A Non-Profit 501(c)(3) Organization
Serving Northern California
and Surrounding Areas
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* NorCal Collie Rescue is California non-profit public benefit 501(c)(3) corporation C2798651 EIN 20-3381549.
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We were so lucky to have found our wonderful Merlin - our Velveteen Rabbit doggie. The moment we met him, we knew he was the perfect friend for our DeeDee, whom we rescued on 1/1/06. While his coat was short and his nose scarred, his inner beauty and sweetness shone through in so many ways. He is as-good-as-gold and an affectionate, loving companion who only wants love (o.k., love and food). You can tell he is so grateful to have a safe home, where he will never have to worry about where his next meal is coming from or being warm and dry. And after just a few weeks in our home with love, love and more love, a wonderful change occurred in our boy. His coat got very thick, his nose scars started to recede and he became open, curious, and joyful!
We call him our doggie alarm clock, because he IS an early riser. Every morning between 5:00 - 6:00 a.m., we hear this little adorable squeaking sound, then a couple of manly water-buffalo-like-grunts, a few good sneezes, and the sound of his tags rattling. We say, "Go to bed, Merlin!" and he is good for about 15 minutes before he is at it again. It's pretty darn cute, we must say. He is a talker, too, which we love. When he stretches he lets out this low groan and throws his head back, like a big lion. Since he has been with us, his coat is now filling in and getting shinier, he is getting lots of exercise and sunshine and is clearly catching up on his sleep. And, while a love affair between DeeDee and he hasn't materialized as we had hoped, they do play together in the backyard sometimes and generally seem to enjoy each other. So, now we have two wonderful Collies - one beauty queen and one Velveteen Rabbit doggie - who add so much to our lives. We feel so blessed to be their human parents and that they allow us to be in their presence. 12.02.2006
Merlin - Our Velveteen Rabbit
Poor Mackie, the first seven years of his life he was neglected, abused, and totally ignored. But thanks to the NorCal Collie Rescue, he now has a new life and a forever home where he is loved, and cared for. It amazes me that a dog with such a hard past can be so gentle, polite and, most of all, grateful. When I put his bowl down to give him his dinner he stares at me with a look that seems to say thank you. He never takes a bite as long as I am standing next to him, he waits until I walk away. We feel so fortunate that he gets to live with us for the rest of his life. We truly enjoy having him around! Mackie now has the pleasure of sharing his time with a collie pal too, that makes his life complete wouldn't you say? 11.07.2006
Daphne is doing very well. She has turned into a bit of a house-mouse, preferring to be inside the house whenever she can. When one of us goes outside we have to watch the door or Daphne will dash inside. She is already in the house about 14 hours a day, so we feel she should should be out some of the time. Our other dog Ruby prefers to enjoy the beautiful Santa Rosa weather.
She has had only one seizure since we got her in early December and that was a very mild one lasting about two minutes. The vet tested her and said her medicine level in her blood was low, so we rasied the dose slightly. She also has pretty bad plaque in here teeth - she is going in tomorrow to the vet for a thorough teeth cleaning. She and Ruby have become best buds and spend nearly every minute of the day together. When they are outside it is quite a sight to see her nip at Ruby and then they play a sort of game of tag in the yard chasing each other. It is really something to see that beautiful dog turn on the jets and really run. Daphne knows the household routine really well now, and is quite comfortable, sleeping on our bed most of the night. The whole family loves her dearly. 11.17.2006
Sasha the Perfect
FIRST WEEKEND - We all had such a great weekend. Sasha loves all the attention. She doesn't just do well with kids, she really loves being around them. She seeks the kids out, following them from room to room. She went in and checked on both last night after they were asleep. We have all fallen head over heals for her, and I think the feeling is mutual.
AFTER TWO MONTHS CONFINEMENT FOR TREATMENT OF HEARTWORM - Oh it is so wonderful to have a normal dog. She is just so perfect. I have been thoroughly enjoying my walks with her. She is quickly getting into shape. We have been walking up to 3 miles a day now.
