To Honor Those Sweet Souls We Have Lost
Some Collies and Shelties come into our lives and change us in some way because of a particular trait or behavior. Some are exceptionally loving or loyal; some are goofy and remain puppies for life. Some are simply “the best dog I ever had.”
Written by Foster Dad, Neil Persinger
Some of our senior foster Collies come in to the rescue after living a tough life. Shiloh was one of these special needs fosters who I adopted and cherished every day with his wonderful personality. Shiloh loved everyone he met, and everyone loved him in return. He was one of the gentlest of souls. Despite his mobility issues, allergies, and cancer diagnosis, he continued to be a happy boy. Bladder cancer took him from us, and he will always be remembered and missed by his family and friends.
Beautiful Arrow has gone home to be with my family and other furry friends. She was only with us since January 18, but we did our best to fill those brief months with all the affection and care she hadn't had in so long. Unknown to anyone including our excellent veterinary team, she had a 'megaesophagus.' Yesterday that condition came to a critical point, where she suddenly had great difficulty breathing, and couldn't even stand up. X-Rays confirmed the Vet's suspicions. The prognosis was extremely poor and I couldn't let her suffer. She's out of her pain now and that's all that matters. Animals can't tell us where and how they hurt, and with most rescues, we have little or no Vet records or past history to help. Arrow knew she was loved, even if she never knew how to respond. Peace to her beautiful soul.
Andy the "uncollie"
Update: Pepper has gone over the Rainbow Bridge.
“Pepper”, a 13yr. old, Tri-Color Rough Female, has been diagnosed with hip dysplasia and is part of our Hospice Care Program. In addition to her mobility issue and the physical assistance required, she is also hearing impaired but doing well learning hand signals. Pepper has been in TCCR’s care for 2 years now, and is living out her remaining time, comfortably at Uncle Neil's Home for Senior Collies.
Update: Peek-A-Boo has gone over the Rainbow Bridge.
Peek-A-Boo is a Tri-colored Smooth female Collie. Her birthday is 6-18-2004. She is 13 years old and in permanent hospice care with TCCR. Her foster mom just adores her, and she's obviously enjoying life at her new home.
Update: Sunny has gone over the Rainbow Bridge.
John and Cindy Seinar's Annie:
Gorgeous Annie was from Oxford, MI and is dearly missed by John and Cindy.
UPDATE: It is with sad hearts that we share the news that our foster girl, Abbey, passed away Monday evening, August 26, 2013. Abbey was rushed to an emergency vet and diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma, a very aggressive cancer of the blood vessels. She touched all our hearts with her gentle nature and courage as she endured her previous medical issue. Abbey will be remembered and greatly missed by her foster family and our rescue community.
Introducing Abbey, our Miracle Girl!! Abbey is a 10-year- old mahogany sable that came into Rescue from the Ionia shelter, where she was turned in by her owner just before Memorial Day. Unbeknownst to all of us, Abbey had a life-threatening case of canine pyometra, a disease that is found in older, unspayed females, and one which usually is fatal. Luckily for Miss Miracle Abbey, everyone from the shelter and the rescue jumped into immediate action, and got her to the vet for surgery and into foster, where she is healing and being loved and spoiled. If you are interested in giving Abbey a place in your heart and home, please fill out an application.
Erin McClellan's Star:
In 2001, I adopted Star from a wonderful lady who had too many collies, and needed to find her a home. As a little girl, I had loved watching ‘Lassie’ and had always wanted a collie of my own to be my best friend and be my best companion. My mother and I looked all over for the perfect collie. When we found Star, we knew she would be the perfect addition to our family. Star fit in with our family right away although she was nervous of her surroundings. This would end up being an 11-year best friendship that I couldn’t even dream of letting go. She was with me everyday, making me the happiest owner ever. Star knew when I was upset and always comforted me with her cute nose, placing it on my leg to know that she knew how I felt, and she didn’t like me being upset. I was never very social in high school but, I didn’t mind. Star always kept me company and helped me through everything. During high school, she stopped being able to go up the stairs to sleep with me. This is when the start of her problems began. Of course, I grew up and got married, moved out of my parents' house, and started to live the grown-up life. Star would be at my parents' house, waiting for me to come home and give her some hugs and kisses. I thought about her everyday and how much I missed her.
