The Collie Nose
Volume 2, Issue 4, November 2013
Collie Rescue of Greater Illinois has
the perfect gift for the holidays. We
proudly introduce our new series of
collie wines for the wine connoisseur
and collie lover. Order from our web-
site,, to show your
Truman’s Merlot Truman is our
senior boy that went to Rainbow
Missy’s Cabernet Owned by Kathy
Stodgell and Dave Mook, Missy came
to CRGI as an owner surrender with
heartworm disease.
Brody’s Pinot Noir Brody, owned
by Gail and Art Diedrichsen, was actu-
ally rescued from another collie res-
cue. He was emaciated and dumped at
animal control and is now a certified
therapy dog.
Coal’s Sauvignon Blanc Coal,
owned by Sherylee and Rick Dodge,
came to CRGI with limited sight and
was found to have detached retinas.
Coal had one eye removed after he
was adopted.
Miss Bonnie’s Chardonnay Bonnie
is owned by Ruth and Robin Meek and
came to CRGI from a puppy mill.
Sasha’s Malbec Owned by Mary
and Herman Zwirn, Sasha came to
CRGI from a puppy mill.
In each quarterly newsletter, we'd like to celebrate the work that
has been done to find our beloved collies a home. As a reminder
of why we're involved with this great organization, these are the
dogs that found new homes:
Max, Cody, Rusty, Ricky, Rocky, Princess, Misha, Angel, Gia, Kiss,
Bear and Mikayla (adopted together), DJ, Darcy, Missy and
That's 16 dogs to 15 homes in just three months. What a great
summer it's been for adoptions!
Summer Adoptions
Collie Wines
Squeezing Lemons
for Collies
Nothing is more heartwarming
than seeing children thinking
about others.
When Bobbie Jo Solstis’ kids
wanted to have a lemonade
stand to support a cause, she
explained to them how people
donate to Collie Rescue.
Mom proudly describes what
happened next: “They took
that and ran! They quickly
went up to the office, had me
print out pictures of our availa-
ble dogs in foster homes, got
markers, paper and cardboard,
and started creating. The kids
explained to every customer
that all the money would go to
save the collies and they ex-
plained that they fostered
collies. The kids were excited
to raise $12.75!”
These kids are very familiar
with collies in need because
they are part of a fostering
family. Thank you, Danny, Juli-
ana and friend Ashley, for your
See TRUMAN, page 3
Farewell to Truman
By Ellen Keirnan
Truman came to Collie Rescue after being found as a stray. His
dreams for a regular home started to come true when he was
placed in the foster home of Dawn Linder, an experienced foster
parent for CRGI.
Dawn and her family found
that this elder statesman was
both deaf and blind, but he
loved his new life inside a
home with a family. He loved
the attention he received,
along with great food on a reg-
ular basis and lounging in the
He even traveled with Dawn
and her family to their favorite
getaway at the lake, where he
quickly claimed the shade un-
der a tree near the dock. He
could feel the activity around
him, even if he couldn't see it
that well. This was Truman,
who touched so many loving
people associated with the
Truman's story is very short, because he was never able to find
his "forever home." His foster mom, Dawn, had him for only a few
months. Although Truman moved slowly because of his age and
his infirmities, Dawn found that he was quick to learn how to ne-
gotiate. Because he really didn't like storms, she felt that he did
have some hearing. But only the loudest of noises disturbed his
peaceful existence.
As he settled in, Truman became more relaxed and seemed con-
tent, enjoying the adventure of traveling to the lake with them.
His journey wasn't quite over though. A planned vacation meant
that another foster family would get to know and love Truman.
Bobbie Jo Soltis and her family, especially Juliana, took Truman
under their wing when Dawn needed assistance. The beauty of a
great foster system is that there is always someone ready to help
when circumstances dictate a change.
Truman seemed to be adjusting and depended on Juliana's gentle
guidance to show him the new yard and its limits, as well as the
house. She became his eyes and ears while he explored his new
18th Annual
Family Picnic
environment. Bobbie Jo noticed that Truman was on high alert
when he first came to them, but he relaxed with each touch that
they gave him.