Alex has been running around with her in the back yard, and finally both kids and the dog can play, play, play, in the house.
Sasha plays, and kisses, and pokes me with her nose, just the way my sweet Jessie did. Sometimes I look into her eyes and ask her if Jessie is in there with her. She just kisses me back.
She met an older border collie the other day and tried very hard to entice her to play. They ran a few circles together, but then the border Collie tired out. Sasha was just getting started. 10.25.2006
Seven-year old Wyatt is a delightful companion. We enjoy our daily walks through Del Monte Forest where Wyatt's physical skills and his coordination have vastly improved. His long nose and his inquisitive nature guide him along sloping forest trails, over fallWyattHappy2en logs, through brush and bramble where his joy is boundless. He is a very social boy who takes special pleasure in making new friends both dogs and humans. After honing his skills with his foster family, Wyatt has now reached a very high rank in the fraternal order of collie cat chasers! Each morning Wyatt does a perimeter check of his property through the low Victorian windows to make sure there are no felines in his view. He especially enjoys being near Monterey Bay with the sights, sounds, and smells of the sea, but, perhaps, that is in his collie breed. 10.07.2006
It has taken us a while to gather our thoughts enough to write and thank you for all you did to help us to bring Poomba home to Oregon. It's been a busy summer! We took our road trip down to the Redwoods and extended our trip just so we could spend some time in the Bay Area, meet collie friends, and pick up 12 year old Poomba. Like so many senior dogs who find themselves in rescue, Poomba's family changed their living arrangements and the new plans couldn't accommodate the sweet collie boy that had shared their lives for almost twelve years.
Poomba has fit into our family as if he'd always been here...with the exception of his having to learn where things are in our home. His sight is limited by old age cataracts, so he has had to memorize the lay of the land. He had a leg injury as a young pup that has caused him to be a bit unstable and his age has not helped that. As a result, we have to be cautious when maneuvering around him - which is constant because he wants to be WITH us all the time. He has never made a mistake in the house and he covets his soft round bed that is in our bedroom. Poomba was never a house dog, so this is a slice of heaven for him!
Penny (our rescue rough collie) and Abigail (our 18 year old rescue Schnauzer mix) both think that Poomba's a great guy. They behave as if he's always been here! They like the fact that we take our evening walks going through the garage now, rather than the steep front porch steps. It's easier for everyone!
There have been some very minor modifications in our lives since Poomba arrived, but his bark added to the "door greeting" when our grandkids come up for a visit are pluses as far as we're concerned. He's very loving to everyone he meets. We will never be able to adequately thank you for handling Poomba's adoption and rescue. He's added nothing but love and laughs to our lives and home. 06.18.2006
I adopted Chip on May 19th after what seemed an endless search for a collie or sheltie who could handle living with an inexperienced dog person like me. It wasn't endless, in fact, it was only about four months, but it seemed as if every time I found a dog I'd fallen in love with (which was actually every dog I met) there was some reason I wasn't the right person. Just when I'd decided that NorCal Collie Rescue was impossibly picky, I got an email from Cathy Toft with a picture of Chip. And Cathy was right: it's worth waiting for the perfect dog. Chip is a handsome, mellow, seven or eight-year-old gentleman, who handled the transition into his new life with amazing grace and adaptability, even though mine was the fifth home he'd been sent to in this past year alone.
We've had just a few very minor bumps in the road. There was the day of his arrival, when he headed in the opposite direction every time a friend tried to snap a memorial photo; that's how I learned he hates having his picture taken (don't ask how long it took to get the photo here). There was the Fourth of July, when Chip landed in bed with me because he's terrified of firecrackers. Then there were the three occasions at the dog park when he made it clear he can't resist herding chihuahuas. Fortunately, we encountered some pretty understanding chihuahua owners; the chihuahuas themselves weren't quite so understanding. Now I get his leash on fast when an unsuspecting chihuahua approaches.
