A Non-Profit 501(c)(3) Organization

Serving Northern California
and Surrounding Areas
* NorCal Collie Rescue is California non-profit public benefit 501(c)(3) corporation C2798651 EIN 20-3381549.
   Your donations are fully tax deductible.
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Tributes to rescue collies
who crossed the bridge
Sasha  -  May 2008

She used to wait for me by the front door when I went grocery shopping.  Then she would follow me in and out to the carport and to the kitchen with my groceries.  The carport is a long distance from the road.  It was a strange day though.  The town was cutting the trees for the power line way down past our cottage toward Portola Rd.  I could hear their machines.  I turned to go back for more groceries and Sasha had not followed me in.  I went to the front porch and called her. No Sasha.  Then I got scared.  I thought she went to say hello to the strange men with the machines, but instead it was the strange  vehicle that must have caught her attention.

The guys had these huge orange trucks with cranes on them for reaching the trees and a trailer in the back. One had just gone down my road to start working on the other end.  That was the one that hit her.  I remember hearing it bounce over the speed bump as I put the groceries on the counter.  She was only out of my sight for 30 seconds to a minute.  I was in the road on top of her before the horrid vehicle had even made it to the end of the road.  She was my baby.  I was in charge, and it happened.  I am so careful, so vigilant, so worried about every little possible mishap.  I verge on the edge of paranoia and yet it happened anyway.  It was so out of character for her.  She wasn't a chaser of cars.  She wasn't a wanderer, but freak accidents happen.

It has been a tough year for us.  My father was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer at Thanksgiving.  It rose to a life threatening level immediately and I moved him into my cottage to care for him.  The experience was by far the most emotionally draining experience I have ever had.  Sasha was by my side every step of the way.  She licked my face when I cried.  She put Rachael to sleep when I couldn't.  She smiled all the time forever running back and forth with me to the cottage, to the kids, to my father.  He loved dogs.  She poked her nose in his face tenderly and licked him.  She loved and comforted us all.

I think now that I gave her that extra 2 years of life after her near death experience with heartworm to be with us and get us through that ordeal with my father. He passed away on January 25th in the cottage.  I was by his side.  Sasha was with the kids, holding the fort down with my husband.  I'll never forget holding my fluffy love and crying into her fur.  She was my angel.  She saw us safely through that horrible experience and then it was finally her time to go.  I have no other explanation.  And maybe there isn't one. Somehow us humans always want a reason for WHY something happened.  That's all I can come up with.

Rachael was writing a story about Sasha in school when she died.  Rachael is in 1st grade.  She was supposed to write a story about something she loved.  One of the hardest things I had to do was go to school with her on Monday and help her finish the story after the ending so abruptly changed.  Changing 'I have a dog,' to 'had a dog' made me weep like a child.  I have attached the story for you to  read.  Our copy is of course illustrated, but I have no scanner to show you the pictures.

Also, our cat whom you met, died of cancer right before Christmas. (As I said a bad year).  We got a kitten from a rescue league right away.  His name is Kramer.  If you could have seen the way Sasha and Kramer played, you would still be laughing.  She would stick her nose under him and toss him playfully in the air.  Once he landed in her water bowl.  They would gallop around the house together.  They would sleep together.  They loved, loved, loved each other.  So, the next dog we get will need to get along with this cat. Kramer misses Sasha desperately thank you again for being supportive. I will always be grateful to you for bringing her into our life.  By the way, she was a huge hit in the whole community here.  My  friends, my kids friends, people we passed on the road,  my neighbors,  everyone whose life she touched was entirely enamored with her.

My Dog Sasha’s Life
By: Rachael (age 7)

I had a dog named Sasha.  When we got her she had heart worms.  Sasha was tan and white.  Once on a nice day my mom and I went to a collie rescue center to pick up a dog.  It took a long time to get there.  Finally we got out of the car and went inside. Then, I went in the back yard.  I saw a bunch of dogs running.  One was Sasha.  She ran right to me. I said to my mom, “Is this her?” Mom said, “Yes.”

Mom had to sign a piece of paper that meant she owned Sasha.  Then they gave mom dog food.  They talked for a long time.  Then they walked outside and she gave mom a ramp and a cage.  I went inside and went in the back yard.  I watched the dogs play.  Mom came and got Sasha.  I followed mom with Sasha.  Sasha walked up the ramp into the cage and we went home.

We cured Sasha from heart worm.  She was a very happy dog.  She loved going on walks with us.  She loved giving out kisses.  She also loved cuddling, and always put me to sleep at night.

On May 30, 2008 Sasha got run over by a truck and died immediately.  We gave her 2 years of life.  She was a happy dog.  We will miss her very much.

