September Rainbow Bridge


My angel, my heart, my dear, sweet Buddy went to heaven, passing through that rainbow bridge. My heart aches, and I am fighting back tears as I write this. Buddy was the sweetest, and most gentle boy you’d ever meet. He was a once in a lifetime doggie. We were bonded. He was my fur baby. My sweet angel.

Buddy was eleven. I adopted him about three years ago. Matt Beckwith, who’s such a wonderful person, picked Buddy up in Iowa, and my sister and I met him near Madison to pick him up. As soon as Buddy was in the car, he gave me kisses! He was a big boy, and his heart was even bigger! He made friends with everybody, especially the dogs and humans in the park. He had toys everywhere, and my sister said that he had won the doggie lottery with me.

Buddy was a sweet soul, and gentle spirit that you don’t often find. I miss him terribly. My house is full of memories of him, and it is very quiet right now. I know Buddy is in heaven, on the other side of that rainbow, running, jumping, and playing with every soul he meets – until we meet again, my sweet baby. – Sharon


RIP to sweet Luther, who was adopted in 2012. From his mom: We said goodbye to Luther today, and helped him get his wings. Lu had been living on borrowed time after multiple bouts of pneumonia and losing mobility in his legs. He was on 3 painkillers 3x/day, and still managed to bring awe and happiness to everyone he met. Run free, best friend. I miss you already.

August Rainbow Bridge

Submitted by the people who loved them


Yesterday (July 31), we said goodbye to our sweet Shasta. She came to us 11 years ago and would have celebrated her 14th birthday next week and she was truly a collie who needed rescue – she was starved and neglected when she came to MWCR. Shasta spent the first three years of her life chained up and at first she only knew how to hop up and down as if she was still chained.

It took our scared, shy, skinny girl several months to realize that she now had all the good things collies should have waiting for her but once she did she embraced it with great enthusiasm! She loved the snow, running free in her big fenced yard and bossing around three male collies who all understood that she was in charge. Two of them have already crossed the Bridge ahead of her and we’re sure they were waiting to greet her. We always joked that she must have come from Wisconsin originally because her absolute favorite treat was cheese. We are so thankful to all the people who helped save her so that she was able to enjoy the great collie life she deserved and we will miss her greatly.


RIP Scotch, from his mom: After 12.5 wonderful years, I had to ease Scotch to the rainbow bridge. I’m very sad, he was the best dog ever.








Danny, who we adopted in December 2008, has gone over the rainbow bridge. He was about 13 years old and was very healthy until recently when his hind legs started to give him trouble as arthritis had set in. We got him a new orthopedic bed and bought him a sling so we could help him walk but in the end he was in pain and we decided the time had come – Always a hard decision but the best one for him.  – Sincerely, Colleen and Kris, Winnipeg, Manitoba

July Rainbow Bridge

Submitted by the ones who loved them


RIP handsome Chester who was adopted in 2012 after he was found as a stray with a badly injured foot. At the time we felt that he may have been caught in a trap and chewed his leg to free himself. Despite this tragic incident, Chester was a sweet, loving boy and will be greatly missed by his family.







Just over four years ago I submitted an application for a rescue collie. I asked for a young female. The Collie Rescue instead sends me a picture of a five year old male. LOL. I fell instantly in love. Such a classic collie. Charlie was my fifth collie and he was the funniest dog I ever had. LOVED his toys, constantly protected us from the vacuum, the mail truck and all things on wheels. This past February he was diagnosed with liver cancer and was given one to two months to live. This brave boy made it until today. HUGE HUGE hole in my heart and our house but so blessed to have had him in our lives. He was the first collie that Joe let come into his office (aka Man Cave), LOL. He had a fan club with the neighborhood little girls and they came over today to read him the book Dog Heaven before he passed. Run free Mister Charlie.


June Rainbow Bridge

Submitted by the families who loved them.


RIP Ringo, adopted 01/2012 when he was seven years old. His mom says: I am letting you know he passed 05/29 at the age of 15. We miss our sweet boy so much. His name was Mingo..we changed his name to Ringo Starr. Attached is a photo from last week. Of Ringo and his also rescued aussie brother. Ringo was unable to stand on his own at this point. Because of COVID we had to wait a few days. So we hand fed him and carried him so that he could relieve him self. Best dog ever.


