Great Lakes Border Collie Rescue
Great Lakes Border Collie Rescue

Gender: Male
Age: 5 Years
Height/Weight: 22" / 60 lbs
House-trained: Yes
Fenced yard required: Yes
Location: Mid-Michigan
Foster Home: Pam and Roberta
Crate-trained: Yes
Treat-motivated: Depends
Toy-motivated: No
Likes Car Rides:
Good with cats: Tolerant
Good with kids: Yes
Commands: Kennel-up, sit, down, quiet (sorta). He is very intuitive

November, 2014: My first day at work it was 3 hours my new mom made me go to meeting then I got go to rooms got some beds lots of fun I love my new job. I don't mine grooming if I get do that. I have ID and cool vest. Thanks for finding my new parents.


October, 2014: "Kota acts as if he's lived here all his life.

Kota's Snoopy impression.

We are delighted to report that Kota was adopted in September, 2014. Here he is with his new family!

This one is HUGE, due to the power of facebook and Kota's story he has found an amazing family! Alice read about Kota and found herself hitting the submit button on the bottom of our application for adoption. After corresponding for the past few months with Kota's foster, it was determined that this was a GREAT possiblity for Kota. Alice and Kirk are involved in search and rescue and were at Camp Atterbury for a SAR training weekend, so Pam and Deb, GLBCR volunteers, packed up the van and made a trip for an extended meet and greet. Well you can see from the pictures it all went well, and DING DING DING.....that's the adoption bell ringing for our very special, hard working Kota. WOOT WOOT!! Happy Tails Kota, we are sure there are many great things to come for you!!

Here's Kota on the treadmill at his final physical therapy appointment! Doesn't he look great?

Here are a few shots of Kota trying out his new prosthesis!

"Is that a rabbit? I'm pretty sure that's a rabbit!"

Kota's Big Day!

In mid-June, Kota was fitted for his prosthetic front leg.

"Thank you, Dr. Kern!"

Here he is in action!

Kota joined the GLBCR Booth Crew at the 2014 Dog Bowl in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Clearly, being an Amabassador Dog is hard work!

Kota was a Social Butterfly Supreme at the Dog Bowl! I don't think there was ANYone he backed away from or was afraid of! He would happily lay on the grass with anyone willing to spend a little up close and personal time. Even if they hadn't planned to, Kota would make sure they wanted to stay with him longer.

After the Dog Bowl, it is clear Kota is good with pretty much everyone. Age, size, color, gender all don't matter to him.

I want everyone to know that Kota IS ready for adoption. Unlike other foster dogs, Kota will have a list of requirements for his future forever home:
* committed to Kota & his prosthesis, honoring the necessary visits to the rehab vet for rechecks, adjustments, and therapy. Kota has started his therapy process with Dr Tari Kern of Pawsitive Steps Rehab for Pets in Rochester Hills, MI, but IF the potential adopter demonstrates there is a Rehab specific vet familiar with working with prosthetics near to them, that can work, too.
* Kota's new owner will need to commit to as many GLBCR booths as possible (DKC, Winter Dog Show cluster in Novi, Dog Bowl, Highland Games...) so everyone can see Kota and can experience his story and get a first-hand look at his prosthetic process, as well as the good a rescue organization like GLBCR can do for a dog like him.
* Because of Kota's unique (and expensive!) situation, Kota's adoption fee may range higher. This fee will not even approach the costs that GLBCR has incurred while in our care, but more so it will reflect in a concrete way the further commitment his new owner will have for Kota as well as GLBCR.
* Kota's new owner can most certainly be empathetic towards his past and his story, and can VERY much be in love with his overall handsomeness. BUT! Kota is a dog who, if given freedoms he wasn't intended to have, will take advantage of his liberties, and at that time he could become a spoiled brat with teeth to back up his spoiled-ness. Kota must have clear rules and clear/fair boundaries set for him. Ultimately, Kota, at this time in his life, does *not* need pity, nor should his new owner show him they "feel sorry for him". What happened in his past can only be speculated, but the fact is what happened is IN HIS PAST. The new owner should remember that but not dwell on that.

Kota doesn’t realize it, but he was in the right place at the right time. He thought life was fine on the Amish farm; after all, he spent his first 5 years of life there, and as far as he was concerned, everything was good. He knew no other life, so he had nothing to compare his life to.

