Our tears flowed when we held you close as you slowly closed your eyes, Your spirit has flown to gain wings of your own as you quietly flew to the skies.
Your breathing as you lay by our bed ... has gone. Your barking when you saw your ball ... there’s none.
Your body has come home in a box of your own, where you’ll sit proudly with all the rest. With no dog by my side, I walk all alone Dear Jazz you were one of the best.
Your beds are all washed and put away, along with your collar and lead, I’m sure you won’t mind if we use them again for another deserving dog in need.
There will be another in time to come to fill the gap that you’ve left A tri colour girl, now that would be fun But, at the moment we feel too bereft.
So we bid you farewell, fly high on your wings 'Til the day I take my dying breath, to share cuddles and kisses and other such things on the universal plain we call death.
Jazz came into our lives aged 2 years after an horrendous puppy-hood at the hands of cruel humans. Her puppy years were spent with a family who tired of her, and her litter brother, Blue and put them in separate cages in a garage, where they were let out for a few minutes each day and had to put up with being tormented by the children, who would poke sticks through the bars. Jazz’s bottom front teeth were damaged at a very early age due to her trying to chew through the bars to escape. This had made her a very frightened little girl, who used the philosophy of “attack is the best form of defence”. Blue and Jazz were rescued when they were advertised to a new home, by a couple who lived in Stockton-on-Tees. They originally only went for Blue, but on seeing how they were living and what the children thought of as playing with the dogs, offered to take them both, as they could not bear to think of Jazz on her own, but it became all too clear that they could not handle Jazz as she would bite out at anyone who came too close. Collie Rescue were asked if they could help with her, but her biting prevented her being re-homed and it was decided Rescue would have to have her put to sleep as being an aggressive dog. Then we came along ... We had just lost our blue merle girl, Gemma and were looking for another female to take her place. I was told about Jazz and being quite confident around dogs and a Committee Member for Collie Rescue I said I would give her two weeks to see if I could do anything for her. She was brought to us by the couple who rescued her and were keeping her litter brother, Blue. I took one look at this small, scrawny tri-colour girl and fell in love. My collie boy, Oliver also thought she was delightful and they enjoyed many happy hours playing together. She accepted Oliver with no problem ... maybe she knew her own breed, or accepted that she was in Oliver’s house so must behave – we will never know. I was determined that I would try my hardest to bring her round. With very small steps I got to be able to pet her on her body and the back of her head, but she would not tolerate anyone going near her face ... I got bitten on more than one occasion, especially the day I decided to see if she would let me groom her, but there was no way I was giving up. Months passed and eventually I got through to her that neither me or my husband were going to hurt her and she accepted us being close around her. We were winning her around ... BUT there was one major issue that was causing Jazz severe distress ... she would not tolerate another dog or human anywhere near her, outside or inside, apart from Oliver. This led to some horrendous walks as she would suddenly fly at anything she saw, including carrier bags blowing in the breeze. You had to have eyes in the back of your head or lose your arm she was so quick and strong. There was no indication she was about to “go” she just went ... This unfortunately stayed with her throughout her life, and it was only in the last weeks of her life that she stopped doing this, more because she was too frail than because she wanted to. The next step to try and curb this behaviour was training classes and thanks to Jazz I made the most wonderful friend in Penny, a local dog trainer I enlisted to help. We joined her class and because we were in a small area and there were lots of other noisy dogs around, Jazz decided to turn in on herself and hid as far under the chair on her first night of training as she could. I literally had to drag her out and she slid along the floor splayed out like Bambi on ice, to the amusement of the rest of the class. After week three she began to relax and ten weeks later she passed her Good Citizen Dog Scheme Bronze Award. I was over the moon, we were on our way, but her behaviour on walks did not change at all. I decided to take this one step further and train Jazz to Silver where she had to do some close work around other dogs and humans ... as she now knew these dogs and felt confident in their company she again passed the Silver Award. Gold was a big step up having to work off lead, but with Penny’s encouragement we tackled this and I am pleased to say she again passed, although her behaviour on walks never changed and sadly for Jazz she had a life of walking on an extender, as she would still fly at anything that moved, dogs, humans or inanimate objects in her path. Even Penny gave up in the end and we gave her the best life she could have without her being allowed free running. It was shortly after this that Jazz was diagnosed with Pancreatitis after a serious bout of sickness and diarrhoea. She was put on a veterinary diet which overall controlled things, although