Lassie hasn’t come into our rescue yet. For that matter, neither has a single Westminster champion. Perfect dogs without a single flaw don’t exist any more than a person without a single flaw does. We don’t get the perfectly trained, immaculately groomed, well socialized dog. What we get is potential on four paws, dogs just waiting for a chance to be all that they can be.
Our little band of RMCSR volunteers give everything we’ve got to help the dogs entrusted to our care. We don’t give up on them. Ever. So as you think about adopting one of our rescue Collies or Shelties, think with your head and your heart. We promise that whatever you give of yourself will be given back a hundredfold by your adopted dog.
When you come to RMCSR to adopt, please remember that our rescue dogs are not “bargains” just because they do not come with AKC papers. For that matter, they are not objects of pity either. As we see it, our rescue dogs are just themselves—pure and simple. They are unique individuals and precious in their own way, deserving of the best life that a dog can be granted.
We get the dogs that are no longer wanted―for whatever reason. Maybe these Collies and Shelties once were well loved and had a real home, but their owner died, moved or simply could not afford to keep them anymore. Or maybe these dogs were not loved at all, but you can bet the dog tried to love the owner back anyway.
Our dogs come from a variety of situations. Some come from shelters where they all but shut down, expecting every moment to take the walk that other dogs took and never came back from. Others were abandoned and left to fend for themselves but somehow miraculously made it to us. We get dogs found running loose, dogs who are abandoned because of their owners’ death, dogs used for breeding at puppy mills, and so on. Many have never eaten good food, slept comfortably on a dog bed, gone to the vet for regular care, been inside a house before, or simply been loved. Rescue dogs have plenty of love, affection and gratitude to give, and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you saved a dog.
Many caring owners have given up their pets to Rocky Mountain Collie and Sheltie Rescue knowing that the dogs would be guaranteed a loving home. Reasons for relinquishment include moving, divorce, advancing age, illness, or death. Breeders have given us puppies that nobody wanted to buy. If you or someone you know would like to relinquish a Collie or Sheltie in Colorado, or even out of state, please contact us.
Medical Screening & Treatment
We do a comprehensive medical screening and treat any medical condition the incoming dog has. Then we spay/neuter every dog (no exceptions), bring him current on all shots, and start him on heartworm protection. The dog is bathed, groomed, and placed in one of our foster homes for evaluation.
What You Should Know
Our rescue Collies and Shelties are not guard dogs but are meant to be members of a family. They want to be with their adopter and are meant to be inside dogs. They would be miserable left outside away from what they consider “their pack.” We are seeking adopters who want their dog to be an indoor family member. This characteristic, which applies equally to Collies and Shelties, is expressed perfectly in the Dog Fancy cover story, “Lassie’s Legacy,” February 2009:
With his beauty, brains and noble character, the Collie attracts many admirers. This sensitive, dignified breed must be part of the family and is not recommended as only an outside or backyard dog. They don’t need lots of acreage, but they do need lots of human contact.
Shelties can be shy with strangers, and both Collies and Shelties can be barkers. If a barking dog could be an issue for you or your neighbors, please give this factor consideration. Collies and Shelties are herding dogs, something to keep in mind if you have young children or cats.
Except for the smooth-coated Collie, Collies and Shelties are double-coated, long-haired breeds. These breeds do shed, and their coats need a fair amount of care. A thorough brushing at least once a week and a bath periodically is needed. Weigh in the cost of going to a professional groomer.
Notes from the AKC
THE COLLIE is 22 to 26 inches at the shoulder and weighs 50 to 75 pounds. Although a large, active dog, the Collie is both elegant and graceful, appearing to float over the ground as it runs. Loyal and affectionate, the breed is naturally responsive to humans. Marked characteristics include the beautiful coat of the rough variety and the breed’s lean wedge-shaped head. The coat can be rough or smooth and the four accepted colors are sable and white, tri-color, blue merle and white. The best-known Collie is, of course, the famous Lassie.
The exact origin of the Collie is uncertain, but they have existed for centuries as herding dogs of Scotland and England. They were used primarily as a drover dog, guiding cows and sheep to market. Collies became very fashionable during the 1860s when Queen Victoria visited the Scottish Highlands and fell in love with the breed.
The Collie is a devoted family dog, especially with children. Although they require daily walks, they can also be couch potatoes. Despite the Rough Collie’s immense coat, they only need to be brushed about once a week, although the need for brushing may increase in shedding season. Collies are also a very clean breed and are noted for not having a doggie odor.
THE SHETLAND SHEEPDOG, or “Sheltie,” stands 13 to 16 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs an average of 20 pounds. A rough-coated, long-haired working dog, he is alert, intensely loyal and highly trainable and is known as a devoted, docile dog with a keen sense of intelligence and understanding. Agile and sturdy, the Sheltie is one of the most successful obedience breeds, but also excels in agility, herding and conformation. The coat can be black, blue merle or sable, marked with varying amounts of white and/or tan.
Like the Collie, the Sheltie’s history traces back to the Border Collie of Scotland, which, after being transported to the Shetland Islands and crossed with small, intelligent, long-haired breeds, was eventually reduced to miniature proportions. Over time, subsequent crosses were made with Collies. The breed worked as farm helpers and home protectors, watching over crofters’ cottages, flocks and herds from invaders of all kinds.
Shelties love their families, but may be reserved at first with strangers. As a herding dog, they can be inclined to bark at and herd people. Shelties thrive on the farm but adapt to many living situations if given proper exercise. The breed’s dense double coat requires regular maintenance.