March Rainbow Bridge

Buster

Buster came to MWCR at age nine after being a stud dog for a breeder in Nebraska.  He had spent his entire life in a pen with two female collies who were extremely mean to him. They also wouldn’t let him eat out of the dish they shared, so he had to wait until they were finished.  He had permanent scars on his nose from the fighting and he ate anything he could find when he got here. He ate my checkbook/wallet once.  I woke up to find my cash strewn about the living room floor, my cosmetics and medicines as well.  Only the metal clasp was left of the change compartment but luckily the change was still lying around.  He also ate a purse, a watch, a digital camera, suede slippers and gloves.  I had to get him to the vet at least three times to get his stomach emptied … especially when I thought he ate the rubberized garden gloves … that’s when he barfed up the suede slipper but I later found the glove behind my couch (Cooper was a puppy then and tossing things around).

When Buster came into MWCR he was terribly shy.  He wouldn’t come out of my bedroom.  He found his safe place lying between my bed and a chair under the window. He had a bath rug on the floor in front of the nightstand next to my bed.  He would never come out to greet guests, even my son had to go into the bedroom to greet Buster.  But he was always sweet to everyone, even though he had trouble making eye contact.  Eventually he moved out to the living room for me and I put several dog beds in front of the fireplace and that was his new spot.
It became clear very early in fostering him that he would never be the outgoing, fun collie that people expect. So I quickly decided he was MY dog (I tend to be a homebody too).  He got along with every other foster that came in, but still kept to himself.  Eventually he did start barking a bit along with the other dogs when he was in the yard, but he mostly kept his “Zen” demeanor.
He didn’t show much age-related problems until the past year or so.  Then his hind-quarters got weaker and he was noticeably thinner in his rear end.  When I gave him a bath last year, his right hind leg got twisted up and he had a more recent episode where he couldn’t walk on that leg (canine vestibular disease … old-dog syndrome). When my childhood friend, who I had reconnected with recently, met him last year, she fell in love with him, despite the younger dogs trying desperately to get her attention.  I told her about the incontinence (Judy is a nurse), and she declared his name to be “Mr. Peester” (or the Peester), as we agreed he was a CHAMPION pee-er.
Buster is also mourned by Terri Libro.  She transported him to me back in 2011 and still remembers him fondly. She said at one stop, he spotted another female collie who was along for the ride and he immediately started “marking” all over Terry’s SUV. She said that was about the only time he showed any activity on the trip.  Buster sired several litters of gorgeous pups. Two were surrendered along with one of the females when Buster came to MWCR.  – Joan Lindberg

Redford

It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that our Redford has passed away at age 12.  We were his third home when we adopted him in 2009 at age four. We previously had five Shelties, but always wanted a collie. He filled that desire perfectly! He was a wonderful example of the breed being very gentle and sweet as well as so handsome. He had a beautiful coat! He loved living in the woods, enjoying the deer and going for walks to see our goats.

He did very well until 2014, when he developed canine hyperthyroidism which is very rare in dogs. This was due to a cancerous tumor on his thyroid. He survived surgery to remove this tumor but was given a very guarded prognosis. He also developed post surgical bloat as we were ready to take him home. He was a strong dog having survived both of these rare life threatening conditions. A couple of years ago, he was diagnosed with intervertebral disk disease. He had many successful laser treatments, but recently he had increased weakness in his back and back legs. This progressed to where he was not able to get up on his own. He continued his strong spirit and gave collie kisses right up to the end. His passing has left such an emptiness in our hearts. We thank MWCR for the privilege to adopt this very special dog. He was very much a big part of our family these past eight years! We miss you Red! – John & Kathy Genser
 

Shelby

It has been almost a week since we had to say good-bye to our beloved and beautiful Shelby Girl. Her health was failing and we knew it was time . . . and even though she had lived a long and wonderful life of 14 ½ years, it still didn’t make it any easier. After being a part of our life for all those years, it will be quite an adjustment without her.

