Roger Caras was certainly correct when he said, “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” The following dogs may be gone, but they are certainly not forgotten. In addition to the paw prints that they left on the lives they touched, donations have been made to TSCR in their memory so that their lifesaving work will continue.

Maisie – 2024

Maisie joined our family on August 17, 2019. Immediately, she stole our hearts, and we knew there was something very special about this Collie. My wife discovered her photo and story on social media. A kind-hearted lady in a town about two hours from our home had spotted her in a busy intersection, confused as she dodged the traffic. The lady parked her vehicle, retrieved the frightened Collie, and placed her in the vehicle. Maisie was taken to a vet where she received treatment for a severe flea infestation. She was malnourished, weighing only 37 pounds, and had lost about half of her teeth as well as some of her vision. Much of her coat was missing and her skin was extremely irritated due to fleas.

The lady that rescued Maisie took her home and while caring for her, attempted to locate her owner by posting her photo on social media. At that time, we had owned Rough Collies for 23 years, so we were very familiar with their loving nature. Seeing Maisie’s eyes and face in her photo pulled heavily on our hearts. After a brief discussion, my wife reached out to this lady and she explained she was going to wait two weeks to allow the owner to come forward. If no one claimed her, she would get back in touch with us. It seemed as if those two weeks went by at a snail’s pace, but fortunately my wife received the call we were anticipating. In the meantime, we chose the name Maisie. We had read from one source that this was a girl’s name of Scottish origin meaning “Pearl.” And that she was, a creation of natural beauty.

Arriving at home with Maisie, she was introduced to Jasper (our male Rough Collie). He was a little standoffish at first as one would imagine, but curiosity prevailed and they quickly started warming to each other. My wife and daughter had already prepared a room just for Maisie so she could receive plenty of TLC. During a visit to our vet for another general examination, her age was estimated to be 8-9 years old. Over the next three months, my wife and daughter gave Maisie numerous baths using medicated shampoo while her weight increased to normal. Her beautiful Sable coat grew back as her irritated skin healed. When Maisie’s first Christmas in our home arrived, she was ready for photos in front of the tree with Jasper.

Over the next four years, Maisie and Jasper brought so many laughs and such joy into our home. She would give in to Jasper’s insistence they play ball. In return, she would chase him onto the couch or loveseat. But at night, you could often find both snuggled on the couch or loveseat together. They played in the snow together and enjoyed our walks through the pasture. They both spent a lot of nights sleeping on the floor of our bedroom. Many mornings when I got ready to get out of bed, I’d find myself having to straddle Maisie as she lay sprawled out on the floor next to my side of the bed.

As the years passed, Maisie developed some medical issues associated with age. On March 28, 2024, Maisie crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. She passed peacefully at home with the assistance of a vet. Her passing has brought many tears, but her memories will live forever. She now rests alongside three of our other Collies in a special place my wife selected for our pets many years ago. It is shaded by Cedar and Leyland Cypress trees and while her little body lies there, we know she is in a much better place now and she waits for us alongside our other Collies.

A few days ago, I ran across a memorial plaque that included the following quote. It is so fitting for the joy Maisie and all of our Collies have brought into our lives.

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. —Dr. Seuss

Thank you for all the love and joy, Maisie. We love and miss you.

—The Caudill Family

Henry – 2024

Henry was adopted by the Koger family in summer 2022, along with his sister Leia. He crossed the Rainbow Bridge after suffering from complications following a surgery.

From Henry’s mom, Dorothy:

Henry would sneak up on the couch on occasion. He was such a clown. Thank you for allowing us to adopt Henry and Leia. We pray we did him justice after all he’d been through. We will continue to love and provide for Leia to the best of our abilities. Her nickname is ‘Bright Eyes’. I think she’ll be fine despite them having been so bonded. Please continue providing these gentle creatures with loving homes. You do great work.

Buddy – 2024

I am sad to tell you that Buddy went to the Rainbow Bridge a few weeks ago. He had been losing weight and was in a lot of pain.

I made the decision to let him go to be free from pain. I used Laps of Love to come to my home and put him down. It was a peaceful experience for both of us. The vet was very caring and let me take as much time as I needed.

She kept feeding him Snausages while she administered this medication. It very peaceful. I could not have gotten him safely to my vet, so having him at home was a good experience. His ashes will be spread in a flower garden near here in the Spring.

I thank you for fostering him and letting me adopt him almost 2 years ago.

He was a sweet boy, and I miss him.

—Deb Gick

Dingo – 2023

Last week we said goodbye to our lovely girl, Dingo (aka Lily), who we got from you 14 years ago. She had a wonderful dog life with us that most dogs only would dream of, but we miss her terribly.

She lived with other dog friends and was a confidence builder for the blind collies that seem to connect with me. Thinking of our first meeting and I just loved her. Rescue works wonders on both ends.

—Susan Kuntzman

Mulligan – 2021

We had to say good-bye to our sweet boy, Mulligan on October 27, 2021. He was a amazing dog. The kind books are written about.

When I found him on the Tri-state Collie Rescue site Mulligan (Bromley in 2009) was a skinny mess of a puppy, recovering from Parvovirus he caught in a shelter and suffering with an outbreak of demodex mange. He could have been mistaken for a sick oversized rat. Something about his big brown eyes had me transfixed. I took my kids to meet him in a park outside of Youngstown Ohio and when we were officially introduced it was love at first sight. He was so eager to please. He was the top dog in all his obedience classes. He went on to learn agility just for fun. He had several staring roles in family movies over the years including a werewolf in “Nosferatu” and Dog Merlin in “Camelot.”

I’m a teacher for kids with special needs and Mulligan became a fixture in my classroom. He would lay on the floor surrounded by children who were reluctant readers and remain still while they read to him. One day we had a gun threat in our building. I had Mulligan lie in front of the children and keep them quiet and calm until the person threatening to “shoot-up the school,” left the building. He was a vigilant protector and kept those kids silent. Thankfully no one was hurt and Mulligan’s calm demeanor kept the fear at bay.

Last winter he began to slow down and I noticed a limp, old age had finally caught up with him. We were able to keep the pain away with medication and some rehab until the day he just couldn’t stand on his own any more. He looked at me with his big brown eyes and I knew it was his time to go. we miss him terribly. Our family has a hole that only he can fill. We love and miss you Mulligan.

Thank you Tri-State Collie Rescue for giving us the most amazing dog for 12 wonderful years. We will forever be grateful.