The End.
Joy - October 2007

My beautiful collie, JOY died very suddenly on October 27, 2007…she was only three years old. Joy was one of 81 collies taken into custody in Yolo County three years ago from a man who was a breeder and hoarder of collies. None of his dogs were spayed or neutered and all were allowed to breed indiscriminately. Many of the dogs suffered from lack of care. Joy was a newborn puppy at the time criminal charges were brought against the man. Joy and her sister, Harmony, who we still have, were sent to separate foster care homes immediately. The court process took a year and then the dogs were put up for adoption. That is when my husband and I adopted Harmony. It was almost a year later, when the sisters approached two years of age,that we adopted Joy. I remember seeing the two sisters, (or “sista’s as I liked to call them,) running through the yard together the day they were re-united. They flowed across the back lawn in beautiful synchronized form with such gaiety and poise running and chasing each other as if trying to make up for all their lost time together.
Joy had been in several foster homes during her first two years of life andwas unsure of everything. But she blossomed here in our homet last year and evolved from a shy timid rescue into a confident, loving sweetheart of a dog. She would run and lead the pack on our walks and never seemed to tire. Many of the “Yolo collies” have died during the past three years.  I recall so many times that my husband would say to me, “We lost another Yolo collie today.” I remember pausing for a moment and thinking how sad it was…and then asking “what was the cause of death?” Most of the time, his reply was the same…lymphoma. After that, I never gave it another thought.

Last week Mitch and I traveled to Oregon with Joy, Harmony, Triumph (also a Yolo collie), Misjef and Journey. When we arrived, we noticed that Joy had some difficulty walking. The next day, I took her to the vet thinking she had hurt her back jumping into the car and just needed some down time to heal. Joy became progressively worse each day, and then by the hour. She lost control of her back legs, then her bowels and then her bladder.  Her spirit remained positive and she looked at me as if to say, “I don’t understand why I cannot walk…what is happening to me?” I made an emergency trip with her to the veterinary hospital.  We expected that an x-ray and myleogram would diagnose a slipped disk or at worst, a tumor in her back that we would have surgically removed and then bring her home to recover.

But, Joy was diagnosed with spinal lymphoma.  When I saw her hours after the myleogram, she had developed pneumonia and was declining quickly. The vet gave her a poor prognosis even with chemotherapy and radiation. Collies are very sensitive dogs and they do not tolerate treatment nearly as well as most other breeds. I remember a vet once saying to me that collies don’t get sick, but when they do, they get very sick!

Joy’s suffering ended on Saturday, October 27, 2007 at 9:15 in the morning. She became the thirtieth Yolo collie to die and the youngest to die of lymphoma.  I am in shock. I am sad. I am lost.  What about Joy’s sister, Harmony? Is there a genetic predisposition for the same thing to happen to her? And is Triumph at risk as well?

I am angry. When a person loses it and becomes a hoarder of animals and lets them breed indiscriminately, they hurt not only the animals, but they also hurt the people that love them. The suffering is endless and the emotions are overwhelming.  I choose to remember Joy running with her sister in perfect “harmony”. I see her one blue eye twinkling at me in the picture Ihave of her on the mantle. I feel her on the bed every morning at the crack of dawn asking for breakfast. I feel her soft glistening fur in my fingers. I feel her spirit next to me today. Will, my friend, expressed it so well…”It is such an emotional commitment to love a dog and know that they will not be here for a human’s entire lifetime.” He is right. When we have a dog, we love them in the purest form because every emotion they give to us is in purest form. So, when we lose them our grief is in purest form, too.  I have thought about what Will said over the last few days and ask myself why I continue to rescue cats and dogs knowing that I will lose them.

My answer…for the “JOY” of them.
Happy - August 2007

Time takes everthing but memories, and we have so many.   The great love we have for her, and the love she gave to us, will be with us forever.  Happy was born June 13,1996 and passed away August 1,2007.
Merry and Sailor -- 2007

Both passed over the Rainbow Bridge in 2007
Poomba  -  December 2007

We had to let Poomba go this morning. He had been getting very, very weak over the past four weeks and this morning he had a stroke and lost the total use of his rear legs and body. It was tough. He's been a sweetheart to have in the family. We will miss him terribly. His passing comes just a month after we lost our 19 year old Abigail, so we've got some empty spaces in our hearts.
Thank you so much for allowing us to break the rules and bring Poomba up here to Oregon. We don't regret a moment of the year and a half we shared the planet with him! Thirteen plus years is a ripe old age for a collie and we know he loved living the good life here with us.

All the best to you - Linda 12.2007. Adopted 06.2006.
Aspen  -  December 2007

I'm sorry to tell you that Aspen has passed away with intestinal cancer. Her days were very happy, and she did not suffer up until the end when she stopped eating and then we decided to put her down.

We all miss her so much. I can't tell you what a trooper she was. The other dogs miss her, and they are going through depression. Collies seem to be the most sensitive dogs I have ever been around. This is all so painful, and I don't think I can go through this again

I hope your collie rescue is going well, and I will keep in touch.

Thanks for sending Aspen into our lives. 12.2007. Adopted 01.2006.
Honey Froke  -  September 2007

Yesterday was Honey's last mortal day on earth, bless her heart. For all of the 7 years of abuse and agony she suffered before we met her, we know these past four years - with so much love and sympathy shared with her - that she really did get to live a Collie's Dream Life. She rolled and snoozed in clover, wagged her tail from time to time, and endlessly was inseparable from Lady, Skye, and Martha and me; and whenever we could gather, Ben and King Marley.

Earlier this year, Honey stood up to fill Lady's lighted paws, and did so with a dignity so soft and touching that Skye and the rest of us were spared grief and suffering that I had thought would have overcome us. Honey was a silent angel, with no voice but a sweet puff, and although she was deaf and arthritic, her strength and presence were great.

