Likes: Rowena loves a good LONG game of Frisbee Fetch and being with Mom (& Dad too!)
Pet-Peeves: She hates our "down" days, getting wet, showers, getting brushed (anything to do with grooming, humans who move too fast when she can't, & hates bouncy and hyper dogs who have poor boundaries.
Favorite Toy: Frisbee, Soccer balls, tennis balls, any stick on the ground & her kitten Solace
Favorite Food: Core Wellness Dog Food, Taste of the Wild, Chicken Soup
Favorite Walk: She loves the forest when she can be leash free on acres of land.
Best Tricks: She saves Maine taxpayers thousands of dollars a year by keeping me safe and hospital free & decreasing my need for human care providers greatly.
Arrival Story: Proper Title: Jayden's Rowena, SD-c, PAT, CGC I am proud to announce that ROWENA IS NOW A CERTIFIED SERVICE DOG... My little Rosie came into my life to become HERO soon after I decided to search for the puppy that would be trained to become my service dog in November of 2004. I had wanted a Border Collie for so long, I knew that would be the breed I would get. I had researched the breed for years, talked to people who owned and worked with the breed and also spent years researching what it would take to handler-train my own service dog. I finally knew it was time to go for it. After a lot of searching, I found a local breeder who had puppies available. Out of 3 pups available, she was the only girl. Her 2 brothers had different patterns of black & white around their faces, had shaggy guard hair and looked more rolly polly. They were also very shy .She had the typical black & white border Collie pattern and her hair wasn't as bushy. She was all undercoat. She was just this petite, top heavy little tumbly thing, But there she was! Full of spirit and smiles, tail dancing in the air, head high as she pranced around like all eyes should be on her while her 2 brothers shied away against the wall (nearly toppling some lamps from their stands). She was right out there, tail up, looking around and she came eagerly to us. When I picked her up, she looked at me and proceeded to lean herself against my body, resting her head on my shoulder. She had chosen me. That is where my adventure with that little 9 pound, 9 week old bundle of energy began! 5 years later, we are inseparable. She has been with me 24 hours a day (pretty much) since she was 9 weeks old, has gone everywhere with me and has become the love of my life (Sorry, Dear Husband!)
Bio: After years of hard work training and nurturing my dog, I can now announce that ROWENA IS A CERTIFIED, TASK -TRAINED SERVICE DOG. (She passed her Public Access Test on 10/21/2007 ! WOO-Hoo!). Since 10 weeks old, she has taken a couple of beginner's obedience courses The breeder offered one beginner's class for free... for 7 weeks, once a week for an hour. Rosie was a bit too feisty and was quite the social butterfly in her first class- we came back when she was about 7 months old for a second class there and she did very well. She did graduate both times. We would later drop out of a class at a local dog training facility and never went back to it. It was a big panic attack ridden class and I couldn't deal with it. Rosie was antsy too as the classroom was small and the dogs in this class were hyper, wired and some were nasty. Some probably just got out of a kennel at the end of their humans' work day. We finally got a recommendation from our vet for a training facility about 20 minutes from our house. There we took an intermediate and an advanced obedience class to study for her Canine Good Citizen Test and then her public access test. Our "training consultant" at this facility trains service dogs in this area... with a specialty for children with Autism, but does others as well. He also assists people with disabilities who want to train their own service dogs. The program for that takes a lot of time and committment but for us it was just part of the program! She (We) passed her CGC test in May 2006. She is very biddable, to the point where I ask her to climb a tree and she WILL try to do it. I had to tell my husband not to try doing this for fun because she could get hurt and it violates her trust in us. I have been told that saying NO to a dog is very ineffective. Not with Rosie! She not only stops the behavior, but often doesn't repeat it again. After a few years of going everywhere with me and working on manners, we passed our public access test (October of 2007) at the Bangor Mall. It was a very impromtu test so I didn't have time to worry about it. We had gone to the mall to see one of the facility's soon-to-be service dogs take his public access test, and then we were going to just go through the different areas of the test. He asked if I wanted to take the test and I thought "Why not?" I had been looking into Rosie and me taking a therapy dog course, but TDI will not certify service dogs and that is who my trainer tests with, so until things settle a bit more the therapy dog training will have to wait while I search into who we will take the course through. TDI would have been a straight forward process where as all the other therapy dog certifying agencies seems all complicated. Just searching for a person in the area to evaluate was a task and a half! This past year (2010) has brought Rosie and me a lot of challenges and changes and I can't say it hasn't affected us because it has. We both felt loss... My husband moved over to Oregon and hadn't called for us yet. (Supposed to move finally in March 2011) so Rosie has really missed having him in our lives. Rosie and I both lost our best friends this year as well. And of course, I had gotten a male border collie at the end of 2009, but he arrived and had a ton of issues, namely fear aggression. The poor boy was not socialized well at all and he was already 7 months old. He was handsome and sweet but he needed