Yesterday (June 1), our beloved Lacey crossed the Bridge as gently and quietly as she lived. Lacey was born March 17, 2008, one of five collie puppies that came to be known as the St. Patrick’s Day puppies. We received her as a foster at  nine weeks of age and fell in love at first glance. Lacey had two MWCR older brothers, Astro and Max. They fell in love with her just as fast as Bruce and I did. Now she is racing through the meadow with her big brothers and all the wonderful pets we have known and loved.


Saying So Long:
Through tears, I am trying to honor one of my best friends and one of the best studio assistants ever. We had to have Scotch put down last Sunday due to laryngeal paralysis that was getting worse and causing more and more bouts with aspiration pneumonia. He was a sweet gentleman to the end, still initiating play in the morning and “bopping” me for a snuggle even though he was having trouble breathing.

There are so many memories:
•His love of keep-away, staying fractions of an inch out of our reach for a toy, ducking his head just enough to keep the toy away—with a gleam in his eye the whole time
•Watching him roll in the grass for the shear joy of it
•Seeing him figure out how to play hide-and-seek with us, another of his favorite games
•Many, many collie kisses and snuggles
•Having him lay close when he sensed his humans needed him to do so
•Poking me when I sat down to practice piano to get a rub, then laying down with a HUGE groan. My toughest music critic
•Watching him cuddle his teddy bear
•Listening to him “cry” with joy when I came home a few years ago from an extended hospital stay. He never left my side that night
•Always, always seeing his shear love of life. A memory I/we will never forget

Our hearts are broken. There will be more collies in our house if at all possible — that’s just a part of our lives. We’d fail at any attempt to foster any rescue collies, like Scotch was, but we can do our best to give the best home possible to a collie in need. Scotch taught us that.

May Rainbow Bridge


Beloved 12-year-old collie mix Robi went over the Rainbow Bridge May 10 due to lung cancer. Robi is truly an example of MWCR’s care and commitment throughout our collies’ lives. He was first surrendered to MWCR in 2010 with a badly broken leg and nursed back to full health by one of our wonderful fosters (thank you Monty & Victoria, before being adopted. In 2012 Robi was returned when his herding instincts were causing him to be reactive toward the comings and goings of the neighboring school. So Robi headed to his next foster home in the wilds of northern Minnesota where they fell in love and realized that he had found his forever home with them. There Robi discovered a love for the outdoors and a special affinity for skijoring. We grieve his loss along with his loving mom, dad and canine brother – run free sweet boy.



Saying goodbye is never easy. To say goodbye to two of your dogs in a few months is just hard. We said goodbye to DiceMan today (May 11). We have had Dice for eight years. He took a huge piece of my heart today. My pack feels so empty. Rest in peace boys till we meet again. – Laura, Dice and Dakota’s mom



From Keeper’s mom: My beloved Keeper was humanely euthanized this afternoon, after an emergency exploratory surgery revealed inoperable, untreatable stomach cancer. He was 11.5 years old. I adopted him from Minnesota Wisconsin Collie Rescue five years ago, almost to the day. Five years was not enough. It was a privilege and joy to be his mum and I am forever grateful to MWCR for entrusting him to me.

He was beautiful. He was a very tall, very long collie with the most beautiful mahogany coat that I have ever seen. He was radiant in the sun, and when he ran to greet me with his big, happy smile, he took my breath away.

His greatest beauty was his personality. He was a gentle, kind, sensitive dog. He loved “his” kitties and was always patient and kind to them, even when they were demonic. He tolerated his bossy “brother” dog without complaint (except for the occasional disagreement over treats). His only enemy was the road grader/plough. He barked ferociously to protect his family, and sometimes just for the hell of it.

He was serious and funny, elegant and goofy, obedient and sometimes naughty, always loving. It’s hard to think of going on without him.


Thirteen year-old Gracie crossed over the Bridge to join her siblings, Aurora and Cody. She was adopted in 2008 and will be greatly missed. Run free sweet girl!



April Rainbow Bridge


We got Duncan from MWCR in August of 2008 as a puppy. He joined a sable sister, Ruby, who was also a MWCR adoption, and tri brother Trouble, who helped raise him.  Duncan eventually became the pack leader.  He slept on our bed with us.  He was very vocal and liked to sing along with us. He would be the first to announce any strange noise or whenever a coat was put on or a door was opened. It’s terribly quiet here now. On March 3rd, he was at a grooming appointment and collapsed. The vet was in that same building and quickly ran tests to tell us he was anemic, and a scan showed fluid in his abdomen.  He had an emergency splenectomy and initially did well,  but did not regain the use of his back legs and was in a lot of pain. We helped him cross the Bridge on March 7th.  He is survived by collie brothers blue merle Luke and tri Gustopher. We all miss him terribly.