Honey liked to sleep a lot, and now she will all day and night - between a silky Queen Anne Palm and Japanese Persimmon in our garden: The very place Skye goes for fresh grass whenever he has an upset stomach. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I/we miss Honey a little more as each day goes by.  It's as though in her forced silence she had so much to to say, and now she is finally getting a chance to express parts of herself that had been overlooked - for her lifetime.
One last note - the "one that says it all," and that Martha felt so deeply years back the moment we first met and adopted Honey - and changed her name on the spot:  Just as our (new/temp) vet finished Honey's infusions and confirmed her heart had come to rest, about all I could think to say (or, blubber) was something like, "can you believe that her previous 'owners' actually named her "Slash?"  The vet and vet's assistant said in unision - precisely what and as Martha first said, adamantly and with overflowing kindness, "SHE IS NOT SLASH! SHE IS ALL HONEY!" 09.07.2007
Miss Lulu - July 2007

In January 2006, Nancy rescued Lulu. She passed away in July 2007. I feel blessed to have been a part of Miss Lulu’s life.  I could not have asked for a more perfect dog for our family.  She was such a loving soul, so understanding, so willing to please.  She became a good friend to Annie and even though they didn’t actually play together on their own, I know that they loved each other because poor Annie has been crying anytime we leave her alone even when we just leave the room for a few minutes.  Again, thank you for letting Lulu be a part of our family... Adopted 01.2006.
Dusty  -  December 2005

Dusty had Degenerative Myelopathy - a neurological, auto immune disease that affects the nerve fibers in the spine. Basically, the signals from the brain to the spine and rear legs are not received. No wonder he never wagged his tail. The vet discounted arthritis as his problem and showed us how his legs just didn't respond to the right stimulus. He never had the strength to raise himself and he always went thru a long process to lower his rear. In his last several weeks it was noticeable, in retrospect, that he was losing more rear end control, but that didn't deter us. And more importantly, none of this slowed Dusty down one bit. He was alert, curious, active, ate well and wanted to be involved in everything. While the other guys lounged and slept, Dusty wanted to go crusin'. So he got outside in the snow and roamed throughout the house...checking on everything and everybody. Because he started to have more difficulty in negotiating the hardwood floors, we'd put him on his new "flying carpet" and zip him from room to room to be with us. He always wanted us within eyesight and speaking distance....arf, arf.

Despite his DM ( which is not fatal or painful) his overall physical condition was great....skin, coat, eyes, hearing, teeth.......all just BEAUTIFUL ! So it was very painful on the morning I had to decide because he looked so good. But all the precursors to further degeneration that the vet alerted us to became evident. That last morning we spent together (lying together on his new bed) was illuminating - Dusty knew better than I did that it was time. His arf'ing was more constant and insistent. He definitely was telling me that he wasn't happy and this situation "sucked." It was about a 30 minute drive to the vet and with my hand on his head, he talked to me the whole way. As I picked him up and carried him into the vet, the arf'ing stopped and he became very calm.....the trust that sweet old boy had in me still overwhelms me. Of course, the vet assured me it was the right thing to do and that we had really done more than most.....little consolation, I just didn't want to let him go. Selfish, huh? But Dusty was at peace, very serene in my arms as we administered a sedative and then the final injection. His eyes were on me the whole time as he quietly and peacefully slipped away. The vet was a great help - sympathetic and consoling - then left us alone with our final goodbye and grief.

As I reflect on his condition, I m glad we didn t know about DM when we got him. We assumed as did the vet at the time, this was an old dog with arthritis in the rear hips and legs that was impairing his mobility. OK we could deal with that and we would make everyday the best we could given his condition until he just died of old age. Our optimism with Dusty was never dampened.
Maybe that's why he survived it as long as he did. We never let him think that he was an invalid and we kept life normal and active. He was in the center of all our daily activities - the boys played around him, slept on top of him, dropped toys on him and nuzzled and cared for him. If he dropped on a walk, they waited beside him until we re-erected him. An incredible support group! Believe me Dusty got up everyday just loving  life.......and it was infectious.....for us and the other "boys." For the past 1 year and 1 month our world revolved around that sweet old boy..............I wouldn t change a second........he brought so much to our world. He was a sweet and beautiful creature and we were blessed to have him in our care for the time we had together.

Thanks for asking us to be his caretaker. It was a joy and an honor.

Memories of Dusty a.k.a. "The Duster" 9/14/92 - 12/20/05, 13 yrs 4 mos 6 days. A long and beautiful life. A much beloved friend. He is with us (ashes) in a beautiful cedar box, ceramic paw print, collar and worn gortex booties on the bookshelf in front of our collection of Terhune books about collies
Highland Barclay - Gone Too Soon

In June 2005 Carol and Jose rescued a handsome one-year-old Scottish collie pup. Highland Barclay bounded into our house and our hearts with elegance, beauty, sweetness and grace. He loved people and couldn't help herding them, all 90 pounds of him. Jose and Barclay went to puppy class together. We enjoyed hiking with Barclay in the Marin Headlands overlooking the Pacific Ocean. But a month ago he started showing signs of lethargy and rear end motor problems, probably due to an auto immune disease. Despite lots of veterinary care, Barclay went to the Emergency Clinic on Christmas Eve, and he died the day after Christmas, with zero blood platelet count and his whole hind end paralyzed. He was the sweetest dog imaginable, so eager to please, yet he never got to live the happy life we offered him. It broke our hearts.
In Memory of Shasta  -  June 2005

Shasta came to us just a very short year ago. On a beautiful Saturday morning in May of last year, I made the 120 mile drive to California from my home in Nevada.  It didn't take me but a few minutes to decide I wouldn't leave that place without her.

