The Collie Nose
Volume 2, Issue 2, April 2013
A very small group of volunteers
puts in a tremendous amount of
time on day-to-day operations to
rescue our wonderful collies. I’m
referring to the CRGI Board of
Trustees, a group dedicated to
keeping this organization running
like a finely tuned machine.
We have the typical organization
positions, including president, vice
president, treasurer and secretary.
But more importantly, we have an
intake coordinator responsible for
finding collies in need and arrang-
ing transportation and medical
treatments. Our foster home coor-
dinator is responsible for placing
the collies with a well-trained
fosterer and our adoption coordi-
nator helps to find a perfect
home. These positions work
together to make the entire pro-
cess run seamlessly.
Without funding, CRGI could not
help collies. That is where the
skills of our fundraising/events
coordinator are needed. This per-
son is responsible for planning all
the events that you, the collie
community, enjoy and support.
There are so many other jobs that
happen in this organization, such
as website and database manage-
ment, contracts and communica-
tion, that I can’t list them all. This
is a fine group of individuals who
sacrifice a great deal of time to the
mission of CRGI and I want to
thank all of you.
John Cymerman
By Ellen Keirnan
Now that the Midwest is thawing, it’s a good time to be aware of
pet dangers in the yard.
Plants, fertilizers, pesticides, compost and tools pose risks for
Mushrooms, sago palms, rhododendrons and azaleas can harm
dogs. If ingested, plants can cause vomiting and even liver dam-
Besides the danger of fertilizer in your yard, be cautious of neigh-
bors’ yards during walks. Watch for the use of cocoa mulch. A dog
may be attracted to its smell and eat it. The mulch may upset a
dog’s stomach.
Blood meal is another common fertilizer that can cause a pancrea-
titis attack if too much is ingested.
If your dog eats bone meal, a blockage can occur. Because it is
ground bone, a concrete ball can form in the intestines.
Iron is common in fertilizers and can cause vomiting and diarrhea
and lead to cardiac and liver damage in extreme cases.
Be aware of what you are using and be sure to monitor your dog
closely when he’s sniffing around.
Mouse, rat, snail and fly baits can be poisonous. So use them
sparingly and maintain a vigilant eye so your dog can’t get near
When compost decomposes, it can create molds and gases that
may be toxic. If mycotoxins are present, they can cause vomiting
or even seizures.
Unattended tools can cause puncture wounds, scrapes and infec-
tions if they are left in places that your dog enjoys exploring.
The presence of blue-green algae in a stagnant pond or pool can
be hazardous and neurotoxins can cause death if a dog swims in
or drinks the tainted water.
Hazards in the Garden
See GARDEN, page 2
Behind the Scenes
Bowl Supporters
The Animal Poison Control Center is a phone call away if your pet
shows symptoms of poisoning. The number is 1-888-426-4435.
There may be a fee associated with its services, depending on the
type of assistance.
A little knowledge goes a long way in protecting your pet against
outdoor hazards. Be an alert pet owner and realize that vomiting
or other signs of sickness may mean that your dog has ingested
GARDEN, from page 1
Support Rolls in During Crystal Bowl
Thanks to the following gener-
ous families and businesses
that sponsored a lane at the
Collie Crystal Bowl.
Aichinger family
All Pet Pantry
Artistic Creations Salon, Inc.
Baker family
Butler family
Diedrichsen family
Glen Ellyn Animal Hospital
Kozy’s Cyclery
Narnia Pet Behavior and Train-
Newberry Electric Co., Inc.
Pet Supplies Plus
Schwans Home Service
Woody Buick GMC
Yorkville Animal Hospital
Zwirn family
Thanks to the individuals and
businesses who donated raffle
items for the Collie Crystal
Bowl. Your donations added so
much to our fun and funds!
Michelle Hirsch
Tina Kiselka and family
Caroline Lewis
George and Karen Hayes
Mary Zwirn
Nina Biddinger
Melody Reinsdorff, Princess
Jody Wilson
Reflections Metro
Kim Nelson and family
Carol Foster
Susie Moncek
Gail's Groomerie
Sherylee Dodge
John Cymerman
Dick’s Sporting Goods
By Kym McNabney
With the help of about 130 supporters, sponsors and raffle
Collie Rescue of Greater Illinois raised $2,226 at the second annu-
al Collie Crystal Bowl.
