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.

Ellie, our little Valentine~Adopted

Ellie, our little Valentine~Adopted

Adoption Update 10/3/12:  Ellie is doing well. She has been regularly tested for heartworm, takes all the preventatives, and is fine.  She and our other dog picked up giaguardia (sp), apparently not uncommon for dogs who live is such close proximity to wild areas. They took a course of treatment and we expect they will pass their exam. However, funny you should ask today because today she is at the vet due to a persistent case of the runs for a few days.  They found nothing wrong, but are running blood work and keeping her for the day to observe and make sure she stays hydrated.
We won’t be coming to the reunion, but that you for checking on her.  Ellie seems to be enjoying the good life. She loves to be in the barn or walking around the property with any of the family members who agree to walk her.  (She cannot be off-leash due to her intense desire to herd the horses.  She is unconcerned that they find her annoying and don’t want to have their heels nipped.  The big horses are not much of a threat, but the kick of the mini horse could connect.)  Even her thunderphobia seems to have toned down significantly since we first brought her home. She is quite attached to Grandma Gloria and vice versa and her favorite place to be is in Grandma’s kitchen.

Last summer we rescued Valentine, a four year old Border Collie.  She came to us timid and shy, weak and ill, almost no longer interested in life.  Within a week, she had broken through her withdrawal so that she would come sit by Gisele’s side whenever invited.  Sharon fell in love with Valentine’s gentle way, adopted her and renamed her Ellie.  And life was good in Gainesville.

Fast forward a year…..  Sharon contacted us in tears.  Was something wrong with Ellie?  No, in fact, just the opposite.  Ellie was doing great.  She was happy and healthy and full of energy.  And therein lay the problem.  Ellie has transformed into an energetic dog and Sharon’s lifestyle doesn’t cut the mustard.  Ellie simply isn’t getting the exercise or interactions that she needs.  Would we find her a new home?

Were we disappointed?  Yes, I can’t deny it.  But things have a way of working out.  That same day Gisele was contacted by Katrine who had recently moved to Gainesville and was looking for a Border Collie.

Jungle lady!

Now, we might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but even we couldn’t miss that opportunity!  Faster than you could shake a stick, Katrine was fostering Ellie!  Amazing how things work out!

The first day Katrine told us that a) Ellie is a bit overweight, b) she seemed anxious and c) she was sleeping in the middle of the kitchen floor.  Well, her weight isn’t a problem and certainly a result of lack of exercise, the very concern that Sharon had for her.  Anxious?  To be expected.  But sleeping in the middle of the kitchen floor? Anxious dogs don’t sleep in the middle of the room, they sleep to the side or under a table.  Sure, she could have been sleeping there to ensure that she didn’t miss any food that hit the ground, but we think that she was already relaxing!

A show-stopper!

Now, a week later, Ellie is doing grand.  I just got this wonderful update on her:

“She has been quickly getting more relaxed and is very affectionate (as you know). While she loves long walks, she has been pretty quiet around the house and not too interested in playing with her toys.

Today we took her to the dog park, since we had been told she loves playing with the dogs there. She amazed us by becoming like a totally different dog. She took off running and chasing and looking gorgeous as she flew along. She kept very busy herding the other dogs and seemed to love running big circles around them. As we watched her and talked about the change in her behavior, we were sure that while she loves being close to people and getting belly rubs, that she will only be truly happy if she also has another dog or dogs to play with. ”

Sure, we could all stand to lose a little weight...

Gosh, we have the best fosters in the world, don’t we?  What a great description for Katrine.  And what a great dog Ellie is proving to be!  She really will make someone a wonderful valentine!

By the way, the behavior described by Katrine is textbook perfect for that of a classic Border Collie. In fact, it inspired Gisele to write the article “The Versatile Border Collie.”  That’s our Ellie!!!

If you think that you might be the right home for Ellie, please review our adoption process and then e-mail me at    And thank you for considering a rescue dog for your next pet!


07/12/11 Foster Update:

The best things about Ellie (in no special order)
1. She walks really well on a leash without tugging or pulling, and immediately learned to come to heel when asked.
2. She is a beautiful dog. Everyone who sees her on walks and outings says so.
3. She has a long silky coat, but sheds very little. She was blessed with the lack of a collie undercoat, so is cooler in the Florida heat and does not need to shed a downy undercoat.
4. She is very sweet and affectionate. She loves to be petted and loved on but is not in your face about it. She is very friendly and will go up to other people to greet them on her walks and does not mind when workmen or other people come in to the house. She also seems to like children.
5. She loves to take walks, so everyone gets some exercise.
6. She has never counter surfed and does not get bother anyone when they are eating or beg for people food.
7. She happily eats what she is given – none of that fussy business about not liking dry dog food.
8. She is very quiet and only barks when she sees another dog, with her bark clearly being a request to play.
9. She is housebroken.
10. She loves other dogs and will happily play  or  will work to herd them if it is a large group.
11. While she is crazy to run with at the dog park with other dogs, she is very laid back in the house and shows no signs of being an intense, driven or crazy border collie.
12. She learns quickly and should do well with obedience and maybe other training, like agility or other game down the road.
Basically, Ellie will be a great dog for someone who will give her lots of love and some training. While she is terribly afraid of thunder right now, she is not bothered by other loud noises or commotions, so with some help she should be able to overcome her fear. Living with another dog may be all that is needed. I had a border collie who shook worse than Elvis during a storm, but was oblivious to thunder whenever she had a sleep over with doggie friends. Ellie would very much like to have a forever home and some dog family members to share it with.


07/29/11 Update: Ellie was adopted by Connie Wightman today, details coming soon.  Here’s a new photo:  This is Ellie’s new family (minus me, I am taking the picture).  Top row, Tyler Johnson, Gloria Cooper, Gordon Cooper; Middle Row Nigel Johnson and Rick Johnson; Lower Row Christina Johnson, Tammy Johnson and Ellie Johnson. She has adapted well and seems very happy, especially in her new summer haircut.  She seems unfazed by the construction going on in the house and loves to go from person to person seeking love and affection.  She has a new Thundershirt, but remains terrified of thunder storms.

2 thoughts on “Ellie, our little Valentine~Adopted

  1. Gisele,
    I saw your appeal for Valentine about a week before her adoption and I’m so happy for her progress.

    I rescued my Skip about five months before that and after a visit to my brother-in-law, with his Weimeriner dog, I really thought Skip would come around faster with a companion… But, alas Valentine was adopted…

    And, what a great sucess story…!

    I’ve since met up with Natalie, who adopted Radar and they are doing really well, also.

    Bob P.

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