She was very quiet and unassuming in the car. When we got home, I took her inside and she met the rest of the family. (Which included a variety of dogs, cats, and other critters, along with the human element.) Right off the bat, Shasta got along great with everyone! It was as if she had always lived here. The first few days she was very quiet and didn't move around much. And one thing she absolutely would not do was climb stairs. I was perplexed by this until I realized the reason for her hesitation - she couldn't see the stairs to climb them! Upon closer examination, it seemed she had some vision, but not much. I was very anxious to get her to my Vet to find out what the whole story was. First, however, she needed a trip to my professional groomer, as I had discovered she was horribly matted underneath the carefully brushed-out top coat. It actually took my groomer SIX hours to really brush her out and get her in decent shape! Then it became very apparent how terribly thin she was as well. As it turned out, she only weighed 36 pounds!

I had Shasta "Vetted" and all her blood work came back normal. I was encouraged. I babied her with special food and lots of love. Slowly she gained weight, and as she did, her coat also became more beautiful and her confidence grew. She blossomed into quite an attractive and loving Collie. Despite all she had no doubt been through before we got her, the famous Collie disposition prevailed. All she wanted was to be with her people, love them and be loved by them. She in fact became the quintessential Velcro dog that I'd always suspected was somewhere inside the half-starved and matted dull old girl I'd rescued that morning in May 2004. She was inclined to follow us around until we sat down, and then finally she would lay her head in our lap and relax, with a big Collie smile. Although she was still somewhat aloof with people she didn't know, with us, she was a love sponge.

I'm not ashamed to admit that Shasta was spoiled rotten in her year here with us. We loved her dearly. She had become the grand old dame of the household and all the other dogs and even the cats deferred to her and spoiled her too. They would move so she could have the best spot in the sun or on the lawn. She seemed to be thriving and very happy up until just a few weeks ago, when all systems suddenly started to fail. Despite our best efforts and after a wonderful year of sharing our lives with her, Shasta passed over to Rainbow Bridge.

We will always remember and miss our beautiful Shasta. Circa 1980 - June 8, 2005.
In Memory of Sabrina - 1993-2004

Sabrina had several homes in her almost 11 years. It was both a miracle and a blessing that she came to be with me and my family, just four short months ago. I fell deeply in love with her at first sight.

Sabrina was the perfect lady. She never lowered herself to the occasional squabbles of my other 3 dogs. She was above all of their nonsense.  She was playful and happy and even learned how to fetch so that she could join in on the fun with my other dogs.  Sabrina was bigger than most collie girls and in my eyes, the most beautiful. She was the ultimate purest of pure collie, heart and soul, with the poise, grace, sweetness, and intuitiveness, that collies are known for. She was every single thing a person would expect in a collie and more. She knew when I was happy and would play. She knew when I was sad, or didn't feel well, and she would console me tenderly. Her gentle, regal, loving ways were uncanny. She pranced around like a princess. Ill never forget her bouncy, lively step.

Joyful and happy on Friday night, May 15, 2004, we settled down for the night.  Sabrina fell to sleep and peacefully wandered over the rainbow bridge during the night, sadly gone from us, until we meet again.
Sabrina, we will meet again.

You will run into my arms, and you will lick my chin.

We will play fetch like so many times before.

Something most collies don't do, but something you adore.

I will hug your neck and bury my face in your big fluffy fleece.

And kiss you, and kiss you, when we are together in peace.

Until then, we will really never be apart.

For you see my sweet Sabrina, you are forever in my heart.
In Memory of Blue and Star 1992-2004, 1992-2006

Blue and her lifelong companion and sister Star were adopted  at the ripe old age of 11-1/2 by a Collie Angel, in late 2003.  We  hold a special place in our hearts for those who adopt our many senior dogs. Blue's health failed quickly after this picture was taken in May. Blue's person said that she would not have traded a single day that Blue was  with her.  Blue was a joy to her person each and every day they were together, as short as that time was.  Star followed her sister over the bridge a little over a year later.
Blue and Star in May 2004
Blue discovered the pleasures of the couch one day!
Blue in her "devil dog" pose!
In Memory of Sierra 1988-2002

Sierra truly was our Rescue Dog (there have been many other rescue collies and shelties in our lives, including Shastina, the bi-black sheltie in the picture who was "hired" to be a seeing-eye companion for Sierra as her sight failed). We rescued Sierra from the desert-and ended up saving her from several major disasters (a firestorm, a major flood, and a huge earthquake) that struck our lives. She was all that we managed to save when our home was destroyed in the Old Topanga Firestorm in 1993. I stole in behind fire lines to save her, knowing I'd rather die with her than live without her.