Soon, though, Bobbie Jo felt that something was wrong. She had
been told that he was between 12 and 15 years old and that he
had simply been found as a stray. But there was no medical histo-
ry. This gentle soul was obviously failing as it became harder for
him to get up, even with guidance as his old hips gave out.
A quality of life decision had to be made. With the support of
Susie Moncek and consultation with the CRGI board, the decision
was made that Truman would be released to cross Rainbow
Bridge. His final trip to the veterinarian's office included a stop for
his favorite treat a cheeseburger. Susie met Bobbie Jo and Tru-
man at the veterinarian’s office to provide support during this try-
ing day. The caring people in Truman's last days were there for
him in spirit and in person as he gently closed his eyes for the last
Only in an organization like CRGI can such love and concern be
the driving force for taking a lost collie into the rescue fold, even
though he might not be adoptable due to his age and blindness.
These were the people who provided Truman with his first glimpse
of doggie heaven, where his needs were placed before all others.
Dawn and Bobbie Jo, thank you for being Truman's heroes.
TRUMAN, from page 2
One of the highlights of the
year for Collie Rescue of
Greater Illinois is the annual
picnic. Many people drive a
long distance to experience the
day. It’s a place to share in
friendship, meet new people,
see adoptees and foster par-
ents reunited, and support the
organization. It’s quite a sight
as you pull up to Castaldo Park
in Woodridge a sea of collies
in all colors, shapes and sizes.
Dr. Jeremy Buishas talked
about some important issues
concerning our pets. Gail
Diedrichsen was busy face
painting, always a hit with the
kids. Artistic Groomers provid-
ed nail clipping and Wetnoze
Photography was on site. The
collies enjoyed fishing for hot
dogs during the famous Doggy
Dunk, while their owners en-
joyed competing for 40 raffle
The dunk winners were:
female Belle Hansas, Boling-
brook; male Kody Mantia,
West Chicago; second place
female, Alley Rose; second
place male, Ollie Chabria.
The Power of the Dog (Excerpt)
When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!),
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone wherever it goes for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear!
Rudyard Kipling
Dangerous Foods for Dogs
According to WebMD, your dog should not eat the following foods
because they can lead to illness or death:
Milk and other dairy products
Onion and garlic
Fat and bones from fish,
chicken and meat
Grapes and raisins
Macadamia nuts
Candy and gum
Peaches and plums
Raw eggs
Raw meat and raw fish
Salty foods
Sugary foods and drinks
Alcoholic beverages
Coffee, tea, other caffeine
Yeast dough
By Gail Diedrichsen
When Vicki Wilder, intake coordinator, receives a call requesting help for a collie, she collects as much
information as possible about the dog. Vicki’s next steps are to arrange transportation and to contact
our organization’s foster home coordinator, Susie Moncek. She immediately goes to work deciding
which foster home will be best for that specific dog.
Susie has overseen fostering for about 100 dogs. Her reward is knowing she has arranged a tempo-
rary safe spot for our collies while they wait for a home.
Susie’s job requires careful consideration
of all details. Many concerns need to be
expeditiously addressed before placement.
Does the dog tolerate other dogs? Does
he get along with cats? Does she like
children? Are there medical needs? Has
there been any training? Does he need
immediate grooming? Is she able to do
Susie knows her foster homes well, and
this relationship provides her with the
ability to match the incoming dog to an
optimal situation. Her goal is to find the
perfect fit. Once she has narrowed down
her choices, she makes a personal phone
call to her selected foster home to make
arrangements. She knows that open com-
munication and a close relationship with
foster homes is important.
“Depending on the dog, I try to touch
base every couple of days or so. I take
care of the paperwork, make appoint-
ments for veterinary care and keep track
of all medications. I also coordinate ap-
pointments for grooming, training and
even chiropractic treatments,” Susie says.
