A Non-Profit 501(c)(3) Organization
Serving Northern California
and Surrounding Areas
* NorCal Collie Rescue is California non-profit public benefit 501(c)(3) corporation C2798651 EIN 20-3381549.
Your donations are fully tax deductible.
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My 2009 was definitely in the “bitter-sweet” category. Let’s start with the bitter. In early August I had to put to sleep my beloved 13-year-old collie Bonnie, who was having quite a hard time breathing and x-rays showed that one of her lungs was full of fluid and had some dark areas that showed probable cancer. It was a killer for me emotionally, especially since she had been very disabled in the hindquarters and I had been using a sling helping her to get around for a whole year and had managed to make her life tolerable till the point of no return.
However, by late October-and even after a nice 10-day trip to visit my older brother Roger in Virginia-I was still experiencing a good deal of grief and-lo and behold!-I got a call from the Northern California Collie Rescue Organization and had the opportunity to adopt a new 6-year-old female tri-color collie, by the name of Darcy, whose owner had died and she had then been turned over to the rescue organization for fostering.
Darcy is a magnificent animal, but is quite a handful. She madly dashes after squirrels in our local dog park like a merciless she-wolf (but never catches them), barks at anything that dares to move on the other side of my backyard fence, and comes over and sits down near my couch and gives me the most intent of stares to make me realize that it is high time either to feed her or let her go out in the yard to do her stuff. But I’m crazy about her, and she also seems to think that I’m the best thing since sliced dog biscuits. 09.2009.
We were told Barron marked in the house, slept outside and barked - a lot - by his owner’s son who had taken him in for a while after Barron’s dad went into assisted living. He’d had his coat shaved and was pretty scruffy looking when he arrived.
None of that was true - he loved sleeping inside, didn’t mark, and the barking, by Collie standards, was mild and solely directed at one particular squirrel. And within days he had his vet and grooming visit and was all settled in to his new pack with Daisy (adopted 2004 and one of your first placements) and Gina. He loves his dog bed and isn’t opposed to sharing it with Gina as you can see.
Barron is highly energetic and loves to play ball at the dog park. Of course, like all my Collies, he never actually retrieves the ball, but runs around it and races back proudly that he did indeed herd that ball well. He immediately figured out how to open the cupboards - something the girls hadn’t figured out until they were shown - so off to the store for some hardware to protect the treats. He, I’ve decided, is a lot like an Internet dating ad - he likes long walks on the beach (or anywhere), cuddle time on the couch watching movies, and long, luxurious naps on Sunday afternoon with his loved ones.
He hasn’t quite figured out all the words the girls know but follows their lead. Without a third hand, sometimes petting is difficult for me as they all come at the same time for ear and/or butt scratching. He often seems like a dreamer deep in thought - probably figuring out how he can fly - so he can capture that one particular squirrel who torments and teases him from the trees above our yard, and I don’t doubt that if he is given a few more years on Earth, he will figure it out. Three Happy Tails for us! 09.2009.
LUCKY - First Day Home: The dogs spent the day outside, the dogs played and rested and played and rested all day. Shelby (our Sheltie) may have fallen in love despite the age difference. She struts right on out there with them and initiates the play, which is not really typical. So far Lucky is doing just fine. He minds pretty well and seems comfortable with his new surroundings. Lucky is a very good and sweet puppy. He seems to be adjusting quite well. We ordered him his own bed from Orvis which he seems to enjoy, however he still goes in the crate from time to time. We left his crate (with no gate) in our bedroom next to his new bed. Realizing the crate was his home from puppyhood we were reluctant to just disappear it.