there were more flare ups along the way, but antibiotics always cleared things up within days. The years passed by, but Jazz’s behaviour towards other dogs and people never changed and we had to put her on a house lead if we had visitors, or put her in a separate room and on her extender outside. She missed out on so much, especially her precious ball which had to go everywhere with her, and she could only play ball chase within a short distance, unless she was in the secured back garden. Taking her to the vets was another “fun” thing we had to endure, taking her in through the back door, or carrying her into a room so she could not “attack” any dogs that were waiting. She did very well in Companion Dog Shows though, gaining many rosettes for Best Female Veteran, Prettiest Bitch and Best Rescue. She always seemed to behave herself around these groups of dogs, and allowed the Judges to come near her, but still tried to attack single dogs and humans. We owned a caravan on the coast and she loved her beach walks, coastal footpath walks and exploring the sand dunes, but she did not like the sea very much as water was something to be avoided at all costs. This was the only time she would not fetch her ball back if it was in the sea, although small rock pools were no problem. In her later life she suffered liver problems, and at one point a liver enzyme test produced results that were off the scale. She would have a few good weeks, then the low liver function would produce toxins in the blood which made her very poorly, but after two or three days of antibiotics she would be fine again for a few more weeks. We used liver support powder in her food each day which did help, but the need for antibiotics was ever present. Two months before she passed away she had what the vet could only describe as a neurological episode which left her with signs of dementia where she would just wander around the house aimlessly not quite knowing where she was and unable to settle, until exhaustion, when she would settle down to sleep for hours on end. We could not allow this to happen, and along with another bout of liver toxins in the blood, enforced our decision that the time had come. Jazz turned into a very loving, affectionate little girl with us and people she knew well, giving lots of kisses and loving nothing more than being close to you on the settee. Her life was the best we could give her. There was an ever present sound in our house ... “Jazz, stop being a bugger” or “you’re a bloody pest” when she was scratching or digging at her numerous beds or carpets .. oh, how I wish I was still saying that. We miss you so much and still look for you in certain places in the house .. like “your bedroom” which was the downstairs toilet where you loved to curl up on your bed, or on the hearth rug .. if you were not lying on it, you were digging it up into a ball, then walking away, how I would love to straighten that carpet again. But especially I miss you next to the bed at night Wherever you are, I hope you are now happy and free from that fear you carried for all those years. Fly high, fly safe, be happy xx Re-united with Oliver, Harvey and litter brother Blue (see below). Annette and Paul xx
BLUE 19/6/2004 - 2/1/2018 Blue has enjoyed a wonderfully healthy life and until the beginning of November, had never had any medication as he was 'fit as a fiddle'. We have had eleven and a half lovely years. At the end of October, we went to Northumberland where we go every year to a cottage and he enjoyed three hour walks and beach runs. He started dragging his right hind leg the week after we returned and since then has been to the vets weekly. The vet said he had Spondulosis of the spine and he initially prescribed Metacam but this didn't make a difference. He then went onto Gabapentin and Medrone as well as the Metacam, but his condition deteriorated and he was dragging his leg continually and his claws were bleeding. Then his other leg started to go as well. His deterioration was rapid really and before Christmas the vet said he was out of medication options and that we would know when the time was right. Blue was still eating very well (although that could have been the steroids), but he stopped playing with his beloved toys the day before we made the decision and he started to look very tired and 'ready'. His legs were getting weaker and we didn't want him to start falling over or becoming distressed. What we didn't want is him to suffer and to keep him 'for us'. We had some lovely final days before Christmas with him and a last trip to the beach. On the day, Blue was very settled and peaceful and the vet came out to our house so Blue wasn't distressed. As you are only too aware, it is heart-breaking when it happens. We are going to scatter his ashes on the beach where we went to every Sunday. Re-united with housemate Max and litter sister, Jazz (see above). Karen and Peter xx
DUDLEY Passed away 9th January, 2018.
Although we are still struggling, and missing our pal hugely since we said goodbye on the 9th January - it was time to go.
Since Dudley came into our lives, and as any dog lover knows, they become the most amazing companions, form unbreakable bonds with you, and just make life that little bit more amazing. Dudley was no different! Whether he was napping, out walking, or stepping over friends at home who were over for a get together - he was always chilled out and had a happy zest for life.
So many people often said: ‘Ahhh Lassie! You don’t see these dogs much anymore’ when out walking with him. He always turned heads!
