Tri-color Collie-girl Rosie is six years old or so it’s estimated by the Cache County Animal shelter who has adopted her out once, a year ago, and then got her back. Not because Rosie is a difficult girl to place but because the folks who had her felt they had one too many dogs…possibly the cost of feeding needed to be reduced?
You can see from her photo what a pretty girl she is. When I met her in person I was so surprised at her small size that I wondered if she could be a Sheltie. We’ve had several tri-color Sheltie-kids come through here with muzzles that could fool people into thinking they were Collies. But Rosie’s demeanor is very Collie-like. I think she’s a Collie but I was wishing that Jim or Julene Mathews was there with me to share their opinion too.
One thing that happens in rescue is that you’re always meeting people for all kinds of reasons. About a month ago a woman named Lorrie called me. She had quite a story. She’d spent part of that day running in traffic trying to catch a dog that she didn’t know but which needed help. Animal control arrived and they all worked together to herd this mostly white-coated dog that Lorrie eventually named Grandpa-Ken (after a TV personality she grew up with in Minnesota) into an area where they could catch him. Grandpa-Ken was caked with mud, could hardly stand, and was an older boy with not much time left to savor life. But Lorrie, who has cats at home and has never had a dog of her own, decided to be Grandpa-Ken’s champion and took him straight to her vet. Lorrie had called me because she thought Grandpa-Ken was a Sheltie or Collie. She wanted to clean him up but wasn’t sure about how to get this done. I don’t know why but I volunteered to help. It was obvious that Lorrie was going to “go to the mat” to help Granpa-Ken and her attitude probably inspired me to find the resources to contribute to his well-being too. Lorrie brought Grandpa-Ken here to my house and we bathed him together. Good thing there were two of us because he still couldn’t stand up very well.
This is Lorrie and Granpa-Ken. Granpa-Ken was heavily caked in mud that was like concrete on his coat. I talked to Lorrie about providing him with a supportive place to lay down, sent our handy-person Mark Larsen over to her home to build a ramp for Granpa-Ken, and lent her a doggie coat to keep him warm after his bath. In every way that Granpa-Ken needed help, support, love, warmth or whatever — Lorrie was right there and provided it. She spent $2,000.00 on him at her vet’s office who let her know that he was not going to be around very long.
I was very happy to have the chance not only to meet Granpa-Ken but to help him. He was a very sweet boy. How he had ended up running in the streets is a mystery. Not too long after Granpa-Ken established himself in his cushy new home where his new Mom broke his treats into little pieces so he could eat them, he suffered a stroke. Despite every aspect of his smallest need being tended to with love, his old body couldn’t be persuaded to stick around to be spoiled any longer. He could no longer stand on his own. It was time to let him go. In his last month Granpa-Ken couldn’t be faulted if he thought he already was in heaven, living with his Mom, Lorrie.
With the loss of Granpa-Ken Lorrie started asking me about the dogs in our program. She wasn’t sure if she was ready yet but she was starting to think about what might be a good match for her. About a week later, Kirsten, a foster Mom in Logan who was fostering a 6 year old Collie-girl named Rosie, called me to say that her husband, in the military, was going to be relocated and that they needed to get ready to move. They thought they’d be driving down to Murray to visit with her husband’s brother on the upcoming weekend and would bring Rosie with them — hoping I’d have a permanent placement for her. We were very lucky to have both Lorrie and a long-time Collie person, Sally, step up. Sally had already noticed Rosie online and had been considering adopting her from us.
Saturday night Kirsten arrived with Rosie and Kirsten’s three year old male Collie…a very handsome sable and white boy. They hung around a short while because we thought that Lorrie was just minutes away…but Saturday night traffic got in the way. Kirsten left and about fifteen minutes later Lorrie arrived. Lorrie kept remarking on all the hair in Rosie’s coat but luckily Lorrie has a neighbor who has a talent for hair — both human and canine.
Lorrie was really caught off guard by the fact that Rosie didn’t need all the help that Granpa-Ken needed and by the fact that Rosie can hear and see, unlike Granpa-Ken who was mostly deaf and had very poor vision. I realized that in the next hours and days Lorrie will be learning a lot about life with Rosie. Lorrie herself will be having foot surgery on Thursday. She’ll be off of her feet for three months and use a knee scooter as she heals.