June Rainbow Bridge

Submitted by the ones who miss them

Great sadness accompanies this letter, yet I need to tell you about a Great collie adopted nearly ten years ago.

Pixly

July 19, 2009 we adopted Pixly, who came all the way from Iowa to our home in northern Illinois. The amazing foster mom from MWCR drove over two hours to a 1/2-way point to make the introduction to us and our other collie, Rosebud. She knew very well that we were likely to complete the adoption right there, having been approved by local representatives of Collie Rescue. He bonded immediately with Rosebud and with us, and the journey home began. Pixly was unwilling to remain in the ‘way back’ part of the wagon, oh no: over the seat, next to the kids, head on the armrest and giving directions. That was our first day. What a smart boy. What a sweet boy.

Every day was full of the love and joy that is unique to collies: loud, enthusiastic announcements when anyone would return home, boisterous play followed by intense sleep, respectful walking with the older Rosebud. Pixly made me into his very own human, and made sure everyone knew it. When Rosebud passed, at nearly 14 years of age, we truly thought that we would be a one-dog family. That changed when we met Mavis, a smooth tri-color, through Collie Rescue of Greater Illinois. Pixly recognized, as we did, that Mavis was a work in progress, a real rescue. He helped bring her out of her shell, learn to love, taught her how to play, even. What a smart, sweet boy.

Just as in the song “The Circle Game”, the seasons turned so quickly, with kids going to college and graduate school, and Pixly and Mavis being there as an anchor for them to return to. Pixly maintained a terrific sense of humor, always giving us reasons to laugh, even as his mobility became challenged. Suddenly, we’re looking at a 13+ year-old collie with left leg pain and lost function. Last night he was diagnosed with an inoperable tumor, and to relieve his suffering we had no good choice other than to ask the vet to give him a graceful exit. His final breath was in my arms as I wished him Godspeed and great success in Heaven.

Ironically, the last 24 hours have been hell for us: the suddenness of his decline, the self-doubt, the bargaining and finally the acceptance that his work on this earth was complete. Such a sweet boy.

We are forever grateful to MWCR for making the introduction of Pixly to us. He was our first adoption, and we will definitely adopt another in due time. I will always love him, and miss terribly the sight and sound of our love puppy. Thank you for the tireless work that you do, to bring these deserving dogs into the right forever home!

Sparky

We lost our beloved Sparky last night. He was the best dog. Sweet, loving, smart, gentle. Everything and more that a collie should be. Our hearts are broken but I want to share Sparky’s story – at least the last seven years since we adopted him.

It was pure chance that in early summer 2012 I came across his photo on an adoption website. Without Scott’s knowledge, I reached out about adopting him. A wonderful hound rescuer, Roberta R. Beach (Bobbie Beach), had welcomed him in to her hound pack, Silverwalk Fosters. He was four years old, intact and being from the Missouri bootheel area, heart worm positive.

Bobbi was working behind the scenes to get him into the amazing Minnesota Wisconsin Collie Rescue. Through their support, Sparky was neutered and underwent treatment for heart worms.

I finally had to tell Scott that we needed to go check out this purebred collie that needed a home. We drove to Cape Giraudeau with Heart to meet Sparky. Never a fan of car rides, Heart was probably just glad to be out of the car by that point. Obviously, the introduction went well. And we arranged to have Bobbi come do a home inspection. On August 12, Bobbi brought him to us and he officially became a much loved member of our family. What a sweet, smart boy!

The years have flown by much too quickly – filled with all the love and joy that is unique to collies: loud, enthusiastic barking, boisterous play with Heart and later Tiller, followed by deep sighs and intense sleep, gentle walks with Scott in the neighborhood with everyone stopping to tell him what a handsome, sweet boy he was.

Our grandkids have been blessed to have had Sparky here to greet them and love them. Tiller has had the benefit of his mischievousness (stealing Tiller’s favorite furrballz and prancing around victoriously), as well as letting Tiller know when he was out of line and needed to mind his manners. Heart has had a vocal teammate who helped her make sure that their flock was always safe and our yard secure.

