The Collie Nose
Volume 2, Issue 3, July 2013
On behalf of the Collie Rescue
board, I’d like to thank the volun-
teers who helped make the Collie
Craft Corral Vendor Fair a success.
Vendors exhibited and sold a wide
variety of arts, crafts and home
goods in April at the fair, held at
the Vaughan Athletic Center in
Aurora. We had a full house,
thanks to Michelle Hirsch and vol-
unteers. We raised funds through
a clothing booth and a great bake
sale, thanks to Kim Nelson and
Nicole Belizaire. Once again, the
collie jail was a big hit with some
of your favorite collies playing the
role of the framed prisoner.
A great mystery was also part of
the event. During the afternoon,
an anonymous donor dropped a
couple of gold coins into the bail
bucket as a donation to Collie Res-
cue (see related article). Many
thanks to the mystery donor and
all the wonderful Collie Rescue vol-
unteers for creating a successful
John Cymerman
By Gail Diedrichsen
Why do we work so hard to help
collies? Looking at the before
and after photos of our dogs
makes it crystal-clear.
Comparing the photos of our in-
coming collies to those shared by
adopters, we realize our reward.
The striking contrasts are re-
minders as to why we tirelessly
continue our work.
No photos are more moving than
those of Jake. He was one of 300
dogs seized from a hoarding
situation in Missouri. His intake
photos show a pathetic-looking
soul at death’s door. But recent
photos tell us his story has a
happy ending.
One can only imagine his dread-
ful past. Filled with parasites, his
sable and white coat was sticky
from filth, and he emitted a stench. Most of his fur was lost, mak-
ing it easy to see the oozing sores and scabs covering his red and
raw flesh. His legs and feet were completely bald and inflamed.
His protruding hip bones, rib cage and vertebrae showed evidence
of blatant neglect. Weak and hungry, he miraculously survived.
When he was liberated after all he had endured, he still had a
hopeful sparkle in his eye and that sweet collie disposition. His
rescuers recognized his gentle nature and deemed him adoptable
and worth saving. He came to us and we named him “Jake,” slang
for “it’s ok.
Jake Symbolizes Hope
See JAKE, page 2
Successful Fair
Jake was full of sores and
was missing hair when he
came to Collie Rescue.
Now healthy and smiling,
Jake plays with Nike.
Vendor Fair Photos
Jake’s rehabilitation was entrusted to Rose Fields, a fosterer.
“What I remember most is my first sight of Jake when I picked
him up at Yorkville Animal Hospital. Tears came to my eyes when
I saw his emaciated body. In spite of how he had been treated
previously, he was very loving,” she says.
Rose soothed his painful skin, gave him good meals and taught
him how to play.
“He had never had a toy and didn’t know how to play,” she says.
“One day, I opened his mouth, put a toy in it and he pranced
around with that rubber chicken so proud!”
Linda Milkovic relives the day she noticed Jake’s photo on our
“My heart just broke. I shared Jake’s pictures and story with my
husband, Larry,” she says. “His immediate response was, ‘We
need to help him! We need to get him!’ So, I called and arranged
a visit at Rose’s house.”
Jake was an easy dog to love, but he was not so easy to look at.
Regardless, Rose was hopeful that this couple would be the right
match for this deserving dog.
“When we finally met Jake, I was afraid to touch him. He looked
so fragile with all his bones protruding. I was afraid I might hurt
him, break him,” Linda says.
They did see the beauty within. As Rose had hoped, they were a
great match.
Having completed his rehabilitation, thanks to the excellent care
provided by Rose, Jake was ready for adoption. Because Jake had
so many cheerleaders and donors who’d helped with his recovery,
the adoption was officially completed at our annual Collie Rescue
picnic so all could witness the joyous occasion. As Jake’s leash
passed from Rose to Linda, volunteers and past adopters gath-
ered around.
So many
people were standing around us just crying. They were
so happy for Jake,”
Jake is living the good life, weighing in at 89 pounds. Linda de-
scribes him as “a funny, sweet dog with a big personality who
loves to talk to me when I get home. He drops his favorite stuffed
squirrel at Larry’s feet and that means it’s time to play fetch. He
also loves to play with his sister, Nike Butt, our other rescue. She
keeps him going.”
JAKE, from page 1
See JAKE, page 3
In Memory of
Bill Raia
By Gail Diedrichsen
When CRGI plans an event, co-founder and treasurer Tina Kiselka
“takes the bull by the horns” and calls her moving crew.