Sierra was a golden soul, a "Victorian" collie. She was born somewhere near the high-desert town of Bishop, California, circa 1988. She spent the first three years of her life ignored and incarcerated behind a tall, wooden fence that surrounded a hard, unshaded concrete slab side yard. She spent blistering days and freezing nights alone in that yard as the  "pet" chosen for a
teenager in trouble who often forgot to feed her. The young dog languished and baked in the desert sun. Her rough start dealt her lifelong physical problems; she became host for a series of health issues that plagued her throughout her lifetime. She never whimpered, never complained in all the years we knew her or through any of the terrible procedures these ailments entailed.

Sierra was truly beautiful, inside and out, a fabulously soft, hug-able and pet-able package containing a rare and wonderful soul and a reasoning, problem-solving mind. She spent her life concerned for our comfort, safety, joy, and happiness. We may have rescued her several times over, but she saved our sanity and our lives on a daily basis with her honesty, her humor, her intelligence, her patience, her kindness, her loyalty. There was never a time during her lifetime when we said to ourselves, "Gee, I wish she hadn't done that." Sierra was ever the perfect lady. Sierra died peacefully in my arms on May 25, 2002. No longer disfigured, crippled, blind, or deaf, she's chasing dyslexic ground squirrels across the cloud meadows of heaven while she waits her time to greet us at the Rainbow Bridge.
The Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.

There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.... [Read More]
Tribute to Fred John Silvester
April 26, 1950 to June 22, 2006

Fred John Silvester, 56 of Gustine, died Thursday in Livermore.

Fred was a native of St. Paul, Minnesota and had lived in Gustine for 7 years. He was a Crane Operator for 25 years and was recently employed at Sheedy Company he previosuly was employed with Hatton Crane Company and San Jose Crane Company for many years. He also was a Bear Trainer with the Hathorn Circus. He was a Vietnam Veteran who served in the United States Marine Corps from 1968 - 1976. He was an avid animal lover.

~Read More~

Merry passed away sometime early this morning in her sleep. I am grateful for the time we did have. She was a completely different dog from when I adopted her and was also the sweetest dog I have had. I hope she enjoyed her life here in Truckee and in the mountains.  She enjoyed the snow and cooler weather. She didn't show much expression, but I appreciated her little kisses.  Wednesday of this week we had a great walk together.  She was quite talkative and full of spunk. I am glad we had that time and the enjoyable walk. Baxter doesn't understand and thinks she is only asleep right now. I hope she is happy and playing with Sailor right now! 

Many people didn't know her, but she was a gentle and sweet soul. She was an easy dog to love and to care for. I know I have said it before, but I am so lucky that I was allowed to adopt her and Sailor and Baxter. All 3 of them are different personalities and brought/ bring me so much joy. I think Merry became confident over time and knew she would never be returned to another home. This was her forever home. I hope she is playing hard and running like crazy with Sailor in heaven. She deserves to feel healthy again.  The crazy thing is on Wednesday morning I brought my camera with me. I think most of the pictures will be profile shots, but who would know that would be the last time I would be able to take her picture.

On March 15, 2011, we said good-bye to our magnificent Collie boy, Merlin, who went to The Rainbow Bridge.

Merlin came to us from NorCal Collie Rescue, nearly one year to the day after we had rescued DeeDee, now a 9-year-old female. We had been contacted by NorCal asking us to meet Merlin. It was just before Christmas 2006.

The home where he was being fostered had many other animals, including dogs. Merlin looked so sad, his head down, his coat suffering from poor grooming. He walked slowly, he wasn't overly friendly, maybe more shell-shocked than anything else as he had just arrived at the foster home.

~Read More~
Titus 7/9/2000- 3/30/12

Titus was a retired show collie. He then went to a pet home but his person was unable to keep him, and at the mature age of 10, turned him over to NorCal Collie Rescue where he was fostered for a short time, before his forever home came along.

Titus was a very loving guy, and a wonderful companion to his new adopters.  We at NCR admire adopters that adopt our seniors.   Rob and Joan, with such kind hearts, knew they may not have Titus for years, but also realize that the older ones need homes too.  It is hard to loose them so soon, but Rob and Joan prefer the calmer more settled collies... and  also find it very rewarding to give a home to one that might not get a home, simply because of their age. The love shared between the collie and the human, is not diminished in the twilight years.

Even though he only lived a mere year and a half with his new people, he was just what they needed, and they, what he needed.  A wonderful, calm, single dog home, where he could live out his life being
the center of attention, and his people home with him full time.

Just before seeing Titus on our web site, Rob and Joan had lost their older collie Bodie, for whom they were still grieving. Knowing the love they had shared with Bodie, they felt they could share that love with Titus as well,
no matter how short that time would turn out to be.

Joan found this Bible verse, that summed up their experience of loss of their collie Bodie, and then being blessed with adopting their wonderful boy,  Titus.

"God who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus (2 Corinthians 7:6)"

Collie magic happens, as it did with this couple, and Titus.  And it will happen again for Joan and Rob, who
just dont feel right, without the love of a collie in their lives.

