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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At four months old, just two weeks after I’d brought him home, my new Collie puppy Eddy was diagnosed with bi-lateral medial luxating patellas, grade 4. That funny little wiggle- walk was not just awkward puppy gait as the breeder promised, but a major orthopedic problem which, if left unchanged, would cripple him before he was a year old. Four orthopedic surgeons confirmed that in fact Eddy’s knee caps were stuck on the insides of his legs, rather than floating back and forth in the groove, like they were supposed to. In fact, he had no groove. And worse, it wasn’t all that was wrong with the sweetest and dearest Collie puppy of my dreams. Friends urged me to return him to the breeder and the breeder said she’d take him back and give me a full refund. But I couldn’t help thinking, what will become of him if I do that? I knew the answer to that question and I also knew I couldn’t live with that answer. Nope, I decided I would simply have to “fix him” and make the best of the situation. I had one estimate of $12,000 to fix my puppy, but I was undeterred. So what? People spend three times that and more on a car.
How was I to know that after rebuilding both of his knees, going through a difficult cryptorchid neuter, working around the underbite and perennially bad teeth, hip dysplasia, and finally, failing kidneys, that his little doggie spirit would silently leave his body, while he was hanging out with me on Thanksgiving Day, 2005. At only four and a half years old, I was in total disbelief when I looked over at him sleeping and realized he was gone. My whole life had been about Eddy for four years. We couldn’t do stuff together like my other dog friends and their dogs, but we sure did what we could, and I was hopelessly in love with his indomitable spirit. It was Eddy who I would take on my homechecks for Collie rescue, because he was the best judge of people and the perfect “tester dog.” And I’d think up any excuse I could just to take Eddy out for a visit, because he loved going places and meeting people. He was especially great with puppies and children. Even when I couldn’t be with him physically due to work and other commitments, he was never far from my mind and I considered him in everything I did. If I had it to do over, would I do it all again? In a heartbeat. Eddy had absolutely the most unique and wonderful personality - it didn’t matter what I put him through (and there was a LOT), he was consistently upbeat. He could be sweetly sensitive if I was down or mischievously playful. My life is just so much richer for having shared time with Eddy that it was worth every sacrifice and every minute and every cent.
Eddy’s very favorite thing to do was to race along the inside of our fence which bordered a private road, trying to the beat cars that drove past. Even though his re-built legs were never quite normal and he could not run like other dogs, they at least worked and caused him no pain. (When he was a puppy, he couldn’t even walk very fast or very far without becoming extremely tired. Now he could do that AND RUN! We had to wait until after his growth plates closed at nine months to perform the operations, one leg at a time.) After the physical therapy and time healed the surgeries, he so enjoyed running flat out - just as fast as he could. I was happy to be able to do that for him and never tired of watching him try to outrun the cars. Perhaps because I sensed his time was limited, I begrudged him nothing.
A few weeks after Eddy left his earthly body, he came to me in a dream as a big black Stallion. I was standing in a beautiful meadow with tall green grass and wildflowers. He galloped effortlessly towards me at full speed, his well muscled body and shiny coat gleaming in the sun, and I was unafraid because I recognized him immediately. I simply said, “hi Eddy,” and he put his ears back, and then placed his head on my shoulder and smiled, with the very same expression I’d come to love in this life when he was my Collie. I believe he wanted me to know he was okay and finally able to run fast and free, and that I didn’t have to worry about him any more. It was not until then that I finally felt a huge sense of relief and that a gigantic burden had been lifted.
In trying to make sense of what had happened, and why I was chosen to be Eddy’s mom in the first place, I enlisted the aid of an animal communicator. I found out we had lived another lifetime together, in which Eddy was my disabled son and I was not very kind to him. He told me that he felt he had to come back as my handicapped dog to work out the relationship to his satisfaction. Once he’d accomplished that, he knew it was time to continue on his journey, and to let me continue on with mine. It actually made a lot of sense and was quite freeing. But I was still quite concerned with how best to honor Eddy’s memory in the here and now. I wanted to do something. When I suggested starting a fund in Eddy’s name, Eddy told me that he would like that and be honored if I would “help other people with dogs like him.” I have taken that to mean other dogs that have been dealt a bad set of genes, requiring expensive help in order to live pain-free, quality lives.
Therefore, what I intend to do is to raise and disburse funds just for this purpose through Collie rescue. There are many other funds to help dogs who have fallen on hard times or through abuse or neglect, need funds for medical care. This fund is for dogs whose caregivers need help correcting genetic challenges dealt them at birth and whose owners/rescuers/adopters who have the will but not the way to take them on.
Puppy Eddy at almost 4 months old
- little did we know what horrific
news was about to come.
Puppy Eddy 10 months old -
post cryptorchid neuter and right
before his first knee surgery
Eddy at 12 months - first knee surgery, in his area of confinement. He had to be confined for two months for each leg.
Eddy and Zorro on guard duty - Eddy at 18 months. With the fur on his legs almost grown in and with lots of physical therapy,
Eddy was finally free to go back
to his beloved view of the hill
Eddy at 14 months - 2nd leg operation, back in his confinement area with “big ball,” his favorite toy. For each leg, the knee cap had to be “unstuck” from the inside of his femur, and pinned into place after making a groove for it to slide up and down within the stifle joint..
Puppy Eddy 7 months old - next to the fence he would look through at all the healthy dogs running on the hill.
Eddy convalescing with his
Nanny and friend.
Eddy at 2 years old with Zorro - with the leg operations behind him and before his elbows and hips started showing signs of dysplasia.
Eddy at 4 years old. Up on our hill with the other dogs, free to run, but slowing down a bit from kidney failure. Sub Q fluids were soon to start, despite my best efforts with alternative medical treatments from a Holistic Vet and homecooked meals.
Last photo taken … the night before he left us. 4.5 years old on Thanksgiving Eve, watching the hill. The next morning he ate all his breakfast, raced cars along the fence, played with a paper bag, and hung out with me as I worked in the yard.
To make a donation to the Eddy Fund account
Send your donations directly to NCR:
NorCal Collie Rescue
1520 E. Covell Blvd. B5
Davis, CA 95616
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Write: Eddy Fund in the Memo Section
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