—The Otto Family: Melissa, Shawn, Taylor, Morgan and Nicholas

Maxwell (Max) Remington Shroyer

Maxwell (Max) Remington Shroyer was my former foster puppy in February of 2009. His name at the time was Cameron. The day I went to pick up my two foster puppies, my Dad asked if I could stop by his business so he could see them. He had always wanted a collie that “looked just like Lassie”. My Dad had stage four cancer and had just suffered a stroke. My Dad was horribly embarrassed of his slurred speech. The moment we got to my Dad’s business he sat down and asked to hold Max. The second I placed him in my Dad’s arms he could speak normally again. We witnessed a miracle that day.  My parents adopted Max and my Dad would love him and spoil him rotten until he passed away in December of 2009. He asked me to take care of Max and my Mom. Max would spend a few days at a time out my house and then go home to my Mom. We moved in with my Mom in 2015 when her health was declining, so we have always been a constant presence in his life.  Max knew nothing but love and everyone that ever had the pleasure to meet him absolutely adored him. He was beautiful inside and out. I know he is happy and is playing fetch with my Dad now. My sweet boy gained his beautiful wings yesterday afternoon. He was one in a billion and our little (well not so little) miracle. Thank you Tri State Collie for almost 13 amazing years with the absolute sweetest boy.
—The Shroyer Family

In Memory of Frost

Frost – 2019

Ray and Marsha Crook had to say goodbye to Frost just recently. They took him in as a foster and fell in love. They became another one of our foster failures.

We are so thankful to Ray and Marsha Crook for taking Frost into their home and giving him so much love and care over the years.

In Memory of Caleb

Caleb – 2019

This beautiful soul was the super skinny shaved stray that was found in Somerset. Adopted a couple years ago, Caleb had an eye melanoma that was responding to meds for a couple of months but sadly worsened, and it became apparent he was suffering. His family made the tough decision to help him cross the Rainbow Bridge. This picture is from one his favorite walks.

In Memory of Tahoe

Tahoe – 2019

We said goodbye to our best friend, Tahoe, at 14 years old.

Tahoe came into our lives in 2007 from TriState Collie Rescue, he was a stray found in Kentucky and his name and history were unknown (TCR called him Chip). Our vet said he was a “2005 model”. Since then Tahoe has been a constant source of happiness. He always loved to be on the go with long walks, Bark in the Park, many restaurants, dog parks as well as travelling to Asheville, Red River Gorge, Michigan and Charlotte among many destinations.

The best thing about Tahoe was the joy he provided to everyone. Just last week we visited Findlay Market, one of his favorite spots. As usual, the number of people (especially children) who came up to pet him, call him Lassie or just look at him and smile never ceased to amaze us. He loved the attention and wanted to be everyone’s friend. Day-by-day after his morning walk on the riverfront, Sharon would sing to him as she got ready for work and he never complained.
His favorite things were his doggy ice cream and welcoming visitors to his house. We would tell him “company” was coming and he got excited to see who would show up.

So thanks to all of you who befriended Tahoe. As sad as it is saying farewell to our little boy we will try to focus on memories of our fun, smart, happy collie who blessed us by sharing his life with us.

—Tahoe’s Family

In Memory of Elly

Elly – 2019

It is with an extremely heavy heart that I let you know that we lost our Elly on Wednesday evening. We adopted her in 2010. She was so smart, so kind, and the best protector and walking buddy I’ve ever had. She loved training with my daughter,  Josie. High fives, shake, rollover, speak, leg weaving, jumping hurdles, chasing tennis balls and Frisbee. Elly even tolerated our 2 cats beautifully. My heart is broken, but I just wanted to thank you for leading her to us. She was one in a million.

—Elly’s Family

In Memory of Lady

Lady – September 2018

Just shy of 3 years ago we had begun looking for another companion for our collie mix, since his previous Collie sister had died at age 12. We came across the listing for Greta (as she was called). She was so beautiful and you could tell she had a wonderful disposition. Her downfall was her fear of thunderstorms and fireworks. Without seeing her ahead of time we drove 4 hours to see (get) her. She was so sweet we immediately knew she would fit in. Her fears would be our challenge with her but with love we felt she could over come that issue! We brought her home and she fit in beautifully with our male Collie Mix and the two older cats. We renamed her according to her old vet records and she went back to being Lady. She found her way into everyone’s heart with her sweet gentle ways! As time went on she had a couple of times where she didn’t feel well. We’d take her to the vet but nothing was too far out of normal on her tests to get excited about. Just recheck in 3-6 months. At the end of July she had an episode where you could tell she was very ill. She was in distress and panting heavily. Out vet had a CT scan done and saw things that needed attention but it wasn’t in his area of expertise. Ended up she had a gall bladder problem and Purdue University could likely fix it, albeit Lady was 12 years old. The surgery lasted 3 times longer than expected but she came out of it pretty good. Aftercare was going well and they sent her home. Three weeks of home-care were going OK. She’d have good days and bad but she was getting along. Suddenly one night after having a rough day, we took her potty and she collapsed. She was gone just that quick. We were devastated. How could she pass 3 whole week’s after surgery… We are still awaiting answers which her autopsy will hopefully give.

Lady was such a beautiful soul. So laid back, loving and caring. All during this ordeal never once did she whimper or cry. She had such a quiet spirit but she enjoyed her one on one time with her humans. She’d bump that big nose under your elbow if she wanted pets and loves and she’d give a full body bump if she wanted rump rubs! Lady loved her kitties. In the last 6 months both passed (of old age) and she mourned them. She’d look for them but couldn’t ever find them. Lady was such a one of a kind wonderful family member. This will take a while to get past. However, we WILL rescue another senior in her honor. Even if it’s one heartbreak at a time.

—Gena Buck

In Memory of Doggie Joy

Doggie Joy – July 2018

​On July 26, 2018, we lost our loved collie “Doggie Joy”.

Although nearly 15 years old, she was still a beautiful dog both outside and inside. There is a special place in our hearts for her, and we are grateful for having the opportunity to adopt her from Tri-State Collie Rescue nearly 8 years ago to provide a loving home for her. What a special dog she was! Below is her story:

I was 7 years old when my owners-parents, Mommy and Daddy, adopted me. Being a collie, I am very sensitive, and it took me almost year to develop trust and to bond with them. But as our lives merged through that first year, I knew they would be loyal to me for life, and I opened up to them, displaying my unique personality slowly but steadily through subsequent years. I would follow them around outside as they did chores in the yard (I didn’t like being in the house alone) and was happiest when all three of us were together, as a pack. They were a little confused the first time I asked them to play with me by picking up my squeeze toy and running with it so they would chase me, but they learned quickly and enjoyed playing the game. My daddy enjoyed chasing me when I teasingly stole his leather work glove or his ID tag too. I was the one who learned quickly that I could ask for another evening treat by resting my nose on their legs and looking soulfully at them; pretty effective. I often refused to go out in the rain to do my ‘business’ (I hated wet feet!) but I was a good girl with such excellent bladder and bowel control that I never soiled the floor and they were patient with me. Eventually Mommy and Daddy would put on raincoats though and make me go out with them (if I must go out in the rain, so do you!), and I always felt better after they made me go out.I didn’t like to travel away from home but I was easy to travel with once the trip started, and Mommy and Daddy never left me anywhere, so I trusted them. I loved other people, especially children, and looked forward to our daily walks when we might meet people along the way. I had my special dog friends too, I and would look for them as we passed their houses. You could set your clock by me: when it was 4:00 PM I knew it, and I was looking for my dinner! Saturday night was grooming night, which I didn’t much like, but there was an extra Greenie to look forward to after such ‘abuse,’ so I learned to tolerate it and think about the treat to come.
Yes, I had a good life with Mommy and Daddy, and I know they still love me as much as I love them.