So this is not only a tribute to Titus, who has gone over the Rainbow bridge, knowing he was loved,  but also a thank you, to Rob and Joan, who find room in their hearts to love, even if it is for a short time. I know they will never regret taking Titus in, and being loved by him.
If possible, would you consider donating a small amount more to cover PayPal's service fee?
Lucy - August 22, 2012
Tribute to Lucy (excerpts from the letter from her mom)
To NorCal Collie Rescue,

It is with deep sadness that I need to share with you that our Lucy has passed on to the Rainbow Bridge-- August 22, 2012 at 5PM. I am  
in grateful thanks of NorCal Collie Rescue for the wonderful years spent with "My Lucy Girl." She lived a long and happy life with us, over 6  
1/2 years. She aged gracefully and was as beautiful as ever up to the last day of her life.  
Lucy came to me (us) as a gift (adoption) on New Year's Day 2006.... I had seen the availability of some collies for adoption out in Yolo  
County. After speaking with Cathy Toft, she recommended NorCal Collie rescue, and in a short time she matched us to Lucy. I later  
realized there was a great service involved in Lucy coming to us that year. Less than two months after her arrival, our eldest son was  
hospitalized ...  and our youngest son was deployed to Iraq, serving in "Operation Iraqi Freedom." I knew nothing of an empty nest until  
that fateful day in Feb. of that year, and it was so comforting to have Lucy there.

She was the sunshine in my day, greeting me at my bedside each morning. Walking happily each morning and night, as if it were her  
duty to do so, during those first bleak months. She was so beautiful, and she always brought neighbors out to greet her that I had yet to  
meet... But more than her beauty, it was her steadfast love and constant awareness of me and my needs that were her greatest gift to  
me. In Spring, 2007, I was struggling with the mounting stresses of our son's lives, the increasing care of my mother in decline and finding  
some of my own health issues to contend with... Lucy was there 24/7 for me. We started taking Long walks and would wear ourselves  
out.  She loved going and would follow me around the house once she saw me put my shoes on....

We walked until 2011 when my foot "blew out," and by May 2011 I had to have extensive foot surgery and was laid up on my back much  
of the time for months. I know she missed our walks as much as I did.  We'd try to walk from the wheel chair but it was very awkward--
and I needed my husband's assistance getting in and out of the house, gravel driveway, etc made it difficult.  After 6 months and 4 casts I  
was given a walking boot.  After
the new year, this past spring, we started walking in the pasture slowly on the soft young turf, I with my cane, and  
My Lucy girl leading the way. We never resumed her walking the neighborhood with me this year...too hard on my  
foot and on her old hips.  Many neighbors missed her and wondered where she was.

After reading a recent book about a Veteran and his service dog, I am realizing Lucy was truly a service dog to me.   
She often sensed my emotions before they became tears...

I have a deep hole in my heart without her. She became a big part of my routine these past months, checking on  
her, as she had started falling and needing help to get back up. After all, she helped me get back on my feet this  
year. I cling to the words of a dear friend comforting me in my sadness, reminding me that my last act of love  
toward her was that of compassion, and to remember she is up there with all our other furbabies, romping around  
without pain in boundless beauty. It was a scripture from Psalms 36 I heard a pastor mention last week that helped  
me make the final decision. "Your decisions are as full of wisdom as the oceans are with water. You are  
concerned for men and animals alike. How precious is your constant love, O God!" Psalm 6-7.
May anyone who adopts a collie from NorCal Collie Rescue know such a love as ours.   

Sincerely, Patsy
Jake - October 2012
Lessons in Life from an Old Collie

For years we had been a two collie family, so in the spring of 2010 when Kachina, our older collie, died unexpectedly of a  
stroke, Cynthia and I were devastated.  Bonnie, our five year old younger collie, seemed confused and lost.  Bonnie had  
been the most active of dogs, but now she seemed to spend more time sleeping on her sofa than she did patrolling our  
little farm.  As we slowly recovered from the loss of Kachina we began to search for a younger collie to add to our family.

This turned out to be a greater challenge than I had expected.  There were not many collie breeders in our part of northern  
California and the ones I located had no dogs available and
none expected to be available for some time.  Then I came across the NorCal Collie Rescue web site.  Here there were beautiful collies that needed loving, responsible owners.  I saw a lovely young female collie that Cynthia and I discussed and agreed to apply for.  However, when I brought up the NorCal Collie page the next day to begin the process, there was a new collie on the ‘available for adoption’ page.  This collie was not female; it was not young.  This was an almost ten year old purebred male who had drawn a very poor card in the game of life.  This was Jake.

~Read More ~
Jayda - August 12, 2002 - July 15, 2013

Jayda succumbed to pneumonia today. Last Tuesday she got a clear x-ray at the vet's, but within a week another infection  
began. This was her 4th since April. Today we knew she was dying.  We rushed her to a neighborhood emergency clinic where  
a painless and quick euthanasia was done.

Beautiful, gentle Jayda came to us just one month shy of her 2nd birthday, on July 12, 2004 . She and her brother had been  
dumped at the San Moreno pound by a collie-puppy-mill breeder, who'd been forced out of California by Collie Rescue.  The  
rescue “underground” had brought her to a “safe” house in Napa,where we met her and decided give her a try. It was our lucky  

Dirty and bewildered, she climbed into our van, and we headed home for Gene's special wash job, which has been known to  
cause abandoned cats and dogs to bond with him for life.
As Jayda's personality came out we found a sensitive, eager to please and learn, dog. She was everybody's friend (well, with the exception of young children for whom she had a life-long dread.)  She was happy to have three cats to herd around the yard and house, and, as most of you know, was always ready for a neighborhood walk or any outdoor adventure.  (There was one exception to that outdoor thing. She hated walking on dry beach sand; wet was o.k.)