I had some concerns about adopting an older dog. No more. In the few months since Cathy introduced me to Chip in a Vacaville parking lot, he's become a wonderful, rewarding, and permanent part of my life. Now if I could only get him to stop barking at the skunk outside at 3:30 in the morning... Thank you, NorCal Collie Rescue. 05.19.2006.
Time has a funny way of playing tricks with your mind - in the sense that a monumental event can seem like it happened long ago and just yesterday at the very moment of recollection. That's how it is for me when I think back to that first day I met Peter Rabbit…
Two years ago this month, I was to gather up a bunch of Collie rescue volunteers and put together a plan for receiving an unknown number of very neglected Collies at a place I hadn't seen before. I was told there could be as many as 100 Collies and to be ready for the worst. We had very little notice, but had anticipated this event, and so were not totally without resources. After a few false alarms, the day had finally come where we were going to be able to free these long-suffering dogs from their miserable situation! I couldn't believe it. Armed only with my experience of volunteering up in Montana at Camp Collie, (181 Collies cared for by volunteers for 10 months), and my love for and resolve to help mistreated dogs, I prepared to head up to the Yolo County Fairgrounds for a week of what the authorities were calling "triage." My team arrived early that morning, and we furiously scrubbed out and repaired the sharp-edged, metal sheep pens in a building with a concrete slab full of sheep poop and no walls, turning them into quasi-kennels. We worked feverishly, so we'd be ready when the team who was catching and crating the Collies arrived. We diligently labeled each of the pens, installed water bowls, fenced and secured the perimeter, and made ready for the onslaught.
One after the other, animal control vehicles arrived with dogs in crates and we carefully provided the dogs with tagged and numbered collars and labeled their sheep pens as such. It was impossible to put collars with tags on some of the dogs because they were so deathly afraid of people. With those, we merely put them in their cages and left them alone. I had never seen Collies like this before. Oh sure, I figured they'd be filthy and matted, but not that they would be so terrified of us! Those poor, shrinking, sad-looking Collies couldn't be further from what I'd known of the breed. They just plastered themselves against the backs of their cages, seeming as if they wished to disappear. Several were limping badly, and many had closed and goopy eyes. Some had raw skin and hairless faces.
That first day, three dogs immediately stood out from the pack for me. There was Ty, a blue merle who was the most animated of the lot, and was running around barking his head off at everyone who went by his cage (which, unfortunately was right at the entrance), then there was Skye, a huge, pony-sized blue merle who was strangely and singularly affectionate and desirous of attention from the volunteers, and lastly, there was Peter Rabbit, the most bouncy and unique-looking Collie by far. He would run up to the front of his pen, jump up and down barking, and then back away. His striking appearance was hard not to notice - even among a sea of rough-coated blue merle Collies.
After my initial week, I went up to the fairgrounds and later to the UC Davis facility to help Cathy Toft, Tracey Louper, and the core group of volunteers take care of these Collies several times in the 14 months they were in the custody of the Yolo County authorities, while the case against their owner was being resolved. In the loving care of these volunteers, the Collies were all coming around, including Peter Rabbit, who made it clear that he wanted to get OUT of that kennel and experience the life he deserved. When Cathy was devising the Collies' release and adoption plan, she let me "reserve" Peter and Skye to make sure I got to place them in homes of my choosing. Skye got out of jail early and was adopted by his foster family - a longtime Collie rescue home, and Peter came to me for "fostering." (Norcal also fostered and adopted four other of the Yolo dogs.) I was not planning on adopting this beautiful Collie myself, but it became immediately apparent that the volunteers named him Peter Rabbit for a reason, and he could not go to just any home. He was just a "wild thang" with no idea of what it was like to live as a pet in someone's home. For the first 3 months I had him, he was a non-stop project, with 4 years of pent-up play inside of him that HAD to come out. He'd bound around the house, bouncing off furniture and slamming into walls, and he was incredibly unpredictable, both in the house and outside when people would pass by. He could jump so high, that I was actually afraid he'd jump over the 5 foot fence! There was no way he could go to the average pet home. Even as careful as I was, he destroyed my cell phone, TV remotes, and the corners of everything wood or plastic. So I trained and trained and trained - all the while he was posted as available on our website for "the right home." In the process, I fell madly in love with his joyous spirit and generous nature. And he turned out to be the most affectionate Collie I had ever experienced. This dog is ALWAYS smiling, I thought. In the end, I couldn't give him up, and so he became one of "The Moss Boys." Now that he feels safe and secure, he has calmed down considerably and become a perfect pet - a true testament to the Collie temperament.
