Storytime: With Us in Spirit

From Lost Souls: FOUND! Inspiring Stories About Herding-Breed Dogs.

With Us in Spirit

With Us in Spirit

We had a great bunch of dogs at our Texas home: Cirrus, our Samoyed, and Shadow and Mac, sister and brother blue merle Collies. Shadow’s favorite place to go was Gaston’s White River Resort in Bull Shoals, Arkansas. We took a trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and stopped at Gaston’s on the way there and back in July. We normally went in the fall, but at the time, we didn’t know Shadow wouldn’t be joining us there ever again.

She was diagnosed with ehrlichiosis, an auto-immune problem, after being bitten by a tick. The vet put her on medication and requested a follow-up at the end of August. On August 15th she would not eat. She had not previously shown any signs of being sick. I took her to the vet. She had a 103 fever. By the next day she was gone. Her body was trying to destroy the disease, and in the process had killed her. The veterinarians at Texas A&M said there was no hope to save her. She was only seven years, eight months, and 16 days old.

We were devastated. She was my little girl. And Mac was especially saddened because this was his little sister.

It’s true what they say about one door closing and another opening, though. Our hearts broke for our loss, but my husband knew we had to move on. We had been looking at Houston Collie Rescue’s website for a while, even before losing Shadow, and after her passing had seen a blue merle listed as a courtesy for a Great Pyrenees group out of Seguin, Texas. I told him it was too soon. He said it wasn’t. This girl needed us as much as we needed her.

I contacted Val at the rescue, and she told me she was taking the dog, Spirit, to Dallas to meet another couple. I told her I would drive the four hours to meet her, too, if she would consider us. She agreed.

I took Cirrus and Mac with me because they would have to approve Spirit, too. As soon as they all met, they began to play. Spirit ran up to me, too, and I loved on her. It was like she knew I was going to be her new mom, and she was excited about it. She had come from a woman who had had 18 dogs, so I’m sure that sharing a home with only two others seemed just delightful. Both Val and I could see that she fit right in with us, so Val didn’t hesitate to say she could be mine.

In the truck on the way home, Spirit sat in Shadow’s favorite spot. Mac was not too sure about that, and for a while, he snapped at her every time she tried to lay her head on his back in the same way Shadow had. That all changed during our first trip out to Gaston’s that October. In the car, Spirit again laid her head on his back, and this time Mac just looked at her and sighed. He had finally accepted her as his new little sister.

We all continue to miss Shadow, and we don’t see Spirit as a replacement. We see her as a new chapter in our family book, a wonderful addition to our story, who has brought us out of our misery and elevated our spirits. –Linda Gandy

Rescue SPOTlight: NCSR

Today’s Rescue SPOTlight shines on Northern Chesapeake Sheltie Rescue, Inc., an outstanding organization in Maryland and participant in Up For Pups’ Rescue Best Practices Manual.

  • Mission: Our founding philosophy is to assist Shelties regardless of age or condition whenever possible.  We also strive to assist other Sheltie rescue groups whenever possible, in the understanding that if a dog is in need, we are all in this together.
  • Date founded: Nov 1, 1999
  • Types of animals you take in: dogs (Shetland sheepdog)
  • Size of Rescue (Small=less than 50 animals, Mid=51-200 animals, Large=201+ animals): Mid
  • Your name: Linda Isbell
  • Your position in the rescue: President
  • How long you’ve been with the rescue:12 years
  • What you like best about animal rescue: How rewarding it is to rehab these dogs and find them new homes
  • What you think is hardest about animal rescue: worry about foster homes, money, and keeping our heads and hearts above water
  • Share one quick story about a rescue experience: We took in an abuse case, a starved and filthy Sheltie that was taken in an equine abuse case when he was found with the horses in the stables.  The shelter vet suggested euthanasia, but the shelter manager called me and we went and got Buckshot…Buck for short….and literally held him wrapped in blankets for weeks and weeks….he improved daily and now has a wonderful new family in NJ!