RIP Gabe: We volunteered to foster Gabe and he entered our care on 9-1-2012. Gabe with a few other collies were rescued from a hoarder in Iowa. Having two other (MWCR) companions he fit right in. Our plan was to get Gabe healthy and be ready for his Forever Family. He was so joyous and accepting of all that we and our collie companions could offer. Gabe was so very sick having severe medical issues and malnourished. He barely weighed 50#. It was estimated then he was about four years old. But our vet felt he was about six  or seven. He was with us for six months before he was finally ready to be adopted and at his targeted weight of 95#. Like I always say, “What’s one more”! Gabe got along very well with our other  collies, Reese and  Ryder. He decided to become our #3 collie companion. He was so easy. Gabe always had that collie smile, so sweet and wonderful temperament. Gabe, like so many large breed dogs, began to have weakness in his rear. Cold laser therapy, joint meds, vitamin B-12 injections and acupuncture did not help. He was a trooper and never complained. Reese and Ryder passed within three years of Gabe being here. So I became his one and only, my heart dog. He read me like a book. We did everything together. He was mine, and I was his. I miss you dear boy. Our home is very quiet with no pet companions now. We loved you so very much sweet boy. Tom & Vickie


RIP sweet boy: This is Jo. We brought him home from his foster family the summer of 2010. He was an energetic boy, full of life and happy to be with us. As you might guess, he was something of a scamp, but he was our scamp. He loved playing ball, playing with his tug rings, and hunting for mice in the field near our house. While he enjoyed getting attention from others, he was happy to do anything that involved being with his people, whether it was taking walks, riding in the car, or just lounging while we watched TV.

For all his enthusiasm, he had his quiet moments where he’d just look at you with those collie eyes, and those times, you got the impression he was seeing depths in you that you didn’t know you had.

Once he started pushing 13, little aches and pains seemed to last longer. His hind legs didn’t work quite as well as they used to. There was a diagnosis of arthritis. He wasn’t so interested in balls or tugging, and when he did decide he wanted to play, he didn’t care to do it for as long as he did when he was younger. He still liked going for walks and rides, so we did as much of that with him as we could.

Last fall, he started breathing funny and it was a while before we finally got a diagnosis of laryngeal paralysis and a “spot” on his lungs. It was while we discussed tie-back surgery that we learned about GOLPP. Suddenly it wasn’t about the arthritis or the spot and his symptoms seemed to snowball.

It was a systemic break down that we weren’t able to overcome. Breathing became a chore and his gait became unsteady and he couldn’t figure out whether he was walking on the top or bottom of his hind paws sometimes.

After a while all the meds couldn’t help. When he didn’t care to eat – Jo, a dog who never turned down a meal, and managed to find “snacks” of his own on our walks – even on an kick-butt appetite stimulant, we knew the day we’d dreaded, the day we hoped would never come, had arrived.

He had his last car ride on March 26. He no longer hurts, he can breathe normally, and he can chase as many balls and do as much tugging as he wants – just not with us right now.

We love you, Jo, and miss you terribly. Thank you for nearly ten years of being our boy. Best Collie Ever.

Thank you MWCR for entrusting him to us. He’s left a Jo shaped hole in our hearts.


McCoy, adopted in August of 2008, went over the Rainbow Bridge April 25, 2020. RIP handsome boy.


February Rainbow Bridge

MWCR foster brother, Brett (Favre), lost his battle with old age, Feb. 15. He was a few months older than 13 and lived an adventurous life. He was a champion at showing foster siblings the ropes of indoor living, how to do steps, how to sleep on beds and behave at dog parks. He loved to run and splash in the water. But most of all he loved his boy, KJ.

Brett did not like being left alone. He tore the screen in KJ’s bedroom and jumped out the window (above the garage), to the driveway, twice. He leaped over the deck railing several times, even when someone was in the house. He didn’t like it when KJ left. We always got him back from his tag or microchip.

Adopted from the Coon Rapids shelter, three days after his namesake retired, we were told he was Australian Shepherd and cattle dog. We’re pretty sure he was more catahoula than cattle dog. Catahoulas are pig herders, and that was definitely Brett’s herding style. We did a Wisdom panel on him a few years ago, only to be told he was 50% herding dog, 25% husky, 12.5 cocker spaniel and 12.5 lab.