She also provides an open ear and spends
hours on the phone giving advice and sup-
“I want to set my people up for success. I know our organization would not exist without these com-
passionate volunteers and I do not want them to fail,” she says.
Susie organizes meetings covering topics pertinent to fostering challenges and training sessions for
her team. And she has initiated a mentor program so seasoned volunteers can partner with novices
to act as a buddy and give support.
Susie Moncek Gives Heart and Soul
See SUSIE, page 5
Foster home coordinator Susie Moncek, Scott
Schager and Belle spend many weekends at Petco
to promote Collie Rescue of Greater Illinois.
Kiersten Hoffman, a rookie, says, “I've only been fostering for about nine months, so having Susie
there with me every step of the way has been fantastic! She is thorough and detail-oriented which
helps me to be successful in what I do. She is also very approachable and willing to talk whenever I
need her.”
“Susie has a heart of gold and she’s a terrific mentor. She has taught me so much in the past 16
months since I started fostering,” fosterer Bobbie Jo Solstis says. “Susie is always willing to talk when
I call, whether I need advice, I need to vent or I need to cry. She even showed up when we had to
put Truman to sleep. We weren't expecting her to be there. She just showed up to offer her support.”
“I can always count on Susie. She is a true lover of the breed and has each dog's best interest at
heart always,” Vicki says. “We would be lost without Susie. She has brought so much good to our
According to Susie, her fosterers are “amazing people who give so much of themselves to help these
orphaned and abandoned collies.”
Our organization knows Susie is pretty amazing herself. Nonetheless, Susie sees herself as just the
facilitator. In her opinion, the kudos should go to her deserving volunteers.
“They thank me for what I do, but what I do is so minimal compared to the lengths they go to make
sure the dogs are cared for,” she says. “They are the wonderful ones. Once a former boss said to me,
‘Susie, managers are only as good as their people.’ So true; my foster homes make me look good.”
Susie has great support from her significant other, Scott Schager. He is also a valued volunteer. Ap-
preciatively, she admits, “I couldn’t do it without him.”
“I love this work so much! The combo of working with great people and collies is so rewarding,” she says.
SUSIE, from page 4
Brown Eyes
In early youth I made a vow
That if to Cupid I should bow,
The one for whom he aimed the dart
At my desired, unclaimed heart
Must have brown eyes; large, soft brown eyes.
Time came when eyes looked into mine;
Large, soft brown eyes that seemed to shine
With intellect. Did I succumb?
Oh yes! For though the lips were dumb,
Those lovely eyes I deemed a prize.
Within their depths devotion shone,
And as they gazed into my own,
They seemed to say, "My love is thine.
Please let me know that I have thine."
And oh! I knew his heart was true.
My arms his snowy neck entwined,
And I rejoiced a love to find
So worshipful, so constant, true.
How oft they've thrilled me through and through,
My collie's wise, large, soft brown eyes!
Mrs. S.L. Dempsey, “All the Best Dog Poems
By Colleen Leonard
No one likes to think about the possibility of a disaster. But the likelihood of families and pets surviving an
emergency situation depends largely on preparing ahead of time.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends bringing pets inside immediately during a disaster,
having newspaper ready for sanitary reasons and feeding them moist or canned food so they’ll need less water.
A flood, tornado or fire may make your home inaccessible for a long period or prevent you from caring for a
pet. And a disaster may knock out utility services or cause difficulty accessing food and water.
To protect your pet, FEMA suggests preparing an pet emergency supply kit and developing a list of caretakers.
The contact list should include neighbors, friends and relatives to ensure that someone can care for or evacuate
your pet if you are unable to do so.
An emergency supply kit should include pet food; bottled water; medication (with
instructions); food dishes; favorite toys, treats and blankets; a leash; medical his-
tory and vaccination records; proof of ownership; an emergency contact list; a
manual can opener; a first aid kit; a pet carrier; and a photo of your pet (for iden-
tification purposes). Consider including the breed, age, sex, color and distinguish-
ing characteristics of your dog with the photo.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recommends that the supply
kit include at least three days of water and food. Food and extra medication should
be stored in waterproof containers. In addition, important documents and photos
should be stored in plastic bags.