He wasn’t allowed into the house; in fact, any time he got near the house, he was yelled at. On the other hand, there was plenty for a Border Collie to do. He got to chase the milk truck that came daily to collect the day’s milk. There were other fun things to chase, too. One day, though, he was chasing the straight-line mower that was being pulled by the team of horses, and OWWWW! Long story short, he lost his right leg just above his “wrist” when he was 3 yrs old. From what GLBCR knows, he continued to live on the Amish farm for another 2 years. My guess is his herding instinct and prey drive – even with 3 legs! – annoyed his owners enough to land him into the local shelter.

THAT is where GLBCR became involved.

There is a wonderful & vigilant group of “BC spotters”, and GLBCR is lucky to include several of them within our ranks. Kota appeared on the “radar” of one of them, and a very short time later Kota started his new life and a new journey.

Since he wasn’t neutered, that was the first thing that was addressed, along with bringing him up to date on his veterinary needs. This phase of Kota’s journey was going just fine…until it wasn’t. What appeared to be normal post-surgical swelling turned out to be an abscess that caused Kota’s temperature to spike to 105! Off to ER he went, and the day after he had surgery to relieve the abscess, put a drain in, and start him on antibiotics. This unexpected turn of events ended up costing $1700.00. Yikes!


As if this wasn’t enough, Kota’s new life was again jumbled up when he was transported to another foster (Pam) who could address the medical aspect of his recovery.

Kota’s need for medical care didn’t last long at all. Healing was quick, and the swelling quickly resolved, which allowed me to remove his dressing and his drain.

NOW, we all could concentrate on Kota’s real need: his absent right front leg. His leg isn’t completely gone; just his foot and his carpus (wrist) is gone. He does fairly OK with just 3 legs, and he does use his “stump” as a rudder and for balance. I’ve even seen him put it down to help balance and steady his front end. He is “used to” dealing with life the way he is. Because it is his front leg that is missing, Kota is forced to put all of his front-end weight onto just his left foreleg. Dogs carry about 60% of their weight on their front ends, so the amount of weight and pressure his left foreleg must handle is incredible. If it was a rear leg Kota didn’t have, we probably wouldn’t be looking to fix that, because dogs can get along quite well with just one rear leg.

After researching all possible avenues, I decided to take Kota to Dr. Tari Kern, who is a rehabilitation veterinarian at Pawsitive Steps Rehab for Pets in Rochester Hills, MI. Kota’s evaluation appointment took about an hour and a half, where Dr. Kern took video of Kota walking, measured his legs, measured his flexion and extension of his legs, among other thorough measurements. During much of the exam Kota was required to just lay on an exercise mat, which could not have been more enjoyable for him! He soaked up all of the gentle massages Dr. Kern’s two assistants gave him. I swear he must’ve been drooling, too! Kota often will get cranky if he is handled in a way he doesn’t like, so I put a muzzle on him for the appointment – just in case. It wasn’t long into the exam that I removed it, though! As Kota’s evaluations were completed, Dr. Kern explained all of her findings and measurements, and told me she felt Kota would be a good candidate for a prosthetic device. She also explained the potential costs, which, with the castings taken for the prosthesis, the rehab visits (to teach Kota how to use his new leg), the prosthesis itself, and rechecks, would probably approach $2500.00.

Dr. Kern needed to share all of her findings with the people at OrthoPet in Colorado, where Kota’s new prosthesis will be made. When she called me a few days later, everything she explained I expected. EXCEPT. (not THAT word again!) Since GLBCR was not provided with information about Kota’s traumatic amputation, we don’t know what kind of veterinary attention (or even IF there was any at all!) the amputation received. Both OrthoPet and Dr. Kern recommended that Kota have an additional surgery (oh no!) to smooth the bone end as well as to add tissue to the bone end to help with padding when Kota wears his leg.

Sigh, again...

Soooo….I called several specialty practices, and I got rough estimates (I had to beg it out of them without having them see the dog!!) of anywhere from $2500.00 to $3500.00. WHAT? I talked with my ex-boss, who, although he isn’t an orthopedic specialist, wondered where the surgeon would find the tissue to pad the bone end since the injury was at least 2 years old, and ligaments, muscle, and any tissue had all retracted back & atrophied. That question sounded plausible to me, so I called Dr. Kern about this and asked. She agrees this is a reasonable question, and this is where everything stands, right now. Dr. Kern is speaking to OrthoPet (where some are not there because of Easter), and she will be leaving shortly to go to a seminar, too. Hopefully we’ll be able to get some conclusive answers before she leaves, so GLBCR can start working on Kota’s future!