First Week: Sonoma and Lucky play a lot together and Shelby joins in. Lucky is sometimes reluctant to go outside. He has a lot of freedom in the house which he was not use to, and seems to enjoy it quite a bit. The only time that he is in a pen is when we are both gone for a couple hours. One of us is here for the long haul every day. Pauline took Lucky to his first obedience class on Saturday. He now knows sit and down; not bad for the first class. Things that have come to light since Lucky came home with us are very interesting. He loves to get up on the couch next to a human and get loves. Every corner of the house has been investigated and I mean every. Sonoma and Lucky trade beds on and off all night. Obviously the other guy's is better! Here is the good stuff and there is a lot of it: Lucky is beyond a shadow of a doubt the best puppy of all times (not one pee in the house, minimal barking, eats well, sleeps well, good poop) He is so thrilled with his humans, he particularly follows me every where. Lucky likes to get up where ever I am sitting. Mom is happy about this because Sonoma and Shelby like mom and that gets very crowded on the couch at night. He is very interested in everything we do. Lucky has the sweetest eyes that watch every move you make. Sonoma and Lucky play and rough-house outside all of the time. Lucky is so cute when he plays with Shelby; he bows and gets down to her size and is very gentle with her, as opposed to all out with Sonoma. Lucky is very interested in pleasing us and is a pleasure to take care of. All of the girls at Katy's (the Vet's) office fell in love with him and his flowing locks.
SONOMA: I believe that some things are meant to be. I was discussing with my wife how neat it would be to have one more boy Collie like the two we had in the past before we got too old to handle a big dog. A Collie's personality is so special and like no other dog. Pauline, my wife, said well maybe some day one special Collie will come along that needs a home and we could adopt him. Our house is very close to a no kill shelter where our Sheltie came from and I asked them if a Collie happened along to please call us. We checked the paper and breeders' web sites but we were not interested in a puppy. Well time passed and then I remembered the two Poodles we rescued in the past came from a (Poodle Rescue). That was the wake up call, so I went to the computer and put in (Collie Rescue), and then I clicked on NorCal Collie Rescue, and right before my eyes was Sonoma. Well the rest is history.
Preparing to pick up Sonoma from Karen we had assembled all of the water, wipes and towels and two seat covers and the harness needed to bring home an apprehensive, possibly car sick new dog. We leave Karen's and about 1/4 mile up the road Sonoma gives Pauline a big Collie Kissie and lays down on the rear seat and sleeps most of the balance of the 3 1/2 hour drive. Obviously HE was more comfortable than we were. Pauline and I were very surprised that Sonoma seemed to have no apprehensions at all with his new home. Sonoma checked out the entire yard and all of the rooms
Lucky and Sonoma
in the house and seemed very comfortable. The first week he was very Regal and on his good behavior. Sonoma made friends with our old Poodle (who has since passed) and tried to befriend our Sheltie. Shelby the Sheltie is a dog snob and making friends with her would be a real challenge for Sonoma. However he was very successful because they now play together and pal around together and on occasion sleep together. Shelby at first wouldn t pay any attention to Sonoma and now she will give him a little nip to get play chase started. Both of them spend time in the back yard playing chase and other dog things. Sonoma likes us to play catchit which is a throw toy like a frisby. Sonoma has become totally familiar with his surroundings and the Collie personality has come into full bloom and is he a corker. Sonoma is very bright and catches on very quickly. We no longer need an alarm clock because Sonoma gives us a Collie Kissie at wake up time every morning. The expressions he gets on his face, and in his eyes are just priceless. When he doesn t agree with you on something, he will look you right in the eye and discuss it with you. Sonoma has been going to obedience class on Saturday for some weeks. Of course he is the talker in the class. What is very amusing is when the instructor selects Sonoma to show us what he wants the class to do, Sonoma becomes very regal and not a peep out of him. I think he enjoys being the center of attention. This might be coincidence but on Saturday morning about 1/2 hour before class Sonoma goes to the back garage door sits and waits. Sonoma loves to ride in the car. One day he and I were in the garage I had the doors open on my car and I look around NO DOG. PANIC after a quick survey Sonoma had curled up in a very little ball on the passenger s seat ready to go; this is a Corvette and that was quite an accomplishment for a Collie his size. Sonoma is a comedian just full of antics and once in a while (THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT) comes to the surface but he is so playful it is impossible to get mad at him and there is not a mean bone in his body. Sonoma and the grand kids get along just fine and if they get running too fast he herds them back to grandma. Sonoma is the original Velcro dog but what is really interesting he is my dog during the day and Pauline s dog in the evening. There is a chair in the living room that was originally mine but Sonoma likes very much. Trying to preserve it for company and keep Sonoma from sleeping in it my wife put pillows on it when not in use. Sonoma managed to get into the chair and not disturb the pillows (how creative). Sonoma and I have come to a compromise; the chair is now covered and we share it. All I can say is Sonoma is just wonderful and we are so lucky that he selected us to be his puppy parents. We are looking forward to a long and fun filled relationship with Sonoma.
