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May 4, 2015

On May 27, Clover will be a year old — if you can believe it. To me, it seems WAY too soon, but we did adopt her at nearly 4 months old in September 2014 from Blue Ridge Border Collie Rescue, so that shortened our personal timeline. In advance of her birthday, I figured it was time to tell Clover’s Origin Story, to borrow a phrase from the comic book world (where it’s revealed how any superpowers came about).

clover, champion of my heart, dog blog, border collie puppy

The truth is that I put off writing this post because the reporter in me wanted to confirm some of the details about how Clover ended up in rescue at such a young age. I wanted to be sure I was fair and accurate in the use of certain words to describe her early circumstances. For a couple of months, it looked like I might even be able to get questions to and answers from the person who bred and relinquished Clover, but all that fell apart after Thanksgiving.

Here’s why …

Clover came from a hoarding situation …

There I said it.

I originally planned to call it a “quasi-hoarding” situation since Clover’s litter (and 2 other litters, I’m told) were indeed relinquished to the rescue group. As you may know, true dog hoarders almost never give up dogs willingly. 

I’ve since learned that the group of more than 15-20 puppies taken into rescue in late August  / early September 2014 had been dubbed “Puppygate.”

Clover came from the youngest litter rescued. This photo is, I believe, of some of the puppies from one of the older litters. They have a similar look, though. The one in the middle looks a LOT like Clover, but the rear feet are not right. She has one rear foot with almost no white at all.

Though … a couple of the ones in the middle do look like Clover’s littermates with whom we are in contact.

border collie puppies running, champion of my heart, dog blog

So, why have I stopped saying quasi-hoarding situation?

Here is the rescue group’s newsletter article about Clover coming to Colorado. As you can see, the article below that talks about the remainder of the dogs being seized — truly seized by animal control — on December 6, 2014. The rescue group calls it hoarding, so I guess I can too.

That article says in part, “… A woman who lost her job, had her house foreclosed on, and had a breeding operation that morphed into a hoarding situation…”

BRBCR article, puppygate, hoarding, border collie puppies running

So, there you have it … 

  • Clover was intentionally bred.
  • The breeder gave up a bunch of puppies in August.
  • The breeder lost the remaining dogs in December, including Clover’s parents.

I had hoped to get some medical information about her parents, including at what age Clover’s mom first went into heat (since that might help us figure out what’s going on here), but once the remaining 28 dogs were seized, I felt like I lost my chance to ask. After all this person has lost, I didn’t want to pile on.

We don’t know what happened to Clover’s parents. We only know that they did NOT get brought to the rescue group from which we adopted her. Another group may have taken them, but 8 of the 28 were euthanized. I pretend that her parents were not among those 8 because it makes me too sad to think otherwise.

Let’s not hate …

Before anyone goes posting snide comments about this breeder, I want to say that I truly wish her the best as she puts her life back together. None of us know all the details, and none of us fully understand her situation, but I can imagine that it has been devastating for her.

Clover is an amazing puppy, and I’m so grateful she is alive and well and in my life. I’m thankful that she turned these puppies over to rescue before conditions on the farm worsened. I’ve been told the breeder is a veterinarian and possibly faced some serious health issues, but I’ve not been able to confirm that, and the articles in the rescue group’s newsletter don’t say.

I suppose there is a chance she might read this, so I want to say, “THANK YOU!”

Rising from the crowd …

Clover’s foster mom, Beth, told me early on that Clover was BY FAR the smallest puppy taken in and that her “runt” status garnered 20 adoption applications. She had not planned on fostering any of the puppies. Beth simply went to help bathe them on arrival, but Clover’s tiny stature and sweet-sweet disposition won her over. So, Beth brought her home and was instrumental in our adoption application being approved. 

As for superpowers? Clover is:

  • Unrelentingly happy
  • So sweet it almost hurts

You think there is a special cape for that?

About the Author Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related.

I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

  1. As much as dogs remind us to live in the present, there is something that drives many of us (myself included) to learn all we can about their pasts. Ruby’s is mostly a mystery but I have quite a bit of information about Boca. I admire your grace in thanking the fates and even the breeder for their role in bringing Clover home.

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