Great Lakes Border Collie Rescue
Great Lakes Border Collie Rescue
Keifer Gender: Male
Age: Adult
Foster Home: Patty, then Donna

Update: Keifer was adopted in March, 2004.

Keifer's Story

It was a quiet, clean and dry place. He had plenty of food and water - and he was never mistreated. There was no traffic to contend with, no crowds, no biting insects or disturbances. Kiefer's life was indeed a quiet place. His life was confined to the basement. He was born in the basement, and his elderly owner decided to keep him. All the other puppies left, his mother eventually was gone too, and then it was just Kiefer… all alone in the basement.

He was not allowed upstairs for fear that he would have "accidents," and Kiefer didn't really mind that much because his owner loved him dearly and came downstairs to spend time with him. But eventually, age began to creep in on his beloved owner, and the journey downstairs became more and more difficult.

Kiefer's whole world centered around his master and now he was lonely. He began calling for his master to come and spend some time with him. This is when the neighbors began to complain about the barking, and Animal Control came to investigate.

GLBCR was called to come and visit with the gentleman, who now had come to realize that he could not care for Kiefer anymore. He would not think of sending Kiefer to a shelter. This would be a very difficult thing for a dog who had never been outside.

Kiefer stood with his front paws on his master's lap and his tail wagged non stop. He was so happy to be with his master - who oddly, was shedding tears of grief. Today was the day that Kiefer would be leaving him forever. He loved Kiefer and he would miss him greatly… and he would now be alone too. Our volunteer bought a brand new collar and leash for Kiefer, and asked the owner if he would like to keep Kiefer's old collar. In a flood of tears, the old collar became the connection, and Kiefer came into rescue. We hope that the collar will retain the pleasant memories of Kiefer and the elderly gentleman can have peace in his heart knowing that Kiefer is safe and will learn all kinds of new things.

Kiefer stepped outside for the first time in his life and discovered what a very large world it is. He now had the chance to actually be a "dog." Initially he was terrified and found it difficult to even move. But after a few days of the Peace & Quiet routine, Kiefer began to adjust.

It was interesting to discover that Kiefer had no concept of day or night. And Kiefer was soon thrilled with having the wind blow across his face. He ducks when birds fly overhead, and he loves lying in the grass. The smells and sights are wondrous, little bugs, watching the other dogs run and play, people of all ages and sizes. What an amazing world it is outside the basement! Kiefer had his first car ride, and the expression on his face said it all. Oh, to be able to read his mind then.

September 29

Kiefer is very overwhelmed. He ducks when birds fly overhead. I gave him a couple days of peace and quiet. Last night I introduced Casper and Tiny to him, my good little doggie ambassadors. Casper tried to get him to play, but he just looked at her like she's crazy. Tonight he met the rest of the pack. He has been living on canned Alpo. His coat is a mess, and I am itching to groom him, but that's just going to have to wait.

Tonight, I sat on the breezeway floor with him. I had to pull on his leash to get him close, but I finally let him sniff me, then I started petting him. When I just got done letting him out a few minutes ago, the little tip of his tail ever so slightly wagged when I talked to him, even though it was tucked under his tummy. He's a long lanky guy, and still intact. He's going to have to start from scratch, this guy.

September 30

Kiefer had his vet visit today. I couldn't stand his matts and fuzz any longer, I just HAD to try to brush him a little. I started brushing his back, he pushed his butt into me and arched his back, ooh it felt sooo good! I got the biggest hunks off his back, then opened the hatch of my VW. I was thinking I would have to open the side door, lace his leash in and drag him into the car but he hopped right in and laid down on the blankie.

At the vet, Kiefer was the biggest dog in the waiting room. There were several little tiny dogs in there, and he was the best behaved of the bunch. He just sat and leaned on me the whole time. In the exam room, he was very brave. I was worried, but he took all his shots and let Dr. Kooney draw blood for the heartworm test.