One day my mother contacted me and told me that she thought there was something wrong with Star. She was not going to the bathroom anymore and when she did, it was not a lot. Star would stay in the same place in the house all day because it hurt her to get up. Her back legs had no more strength and her hips would not cooperate with her. Star was never the dog that would whimper but, one night, she did. It went on all night and this is when we knew that our 11-year old friend was not happy with her life anymore. Once we saw Star not eating, sleeping good, or being able to get up from one spot to another, we all knew (including our vet) that it was time for her to be free of her pain.
The day we went to take Star to the vet was the hardest day of my life. I didn’t know if I was strong enough to go through with this and watch her leave this earth. Staying with Star until her last day was the best decision I ever made, and I wouldn’t take it back. I was her owner, and was with her to the very end like best friends should be. I told her “It’s okay, girl. You can go.” and she did. It has been three months, and it is still hard writing about it but I wanted people to know one thing about collies. Collies are the best thing that a child can grow up with. They will be your companion, best friend, protector and one of the best things to enter your life. Every day with Star was a new adventure, and I will never forget my best friend of ten years. She was truly a blessing and I thank God he put her in my life. I miss you StarBaby. More and more everyday.
Kim Lowandes' Maverick Spaz:
In 2000, I adopted a tri-color collie named Mustang. He was found with a bullet in his shoulder, wandering on the western side of the state of Michigan with his litter brother, Colt. They were approximately 1.5 years old and were being fostered in Fenton. After seeing Mustang at an adoption event in Westland, my mother and I knew that he was “The One.”
He had such expressive eyes. We adopted this poor, skittish, scrawny collie and re-named him Maverick because that was the name that would come out of our mouths….not Mustang. He sprinted and bucked around the yard and house like he was a wild mustang! He weighed 65 pounds and didn’t have the typical collie hair because when they found him, he was so matted.
Eventually, he became very attached to us and the house, no longer fearing running water, loud noises, or other people. He gained weight and because he was the larger breed collie, weighed just over 100 pounds. His nickname became “Crazy Psycho Dog” because he would pull me around the house trying to get the scrunchie out of my ponytail! I also called him Spaz because of his crazy, fun, colorful personality. He was my baby. I loved him so very much.
He was with me when I was bedridden for one year because of back surgery. He always knew when I was in pain because he would lay down beside me and comfort me. He also was with me when I went through my 3.5 year cancer battle. I almost died four times, and each time he was right there with me glued to my side. He was my motivation for making it through my battle and for getting up every day. Without him, I don’t know where I’d be today.
I had to put him to sleep in September, 2009; he was 12 years old. This was the most heart-wrenching decision I’ve ever had to make. His hip dysplasia became so bad that he could no longer ambulate and the vet could not do anything else for him. Any surgery would have just prolonged the inevitable and he still would have had pain. I believe that in the end, despite his pain, he still carried on for me. I miss him terribly every day. I’ve had collies before, but Spaz was my special buddy. I just know that he is up there doing what he hadn’t been able to do for a long time…..running around, bucking, sprinting, jumping over everything……and this makes me smile.
The VanderKlok's Brando:
Brando passed away after a long battle of renal (kidney) failure on Sept 12, 2008. If you didn’t know him, you wouldn’t have even thought he was sick. He was a strong boy. He never wanted to let us down and ended everything on the best note he could. Even on that sad day in the vet’s office, I nudged him gently with one of his toys and though he wasn’t feeling good, he wagged his tail, looked at me with those sweet, brown eyes and tugged back at it for a moment. He really didn’t want to play, but I honestly believe he did it to tell me, ”It’s okay mom. I’ll see you again.” He was always our source of calm in an often stressful world.