We wish to thank NorCal Collie rescue and especially Karen for all of the time and love they gave Sonoma. Sonoma, as we understand it was a disaster, sick, under weight and filthy with flees and ticks and was going to be put down by the pound. Thanks to Karen s love and efforts he is a healthy and regal Collie.
We took Sparky for his first grooming appointment this weekend. We've given him a couple baths at home and he did well, but Beethoven was in desperate need of a haircut, so we thought it would be a good time for both of them to be groomed. It was a very long day for both of them, but Sparky did fine. He was very happy to be home afterwards, but both he and Beethoven were worn out and slept well!
The boys together are adjusting and doing great. John has become quite attached to Sparky as his new best friend. If John is laying on the couch watching TV, Sparky will jump up and lie right on top of him to be peted. It's pretty cute. Beethoven seems to still be enjoying playing with Sparky, often instigating the play, but there are definitely times when Beethoven gives the look of just "tolerating" him.
Anyway, just wanted to give you an update! Hopefully Sparky hasn't chewed all over Beethoven today and ruined his perfectly groomed coat! 04.2009.
For our family, late 2008 and early 2009 were not good times. In the space of 6 months, we had to put down our sweet 8 year old pug, who was suffering from massive cancer, and our beloved 11 year old shepherd/lab mix, who had an incurable neurological ailment. We acquired a chihuahua at Christmas for our youngest daughter, and took in a 5 month old pug puppy whose owner could no longer care for him in April. But something was still missing.
For most of my life, I had at least one large breed dog. Since childhood, I had always wanted a collie, but 3 puppies at one time would be too much for us. We have a history of adopting rescue animals, both dog and cat, so I was very excited when I found Nor-Cal Collie Rescue, and through them found Lucky.
Lucky is a wonderful sable adult male collie, who is house trained, neutered and loves people. My wife, youngest daughter, the pug, the chihuahua and I made the 3 1/2 hour trip to the bay area to meet Lucky and Amanda, who was handling the adoption for her parents. It was truly love at first sight. Lucky was a true gentleman and Amanda was great. We took Lucky home that day and have not regretted it one bit.
After some initial territorial disputes, the three dogs get along fantastically. Lucky did not at first get along with the pug, Murphie, for some reason. He did like the chihuahua, Willie, right off. Now Lucky, Willie and Murphie all play together for hours on end. It is nice to see a big dog run through the house in play again, especially one as handsome and well mannered as Lucky.
We recently took a day trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park, about 45 miles from home. All 3 dogs did well on the drive (in the back seat of our truck with my youngest daughter!). Lucky loved being up in the mountains and playing in the patches of snow. He even rears up to catch snowballs tossed to him! We had a wonderful time, and went home with 3 very tired but happy dogs.
Thank you Nor-Cal and Amanda for giving us the opportunity to share our lives with Lucky. We feel we are truly "lucky" to have him!
A quick update and some photos of Boomer. He graduated from puppy class as one of the most obedient (VERY FOOD DRIVEN) and is doing great with training (we're continuing some in-house lessons with the kids). You can see from his photo that he is looking very much like a coyote/dingo/jackal mix. Somebody commented today that there is a small percentage of dog to ears!
He is a very different kind of dog than we've had in that he is not really affection driven, but is extremely in tune with us (especially me). He watches my every move, wants to be with me or whoever is home all the time, and takes his cues from that person. I suspect (and you can confirm this) is that it's a herding dog characteristic. Boomer is very smart and we're thinking we'll do an agility class or frisbie training: he can really leap high and retrieves really well.
Overall, he is a super dog who is a great addition to the family. The kids adore him and he is living a great life out here in Berkeley! 03.2009.
Michele and I got the dog run area "puppy proofed" today, and have arranged for Teresa to visit once daily to eat and play. Simon and Katie are getting along well, although Katie has set boundaries, such as which bed is hers. It is good to see her assume a lead dog position. She very much wanted to play with Simon when we got out of bed this morning, and I think she is happy to have a willing playmate. We had to have him sleep with us last night, which was a little tough for my first night back home, but oh well. I can sleep on my next vacation.