Grateful to have been involved with everyone at Collie Rescue for the last 15 years, who we know work tirelessly to save and re-home these beautiful majestic dogs, who are friendly, loyal, sensitive, and affectionate - and make the most amazing companions in life!
You are very much missed, always loved and will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace Dudley, our faithful friend xx
Steve and Ben xx
SPONSOR DOG TIA It is with much sadness that we have to inform you that Tia had to be put to sleep just before Christmas. Mid-summer last year she began having urine incontinence problems. Different medications were tried to try and alleviate this problem, but without much success and her thirst had also increased causing excessive incontinence. Blood profiles were also done and they proved inconclusive as well. The vet suspected that there was probably a more serious underlying problem with her bladder or kidneys. One morning she was so ill with a lot of blood present, so the difficult, but kindest decision to have her put to sleep was made. Tia had a long and happy life with her foster 'Mum', Julie, and litter sister, Shadey since they were both rescued about 9 years ago, and is greatly missed by both of them.
AILEE 9thMarch 2002 – 7thJuly 2016
Ernie saw this advert in our local paper on the 20th November 2006 ... "Rough Collie Bitch, sable and white, KC registered, fantastic, faultless temperament and behaviour, great with kids and pets, very pretty and superb pet - £80"
Sadly our beautiful Rough Collie, Ailee, just closed her eyes and stopped breathing, she died so peacefully in her sleep on the thick Chinese rug where she always slept on my side of the bed, on the 7th July 2016. We adopted her on the 20th November 2006, she was 5 - when we saw her we instantly fell in love with her.
She was a very caring ragamuffin, who lived life to the full, she was mischievous and used to pinch Ernie’s socks and run off around the garden with them, but always brought them back again, she loved to sit on her special Pink Chinese rug when Ernie was working on a car, watching him, but also keeping her eyes on his biscuits I would bring out for him with his drink of tea, dribbling as Ernie took every bite – and of course, he ‘had to share’, fortunately she didn’t like his coffee, so at least he could drink all that himself.
Wow betide Skippy (our cat) when he used to leave his last piece of chicken, she would watch, and pounce on it, leaving poor Skippy in tears.
Ailee loved to chase in the orchard then do her little party piece, she would come running down the path, sliding her neck and head on the lawn to slow herself down.
Unfortunately, we found out very early in her life with us that she wasn’t a very good guard dog – if anyone came to the house, and we were in and didn’t hear them knocking they used to tell me afterwards, “but all I could see was Ailee staring at me and smiling” (she used to show her teeth, not in anger, but in sheer pleasure when anyone came to see her who she knew)... I said “I was working outside in the back garden – didn’t Ailee bark?” she said “oh! no, just kept on staring at me, then she turned round and had a lay down”...........how laid back can a dog be??
Ailee never got up to any mischief, and was never, ever naughty at all, except one day when she picked up Bonnie-Prince’s Giggle Ball that was given to him by a friend, and was just on her way outside to play with it. Apart from that she was the perfect dog anyone could wish to have, as long as she was having a cuddle and a little something of food from Ernie, then she was content and very happy.
We always keep a large black bucket outside for the dogs to have a drink, scrubbing it out every day and putting fresh water in it, and she just loved that, especially in the summer, because she could get her nose right down in it, blow bubbles and wet her head through and thoroughly cool herself off.
She loved and cared for Bonnie Prince when he came to live with us, when he used to lie outside, she would go and lay with him, as if to say “I am so glad you came to share my life and play with me”.
We will never forget our beautiful, treasured, caring girlie and the love and joy she brought to us, she knew every word we spoke to her and the pleasure she brought to us and also the complete love and companionship she gave to Bonnie Prince............