I ran into a woman two weeks after we lost Brando at a parade. At the end of her dog leash was a five-month old collie. My heart melted and I HAD to go pet her puppy. When she learned I too once owned a collie, she asked if I had any advice. I said to her, “No. Not really. Just know you’re probably holding one of the best dogs you’ll ever have in your life. So, give him lots of love.”
Thank you to everyone at TCCR for all your efforts in helping to protect one of the best dog breeds out there. Thank you, Pegi, for taking a chance on a couple 20-something’s. I know you’re having fun with our baby boy. Take care of him 'til we get there. Miss and love you B. ~ Jennifer, Dave, Teagan and Kinsley VanderKlok
The Buescher's Roxy:
We got our beautiful Roxy in December, 1996.
Monica Glinski sent us to visit Roxy who was being fostered by Barb Rose. Roxy was a beautiful six-month old, rough sable girl who, after originally being purchased from a breeder, had been abused and neglected.
Roxy (original name “Kirsty”-my daughter said she needed a new “tough”-sounding name to help give her confidence) thankfully ended up with TCCR. When we visited her, she was very frightened of pretty much everyone and everything, with the exception of other animals. Barb and Monica both made sure we understood that Roxy would never be quite a “normal” dog and that gaining her confidence would be a long process. Being a sincerely pet-loving family, we were willing to take on the challenge. It was an effort to be sure, but our sweet Roxy made all the patience we exerted more than worth the effort.
Our overly confident male maltese, Scooter, adored Roxy as much as we did! Roxy was quick to pick up cues from him on what to do and who to trust. Monica came by to watch Roxy’s behavior and give us some pointers on dealing with her fears.
We took Roxy to the TCCR Collie Day at the Park the following August. She loved seeing all of the other collies. You could tell that she knew she was amongst her own kind and thoroughly enjoyed it! We took a great picture of her at the picnic and Roxy ended up being the poster girl for TCCR for awhile.
My husband loved Roxy dearly and he was definitely her favorite. The following summer, he took a picture of her to a tattoo parlor and had her face/head tattooed on his bicep! I couldn’t believe he’d done it – he said, “Roxy will always be with me now.” That’s the only tattoo my husband has ever had.
We eventually got another dog, a mutt my husband found by Tiger Stadium. Another male dog joined our household. Roxy was definitely the “Queen” and top dog in our house! It was wonderful to see her true personality and confidence come out when she was interacting with other dogs. Our three dogs had lots of fun together over the years!
We had many other animals during the years: rabbits, ducks, cats, guinea pigs, you name it! Roxy was wonderful with all of them; she was always gentle and kind. Roxy was also amazingly intelligent. I would have loved to have seen just how much she could have learned if her fears hadn’t held her back.We had to say goodbye to Roxy on September 5. Old age had caught up with her and there was nothing more that could be done for her. Roxy was still fairly spunky up until the last ten days and was as beautiful as ever right to the end.
Roxy never was quite a “normal” dog; she was so much more than that.
Devria St. Aubins Noah
Buddy Rex was with TCCR for nearly two years. It turned out his permanent home was with his foster home. Buddy Rex passed away peacefully with his family by his side on September 1.
Buddy Rex had a great and playful attitude. He found great pleasure in fetching his toys (though not too far) and playing tug with his prize. Buddy will be missed by all who knew him.
The Guastella's Delta:
Nine years ago we adopted Delta, who was already almost one year-old at the time. A beautiful sable collie, she was found wandering around the Delta air terminal at Metro Airport. She was thus named appropriately. Initially, we thought a collie was much too large and too hairy, so we were a bit reluctant to adopt one. After a couple of bad dog experiences, our trainer insisted that this was a wise choice for a family pet.
This gentle giant captured the hearts of adults and children alike. Even people, who didn’t like dogs, discovered that they liked Delta. Friendly to a fault, she did not have a mean or aggressive bone in her body…unless, of course, you were a rabbit. She protected us from the dangerous bunnies every spring season with her incessant barking, making sure the rabbits stayed out of our yard. No one entered our home without being greeted and nudged until they would return the greeting to Delta.