It's hard to believe I first met Peter two years ago, because that whole day seems like a distant memory and yet like yesterday at the same time. But even more amazing, is that he's only been with me for eight months and it feels like he's always lived here. I just can't imagine life without my wonderful Peter Rabbit and am so thankful that Cathy and her crew gave up two years of their lives to help these poor creatures AND that the Yolo County authorities persevered to save them. 05/18/2006
From gloom to glory - this young guy ended up at a shelter with a 4 inch laceration across his face and staples holding it together. He had also been shaved due to a bad skin infection. He was trembling with fear, and hid in a corner hiding as best he could in a fetal position. A horribly sad product of being in the wrong hands from the time he was just a two month old puppy.
But just look at him now. His staples are gone, his hair is growing in, the trembling has been replaced with running and playing with his new collie friend Duncan, who was also adopted from NorCal Collie Rescue. And boy does he love to run! Chase also enjoys exploring the woods at his cabin in Tahoe! He has his own window seat, a huge yard at home, and a Mom and Dad that love him dearly.
He was a few days from his first birthday when he was taken to the shelter. 4 months later, with plenty of tender loving care, he is a completely changed dog. Chase is nothing like the frightened pup we found at the shelter and placed into his wonderful new home. He is making up for his lost puppy hood in a huge and wonderful way. He is so fortunate to have been rescued, and placed into what I would compare to a "Disneyland for dogs" home.
Young Chase can look forward to the future he deserves now. Thanks to his new family. 05.16.2006.
I adopted one of my foster dogs which I hadn't intended to do. Bobby or "Bob" as we call him was one of the last Yolo County dogs to be put up for adoption. I was worried about how he would spend what's left of his life and decided to make sure it was well spent with my family. I have a soft spot for old timers. He is best buddies with my other Yolo dog Sky and I think he's going steady with my old girl Belle. He is a handsome, dashing, older gentleman who's hard to resist even as he ever so gently tries to remove the calculator in my hand so he can take it off and chew it up. He also enjoys remote controls and glasses. They all have that wonderful crunch. I think if I had renamed him it would have been "Prince" since I think of him as Prince Charming. I feel as if he would open the door for me and bow when I enter the room if he could. He has battle scars from his previous life but I don't really see them anymore. His heart is pure, forgiving, loyal, sweet collie. I'm not sure how much longer he has but I'm so glad he's spending the remainder of his life with us. 03.26.2006.
Bobby passed on July 26, 2006. Updated 08.02.2006.
Late July of 2005, NorCal Collie Rescue contacted me about a puppy they were pulling out of a situation of severe neglect. With our 22 year history of sharing our lives with Collies, NorCal was hoping my husband and I would be able care for and nurture, a very sick puppy back to health. The puppy had almost died over night in a veterinary clinic. She had anemia caused by a severe infestation of ticks and fleas. The veterinary technicians shaved her coat, dipped her in insecticide, and named her "Lizzy".
Lizzy came to live with us on July 29th. She was 3-4 months old and weighed 19 lbs. She had an anemia induced heart murmur, 3 skin diseases, and 2 internal parasites. But, Lizzy was a spunky little Collie. She took none of her health problems lying down.