We will see you again one day our little sunshine....love you....Mum, Dad and Bonnie Prince.xxx
Margaret & Ernie Pearce xx
AILEE AND THE GIGGLE BALL HER FAVOURITE SPOT IN THE GARDEN
Kara - "Vonarkle Aren't I A Dish" 29 May 2002 - 15 November 2016. We first met Kara on 5th April 2013 and she moved in on the 8th. We were warned she could be difficult to feed and was given to barking a lot. But she needed a home and she got on with Claude, and nothing else really mattered. Both those warnings were massive understatements. And she seemed to go from one medical emergency to another. She was supposed to be spayed, but days after arrival she came into season. The effect on Claude was indescribable, but in due course it was resolved. She developed a large cyst on her side which worried the vet so much it was removed the next day. Cancer had been suspected, and she had a huge scar and bald patch. She developed an ulcer in her eye which wasn't easy to treat. During the treatment blood tests revealed kidney disease, and she needed medication for the rest of her life. Then she got a serious stomach infection and was hospitalised for several days. In hospital she wouldn't eat so Bonnie and I spent a Sunday morning at the vet in her little room, trying to coax her. And so on. But never once did she complain. She underwent everything in her usual way, as gentle and friendly as always. I never saw her even curl her lip. Sometimes pills had to be given the hard way, but she was always immediately ready for a fuss and cuddle. For the last year or so her kidney problem made her feel yukky at the thought of food. But she was always underweight and in any case needed food with her medication. I've lost count of the times I've seen Kara curled up in her favourite spot by the sideboard, with Bonnie lying on the floor beside her, offering tasty morsels one at a time on the end of her fingers. Or she'd lie on my lap, where she felt safe, and I'd soothe her and eventually offer a small piece of food in the same way. It was time consuming but almost invariably once she'd got going she'd clear her bowl. And after every meal she was eager for her dental chew. We're quite proud of her getting up to her recommended weight in that period!
Kara was the most agile dog we've ever seen. She was such a graceful mover, and when she ran, which was often, she flowed. It was a delight to watch her chasing her ball. She loved to play ball - but on her rules. She'd chase it, she'd stand next to it and bark, but that was her limit. We tried to teach her to bring it back, but it was a waste of time.
Kara was nervous of other dogs. Not always. I've seen her approach a strange dog and rub noses. But more often she'd decide this was a dog she didn't want to meet, and head back to the car. Similarly we might be in the park having a stroll and she'd dig her toes in. Not another step. Only back to the car. So we tended to take Jazz and Kara to the park in separate cars so she could be brought home early if necessary. The fun was when one or other was in the park first and then the other arrived. They'd run to meet each other, barking at the tops of their voices. Once they met, that was it. I don't suppose I saw them play together as many as 6 times in 3 years. What they would do was chase intruders in the garden together. To be frank I don't really believe she knew what she was doing. Jazz ran off barking furiously and Kara went after him because it seemed the right thing to do. But despite that nervousness Kara was warm and hospitable to little Grace the Jack Russell when she came to stay. There are photos of Kara and Grace asleep together on the sofa, necks crossed, totally chilled out. She never did that with Jazz.
Towards the end Kara was also afflicted with Canine Cognitive Disease. She'd wander out onto the patio and stand there plainly not at all sure what she was doing. The trick was in her love of her ball. I would go onto the lawn and hold it up and even at her age she'd spot it and come racing towards me. Then the sensation of grass under her feet seemed to jog her memory, and she'd relieve herself and go back indoors. She could be standing in the conservatory gazing vacantly out into the garden. I'd hold up her ball halfway down the lawn and it was as if she was transformed and she'd clear the patio in a single leap, barking excitedly for her ball.
Kara was so gentle, so affectionate. She was especially fond of Bonnie and would watch for her to come home through the lights at the side of the front door. I felt it was rather like having a sick and much loved child in the house once her kidney problem meant she needed so much care. It was incredibly fulfilling that she felt safe on my lap and could relax there. But Bonnie was always her favourite. No matter, we both loved her greatly, cared for her to the best of our ability, and miss her so much. She's been an enormous part of our lives since day 1.
We owe a big debt of gratitude to Collie Rescue, and to John Bowie, the Senior Partner at Swanspool Veterinary Clinic in Wellingborough. His care for Kara has been beyond all expectations.
Ollie and Bonnie Killingback xx
CLAUDE AND KARA KARA AND GRACE KARA AND JAZZ
Sadly we have lost both DUSTY AND JUDE within a few months of each other. Dusty passed away in September, 2015 and Jude was helped over the Rainbow Bridge early into 2016. As a tribute to the girls, can I just say we welcomed both Jude and Dusty into our lives at a time when we were sad, they too were sad and needed a home. They were 10 years old and I am sure they had never had any bad experiences, but had lost the stability and security they had always known. They were just so easy to love and a joy to be around. Collie Rescue have been brilliant covering their needs from the vets. If they had not done this we would have been unsure about taking older dogs on, so thank you Rescue and all those who have and do fund raise ... the girls would have been lost without all your support. REST IN PEACE, BEAUTIFUL ANGELS xx
Mary and Steve xx
BOWMORE You came into our lives after years of hardship. You bore the scars of battles we know nothing about. You were grubby and smelly, in quite a state. Lived in a shed and endured neglect.