She loved to sit outside under a shady tree while my husband washed the car or while I worked in the garden. She would “herd” our three children to keep them together while they played and she always wanted to be around the family.
Delta was so much more than just a dog; she truly was a member of our family. She succumbed to a form of lung cancer this past April, which was producing holes in her lungs and causing her lungs to collapse. We tried, unsuccessfully, to get her through this. At almost ten years old, she still had a lot of puppy left in her. Playful and loving, she was wagging her tail right up 'til the end. Our hearts are broken with the loss of Delta and she will be missed.
Carolyn Galloway's Molly:
I adopted Molly a little over four years ago and she was the joy of my life. She climbed on the sofa the very first day I brought her home, and I didn’t have the heart to kick her off, so she was the Queen of the castle ever since. The neighbor children all loved her as she and I were regular fixtures on our daily walks. She was the best and sweetest dog I could ever have hoped for. I sang “You Are My Sunshine” to her every day and she would actually lean in and hug me.
The history I was given on her is that she was found wandering the streets of Toledo and the owner on her tag no longer wanted her and said she was six years old. Well, since I’ve had her 4 + years, that would make her tenish, but my vet placed her at 13 or 14, which explains her deteriorating state of health.
She could no longer walk well and would frequently fall down, so on June 5, 2008, I had to make the very difficult decision to put her to sleep.
Her pain ended, but mine began, but I know the memories of her and my faith will heal my broken heart. St. Francis of Assisi knew the special place animals have in God’s heart, and I take great comfort in Romans 8:22 when we are promised that all of creation will one day be redeemed and restored, and that includes our beloved pets.
Matthew and Lisa's Angus:
This is Angus.
Matthew and Lisa Trevethan adopted him in August of 2001 after Pegi Hack looked them up and down and said “I have the perfect dog for you.” What we saw was the tallest and heaviest collie we’ve ever seen.
Angus was almost a head taller than all the other dogs at the park and was a muscular 100 pounds of love. He fit perfectly with his tall “mom” and muscular “dad”. We always said that Angus picked us, not the other way around. While at that collie picnic that we first met him, he leaned up against us (the collie hug) as if to say, “Pegi, I pick these two.”
Angus had many loves- his cats who he guarded like they were his own. If there were a spat between the cats, he would rush up between them to keep the peace. He loved sourdough bread, and would sneak behind us like a ninja to obtain his prize. Most of all he loved the family cottage in Harrisville, MI on Lake Huron. Our beach had many places for Angus to walk and dart his nose in the long beach grass. He smiled and played with such passion, echoing that wonderful collie bark up and down the shore. Angus was a lion of a dog that didn’t know the word quit, and even as his body failed him, his mind only knew how to please and love. Everyone whose life he touched will miss him.
Freddie: Loved by Kathy and Stan Gralewski and Deborah, Dave and Stephanie Fargo
So long, Freddie.
What could a dog tell you about life and survival on the streets of Detroit? This is where Freddie was found wandering by the Detroit Humane Society. Pegi Hack picked him up and he became our foster collie. We soon learned that Freddie did what he could to survive, like surf, as in counter tops. He would help himself to butter, pizza in a box, chocolate cake, whatever.
One day when he wanted water, he went in the bathroom and lifted up the toilet seat with his head to drink water out of the bowl. (We learned to keep the bathroom door closed). Yep, that was “Self Serve Fred”.
Freddie, was a name no one really liked, but the only one he would answer to. He was adopted by Kathy & Stan Gralewski, who gave him a wonderful home. Freddie, whose gums were unusually large, found comfort in a new home with a lab mix named Cody. Freddie, who had Stan wrapped around his paw, could do no wrong. If there were hot dog buns missing from on top of the counter or pillows thrown off the couch, Kathy would ask Stan if Freddie did it. Of course, he would say, “Why do you think Freddie did it?” In the two short years they had Freddie, he lived a lifetime. Freddie succumbed to liver problems, hip problems and had a stroke! His life was cut short two weeks ago . He will be greatly missed by Kathy & Stan, and us as well, his foster parents. But we know full well that our dearly departed Pegi, was there to greet him once again, at the Rainbow Bridge.
