Compiled from the Border Collie Mailing List

Kunde the First
Steamboat Caitlin
Kelly's Hero
Casey's Turn to Bat
Damien: The Angel's Puppy
A Wee Spot of Zachary
A Trio of Rescues
Phantom's Opera
My New Buddy
Little Miss Suzie Q.
Reggie's Last At Bat

From: Dori and Kunde

I am a therapist, and one of my patients does volunteer work at the Humane Society in Oshawa, about 30 minutes from my home in Toronto. Well, this patient and I talked animals all the time, and she knew I as looking for a border collie. One day long after she was finished therapy, she came back in to see the surgeon in clinic (that I did with him), and she said that they had just had two border collie pups dropped off at the humane society on Monday. They had been found abandoned in the Knob Hill Farms store parking lot and it took a number of people to surround them and catch them -- they were really upset. They were not up for adoption yet, and in fact the humane society in Oshawa only handled cats (city pound did the dogs), but these two were kept (and spoiled). I went in on the Saturday to find Kunde and her brother bouncing around looking in the cat cages. They got to run loose during the day. They called them Lady and the Tramp.

That same day there was a front page story on how awful it was that they were abandoned and abused (the brother was VERY shy and snapping -- but was adopted at the same time)(Kunde has still got a strong aversion towards men with sticks over their shoulders - baseball bats, shovels, hockey sticks etc.). Kunde's (Lady) picture was in the paper!

Kunde took to me right away. She was very outgoing, and started barking (well if you can call it that - a ball of fluff that went yap and the recoiled from the effort) at people who came near us. It was love at first lick. From that point on we did everything wrong. We went and visited my 90 year old grandmother who absolutely loved the dog (and vice versa -- Kunde was great for her), and we went to the mall to get her a leash, collar, food, toys, toys and some more toys (she stayed in the car with my father). Then we went home and did the proper settling in things. I slept on the kitchen floor with her her first night (on a mat, that fit both of us by morning).

I have tried to contact the brother's owners through the humane society, especially after Kunde's back deformity (just to warn them to get insurance if their dog starts getting lame). but I haven't heard back from them (maybe they are on the list??).

Kunde was the first dog EVER adopted from the Oshawa Humane Society. They now have facilities for dogs.

We had her name chosen before we got her: but she fit right in -- wonderful smart dog (Wunde Kunde Hund).


From: Debbie Andolino with Abby and Caitlin

Abby and Caitlin are both rescue dogs.

Abby is BC and, we think, Australian Cattle dog mix. I found her at the shelter here in Laramie. I had moved to Laramie in June and, in August, felt an overwhelming need to go to the shelter and look around. The first dog I saw there was Abby's brother. He and Abby had been found in a small town outside of Laramie. I thought the brother was cute, but he was in the process of being adopted. When I saw Abby, I fell in love. She was very quite the first few days at home but has really blossomed into a sweet, loving dog. She knew a lot of commands so someone must have done some training with her.

Caitlin (my Aussie Shepherd) was a little harder to get. One of the rescue people on the Aussie-L list posted that there were 6 dogs at the vet in Steamboat Springs, Colorado who were waiting for a home. So I went to Steamboat Springs.

It seems that a driver had been arrested for DUI - in the car (or truck, depending on the story I heard) were 1 wife, 3 kids, 4 cats and the 6 Aussies. The wife pleaded with the vet to take the dogs so they wouldn't have to go to the shelter in Steamboat. She claimed that they were show dogs and she was so very concerned about them - so concerned that she never came back for them! Luckily the vet had her sign a release saying that the dogs were property of the clinic if not claimed after 2 weeks.

All of the dogs were filthy - they had been allowed to pee and poop anywhere they wanted - including on each other. The vet's assistant that I talked to said that it took several baths for each of them to bring them to the place where they looked and smelled halfway reasonable. When I first saw Caitlin, the places on her feet that were supposed to be white were still a tan color.