Despite all your past what every you endured, you were a perfect gent, calm and so loving. You made it so easy to fall in love with you. When you left too soon you took a chunk of our hearts.
Bowmore, you are so missed you went too soon. All I can say is, until we meet again, we miss you.
Rest in peace sweet boy . xxxx
Mary and Steve xx
4.10p.m. Monday, 13th April, 2015 we lost HARVEY ... although a total "pain in the bum" with his odd, peculiar, naughty, laughable, loveable behaviour since we rescued him seven years ago, I cannot put into words how much we all miss him, firstly at the caravan in Lincolnshire (where we had him put to sleep) and just getting used to him not being there, we came home and it was the same again ... no Harvey blocking the doorways, trying to bite your ankles if you passed him too close, barking and trying to kill the Hoover and standing in the garden barking at any noise, both imaginary and real. He would lick his “bits” then come and expect a kiss !! come right up to your face, burp and then look at you as much as to say, “well, that feels better”. In his later years he suffered with wind, caused somewhat by the tablets he was on, being able to clear a room in 10 seconds with his “silent but deadly” wind eruptions !!!
He had never been a well dog from the day we took him in when he was two, being partially sighted with creaky joints, but the last year had really taken its toll on him and he was struggling, even with the help of the tablets he was on for end stage arthritis, the constant infections in his eye and the ulcer that appeared on his leg which just did not seem to respond to treatment until the vet tried Manuka Honey !!
He cost us a fortune, ruled the house and caravan with his behaviour, lived by his rules .... "in my own time, when I'm ready", ignored all commands unless they suited him .... one of the best dogs and one of the worst dogs we have ever owned, wrapped up in a beautiful, handsome blue merle. RIP Harvey-Bugger xx definitely a one off xx
He will be coming home on Friday, 8th May, when we go back to the caravan to collect his ashes to rest in peace with our other Roughs - Reggie, Daisy-May, Beth, Oliver and Gemma - where he belongs, at home. Re-united with Jazz (see above) Annette and Paul Rebmann xx
DOG IN A BOX ... Our dog in a box is home to stay, no more games, no more play. The deeds been done, the ashes saved in a light oak box, duly engraved. HARVEY - 8/8/2005 - 13/4/2015. RIP xx
Annette Rebmann - 11/5/2015
Dear Harvey, You trained your "buddy", Jazz, well. She now follows in your footsteps and will not allow the birds to feed from the bird table, chasing up the garden barking, although she doesn't eat the peanuts !! and she barks at me when I take the rubbish bin out to empty it, just like you did .... oh, the memories, miss you boy xx
Dear Harvey, I cannot believe it is nearly three years since you left us .. we still miss your cantankerous ways .. I hope you have met up with Jazz and you are having fun together xx fly high, fly safe xx
TARA ..... Not a Rescue Collie, but nevertheless, she was a much treasured and loved beautiful girl who was taken away from us after a short illness aged 11 years.
'Its so quiet without you my precious, there is no one to dance around the kitchen and tell me to hurry up at mealtimes, no one barks when I sneeze and no one has yet taken your place between us on the bed at night. Although you have passed on quite a few of your naughty tricks to Teisha, your little playmate, thankfully that doesn't include eating our duvet, but the pigeons will never be safe in our garden. Run free Tara, we will never forget you. Love you forever, you leave a huge pawprint on our hearts. Runited with Topper.'
Owned, loved and adored by Julie Growcott xx
BUDDY had been with us almost 3years and he had certainly had a massive impact on our lives. He loved and trusted everybody he ever met, there was not a single nasty bone in his body, despite being neglected and ill treated in his previous life. He had a knack of getting exactly what he wanted, when he wanted it! In summer we dreaded neighbours mowing or strimming the lawns, Buddy would bark at anything as he could not see. In winter the icy roads were his biggest bug bear. He refused point blank to walk on icy surfaces.
If Buddy wanted a rich tea biscuit he would block the doorway so no one could get past him. The biscuits had to be dunked in tea otherwise he would spit it out in disgust! He had a habit of lying anywhere where he would be in some ones way. Cooking meals were a hazard as they often involved striding over him with boiling pans, but the amazing thing was that he trusted us to never stand on him or harm him.
