August Adoptions

KellyKelly, 8-year-old male mahogany/white, joins the happy group of Minnesota foster flunkies. Kelly is a sweet boy who has had more than his share of sadness. His first owner passed away and then a family member in his new home developed severe allergies and they were forced to make the painful decision to surrender him. Sweet Kelly also has hip dysplasia, and although he may need surgery in the future, for now he gets around pretty well and his new mom helps him with exercises to strengthen his muscles. So after a little shuffling around, Kelly has landed in the perfect place and everyone there (furry and not) knows it. Congratulations!

Lady2Lady, a 1.5-year-old sable white, has been adopted and will be living in Wisconsin. Before coming into rescue she was an outdoor collie who just didn’t want to stay down on the farm. Lady had a reaction after her spay surgery that made the vet suspect she might have Addison’s disease, so she’ll be watched closely until her test results are in. Her new family is committed to helping her live a long, healthy life. Although she’s given up the farm life, she will be living with assorted small critters but as the only canine she’s sure to get all the love she can handle. Update; Lady does not have Addison’s Disease! She helped her human brother move to college the weekend of Aug. 24.

Skylar1Skylar, a super cute 9-month-old mahagony/white male, has been adopted and will be living in Wisconsin. Skylar came into foster after being surrendered to a shelter by his owner. We got a call that he was not doing well in the shelter environment and they asked us to take him in because he was very scared and not eating. Fortunately for Skylar, his foster home had a couple of dogs that were happy to let him know there was nothing to worry about and in no time he was playing and romping with them. Within a few days he had decided the people there were pretty okay, too, and that dinner time was one of the best things ever. Skylar warmed up to his new mom quickly and even gave the stamp of approval to his two new collie siblings. Being a pretty smart guy, I’m sure he’ll soon be showing his sweet, loving personality to everyone.

DexterSo what happens when a foster home who’s dog recently went to the Bridge takes in a four month old puppy? That’s right – instant foster flunkies! Dexter came into rescue when his previous family lost their home and he didn’t waste any time worming his way into his foster family’s hearts. So congratulations to Dexter on his forever home and to his new family for welcoming such a cutie into their lives!

GracieGracie, a 9-year-old sable/white, has been adopted and will be living in Wisconsin. Gracie is a very loving, sociable girl who needs a little extra TLC with loud noises and during stormy weather – which probably made her former life as an outdoor dog pretty scary at times. When Gracie came to MWCR, the vet discovered that at some point in her life she had suffered a broken pelvis which didn’t heal correctly, leaving her hip joint off kilter. So far this isn’t showing signs of bothering her although she does prefer to lie on her ‘good’ side. Gracie is now happily settled in her forever home with her new mom and lots of visiting friends where she is sure to get all the love and attention she deserves.

OnieOnie, a 5-year-old sable/white male, has been adopted and will be living in Colorado. Onie was surrendered to MWCR when his elderly owners were unable to care for him any longer. He will be sharing his new dad’s affection with his MWCR collie sister and he’s sure to be a big hit with his supermodel good looks!

WaylonWaylon, a sable headed white male about two years old, has been adopted and will be living in Wisconsin with his new mom, dad and two kitty siblings. He came into rescue from an overcrowded shelter after being found as a stray. Poor Waylon needs to be a little more cautious when choosing his friends, since he arrived with a face and chest full of porcupine quills. Although he can be a little shy, he wasted no time winning the hearts of his new family and even the kitties thought he was pretty cool.

Pictures of the Month

The+buddiesSpike celebrated his fifth birthday today (Aug. 12). I rescued him three years ago! Here he is with his favorite buddy Ranger and homemade pumpkin “pupcakes”. The pupcakes were a hit with both Collies!

– Kristin K.


RileyRiley still fits in ‘his’ spot at nine months! Hopefully they never need to get a different couch.


Mariah is the 12-year-old mother of the hoarder collies that came into the rescue late last summer. Here are ‘before and after’ pictures of her. She is in permanent foster care.



WaylonFoster boy Waylon enjoying a game of tug with Creena


Arnie, Robin and crewArnie and Robin at the MWCR Booth, Dog Days of Westonka


WoodsonMWCR fosture failure Woodson at Michigamme Reservoir (Michigan)


DexterRecently adopted Dexter plays ‘hide & seek’


Walk for Paws 1 Walk for Paws 2

Several MWCR members participated in The Walk for Paws, in Kenosha, Wis., benefiting the Kenosha Humane Society.