He will be missed.



Dakota, almost 15 yr old sable-headed white, adopted in 2009. Fly high Dakota we will miss you, but we know that you are with Buddy now.

January Rainbow Bridge


From Cody’s mom: This sweet boy, Cody crossed the rainbow bridge on 12/31/19. He was 14 1/2. He loved to be petted by strangers and held his head high when told how beautiful he was. He loved his family dearly and we all loved him with all our hearts. We rescued him through the MWCR when he was 2 1/2. He came out of his shell the first few days knowing he was finally being loved and taken care of. When we met, he jumped up with his front paws on my chest and gave me a kiss. It was love at first sight for my baby boy and I. He loved going on walks and going to the dog park. His girlfriend at the park passed away six months ago. He loved his 90# yellow lab, Sophie so much, like a teenager in love. It was so sweet. Thank you for bringing us together.

December Rainbow Bridge


Gabby, I loved you best.

This cold early morning we finally part my friend

And you’ll run on around the bend

Gone from sight but not from mind

New pleasures then you will find

I’ll go on; I’ll find the strength

Life measures quality, not in length

One last embrace before you leave

One last look before I grieve

There is Signe, that is true

But she is she and that’s not you

And I, fair, impartial, or so I thought

Will remember all you taught

Your place I will hold, you will be missed

Your fur I stroked, your nose I kissed

And as you journey to your final resting place

Take this with you…

I loved you best

Perhaps Gabby had always been a bit of a “wild child,” or maybe her stint of homelessness led her to fight for every morsel of food that came her way. Whatever the motive, Gabby would sometimes launch preemptive strikes on other dogs for no apparent reason. When the perfect home came along – a retired gentleman who lived alone on a nice acreage with no other pets – it seemed like a match made in heaven.

Gabby settled in nicely, enjoying daily long walks, attention from her beloved master, and a large yard in which to play. However, she didn’t appreciate Dad’s paying attention to other dogs. As a further insult, one little black dog bit her on the nose without provocation – an understandable turn-off! Sometimes Gabby would stake her claim to territory even if it was while they were out on walks or while visiting another’s home. She would assert alpha dog status and let it be known that she’d better not face any challenge to that ranking! After she lunged at a standard Poodle twice her size on his home turf, Gabby’s Dad realized that she was capable of doing great harm if this behavior went unchecked. He needed help, and he needed it fast!

Fortunately, Gabby lived in Big Bend Wis., close to Frank Allison’s training facility. In their initial one-hour session, Frank used a humane pinch collar, and employing consistency and frequent rewards, he kept reminding her who was boss. “Keep it positive” was his mantra. Frank then took Gabby outside where there were lots of other dogs. Amazingly, after that brief one-on-one session, she was suddenly as interested in the other dogs as they were in her.

Gabby and her master were invited to attend several other training sessions. Her Dad was anxious that Gabby might attack the other dogs, and she quickly sensed his nervousness. Recognizing this, Frank took Gabby in tow to demonstrate his techniques to the group, using this former “wild child” to teach the entire class lessons in canine control. Soon Gabby was shouldering other dogs, ducking through Hula Hoops, jumping up on tables, passing alongside loud vacuum cleaners, and much, much more!

In short, Gabby needed to learn how to socialize with other dogs, and now she can’t wait to visit her canine friends on their walks – well, except for the little black dog who bit her snout! And Gabby now loves Aunt Linda’s standard Poodles and looks forward to house-sitting for them with her Dad! Whether she wonders, as comedian Rita Rudner has speculated, if poodles might be members of some weird religious cult, Gabby isn’t saying, proving once again that she has truly become a lady! No more pinch collar needed for this lovely girl!



We said goodbye today to Pickleman (aka Pickles) after a wonderful, albeit short 17 months together. Sister Kookie (aka Cookie) was with him as he left us. We had a whole year longer than we were told to expect when we adopted him in July 2018.
Note: Pickles came to MWCR after the death of his owner and was at least 13 years old at that time, so that made him at over 14!