Our first big hike together was in the Eastern Sierra. There we found she didn't know how to jump-she tried, but hung herself on a boulder with all four feet hanging over the sides. Eventually, Jayda's social life evolved into many, many outings in Tahoe, the Mendocino area, and even extended to San Francisco. She went to two PAWS fund-raising galas, one at the St. Francis Hotel, the other at The Palace.

She was also happy to camp with us even though she had to squeeze her long body into our camper's narrow walkway at night. She did fail at being a camping watchdog at Bodega Bay one Halloween weekend. Raccoons crawled into our van through an open window and ate an entire chocolate cake leaving chocolate footprints everywhere. Jayda never even whimpered.

We thank all of you for sharing our good times with Jayda, for giving her treats, pets, and attention.  And for the many times you've added to invitations “and bring Jayda.”

You helped make our nine years together wonderful.

We also thank you sincerely for your support and concern over the past four months. It's been a rough time.

With love,
Susan and Gene
2002 to 2014
Letter from Scotch:

Thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I fear nothing, for I am loved. I am loved for just being me and nothing more.  When I met my new Mommy and Daddy I was nervous, but then I saw Shiloh (my best friend) and I knew everything was going to be okay.  Shiloh and I were together again.  We went home with our new Family, where we had lots of room to run and play.  We are loved.

One night my tummy was upset and I had a accident on the carpet, I was very embarrassed and scared that my new parents would not want me anymore, but my Mommy just cleaned me up, and cleaned the carpet, then gave me a hug and a kiss on my forehead and said “every body has accidents, and there is nothing you can do to make me stop loving you”   I am loved. 

About a year later I started to slow down, I was not a puppy anymore, I was 11 years old and I didn’t really want to eat much, I could tell this really worried my Mommy, she would get a fresh cooked chicken and add my kibble and feed me by hand with a little fork.  She did this for a year. She would say “Please eat for mommy, I worry when you don’t,” so I would.  I am loved.

One day I tried to walk up the two stairs to go into our house and I fell, I could not walk up them anymore, so my Daddy made me a ramp with carpet to help me get into the house, it was hard a first but they helped me until I got used to it.  I am loved.

My poor old joints got sore, so my Mommy gave me medicine to make me feel better, but it got harder to walk every day until one day I just couldn’t anymore.  My Mommy and Daddy carried me in the house and laid me on my bed. Mommy brought me food and water and stayed with me all night.  She rubbed my head and told me it would be ok.  I am loved.

The next morning my Mommy and Daddy gave me the greatest gift that they could.  They took me to Dr. Riley to ease my pain and let me go with dignity.  My Mommy told me “I love you with all my heart and we will see each other again soon.”  I am truly loved just for being me and nothing more. I love them too.
Shiloh & Scotch
August 2014
Dear Norcal Collie Rescue...

How can I tell you how lucky I was to have you find me and call my new friend ,Mindy, to get me from the Martinez Animal Shelter?  I was so lonely there in a kennel all by myself right in the middle of a million pit bulls, who, as you know, just dont speak "collie"!  I knew the minute Mindy walked in and smiled at me that we would be together forever.  The shelter lady tried to get us to take time to get to know each other but she just didnt understand all I wanted to do was jump into her car and go to my new home. 

Mindy and I had some really great years together.  It was my job to sleep on a soft pillow right next to her bed so I could be sure nothing would ever happen to her...and every time she went someplace in the car, I got to go too!!!  When she worked at her desk, I slept right underneath it.  I remember the time I got in trouble for biting that bad man who was yelling and being mean, but if I was really trying to hurt him, he would have been hurt, not just mad!  I thought Mindy might take me back to the shelter for that, but she just hugged me and thanked me for saving her!  I loved her so much!

I dont know if you remember me, but I was even in one of your calendars!

About a year ago I started getting sick and Mindy cooked me yummy food while the other dogs got kibble! I was special!  Sometimes I didnt feel very well, but at those times I got petted and hugged and sometimes Mindy or her students would lay on the floor with me.  Even my favorite groomer seemed to be gentler to me.  Over the past few months I started getting weaker in my back legs and the Vet said I had Systemic Lupus. I had to take a lot of pills, but at times they made me feel better...

I had to leave my wonderful home and family at Dreamor Ranch a few weeks ago because it was my time, but I wanted everyone there to know how much I loved them all....and thank you to NCR for putting us all together.  You gave my life back to me...and I'll be waiting for you all just over the rainbow bridge....

“Misty-Rough Collie” was what I had printed on her name tag, as so many people nowadays have only heard of Border
Collies. I didn’t want her to be misidentified, if she were ever lost.
The chances of Misty getting lost were very slim. She was a true Velcro Dog, always glued to my side, moving from room
to room with me and leaning against my leg at the dog park. A flashlight was a necessity when getting up in the dark as
she’d surely be lying somewhere close to my bedside.

Misty was two years old when I adopted her. She’d had a bad start in life; abandoned by the breeder; one of only nine
surviving dogs. Misty was placed on a feeding tube as she was too weak to eat. She was afraid of everyone and
everything at first.