Walk for Paws 3

Foster Failures Become Happy Families

Last month we were “foster failures.”  We were swept away on a tidal wave of love for our newly acquired foster collie. We renamed him ” Jackson”, a new name for a new life. He was formally known as “Butch” . Who names a beautiful collie  ” Butch”?  It  sounds like a name for a pit bull with a spiked collar.
We  are so proud to announce that all is happy here. We have never known a dog so anxious to please, so eager to fit in, or so demonstrative in his expression of his love. Daphne and Tristan have accepted him  as a family member and share their gifts and knowledge with him.  They  can relax and enjoy Jackson now that he has had his “procedure” and they no longer have to be concerned about his  amorous advances .
Arnie, Jackson and TristanI know Jackson is happy being with us, he demonstrates it every chance he gets, like jumping into bed with me at 2:30 a.m., flopping down next to me, his tail furiously wagging and snuggling his nose against my neck. If this doesn’t elect an instant petting response from me, he then goes to step #2,  which involves licking. If all else fails he then climbs on top of me and lays there. The weight of a 75 pound dog will wake you up. I never get mad at him for this.  I can only imagine how lonely he must have been tied to a dog house all alone day after day.
I think his life has changed a lot, hopefully for the good.  He no longer gets served two cups of “Old Roy” delivered to his dog house once a day. Nowadays he gets to go to Chuck & Don’s with Mom & Dad  for the “good stuff” plus Mommy makes yummy collie treats. He  eats and lives with us as a member of our family. He has had his first bath (which he liked) and his first vet appointment. He now has acres of woods to play in with Daphne & Tristan. He never had playmates before.  He is a much loved member of the family and knows he is a very important to all of us. Jackson enjoys having afternoon coffee with Mom & Dad. It was a surprise to us when he shared my cup of coffee with me. Jackson likes his served lukewarm with cream & sugar. WHO KNEW??
Thank you MWCR. If it weren’t for the efforts of some very special people, this whole new life for Jackson would never have happened for him or the thousand other collies MWCR has found new homes for in the last 10 years. Jackson shows us every day in every way he can how happy he is. I bet your adopted collie does too.
Arnie & Kitty Hilk
Jackson, Tristan, Daphne Hilk

Happy 50th Anniversary!

062Kitty and Arnie Hilk, long-time MWCR members, fosters, adopters, transporters, supporters, and energetic volunteers at numerous events, recently celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary!  Fellow MWCR Events/Fundraising Committee members Cat Olund, Linda Riegger, Robin Kashuba, Mary Ann Statz, and Terry Libro along with Andi Wulff, Kitty and Arnie’s daughter Andrea, son-in-law Dale, and granddaughter Rachel hosted a dinner in their honor at a restaurant on the shores of Lake Minnetonka.

During the evening, Kitty and Arnie shared their secret for a long, happy marriage (stubbornness), reminisced, and reflected on their involvement with MWCR.  Thank you, Kitty and Arnie, for sharing the evening with us, for sharing your lives with MWCR and our Collies, and for being extraordinary people.  You’ve touched so many lives, both human and Collie.  Our lives are so much richer because of both of you.072

Wishing you many, many more years of happiness!

Collie Story: Making friends on a walk

By Gloria Gerber

Jake & MaisieI sit and ask myself, what collie story do I have to contribute to the MWCR blog.  I guess everyone has many collie stories if they really thought about it.  I have one in particular that comes to my mind over and over.  I walk my two collies Jake 10 1/2 years old, and Maisie who is going to be four in November.  One morning on a walk, there was a woman waiting for the bus with her handicapped son.  He was in a wheelchair.  Now Maisie and Jake are not around children very often.  Maisie is usually afraid of them for a bit, and Jake seems annoyed by them.  The young boy was probably six or seven years old and he was reaching out to the dogs and trying to talk.  His mother was trying to settle him down when Maisie went right to him.  Jake followed of course and since Jake is blind in one eye and has collie eye in the other, his sight is not good. He still felt the need to go to this child.

The mom said it was okay and the young boy was so kind to the dogs.  Maisie licked his face and he started to react by laughing. Jake is not a licker so then they both just sat next to the boy and let him feel their fur in his hands and face.  The mom told me he has never reacted to dogs in that way before, and I told her my dogs have never reacted to a child that way.  I am not sure what his handicap was specifically, but he could not speak where you could understand him and he could not sit upright so he was strapped in the chair.
The mom thanked me for stopping as the bus showed up.  The boy was waving and saying bye and it seemed to be the only word he could say. We saw him a couple more times and always stopped.  It was a good feeling to see my fur kids notice that someone needed to love them.  We take for granted sometimes how much our dogs love us.  Whenever I come home and see Jake and Maisie they come and greet me and at night when I finally sit down for a bit of TV watching I have to sit in the middle of the sofa so they can both have some of mama.
Do I have more stories?  Most certainly, but none have affected me quite as much as this one.  These dogs have such intuition of what is needed in your life.  When you are sad, they comfort you. When you are stressed they stay close but not too clingy.  when you feel upset or angry they do something funny to make you laugh.  What more could you ask for?