The above is Kota’s story, but it doesn’t reveal much about WHO Kota IS. Soooo, I’ll try to tell you!

Kota is a simple, yet complicated, boy. At 60 pounds and 22” tall, he is a bit much to be a lap dog, but he really, really would like to be! He doesn’t take “rejection” easily. What I mean by that is if I’m sitting down relaxing, he wants to sit in my lap. He comes over with “that look” on his face, and I have to be ready to tell him “no!”, which he ignores, and then push him away, again saying “no!” Once he resigns himself to the fact he cannot sit in my lap, he’ll go off, grab a Nylabone, and flop down in a dog bed (or on the floor, but the big dog bed I have will do the best).

Crate was a foreign word for Kota, having lived outside on an Amish farm. When he went to his first/temporary foster home, he was introduced to a crate, and he did well. When I tell him “kennel-up,” he usually will run right in, because sometimes he will get a treat. There are times, however, when his stubborn side shows, and he “says” – “NO! I don’t want to!” Often, if I grab his collar to guide him to his crate, he will fall to the floor and show you his teeth (brat!). At times, we’ve had “arguments” about this, but others I will just reach for the treat jar, and he’ll run right in.

Kota loves to be outside, but he very much appreciates being inside. Yesterday, while it rained, I took him to the door, and he looked outside, and turned around and went back into his crate! If he doesn’t want to go (or be!) outside, he will refuse to, and that is that! If he is outside and he wants to be in, he will rush right by you, and doesn’t care if you try to body block him! Don’t get me wrong; he loves to be outside when it is nice out! In the time he has been here, he has appointed himself “guardian of the yard”. Remember, he chased things in his previous life. In typical BC fashion, he still does! Although I live on 5 acres, I still have a large fenced yard because I don’t want my dogs roaming, and I don’t want other dogs or animals accessing my dogs, either. While some BCs don’t need a fenced yard as a requirement, I think Kota should. His instinct to chase (cars, deer, birds, and yesterday I discovered he will chase bees down!) is very strong, and I’m sure will get him into trouble again! Even as he is with 3 legs, he can run fast! When he sees deer, he will jump up onto the fence, and act like he will dig out, too (but he can’t do it with just one paw!). When he is in “herding mode” he will ignore you calling him, too.

Potty training! I forgot to mention it! Aside from two OOOPS! stool accidents in his crate (one was diarrhea early on, and he broke out of his crate to try to get outside!), the only trouble he has had is with marking. He will mark all over the place if given the chance, and will slow down with it once he’s “satisfied” he has done enough. In other words, he hasn’t marked where he is in quite a while. He would do well with a cummerbund/belly band to catch it! He will, however, mark all over outside. He has gotten to know I don’t appreciate marking anything on the deck, but out in the yard is fine. My Rosie will follow behind him and mark, then, too!

Kota does fabulous with all 4 of my “teeny dogs” – all Chihuahuas. He has even been snarked at a couple times, and he understands to back off. My BC, Rosie, is smitten with him, and he is intrigued with Sam Adams, a terrier mix who frequently stays with me. I was most apprehensive about introducing Kota & Finnigan (my other BC), but when I did, everything is fine; they ignore each other. So far, I’m least comfortable with Kota meeting male dogs, because early in his stay with me he was obsessed with a German Shepherd (male/N) who stayed with me, seeking to square off with him (in a not-so-nice way). Perhaps that was because he still felt “out-of-sorts?”

Everyone Kota has met so far is Kota’s friend. He’s met/interacted with mostly women, though he loved a man he met last weekend. I suspect he’ll be fine with kids (esp older kids), but he still needs to be tested there. The cats he’s met he has ignored, but I wonder about cats if they would run from him.

The person (or family) who will ultimately get Kota MUST be committed to continuing care for Kota’s prosthesis and at least yearly rechecks. They MUST be committed to what is best for Kota. Although I think he will love attention when he is out and about, his new owners must not push him over the edge, mentally, to where he may feel like he must defend himself. Kota’s prosthesis will be a curiosity, and people will be drawn to it. The fact that Kota will (hopefully) have prosthesis will not be a reason to pity him, nor will it be a reason to “parade” him around. He IS a very handsome boy who just happens to be missing a leg. Because he can be a “butt” sometimes, he will need an owner who will be committed to getting to know and understand him, but won’t feel sorry for him or allow him to do what he wants nor allow him to run the show.

Remember: Empathy not Sympathy!