I’ve always greeted everyone we meet on walks. It gives a dog confidence that humans are potential friends and helps
allay the fears of our multicultural neighbors who have not all grown up with exposure to safe, polite dogs. Asking the dog
to sit and rewarding them with a treat doubles the sense of security of both dog and human and reinforces the positive

Many times, people with children said that this was their first time having the courage to approach and touch a dog. In this
way, Misty was a great Ambassador and I was proud of her.

Misty was also a magnet for cats. She integrated easily into a tolerant relationship with our resident cat and other
neighborhood cats we saw on our walks didn’t run from her when we crossed paths.

Our bossy, outdoor feral cat, Winnie, took a liking to Misty and would rub up against her. If Misty tried to walk away
Winnie would swipe at her with her paw. Misty would sigh and put up with her.

Winnie began following Misty into the house through the doggie door and would often be asleep on Misty’s bed in the

Misty was Foster-Sister to many other Collies over the years. Some stayed for a few days and some for several months.

Misty was only seven and I feel lucky to have shared five of those years.

She was my Heart-Dog and I was Her Person.

Submitted by Linda R.
May 2023
May 2023

This week more than ever, we realized how special the last 10-1/2 years have been with Topaz in our family.  We feel so lucky to
have been able to share her life for 10-1/2 years until she was no longer able to enjoy and explore.  Many thanks to Andrea Moss
and Karen Boselly for making this rescue possible.

Throughout her very active life (much travel back and forth to the ranch, supervision of a house construction, and a constant
companion to Prince and then Reiki-and also her feral cat) she regularly displayed her early reaction to her life in the Sierra
wilderness-she would always cautiously approach everyone (strangers and us alike) and always have an available escape route
(the ultimate in social distancing).  She had the densest collie-coat that we have ever seen.
Anyway, she has been a wonderful companion and we thank you for making it possible.
Thought you might enjoy the image below created by Vicki Jones-Topaz is in the front row.
Topaz was rescued from the Humane Society of Toulumne County.  She had been running wild in the foothills of the Sierras
with several other collies.  It was clear when we first met her that she was quite careful around people and always left an
escape route in case she needed to get away.  On her first night at our home (after a-4 hour trip), she showed how adaptable
and gentle she could be when confronted by the cat of the house.  She arrived with a buzz-cut coat that removed many days of
debris accumulation.

She matured and continued to collect debris as she enjoyed herself with a huge coat that blew in the wind.

She spent time in Los Altos and San Gregorio, exploring the properties with her other collie-friends and cats, and supervising a
major construction project from her special vantage point in the grove of trees. 

The image to the right is from the first hours in our home (with her coat fully buzz-cut and welcomed by the cat), and the image
above is from her many visits to the ranch with her windblown and fully restored fur coat.
January 2024

Lacie came to me last April as my, Forever-Foster; to live out the best "Remainder of her Forever"
When you take on a thirteen year old dog, you know you must make the most of every day; with them
and for them.

Initially cautious of a Human hand reaching out to her, she quickly learned to accept Love from me, and
people we met on our slow walks around the neighborhood. Our late afternoon 1/2 block excursion was
around the corner from a school. Once she learned that people are a good thing, Lacie stopped and
smiled in the hope of getting attention from anyone she saw.

Lacie's legs moved faster in her dreams than when awake.She was on meds for arthritis and pain pills
for her bad knees, as well as a liver supplement. Pills awere disguised in a spoonful of kitten food and
some rotisserie chicken bits. I got her a raised food and water station that helped a lot. Her coat was
shiny and fabulous, although she could no longer stand long enough to be groomed at the salon. We
managed a walk around the block in the morning, to give her an appetite. I carried a harness in case
she needed her back end lifted on the way, although I never had to use it.

Lacie was totally deaf, from years of untreated ear infections and her eyesight was imperfect, so we had
night-lights in every room and solar lights in the garden, so that she always knew where she was. I had
a theory about sounds being vibrations and would put my chin on the top of her head and say "Good
Dog". She would come to me and lean in for me to do that. Of course, I'd pet her at the same time, so it
wasn't very scientific. Either way, it pleased us both.
There was nothing wrong with Lacie's sense of smell. We called her The Land Shark, as she'd circle the table when she smelled
yummy food. She stole a shortbread cookie from the hand of an unsuspecting house guest, not well versed in dog behavior. His
hand was in his lap and suddenly, his cookie was gone. Eyes large and surprised, he watched her "run away at the walk" while
chewing that hard cookie as fast as her old teeth could go.

The neighborhood feral cats, that like to sun in my back yard quickly realized she was no threat. She was occasionally thrilled that
one big fluffy allowed himself to be sniffed by her.
They mostly ignored Lacie's strolls around our backyard, sometimes stretched and rose from their spots in the sun as she
approached, and Lacie achieved some slow-motion cat herding, which made her day.

January 22nd was a tipping point from mostly good days, to a struggle to stand and some disorientation when she got up in the
night. It seems these things always happen at 4am. The Emergency Vets agreed that it was her time. After the sedative they gave
her, she disolved into a beautiful puddle of fluff and then went ahead, to The Rainbow Bridge.

Lacie was in my life for almost a year. She made me smile, every day.
Herding Cats
(Cats can be herded?)