It is a bit surreal – this happened so suddenly. In a little over a day, he was gone. He just turned 11 and we still had to get his birthday cake and treats. It just started with a cough, but one that wouldn’t stop. It reached the point where he couldn’t get comfortable, couldn’t get enough air.

Last night he was diagnosed with spontaneous pneumothorax, and up until the very end, he remained the sweet, loyal gentleman, the perfect collie! To relieve his suffering we had to say good bye. Scott and I were there to wish him Godspeed and great success in Heaven. Because we know that “All dogs go to Heaven.”

In Sparky’s memory, always, always, always give your dogs heart worm preventive.

Special thanks to MWCR for the tireless work that they do for this incredible breed, caring for collies in need till they find their forever families.

Much love to our friend Bobbi, who found a gentle, smart collie in need and helped him all those years ago.

And finally to Sparky, thank you sweet boy for your love and devotion. You are missed!

Sadie

Lovely Sadie, adopted in April 2007, passed away Saturday June 22, 2019. Sadie was born August 20, 2004 and we are thankful to you for giving us the opportunity to be part of her life. She was greatly loved and we are fortunate to of had her in our lives.

May Rainbow Bridge

Rex

Handsome senior Rex, adopted in early 2018, was found as a stray and surrendered to MWCR. This is from his mom and dad who gave him a wonderful, loving home:
May 9th, our beautiful beloved friend, Rex, went over the Rainbow Bridge. Because each step he took was painful, because he did not see well anymore, and mostly looked sad, because he could not get better, but only worse, we gently let him go. We are so grateful to have been able to have him with us as long as we did. His spirit was generous and gentle. His presence was comforting. Thank you, Rex, for coming to be part of our family as you always will be. Thank you MWCR for letting us bringing Rex to our lives.

Laddie

Laddie, originally known as Murdock, was indeed a collie in need of rescue when he came to us in 2015. He had a bad wound on his back end, several broken teeth and his coat was tangled into a solidly matted coat of armor with what appeared to be metal shavings stuck in it. He tested positive for tick borne diseases, which was not surprising since he was covered in fleas and ticks under that solid mass of hair. He also had a large abdominal mass that was drained of over 8 oz. of infected fluid. He was so badly matted that they couldn’t even tell if he was neutered until he was shaved. Despite it all, he was an absolute angel to everyone who was helping him and we share his family’s grief at his loss.

This is from his loving family: It’s with great sadness we helped Laddie (aka Murdock) over the Rainbow Bridge after he began having serious problems with his hips resulting in difficulty standing and pain. He came to us 3 1/2 years ago as a stray with multiple medical issues. These were resolved with the aid of MWCR and foster mom Mary Kozak. Laddie enriched our lives and the lives of his humans and was the friend to all dogs and cats. He was known as Mr Mellow in the neighborhood. We’ve had six collies (Lady, Chelsea, Maggie, Sam and Sadie), with three from MWCR. Laddie was at the top of the list. We will miss him terribly but will always have his memories to cherish. Thank you MWCR for giving us the opportunity to have Laddie for as long as we did.

Cooper, one of our special needs collies, went over the Rainbow Bridge this weekend. When he originally came to MWCR in 2017 from a shelter in Wisconsin he was only two years old. While there he was diagnosed with dermatomyocitis (DM), an autoimmune disorder of skin and muscle found primarily in collies and shelties. It had been active and untreated for several months but they started him on proper treatment for the DM and for a long time his symptoms were fairly mild, concentrated to his nose and his paws, which had no toenails and were sensitive to touch. His new dad did lots of research on DM before deciding to adopt him and dedicated himself to giving him all the care he needed.

Despite his condition, Cooper was a sweet, loving, happy boy who went everywhere with his dad and won over the hearts of everyone who met him. Earlier this month he was diagnosed with oral cancer. Because of the medications for his auto-immune issue, the cancer’s symptoms were suppressed at first so it progressed quite quickly over the last few weeks. On Sunday the cancer started to interfere with his ability to breath and his dad knew it was time. Our hearts go out to him and we are so appreciative of his willingness to open his heart to this special boy.