CRGI volunteers bowled in February at Lisle Lanes for one cause:
to ensure CRGI will continue to provide for collies that have been
abandoned, lost, mistreated or surrendered by their owners.
For $20 a person, everyone was treated to a fun day of bowling,
which included sitting on the floor, bowling between your team-
mate’s legs, bowling backwards and hopping on one foot.
Shouts of excitement could be heard as raffle ticket winners were
announced. A few of the great raffle items included an assortment
of goody bags, collie knickknacks, a professional drawing of the
family collie and gift cards.
Thanks to all for making the fundraising event possible: CRGI co-
founder Tina Kiselka and event coordinator Michelle Hirsch for all
the work they put into the event; Kim Nelson and Caroline Lewis
for putting the raffle together; Gail Diedrichsen for her artwork;
Bradley Baker for his help in getting lane sponsors; Lisle Lanes for
their cooperation; Kingpin Grille for the delicious food; and all the
volunteers who participated.
By Gail Diedrichsen
Often Susie Moncek, our foster coordinator, needs homes for young dogs full of energy or dogs raised
with children. These collies benefit from placement in a family with children.
We are fortunate to have several families who see their fostering experience as an opportunity rather
than a chore. These families have huge hearts and incredible strength, as witnessed even in the
youngest family members.
Sherylee Dodge has fostered for two
years and her two children help with the
“It’s a way to have another dog without
really having one,” Sherylee says.
She is also a “foster failure.” Her family
decided that two were keepers.
She laughs and confesses, “I am per-
petually shopping for my next dog. I
have two, but I am saving room for that
blue merle and fosterers get first dibs.”
Sherylee admits it was very hard for her
children the first few times her foster
dogs were adopted.
“They cried so hard. But through the
tears they insisted, ‘No, mom we do not
want to quit. Let’s keep helping more
dogs,’” she says.
Recalling a tender moment, she says,
“Our recent foster dog, Regan, was such a mess. She was so stinky, with terrible fur, and had yucky,
runny eyes. One day I noticed my son looking at that dog with such affection. He sweetly said, ‘Mom
she’s so cute.’ The dog may have looked awful, but I knew how wonderfully big my son’s heart was at
that moment.”
Kim Morris home is our “puppy house.” Any puppy adopted from Kim comes fully socialized because
her house is full of activity. With three children and three dogs, her foster dogs become part of her
busy family.
“Kim’s kids are amazing. They are sponges for knowledge and do so much to help these dogs become
great family pets,” Susie says.
Kim is very proud of her daughters for all they do. Her middle daughter, Bryanna, is especially fond of
“I wasn’t a ‘foster failure’ for the longest time. But then our Hammie came along … Bryanna fell in
love,” Kim says. “They are a perfect match and have exactly the same personality.”
Foster Families Work as a Team
See FOSTERERS, page 4
The Dodge boys enjoy helping their mom take care of
rescue dogs.
“Bryanna plans to be a veterinarian, work at a zoo and live on a
farm,” she adds. “She had a difficult time when the dogs left,
but now she understands she is doing a good thing. We have a
binder full of photos to remember all of our ‘babies’ and we keep
in touch with adopters. These dogs are always in our hearts and
never leave us.”
The shortest stay for Kim’s foster dogs has been six days; the
longest, six months; and the average is about one month.
“We love getting the new dog and this is my puppy fix,” Kim
says. “It’s a joy, but it is lots of work too. The entire family
pitches in and it is a meaningful team experience for the entire
Bobbie Jo Soltis is our novice fosterer. Her passion for collies and a desire to serve in some way
brought her to us.
“I was born into a home with collies. My mother had collies and always had pups,” Bobbie Jo says. “I
always helped from the time I can remember. I feel as if I have two hearts one human and the oth-
er, the heart of a collie.”
Like so many fosterers, Bobbie Jo finds the experience very beneficial for her children.