August Events

By Terry Libro, MWCR President and Events Committee Chairman
Maia the Therapy DogThis year, ten MWCR volunteers and nine dogs descended on lovely Stockholm, Wisconsin to participate in the annual Dog Days of Stockholm on the shores of Lake Pepin.  The weather was perfect, the location shaded by tall trees, and the event well attended.

Pat Kessler of WCCO-TV in the Twin Cities was the master of ceremonies.  Numerous people and their dogs stopped at our booth to check out the merchandise, spin the wheel to win a prize, and to sample Kitty’s Gray Gables Farm turkey jerky treats for dogs.  One visitor from the nearby campground said her family schedules their camping trip to coincide with this popular event.  After the event, the MWCR volunteers stopped at dog-friendly Bogus Creek Café in Stockholm where we dined on the patio with our tired dogs by our sides.

Thank you to Arnie and Kitty Hilk with Tristan, Daphne, and Jackson; Cat Olund with Maui; Christina and Russell Sager with Nessa; Barb and Dave Gibson with Emily and Laddie; Robin Kashuba with Harley; and Mary Ann Statz with Cindy for making the trip to Stockholm.

Hope to see you there next year!

MWCR supporter Gail Koska with her ColliesAnother perfect day welcomed visitors to the Dog Days of Westonka in Mound, Minn.,  in late August.  The event, held in a park near the shores of Lake Minnetonka, always attracts numerous visitors, whether coming specifically for the event or checking it out after visiting the nearby Farmers Market.

MWCR supporter, Gail Koska, stopped by with her two gorgeous Collies to visit.  Pat from Maund Entertainment, which provided facepainting at the event, selected MWCR to be the recipient of donations from the facepainting this year.  Thank you, Pat!

Our Collies worked hard at the booth, as usual, and then rested on the grass behind our booth.  Even while taking a break, they attracted crowds of people who simply couldn’t resist our beautiful dogs.

Thank you to Kitty and Arnie Hilk with Tristan, Daphne, and Jackson; Judith Roggow with Phoebe; Robin Kashuba with Harley and Shelby; and Mary Ann Statz with Cindy for staffing MWCR’s booth.

For more pictures, click here

Early Summer Events in Minnesota

By Terry Libro, MWCR President and Events Committee Chairman
The Collies and volunteers with the Minnesota Wisconsin Collie Rescue had a busy first half of the summer getting the word out about MWCR, meeting potential adopters and supporters, and raising money for our rescue Collies.

Kitty, Chris, KJ, and Cat with Woodson and MauiThe Canine Carnival was held at the Wild Life Science Center in Forest Lake, Minnesota.  Despite being cut short by heavy rain, the event was enjoyed by many.  Milo, who lives nearby with his foster mom Andi Wulff, made an appearance and charmed all.All of the dogs had the chance to visit with the wolves, bears, and other wildlife at the Center.

Chris Norman and KJ, along with collies Woodson and Maui, gave a presentation on MWCR to the attendees.  Thank you to our volunteers Chris Norman and KJ with Woodson, Cat Olund with Maui, Kitty Hilk, Mary Ann Statz with Cindy, and Andi Wulff with Milo for making the event a success.Milo
MWCR participated in the Super Adoption Event in Rochester sponsored by the Rescued Animal Coalition of Southeast Minnesota at the end of June.  The event, held at the local fairgrounds, highlighted numerous rescues and pet adoption agencies in the area.  Several MWCR adopters stopped by to visit.
Christina and Russ Sager with NessaCBS Radio’s Pet-A-Palooza at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in St. Paul was another huge event with numerous rescues, vendors, entertainment, and of course, fair food.
Cat Olund with Maui, Linda Riegger with Willie and Allie Mae, Chris Norman with foster Lady, Russ and Christina Sager with Nessa, and Mary Ann Statz with Cindy staffed MWCR’s booth.  Several Collies stopped by to visit with the MWCR Collies.Lady







Barb Gibson and Arnie Hilk with ColliesThe Dog Days of Summer at the Alimagnet Dog Park in Burnsville at the end of July was another outdoor event dampened by rain.  Nevertheless, people and dogs turned out for the event.

Kitty and  Arnie Hilk with Tristan, Daphne, and Jackson, Barb and Dave Gibson with Emily and Laddie, and Robin Kashuba with Harley staffed MWCR’s booth.Tristan Hilk







Click here for more pictures of these events.