—Stephen and Susan Plate

In Memory of Candy

Candy – April 2018

We wanted to let you know that our girl, Candy, was laid to rest. We loved her spirit so much, she became a love of our family. We miss her.

Thank you for bringing her to us.

—Jim and Shirley Heinen

In Memory of Angus

Angus – December 2017

In May of 2007 we adopted Angus from your rescue. He was the most wonderful dog you could imagine. He loved everyone and everything. Including our 5 cats and all the neighborhood cats. He passed away on December 20, 2017. He was buried with the little reindeer he brought with him from his foster home. We are devastated. My heart is too broken.

Thank you for the blessing of having had Angus in our life.

—Daria Porter

In Memory of Sophie

Sophie – October 2017

We can only imagine what it’s like for a loyal and loving dog to spend her life with a person, and then, when she starts to experience medical problems, her person dumps her at the shelter. Little 13-year-old Sophie was left there, alone, just when she needed her person the most.

TSCR rescued Sophie from the shelter, and it took her many weeks to adapt. Because she had been through such a wrenching abandonment, and since she was now happy and content, we decided that this little lady needed to stay with her forever foster.

Sophie had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, in additional to her arthritis, limited hearing, and worsening vision. She also had extensive dental work to fix a mouth full of rotten teeth.

​Last week, Sophie took turn for the worst, and we had to say goodbye to her. It was very hard, but her foster mom knew in her heart that Sophie was ready. Sophie crossed the Rainbow Bridge peacefully surrounded by her loving foster mom and her family.

In Memory of Paddy

Paddy – July 2017

Last night, Paddy’s tired body was laid to rest though his spirit forever will live with us.

This picture of him and I is on the first day that we became one, with Paddy.

Though not enough time, we enjoyed what we were given and are thankful for you bringing Paddy into our life.

—Jim and Shirley Heinen

In Memory of Spectre

Spectre – May 2017

​It is with a sad heart that I let you know that our wonderful, beautiful boy, Spectre, (I believe you called him Spencer), passed away on May 31 from a very short battle with aggressive Lymphoma. We were, of course, heartbroken and devastated. He was only 5 years old. However, though we only had him for four short years, we feel so grateful to have had him in our lives.

Spectre was one of a kind. He was so afraid and timid when he came to us. Every new thing was fearful to him. With time, he learned to be brave and face new situations. With the help of our other Collie, Hurley (whom he ADORED), he gained strength and trust as time went on. He loved to be loved and to show love. He woke me up every day with licks to my hands and face. I never needed an alarm clock. He loved to run in circles around our living room, especially when chasing Hurley. He loved ANY snacks, but always waited patiently. He loved our daily walks.

Spectre was just pure love and joy, and our house is so quiet without him. We will always, always miss him, but wouldn’t trade any of our time with him. We have filled out another application for a dog in the future, because we believe that is what Spectre would have wanted. Giving other animals the love we still have to give and a forever home is the least we can do in his memory. Thank you so much for what you do and for giving us such a beautiful soul to share our lives with, no matter how brief the time.


Jill and Darrel Burket

In Memory of Kelsey

Kelsey – May 2017

Kelsey was an owner-surrender along with his senior sister, who was 9, back in December of 2013. His sister went to another foster and was adopted. We were told that he was 11 and would turn 12 in February. His owner was just no longer able to take care of them due to life circumstances.

At first, Kelsey went up on the adoption page as well, but the more we learned about him, the more we worried. As with most Collies his age, he had a bit of difficulty getting up from certain positions, but the vet said it was just old age. Pain medication helped him a good bit, so nothing prevented adoption there; however, Kelsey wasn’t really adjusting as well as most foster Collies do. He was a sweet old guy who missed his person.

For more than 6 months, Kelsey’s foster had to keep him from running out the door that he had come in when his former owner dropped him off. He would lie in front of that door as if he was waiting for her to come back, looking hopefully out into the garage and driveway, his ears perking up, if the door opened. He had a big fluffy dog bed, but that door was where he wanted to be. Kelsey’s foster worried that another move so soon would break his heart. Eventually, after more than 8 months, he seemed to realize that she wasn’t coming back and gave up poking his head out the door every time it opened.

Kelsey finally seemed content to be with his foster family. He loved the kids and ignored the cats. He had this funny thing he did when he was happy—while laying down on his stomach, he would slap his front legs on the ground one after the other and rub his head against whatever part of his foster mom was closest. The other Collies seemed to understand that he was part of the family now. He was a little on the thin side, so his foster mom fed him twice as much as he had been eating, and he gained some weight. He got his pain medicine every morning before breakfast, and it didn’t take long for him to learn to look for that morning treat!

Usually, we try to match senior dogs with seniors, but for all of Kelsey’s difficulty getting up, once he did get on his feet, he was strong! Kelsey was one of those bigger-boned Collies, and he reminded his foster mom of a small, furry tank every time he moved: slow but unstoppable! He knocked everything, dogs, cats, kids, out of the way to get where he wanted to go! It didn’t matter if there were already dogs at the water bowls, if he wanted a drink, they got knocked aside (and oddly, they just let him). If he wanted to go out, he would barrel toward the back door. His foster mom learned to move quickly to keep from being run over! At times, he gets stuck and needs to have his backside picked up, but once he is up, get out of the way! There were definitely a few times that he almost knocked his foster mom over, and one time when she actually did fall. Kelsey was definitely not the Collie for a senior person. And so he stayed.

Kelsey got a bit stiffer over the years, but once he was up, he was still a tank. He slept more, but his legs moved best when he was dreaming about chasing something. He needed his backside picked up more and more now, but he would let his foster family know, loudly, when he needed help. He loved to lay in the grass in the back yard and watch the world go by. He would bark at people in other back yards sometimes, but mostly he left the taxing job of guarding the house to the others (unless it is something really dangerous like the neighbor’s riding mower–that took all three of the Collies to scare away). He preferred to lie on hard floors, ignoring his fluffy bed, except for mealtimes, when he insisted on getting up to lay on his bed to eat. Kelsey reached age 15, the oldest Collie that his foster mom had ever had. Of all the seniors that she had fostered, he was the quirkiest, but he trained her well, and he seemed content with that!

Kelsey crossed the Rainbow Bridge peacefully in the arms of his foster mom. He will be missed very much by his entire foster family and he’ll always have a place in their hearts.