All 6 dogs were eventually adopted and, I think, are doing well. Abby seemed to bond to Caitlin as soon as she saw her. I wonder if she (Abby) missed her brother and recognized that Cait would be someone to play with.

Both girls are marvelous - and have a great time playing together - tug, chase, etc. I love to watch them play together and then snuggle up together for a nap. Somehow fate brought me both of them - and I couldn't be happier about it!!!


From: Jennifer Anderson with Nikki and Kelly
Santee, CA.

Just had to jump in on this topic since we have been so happy to have our girl Kelly in our lives. We got her from the Humane Society as a second dog and companion for our 1st girl Nikki. When we saw her, it was love at first sight. For Nikki, it was more a matter of indignation at first, followed by gradual tolerance. We had the dogs meet and spend time together before we brought Kelly home, but I think it was a great shock to our Nikki when Kelly stayed for good. It's been six months now, and while there is still some rivalry, the two get along well and have a great time playing together.

Kelly is a BC-X, BIG (about 65 lbs.), black all over except for a white chest and one half-white leg with black ticking and some white on her other paws. Oh, and about one white hair at the tip of her tail. Her coat is rough and she has a huge plume tail and large black "helicopter" ears. Probably because she spent some hungry time on the street as a pup, she has an insatiable appetitie and I have to strictly control the amount of food she eats. I also have to monitor feeding (I used to free feed with one) because I have *never* seen a dog eat so much. She is clever and mischevious in play, but is as cuddly as they come when it's time to relax. She is also extremely obedient and actually was easier to train than Nikki (full BC.)

Our family loves Kelly, and she has been great for Nikki. Nikki is a super sensitive, shy dog by nature (this is temperment, not treatment since we've had her from the time she was seven weeks old. I probably should have socialized her earlier, but that's another topic...) Having Kelly around has made Nikki less skittish and more confident all around.

Our two girls are very different in temperment: Nikki is a whirlwind, and Kelly is a gentle cuddler. It's a nice mix.

Bringing a rescue dog into your home can be a rewarding experience. I think in almost every case the "payback" in love, loyalty and companionship is tremendous.


From: Mary Lee and Brenna the mini Aussie and Casey the airplane-eared BC and Hank the foster Collie/Border Collie

Brenna is a miniature Australian Shepherd who was dumped when she was about a year old at a Girl Scout camp in Ohio. I happened along, I happened to have dog biscuits with me that I had just bought that morning (because I had to leave my Coco dog home that day and knew I'd better bring him a treat). And I saw this little dog and she looked pretty hungry and pretty scared (and pretty pretty). So I chunked Liv-a-Snaps at her for two hours. She'd run in and grab them where they'd hit the ground and run off. I started tossing them so they'd land a little closer to me and finally she came in and took one from my hand and laid down beside me and let me touch her.

When I got up she followed. The camp caretaker said she'd been there for a week or two and had been running with another little dog. I never saw the other one. He said that dogs got dumped there all the time.

Brenna received her CGC last week and as soon as she (fingers crossed) gets her ILP will start competing for her CD.

The aforementioned Coco was found running in the median of Route 40. I stopped, opened the door, and he jumped over me and plopped down on the passenger seat, turned to me and said "Let's go." Coco is no longer with us (and is still missed).

Casey is a short-haired, airplane-eared tricolor Border Collie. She was dumped by the side of the road when she was 8 weeks old. Some people I work with found her and took her home and a few months later asked me if I would take her. She's now 7 months old and one happy, smart puppy (even if she did blow the down-stay of her CGC test). She loves playing with Brenna and even better, likes roughhousing with Hank.

Hank is a Collie/Border Collie cross. He's black and white and lean and long-haired and tall and active. He's got that prancey front-end that looks so good in an obedience ring. We just started heelwork with him Wednesday and he's doing great about-turns and right circles--absolutely no lagging from this dog. He met chickens and goats and horses and he's not sure what's to be done about them. He likes to watch the goats. He's sure they *need* watching (and I think he's right). He's looking for a home--somewhere where he can get a lot of lovin and a lot of action.