Collie Story: Dog Only Nose

By Paul Hanson
GabbyDog only nose I have owned Collies all during my 67 years and have many a true story but this one is simply the most astonishing.
Currently Gabby is my MWCR tri-color “furever” female four footed friend!  I adopted her about three years ago and we have been learning and exploring ever since.  We walk two to three miles each and every day no matter what the weather may be.  I think she likes the exercise and she of course knows that I need it.  So the situation is as mutual as it can be …. we love our walks.  Ahh …. but during one of our walks “up north” something truly  unbelievable happened!
It was mid summer last year while walking along scenic Hwy. 107 that follows the Wisconsin River that something truly amazing happened.  Nearing a bend in the road we both heard it!  Gabby’s head turned sharply and she immediately stopped dead in her tracks to hear it again.  And there it was:  a helpless cry … no, more of a terrifying scream.  It was the sound of a  helpless bleating cry of an endangered lamb!  It reminded me of the terrible  cry a rabbit makes as it is caught in the talons of an owl in the middle of the night. But this was taking place in the middle of the day.  Something was crying out in terror as it splashed around in the water.  We both ran ahead about 50 feet to see what was causing such a noise.  To our utter amazement there in the swampy section of the river off to our left was lone wolf chasing a small baby deer!  Back and forth in the muddy shallows the small doe tried to postpone her immanent death and hopelessly cried out for help.  We saw her circle about several times narrowly escaping her enemy’s teeth and nails.  The water made it hard for the wolf but he was committed.  Gabby made no sound.  The herder she is, she usually barks up a storm. After all, Gabby barks at almost anything that moves.  But then perhaps she knew there was nothing she (or I) could do to save the poor young fawn.
So I yelled at the top of my lungs.  I shouted out as loudly as I could and whistled sharply.  What else could I do?  Suddenly the wolf dodged back into the wooded section and left the doe to make her escape into the tall reeds and bank.  Gabby and I ran ahead and thrashed about into the same area.  We ran as fast as we could and hit heavily wooded and solid ground where we stopped and stood perfectly still.  We listened but all I could hear was my pounding heart.  Gabby continued to stand still … she did not pant but carefully sniffed the air and listened.  Nothing!  No wolf.  No baby deer. Not a thing.  Not even a singing bird or croaking frogs …. just an eery  silence.   Where had they gone to?  Was the baby deer caught?  What happened?
Under the lush canopy of green we continued to stand still.  Finally Gabby looked at me as if to ask what was next.  It was time to leave.  Nature had taken her course.  So sad.
As I  began to lead her away Gabby suddenly froze.  Her nose pointed to the baby right in front of us!  There!  Not 12 feet away from where we were frozen in time lay the poor little fawn.  She was perfectly camouflaged and very much alive!  She looked at us and we stared back in disbelief.   She was somehow spared and given another chance.  As though nothing had happened.  So we began to slowly back away and leave the fawn to herself.  But Gabby looked up and away from the baby toward her right.  She froze again staring at the fully grown deer peering down from a sloping hill.  The deer was looking at us!  As we continued to slowly back away from the fawn she began to wobble up onto her legs.  She slowly turned to the deer above and began to move toward it. We saw the slightly bloody hind quarter of the baby but she appeared to be strong enough to get up the hill toward the deer.  At last the fawn was right next to her mother.  Mom turned her head toward Gabby and me and uttered a very thankful “MOO”.
Gabby and I returned to the shack.  It was certainly a good walk. Dog only nose.

Collie story: From Farm to City

LaddieHello, that is me, gazing at the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wis.  I am thinking of many things, but mainly about how my life has changed.  I am very happy now, in fact, people have told my mom that.  They say, “He’s beautiful, and he looks really happy!”One lady, my mom’s friend, Helen, said that I make her happy!
I am thinking about my past life . . .  life on the farm, where I was left outside to more or less fend for myself. I was lonely and went down to visit the neighbors a lot.  I think they got sick of me because one day my owners decided to get rid of me and put an ad in the paper.  Little did I know it then, but my life changed for the better! A lady there saw the ad, and I ended up in collie rescue, and ultimately to my new life.  It wasn’t that easy, I had to learn many new things, like not lifting my leg whenever I wanted to, sitting when requested, adjusting to a companion, and two humans.  I now live in Minneapolis with a girl collie that I have grown to love even though she is a pain sometimes. She likes to jump around, play ball, and tries to get me to play tug and chase.  I didn’t quite know what that was all about, but I am slowly catching on.  This morning, in fact, I picked up a toy and handed it to my mom, and we had a pretty good tussle!  Em, as I call her, wasn’t too trilled with that, but that’s ok, she needs to learn new things too.
I am bigger now, too.  I have been in my new home a year and I have grown!  I went from 60 something pounds to 87, and I swear I have gotten taller and longer too!  I no longer ask permission to go upstairs.  I know that this is my home, and I can do what I want within limits.  I enjoy having a bed, two meals a day and snacks, and most of all someone who loves me and will make sure the tangles come out, and my teeth are brushed, and that I get enough exercise.  I’ll tell you what though, I better lay off the snacks now.  I sure don’t want to get any bigger, what I need to do is to work on new things, and look forward to the future!  You never know what it holds in store, for me, it held a wonderful life!
           – Laddie Luke Gibson