In Memory of Liza

Liza – May 2017

​With a heavy heart we had to say good bye to our beautiful forever foster, Liza. She crossed the bridge. The lumbar-sacral spondylosis had become severe with a partial cracking of one of the discs. Liza retained her charm and fighting spirit right till the end. She was loved and cared for by her wonderful foster mom, Susan.
Upon arrival at an animal control shelter in 2015, Liza was referred to Tri-State Collie Rescue.  She was accepted immediately by TSCR despite being almost 10 years old and confirmed as heartworm positive by the shelter.  In addition, she was noted by the shelter to have a urinary tract infection and severe arthritis.
In the months ahead, TSCR would learn from the woman who first “rescued” Liza, that she was left in the backyard of a midwest home without shelter or vet care for at least 18 months.  Apparently the people who owned the home left her when they vacated; the people who rented the home left her outside with some food and water. The woman would see Liza out in the yard day after day, month after month, as she passed by the home.  She would stop and greet her every time she walked by.  Finally, after so many months, the woman saw someone at the home and asked if if they wanted to give her up, but they said she wasn’t their dog, so no.  About a month later, the woman spotted the people again, and this time, they said the owners of the house had told them, “Sure, go ahead and give away the dog.”
The woman had every hope of bringing Liza home and caring for her. But as she picked up the emaciated, filthy dog with frostbite scars on her nose and ears and put her in her car, she knew she could not provide the amount of care that would be needed and brought her to animal control.
Liza was severely symptomatic from her heartworm disease, coughing excessively and vomiting.  There was little choice but to attempt to treat her heartworm, despite her advanced age. It would prove to be a rocky road for Liza, but she was smart, calm, and accepting. Despite several hospitalizations and set backs, she ultimately tested negative for heartworm in July 2016.
Given that Liza would forever require a special diet; that she was severely arthritic and unable to manage stairs; and that she had some incontinence issues, TSCR made the commitment to her to keep her within the TSCR family as a forever foster.  TSCR would continue to provide the medical care and medications that she needed throughout the remainder of her life.
Liza loved being in her TSCR forever foster home. Despite her advanced age and significant mobility issues, she continued to show a lot of spunk and no evidence of pain until the very end. She just wanted to be near her humans, preferably indoors, enjoy her canine friends, and spend lots of time on her super comfy dog bed.

In Memory of Sol

Sol – December 2016

We lost one of our Forever Fosters. Sol went to the bridge while his foster mom held him for the last time. He fought a long and tough battle and can now rest peacefully.

In Memory of Cassie

​Cassie – October 2015

It was during September 2007 when I found Cassie’s photo and profile on Petfinder. She was about 4 to 5 years of age and had the sweetest face I’d ever seen; I fell in love with her immediately. I drove to Evansville, Indiana, to finalize the adoption paperwork and pick her up, and on October 14, 2007, I brought her back home with me to Kansas. I was hers from that day forward.

Cassie arrived at TSCR as an abuse and neglect case out of West Virginia. She had every reason to be wary of people, and yet she never lost her faith in human beings and greeted strangers as if they were longtime friends. I marveled at her ability to trust and love people so completely in spite of the despicable treatment she’d endured, and I was humbled because I don’t think I’d be willing or able to do the same if her experiences had been my own. She was amazing.

I loved to watch Cassie run when we played “chase,” to see her romp around in the snow, and how she’d join in the “fun” whenever I exercised inside the house. She didn’t play with toys and was never interested in a game of “fetch,” but that was okay because we invented our own games to play together. It was always heartwarming to see her go over and check on the neighbors’ kids whenever she saw one of them fall down, and to watch how tenderly she interacted with her feline siblings who absolutely adored her. Cassie was my little shadow who followed me from room to room, and she put a smile on my face every day.

It is with a heavy heart that I share the news that my beautiful girl Cassie has gone to the Rainbow Bridge. She suffered a stroke in April 2015, but we were able to spend another 6 months together before she let me know one day in late October that it was time to let her go. The vet came to my house the following morning, and Cassie passed away peacefully at home on October 24, 2015.

Thank you TSCR for allowing me to adopt Cassie so many years ago. I am heartbroken that she is no longer with me, but I feel blessed that we were able to spend the past 8 years together. I will always love my sweet Collie with the gentle soul, my little “banana-nose,” my Cassie Lou.

—Rebecca Ryan

In Memory of Pekoe

Pekoe – March 2016

Pekoe (better know to his foster mom as Laddie) crossed the Rainbow Bridge on March 28th. We think that he was about 14 years old. He came to TSCR as a pull from animal control, who had taken him out of an abuse/neglect situation. His teeth were in terrible shape, his muzzle was all scarred up, and he showed signs of having had breaks in his hind legs that were never treated.

Pekoe entered the care of TSCR and spent his last year and a half in the comfort of a warm home with lots of pillows on which to lay his weary head. He loved his short walks. He loved bossing his foster cat brother around. And he loved his head pats. But most of all he loved his Greenie at the end of the day. His poor old beaten down body just couldn’t keep up with his noble Collie spirit, so he was allowed to slip from the bonds of Earth to run free with no more achey joints.

Farewell, my dear sweet Lamby.

In Memory of Precious

Precious – September 2015

Miss Precious was adopted by the Purvis family just a few short months ago. In the beginning she seemed so timid and sad, but in the short time that she had with the family, she came out of that shell and would bark loudly whenever her mommy or daddy would leave or come home.

Precious became suddenly ill and stopped eating on 9/4/2015 and was taken to the vet. Scans showed some areas of concern in her body and exploratory surgery was scheduled for 9/9/15. Unfortunately on Labor Day, as her mommy and daddy were coming to the vet’s office to visit her, Precious suffered a stroke or aneurism and suddenly passed away.

She was only with the family for a very brief time, but her mommy and daddy will miss her so much. Now she can get her belly rubs in the sunshine all she wants until she and her mommy and daddy can meet again.

In Memory of Keiran

Kieran – February 2015

Kieran, a forever foster at TSCR, passed over the Rainbow Bridge.

He will forever be loved and always be missed.

In Memory of Max & Tyler

Max (August 2014) and Tyler (October 2014)

Thank you Tri-State Collie Rescue for allowing us to adopt Max almost 6 years ago. He lived to the tender age of 14 and brought a lot of love and laughter to our home.
This once shy boy blossomed, we affectionately called him the Sir Dante Max, Protector Brookshire. He crossed the bridge on August 1.

Max was unexpectedly joined by our Collie mix, Tyler, on October 19. Tyler was 7 years, we had him since he was a surrendered puppy Christmas gift to a local shelter. Tyler lost a battle to cancer.

Our boys really opened our eyes to rescue. He and Max were bonded and hosted many Tri-State Collies and Shelties fosters at our home. Losing 2 in such a short time has broken our hearts, but we will continue their legacy by helping other dogs.

Thank you for helping the voiceless! These boys left major paw prints on our hearts.

—Max and Tyler’s Family

In Memory of Smokey


It is with great sadness that I tell you all that we had to have our Rough Collie Smokey put down this morning. It was such a difficult decison to make but due to his age and increasing infirmities we know it was the right decision and the right time to make it. We will miss him so so much.

Smokey came to us over five years ago as a senior collie from the Tri-state Collie Rescue in Columbus, Ohio. Smokey taught us all about owning a big dog, about grooming a big and hairy!! dog and he also taught us how to understand “dog talk” and how to read dog emotions! He could talk with his eyes like no other dog I have ever met!! He had such a regal presence and such dignity! There will never be another dog like Smokey.