From: Karen Grey, Damien, Blue, Echo and Muffin
Johannesburg, South Africa

I help out at our kennels where our club keeps any rescue collies we get, mostly BCs of course and I play with them, love them and brush them and try to get them used to walking on a lead. I and the other members of our club have managed to find some really lovely homes for most of them and I really believe that 99 % are "rehabilitatable" if given a loving stable environment, some play or training and a lot of love and patience.

My dog Damien was brought to me (he's lying right here under my computer table), on a Saturday and I was supposed to take him to the kennels on Monday for adoption. A lady phoned me and said she was looking for a companion for her bull terrier and would like to look at him, I quickly made some excuse and managed to convince my husband that we could keep him, however he made it quite clear that that was the last one, 3 border collies and a maltese. He came to us very thin, with lots of ticks, no collar, feed sometimes and never been on a lead, he was one year old. It took me about 2 years to get him to hold and fetch a dumbell, his heelwork is beautiful and he is a fantastic jumper and just loves his jumping. He couldn't be more rewarding or loving and I'm so glad I've got him.

I just have to tell you my favourite rescue story. Somebody found a chocolate and white Border that had been hit by a car, they took it to the vet who cut the ball joint off the back leg, when he came to our rescue scheme he wasn't walking properly and I didn't think it was right. I took him to my vet and to cut a long story short we X-Rayed him again, paid for another operation to scrape bits of bone that were left in the leg joint and now he walks almost perfectly. I found him a wonderful home with a family (4 children) who adore him, that's what makes rescue so worthwhile. We are now working on his training and as he is already about 4 it's going to take some time but that's okay.


From: Bill with Zachary & Kayla

In February of 1993, having been together over eight years, Karen and I decided we were ready to take on the responsibility of having a dog, and started frequenting the SPCA animal shelter. We knew very little about Border Collies at the time; I'm embarassed to admit it, but all we knew at that point was that we wanted "one of those cool black-and-white dogs that are really smart and know how to herd sheep".

When Karen found Zachary one day, he was a 3-month-old pup who had escaped from his home in a trailer park for the third time. I knew so little about BCs that I thought he was probably a cross of some sort; he still had his puppy coat, of course, and we didn't realize this would change dramatically as he grew older. But we both connected with him immediately, and he with us. He was wildly eager to get out of that cage, and seemed to have boundless energy and enthusiasm.

When we checked on his availability, we discovered that his owner had contacted the shelter, but didn't have the money to reclaim him. He was willing to let us have Zachary (then named "Spot"), whom he now realized was much too energetic a dog for his family's cramped quarters. He borrowed the money to get "Spot" out of the shelter and brought him to our house, where we reimbursed him.

"Spot" came attached to a very ratty, fraying piece of rope with which he had been kept tied to the trailer (save when he managed to get away). The man came back the next day upon realizing he had forgotten to reclaim this sad little piece of rope, very concerned that we might not want to relinquish it to him. :-( This guy had a pregnant wife and two little kids, and they were *very* poor.

That same day, we gave him the new name "Zachary" because my daughter was then attending an alternative high school with its facilities right above a popular Santa Cruz restaurant named Zachary's. We thought it fit him. And so it did. :)

Zachary's life had begun somewhere in the Santa Cruz mountains, the product of a couple of back-yard breeders. He had been sold at a flea market to a man who subsequently gave him to the man who finally gave him to us. All this in less than three months! We never found out who Zachary's parents were; the people who live up in the mountains are pretty private, and when we inquired, we were told nothing that might lead us to them.

