Bear, Bjelkier, Loko and Glacier, Arrow, Shadow, Nimbus, Mac, Cirrus, Spirit


I just finished reading your book “Rescuing Sprite”. It took me so long because I had to put it down. I could not see for crying. I have been through this so many times. But I love dogs and like my husband, Gary, says “When one door closes another opens”. There are so many dogs out there that need our love.

Gary and I married in 1979. Six months after our wedding Gary was talking about getting a dog. He wanted me to just look at some samoyed puppies for sale in the paper. So we went to “just look”. After checking out the male puppies, Gary said he like the middle one. I said, “You have the money in your pocket, don’t you”. That is when Bear came into our lives.

Bear lived for 15 years. He was a great dog. We took him to the vet for a simple procedure. He came through it with flying colors. But then we lost him. Dr. Mikeska was checking on him, Bear looked up at him with his toy in his mouth, and fell over dead. He had a heart attack. Gary and I weren’t there for him but someone who also cared for him was. That is all we could ask. It would not be as easy on us with our others.

Bear’s mate, Bjelkier, was my dog. She whelped a nice litter of puppies. We had moved from California to East Texas – Spurger – to live next to and care for my husband’s elderly aunt and uncle. Aunt Julia and I sat on the floor one summer day delivering puppies. Bjelkier did not know what to do. So we did not let her have another litter. She had more important things to do. Chasing squirrels and watching horses and cows was her specialty. She was one month short of nine years when we lost her. She had a heart valve problem and died in my arms on April 7. It was tragic for Bear as well as us. He would sit on her grave until my employer, a CPA in Jasper, told me to bring him in that weekend while we did taxes. That helped a lot.

We also had two other samoyeds, Loko and Glacier. Loko was Bear’s daughter from another samoyed and Glacier was her puppy. Glacier was the only boy in the litter and he was special. I lost the two of them within two weeks of each other from pancretitus. And that was just three months before Bear passed away in 1994.

I have always loved collies and when we lost our two younger samoyeds, Gary found me Arrow, a beautiful blue merle collie. She helped with the loss of Loko and Glacier. And then we found Nimbus, a new samoyed puppy. So we had two more “kids” to care for. We were now living in College Station.

In April of 2000, we adopted our second collie, a blue merle puppy that I named Shadow. She was to be Arrow’s protégé. I did not know she would not have that chance. A month later, Arrow was dignosed with a liver disease. It was killing her fast. We went to Texas A&M University to try to save her. They gave us the bad news. She was not in pain but they said she only had a few days left. We made May 6th her day. We took her to the airport to visit our pilot friends (my husband is a pilot), to Washington on the Brazos and other places she loved. She did not act sick. Then the next day she played “Killer Kollie” with me. She loved me to use the leaf blower and blow her hair. An hour later she was acting strange. We called our vet and Dr. Mikeska and his wife, another vet, came over. They said we needed to put her down. She was bleeding in her brain. I held her in my arms as we put her down. Dr. Mikeska and Gary buried her next to Bear.

We then also adopted Shadow’s brother, Mac, so we had our threesome – Nimbus, the samoyed, Shadow and Mac. Nimbus was our rock. We lost him in October of 2005. He had a massive stroke at 11 years. We also had to put him down. It was horrible. My husband decided we needed another samoyed. So we searched the country and found Cirrus. He was born in October. We traveled to Memphis, Tennessee to get this special boy.

Just recently I have joined the Houston Collie Rescue. I did not know they would also rescue me. In July we went to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on vacation. We always take our dogs when we go on vacation. Shadow, Mac and Cirrus had a blast. We knew that Shadow had a auto-immune problem. She developed a tick disease back in April but it was in remission. We did not know this would be her last vacation. On August 15 she did not eat her dinner. She did not act sick. But when my kids do not eat, I bus them to the vet. She had a fever and her blood cells were low. The tick disease suddenly came back. Her body was destroying her red blood cells. We rushed her to Texas A&M and they tried their best to save her but it was too late. Gary was with her when they put her down. They would not let me in because it was so bad. She was my baby. I felt so guilty not knowing she was ill. Her brother, Mac, and Cirrus were also despondent. We buried her out with the other kids. Houston Collie Rescue had a listing for a blue merle collie named Spirit. Gary told me to check on it. I told him it was to soon. But he persisted and reminded me that one door closes, another opens. He said this girl needed us. So now I have Spirit. She is a wonderful little girl and has helped us all.

I now foster collies. We have found good homes for these neglected creatures. Our latest, Dante, was a trial. He would bite when he was frightened, drag his feet when he walked and so sullen. But with patience and love we turned the boy around and now he has a wonderful home. We are now waiting for our next challenge. We will never forget the ones we lost, but we find joy in loving the ones we now share our home.

Collie Rescuer from TX