Early January I returned home from work to find Buddy was not stood waiting to greet me as usual by jumping up and cuddling me. I went to his bed at the bottom of the stairs and alarm bells rang immediately. His body was lifeless and he did not even respond when I stroked him. I rushed to phone the emergency vet in a total panic. As I replaced the phone I turned round to discover Buddy had been violently sick several times during the night. Buddy came strolling in to the room and vomited again. The howling was horrendous and went right through me. This poor soul was in agony. By the time the vet arrived, Buddy had collapsed. The vet quickly checked Buddy over and discovered his heart rate was 120 & his temperature was 46. Buddy was in serious trouble. He was rushed off to be admitted and placed on several drips.
After 2 days and nights of several blood tests, painkillers, fluids and antibiotics, Buddy was allowed home. The vet had no idea what had caused Buddy to be so ill. He was now on a diet of chicken, pasta and rice. He seemed fine until a month later. He was quite restless one morning and did not want to eat. That afternoon he suddenly started to vomit again. We phoned the vet immediately and he was admitted over night in case he became very ill again. The next morning I received a phone call to say Buddy seemed to be ok but he would not eat as he was in a strange place. The vet then said the only way to discover what was happening would be to have Buddy return during the following week for an endoscopy to be performed. The vet stressed that the anaesthetic was a huge risk to Buddy, due to his age.
Steve fetched Buddy home along with anti sickness medicine & antacid tablets. He slept all that day. The following morning he seemed fine and insisted on his usual morning walk over the fields. When we arrived home he refused his breakfast. This was not like Buddy at all. That afternoon he was waiting for his next walk, stood by the door, tail wagging. The plan was to only take him the shortest route, he had other ideas though and as we strolled round the village he insisted on wandering over the hills, leaving his scent on every corner we turned. I told myself he must be feeling better to want to walk so far. Buddy went to sleep when we returned home, on his bed. Two hours later, he strolled in to the kitchen, arched his back rigid and screamed. He then vomited violently .As I put my hand out to comfort him he flinched. Again, he screamed in pain. Again he vomited. I phoned the vet in a total panic. We could not let Buddy keep suffering like this. We could not put him through an operation that could easily kill him. It was time to let Buddy go, let him go with dignity.
Buddy left us the way he had first joined us almost 3 years ago, snuggled between us. He was so well loved locally that he now has a memorial plaque and a cherry tree planted in his memory at Carsington Waters where he loved to walk and meet all his doggy friends. Buddy had a massive impact on our lives and not only inspired us to rescue another blind dog but he also inspired me to write a book about him which has raised over £400 for rescue to date. RIP Buddy. A dog in a million.xxx See also ... "The Stray, Unloved Dog" ... in our Poetry Corner
Pauline and Steve xx
SHAUN was one of our long standing sponsor dogs who unfortunately had to be put to sleep in September, 2014, due to multi-organ failure. Shaun was a stray who was found at the side of the road with a badly injured foot, due, we think, to a road traffic accident, which needed a number of operations and ongoing treatment over the years. He was placed with one of our Committee members in Manchester, where he spent the last seven years of his life. Throughout all the operations and treatment Shaun was "the perfect gentleman", never getting angry or upset at the amount of work he needed to get his foot working again. He did have a slight limp, but the last four years of his life he was treatment free and enjoyed what became a very sedate life, gentle walks and playing with the other dogs he lived with in the garden. Shaun attracted many sponsors over the years and everyone is devastated at his loss of life, especially his owner, Maria, who said - "Through all his lengthy treatment, Shaun was so patient and never became grumpy. I was so proud of him for his bravery. For his last four years he was operation free and has had a very peaceful and happy time. Shaun was a pleasure to own and I will miss him dearly".
ELLIE was adopted by us (our first Rough Collie) on the 13th March, 2010 - aged 11 years, after being handed over to rescue due to the fact that she could no longer manage to climb the stairs to the apartment where she lived. Ellie was a happy, contented girl and had few demands. She was happy with everyone she met, loved other dogs and cats and the birds that live on our island amused her greatly. She was a brilliant ambassador for the breed.
We noticed that she was very stiff on her hind legs, but she walked all right on flat ground. The vet said she had arthritis. It did not take too long before it became very obvious she had a major problem.
By January, 2011 Ellie was no longer able to stand unaided, she had lost the use of her back legs. She had walked our long, white beaches every day, and although she did not object, she would rather rest when we stood still. It is only with hindsight we know the reason. A terrible disease affected Ellie, she was diagnosed with the disabling condition CDRM. We sadly lost Ellie after only having her 13 months. During this illness she had dignity and patience with us and her situation. We were very happy to have her as our girl - she broke our hearts, but filled them with so much love too.