One can only imagine the extensive paraphernalia needed to run
a vendor fair, pet exposition, volunteer luncheon or reunion
Tina picks up and delivers items from storage for events and
packs everything up afterward. This is not an easy task. Volun-
teers who help with setup or cleanup marvel at how it all gets
done. They also notice that the same guys always do the jobs
that require muscle. They show up in their trucks and move like
well-oiled machines.
When it comes to recruiting
muscle, Tina doesn’t need
to look far. These strong
guys, who work without
fanfare, are her family
members. They are part of
her system. With great
pride, she is the first to ad-
mit that her family is awe-
some. CRGI owes these
guys gratitude and a big
pat on the back because it
would not get done without
JAKE, from page 2
Sadly, we lost one of our volun-
teers, Bill Raia. Bill and his wife,
Darlene, enjoyed working our
meet and greets with
their adopted
collie, Max.
George Hayes, fellow volunteer,
calls Bill “a good buddy” and re-
members Bill as “an easygoing,
sweet man who didn’t let his ill-
ness stop him.”
Bill and Darlene were childhood
sweethearts, together since they
were 13. This loving couple was
only three months shy of cele-
brating their golden anniversary.
On their silver anniversary, Bill
bought Darlene a house. He knew
a house would not be a home to
Darlene without a dog.
“The day after we moved in, Bill
gave me my anniversary gift
our first collie, Lady,” Darlene
says. “From that day on, Bill and I
were never without a collie.”
Bill was a retired railroad man
with an affinity for steam engines.
As an accomplished author and
photographer, he published two
books, both fueled by his passion
for trains and the desire to docu-
ment their importance in history.
Bill is missed at meet and greets
and he and his family Darlene,
sons Tom and Tony, granddaugh-
ters Lexi, Karis, Stephanie and
collie Max attended our fall
Bill will be greatly missed, but we
hope his family continues the pic-
nic tradition in his honor.
“I love the picture my husband took the one where they both
have such huge smiles on their faces. Jake’s so happy and we are
so happy to have him,” she says. “We love him. When I see the
early pictures of Jake, they bring tears to my eyes, even now.
Jake touched us profoundly. His story reaffirms our unwavering
commitment. Rescue work can be emotionally tough, but the re-
wards are abundant. There is nothing more fulfilling than hearing
from adopters and seeing the happy collies in photos.
“I am always so tickled when an adopter keeps in touch. I really
enjoy that!” Rose says.
As the adage goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” A
photo of a healthy, beaming Jake with his new forever family says
it all.
The CRGI event moving crew: (front from
left) Mike Nelson, Ed Kiselka and Greg
Belizaire; (back row from left) Tyler Nelson
and Greg Belizaire Jr.
Mighty Men of CRGI
By Kym McNabney
It seemed like a normal day at the Collie Craft Corral Vendor Fair, until a mysterious
gift appeared.
Eighty vendors gathered in April in Aurora for the annual fair. The goal was to have
a fun day while generating funds to provide for our furry friends.
Collie Rescue had two booths set up: the kissing booth and the jail.
Collies were available for kisses at the kissing booth. Several collies, including a puppy, took turns.
In the other booth, the jail, collies were being locked up. That’s right, a collie in a cell. But don’t you
believe what others are saying. Lassie was framed. She wasn’t the one that pushed Timmy down the
As Lassie sat in jail, she glanced at people passing by and silently begged for donations to set her
free. When the bail pail reached $20, the set amount of bail, it was a glorious moment as she was re-
leased. Unfortunately, the joyous occasion didn’t last. Just as one collie was released, another was
framed and put into the slammer.
Gail Diedrichsen stood close by, keeping watch on the detainee and counting donations. When a Fox
Valley police officer stopped by, she couldn’t resist taking a picture of him beside the prisoner.
Each time the pail was filled with $20, she took the donations to the designated place for safekeeping.
Midway through the fair, she went to collect the money from the bail pail and discovered an envelope.
A card with a cartoon was inside. And to her surprise, she found two gold coins.
How sweet, she thought. A child must have decided to donate a couple of amusement park tokens.
She took out her glasses and read the inscription on the inside of the card: “From two golden collies.”
It was not the childlike writing she had imagined.
Seeing the coins clearer, she said, “Holy Mother of Mercy!”
Gail could hardly believe her eyes. What she held in her hand was not just ordinary tokens, but two
gold Liberty coins.
Who was the mysterious giver? Not only had Lassie been framed, but someone had paid for her re-
lease and other framed collies.
Was the donor related to Lassie? Did they know who pushed Timmy?
Kindness comes in many forms. Those who give with such kind generosity, without requiring recogni-
tion, are certainly heroes.