A very sad and hard day for us today. Diamond had a great day yesterday playing with Maggie and following me around the dog yard while I picked up the yard. He was happy. But sometime last night he twisted his stomach and we took him into the Vet thinking he had something lodged in his throat. Not the case. We chose to try surgery to hopefully save him, but the stomach was too damaged. He also had an aggressive cancer, so with that in mind we had to let him go. We are lost, numb, and empty right now. It was so unexpected. He was 11 &1/2. He gave us 9 years of unselfish love. He lives on forever in our hearts! Run free, Diamond, with Toby, Buddy, River and Raine! You will be missed!




Today my husband David and I needed to help our MWCR rescue, Murray, over the Rainbow Bridge. We adopted him on May 22, 2018 at age 5 and his name was Twister. His name did not fit him at all as he was as mellow as dogs come, mellower than that actually. We changed his name to Murray. We couldn’t have found a better dog. He was so sweet, unique and special. He was absolutely adorable, almost never barked, loved everyone: kids, dogs, cats, loved walks where he could sniff everything, especially leaf piles. He always wanted to say hi to everyone on our walks. He loved chasing squirrels in the yard and walking around with a stuffed toy in his mouth, snuggling on the couch, even being vacuumed. He was a lover. His symptoms started several months ago and the diagnosis was never definitive; either pancreatic cancer or chronic pancreatitis. We had excellent vet care and provided palliative care., enjoyed each good day. He was so tough and brave and then he became very tired. We knew today was the day, it was so hard to do but we know it was right for Murray. We are comforted in knowing that he is not suffering and hopefully sniffing everything in his new surroundings. We are so thankful to MWCR for matching us with Murray, he gave us so much joy in his short time with us.


November Rainbow Bridge


Sad news from Baron’s mom – he was adopted in 2009: I struggle to type this, but wanted you all to know. I rescued Baron from MWCR 10 years ago, a shy skinny boy that feared all people. He grew to be a strong beautiful people loving collie. In June he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Today (November 15), he crossed the rainbow bridge. He fought long for me and kept his amazing grace. Thank you so much for taking him and giving me the opportunity to give him the best life for 10 years. I am forever grateful!



Sad news from Cricket’s mom: Sadly I am writing this email to let you that Cricket lost her battle with kidney disease early November. We are heartbroken, this sweet little girl was a gigantic part of our lives. Her fun loving, outgoing and cuddly personality could not have been more of a perfect fit for our family. She helped her collie sister, Lacey, come out of her shell and enjoy the outdoors. Thank you for allowing my perfect Cricket to come into our lives, she is deeply missed. I only wish there was more I could have done for her but we were lucky enough to make precious memories with her.



Sadly we had to let our dear Lassie go over the Rainbow Bridge (Nov. 6). She has had hip problems in the past year or so that made it a little hard at times for her to get around but in the past few days she could barely stand and would fall after only a few steps. She also refused to eat the past few days. Lassie would have turned 12 in January.


Lassie came to MWCR in 2009 at a year and a half old when her owner, who was in the service, got stationed to Iraq. Within a day, we knew we knew we would be adopting her – she was just the dog we were looking for. Lassie loved to run free and was always excited when she was allowed outside the fenced area of the seven acres at her home. She liked to show off how fast she could run. Lassie was a wonderful companion who lived up to the character of her breed and her name-sake. Every time a new foster arrived, Lassie was thrilled and would immediately welcome her new friend(s) into a game of chase. Always friendly toward every person and dog she met, one of her favorite things to do at the dog park was to hang out at the gate to meet all the people and the dogs as they would come and go.

When it became difficult for her to run and chase with the dogs she would stand aside and cheer (joyfully bark) while the other dogs played. She enjoyed her years as cheerleader almost as much as she had enjoyed the times she had running with her canine friends.


I adopted Loki in 2011. He was the tricolor smoothie from the litter born on 7-4-2010. When I first got him, he was very shy and scared of so many things. But I dedicated a lot of time and training with him, and year after year he became more and more comfortable with me and his surroundings. Eventually he became so confident and content that you never would’ve known he was ever a timid dog. We did everything and anything together. We had plenty of adventures; travelling, going on hikes, spending time at the dog park, and visiting the beach. But I think our favorite moments together were just cuddling on the couch and relaxing at home. We went through so much together and we became very close. We had a deep connection where I honestly felt he knew exactly what I was feeling, and vice versa. He was my best friend.

Earlier this month, I had to put him down due to inoperable and incurable cancer. He was my best friend and enriched my life in every way possible. My home and heart feel so empty without him. I want to thank MWCR for bringing him into my life. My life wouldn’t have been the same without him and I feel so lucky to have spent the time with him that I did.