Mary and Steve xx
RUBY was re-homed in the West Midlands in December, 2012, after becoming the victim of a marriage breakdown. She was in poor condition, weighing only 14 kgs and a coat that was badly matted. The first concern was the weight as we were not sure whether this was due to being starved or a medical condition, but after only two weeks she had gained 1 kg. We had to wait for Ruby's overall health to improve before we could tackle the coat. Ruby fitted in well with her foster carers and their two other rescue Rough Collies, Joe and Jordan. Ruby lived for playing ball and carried it everywhere with her, her personality was so funny she frequently made us laugh. Ruby hated being groomed and would show her teeth and bite if a brush went anywhere near her, we suspect a brush had been used to hit her with.
A visit to the groomer resulted in Ruby having her coat stripped off and we purchased a beautiful red jacket for her to wear, which she proudly wore when outside. She also needed a dental operation to remove some teeth and clear the tartar that was present. At the same time X-rays were taken as she appeared to be "very spongey" when light pressure was put on her back. The results that came back were not good - Ruby had both osteo and rheumatoid arthritis in her spine and back legs so she was put on Tramadol for pain relief. Her weight gradually increased to a healthy 19 kgs. Ruby was now a completely different dog and so happy, but in November, 2013 she became very ill, very quickly - she collapsed, was very sick and her gums had turned white. She was rushed to the vets and put straight on a drip before X-rays were taken which revealed a massive tumour in her stomach which had ruptured and was bleeding out. We had to have Ruby put to sleep as there was nothing else we could have done for her. We could not believe that we had lost her, she had been playing happily with her ball a few hours earlier. We had only had her a short time and we loved her so much. She is missed every day.
OAKLEY came into rescue from the Somerset area. He had lived with another rough collie and several cats quite happily for a long time and when his collie "friend" died, Oakley became lonely and started picking on the cats. His owner could not cope so handed him over to rescue to re-home., he was 10 years of age.
He was re-homed in the West Midlands and settled in very well and enjoying his life. He started to have a pronounced limp on his front leg and it was discovered there was a problem with one of his toes, which had to be removed. The pre-op blood test also showed another problem, Oakley had Cushings Disease.
Oakley recovered from the operation and was put on medication for the Cushings. All was well for quite a while, until December 2013 when he had a serious bout of pancreatitis and was hospitalised at the vets. All treatments failed and after three days of trying he was not responding at all. Sadly Oakley was put to sleep two days before Christmas.
LADDIE - Several years ago we put our names on the waiting list hoping for a middle aged female Rough Collie. No luck, and then I spotted Laddie, an older male, on the website.
We went to Manchester to collect him. He was a big boy and the car harness we bought with us was too small. In every way, Laddie proved to be bigger than expected, especially in his big playful heart.
Losing him when his hips gave way and left him only able to crawl was a massive heartbreak, but in the two and a half years he was with us he was a bundle of goodies and changed our lives completely in so many ways. Forever loved, always missed......
Ollie Killingback xx
A month or so after Laddie died, CLAUDE came to live with us, aged 10. He was thin, with terrible teeth and an awful attitude. We fell out early on and had to learn to trust each other. The work was more than re-paid. We became firm friends and he showed us the massive strength of character that had got him through the previous nine years.
After having his teeth dealt with and tablets for his arthritis, Claude flourished and became a magnificent dog. He made so many friends and was known by so many people. It was incredibly touching when, as his arthritis prevented him going out so much, complete strangers came up to me to ask how he was.
The arthritis eventually took him from us on the 30th September, 2013, when he could no longer get up or stand.
Claude left a big hole in our hearts and he will never be forgotten ... memories of a magnificent boy will never fade.
Ollie and Bonnie Killingback xx
"There have been quite a few surprises : how much each dog became an essential member of the family, the differences in their characters, the many different things each has taught us and how dependent we have become on having a close canine companion. Sharing their later years, particularly giving Claude some good years after a very hard time, has proved to be extremely rewarding".
Ollie and Bonnie Killingback xx
JACK, SADIE AND CASPER - My beautiful rough collies, all gone within 9 months, so loved and so missed - Hilary Bradshaw
This is MOLLY who came to me from Collie Rescue on the 1st February 1997. She was 4 years old but despite her traumatic start in life, we bonded within a week and we became "forever friends" xx She was such a special girl and I was so lucky to have her in my life until she went to The Bridge on the 6th July 2006. Always missed, always loved and always in my heart!!!!