Some mysteries are not meant to be solved. The "mystery of the gold doubloons" remains unsolved
and the donors remain anonymous. But one thing is certain: The gift from the two golden collies will
help many homeless collies.
Mystery of the Golden Coins
By Gail Diedrichsen
Vicki Wilder, CRGI president and intake coordinator, takes many calls from faraway shelters and ani-
mal control facilities and looks for available transporters to rescue collies. Everyone involved executes
a strategy, often requiring intricate logistics. Timing concerns, delivery and drop-off points are consid-
ered. And once the wheels are in motion, the plan becomes a relay.
Rescuing these collies could not happen without our volunteers, who are
willing to load up crates, gas their vehicles and hit the road at a mo-
ment's notice.
Mary Zwirn, a veteran volunteer, transports about a dozen dogs a year,
along with Herman, her husband, to create a remarkable team.
“Depending on the trip, Herman may go and help with the dogs,” Mary
says. “If it requires an overnight, he stays home to care for our pets,
making it possible for me to go.”
Driving as far as Indianapolis, Missouri and Nebraska, Mary has made
chauffeuring collies to safety her avocation.
“My first collie came with Herman as a package deal and I grew to love
collies. I do this for the love of the breed and I feel as if I am paying it
forward,” she says. “Somebody rescued my Sasha, a puppy mill dog,
and my Triton, a stray. Somebody was willing to drive them to me. I
can’t change the world, but I can make one little corner better for these
sweet dogs.”
She refers to her road trips as “The Cracker Barrel Relay,” her parking
lot rendezvous off highways.
“Every trip is different. My most recent pickup was in a gas station parking lot off the interstate. Be-
cause collie lovers are never too far away to help, a caring volunteer, located south, met me with a
sad little girl (collie),” she says. “Terrified, she had barely survived in a shelter. Poor dog didn’t know
what it was to be on grass and didn’t feel comfortable anyplace but in her crate – heartbreaking. But
now Tory is in a safe place, a foster home, undergoing rehabilitation and doing well. I don’t think she
would have had a chance in the shelter. But now she does.”
Vicki describes Mary is an indispensable part of our team.
“Just when I have a collie someplace and I think I’ll never be able to get that dog here, Mary steps
forward with her sidekick, Herman. Without hesitation, they are on the job to save that poor helpless
soul,” Vicki says. “She has stayed alone in unfamiliar hotels in order to return in time to deliver the
dog directly to the veterinarian. She has driven to some of the craziest out-of-the-way places and al-
ways with a smile. Her observational skills are awesome. I know if Mary is picking up a dog, I’ll get
details on what she’s learned about the dog on her journey.
Mary knows these dogs have been through a lot. They are bewildered, often afraid and sometimes
sick. They have been plucked from the life they’ve known and handled by strangers, and many have
HeroeGolden s of the Highway
See HEROES, page 6
Heroes of the Highway
Mary Zwirn rescues about
a dozen dogs a year and
has traveled as far as
Nebraska to save a collie.
spent time in a holding facility. They may have been freed from the end of a chain, where their lonely
world consisted of a few square feet around the trunk of a tree or doghouse. Or some have been con-
fined in a filthy puppy mill cage for years.
She urgently goes to meet her contact and comfortably crate her passenger to head to the veterinari-
an clinic. Mary’s gentle nature and loving touch calmly assures these tired orphans, while her kind-
ness gives them a glimpse of the better life that waits up the road.
“Foster failure” is humorously attached to a fosterer who adopts the dog they are fostering, but
“transport failure” describes Mary.
“I picked up a stray from southern Illinois in bad shape. He was found covered with ticks and had se-
vere skin problems. A sheltie rescue group took him in, cleaned him up and called us,” Mary says.
“Coincidently, there was a sheltie located north needing placement. So my trip became a swap. I took
one look at this collie, Patch, who I was picking up in trade, and I knew he was my guy. Now known
as Scout MacPatch, he lives happily ever after with us.”
Mary dislocated and broke her shoulder recently. With Herman behind the wheel, she was back in her
van on the road again in no time, even with her arm in a sling.
Impressed with Mary’s amazing indomitability, Tina Kiselka, co-founder of Collie Rescue, says, “She is
such a trooper, a lady with heart and soul, with such loyalty to Collie Rescue. She’s a real hero.”
Through the eyes of these disheartened souls, the Zwirns are viewed as angels on wheels.
“We are lucky to have Mary and Herman, and the homeless collies are so lucky to have them in their
corner,” Vicki says.
HEROES, from page 5
If You Can ...