 

April Rainbow Bridge

Parker

Parker’s family had to say goodbye today (April 2): I can’t even begin to comprehend life without him. He was always the one who took care of me. When I was feeling down he was there, every morning started with a big collie snuggle and the day ended the same. I’m heart broken but Parker is happy again, running with his MWCR sister Maybellene. Thank you for giving us this gentle, loving soul. He was loved by all who knew him.

Annabelle

Beautiful Annabelle went to the rainbow bridge today. She was 11 years old. She began having seizures last week and did not respond well to her medication. She was an owner surrender that we fostered then adopted about five years ago. She was beautiful and loving. We will miss her.

Lassie

On April 27 we helped our dear Lassie (“Lassie Lou”) cross the Rainbow Bridge. She was just over 13 years old and had been battling arthritis and cancer. Below we share our story of our life with Lassie, but for those that don’t have the patience to read the entire story, know that Lassie was the most gentle, loving soul you could meet. She chose us to be her forever family, and we are forever grateful for the joy, happiness and love she brought us the last 6 years. Read her full tribute here.

March Rainbow Bridge

Bunker

Bunker was my 15th foster in May of 2012. He was adopted by a family in Nebraska, who drove all the way to my house to pick him up. He lived a wonderful life with his family, a very sweet and gentle  dog who will be missed.

From Wendy – We had to put Bunker down today. He had become very arthritic and we tried everything the vet could offer. Today he was throwing up and crying. It just got to be too much for him. Thank you for being his foster mom. He had a great life and will be missed. We loved him.

Ricky

My sweet Ricky went over the bridge Saturday afternoon. He was my MWCR transport failure six years ago. He was bound for Green Bay, my job was to get him from Wayzata to Eau Claire. He had clearly never ridden in a car, never wore a collar.  Had clumps of cow manure throughout his coat and was riddled with fleas. He had an overbite that rivaled Freddie Mercury. But when our eyes met, and his tail slowly wagged, I was on my phone to see if we could foster to adopt him. We never made it out of Minnesota.

We could tell things were getting harder for him. His breathing was very labored and we could tell he was uncomfortable and struggling.

He was the sweetest and most sensitive collie we ever owned. Reamus is a bit lost without him. Our house is sad without him.  Until we meet again, my sweet boy. Thank you for picking us and to MWCR for putting up with my craziness and allowing him into our lives.

Eli

We were sad to learn that handsome Eli, adopted in 2013, went to the Bridge last month. Eli came to frolic with us at most of the WI events and we will miss his sweet face. He would have been 13 yrs old in June. Run free, sweet boy.

January Rainbow Bridge

Last week, our dear Cole passed away. He came to us from MWCR in 2008 and quickly became a valued member of our family. He was known among our family and friends for his joyful bark, his love of being petted, and for always watching out for the children. We miss the click, click, click of his paws as he secured the perimeter of our house, ever the shepherd, and his gentle ways with all of us. Although Cole was thirteen and had a somewhat lame back leg, he still climbed on his favorite chair for naps and was alert and happy right up to the last days of his life. We are forever grateful to have had eleven wonderful years with him.

 

My Gentle Giant, may you now and forever be able to run, romp and play in the Heavens and join your friends at the Rainbow Bridge.
My heart is breaking into a thousand pieces today as we laid to rest our beloved Toby this morning. In our eyes there never was such a gentle and kind soul. Toby, lovingly referred to as The Lion by my great nephew, was a big boy at over 108 pounds. His heart had to have been most of the weight because he had something so special within him everyone noticed it. Each person he met wanted to take him home and make him theirs. Cars would literally pull over to talk to us just so they could get a chance to meet Toby on our walks. Neighbors waited for us to pass by so they could say hello to him, give a quick pet or two and pass on a treat and always, ALWAYS was he so friendly and well behaved with my grandson and all the neighborhood children. It wasn’t just people either, other dogs loose and running the street, had charged us before with their teeth bared only to stop dead in their tracks as they neared Toby. His calm energy and confidence let them know there was nothing to fear. Toby was also amazing and patient as he welcomed our friends and family’s pets into our home and over 10 foster dogs- always gentle and showing them the ropes but still quietly remaining the King.
I can never thank Minnesota Wisconsin Collie Rescue enough for bringing him into our lives. And as cliche as it may sound, it wasn’t us who rescued him but it was Toby who rescued us and completed our home. He lived over a decade and spent half his life with Rich and I making us feel safe and loved each day. My heart will forever ache over this sweet golden boy. Rest in peace Toby Terhune . . . we love you. –  
Jerna Madero and Rich Laurence