Shelby came to us shortly after I joined MWCR in 2003. She was 10 months old and had been a stray that was being held in an area shelter in Duluth, Minn. Shelby was our first foster and our first adopted collie from MWCR. She was originally adopted out to another family, but fate took over and she was returned to us. It was meant to be! She was ours!

Shelby put up with several foster males coming and going along the way, each one leaving their mark and impression. She would learn a trick or a “not so lady like” habit from each one of those boys that would come through. One of those collie boys ended up staying . . . sweet Will. Shelby and Will complemented each other so beautifully. He was patient enough to tolerate her and her female antics!

She was quite the character with such a unique personality! We took her to obedience class and she breezed through with flying colors, labeled “the smartest dog in the class!” She picked up on everything so fast and was quickly trained.

She was extremely affectionate and loved going for daily long walks, rides in the car, playing with her squeaky plush toys, chasing the Frisbee and pestering us to throw that darn tennis ball! I swear she was part retriever and border collie!  In her golden years, Shelby loved to be out in the yard watching mom and dad doing yard work, and being content to lounge around and see the goings on in the neighborhood!

She will leave a huge void in our house, but her memories will live on with us forever. My walking buddy, my shadow, my loyal companion. We will miss you girl. May the angels in heaven look after you until we meet again my friend.  – Tina M

February Rainbow Bridge

Alli

Alli

Alli crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on Friday, January, 24th.  She was 13 years old.  She was acquired in Shorewood, Wis.,  in 2005 at the age of 1 ½.  She will be missed. – Jamie Breuer

 

Lady

Lady

 

 

 

 

 

Lady went over the rainbow bridge tonight, February 7, 2017.  I rescued her four years ago from a no-kill shelter in Illinois where they had legally removed her and two siblings from a home where they had been starved for years.  She was just coming out of her shell and learning to play in the last six months as her health deteriorated  and back legs gave out.  I miss her so much.  She was a really good dog; gone from my side; but always in my heart.  – Sue Konkel

Meggie

Meggie

 

Dear sweet Meggie, who we adopted in 2007 at age five passed over the rainbow bridge on Feb 7th. She was a strong, happy girl who expected nothing but gave everything! Thank you to the rescue for blessing us with Meggie for 10 great years! – Lori Malett

 

E.Z.Ryder

E.Z.Ryder

Ryder joined our family in February of 2004 and enjoyed his two MWCR resident collies. Over the years, Ryder introduced several foster collies and additional permanent companion pets to the good life. He accepted and mentored all who entered our home.  He developed  hypothyroidism at age five and became deaf around 11 years old. Fortunately, we train all of our collies by using verbal commands along with hand signals. It became apparent that he was VERY food motivated and an easy dog to train. He was a quiet collie who didn’t bark or react to vacuums, firecrackers, thunderstorms, doorbells, etc. He was happy with or without a companion and even enjoyed our feline pets.

Ryder was a handsome mahogany sable with such a sweet face. He could tell time as he would be giving me the look for his breakfast and dinner time. I had better hop to it! He would also remind me that it was his AM and PM “pilly time”.
Ryder began a slow decline losing muscle mass, weight and gained weakness in the last year. In November 2016, we took him to the vet as his gums were so inflamed. Our vet did a full senior panel. He did have for the first time, Anaplasmosis. He was treated with antibiotics for six weeks. Actually, he was a healthy boy for most of his life.
He was not the type of “in your face” dog. However, the last six months of his life, he couldn’t get enough human affection & attention.
Ryder leaves behind, a collie boy named Gabe and two human companions who miss him. Oh Ryder, we miss you so. –  Tom, Vickie & Gabe
 .
Laddie

Laddie

Laddie was such a gentle soul.  We miss him.  We found out he had a large mass on his spleen which had pushed his intestines up toward his chest.  You would never know that Laddie had a problem because he never showed any sign of distress until just recently when he was having trouble walking and had a problem breathing.  He just had a checkup a couple of weeks ago and he was fine.  Then today (Feb. 24), he just went downhill so fast it broke our hearts. We will cherish the time we had with him.  He loved Arizona and swimming in his pool.  We had to put grass in the yard for him because he didn’t like the desert landscaping.  Hard on his paws.  Here is a picture of Laddie resting on his grass. – Lee Gronych