Our thanks to Dan Osborne, DVM of Dr. Dan’s Ark who came to Cabinwood this morning to perform the euthanasia. He made this very sad decision easier for us and helped Smokey pass with the dignity that he deserved.

Rest in peace our dear friend Smokey. We were glad you chose us to live with in your final years. They wouldn’t have been the same without you.

—Smokey’s Family

In Memory of a loved collie dog

June – 2010

Home is not the same without you here. When you left, you took a piece of our hearts.
WE will never forget the joy and laughter you brought to our lives. Rest in peace sweet girl.

—MIC and JOE (mommie and daddie)

In Memory of Scout

Scout – 2010

My buddy Scout, who I adopted from you in June 2007 passed away Tuesday, October 19, 2010.

He had a heart condition my vet had been treating Scout for a heart condition since June 2010.

He hadn’t been feeling well Monday and I had made arrangements for him to see the vet Tuesday after school. When I left him Tuesday morning, I told him, buddy boy, I will see you at lunch! He usually waits for me out on the deck with my mother. But he wasn’t on the deck when I came home.

He was still in bed sleeping. It seems he waited for me to come home, I petted him, and then grabbed my lunch when he suddenly yelped, and the was it. His heart failed; he passed peacefully with his head in my lap.

I wanted to thank you all for allowing me to have Scout for the past three years. He was true blue collie with all of the traits and behavior of a collie boy. I will be missing him sorely.

—Claudia Kerens

In Memory of Rodney

Rodney – 2011

Our loving collie and companion we adopted from you in October of 08 passed away Thursday, June 16th, 2011 in the late evening after being ill from Kidney Failure. Even with our attempts to save him it must have just been his time. We had his ashes placed in a pet memorial garden where we can visit anytime we want. We miss him and loved him dearly!! He was such a good boy!!!

Rest In Peace Rodney boy!
We love you!

—The Flower Family

In Memory of Meagen

Megan – 2012

My beautiful sable collie girl Megan (known to Tri State as Maggie) was adopted Dec 26, 2002. I had just closed on my first home, and coming from a family that always had dogs I knew I needed to have one as well. I had stumbled on the Tri State site and happened to see Megan. My heart just melted, and I knew that she had to be mine. The day after Christmas my mom and I drove down from Rubicon, Wisconsin to Indiana to pick her up. It was love at first sight. She was so beautiful and had such a great personality. The first couple weeks were a little rough for both her and I. It was rough for me because this was the first time I was out on my own by myself, and I guess was pretty homesick. Megan was home sick too..she missed the foster family she was with. It was a change for her seeing she was such a social girl and loved to be with lots of people and other dogs, but we both worked through it. After that, Megan and I were inseparable. We had the usual routine of going to my parents house for dinner on Sunday..where she loved to play with my moms collie Josie. She loved going over there so much that when it was time to go she would hide in a bedroom because she didn’t want to leave her friends. During the summer we would do so many things…she loved to go up to northern Wisconsin and go for pontoon boat rides at my parent’s lake place. She really wasn’t too much of a swimmer like Josie, but always waded in up to her chest just to show she was a good sport. As time went by, many wonderful memories where made…the thing that still makes me laugh is when I would play my drum kit in the basement she would bark at the top of the stairs until I stopped. She loved to eat chicken..she was so mesmerized by it every time I grilled out I couldn’t help but give her a piece. Sometimes we would go to the local custard stand for Thursday cruise night and check out the classic cars. She was such a popular dog there, everyone always commented on how beautiful she was.

In her senior years, she had developed a heart murmur, and was beginning to lose weight. But that never seemed to slow her down. Until, Friday May 11, 2012..she had lost movement in her rear legs, and her kidney was starting to fail..her whole body was just starting to shut down…and I had to make that call I knew I never wanted to make, but I couldn’t let her suffer. It was so hard to make that decision on my best friend who gave me so many years of unconditional love.

Megan- I feel so truly blessed that God allowed me to look after one of his precious creatures he created…but maybe he created you to look after me. Meg, I miss you so much my sweet precious girl it hurts, but I know in time my pain will subside to these wonderful memories I have of you…and these wonderful memories will be with me for an eternity. You were here long enough to show Emma, our new rescue collie, the ropes. You handed over the torch so to speak and I’m sure she will look after Kristin and I as you did. I hope one day we will all be united again…Love you so much, always and forever my loyal friend….

Rest in Peace.
Love, Mike and Kristin

In Memory of Daisy

Daisy (Adopted by Mike in 2002)

Forever loyal and forever loved.

In Memory of Cinda

Cinda – 2012

Cinda, a TSCR rescue, never made it to her furever home. She had a very rough start in life, but she was loved in her foster home very much.

In Memory of Vanna

Vanna – January 2013

Remember my Tri State Senior Recue Collie, Vanna, the Diva on Wheels, who did the therapy work to walk again? This post is a tribute to our sweet Vanna and to everyone at Tri-State Collie Rescue whose passion is to rescue, foster and place so many precious dogs in loving homes, just like Vanna. She found her way from Kentucky to our home in NY. She fought to walk again but lost her battle with kidney failure. She left us peaceful on 9/26/12, with our help, and although we are heartbroken, this post is to remind us (me especially) that the short year and a half we had her was so worth while and we would not have missed it for the world. Instead of the Fox Family rescuing her, it ended up that she rescued US with her energy, zest for life and smiles (and her love to eat!). Our sadness will subside and the memories of our fun and wacky times with her will make us laugh for a lifetime. Rescuing a senior dog (we rescued 2 at one time) brings more joy than anyone can imagine. Try it…. we wouldn’t trade not one memory…Vanna, you have given us more than you will ever know… Thank you to Vanna and to Tri-State from the bottom of our hearts. You will hear from us again someday when we are ready to adopt again… but right now our focus is on Bo, the Tri-State Collie Rescue who is missing his Vanna. In memory of our Vanna, we will be donating her wheels to Tri-State so that someday another sweet angel will walk and love!!!


In Memory of Sara

Sara – February 2013

When Sara came to her foster home at TSCR, she never knew that she was not in her forever home. She was loved and cared for by her wonderful foster until her last day with us. Sadly, Sara passed on 2/17/13.

We will miss you, Sara.

In Memory of Bo

Bo (March 2013)

In memory of our Tri State Collie Rescue senior rescue, “Bo” (March 2013)

We always said our Bo was a fighter and fought his way into our lives at the age of 10, on 4/9/11. He was special in so many ways and we felt so blessed that our home was where he found peace and love for the remainder of his life. We
are so grateful to Brightheart Pet Emergency Center in Westbury, NY and especially to surgeon Dr. Andrew Mercurio who was amazing in fighting so hard to save Bo’s life. On 3/12/13 Bo lost his fight however, he left this world being loved and treasured so much and that was our goal when bringing senior dogs in our home. Rescuing seniors is a win-win because Bo rescued the Fox Family as well with his love, his pride, his personality and simply his presence.
He will be missed not only by his family but by his work family, Petschauer Insurance, as he came to work with me every day and brightened up our workplace as well. Bo will be forever in our hearts and another angel added to our lives. We will rescue again and we will look for signs from Bo when the time is right.