He goes to the door, and the only accidents have been when we are not paying attention. Although unsure of the wet grass at first, he now does not seem to mind the rain, and willingly goes out in it. Perhaps, he takes his cue from Katie, who doesn't mind the rain when she feels like being outside. He likes fetch and playing tug, and already knows "sit", and is learning "shake". 02.2009.
Max is doing just great. His job is to wake Kathryn up every morning. They have a routine. I open her door and he takes a running leap onto her bed and kisses her until she wakes up - she loves it and pretends to be asleep. He also sits in bed for her bedtime story. They are pretty funny.
As for Jack, he and Max are partners in crime. They like to get into things together and steal each other's toys. I've actually started calling them by each others' names...
Max is my shadow. He is in whatever room I'm in and usually sleeping at my feet if he's not out playing. I think he's as big as Willow, his mother, now. He's been hopping up on the retaining wall just like she did when she was here. He sleeps in our room next to the bed, but is in the crate if I'm going to be gone for a little while. He actually can't wait to get in the crate because it's the only place he gets a peanut butter Kong. He is doing well with it.
He has killed all of our balls. He loves to herd them and once they lose a little air and he can get his teeth in them they are done for. I have to go to the store to get some more. He loves his toys and will throw them up in the air for himself. It's funny to look out back and see him playing catch with himself.
We are truly enjoying him. 02.2009.
After looking at the Nor-Cal Rescue site for almost a year, I saw Lady, so I responded. She has been a wonderful addition to our lives. The first month she did not want to get in the car to go anywhere. I would take her on short trips and not take her out until we came back home. 9 months later she is our greeter in my new jewelry and art gallery. Excited to come to work and lay by (or in) the front door, waiting for her regulars to come by.
Michael, the Schnauser, is her favorite suitor. Lady and Gracie (our Rottweiler) have developed a good relationship, typical siblings. Their attempts to play together is a problem. Gracie likes balls and Lady likes stuffed animals. Gracie loves to be growly when playing- Lady says if you’re going to growl, forget it, I'm a lady. Gracie will give her the ball, but to no avail. When uncle Pepper visits all play very well. 10, 60 and 120 lbs. No toys required - a zipping they go with Gracie picking up the rear. Lady is a love bug giving hugs to everyone. There may be a rescue sheltie joining our family in January. We'll see... 02.2009.
Hi Karen: I wanted to give you a quick update because I know how “Mamas” worry about their “babies.” WE LOVE BERNIE! In my heart I had a wish list of things that would constitute a perfect puppy for us, but I thought that no puppy could be that perfect. Bernie hits everything on the list. He doesn’t jump up much, he is a good boy about potty training, he loves to play but he is also calm and goes to his crate when he is wants to sleep. The first night he whimpered a little but he was so tired that he quickly fell asleep and did not wake much during the night. He was in our room and his crate was situated so he could see and hear us, so I think that helped. We have him going out first thing in the morning to go potty then he eats and then plays. We are trying to keep a similar schedule to the one he had with you.
Yesterday morning Bernie played and stayed awake until 11:00 and then he slept until 2:00. He also had several puppy naps the rest of the day. He is eating really well and seems satisfied. He likes to put our hand in his mouth but when we let him know not to and he stops. Sid, our cat, is not as reactive as I thought he would be and even came up to Bernie to sniff him. Bernie likes to look at Sid and wants to walk forward to meet him, but we tell him “no cat” and he stays. So far things are going better than I had imagined and I think Sid will come around. Sid was bored with his life and needed a puppy to mix things up anyway.
Bernie loves our yard even when it is raining and he ran around the yard every time we took him out to potty. This morning he seemed more comfortable with his new home, so each day is getting easier for him. We had visitors yesterday and Bernie was his normal polite self, so no problems there. I will call you tomorrow to give a summary of Bernie’s first 3 days with us, but rest assured he is very happy and so are we. Thanks again for Bernie. 02.2009
Happy Tails -- 2009
Stories of Adopted Collies
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