January Rainbow Bridge

Madeline

Madeline

Cancer has taken my sweet Madeline.  I was planning on just fostering her in 2008, but we all know how that goes . . .  She and my other MWCR alumni bonded so well she stayed, and we are grateful for the years we had together.  She loved to herd her big fur-brother Mackenzie, they would play chase and tug ropes, and do squirrel patrol together.  She especially loved being ‘Miss July’ for the 2015 calendar with all of the accompanying praise and attention a pretty calendar girl like her would get!   Madeline was a gentle, loving sweetheart and I will miss her beautiful spirit. – Laura Grayson

Callie

Callie

Our girl, Callie, aka Colleen, went to the Rainbow Bridge Monday night. She had bladder cancer.
My boyfriend at the time, now husband, and I adopted her in September, 2005. She was a year and three months old. We met her foster parents in Dubuque and thought we’d have a nervous, panting dog in our back seat for the two hour drive home. Within a couple miles she was comfortably lying down. My husband called her our common sense dog, ready to go when needed and then plopping down to rest. She could hike a few miles with us and then lay on our bed the next day.  A very social girl she seemed exhausted the day after a family event which always amused us. She loved her butt rubs, squeaky toys, sitting in the dryer kennel at her groomer and “supervising” the park in our backyard to make sure there were no trespassers. We loved the Chewbacca noises she made while playing and we loved having such a beautiful, warm companion around. We miss our schnoggin very much! Thank you for all you do! – Linda (Struck) McDonald

November Rainbow Bridge

Griffin

Griffin

We adopted Griffin from MWCR in September of 2010. He has had the best disposition and was a great companion. In 2013 he passed his therapy dog test and observations, and began coming to work with me two days a week. He touched many lives during his few years at “work”. We believe Griffin was nine years old, but may have been older. He had several health problems, including thyroid issues, arthritis, and at the end they thought colitis. Griffin stopped eating, would not take his pills, and ended up dying in his sleep while being boarded at Kind Vet while we were out of town. We will miss our Griffie! – Marlae Cox-Kolek

 

Nemo went to the Bridge on Friday, Nov. 11. His person wrote this before he made the trip: Earlier today, Nemo and I walked through Hartley. It was a slow walk as he doesn't move very fast anymore but nevertheless, it was a good walk. The sun was shining, the leaves have fallen and the fall air was surprisingly warm. Nemo and I have come to relish our small moments in time as both of us know our days together are numbered. As sad as it is, with each and every passing day, it pains me to see my Nemo's inner light slowly fading away, as though someone is turning a dimmer switch lower and lower. There are times when I feel like I'm in a tug- of-war with life and death. I panic and pull with all my might - No, you can't have him just yet! But then God pulls back and reminds me, "he was never yours to keep forever. He is here only for you to love for a short while." I grieve a thousand small deaths of my old boy with each passing day . . . the loss of his physical health, his senses, his strength, his energy, his vitality, and even the spark in his eyes. Breaks my heart to suffer with him through so many small losses and to watch his health and spirit fade away. But this is the final battle . . . the one I know I cannot win. There is only so much that I can do and so much that I cannot do. What I can do is carry on with grace and dignity and all the love that has swelled in my heart these past several years to make his last days on this earth more loving and comfortable. What I can't do is make him young again. Every morning we wake up to thank God for giving us one more day together. When the time comes, I will have to let my Nemo go, and he'll surely take my heart and soul with him. I pray every day for strength for that final today and I will kneel in humility and gratitude that God ever granted me - me of all the millions of people in this world, the most precious gift of this sweet dog's love for so many years. Nemo, my heart dog - my gift from God - You will be in my arms a short while longer but you will be in my heart forever.