Start the day without caffeine or pep pills,
Be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
Resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
Eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,
Understand when loved ones are too busy to give you time,
Overlook when people take things out on you, when through no fault of yours, something goes wrong,
Take criticism and blame without resentment,
Face the world without lies and deceit,
Conquer tension without medical help,
Relax without liquor,
Sleep without the aid of drugs,
Then … you are almost as good as your dog.
Author Unknown
By Gail Diedrichsen
Many collie lovers grew up watching “Lassie.” This noble dog was the definitive childhood hero, maybe because
she starred with so many talented young actors, such as Elizabeth Taylor, Roddy McDowall and Tommy Rettig.
Perhaps, most memorable for baby boomers is the character of Timmy Martin, played by Jon Provost. Timmy,
the darling farm boy with the angelic face, won the hearts of America. Families gathered around their television
every Sunday night and were captivated by the exploits of this cute boy and his loyal collie.
Jon Provost was invited this spring to the Museum of Broadcast Com-
munications in Chicago. Collie Rescue volunteers Dawn Gluszek and
Gail Diedrichsen were excited to meet Timmy. Jon invited questions
and shared great stories of what it was like to be a young actor work-
ing with Rudd Weatherwax, Lassie’s trainer.
The fans found Jon to be charming and very engaging, especially with
one member of the audience a collie named Ranger, who served as
a proxy for Lassie and gladly posed for photos with Jon.
His book “Timmy’s in the Well,” co-authored with wife Laurie Jacob-
son, gives an intimate look into Jon’s life as a child actor. Not only
does he share details about his career as Lassie’s boy, but he shares
tales about his many other roles, including his appearance on “Mr.
Museum Executive Director Bruce Dumont introduced a memorable
clip. It was an excerpt from the final episode of the series and the last
time Timmy and Lassie appeared together. In this episode, Lassie is lost and Timmy is filled with grief. He has
given up on her ever coming home. Timmy carves his name and hers in a fallen tree. Under the tree, he buries
Lassie's toys and says goodbye to his best friend. Just as viewers fear that they may die of heartache, they hear
barking. Timmy’s head turns toward the horizon, where he sees Lassie coming over the hill and running toward
him. The boy and his collie joyfully run toward one another and are reunited in a dramatic embrace.
Some things never change. The inevitability that a “Lassie” episode will tug at our heartstrings is one of those
things. With all eyes fixed on the museum’s screen, the all-adult audience was transported back in time to one
of those Sunday nights. We became kids again. The tissues came out and there wasn’t a dry eye in the place.
Thank goodness, Lassie came home and hearts remained intact!
During open-microphone time, Gail and Dawn introduced themselves, promoting CRGI. Speaking on behalf of
many collie rescue volunteers, Gail thanked Jon for sparking her love for collies.
“This same childhood love for Lassie has followed many of us into adulthood. It has inspired us to help homeless
collies today,” Gail said.
Jon appreciated the gesture and explained that he participates in animal-related efforts as well. In fact, he
serves on the board of directors for the charitable organization Canine Companions for Independence, which
breeds, trains and distributes service animals to those with disabilities.
“Lassie” was a groundbreaking show for its time. It included plots that dealt with environmental concerns, as
well as animal rights issues, such as dog fighting. This apparently had an effect on its young star, who is an ad-
vocate for animals today. Due to his humane contributions, Jon has been cast in an upcoming movie, entitled
“Susie’s Hope,” a true story exposing the realities of animal abuse. Jon plays the part of Sen. Vaughn, who
passes legislation to protect animals.
Jon graciously signed a hardcover copy of his book for our organization. The inscription reads, Thanks for all
you do for collies Jon Provost.” This collectable treasure will be raffled at our fall picnic.
HeroeGolden s of the Highway ‘Timmy’ Relives Past
Jon Provost, who played Timmy in
the series “Lassie,” poses with a
collie at the Museum of Broadcast
Communications in Chicago.
By Dale Mohr
The collie breed is originally a native of Scotland, mostly of the Highland regions, but was also bred in
the Scottish Lowlands and northern England. Originally bred as a herding dog, the collie is gentle, loy-
al and loving. She has always been a sensitive and intelligent dog, known for her amazing ability to
foresee her owner's needs.
She has been called a variety of names in history: collis, colley, coally or coaly, Scottish collie, farm
collie, English shepherd, Australian shepherd, shepherd dog, cur dog, ban dog, Scottish shepherd or
sheepdog, and English sheepdog. The earlier names may have been derived from col or coll, the An-
glo-Saxon word for black. Some historians think, however, that the name comes from “colley,” the
Scottish black-faced sheep that the collie used to guard. The border collie, sheltie and bearded collie
are not part of the Scottish collie line.
