The Dog Liberator™

The Dog Liberator rescues abandoned dogs throughout the Southeast. Based in Central Florida, this non-profit organization fosters all of their dogs in a home environment. Founded in 2009, all dogs are fully vetted, spayed or neutered prior to adoption. The Dog Liberator focuses in rescuing the herding breed, which consists of Border Collies, Shepherds, Sheepdogs, Aussies, Collies, and Deaf/Blind Dogs.

The Story Behind Border Collie, Billy Joel ~ Adopted!

The Story Behind Border Collie, Billy Joel ~ Adopted!

Update 07/29/10: Billy Joel has been a wonderful dog to foster, both Adriana and Nancy just love him, as did I when he was with me. Billy is very affectionate and happy. He is intelligent and has the most beautiful coat I have ever seen. It’s so black, that it’s blue in the sunlight, and it shines! This young boy is the type to bring much joy to a family, and Adriana taught him how to enjoy the water! He’s great with other dogs and children. He’s the perfect age, housebroken and trained, but still enough spunk in him to be playful and fun. It’s time for him to meet his forever family. Why this gorgeous boy was at the pound, I’ll never understand.

Foster Update: BJ is doing well. I still don’t understand where “too active” would even come from, this boy is playful but very mellow. He loves to play with other dogs in fact he yearns to be with other dogs, but I don’t find him to be hyper. He is very lovable and has great gentle manners. We have not had to use the crate as he behaves and have not had any issues leaving him alone outside of the crate.

Foster Update: he looks and acts more like Gentle Ben to me! He is staying with me “on the farm” while his foster family is away. He has only been here 24 hours and he is winning friends. He is very polite with my older Jack. He greeted my friend very nicely – no jumping. He laid at our feet while we were talking. He touches noses with my miniature horse when we go to the barn- I think he likes him. He is quiet in the house and slept all night. What a great companion dog! I’ll brag on him more later.

Foster Update: The gentle goof is getting more praise today. Billy Joel has had a couple introductions to the barn kitty. When Kitty doesn’t run Billy will walk up, heed the hissing, watch, then leave when I call him away. (If Kitty runs – he wants to join my dog in hot pursuit.) There is no barking or lungeing. He met a gopher tortoise on our walk – curiousity, investigation, move on! Now, for the die hard BC fans this may be hard to hear: he met the neighbor’s sheep, sniffed noses with them, and laid down beside them at the fence. Is he a Newfie in disguise wanting to protect his flock???? His story will be continued……..

I reread the information on Billy Joel and cannot believe he was turned in because he was “wild”. My husband asked me the other day, “Does he ever run?” It is like having a bear rug in the house that moves from room to room. I always thought a bear rug would look nice on the wood floors. He has such a gentle, calm way about him. He has his periods of play when he romps with his ball or a stuffed toy. He had a good visit with the cat this morning. I do not have any young children around so I cannot say how he is with them. He is very good with my JRT, the ponies, the neighbors’ horses and sheep, and other people. He is a wonderful buddy to have around:)

BJ’s history: On March 11th, Zondra forwarded an email to me from a shelter volunteer, Windi about a Border Collie. Windi wrote:

Gisele: There is a male BC mix at a County Animal Shelter in South Carolina that needs a rescue. He is 2 years old, neutered but heartworm positive. Owner surrender – they said he was wild. Shelter staff says he has manners and will work for treats. Pictures attached.

The following day, Windi wrote:
Gisele: The shelter said they won’t adopt him out due to the heartworms. He would need a home to treat him or at least put him on prevention for the rest of his life and they’re not able to screen people to make sure someone would take the proper care of him.
I asked how long he has and they just said it’s a space issue. There is no set euthanasia date. 
Windi P.S. His name is B.J.

Of course, I got confused and wrote to Windi, and she responded:
Gisele: Let me clarify – They’re saying they won’t adopt out to the general public – like put him in the adoption ward because of the heartworm situation. Since they can’t screen they don’t want any Joe Schmo adopting and then not treating him or putting him on heartworm prevention. They do the best they can but they’re a county shelter with not alot of money. They are hoping a rescue can take him. They think he is a very nice dog and want to get him out of there and not euthanized. They try really really hard to not have to put any down. -Windi

Then, like so many times before, B.J.’s time was up.