“I do this for several reasons. I get instant gratification. I feel like I am making a difference. But most
of all, I do this to teach compassion to my children,” she says. “Tonight Danny, 4, fed both collies and
he was so proud of himself. On our way home from school, my 6-year-old, Juliana, said, ‘Mom, know
what I am going to do when I get home? I’m going to just love on Rufus.’”
“It’s difficult to let them go. We have Rufus now and he will really be a tough one,” Bobbie Jo says. “I
said to myself, ‘If he’s still here by Christmas, I’m throwing a big red ribbon around his neck.’ But
then I got the call. A good home had been found. That’s OK; it comes with the territory.”
Her children understand that loving the collies means being able to let them go.
“It gets easier and my kids do cry,” she says. “But they understand and tell me they want to keep
Bobbie Jo recently visited her former foster dog, Trever.
“He tackled me to the ground with pure joy and smothered me with kisses. What
a rewarding thanks,” she says.
Trever got his wish: a home for Christmas!
Our compassionate volunteers share many heartwarming stories. None are more
touching than stories about children who express compassion and wisdom.
Without our dedicated young volunteers and their parents, many loving collies
would not get a second chance to make a child happy in a forever home.
One thing these families have in common is the realization that the experience is
not only beneficial to the dog, but brings them closer together.
The parents also share in the belief that their children have become better people
because of this rewarding experience.
FOSTERERS, from page 3
Danny and Rufus
Kim Morris with her daughters
By Gail Diedrichsen
While volunteering alongside Michelle Hirsch during CRGI events, fellow volunteers are amazed by her
incredible energy and stamina.
An observer might think that she is everywhere at once, has more than two hands or is possibly on
roller skates! The “ever-ready bunny” is one way to describe her.
Michelle joined our organization just two years ago, but she hit the ground running and has not
stopped. She joined the board of directors as our event coordinator and has brought new energy to
She efficiently organizes events with two goals
in mind: to raise funds so our organization can
help the collies in our care and to inform po-
tential adopters that we exist and have won-
derful adoptable dogs in need of loving homes.
Michelle is able to combine her two passions
while contributing her talents to a great cause.
“My collies are my first passion and my second
passion is organizing events and bossing peo-
ple around!” she jokes.
Fellow volunteer Susie Moncek describes her as
someone who spreads excitement.
“Michelle has a way of getting you excited to
be involved,” she says. “The events she puts
together for our rescue are not only a great
way to share our efforts, but she makes the
events so much fun that you feel like you are
missing out on something special if you don’t
get involved!”
Her positive personality is evident when she handles the hard work and occasional stress that comes
with the job.
“She’s brought new ideas and new venues to assist us in obtaining donations to help us with the
needed medical procedures for incoming dogs,” CRGI co-founder Tina Kiselka says. “She has a won-
derful personality and goes at everything with a positive attitude.”
“Michelle is great at what she does. She is organized and always follows through,” says CRGI Presi-
dent Vicki Wilder. “She is one of the most enthusiastic people I know and always has a smile on her
Michelle initiated participation in the St. Charles Scarecrow Fest, where we won first place this year,
taking home the prize of $350. Participation in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in downtown Naperville
earned us a first-place trophy. These events make hundreds of spectators aware of our organization.
She organizes the Collie Crystal Bowl, a fun-filled bowling event that includes a raffle and lunch. The
Crystal Bowl produced a full house at Lisle Lanes this year.
“Ever-Ready” Michelle Hirsch
See MICHELLE, page 6
Michelle Hirsch poses with Doc Colliday during
the St. Charles Fall Scarecrow Fest.
MICHELLE, from page 5
Kid’s Corner
Isaac and Gage had a great time at the Collie Crystal Bowl. They en-
joyed the food and especially liked the challenge of the red pin.
Michelle schedules our meet and greets, which are held around the Chicago area. Through these
events, we foster community support, recruit volunteers, encourage donors and reach potential
adopters. She knows the importance of reaching the public and appreciates the small army of volun-
teers who provide a few hours to meet the public with their collies.
She also orchestrates our annual Volunteer Appreciation Party, which is held to recognize our indis-
pensable volunteers. It’s a chance to share good food and enjoy each other’s company.
And she is responsible for our participation in the Windy City Pet Expo, the DuPage/Chicago Pet Show
and the Kane County/Chicago Pet Show. These events are an opportunity to network with hundreds of
local pet lovers who are potential adopters.