Early collies were closer in size and shape to today's border collies and were predominantly black.
Since herding ability was more important than appearance, the dogs varied a great deal in looks.
Stone Age nomads brought dogs to what is now southern England, leading to a hardy, intelligent dog
used to herd livestock. Some historians believe that the
collie's ancestors were brought to Britain by Roman con-
querors more than 2,000 years ago and may have in-
cluded Roman cattle dogs, native Celtic dogs and Viking
herding spitzes.
Queen Victoria is credited for saving the collie from ob-
scurity in 1860 when she visited her Scotland estate and
fell in love with collies. She brought some back to Eng-
land and began the first collie fad, resulting in dogs
shown and often bred for good looks rather than work-
ing ability. In 1860, collies were exhibited at a dog show
in Birmingham, England, in the generic class Scottish
sheepdogs. One collie, named Old Cockie, was born in
1867 and is believed to be the beginning of the rough
collie and the first to have a sable and white coat.
In 1879, the collie was imported to the United States. In 1886, the Collie Club of America was found-
ed. Soon after 1900, the AKC Scotch Collie in America was formed to represent dogs primarily from
the highland regions of Scotland, the low country and border regions of Scotland and England. The
Scottish collie was all the rage on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, becoming a more uniform breed.
People in cities wanted them because they were fashionable, royalty owned them, dog showmen
showed them and farmers used them for tasks. Essentially all had some degree of working ability.
Through breeding for the show ring, the fancy dogs began to lose some of their herding instinct and
innate intelligence, but these traits were mostly preserved in the Scottish collies remaining on farms.
In 1908, J. E. Dougherty said, "I have been a breeder for many years and in that time have trained a
great many collies. In fact, I try to train a number each year. Go back to the days of old Dublin Scott,
Champion Christopher, Scottilla, Strephon, etc., and some of the Ashwin dogs. Nearly all the puppies
from these dogs proved to be good workers. In fact, I would say not less than 50 percent of the pup-
HeroeGolden s of the Highway
A Scottish Legend
See LEGEND, page 9
Old Cockie marked the beginning of the
sable collie.
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
pies in those days proved to be intelligent and had the working instinct. As time went on, we found
them less susceptible to training, in trying to follow the fashion of long heads. And breeding to be the
winners, collie puppies grew less intelligent …."
An article in World Today in 1908 described the split between show collies and working collies, stating
that showmen were breeding for a head of peculiar shape and with a few other curious parts, which
contributed to the new type of collie in that era. The collie had parts that were of conformation im-
portance, but it received scant recognition from the knowledgable collie judge. The article mentioned
that the intelligent collie would soon be in a separate group and that the show collie would be an al-
ternate variety used solely for conformation.
Later, as AKC-registered dogs became more popular, even the Scottish collies found on farms were
affected, as the old working lines were diluted by newer, less intelligent champion lines. The Scottish
collie was being upstaged by related breeds with plenty of brains and ability, such as the border collie,
Australian shepherd and English shepherd. Unfortunately, collie popularity had also attracted unscru-
pulous breeders who produced pups for profit, with no regard for temperament or health. You can find
more information on breed history at
As a result, some collies developed serious health and temperament issues. Good breeders use varied
genetic pools and perform health tests to ensure that their dogs don't pass on a predisposition to ge-
netic diseases. They know that temperament is strongly affected by heredity, training, breeding and
socialization. Work is underway to restore the old-time Scottish collie. Breeders are taking back ge-
netic material from various sources, including select rough collies with working ability, Australian and
English shepherds of Scottish ancestry and remaining unregistered pockets of Scottish collies.
"Lad, a Dog" (A. P. Terhune), "Lassie Come Home"(Eric Knight) and "Bob, Son of Battle" (Alfred Olli-
phant) are examples of books that made the collie a very popular dog in the United States. A rough-
coated collie, Pal, was the star of the 1943 movie “Lassie Come Home,” which inspired the television
series “Lassie” in the 1950s.
CRGI promotes the collie as a sweet, friendly and gentle breed. Ideally, she is a family dog and enjoys
being part of household activities. She is especially fond of kids, playing with them and watching over
them. In addition, the collie is intelligent and loyal and shows unrelenting devotion.
Although not fond of water, she would probably swim through shark-infested waters to save family
members, just like Lassie.
LEGEND, from page 8
Save the Date
The annual picnic will be held
from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 22,
at Castaldo Park,
3024 71st St., Woodridge.