—Bo’s Family

In Memory of Dexter

Dexter -June 2013

I adopted a collie by the name of Dexter from Tri-State Collie Rescue on 9/26/2010.

He was a beautiful sable and white boy with 1 brown eye and 1 blue and ears that flopped in opposite directions. It deeply saddens me to inform you that Dexter crossed the Rainbow Bridge today. He had been suffering from spondylosis of his lumbar region and even though I’ve tried everything know to man I couldn’t heal him. He grew steadily weaker, unable to stand at times and I felt it was in his best interest to end his suffering. My vet and a tech came to the house so he could pass over on his own bed, in his own house in familiar surroundings with people who loved him. He will be missed terribly.

Thank you for allowing Dexter to be a part of my life, as short as it was with me. Be assured that he was loved with all my heart and well taken care of. In time, I will check out your website again for another collie. After all, they are angels with wings.


In Memory of Bunny

Bunny – September 2014

Bunny came to TSCR a little too late. She had so many challenges to face by the time she reached us. She had a trusting heart and a loving soul that could not be denied, and she touched many people’s hearts in the short time she was with us, including our wonderful vet, Dr Chip.

Bunny’s foster mom, Susie, blessed Bunny with unconditional love and friendship. Bunny was a rescue dog. She was made a forever foster, but Bunny had a permanent home in many hearts, and with her foster family that loved her very much.

Run free, Bunny.

In Memory of Sophie

Sophie – October 2014

On February 8, 2014 we made a 10-hour round trip through an ice storm and white out conditions to pick up our Darling Sophie.

I have to admit, we were quite nervous. We had never adopted a Rescue Dog before, let alone a 12-year-old Rescue dog. We had no idea as to how this would play out. However; Sophie quickly made a believer out of us. She went from being scared and skittish, to almost puppy like. Everything seemed to be new and exciting to her. She was so much fun to watch.

Soon she had us going on long walks with her. Her pace was so slow and deliberate we nick named her Eeyore. We liked to say that Sophie made us take in and enjoy the world around us. Often times Sophie would just plop under a shade tree on our way back, and we would sit there for 20 to 30 minutes just watching the people and things around us.

Sophie never met a person or animal (even cats) she did not like. Upon running into someone or something, she would begin to bark and her tail would wag violently in a circular fashion just like a Helicopter.

But the thing we will all remember most about Sophie is her eyes. She would gaze at you so intently, with so much love and affection. As I left the house for work, she would come to the door and just stare at me with those eyes. I could not leave without giving her a kiss on the nose, and telling her I would be home soon.

Sadly, on Tuesday Oct 21, 2014, Sophie crossed over the Rainbow Bridge with us at her side, the victim of a large tumor and kidney failure.

In 8 short months Sophie showed us the great love that could exist between a Senior dog and her owners. We are deeply saddened by her loss. At the same time, we remember and tell stories about the great times we shared together.

Probably sooner rather than later, we will look again to adopt another Senior Collie. Many people ask me why. Especially since you might lose them so quickly. I tell them that the best things in life come at a price. Right now you might say that our price to pay is a broken heart. However; the great love, affection, and appreciation these Senior Collies give in return is well worth the price. I would accept the pain of loss a dozen times, if it meant I could have a dozen more Sophies.

Run wild, run free, our dearest Sophie. Maybe this time you will even get to catch up with Mr. Squirrel.

Love, Scott and Connie

In Memory of Bear


While we did not have an opportunity to spend a lot of time with Bear, it was obvious to everyone who met him that he was a loving, fun, special dog. Bear came into Tri-State Collie Rescue with his brother Fred, both 20 weeks old. Unfotunately, it was soon learned that Bear had Leptospirosis. While great lengths were taken to save Bear at the emergency vet, it was not to be. Within a week of coming to us, Bear passed on.

My most vivid memory of Bear was the last time I saw him. While he was rapidly deteriorating, had only minutes left to live, and could not even stand up, he managed to wag his tail that one last time he saw me coming. It brought a tear to my eye but showed what a loving dog he truly was.

—In loving memory to Bear from his foster dad

In Memory of Camper


Camper came to Tri-State Collie Rescue in critical conditions. After arriving into rescue he developed pneumonia and almost died. Camper pulled through this terrible ordeal and went on to live a happy life. Camper was a very special collie…he had some issues…which left him in permanant foster care. Camper was an absolutely amazing collie who brought more joy to my life then I could have ever imagined. My heart is broken over the sudden passing of my best friend. I will never forget him and his memory will live on in my heart.

“I miss you, my sweet buddy.”


In Memory of Susie


Our mom, Susie, didn’t make it through the night last night. We aren’t sure why she was so sick or exactly what was going on so we are having an autopsy done since we have three of her siblings. At least she didn’t have to die in a cornfield alone.

—Susie’s Family


We lost our dear Maxi, he died one week before his 15th birthday. We are sending you a cheque for the Collie Rescue in memory for our dear friend and companion Maxi.

—The Drewenskus Family


In memory of Olive.

Olive passed away in her sleep and was found by her foster mom. She had been treated for heartworm and had some complications, but she appeared to be improving. The vets did think she was closer to 11 or 12 yrs of age, so it just might have been a combination of things. We are thankful that Olive knew the comfort and love of her foster home before leaving to cross the Rainbow Bridge.


Last Sunday, everything was a typical day. Monroe was happy, eating, enjoying a normal day. However, when the vet arrived Monday morning, Monroe was drooling and in distress. They immediately x-rayed him and he had bloated. Dr. Jen, the vet who had taken care of Monroe all these months, did surgery on him. They said everything looked good and that afternoon I went to visit Monroe. He opened his eyes and responded to my voice and my touch. He seemed very alert. Dr. Jen pulled me aside as I was leaving and said, “I want to adopt Monroe. I love that dog so much.” She had recently graduated from Ohio State last year when we got Monroe in from the shelter.   She took him on, as her special project. She spent 9 weeks doing physical therapy, changing bandages, everything to help Monroe walk again. It took nine weeks, but Monroe did stand and walk again. He constantly gave kisses and everyone at the vet’s office fell in love with Monroe. There were several months of improvement as Monroe gained his strength and he totally enjoyed everyone doting on him. He always had huge quilts to lay on and cozy blankets. Dr. Jen took Monroe home with her Monday night. She wanted to make sure to be there for him following such a tough surgery. Monroe was home at last!!! He showed improvement Tuesday and even ate a bit. But it was more than Monroe could handle. Monroe passed in the night Tuesday. Dr. Jen was too upset to even call me, so Dr. Pumpelli called and gave me the sad news. I will be eternally grateful to them for their compassion and love for Monroe. He enjoyed nine months of quality life and love in his senior years due to the caring of a person who stopped after hitting him, a shelter worker, a rescue organization, and a compassionate vets office. God Bless each of them.


Tony was pulled from a shelter in Tennessee by a wonderful volunteer who thought that he deserved a wonderful, happy life. The volunteer took Tony to a vet before bringing him to TSCR. Tony was very thin and fragile when he arrived in foster care on September 1, 2007. Due to the trauma of anesthesia for a previous procedure that he did not need, Tony suddenly passed away that evening.