Nemo

Nemo went to the Bridge on Friday, Nov. 11. His person wrote this before he made the trip: Earlier today, Nemo and I walked through Hartley. It was a slow walk as he doesn’t move very fast anymore but nevertheless, it was a good walk. The sun was shining, the leaves have fallen and the fall air was surprisingly warm. Nemo and I have come to relish our small moments in time as both of us know our days together are numbered. As sad as it is, with each and every passing day, it pains me to see my Nemo’s inner light slowly fading away, as though someone is turning a dimmer switch lower and lower. There are times when I feel like I’m in a tug- of-war with life and death. I panic and pull with all my might – No, you can’t have him just yet! But then God pulls back and reminds me, “he was never yours to keep forever. He is here only for you to love for a short while.” I grieve a thousand small deaths of my old boy with each passing day . . . the loss of his physical health, his senses, his strength, his energy, his vitality, and even the spark in his eyes. Breaks my heart to suffer with him through so many small losses and to watch his health and spirit fade away. But this is the final battle . . . the one I know I cannot win. There is only so much that I can do and so much that I cannot do. What I can do is carry on with grace and dignity and all the love that has swelled in my heart these past several years to make his last days on this earth more loving and comfortable. What I can’t do is make him young again. Every morning we wake up to thank God for giving us one more day together. When the time comes, I will have to let my Nemo go, and he’ll surely take my heart and soul with him. I pray every day for strength for that final today and I will kneel in humility and gratitude that God ever granted me – me of all the millions of people in this world, the most precious gift of this sweet dog’s love for so many years. Nemo, my heart dog – my gift from God – You will be in my arms a short while longer but you will be in my heart forever. – Sally Ringsred

 

Ruby

Ruby

Ruby went to the rainbow bridge today (Nov. 14). She was 14 years old. Ruby came to me as a foster five years ago and has been with me ever since. She will truly be missed. – Monty Witt

 

Marley

Marley

Our hearts are very heavy. Marley left us yesterday (Nov. 12). It was such a difficult decision but felt like what he wanted. He had degenerative nerve disease. We struggled a bit but he hung in there with his huge heart and smiling eyes until the last week when he lost all function in his back legs. We are so sad to lose our precious baby. My sister, Mary Ann, Karen and I were with him when he died. We can never thank you enough for bringing Marley to us. He meant everything to my mother and took care of her around the clock. He took care of all of us for these many years and was such a special addition to our family. – Chris Senn

 

Lacey

Lacey

Dear Friends @ MWCR, I lost my darling collie dog Lacey the day before Thanksgiving. It was a terribly sad day and yet during this Thanksgiving season I was so thankful that we got to spend part of our lives together. Lacey was seven when I adopted her from MWCR, and almost 12 when she passed. She lost control of her back legs and hips. I couldn’t stand to see her collapse to the floor. She wanted so badly to get up and so I would help her but then she would fall before completing a single step. My heart ached. My daughter Emily  lives with me and I would like to share what she has written and shared with our friends and family. Thank-you so much for bringing Lacey and me together. She taught me what unselfish love is. In her last hours her eyes said it all.  – Sincerely, Robert Heussner

It is with a sad heart that we had to say goodbye to this beautiful girl yesterday. My dad adopted Lacey about 4½ years ago from the Minnesota Wisconsin Collie Rescue. The day her foster mom brought her to the house, we instantly fell in love with her beautiful collie face and sweet demeanor. The rescue site had described her as the “almost perfect dog”, which she was. She was sweet, oh so gentle, well behaved, and funny! We soon came to realize that the “almost” referred to her love for barking. She didn’t discriminate against who she barked at …  little old ladies, girls on pink bikes, men, women, big dogs, small dogs, and the occasional cement statue of a dog. Despite my best efforts to rank as #1 human in her life by giving her small tokens of human food and a never ending supply of belly rubs, she was my dad’s dog through and through. You could see how much she adored him in the way she watched him with her soulful eyes and the playful way she would nudge his arm with her long collie nose. She had a long nose and she knew how to use it. It came in handy for floor surfing, herding her humans, as a nudging device when she wasn’t given an ample amount of attention, and for fun stuff like flipping the couch pillows in the air. I laid awake the other night thinking about the things I would miss most about my girl and so many things came to mind like the way she would stumble out of bed in the middle of the night groggy, with bed head to get a drink of water, the way she would lean into me while I was giving her a hug, how she would burp in my face when I’d go to give her a kiss on the nose, and the enthusiastic greetings she would give, even if you had only been gone for 10 minutes. R.I.P, Goob, Thanks for being such a great dog! Your presence is sorely missed. – Emily Heussner