Over the next year, needless to say, we started to learn about Border Collie puppies. Of course, we had *no idea*... :) Well, as I now know, Zachary wasn't really out of the mainstream at all. In fact, he was pretty tame as BC puppies go! We had no gaping holes chewed in our drywall, we had no shoes chewed to shreds... We were pretty lucky for a couple of BC newbies! His favorite mischief, though, was typically BC. When no one was watching him, he would sneak downstairs to the TV room and pull one of the cushions off the sofa. He would then (somehow) UNZIP THE ZIPPER on the cushion cover and start ripping the stuffing out of the it. I timed him once, and he was able to get downstairs, pull a cushion off the sofa, unzip the cover, and pull all the stuffing out of it in less than 30 seconds. Then he would go on to the next cushion. :) All this with much ferocious growling and joyous thrashing. I don't know what he imagined he had hold of. Karen and I laughed until we cried; it was just so completely unbelievable to us that he could figure out how to do this, and he wasn't even six months old yet!

We knew then that we had stumbled upon something very special, and I started really researching Border Collies, first on CompuServe and then, as I got connected in June 1994, on the Internet, where I met April Quist, my first Border Collie friend. :) She introduced me to the BC mailing list with these words:

One last thing - if you can, join the Border collie email list. We're a group that consists of everything from "just pet" owners, to obedience and agility triallers, to herders. They are a *very* supportive group of people, and will be very glad to answer any questions you have. [7/14/94]

She was right! And it's still like that, even moreso. The support and help I've received from the people on this list over the past two years have been invaluable beyond words, and I've made a number of real friends here, too. A lot of the original people on the list have come and gone; many are missed, a few aren't -- :) but it's still a great group, and getting better all the time.


From: Kathy, Alec, Skye, & Sadie

All three of my BC's are rescues. Giving my summary first, with all the high quality dogs there seem to be in rescue, I doubt I'll ever buy a baby pup. My dogs have all arrived housebroken and with their basic commands in place. It's the best possible way to add to my family! Canine family members in order of appearance;

ALEC - 9 years old, I got him at 6 months of age from the humane society in Versailles KY. He had been dumped there by a lady from Appalachia along with an assortment of other dogs. He was the 'puppy of the week' picture in the paper, and a more pathetic sight you've never seen! He spent his first two years with me on a several hundred acre thoroughbred farm running with the owner's two Lab-flavored mixed pound puppies. No interest in sheep whatsoever but he is a jim-dandy obedience guy, very biddable with a lightning speed 'down'. Excellent companion on horseback rides, very serene and loving.

As time and age progressed he tore first one then the other cruciate ligament. I had both repaired but feared that if he continued to live at the farm he would tear them again. So, a few weeks ago he went to live with my cousin and her golden retriever, Jackson. She got Jackson from the GR rescue. Alec now spends his weekdays lounging in a loft of a downtown Seattle publishing house where he is pet and pampered and spoiled and fed bits of danish by everyone who passes by. He comes back Friday night thru Sunday night so I still get to love and hug and take walks with him.

SKYE - three years old, got him at 18 months. Out of very driven, working parents and placed by the breeder into a pet home with a quiet, retired person. At 6 months she returned the dog to her adult children who had originally purchased him. He was too much trouble, so they left him chained up in the backyard for the next year where he learned to bite, run away (wouldn't you?), chase cats and engage in a variety of odd neurotic behaviors such as throwing spit in the air then jumping after the drops. He still does this when stressed.

The most aggravating thing is when I contacted the breeder he said his sale contract includes a 100% MONEY BACK IF THE PEOPLE WISH TO RELINQUISH THE DOG, up to 18 months of age, AND THEY DIDN'T. They turned the dog over to the rescue. Sigh. My original intent was to have another obedience dog but he hated it. I took him herding as a stress reliever for him and a year and a half we are! Firmly embedded in herding land! He is a natural with beautiful wide outruns and excellent balance. He absolutely loves it, his whole body quivers as we approach the sheep field and he drops into that low, snaky slink that stockdogs have. When I stop he freezes and presses his belly on the ground. I whisper (literally) 'away to me' and he vanishes with only the slightest movement of grass to show where he is. The sheep never see him until he's behind them, creeping slowly. I once read Bart Black describe herding as 'manipulating a screwdriver with chopsticks'. It's beautiful to watch and the most addicting thing I've ever done.