When we got home, I got the slicker back out and finished getting all the matts out of his pants and tail. OK, I thought to myself, he's ready to come and start getting used to the house and the other dogz. He loves my kitties, he adores Peewee. He's just hanging around like he's always lived here. Scared to death of toys. He's come a long, long way since he came here, scared and growley. He's very attentive.

Kiefer gets neutered and a dental on 10/8. His teeth are coated with dark brown tartar from the canned Alpo he was being fed at his first home. Even in this short time, I'm starting to see a shine in his coat and tomorrow night comes the *B*A*T*H*

November 11

Patty brought Keifer to my house tonight. He had pooped in the crate & then thrown up in her car. He is very shy. Patty recommended keeping his leash on him even in the crate, with the end out the door so I would not have to reach into the crate to get him out. She said she had not had any real problems with him but had tested him with the fake hand when he had a bone. He had growled but not attempted to bite. He stayed by Patty but would come take a treat out of my hand. Kept him in crate for night.

November 12

Let him out to go potty in the am before work. Did not eat his food. Took food away before I left for work. After work I let Jolea out to go potty then took Keifer out of his crate to take him outside. He ignores Jolea. Fed him and he ate most of it in 15 mins. Then let him go outside by himself to wander and observed through the window. When I brought him in he ran straight to his crate. I left the door open & went about my nightly chores ( ignoring him) Went to church, when I came back I let Jolea out then opened Keifers crate door. I had left the outside door open they use to go outside. He went straight outside, did his potty and came right back in and went to his crate. Left door open. I turned the tv on and watched as he would come out of his crate and check things out then run right back to his crate. I'm still ignoring him except to let him out & feed him. He is taking treats from my hand as he goes in and out of his crate.

November 13

Keifer has started exploring the house. Up and down the stairs. He is more interested in what I am doing with Jolea. We were playing ball. He was out of his crate watching. Tonight as I watched tv I felt a nose go under my hand and Jolea was laying on the floor. Good Keifer, he wants to be petted.

November 14

Tonight I left him out of his crate & let him come to the bedroom for the night. I keep my door closed at night. I put a blanket on the floor by my bed for him. He did some pacing but settled on the blanket and stayed there all night.

November 15

I was home all day so I had plenty of time to spend with the dogs. Keifer has become a velcro dog. Everywhere I go he goes. He has not had any accidents in the house. He is very attentive to me and if he is not following me he is following Jolea. My girlfriend came over to get me to go out tonight. She came early so she could meet Keifer. Jolea ran to the door to greet her & Keifer watched from the top of the steps. Soon he went down to her and gave a few sniffs the ran back upstairs. Down he went again this time to get closer for more sniffs. I went down and we sat down in the kitchen. It didn't take him long to get a pet from her.

Novewmber 17

Took him to flyball practice with us. He did just fine. Everyone gave him time to make the first move & he accepted pets from everyone. He thinks it is a fine place. He gets lots of treats.

November 20

He has now started to play tug with Jolea. It's time for me to start looking for his forever home. I could easily keep him. He is such a sweet boy & no trouble at all. He just needs someone who will be patient & have lots of love for him.

November 23

Yes he knows his name. I have not really tried to add commands for him. He is a dog that needs to go very slowly. I have worked on building his trust and confidence. He is now playing with Jolea and running in the backyard with her. I will be adding some new things this week. He will need to be placed very carefully. If you try to push things on him to fast he will back off. He takes careful handling. He is ready for a forever home & he is at the point that he thinks this is it. ; ) The real turning point came for him when he one day laid down on the floor but with his head up. Jolea walked over to him and laid down beside him. Then she laid her head over on his back. You could see him relax. First he laid his head on the floor. She then took her head off him as if to say "see it's ok" then she laid her head back on him and he just totally relaxed and stretched out. After a few minutes she got up and so did he. Later I saw his take a tug toy that she had and start to tug. It is such a joy to watch him come out of his shell.