The Dog I Never Wanted was our first foster collie,
Her owner brought her — a dreadful mess of matted fur.
Another casualty of war – divorced from each other,
They had no more room for her in their hearts.
Thanks to heartworm and human indifference
She was very sick for months — but rallied,
And never lost her sense of humor.
Although I may have – once or twice.
Not charming to look at, she seemed
Hardly a collie at all – shaven, pudgy and short.
In her Elizabethan collar, with one leg bandaged,
She looked like a mutant canine snow cone.
The Dog I Never Wanted flunked adoption.
Not once, but twice.
The last family called her vicious.
And so she came waddling “home”,
Again 10 pounds overweight.
With a bad back.
Rescue Clubs have rules, and so a choice,
To keep her as our own, or have her put to sleep…..
I didn’t want another dog, but — put her down?
That’s no choice at all.
The Dog I Never Wanted
Was an eager teacher, a reluctant student,
Never without her own opinion,
Never hesitant to lend it voice.
The Dog I Never Wanted
Loved her humans, her cats and her dogs.
She blessed us with ten years of total devotion.
Accompanied by frequent deafening commentary.
The Dog I Never Wanted
Died today. We buried her behind the house,
Where, in happier days,
She rolled in the grass, waving her paws at the sky,
Barking – at what, only God knew …
And I realized — in the sudden silence,
That the only thing I really want
Is to have her back forever.
This is a picture of Caleb. Caleb came into TCCR’s life in 2002 when a woman found him after being hit by a car. She was kind enough to have him seen and worked on by a veterinarian. Once he got better, the woman adopted Caleb out to a family under the auspices of TCCR. Late in 2005, TCCR received a message that Caleb could no longer live with that family.
We found Caleb in dismal condition–his coat was matted, he had an infection on his skin, he was underweight, and he could barely walk on the hardwood floors because of all the hair between his toes. Of course, Caleb got cleaned up right away, thanks to the groomers at the Dog’s Bow Wow.
Caleb lived with his foster home for a couple of months, but never gained enough strength or weight back. In the end, Caleb lost the ability to walk, and it was determined that he had cancer of some type. The sad decision to let him go was made. Caleb will always be remembered by his foster family for his gentle manner and sweet disposition.
This is Harley. Harley was rescued by a kind-hearted woman who found him for sale for $50, tied to a tree. He was just a year old. He was promptly brought to TCCR where he was placed with a foster home following a short stay at Gasow’s Veterinary Hospital.
While at Gasow’s, a heart murmur was heard, and so Harley was scheduled for a echocardiogram prior to being neutered. The echocardiogram found that Harley had a severe heart malformation called “Tetralogy of Fallot.” This heart condition meant that Harley could not get enough oxygen-rich blood to his system. Despite his beautiful coat and sweet collie-ways, Harley was very ill.
Unfortunately, Harley passed away soon after his test. His sweet and gentle personality, his beautiful collie coat, and his playful personality will never be forgotten by this foster family
Bob and Pam Green’s “Woody”
We lost our 11 year-old collie, Fred, to cancer in 2000. In the spring of 2001, we met 1 1/2 year-old Woody at a Tri-County Collie Rescue event at Pet-Smart in Northville. He came over, stood on my feet and leaned against me, and I knew he was ours. We met a few of the other dogs that were up for adoption, but kept coming back to Woody. We adopted him on May 28, 2001.
Woody was a rowdy boy when we got him. He would bark and lunge at people when we walked him, scaring them half out of their wits because he was such a big dog. As he became more certain that he had a family for life, he became less fearful that other people would take us away from him and more curious about whether they would pet him, or maybe even pull a treat out of a pocket. He loved his walks, and somehow knew when he was going to get one without anyone saying a word to him.