SADIE - the shy dog. Two years old, came a week ago Tuesday on the plane from Bakersfield, CA. Raised and trained to Pro-Novice level(?) by her breeder. He was dissatisfied because she's a soft dog and he's a ruff 'n' tuff kinda guy. He was taking her to the pound but Albion and Marjorie came to the rescue! Albion suggested the rescue and Marjorie posted her. Sadie's improving rapidly and we're herding every day. She tries to get Skye to play - licks his mouth, puts her paw on his face, all that submissive puppy stuff - but so far Skye seems to consider himself above such puerile activities. He'll come around, tho', his tail is wagging more when she smooches him.


From: Hunter, Brady, Phantom, Travis and Target

I got Travis at The League for Animal Welfare in Cincinnati. He and his brothers and sisters were found in a box in an abandoned house. They were about 4 weeks old, were so malnourished they walked on their knees and were so covered with dog crap they had no hair. The league made them well and two were adopted as pups. I met Travis when he was just one year old. I was there to adopt a GSD and walked past Travis' cage.....Our eyes met and I was a goner. What this dog can do with his eyes!! His "papers" say Chihuahua.......he is no doubt Dobie/collie/GSD 60 lbs.

Target, a walker coon hound, came here starving, we fed him and locked him in a stall, he went over an 8 foot wall and escaped. Two days later he was lying in the yard unable to stand. We thought he had been hit by a car and raced to the vet. An x-ray showed a bullet in his shattered elbow. His front leg was amputated and I named him Target. (c: He is a very gentle soul, he and one of my cats are inseperable. He is the only dog I have who can jump out of the dog yard.

Now, for the BCs. Phantom & Brady and 8 brothers and sisters were born on a tree root hole in the woods near me. Mom is a purebred BC with all the quirks. The puppies at 6 weeks were starting to venture out of the woods and on to the road. When I found out, I went there and shoved 10 puppies into two cat carriers. I brought them home and moved them into an empty stall in the barn. Every day they would follow me like baby ducks into the fenced yard for playtime. A neighbor went back to the woods and caught mom that night. She was close to starvation. It's amazing how healthy the babies were, and roly poly too. She is now spayed and lives on the neighbor's farm.

I found homes for eight of the pups. I still see some of them. I fell in love with Brady the day I got him, and we decided to keep Phantom because she was such a spook. She is almost normal now, just gets scared on rare occasions. They are just about to turn three years old. I doubt that they are purebreds, they look it..but are much too mellow according to what I've read on the list. I knew they were Border Collies, but knew nothing about them. I have to say, the weeks I had the puppies here were probably the most fun I've ever had. I cried like a bay every time one left here.


From: Kim Lalonde & Buddy
Stratford, Ontario, Canada

Our rescue is Buddy a BC-Lab X. I'd never had a dog before, but the kids were always asking - then again they ask for every living creature they see!!!! Saw his picture in the paper as the "dog of the week" from the local SPCA. I thought it was crazy but couldn't get him out of my mind - so went to see him first thing next morning. That visit went very "badly" - woman in charge (and I can think of lots of other things to call her) just couldn't even be bothered to show him to me - all I got was he's in there and a pointed finger. Really didn't get a good look because the 4 large GSD's across from him where barking and slamming against the bars of their crates about 8 inches from the back of me. But still something made me go back later in the afternoon. New very nice lady was on duty and brought him out and I fell in love. He was beautiful, a bit larger than I had thought I ever wanted my dog to be - but what the heck - all the more to love!! I picked him up that night and we never looked back. He has provided the kids and I with so much love and happiness - if, and really it is not if, but when we got out next dog it will definitely be another rescue. I have since got acquainted with this "nice lady" and found that he was slated to be euthanized the next day. It must have been meant to be!