The shelter has dogs packed like sardines, and at no fault of their own, decisions have to be made. Decisions that we all hate to make, to save the adoptable ones, and put down the ones that don’t have a good chance of making it. On March 18th, Windi sends another email, and writes:

Gisele: Shelter called me today at work. He will be euthanized at the end of the day if no one is prepared to take him. I’m trying all my resources. – Windi

I wrote to Windi and begged for a temporary foster. She responded:

Gisele: Just got off the phone with the shelter. They’ve moved him to an older building for space reasons. He can stay there until I can get him Monday/Tuesday. I’ll keep him here temporarily until you can find a foster home. I’ll go ahead and get him vaccinated. Let me know as soon as possible when you can locate someone to foster him. I really don’t have the space. Thanks, Windi

Moments later, I received a commitment from two fosters that B.J. could come to us immediately. Windi was elated to say the least! Then, I received my first update!

Hey Gisele: We got BJ today from the shelter. I took him to my vet where he’s been examined, fecal tested (negative), given Distemper/Parvo, bordetella and Rabies plus he’s started on Heartgard and Advantix.

He is a GREAT dog! He is not pure BC (muzzle is shorter than a BC) but has a beautiful coat. He knows sit and down (a little rusty). Will definitely work for treats. Loves toys too – tennis balls – plus he will tug. He rode fine in the car (in a crate), settled down very quickly. He does like to play the keep away game. He’ll come up to you but darts off a bit when you try to pet him or put your hand on his collar. The exception to that is when you have treats so I worked on him getting the treat when I’d put my hand on his collar or head. He’d make a nice dog for someone wanting a BC but not totally over the top.

He did fine at the vets, was a little nervous getting his ears checked but distracting him with treats works well. It didn’t take him long to hop up on the scale and sit for a treat so we could weigh him. And by the way, he is big – a solid 56 lbs.! He’s met my dogs through the fence including a loud and annoying Jack Russell – tails wagged.

I put one of my other rescues in with him – a big mix named Zipper. They chased and played. I did get some video and will post that to You Tube. Will let you know when I get it up. So when can he come to Florida? -Windi

Well, B.J., aka Billy Joel is on his way to sunny Florida today as I write this. Our Mary Zach is driving to St. Augustine, and as miracles seem to happen for these special dogs, Windi found a friend, Janet, to drive Billy from South Carolina to Florida. He must be some dog, eh? I’m anxious to meet him.

While I am worried about the heartworm positive diagnosis, after meeting some of you who have adopted my dogs, many of you give me the confidence to just do it and worry about the rest later.

I’ll never forget when I was scared to pull Augustus #806, scared because the shelter was shutting down because of a Parvo scare. I didn’t want this red Border Collie to give the virus to any other dogs. But if I didn’t pull him, the animal control officer clearly and plainly stated that #806 would be euthanized the minute he hung up the phone with me. Becky said to me, “well, Gisele, he’s going to die if we leave him there, at least with us, he has a chance.” That was my first lesson in decision making 101. Augustus was literally driven from South Georgia to Alabama, was kept in isolation for a week until Becky could arrange transport. Then, he was driven to me, and tested negative for Parvo. To this day, his photos take my breath away, and the family that adopted him, well… Charlie (renamed) brings them laughter and joy everyday. Some rescues are all about the dogs, I think I’m all about the people. I know, I’m weird.

Or sure it upsets me, but when I think about Spartan, Holly (Brooke), Jackson Browne, & the lovely Gisele, well…. Maybe that’s why my hair color is changing so quickly, but I refuse to call it gray… instead, I’m referring to myself from now on as a merle! B.J., we’ll leave the light on for ya!

Update! “LET ME IN!” BJ is an awesome dog. He and Boscoe had a great time, and he misses Boscoe. BJ does great with other dogs that have his temperament and energy. He’s a serious player, but he’s not a high-drive dog at all. He loves to be inside at your feet, but when it’s time to play, he’s all boy!

Update: Adriana is calling BJ Thunder, and she is fostering him. My time with BJ was awesome. He has so much joy in his heart, he’s playful and affectionate, and there is a bounce in his body that I adore. This dog simply makes me happy! He’s great with other dogs, and in many ways, he’s still very much a puppy. I love his playful growl when he tries to play keep-a-way. He cracks me up!

August 28 Update:

Billy Joel has been adopted! Wonderful Amy has helped us in the past with transporting pets, all the while hoping to fill “the border collie size hole in my heart.” (Her words) When she met BJ, *POP* it was filled! We couldn’t be happier. Thanks to a generous donation from the Jillson family, we will be able to treat BJ’s heartworms by whatever method Amy prefers. Isn’t life grand!

It’s official, after being on heartgard for 12 months, Chaz is heartworm negative! Click here for the whole story!

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