Her most extensive undertaking is the planning of the vendor fair, which offers crafts, baked goods
and fun items to shoppers. This year’s Collie Vendor and Craft Corral will be held April 20
at the
Vaughan Field House in Aurora. Although this is a big job, Michelle’s previous career in managing
trade shows gives her the know-how to make it happen.
Why does Michelle work so hard without monetary reward? She has loved collies since she was a
child. She remembers visiting her aunt in Canada when she was a toddler and seeing her aunt’s collie,
described as beautiful, sweet and well-behaved.
The dog’s most impressive quality was the way “she could eat corn off the cob meticulously without a
bit of mess or leaving one kernel,” Michelle says.
She recalls watching “Lassie” on TV. Although she couldn’t have a collie of her own, she was hooked.
She vowed to get one when the timing was right. Michelle’s dream came true. She and her husband,
Paul, live with two adopted collies, Lucy and Shadow.
With tireless devotion, Michelle brings contagious energy to our great group of volunteers. CRGI ex-
tends a heartfelt thanks to “ever-ready” Michelle. But no one is more thankful than the many collies
who have found a loving home because of Michelle’s dedication and remarkable energy.
By Dale Mohr
We learned many lessons during family trips with our collies. Most
of the experiences were good ones, except for one tragic episode.
We took many trips with our two children and some more when
my family included a collie and two cats. The cats always stayed
home in good care, but my dog Nick was a great travel compan-
We have lodged at motels, fancy hotels, a few bed and breakfast
places and campgrounds. The latter included camping in state,
county and national parks and county, state and national forests.
We also enjoyed private campgrounds, such as KOA. We even
stayed at a city campground while visiting Monterey, Mexico, in
the 1970s.
We had the most difficulty at some state park campgrounds that
didn't allow pets and in the Northeast, where there is a shortage
of motels allowing dogs. In general, though, campgrounds make it
easy with a dog.
For those not into camping, it's a good idea to check before-
hand to find pet-friendly motels and hotels on your itinerary and
make reservations if possible. Search for “pet-friendly hotels” and
search by routes to find a lodging place that permits dogs.
It was interesting to learn that the large hotels holding conven-
tions were generally the easiest once the staff knew that the dog
would be leashed, was not a barker and was well-behaved.
Keep in mind that motels and hotels generally do not permit leav-
ing a dog alone in the room.
Our family learned a valuable but tragic lesson during a trip to
Washington state when we entered a relative's driveway and were
immediately approached by their two dogs.
During this hot day, our young collie became anxious about the
dogs and had his head out the rear window. The window was par-
tially open, but it was open enough for him to squeeze through.
After landing on the ground, he was afraid of the dogs and ran to-
ward the highway.
We never saw him again. After searching for two days, we had to
leave for home without him. Our aunt later found his remains and
sent us his collar/ID as a memorial of that sad day when he was
apparently killed by a vehicle.
On a more cheerful note, we were camping in a national park near
Winnipeg, Manitoba, and had a good time hiking the trails with
our collie. However, one evening we attended a park ranger talk
and left our dog alone in our tent trailer.
Traveling with Your Dog
See TRAVEL, page 8
Bowling for Collies
"Old dogs, like old shoes, are
comfortable. They might be a
bit out of shape and a little
worn around the edges, but
they fit well."
Bonnie Wilcox, “Old Dogs,
Old Friends
He was secured by a long leash inside. When we returned, we found him outside the trailer. He was
still secured, but had apparently forced himself through the canvas so he could visit with a skunk. Be-
fore returning home, we applied a lot of tomato juice and found traveling with him stinky. This was
another lesson learned: Don’t leave a dog in a tent trailer!
You should consider 10 steps when traveling with a dog (see
1. Visit your veterinarian for vaccinations and take the papers along.
2. Equip your dog with a microchip and sturdy collar with a tag displaying your address and phone
3. Pack and plan for your dog like you do for the rest of the family. Important items include dog
food and cleanup bags.