From: Jen and Suzie Q.
Ames, Iowa

I found my Suzie at the local no-kill shelter, Bide-a Wee in Manhattan. When we went into the pen areas I caught her eye, then noticed as she came to the front of her cage that there was something wrong with her hind leg. It was too late, however- I had already fallen in love with those eyes! Some may call me silly, but there was something so familiar about the eyes - they looked like the reincarnation of my first dog, a GSP, who I'd know since I was 3 mo.s old till she died of a brain tumor at the ripe age of 17. That dog was a part of *me* and when I saw Suzie, I knew she was the one.

So I went back out to the reception area and asked about Suzie's leg. Turns out she'd been born in the shelter to a lab who had distemper and had passed it on to her pups. Luckily they were able to save her life, but she would always have the atrophied leg and chorea (a constant twitch). They also told me they didn't really know what the long term effects of her distemper might be, and cautioned me against adopting her out of pity. Then they let us take her for a good long walk. Turned out that back leg did NOT affect her jumping or running ability , however after a few swift checks, she calmed right down into a reasonable heel. I immediately saw how smart she was, however I had no idea she was a BC, as the shelter had her classed as a lab mix and I had never known a BC before.

After spending her first ten months in the shelter, she had become quite the staff favorite, so she got a big sendoff. EVERYTHING was a new experience to her, after spending her entire life in a cage. And the first time we took her to the park? Forget it! It was shortly after that when we were at the park and a local breeder walked up and said "What a beautiful border collie!" (The only real lab traits she has are the full floppy ears and the stubbornness! Other than that she looks like the "classic" b/w BC)

Thus began our education on the wonderful world of BCs! That was a little over a year ago. And of course she has had a assortment of annoying medical problems, namely allergies (she's the only dog i've met that is allergic to grass) and irritable skin. But while she was somewhat of a surprise , what an amazing surprise she has turned out to be :-)


From: Kim Augustine

I took a BC in named Reggie who had all the usually problems that a 4 year old rescue would have. He was shy had bad manners, etc. In all however he was a very nice dog. Reggie was a smooth BC with whippet like ears he loved to play fetch and he loved to snuggle. When I took Reggie in the people who previously owned him said he was clear of heart worm and that he had been tested. My vet and I both believed this and put him on interceptor. Reggie was fine the rest of that summer and into the late fall. When I discontinued interceptor in January( I am in MI and a lot of vets use to say we didn't need it from Jan. to May) he was fine for the first couple of months. Then one night I let him out and when I went to call him back in he was lying in the yard like he was dead. My husband and I had to carry him back in the house he re-covered but still was a bit odd. The next morning I took him into my vet thinking he had had an epileptic seizure she thought we should check for heart worm also. The heart worm check of course came back positive. We promptly started treatment. We saw Reggie through the old arsenic treatment and the three months of crate rest and short walks.

When Reggie was better in the spring I stated training him again but he had changed. He was not as receptive and he seemed very odd. He became dog aggressive attacking a female golden where I work through a gate. He started lunging at dogs in class. I am an obedience instructor so I tried every thing I knew to get him through his dog aggression. Reggie was never like this before his seizure in the back yard. I worked with Reggie for over a year after this. It came to the point however even with all the work that he could not be with any of the other dogs in my house yet I still tried to work with him. Finally I took him for his annual check up and he tried to attack my vet he also bit my husband's dog in the muzzle the same week. It was at this time I knew that I had to do the right thing for Reggie and I knew I could not let him suffer any longer. It had come to the point where he had no life he could no longer go to work with me and he could not be out with his house mates. Reggie was spending most of his life in a crate I knew this was not fair for him and I didn't want to see him suffer any longer.

The last thing I ever did for Reggie was I took him to the my vet and he was put to sleep in my arms.

I am sorry to add such a sad story but I loved this dog dearly and I really wanted to tell his story.

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