Lizzy and I were at our veterinarian's clinic bright and early on Monday, August 1st. That's when the real work began. For 8 months Lizzy got medicated baths 3 times a week, and, for 8 months we battled one parasite or skin disease after another. Lizzy's demodectic mange exploded from localized to generalized. A sensitivity test to Interceptor was run at the University of Washington. Because Lizzy's results were normal, she was put on a therapeutic dosage of Interceptor. Then, the worst happened. A bacteria mutated to a resistant strain that is dangerous to both animals and humans. Lizzy had to have injections for 16 contiguous days and I put on rubber gloves to bathe her. Through those many months, Lizzy lived in girls size 6 cotton turtlenecks to cover her bare spots where sores were draining. She also wore an Elizabethan collar to prevent chewing, scratching and scarring.
Then, as if by confluence of medicine, magic, good nutrition, and a lot of love from her 3 Collie housemates and her 2 human caretakers, Lizzy's last two skin diseases began to disappear. The first to go was the E-collar. Lizzy had complete freedom to run and play!! Not that the E-collar had deterred that spunky little Collie. She figured out very quickly that the collar made a great battering ram and she used it very effectively! Then, new hair began to grow in the bare spots. The turtlenecks are now gathered, abandoned on hangers in the laundry room.
Through these many months Lizzy never lost spirit. In spite of her yelps when the medicated bath would sting her sores, she would always lick my wrist at every bath. From the second day in our home, Lizzy "stole" spatulas and plastic lids from the dishwasher, and the gloves and tools my husband uses during home projects. The purloined property resulted in a merry chase with Lizzy in the lead, and laughing people and barking Collies running behind her.
Lizzy turned 1 year old on April Fool's Day. She has left her background of neglect and disease in the dust. Lizzy was the poster girl for NorCal Collie Rescue as Rescue-of-the-Month at Pet Food Express. Lizzy has 2 levels of obedience classes under her belt. In early June, Lizzy went herding. While she didn't give the sheep a good run, she did a respectable job herding ducks. Still proud of herself about moving the ducks, in the barnyard Lizzy moved the chickens and peacocks slowly but surely from one area to the next. And, as she is growing up, Lizzy is learning the cute tricks that make social therapy dogs appreciated at hospitals, nursing facilities, and with special needs children.
Lizzy's spunk and "Can Do" attitude made her love at first sight for our family. We just couldn't do without our "MS. DOO". Lizzy will truly be in our hearts forever. 01.20.2006
Our beloved sable collie Molly left us on New Years Day 2006 after 13 years of wonderful bliss. She was the collie that hardly ever barked, was very obedient, and so loving. I had rehearsed so many times in my mind what I would do when Molly died. I knew I would be an emotional wreck and would cry, cry, cry, which I did. I still get tears in my eyes when I think of her.
I had my son put all of Molly's things in the garage so I wouldn't have to see them in the house and get emotional all over again. What really got me was the lack of a dog following me around the house. The house was quiet the next few days and the sense of that ball of blond fur NOT following me around was unbearable. I knew what I HAD to do.
I got on the internet and found NorCal Collie Rescue. I e-mailed the regional contact and asked about fostering a collie. I wasn't quite sure I was ready to adopt yet. Before I knew it, I was arranging to drive to Woodside, to the home of Andrea, to view a collie that would be available for adoption. I would be visiting Andrea's 2 two collies, 2 collies from the Yolo County Rescue that were just there to get the feel of being around other dogs and adults, and there was 5 year old Shasta. I was told Shasta was relinquished by a family who had him since he was a puppy, but as they were starting a family, found that Shasta was too much for their household.
As I approached the gate to Andrea's house, all five dogs came to greet me. All my eyes could see was the beautiful sable jumping up and down with excitement and barking his hellos. I was blind to the other dogs -- all I could see was Shasta. The attraction is called "collie magic," and we both had it bad!! We spent the first ½ hour sitting on the driveway getting to know the dogs. Shasta stole my heart right off the bat! After about two hours of "collie magic," I convinced Andrea to let me adopt him. Before I knew it, he was in the back of my car, in the large dog bed I brought. (Just in case!) As I was driving home, all I could think of was that I was the luckiest women on the planet on that January day.
