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Foster Fail 101

16 Jan

Foster Fail 101

I have been a Foster  Mom for The Collie Rescue Network for the past 12 years.  It has been so rewarding and at the same time so heart wrenching.   Some of my fosters were with me for only 2 weeks and the longest was 14 months.  What made me decide to foster??  I had a Blue Merle older puppy and I wanted to see if he needed a companion so thought this was the best way to test the waters. I mean if it didn’t work out “no problem” , the dog was going to be adopted to another home right?  Well that didn’t work out.  Isadora was my first foster and I failed fostering 101.  She was nine years old when she came as a foster. She was an “old ” nine year gal. Full of arthritis and slow moving.  Well a few weeks taking Glucosamine and the job of mothering a puppy she suddenly felt she had a job to do and perked right up. The change in her was amazing and she fit right in with Antrim, my cats and me.


So we became a family of five.  Being a member of Collie Rescue Network (CRN)  I knew there were others that needed fostering.  To me it’s like being a blood donor…if you can do it then you should .  So my next foster came and stayed for about 2 months.

People say “how can you give them up, I couldn’t do what you do.”….Well the CRN really screens adoptive parents.  Some people who apply object to this and say they can go to the pound and get a dog without all the hassle.  Well we want the best for our Collies and them to have the Furever home they deserve.  These wonderful dogs come to our Rescue for different reasons.  I really don’t like the word “rescue” as to me it implies they have been saved from a bad situation .  This is not always true thank goodness.  Some of my fosters have been surrendurd  by their owners because they were moving to other provinces, they lost their jobs, their owner passed away or they did come from a bad situation.  The great thing is that they DID come to CRN where they were put in a foster home where they could receive whatever care they needed and stayed in a family environment  to be assessed to their likes and dislikes.  They are looked after like a family member and we learn every thing we can about them eg: cat friendly, dog friendly , any aggression issues, how they are with kids, how obedient are they etc.

To adopt one of CRN Collies you must first fill out an application to adopt and if you are interested in a particular Collie you state your interest in it.  Next you are contacted by our adoption co-ordinator . Then a conversation with the foster parent is arranged and any questions either side has are answered.  Next CRN arranges a home inspection to check out the possible new home for safety, who all lives there, are there children, other animals. where will the Collie be in the house etc.   If the home inspection goes well and all parties are satisfied then sometimes if it’s possible a “meet and greet”is arranged.

If that goes well and it’s a match we have another success story to tell.  There is an adoption fee which goes to CRN and no we don’t make money on “selling” Collies”. All of these Collies are Vet checked and up to date on shots.  Some that come to the rescue need major Vet care like my last foster’s vet bills came to $1500.00. CRN operates through donations and fund raisers.

So how can I give these dogs up after loving them and nurturing them ???? I can because I know they have been matched up with what we think is the perfect home.  The adopter also has to sign paperwork that if their situation changes they must give the Collie back to CRN.  So you see we try to find their Furever home…..not just any home.

I have now fostered 14 wonderful Collies and have loved every one of them but by knowing they were going to a great home I was able to “let them go” to make room for the next Collie who much needed a foster home.

Yes I failed my first fostering by adopting her but we say that failing in fostering is a good failing…and I am happy to say I have failed again on my 14 foster. Jessie is 10 and was in sad shape when she came to me 2 months ago. She needed healing and could not walk around the block and could hardly get up my 6 stairs. She also was a Blue Merle and looked so much like my beloved Antrim who has passed.  With a lot of loving, proper diet and a little meds she can now go around the block 5 times a day and the stairs are no problem at all.  It has been amazing to see how far she has come in such a short time and I couldn’t part with her because I want to be a big part in seeing just how far she can go.  Sometimes you just get one that steels your heart!  It doesn’t mean you still can’t foster…..she loves other dogs.Welcome to your Furever home Jessie….




Collie Rescue Network Raffle

24 Oct

As most of you know I have been involved with the Collie Rescue Network (CRN) for over 10 years. It is a group of wonderful volunteers across Canada devoted to rescuing purebred Rough and Smooth Coated Collies and keeping them healthy and safe in foster care until they can be matched with their “forever” home. Our team of volunteers devote hours and hours of their time doing various jobs to help these poor souls…from transporting, fostering whether long term or temporary, and helping behind the scenes with adoptions and paperwork and endless calls. All of our Collies that come to CRN are fully vet checked and up to date with their vacines. In some cases they need to be neutered or spayed . Lately we have had Collies that need up to $2000 of vet bills each to get them healthy. CRN is non profit and runs only on fundraising and donations. To replenish our funds we are having a raffle. I have tickets for sale or you can order them online at
Every ticket sold is a step closer to being able to help another Collie
Please purchase your ticket or even buy a book. We need the funds and you are helping a wonderful cause.
Here are pics of my 13 foster dogs that I have fostered over my 10 years.