Sandy

In 2016 we were contacted by a local shelter about taking in sweet, senior Sandy, a collie-mix with health issues – her family had moved away and surrendered her to them. Sadly, she went to the Rainbow Bridge but we know that her last few years have been filled with love and kindness.

This is from her mom: My sweet, thirteen-year-old collie mix, Sandy, has passed away. Sandy had arthritis and atypical Cushing’s disease. Her health began deteriorating last summer and for the last few months, she had been living on the main level of the house since she could no longer do stairs. Despite her health problems and her very limited mobility, Sandy was always happy, engaged, and wanted to be part of everything that was going on. Sandy particularly enjoyed going for rides, especially to visit her veterinarian weekly for acupuncture and laser therapy. In the end, she lost interest in the world and no longer wanted to get off of her pet bed. Sandy passed away peacefully with her collie brother Jake, Duncan the cat, and me by her side. Throughout everything, Sandy’s spirit was always bright.

 

 

December Rainbow Bridge

Onie

Handsome Onie, adopted in 2013, has passed away. His dad says Onie was the perfect collie companion – loving, smart, a great friend. He loved routines, our early morning walks in the neighborhood, day trips to the local hills and lakes. He was great friends with all the local store cashiers who handed out treats. He loved people and their dogs. He always kept me in sight from under his bushes in the yard. There’s a big emptiness here.

 

Bella

Today is a very very sad day for me; my girlfriend Bella crossed the rainbow bridge. We adopted Bella with her best friend Barron in August of 2015 (they were on the September, 2015 adoptions list). They were inseparable, where ever one went the other was not far behind. When Barron fell ill, Bella stayed with him until the end. After Barron crossed, it was a while before she got her spark back, but I don’t think she has ever forgot him.

Bella was my best girlfriend, she went everywhere with me. If I opened the door and Katie ran out without her, she would whine at the door until I let her out as well. Then, looking at me like “how could you forget me”! She was also my “truck dog” as she loved riding in the truck where she could stick her head out and smell all of the sniffs along the way.

She has had a good run of years out on the farm. She was a little too dainty to be a true farm dog, as she did not like to get her paws dirty. She loved the horses and cats, but she had the most fun chasing the 4-wheeler or snowmobile. For whatever reason, she loved to run, bark and bite at them. When I would work out in the barn with the horses, she would find a nice hay bale to curl up on and keep a watchful eye on the situation, making any adjustments that were necessary and keep the riff-raff out.

She had developed a cough over the last couple of months, nothing alarming, but none the less it was there. She had her regular checkup in June and the vet said that she was in great shape. But I could tell that there was something wrong. I took her in, and my vet felt that it was a heart issue, as Bella was around 12 at that time. She took some X-rays and came back and said the good news is her heart is perfect; the bad news is that she has canine lung and mammary cancer. She gave her two to six months. Bella was given some medication to help her breath better, but the side effects were not good. Her health steadily declined, leading up to today.

It is hard for me to grasp that it has only been three years that she has been in my life; it feels like we have been together forever. We have adopted many older dogs throughout our lives, and each time a little part of me leaves when they cross the bridge, Bella has left a large hole that will take a long time to heal. I thank God for the opportunities that He has given me to enrich my life with these gentle creatures.

Rest in peace my friend; keep an eye open for Mattie, Buddy, and Barron, as we will all be together again someday. – Bob & Nancy Boecher