4. A safety restraint in the car is a good idea, such as a pet carrier or harness.
5. Do not travel with your dog in a pickup bed or on the car roof (like Mitt Romney).
6. To guard against car sickness, don't give him much food during the drive, but give him enough
water. In severe cases of car anxiety, you can ask your veterinarian for tranquilizer medicine.
7. Keep your dog's head inside the car, not out the window. It's too easy for him to be injured by
flying debris or insects. Also, a dog could strangle himself by stepping on the power window con-
8. Be extra careful when traveling during hot weather, using plenty of air conditioning and not leav-
ing your dog in the car.
9. Take frequent stops since he will need water and potty breaks and will want to stretch his legs.
10. Avoid hazards of poison and choking. Some dogs will eat anything, especially new stuff that they
find on a trip.
TRAVEL, from page 7
Volunteers marched with their Scottish collies dressed in Emerald Isle green during the Naperville St.
Patrick’s Day Parade, sponsored by the West Suburban Irish.
St. Patrick’s Day is dedicated to the Irish immigrants who came to this country with hopes for a better
life. Many arrived very poor, but worked hard to make a new home for themselves.
That same brave spirit and desire for a fresh start
is akin to our organization’s commitment and
goals. Many of our uprooted collies have had a
rough start, but are given another chance because
we work hard to find our vagabond collies a place
they may finally call home.
The dogs were dressed fashionably for the occa-
sion, thanks to Dianne Trost who designed the
gorgeous costumes. As we made our way through
the streets, hundreds of spectators met us with
enthusiastic applause.
Thanks to Michelle Hirsch for organizing this event and shuttling walkers. And thanks to Gail Diedrich-
sen for making signs and allowing volunteers and their dogs to congregate at her home.
Thanks to our volunteers who braved the cold winds and snow flurries. Marching with the beautiful
collie ambassadors got the word out that CRGI has great dogs needing good homes.
Stepping Out in Green
Vicki Wilder, President
Tina Kiselka, Treasurer
Caroline Lewis, Secretary
Robert Olson, Webmaster/IT
John Cymerman, Chairperson
Michelle Hirsch, Event Coordinator
Michelle Rogers, Adoption Coordinator
Susie Moncek, Foster Home Coordinator
Collie Rescue of Greater Illinois, Inc., is a nonprofit corporation
established in 1995. We provide shelter and care to purebred collies
which have been abandoned or turned in to shelters. Email, call (630) 415-1206 or visit the website
Board Members
CRGI Recognizes Volunteers
By Ellen Keirnan
The volunteers of Collie Rescue of Greater Illinois were recognized and thanked by the Board of Direc-
tors in March at the annual Volunteer Appreciation Party.
We celebrated another successful year rescuing collies from incredible situations, ranging from aban-
donment and abuse to hoarding. These rescued dogs were treated for medical, physical and psycho-
logical damage inflicted on them.
The volunteers were thanked for fundraising efforts that made
medical care possible for even the sickest animals, which
might have been euthanized otherwise. They were thanked for
transporting animals from sister rescue organizations and for
opening their homes to scared, nervous, underfed and sick
As a special treat, Dr. Erin O’Connor, a certified animal chiro-
practor, talked about the chiropractic problems that affect
dogs. She showed us how chiropractic care can allow an in-
jured or limping animal to be active again.
Dr. O’Connor practices in an Aurora facility shared with Vitality
Chiropractic Center, her husband’s chiropractic business for
people. She gives a special discount for rescue animals and
extended that discount to members of the CRGI family. Con-
tact for more infor-
She engaged and inspired volunteers with her anecdotes about her patients (dogs with physical and
behavioral problems) who have benefited from her service -- sometimes with just one or two treat-
ments. Her presentation included a film demonstrating her method of adjustments, how the dogs ac-
cept her manipulation and many tips to avoiding injuries and other problems. After a lively question
and answer period, she remained available to set up appointments and talk to volunteers to provide
As part of the event, seven volunteers participated in the chili cook-off contest. The empty pots at the
end of the afternoon were a testament to the shared camaraderie among volunteers.
Michelle Hirsch with chili
winner Nicole Belizaire
Michelle Rogers, Ruth Meek,
Kathy Stodgell, Susie Moncek and
Rose Fields share stories at the
annual volunteer party.