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Putting on the Dog

23 Mar

Recently I was commissioned by a lady to spin her Golden Retriever dog’s hair.  Apparently this fellow is 15 years old and is quite blond.  His undercoat was one of the softest  I have ever spun.  Because she wants to knit with the yarn I suggested adding a little sheeps wool as spun dog hair on it’s own does not have a memory and will stretch.  By adding a little sheeps wool you can prevent it.  I try to select a match with my stock and came up with a very soft white lambs wool to blend it with.  Here are some pictures with the various steps to producing the finished yarn.

The white fibre is the lamb fleece and the golden is the Retriever. These piles of fibre would be blended together.




This is the blended fibre in a batt ready to be spun.  I have an electric carding machine to help me with this.





I spun this on my Ashford Joy spinning wheel.  Here you see a single ply on a bobbin.  When I had 2 bobbins spun I then spun the 2 together backwards to give me a 2 ply yarn.



This is the 2 ply yarn.



I then wound it off on my skein winder and tied the skein in 4 places.


I like to wash my skeins in Eucalan wool wash…Here they are hanging on the line for an hour when I realized how cold it was outside and brought the frozen skeins in to dry.



And the finished yarn.  It’s nice and soft and I am sure the owner will be pleased.



Collie Rescue and Canadian Tire Money

1 Mar

I know I posted this before but it is ongoing…thanks

Ok all Peeps and Followers  … pay attention.   Some of you know I have worked with the Collie Rescue of Canada for about 10 years now.  This is an amazing organization with such hard working volunteer men and women.  We work primary with Rough and Smooth Collies only as you do have to draw the line but occasionally a cross sneaks in like my dear foster who I have now. Coby is a cross between a Border and Rough Collie who was in a shelter for SIX months up north. She finally found her way to the Collie Rescue and has been my foster girl up for adoption ever since and will be at my house till she gets adopted.  People who can not look after their Collie anymore for any reason (life happens)  can surrender their pet to the Collie Rescue and they are put in a loving foster home until they get adopted. Some dogs have an unfortunate life and have been seized from their owner.  They match up the foster home with the foster dog to make things go smoothly.  We are always short of foster homes so if you think you would like to do it please contact us.  Some of our fosters have multiple dogs because of this need. You never know how long you will have the foster . I have had them as short as 2 weeks and Coby has been my longest at 8 months. A lot of us fail fostering 101 and fall in love with our foster and end up adopting them.  So if you have any questions about fostering please contact us.


That is not the total reason for this blog….. The exciting  news is that the Collie Rescue is accepting Canadian Tire Money .  Everyone has some sitting in their cupboard somewhere.  Who ever remembers to redeem it eh???  We use it to buy the much needed collars, leashes, bedding and dog food. Most dogs come with nothing and these things are necessary.  My great friends have given me what they found in their cupboards and to date I have been able to send $158  to the Collie Rescue.. It’s amazing how fast those 5 an 10 cent coupons add up .

So please check your stashes and donate it to the Collie Rescue of Canada… we would really appreciate it.

I have attached pictures of my “Foster Kids” that I have helped through their journey of life over my 10 years with them… I will admit I failed my first fostering and ended up adopting my sweet Isadora.


My current foster Coby


Blaze , my Smooth Coated foster


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Luna. what a little lady














Misty and her sister

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Cassie who was a real sweetie and never let her total blindness stop her from being a playful dog.





Jack was a big boy….such a gentle giant.

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And my dearest sweet Isadora who was my first foster who I adopted myself as a companion for my Antrim.


Coby.. my new foster girl

19 Jul
Here are some pics of Coby. Coby is a Border Collie/Rough Collie mix. She is about 45 to 50 pounds.  Except for her leash craziness which we are working on here is what I think of her.
Coby is a very friendly and cuddly girl of almost 10 years old but you would think she was 3.  She loves to play fetch and has no problems with stairs.  She does not act or look her age. She is cat friendly to cats that are dog savvy but she may chase one to play if they are not used to dogs. Because of her collie playing I wouldn’t recommend her to be placed with kids as she really gets excited playing and may do the collie nip which some folks may take as biting. She follows me everywhere in the house and just wants to be with you.  She loves being cuddled and petted. She is totally housetrained and can be trusted loose in the house.  I have never needed to crate her.She very seldom barks unless someone knocks on the door . She is very friendly to everyone that comes to my house. She loves the men!! She is just an all around sweetheart
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Fostering….It’s a priviledge.

