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Time, Love and Space for Recovery: Katherine Schule ’17 at Glen Highland Farm Border Collie Rescue in Gloucester, Virginia

I wake up at 6:15 every morning. I let my three foster dogs outside and try to drink enough coffee to last me the whole day. By 7:15 I am down at the barn moving through a complex system of letting out, feeding, and keeping happy the 11 dogs that live there. I clean rooms, make food, and keep track of everyone. Jojo, Gus, Pike, and Haley can only go out by themselves; Tanner and Prinn can go out in the big yard together, but you have to keep an eye on them; Sammi likes to splash in the water tubs so she’s usually drenched when she comes back in; Shine will jump on you and attack you with kisses, so be prepared when you open her door. It’s a complicated process to keep all of the rescued border collies at Glen Highland Farm satisfied, but it’s something every worker here is completely dedicated to.


Zoey, Bentley, and Carson (bottom to top), the three dogs I live with

Glen Highland was created in 2001 and has cared for thousands of border collies throughout the years. This organization provides a home for border collies, and works with them so that they can eventually be adopted by people who are exactly right for them. Previously neglected, unwanted, or abandoned, these dogs need time, love, and lots of space so that they can recover and flourish.


Shine, an extremely energetic 2 year old

Border collies were bred as herders, and have very unique qualities because of this. They are highly intelligent (necessitating games and sometimes socialization with other dogs), athletic (demanding exercise and space), and energetic (requiring the people who are with them to keep up their energy as well). Because of these characteristics and the needs that come along with them, the people who take border collies into their homes must be unique as well.


Gus, who came from a farm and is working on learning his manners

When it comes to the adoption process, the founder, Lillie Goodrich, carefully vets potential adopters, matches them with a dog, and assesses their interactions. She believes that each of these steps, particularly the last one, requires reliance on intuition and emotions, rather than getting stuck in cognition. There are the basic questions (Does the person have a fenced in yard? Do they live with another dog? A cat?), and the more complex ones (Will this person spend quality time with this dog? Will this person be understanding if this dog’s anxiety causes them to chew something up? Will this person listen to this dog?). Each criterion is important and some can be difficult to know for sure. That is why Goodrich is so thorough and careful in the adoption process; she wants to be certain it’s the perfect fit.


Jojo, a goofy girl who loves tummy rubs

This coop has allowed me to dive deeper into my research on human- nonhuman animal relationships and bonds by giving me more first hand knowledge. By growing  with and helping these dogs, I am learning more about how these relationships are fostered and fortified. It is my belief that the bonds formed between species can be just as powerful as those formed within species, and this experience has only strengthened that belief. Seeing how the dogs and my coworkers interact with each other, watching the faces of the newly united adopters and their dogs, and building relationships of my own has energized my desire to become more involved in this work and carry what I learn here forward.

If you wish to donate to Glen Highland click here. If you wish to learn more about adopting a dog from the rescue click here

bentleman in field

Bentley waits for me to throw the ball 

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<p>My time at Antioch College has changed me immeasurably--and by extension, reformed my ideas of what I want to do in the world. </p> <p>As a psychology major, I decided I should work with other humans in organizations geared towards mental health. So, my first two work experiences with Antioch were anthropocentric--a detox center and a nonprofit school for kids with learning challenges or behavioral disorders. My last two jobs, however, extended beyond service to humans to that of nonhuman animals. I worked in an elephant sanctuary and a border collie rescue. Although they seem vastly disparate, every one of these jobs <span style="line-height: 1.5;">asked me to dedicate myself to those in recovery and those who simply needed some understanding and kindness. </span></p> <p>Through these unique experiences, I discovered that in the future I hope to facilitate these aspects of rehabilitation and love in relationships between nonhuman and human animals. I discovered that interspecies bonds can be equally (or more) potent as intraspecies bonds. I was raised with these bonds, closely connected to the nonhuman animals in my life. My understanding of these relationships and of other animals has only deepened through my work, as well as studying ecopsychology, trans-species psychology, cross-cultural psychology, and liberation psychology.</p> <p>With this as my foundation, I aspire to create spaces that allow humans and nonhumans to learn from one another, heal with one another, and liberate one another. </p>

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