 

October Rainbow Bridge

Cowboy

Cowboy was a dear sweet soul who kept his puppy-like joie de vie as an adult.  He came to us as a youngster who had not worked out as a therapy dog and had been passed over by a previous adopter for being “naughty” (he had eaten the TV remote). With patience and exercise he soon learned his basic obedience and was a perfect family member. He spent many hours in the sun sleeping and playing with his longtime packmate JarJar.   Cowboy was the only dog I have shared my life with who kept one toy his whole life. He had a squeaky ball that was a favorite. He would play catch with it all day if you had the time and he loved to hold it in his mouth and squeak it. You could talk to him and he would squeak, squeak, sqeeeeak, back like he was conversing with you. He had a delightful goofiness about him that never failed to make you smile.   Cowboy will be remembered always and always be missed. – Tim Bush

 

Riley

Monday (Oct. 3), we lost our wonderful Riley boy to cancer. Despite many health issues over the years he always carried on with joy and love. Our lives are richer for having him with us and his passing leaves a huge hole in our hearts. He will also be greatly missed by his State of the Art family where, for the past 10 years, he greeted everyone with a High Five and request for a treat. “Riley Friday” became an institution and many of his friends stopped in on Fridays just to say hi and enjoy the comfort of his presence even when they didn’t need car care. As a smooth collie mix his wonderful personality was the reason we decided to foster for the Minnesota Wisconsin Collie Rescue. Riley was an unfailingly kind and patient friend and mentor to over 50 fosters including Creena and Rivers, who became a part of his forever family. We miss you big guy. I hope wherever you are there are comfy couches, meaty bones and no one yells at you for barking and eating paper products. Our bed will be colder at night but our hearts will always be warm with your memory. – Sarah Rebernick

 

 

Wes

Our gentle and mellow senior boy Wes left us too soon today (Oct. 18), after suddenly losing use of three of his legs.  We enjoyed our time with him and are grateful to MWCR for putting us together. – J. Gette

MWCR brought Boomer to our home in Milwaukee back in 2009. Boomer spent the next seven years (he was five when we got him), sleeping on his favorite chairs, going for walks twice daily, spending most weekends at his farm in Door County, playing with his best friend and brother Ian (also from MWCR), eating lots of cheese curds, and getting loved on 24 hours a day. Our baby has gone over the rainbow bridge and our hearts are aching. Please know that he was the greatest gift to us. He was the sweetest guy in the world. He did not suffer and he fell asleep in our arms. Thank you MWCR for Boomer, Ian, Sadie and all the love we have had through the years from our collie kids. - Paul & Dave, Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

MWCR brought Boomer to our home in Milwaukee back in 2009. Boomer spent the next seven years (he was five when we got him), sleeping on his favorite chairs, going for walks twice daily, spending most weekends at his farm in Door County, playing with his best friend and brother Ian (also from MWCR), eating lots of cheese curds, and getting loved on 24 hours a day. Our baby has gone over the rainbow bridge and our hearts are aching. Please know that he was the greatest gift to us. He was the sweetest guy in the world. He did not suffer and he fell asleep in our arms. Thank you MWCR for Boomer, Ian, Sadie and all the love we have had through the years from our collie kids. – Paul & Dave, Sturgeon Bay, Wis.