29 Jun

As some of you know I have been a foster mom with the Collie Rescue of Canada for the past 8 years.  Some of my friends and family don’t understand why I do it. I feel blessed that I have had experience in dog training and have had Collies in my life for 42 years now. Most people like to help out people in life . My outlet is helping Collies. I just love Collies and think they are the best. It has been so rewarding to give these wonderful Collies a safe and loving home until they find their forever home.   I really don’t like the word “Rescue” as to me it implies that perhaps the dog coming was “abused”  some people  are afraid of volunteering to be a foster parent. It’s true that some have not had an easy life but most of mine were surrendered to the Collie Rescue because their owner’s life situation had drastically changed and they could no longer look after their friend.  Perhaps a death of the owner , moving , or just hard times and can no longer afford the proper care.  Sure some poor older dogs are just “dumped”  .  As a foster parent it is not our place to judge the reason but to just accept it and give the poor dog the best home they can have while waiting for their “forever” home for as long as it takes. Sometimes this will only take a couple of weeks but sometimes longer. The dog stays with you until it gets adopted unless there is a problem . The Collie rescue looks after all the vet bills and I pay for the food. I failed my first fostering.  I was fostering an older dog “Isadora”.  She had been with me for 3 months and sometimes it just takes longer to find that special family that would like to adopt an older dog.  My Blue Merle “Antrim” became so bonded with her and so did I so she stayed .  Others came and went.  How do you let a foster go???  I have been asked this so many times.  The Collie Rescue really screens the family who want to adopt your foster and makes sure it is a good match before everything is final . I have seen an adopter refused before so feel comfortable letting them go . Also it makes a much needed space for the next foster.  Fostering is so rewarding knowing that you have helped a needy dog along his or her life journey.  If you like dogs please consider fostering .  The Collie Rescue tries hard to match the foster dog with your family so it’s easy for everyone. There are all sorts of “Rescues” and homes are needed.  It’s so nice for a dog to go into foster care and be with a family instead of a cold and lonely shelter…. remember most of these dogs were someone’s pet at one time and they are terrified in a shelter by themselves. They have been “plucked away” from their home and don’t understand why.  In my opinion a dog from a rescue that has been in foster care is the perfect dog to adopt as they just want to be with a loving family and be treated like a family member so they seem to try harder.  Please consider fostering and if you have any questions please just ask me…And if you are not able to foster please consider any donation of money.  The Collie Rescue operates on it’s own through some fund raising and mostly donations.  All Collies that come to our rescue get fully vetted  and neutered before adopting. The average cost per dog for this is about $700.  Some can be more , some can be less. The adoption fee of $350 only covers a portion of this as you can see. Any donation is always appreciated.




The Merle was my boy Antrim and Isadora the Sable was my first foster .  I failed fostering 101 and ended up adopting her as she just fit into my family so well.


These are pics of some of my fosters over the past 8 years……They were all lovely Collies and went to wonderful homes.

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Spring Lambs

24 Apr

My friend Jill who is great at taking pictures was out at Grace’s farm and snapped this shot of some of her little lambs…..they are so adorable.

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6 Apr

Yah for my wonderful foster boy Blaze!!!  He got adopted yesturday by a wonderful family and he now has a Rough Collie for a sister to play with.  He was such a great boy and so loving.  I am so glad he went to a deserving home who will treat him like the King he is…   best wishes my boy and I will truly miss your cuddles and happy face.

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15 Mar

I am so happy at how well my foster dog Blaze is doing.  He is learning to play and what a toy is… He loves chasing his squeeky toys and even brings them back for you to throw again.  He also has gained 7 pounds since I have had him so he now weighs in at 71 pounds.   I think 75 pounds should be his max.   He is such a cuddle bug and loves lots of hugs…. don’t we all??  I hope he finds his forever home soon as he is really bonding to me.  If you know anyone who might like a wonderful dog please contact me or the Collie Rescue Network. You can view his bio at the address below his picture on petfinder.

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Look What I Got

27 Nov

I went to visit my youngest daughter last weekend and she surprised me with a Mini Antrim.  She needle felted it with a stash of my fleece that she had.  Of course I had a boo hoo when I saw it.  She did an amazing job and it’s safely put away in my china cabinet away from my cats which I am sure would want to play with him…Thank you so much Abby Jean..xxoo

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