth to come to Colorado and visit her friend. No?

Friday morning, I also learned from Beth (whom we’ve come to call Clover’s “Sister Mom”) that a friend of her cousin lives not far from us and was willing to come do a home visit that weekend. (Yes, I stayed up late and woke up early, scouring the house like a woman possessed.)

To say that Beth and Dr. Beth took on the puppy’s future
like a mission from God is an understatement.
They became our advocates and our logistics partners
and our cheerleaders from that first email until
puppy’s arrival in Denver, Saturday, September 13.

border collie puppy, dog blog, champion of my heart

After spending part of the afternoon at our home Saturday, September 6, talking to us, walking around our property, and meeting Ginko, the rescue’s surrogate site visitors (Teri and John) declared our home “dog heaven” in their official report back.

Throughout the nearly non-stop talks surrounding the possible adoption, I kept saying, “Let me know when we’re officially approved.” It seemed like a done deal, but I really needed someone to say so.

You see, there were 20+ other applications submitted for this puppy – more than any others from the same litter. Beth suspects it’s because her adoption profile said she was the runt.

I’ve dug through my email trail, and I think we finally got the GREEN light to adopt, Sunday, September 7.

That’s when things went wild …



If you missed the earlier parts of the story, here are links:

Clover’s Story – Told in 5 Parts

Clover’s Story – Puppy Adoption Across 1,600 Miles


Clover’s Story – Puppy Adoption Across 1,600 Miles

This is the second of 5 posts, telling the adoption story of border collie puppy, Clover. In this installment, FATE intervenes. As I noted briefly in the announcement of her arrival, The Story of Clover begins with me seeing her photo in my Facebook feed. I read her adoption profile (where they called her Little Meg), and some way, some how, I knew in my heart she was born to be ours.

That was on a Wednesday (September 3). I showed her photo to Tom and asked if I could email the rescue group, which is located some 1,600 miles away in Virginia, to ask if they would even consider a long-distance adoption.

We slept on the idea, and the next morning, Tom gave me the OK, and I sent the email that started everything.

I received a quick reply from Beth, the puppy’s foster mom, who owns / runs a dairy farm in the hills of Virginia. Her note said she was open to the idea, but she wanted to know more about us and our home.

I sent back probably one of the longest emails in the history of dog adoption:

  • Details about our home and where we live, including links to maps and overhead photos of our valley
  • Background on our elderly boy Ginko
  • Specifics about myself and Tom, including how long we’ve been together / married, etc.
  • An overview of our combined experience living with border collies
  • A recap of our life with and loss of Lilly, with links to her obituary and tribute video

I even admitted the following to Beth:

“Honestly, we were NOT planning to start looking
for a puppy / dog to adopt until early 2015,
but I am drawn to Meg’s photo and the description of her temperament.
I very much like a smart / sensitive dog with just enough
ornery to keep things interesting.”

Later that same day, Thursday, September 4, I went ahead and completed the rescue group’s online application. All told, I bet I spent 9-10 hours that day on possible adoption related stuff. My whole body vibrated. I didn’t sleep much.

I wanted to be sure I didn’t get declined for not following the rules, so I hit send on the adoption application and hoped for the best.

border collie puppy, dog blog, champion of my heart

Each step in the process, I kept telling myself, “It’ll work out, if it’s meant to be.” If not, I knew I’d be disappointed, but I hoped I would be OK. I even told them, “I know this is complicated, so if it’s too complicated, just say so.”

Doing that application Thursday evening, it turns out, was the best decision I’ve made in a long time …

If you missed the earlier part of the story, here is a link:

Clover’s Story – Told in 5 Parts


Clover’s Story – Told in 5 Parts

My apologies for the long delay between announcing the arrival of our new puppy September 13 and the official beginning of her story. It turns out that raising a puppy – especially a border collie puppy – is a full-time, full-contact sport that has consumed me.

I’ve also had many work projects and deadlines, including three work trips in five weeks, which is a lot for a girl like me. And, wouldn’t you know it? I got some rotten cold / cough thing during the first trip, and I’ve been coughing ever since – like nine weeks now.

So, between working, coughing, and raising a puppy, I’d get to the end of each day and simply not have the oomph to write.

Plus, when it’s a decision between writing about her or spending time with her, I’m ALWAYS going to choose bonding time. Puppyhood is so important and goes by so fast.

Those who follow the blog almost exclusively on our Champion of My Heart Facebook page have enjoyed puppy photos and puppy updates these last two months. Again, my apologies for not doing so here.

I didn’t want to start telling her story until I felt I could do it justice. Truth? Part of me wondered if I might have to wait until after the first anniversary of Lilly’s death (Dec 17).

I decided that Thanksgiving was a pretty good time to begin The Story of Clover.

That’s what we named her … Clover Lee Hawn. That’s a whole other story, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let’s begin at the beginning in this story of fate multiplied.

dog blog, border collie puppy, champion of my heart

This is the first of 5 posts, telling the story of the 10 days between when I first saw her adoption photo and profile from Blue Ridge Border Collie Rescue and her arrival at our home, September 13.

Big News – New Puppy!

It took 10 days, countless emails and phone calls, a 1500-mile journey, a whole lot of faith and fate, even more luck, and at times seemingly half the population of the Commonwealth of Virginia … but we adopted a puppy from Blue Ridge Border Collie Rescue. She is 15 weeks old, with both beauty and an incredible temperament. Name pending. Welcome home, puppy girl!

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Dog Adoption Fantasy – What it Really Meant

A few weeks ago, a 3-month-old puppy appeared in my Facebook newsfeed. Cue instant yearning — even though I’m nowhere near ready and she was about 900 miles away. I squealed. I shared her pix. My friends encouraged me. Adopt. Adopt. ADOPT, they told me. Something about her face called to me. Something in her eyes beckoned. I convinced myself it meant something.

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Wordless Wednesday – Sister from Another Mother

While we are VERY tempted to adopt this border collie puppy who went missing in our canyon for 8 days this spring, there are many, MANY reasons that is probably NOT the best idea. And, yet, her face and her personality are so much like Lilly’s that I worry about her finding the “right” home. Today … just some pix of OREO. Many of which if you did NOT know better, I’m sure you’d assume were of Lilly.

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Border Collie Puppy Up for Adoption – Colorado!

This is Oreo — the border collie puppy who went missing for 8 days in our canyon recently. She is currently being fostered by one of our neighbors and is up for adoption from Charlie’s Place Shelter in Dumont, Colorado.

I got to meet her in person today (May 25, 2012), and she is awesome. Honestly, I’d adopt her in a second, if the timing were right or we didn’t already have 2 dogs (our limit).

Please help us create a social media blitz so that Oreo can find her forever home! Video with photos and a clip of her playing fetch below.


6 months old

female / spayed

smooth coat border collie / mix

border collie puppy up for adoption Charlie's Place Shelter Dumont  Colorado May 2012

Oreo says, "Adopt me. Won't you?"

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Squee Alert – Video – Border Collie Puppies

These tri-color, smooth coat border collie puppies were born at Valdemar Farm in Fort Lupton, Colorado (where we take herding lessons). The litter is jokingly known as “Big Head Todd and the Monsters.”

This is Big Head Todd. His head really isn’t *that* big. It just looks bigger because it’s all white.

best dog blog, champion of my heart, borrder collie puppy with white head

We made a little puppy tribute video to all the “monsters” (5 boys, 1 girl). I should have been more methodical in my picture-taking. I’m not sure I show each puppy individually, and I’m pretty sure I show some more than once in the video. BUT, I just picked the pictures I liked best.

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