stability and even though I worked hard to find that for him, I couldn't. I gave him up to someone who can help him with his issues and find him a loving forever home. I am sorry that it wasn't going to be me. I tried to take Rosie out to the forest and it took a lot out of me. We were charged by quite a few dogs on route to the forest and after a rather vicious attack in Saxl Park (also called "The Field") it changed both of us quite a bit. I didn't want to go out at all for fear Rosie would be attacked. Rosie was now very wary of other dogs and if one was too hyper she was outwardly afraid. My response to the attack in the field also affected how Rosie responded to alerting, one of her more important tasks. I would think that with 6 years of love and nurturing and being glued at the hip that we had enough trust built up that nothing could shatter us. But it did. It breaks my heart. Now when my anxiety starts to rise she runs away and hides most of the time. We are working on it, but I think being with my husband again and finding new play buddies for Rosie that we can overcome this. Rosie is definitely my heart dog. She has been a miracle in my life, providing me with the support and assistance I needed to not only stay out of the hospital but to become more active in the community. Anyone who says a psychiatric service dog isn't a real service dog just can't understand what these dogs do for their handlers. With returning soldiers suffering with PTSD being matched up with service dogs now, it is finally becoming more accepted. Please feel free to check out our blog. This Blog is a celebration of my love of Border Collies, my love for Rowena and my joy of training and playing with my own Service Dog... (needs updating badly) http://jaydensrowena.blogspot.com/
Now named "Blitz" Blizzard (I registered as Nightshade's Vernal Noreaster) lives an hour away from me in Central Maine. The couple that had evaluated him from the NE Border Collie Rescue ended up falling in love with him and they kept him, instead of giving him to the next available foster home. Blizzard is a loveable dog, full of issues, indeed, but a very sweet, loving boy. He got along with Rowena too. Anyway, I caught up with "Blitz" and his humans this past October down town at the "Paws on Parade" event that raises money for the local rescue every year. He was there with a dog agility group with his humans. I took a few pictures of Blitz and his new people (who are very nice and I was hoping they would keep him, but Blitz never performed any agility. It was a very wet and rainy day... I mean VERY wet. The demo was cancelled. His humans provided him with a quiet place in the back of their truck to chill out and reduce his anxiety.
Blitz's breeders wanted to buy him back when they found out I gave him to the BC rescue. A woman called (apparently one of the breeders, but her name was never mentioned and was not on ANY of my paperwork)the rescue asking if he was available still for adoption. Thank God he was not. However, the breeder and I exchanged a few words, she outright lied to me until I informed her I was not someone from the rescue, but was his previous owner (that her family had sold him to). She tried to say that she had a signed contract saying I signed to return the puppy if I found I could not keep him. I told her that it wasn't my signature on that paper and she admitted she lied. She had told me that she had pix of him indoors (in defense of my saying he was kept outdoors most of is "old enough" puppy life till I got him.) She said he could recall "clear from the other side of the pond" and did anything her sister asked him to do. I of course knew that Blizzard didn't even know his name when he got here. The human voice had absolutely NO value to him at all. We had to teach him the name he'd had since he was a tiny puppy! And saying he'd lived inside? 7 months old and NOT potty trained. He had no clue how to live inside a house with humans. He'd climb on top of the table, pee on the bed, eat everything... poo everywhere, and for the longest time of course, didn't even know what his own name was. He didn't know how to play. When I asked his breeder once what was his favorite toy, (red flag) "I don't know. The grandkids play with him." I am not even sure if the latter part is even true. Wouldn't they have used his name? How does a border collie not learn his own name by 7 months old? Rowena learned hers the first day we had her. Anyway, the "breeder" that I had some words with was angry at me for making their kennel look bad. I didn't have to. There are many people around here who took part in Blizzard's life and know how he came here and the problems he had. They made themselves look bad. My heart was so broken when I had to decide to give him up to give him a chance to live a good life. Now his breeders have like 3 different kennels under that one kennel name (but different names for each of the 3 locations.) When I purchased Blizzard they had 4 breeding dogs (according to their site). Now they have about 10 dogs per kennel site. They don't even know about the BAER test and they are breeding predominantly white/ white headed dogs, and now merles and I don't even if they know the dangers there. They don't do anything with their dogs (maybe 2 that actually have titles or something outstanding)and mention dogs in the pedigree that are several generations back who are notable, none are theirs. And many notables are impressive, but found in many many pedigrees (like Rowena's). I have learned from this, but wish I had heeded all the red flags I saw go up before I actually purchased Blizzard. However, by my loss, I have in a way saved this dog. May he have the good life he has long deserved with his new family (compete with other dogs). Don't buy, but maybe you want to know to stay away: Nightshades Ranch in Kansas. They do horses too.