It has now been over six months since Shasta joined my life, and I love him sooo much. He didn't erase my love for Molly, he joined me in celebrating her life, and we arise each day with excitement and love for each other. He is much different from Molly temperament-wise. She was a female, and he is a male. Need I say more?? Shasta can be a ball of excitement and very vocal when he wants attention. But at night when we go to bed, he lays his head down on my chest and lets me scratch his muzzle and ears. If a dog could purr, he would. After several minutes, he leaves the bed, finds his favorite spot next to the wall, lays on his back with front paws extended over his head, and hind legs spread out wide. He sleeps like that for hours. It struck me that the position is a vulnerable one, and he must feel completely safe with me taking care of him. It's a toss-up as to who is taking care of whom though. There are times I feel he is taking care of me, and then he lets ME take care of him. We are looking forward to many years of love and devotion. 01.15.2006
"Daddy's Favorite Redhead"
Karen and I lost our wonderful Samoyed Henry in early 2005 and felt that we just couldn't get another Sammie because we would always be comparing any new dog to him. We heard about the great work being done by The Road Home and NorCal Collie Rescue volunteers and decided to see if the beautiful Collie breed could help heal our hearts. We eventually met DeeDee, who was as sweet and gentle as she is beautiful. We brought her home on January 1, 2006 to our very dog-friendly home. When she first arrived home, she just wanted to sleep and rest as much as possible. Boy were we surprised the first time we introduced her to other dogs! Instead of being calm and passive, she played, romped and raced like we had never seen. It was as though she had just been saving her energy for the really important stuff--having fun with other doggies! So far, there hasn't been a dog we've met that she couldn't charm with her good looks and personality. She's also been great with anyone she meets--sweet, calm, and curious about what people are doing.
After just a little while, it became clear that she was a "Daddy's Girl," and I admit I do treat her very well--some would say that I spoil her. It got to the point where Karen put a picture of DeeDee in a frame and gave it to me. The picture frame says "What part of Princess Don't You Understand?" Even now, she still climbs over Karen on the sofa to wiggle up next to me when we try to watch a movie.
We are so glad that we were able to give her a forever home, and look forward to having many wonderful moments with her. We are truly grateful for the work of all the wonderful people who work so hard with these dogs, including Cathy and Andrea. Thank you again from all three of us. 01.01.2006
Happy Tails -- 2006
Stories of Adopted Collies
"Lilah" has been with us now for 5 years, and she has been a beautiful lady every minute of that time. At 90 pounds she is a big dog, but she is very gentle and loves humans, especially children. I taught her to retrieve her soft toys, a game she adores, especially when she gets a "butt rub" after she delivers the toy - her eyes shine with happiness. Lilah gets a half hour walk every morning, rain or shine, and seldom does a day pass when someone doesn't stop to exclaim, "What a beautiful dog!" Lilah is obedience trained, and every day after her walk (and sometimes during) we practice Heel, Sit, Stay, Down, Stand, Come, and Drop on Recall. She does them all perfectly. Although Lilah yips at our colony of outdoor feral cats, her best friend indoors is our rescued male tabby, William. Sometimes I take Lilah with me to the barn where I keep my horses. There are always dogs there, and she loves playing with them in her dignified manner. Lilah heels obediently to my left while I walk my horse to my right, they both think the other "heeling" animal is cool and they touch noses politely. Lilah is now 10 years old, and we hope our special care will keep her with us for many more years, as she is very special.
Here is a photo taken at the horse barn, we call it "Moon Collie".
P.S. Several years ago, while we were hiking in the South Island of New Zealand far from any cities, we found a beautiful monument to the Collie, here is a photo of it. The brass plaque says that New Zealand owes its early development of sheep farming to the Scottish Collie, and that the country would never have been the same without working collies.
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