Tony was only with us a short time, but he was a very special boy. Tony will always be remembered by all the people who came to his rescue. Tony may never have found his forever home, but in the short time that he was in foster care, he knew he was very special and truly loved.

In Memory of Jack


Jack was a wonderful and loving companion to Janet and myself, and Katie our other adopted collie whom we have had now for almost nine years. He truly represented the love you can receive from an adopted dog who came from a questionable past to a loving home. Jack had been treated for heartworm, had bad teeth, was poorly groomed, and appeared to have been chained up before we adopted him. We loved him from the minute we saw him, and he loved us back. Jack was a big snuggler and played with everyone who came to the house. He was a Big Brave Boy, and had a big woofy bark, but it was always followed with a woooh wooh at the end to let you know he liked you. He loved to lay in front of the fan and let the air russle the little tufts of hair on the end of his ears, those were his signature feature. Everyone knew which way the wind blew when Jack was around because his little ear tufts were always flowing in the wind. Jack loved his fresh fruit, there were plenty of times we had to shoo him out of the garden after eating strawberries, raspberries, and his favorite, ripe red tomatoes. Jack’s hip slowly deteriorated over the last year and he had a tough time not being able to run and jump around the garden like he used to. We are so grateful that TSCR gave us the opportunity to adopt him, and when we feel the time is right, we will be back to get Katie and ourselves another Big Brother.

—John and Janet

In Memory of Jake


My name is Ashley. My family and I adopted Jake the mahogany sable collie in kidney failure. I am sure a lot of people were watching him on the web & I wanted to let them know what happened to our handsome boy. We took Jake home with us to Iowa, where he lived with 2 other dogs, one cat, and 2 kids. He and our daughter bonded instantly and could often be caught napping or lounging on the couch together. I am a stay at home mom so I had the privilege of being with him all of the time. He was a real joy to be around and words cannot describe how much we loved him. Besides being incredibly handsome, he had a personality that would not stop. When he bounced into a room, he filled it with his presence. He could be an ornery little bugger but that just made him more endearing.

Although his time with us was short I wanted to let you know that he was happy & very spoiled. We found that he LOVED riding on boats so every chance we got we took him out. He also enjoyed going to our local park where he could entice everyone to pay attention to him. Every time I walk into a room I still feel his absence – we have a permanent dent on our couch thanks to him! : ) We miss him dearly & will be eternally thankful for Tri-State Collie Rescue for allowing us to adopt Jake.

A side notes those of you with collies how have “incurable” medical condition – please consider seeking unconventional treatment methods. We used acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, and herbs with Jake along with conventional medicine. Although it did not stop his kidney failure it did greatly help his quality of life. Thank you, Cindy, Bill, and everyone for taking such great care of him. I know he loved you all & appreciated everything.

—The Randall Family

In Memory of Rocco


For a loving boy I called Rocco.

When we try to find homes for our older collies, many people shy away from them. Rocco was everything wonderful about adopting an older collie. His personality filled the entire room, and I’ve never seen a dog so greatful for carpet, he adored lounging in the family room, rubbing his back on the carpeting. If I needed someone to keep me company, even with 2 other collies and 3 cats around, Rocco was the one to follow me from room to room, he’d sit on my feet to make sure that I wouldn’t leave him behind. No matter how comfortable he was, if I was going somewhere, he considered it his duty to follow me, even to the point of standing guard outside the door while I was in the bath! And even though my heart breaks to think that I’ll never hear your raspy bark again or to see your eyes light up when I get your ball out; I know that for the year and a half that you were part of our family that we were the ones who were privileged to have you with us. We didn’t do you a favor by adopting you, you did us the favor of letting us be your family; we just had to love you five times as much to make up for our short time together. You were worth it.

Rocco- you’ll always have my heart, Mom.


AJ was a sweet, wonderful rescue. Adopted at more than 5 years old, he moved from Ohio to Texas with his new family. He loved to go for rides in the car; chase Willie, a squirrel in his new yard; and rub noses and sleep with Charlie, his best kitty friend. He loved children and was the perfect dog. His foster mom and adoptive family, Ken and Sue, will miss him terribly.

Gabe – 2005

Gabe passed away on the night of March 18, 2005, even though they did all they could for him. The poor dog didn’t have one fair shake in his life.

Gabe came into our rescue program with some very serious health issues, and things just seem to get worse for him as time went on. He had a fantastic temperament: sweet, loving, and quiet; he had begun to feel he had a reason to live. He unfortunately got bloat, and we did everything we could to save him. Not being in the best of health to begin with, he wasn’t able to withstand the shock of surgery and all that went with it. He deserved so much more and we hoped to find him that perfect home.

We have solace knowing that Gabe was feeling better about himself and beginning to show a sparkle in his eyes. We will miss him!


Bo was not my Collie in the traditional sense. Bo is a boy who I picked up for Tri-State Collie Rescue. I found him listed on the Internet as a “free to good home” listing, and I called his owner to try and educate her on the kinds of places that her Collie could end up in if given away to strangers for “free.” She ended up surrendering her 10-year-old purebred and papered boy to me.

Bo was a delightful boy who behaved like a much younger dog. Nothing kept him down. He was fortunate to go live with wonderful foster parents, Al and Betsy, who didn’t mind that this 10-year-old, who had been housed out of doors his whole life, wasn’t house-trained. They worked with him, loved him, and treated him with the kindness that he so richly deserved. When at our rescue kennels, he was the constant companion of my six year old daughter… he adored children, and he loved to follow us on walks around the facility.

Bo wasn’t my dog in any kind of traditional sense, but as I brought him to the rescue, he became part of my heart, one of “my dogs” to watch over. I can think of no higher praise for Bo than “Good dog, good boy.”

—Cindy P.

Farmer Charlie

My age no one knew for sure
Old and wise they said of me
A sunny spot in the lawn for me
My old bones to comfort you see
I found a nice place, this foster home
Where they take good care of me
I get hugs and kisses galore
And chicken noodle soup and more

Such love and devotion I never knew before
That’s the life rescue gave to me
To love an old dog like me

Know that I loved you
Like you loved me
Old Farmer Charlie that’s me


Raise my glass to a Fine Woman of the four-legged race who has left me with a broken heart. Dignified Brittany fought her Cushings disease well and won the battle.

She was sad and embarrassed at the physical indignities of her illness, but as she usually did, she approached life with a unique kind of steadiness and clarity of mind. We worked as a team without complaint, and we met our goal together. Never a demanding person, even in need she was a warm and kind companion. She shared with others. She was interested in life. She accepted difficulties without complaint. Sadly, less than a week after her Cushings disease treatment was completed and she was symptom-free, an aggressive tumor ruptured and opened a major artery as well. We won the battle and lost the war.

Brit, you will be in my heart forever. Thank you for sharing with me.