I don't know if everyone realizes it yet, but I had to surrender Blizzard last October to the BC Rescue. I tried so hard to hold on to that boy, and in the end all I was left with was a terribly broken heart. You see, when I purchased Blizzard I was due to move very soon after. In the meantime I had a friend agree to foster him and let me live in their attic. Well, Blizzard turned out to be a very anxious boy with fear-agression... to other dogs. In less than a week, I was told he could not stay there and that neither could I. It would have helped a lot if they had informed me of that before I had the poor dog shipped on an 11 hour plane ride to Maine... and it would have helped me if they had told me that they could not have me live in their attic long before this as well. Some couples have communication problems and problems asserting their boundaries, and after the fact seem to find their voice. Anyway, By October, Blizzard still had not gotten the help he was supposed to get (even though he had spent several months with a "dog trainer") and was being shipped around, but not with me. I had the heart to train him, but not the place to house him. He had burned all his bridges with his fear-aggression issues and with his lack of indoor living skills. He was barely house trained by October and he had been living inside since the December before. If I had been able to keep him with me he would have been house trained easily. The journey through the past year with Blizzard was a hard one, only made worse by my husband living clear to the other coast line since the November before. In August before I had to surrender Blizzard, my husband and I had set up for Blizzard to be flown out to the west coast to be with my husband. The day before everything was going to go down, my husband was in a bad car accident and severely injured his left hand, breaking all the fingers on his left hand (appears that the vehicle rolled on the drivers side and his hand broke through the side window.) There was just no way he could have been able to handle Blizzard with one hand. We had to cancel Blizzard's flight. The last thing I remember seeing of Blizzard as the BC evaluators closed up the back of their truck was his big brown eyes looking at me as I closed his crate as if to say "now what. What have you done?" He was able to spend his last night with me and Rosie and the night went very well. Those eyes crushed me.
I was promised that Blizzard would not be put down for his fear-aggression issues. The eval person even scribbled that out of the paper I signed. However, I have yet to see a hint of Blizzard on the NE Border Collie Rescue site and I am worried. I want him to have a forever home where he will be loved and be provided with the stability of his own home. I don't want him to be shipped around, left outside and never loved, ignored or forgotten, bullied by other dogs. I just want him to get the training and love he truly deserves. I cannot inquire about Blizzard because once I sign him over the rescue considers me out. Like I am being punished for not being able to provide him with what he needed. I just want to know if he is being loved. I just want to make sure he is okay. I don't need to know where he is or anything. I just want to make sure he's okay. I miss him so. I had hopes and dreams for him. My heart is so broken and the thought of him not being here anymore brings tears to my eyes.
So know that I tried my very best to do good by him and to keep him and give him all that he needed. It was not because I did not love him that I surrendered him. To the contrary, it was because of love that I surrendered him. My white-headed boy...
Rosie's brother, border collie Blizzard is back in town and we are so happy he is back... nearby and now I can take him out with Rosie, work on training him, and try to teach him to play with toys! He is a very strong, muscular boy and I am thinking if I can get him trained in the basics with a killer recall, I think he would be a great sports dog. He is a very insecure pup with a lack of self confidence, if it cools off here a bit I want to take him outback to see how he will do on this mini agility course. He also still prefers the highest of high value treats so I bought some small cubed ham squared and some mini pepperoni to use for training. Rosie needs to lighten up a bit with him. He wants to play with her but when she invites him I think she is a bit too frisky and that freaks him out. And then at other times she is just plain intolerant. Being bossy with her toys and all... we are working on it. She has been an only child for many years and she has had only a few really good doggy buddies, but they aren't around anymore. I am hoping that she will get a clue and start playing tag with him. She misses that.
So we haven't lost our boy. He is staying with his foster family though until we can finish our cross country move. The family has 6 young children who are really busy and love him to bits. If I want to take him out he is only a 20 minute walk across the bridge to me. I am taking tons of pictures of him.