Max and Being Home

Being at home is essential to being. We humans aren’t human without it; and dogs aren’t real dogs without a home either.

We do well to bear this truth about humanity when we think of the homeless in encampments in our cities and when we think of the wanderers desperate to immigrate all around the world.

Max gives us a lesson. Good friend Anne loves him, but realized she had many dogs, and Max wasn’t enjoying the intense pressure of herding dog trials. So Anne sacrificed when she let Max go.

Gordon and Kerry had put a great deal of effort into training Max and helping him find his place. But they saw a good fit for Max at Heatherhope Farm since we worried that our dogs were getting old and may not be able to do the work of moving stock. So Gordon and Kerry arranged for Max to make a move.

Now it is up to us at Heatherhope. We need to understand how confused a dog can be trying to fit in and trying to understand the ways and the words of a new family.

But Max is full of life and full of gifts to give as we work to welcome him. Here he is on his first full day at Heatherhope. And after this picture was taken we introduced him to our four other Border Collies and to Bilbo, the guardian dog. We even had him around the farm with the ATV. When we have built our trust in one another Max will be introduced to the flock so that he can move them between field and barnyard.

About John

John is a retired pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America who has served congregations for over 40 years, including in rural, suburban, campus ministry and urban settings. His love of Border Collie sheepdogs has been fortified by his many friendships with shepherds all around the world. Nothing he has ever or will ever accomplish is as significant as the patience God, his wife and his friends have shown in putting up with his deficiencies.
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2 Responses to Max and Being Home

  1. Caroline Leean says:

    When I had to leave my adopted parents’ home in Morristown, Minnesota on February 10, 1977, I needed a home where I was a good fit. Social Worker, Mrs. Eleanor McFarland brought me to my first home, and I knew it would be temporary, for the lady of the house had a heart condition, and she was only available for temporary shelter. I went into two more foster homes in the following 3 months, and in early May 1977, I was introduced to my final foster family. At age 15 years, it was tough for the family to take me in, already set in my ways. They had two other teenage daughters also. But somehow I began to fit in well. Probably because I had experienced the love of God as a young girl in my birth country.

  2. John says:

    Good to hear from a beloved part of the Leean family. With all the difficult and painful experiences you had, you now have the gift of understanding how precious home is. It is the seedbed for belonging. And we all can benefit from that sort of compassion and empathy.

    Our experience at making a home for animals like Max helps us understand. After his first six days at Heatherhope Max is just beginning to relax a bit.

    I hope you are finding useful things on our web site, and that you will always feel welcome to comment.

    Blessed Advent and Christmas to you.


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