My name is Gillian and I adopted my Virginia people that weren’t looking for a Scotch Collie or even knew about our heritage. They had lost their 16-year-old border collie a few months before we met and were still very sad. They needed education and lots of attention so when they came to Hickory Hill Homestead, I told them I really needed them. So far I have taught my people that happiness is looking through the eyes of a dog; keeping a clean house takes effort and can sometimes wait; seeing a bird, squirrel, deer or rabbit is actually exciting every single day; nutrition and being fed is an honor and not one we take lightly; meeting people you encounter whether you have seen them before or not should be done with enthusiasm and gratitude that they take the time to say hello; laughing is healthier than crying but sometimes people’s eyes leak anyway – that’s when I give them lap time; farm animals respect dogs more than people; exercise is important including play time; we don’t bark for no reason –
part of our job is being on guard and protecting our family so listen and understand it can be serious; I learned people have a hard time with communication so I use a lot of sign and body language; and we can truly heal our people’s broken hearts by just sitting next to them. Most of all, I let my people think they are training me but really it’s the other way around. It is one of the things I think we OTSCs do best. This is a great life here and from what I heard my people say, they live more in the moment since I moved in with them.

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