Samson came to me close to 12 years ago. I met him at an obedience trial where two volunteers for Tri-State Collie Rescue had brought him to see if they could find him a home among the Collie obedience people. That day, I was not showing my dogs but was there to support my fellow Collie friend with hers. At that time I already had two Collies of my own, and I was between jobs. Certainly there was no need for another dog, nor was I really financially stable to make that kind of commitment. My friend tried to keep me away from the crate (knowing what a softie I am). I told her I would be fine as long as I did not see him out of the crate.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, when I went outside during a break in the show, I saw him out of the crate. He had a gash in his forehead and a large hole on his back leg where they think he had an abscess. All I saw was the most beautiful Sable Merle Collie I had ever seen.

That day, he went home with me in the backseat of my friends car with her show dog in the front. For the first two days, all he did was drink water, shake, and throw up. I kept him very quiet down in the family room. I would just visit him to pet and briefly let the other dogs interact with him.

Samson was turned into the shelter by his owner for being wild and out of control at 11 months old. He spent 30 days in the first shelter, and his number came up for euthanasia. Someone at the shelter thought he deserved a chance, and he was transferred to another shelter where he spent another 30 days. When his number came up at the second shelter, they were kind enough to contact Tri-State Collie Rescue. He was in a foster home when we met at the show. He was turned in with his AKC papers, but he was never registered. Since he was still under 1 year old, I contacted the breeder to get the paperwork signed. The man who owned the mother told me that he mated his pretty dog with a pretty dog down the street. To get rid of the puppies, his son loaded them up in his pickup truck and sold them on the road during a trip he was making from West Virginia to Ohio.

Samson never became a full-fledged obedience dog. He had a very gentle, laid-back personality. I do not make dogs do it if their heart is not in it. He did like to go to the shows, though. He loved the attention he got from people and often went just as our companion. I did enter him in one Collie Club Match in Columbus, where he actually won high in trial. I received a huge Rosette and a pewter bud vase, and his name was listed on the roving plaque that went to the different clubs that won in the area. That was good enough for me.

Samson excelled as a therapy dog. He became a certified therapy dog within the first year that I had him. This “wild and out of control” dog was the gentlest creature I ever met, and I have met hundreds of dogs. He moved with great care among toddlers, old people, hospital equipment, etc. I was asked once to go to St. Joseph’s Children’s Home for the severely intellectually disabled. Many people at my club would not go here. They said it was just too difficult. I felt I had to try it because you don’t know, unless you try, whether you can do it or not. When we entered the room where the pet therapy session was going to be, I could not believe the devastation that I saw.  Some of the children were there on hospital beds (they had no means of ever sitting up), and some were in wheel chairs with extra-large Plexiglas trays in front. The trays were not only used for feeding but to hold their bodies in place. I was totally overwhelmed and did not even know how to approach these children for therapy. So many of them could not even see or hear. But Samson showed me the way. He walked up to the first wheelchair, gently placed his front paws on the Plexiglas tray, and proceeded to lick the child’s face. To Samson, kids are kids, and he just loved kids and was happy to be there. He taught me that these were children. And as we moved through the room to each child, the occasional smile or reaction I got was worth a fortune. Samson gave that to me.

My niece and nephew’s parents were going through a very nasty divorce, and so the children were shipped to me in Kentucky to get them out of the way. They were confused and upset. These kids did not have pets, so they were not exposed to dogs and were not even sure if they like them. I remember my nephew laying down on the couch to watch TV, and Samson jumped up laid his body against my nephews and put his head on his shoulder. I remember my nephew asking me, “Do I have to let him do this?” I told him yes. I know that feeling a Collie feeds your soul. Slowly I watched my nephew start stroking Samson. After that, my nephew never walked down the street to the Ameristop to get a big gulp without getting the leash and taking Samson with him. Collies can heal you.

My mother had eight children. She worked hard her whole life. She suffered a stroke at my brother’s wedding; we did not think she would survive. She went through extensive neurosurgery for two bleeders. All of us kids took this very hard. I received special permission from the hospital in Chicago to bring Samson to the patient’s lounge where they would bring my mother. My mother’s head was shaved with a scar across her head from ear to ear. It was very hard to look at, but with Samson there it was OK. He laid his head in her lap, and she patted his head with her good hand. After visiting with her, he went on to visit everyone else in the lounge at that hospital. He helped me get through an extremely emotional and difficult situation.

I brought a horse and took lessons after I turned 40 years old. I love animals, and I wanted to keep moving—horseback riding seemed the way to do it. When I shopped for a barn for the horse, I would only accept the barns that allowed me to bring my dogs. They are such a big part of my life; I could not imagine splitting my time. Of course, since I own Collies, I had no trouble with them getting along with the horse. My horse was particularly fond of Samson. He used to take his lips and run his mouth down Samson’s spine while lipping his hair. (Horses do that to each others’ manes as a sign of friendship.) Samson always laid patiently next to my horse as I groomed. (He once felt comfortable standing underneath my horse’s body.) My horse developed a foot fungus, and I was required to put some medicine on his feet that may have slightly burned. One day Samson was there, and I put on the medicine and Samson started crying. I checked and checked, and there was nothing wrong— and nothing he was looking at except the horse. He stopped when I rinsed off the medicine.

There was nothing truly exceptional about Samson, but everything was truly exceptional about him. On Friday at 12 years, 4 months old, I had to let him go. As deep as the pain is, I am so grateful for the life he shared with me. As I gave him life, he gave me life. Don’t ever get discouraged about what you do. It is important. It is much bigger than you think. Samson was my first rescue. As long as I can take care of a dog, I will always have a rescue in honor of this special animal.

Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to share my life with a one of a kind friend of a lifetime. I thank you on behalf of all of the people that Samson brought comfort to. I didn’t mean to ramble on this long, but he deserved it.

Keep doing what you do.

—Samson’s Family


In honor of our beloved, sweet, gentle soul Caleb. There aren’t enough words to say how much you’ll be missed by everyone whose life you touched. From a life living outdoors, then abandoned, to your freedom ride and a life of love and comfort to others.

Caleb taught all who loved him:
The importance of starting the day with your favorite people, a cup of coffee and the sunrise.
The simple kindness of sitting with those in need, in pain or lonely.
That one’s presence is enough to bring a smile to the world.
That labels and boxes are not one size fits all and should be ignored. (He was my biggest boy, and 100% Sheltie!)
Grab life by the “monkey toy” and live with joy.
Share – often and frequently.
Be present.

I’m so grateful to have been blessed with Caleb being part of our family, our personal therapy guy, our training time and “work” we did together in my bereavement programs and assisted living facilities, along with the friends we made on our journey. Although, it really was never “work” for Caleb. It was who he was, his calling.

Caleb was LOVE
And he truly was our beloved.



It was my great honor to be Tanner’s furever foster for the past 8 months. Tanner just turned 13 last week; he was afflicted with progressive neuropathy and suffered a stroke this weekend. Throughout it all, he had a beautiful smile, a loving soul, and a wonderful appetite (especially for Chick-fil-A nuggets).

Run free, handsome boy; you were very loved, and you will always have a home in my heart.

—Kimberly Agzigian