Maralyn James xx
JASPER - This young man was a pathetic stray of about two years old and weighed only 15kgs when he was found. His coat, except that on his head, had been shaved at some point, but what he lacked in the glamour department, he made up for with his temperament and character. Jasper was re-homed with a super couple who had just lost their Collie. Jasper settled in well and made friends with "Susie" the cat. He was described by his new owners as a perfect gentleman and they adored him. He never chewed anything, and loved to play with his toys but his favourite pastime was just being loved and cuddled.
Unfortunately Jasper had a brain tumour and was put to sleep aged around 7 years young. Rest in Peace, Jasper.
Margaret and Ernie Pearce xx
JET - A scruffy little grey dog, clumps of carpet-like coat matted and in dreadlocks stood forlornly in the unkempt garden where children had pushed him some hours previously. For weeks he had wandered forlornly, looking for a familiar landmark, licking anything in the gutter which might provide a better taste than the old dried bits which cluttered up his mouth, As yet, he had not found clean drinking water, but the heavy rains of the last few nights ensured plenty of clogged drains overflowing to ensure a drink of some sort.
To cut a long story short, this mite found his way to our Rescue kennels, dejected, hang-headed, circling aimlessly and unresponsive to anything. The coat tackled, nothing for it but to take it all off. Low and behold, a Smooth Collie look-alike, even to the end of his neatly shorn tail! Now unencumbered, this almost white collie blossomed, prancing and wagging his whiplash tail, squatting down for a pee and generally displaying all the attributes of a puppy.
Being mid December we were concerned about re-homing for Christmas but when Sheila and Eddie Knight turned up and asked who would give him a Christmas cuddle, presents and lots of treats we knew they had won the argument, and away he went sporting a navy blue coat with a lilac satin edging. and he was named 'Jet'.
In the summer he met the lawnmower. In Jet's words 'This ugly thing came on to my lawn without warning. I went to inspect it and it growled at me, usually you get a warning when a stranger isn't going to be friendly, they at least show their teeth, but this thing didn't so I growled back. When it didn't back off I went for it, well it is my lawn, and it shut up. Then it had another go at me and came closer so I gave it one more blast and snapped my teeth lots of times but it was a mean old thing, and I thought quite ignorant, so rather than lower myself I lifted my leg, I had just learned to balance on three, and anointed its face.'
Sheila and Eddie said Jet was a real character who had them exactly where he wanted them and was forgiven for many things. Jet is sadly missed.
All our collies brought so much joy and pleasure to our lives and at times, of course, a lot of sadness, LUCY - a quiet gentle girl who stayed with us just 7 years, sadly dying from liver cancer. BRIDIE - was a fun dog full of energy, loved to chase anything that ran. She lived a full life and sadly died aged 14. BETH - was a sort of rescue dog, a beautiful blue merle who had been used as a breeding bitch and at aged 4 already had 4 litters of pups. She used to shut herself away from everyone and it took 6 years to get her to play with the other dogs and to know what a ball was, she had a stroke and died also aged 14. SOPHIE - was another beautiful sable bitch, very gentle and loving, sadly at the age of 7 she became paraplegic and we kept her on a harness for 17 months before having to make the ultimate decision. KATY - was huge, the size of a dog, who caused us a few problems and did not take kindly to strangers. We lost her on Chrismas Eve aged just 5 years with leukemia. BECKY - she came to stay for a fortnight’s holiday and stayed on another 11 years before she died after a stroke. She belonged to a collie breeder friend and would not settle in when she went back home. AMY- she was also quite a character, living near woods, she loved chasing rabbits or anything else that ran, also liked to gently nip the ankles of any male visitors we had, she was very protective of us. She was also 14 when she died. PHOEBE - even though all our collies have been special in their own ways, Phoebe was extra special, a one off, so beautiful she had apparently won the puppy class at the All England Collie Show. People would stop us, even in cars and ask what sort of dog she was. As she spent the last 6 years of her life with us being the only dog, she is the one we miss so much, she died this year (2014). Like most collies she lost the use of her back legs and once again we used a harness to help her, but in March we could see that she had had enough and it broke our hearts to see her go, but she is at peace with all the others, buried in the garden, thank goodness it is a large one. Our house feels so empty now, but I guess it is something that we have got to get used too after all these years.