I have FIXED the application - I had complaints that the link has been broken. You will need to download the application first, then open and save it to your computer.
It's been a wild ride these last several months, and although I've place almost all the puppies into their perfect homes I have a couple that I would like to place closer to home. Dash and Trouble have grown into magnificent "Highland" style collies that will be at least 50-60lbs. They will both look a lot like their mom and no one will doubt that they are COLLIES with their dad's sable coloring and medium bone density. Dash's ears have set into a perfect pair of folded ears, and Trouble's are still deciding but most likely will either be prick or tipped.
These boys have NO AKC Collie in and yet are still showing the true Highland Scotch Collie characteristics, which have come from Jenny's line. So, don't let anyone tell you that these dogs are extinct as I have living proof they are not. They will not have big fluffy coats, in fact, they may even end up "single" coated like their mother - since right now they have very little puppy fluff. They will have perfect coats for dogs kept in the house with the family, with very little shedding. Because of my expectations of their possible breeding quality I am determined to place them as close to home as possible.
Assuming the pups pass all their Hip/Eye/Genetic tests at the age of 2, I'm suspecting they may be highly sought after breeding prospects, so their families will need to be part of the OTSC project. They will probably be double the size of their papa and are showing some beautiful bone structure. I really would like them close to home but if I find the right families who understand that future breeding prospects are a long-term investment that may not even pan out at all, I would be willing to reconsider that decision. The families for these dogs must be willing to wait the 2 years to even KNOW IF the pup is even going to be able to be used as part of a breeding program. Assuming either of them pass the evaluation stage, their families contract will require to offer the dog for stud on occasion, only choosing equally qualified females.
It's taking me a very long time to place all the pups and I'm evaluating each completed application as it comes in. I have several qualified applicants who live on the other side of the country, but I'm really trying to focus on placing these pups within California. However, if I can find a perfect match in Oregon or other western state I can be convinced otherwise.
This is a lifelong project for me, I expect to be working to make this dream a reality for the rest of my life. It is a big financial burden and an immeasurable amount of time has been invested in the last 3 years. My research into the Scotch Collies, and their historical counterparts, the American farm collies is ongoing. Top Hill Farm will continue to breed, slowly and carefully. Our intent is to save these dogs because there simply isn't anyone else out there working to protect them. At the same time, since my dogs will be the corner-stone of a long line of OTSC dogs I want to ensure they are going to be hardy, healthy, long lived dogs. Since we live in an age when we can prevent major genetic issues BEFORE we even breed I believe in taking advantage of that. There was a time when breeders drowned or otherwise disposed of pups born with genetic abnormalities that were considered to be faulty. In today's world we often the opposite approach, with ridiculous measures taken so that the breed requires C-Sections as a standard method of reproduction. I would just rather prevent such challenges with modern and proper breeding husbandry.
I've been with the pups 24/7 since they were 8 weeks old and it's been a blessing, but of course, it's been a real challenge. It's been expensive to keep them healthy, they are being fed with highest quality of kibble, including home cooked meals. Today we took these last 3 in for the 3rd set of shots/worming. I've invested nearly every waking moment to assure they are well-adjusted and know their basic manners, and have been working every single day to shore up their potty training. I haven't been able to unpack from the move and even taking a shower has been a challenge. Living out of boxes is a small price to pay for well-balanced dogs in the future. It's been an even bigger challenge since my new home has a yard that is currently dirt so I've been fighting dirt for the last 4 weeks. Each day has been spent mopping, washing several loads of laundry, picking up "mystery poo's" from unusual places and --usual ones, keeping up with potty training..it got to the point that when I closed my eyes..all I saw was poo We've gone through about 20 puppy pads a day. Don't get me wrong I'm not complaining in the least. I just want to assure folks that my dogs and pups are my number one priority and come before everything else. It's also why I do things so slowly. I get up at 5:30 with the pups and by the time they bed down for the night at 9pm I'm so exhausted. However it's the only time I have to get on the computer without being constantly interrupted by someone who wants to be held, cuddled and loved up.
Luckily there are enough that they still keep each other occupied and they don't need me to entertain them. In addition Oberon has proven to be the MOST AMAZING babysitter. I should do a post on that soon, he literally babysits them. When they get too rambunctious he will immediately bark or run over to them and bark and all craziness stops. Last night after we went to bed the pups were still up wrestling, well apparently they were just a little too loud, and Oberon jumped off our bed, ran down the hall and bark-shouted at them from behind the baby gate (they sleep in the living room). I didn't hear hardly a peep after that and they all went to sleep. We are down to a more manageable amount of dogs, but now they need much more personal attention, and I think it's so important for them to bond with humans not with each other. So if they come up and start putting paws on my computer I know it's time to give it up. Even Obee just came over an "put his paw down" --onto the keyboard that is-- to tell me that I need to get off the computer and go to bed!
We are so lucky to have found some of the most amazing people to take our babies into their lives. I look forward to watching the pups grow and mature into the wonderful dogs I know they will be. I've already got some family pictures with the pups in their new homes I will be posting up soon.