We put our beloved Simon down at 12 + yrs. last September. He is the final one in 40 years of being owned by a number of other collies. He came to me on 9/11, a day that didn’t faze him as he waited at the groomers/vets, to go to his new home. He was a very tall, long puppy of 18 months who had been overlooked by his breeders who kept him as a playmate for his dominant brother.
We have never had a dog of any kind, let alone a collie, who was not a gift of joy and happiness. Simon, who was named Boots in his early days, grew into a gorgeous pet quality boy, who never met a person or animal he didn’t like. He gave rides to very young grandchildren who still talk about them and stood guard as they slept at Grandma and Grandpa’s until he no longer could climb the stairs.
His most favorite place in the world was the cottage in Harrisville, on Lake Huron. The last month of his earthly days, we took him to the cottage, knowing the long drive would be hard for him but that he would want to visit his lake and all the smells he loved so much, one last time. He is still missed by the cats and his little chihuahua buddy. When the time is right, we want to foster a collie and help prepare him or her for a wonderful life with a family who will love him or her as much as we love Simon and all the others who came before him (Nicky, Stewy, Sydney, Tweede, Pearl and Suzie Renae). You will never know such happiness if you never endure the terrible sadness that comes after, but it is worth it and we would do it over and over again to know animals of such perfect love.
Bella was our foster collie for less than two months but she will be remembered and loved forever.
She was a beautiful soul, both in looks and heart. We had to unfortunately put her down when it became apparent that she had cancer throughout her body, the kind that appears when nothing can be done.
I know she loved her time with us and we are heartbroken but glad she was sent to us, so we could love and care for her to the end of her life. Rest in Peace sweet girl.
Your Foster Family,
John, Karen, Desi, Maud and Lily
The Champ fought his last bout with arthritis, dementia, and old age on Monday.
It’s a sad feeling today, not to have him at my side, not to hear his bark, not seeing his collie smile. Yes, it’s a sad feeling today
When I first saw Rocco, I thought he was just so beautiful, a white collie with a tri-color head and a black spot on his right side (soon to be known as his Snoopy spot). He came into the rescue as Salt with his tricolor brother, Pepper. I renamed him Rocco, after my grandfather.
If there is such a thing as angels on earth, I was blessed to have one in my life. I always told him he was my angel, and now he's heaven's new angel. I will always love and miss you, Rocco my sweet boy.
October 25, 2001 - August 4, 2014
Written by Foster Dad, Neil Persinger
Rocky passed over the Rainbow Bridge today. He was my hospice foster for two wonderful years of happy shenanigans, providing lots of laughs at his goofy antics and always willing to welcome new fosters into my home.
I can imagine him romping and playing in lush fields on the other side of that bridge with the other Collies who made a difference in my life.
August 25, 2002 - January 6, 2015
Written by Dad, Neil Persinger
My Mandy Girl - Mandy came into my life in April, 2008 and has been the matriarch to the many foster and hospice Collies who have come and gone at our household. Now, she has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge to join her Collie family that she so lovingly cared for when they were here with us. Her loss is heartbreaking, but her memories will be forever. Loved you so much, my first “girly, girl” rescue. My Mandy Girl.
Dec. 14, 2004 - Jan. 24, 2015
Written by Foster Dad, Neil Persinger:
Sir Eldon was my special needs foster, always close to me although a bit wobbly at times due to his severe arthritis. Despite his physical disabilities, he always wore a big, happy, Collie smile and bonded closely with his senior family. His loud, trumpeting bark signaled dinnertime each day during the year he was with us. Eldon was deaf, moderately vision impaired, and was diagnosed with severe arthritis of the spine and rear joints. Upon entering our rescue program, he was tested heart worm positive, and he managed the treatment like a trooper. Everyone loved him, but I was the fortunate one to have him as my hospice foster. I will truly miss my happy boy and that big affectionate smile.
Update: Laddie has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
Update: Howell has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.