Talk to your veterinarian about what is appropriate for your pet’s first aid kit. According to NOAA, the kit should
include cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape, scissors, antibiotic ointment, flea and tick prevention, latex gloves,
isopropyl alcohol, saline solution and a pet first aid reference book.
A free download called “Saving the Whole Family” is available from the American Veterinary Medical Association
at It includes a comprehensive list of what to include in a first aid kit and an evacuation kit for
small animals. There are also evacuation kit suggestions for horses and other livestock.
FEMA suggests making sure identification tags are up to date and are securely fastened to your pet’s collar. If
you have to stay at an evacuation site, consider adding the site’s address and phone number to the collar. Many
emergency shelters cannot accept pets for public health reasons. So you may want to research which hotels al-
low pets.
Tornadoes are among the scariest weather conditions because they don’t provide much warning and do so
much damage. The American Humane Society suggests identifying a safe area, practicing drills and preparing
the area beforehand. When it occurs, you should have the following in place:
Go to a tornado-safe area large enough for your entire family, including pets (often a basement or the most
interior room of the house on the bottom floor).
Tools and toxic products should not be present to make the area pet-friendly.
Keep family and pet preparedness kits in the tornado-safe area and have proper identification on each ani-
mal. Ensure that you have a crate for every animal.
After the storm:
Watch for dangerous objects. Keep your dogs on a leash and cats in a carrier. They may be confused or be-
come lost when familiar scents and landmarks are altered. Don’t let children or pets wander because there
could be downed power lines, harmful debris or contaminated areas.
HeroeGolden s of the Highway Protecting Your Pet from Disasters
By Kym McNabney
My entire life I’ve been an animal lover. I grew up watching Lassie. Needless to say, collies were
among my favorite breed. Weeks before moving to our new home, we purchased a collie pup. Sam
was a part of our family for nearly 13 years. He was the gentlest soul, never doing wrong. Well, be-
sides that annoying collie bark.
Having visited a local no-kill shelter, I longed to volunteer. As a stay-at-
home mom, with little money to spare, I couldn’t afford to hire a
babysitter while I helped out. That’s when the idea of bringing the shel-
ter into my home occurred. I searched the Internet for rescue groups. I
soon discovered that there were rescues for just about every breed. But
what breed to foster was not in question. Our collie had set the bar
high. With three young children, a collie organization was for us.
In 2005, our family embarked on a journey a journey we knew little
about. After connecting with Collie Rescue of Greater Illinois and being
approved as a foster home, we naively took in our first foster. Though
each dog came with their own unique personality, we grew comfortable
with the process.
Just as people come in and out of your lives, so do the dogs we foster.
Some were with us a very short time, barely getting to know them.
They were typically the ones that were the easiest to let go. Then there
were the ones that were with us for quite a while for whatever reason.
Some we were okay with letting go, while others saddened us. And of
course like so many foster homes, we ended up adding to the statistics
of foster failures. Yep, one never made it out of our home because we
adopted him.
We have fostered some dogs that have been a complete joy and others that were a challenge. We
have shed happy tears and we’ve shed sad tears. We have encountered some pretty amazing people
along the way through volunteers, adopters and professionals that donate their time.
January of this year, we took in a smooth collie that arrived at Collie Rescue from a hoarding situa-
tion. His name was Cuddles. When I first set eyes on him, I thought, Cuddles? Right. This dog didn’t
look anything like a Cuddles. As I was handed his leash by the vet staff, he pressed his body into
mine. Okay, maybe the name does suit him.
Cuddles is one of those dogs that act as though they’ve been with you for years. But I have to say, I
didn’t feel the same. He was a bit on the skinny side and his fur was dirty, greasy and smelly. We
soon discovered that he was food-aggressive. No surprise since he came from a home where a bag of
dog food was tossed into a kennel amongst all the dogs trying to survive. We learned that he didn’t
share toys well. He became an escape artist. He managed to flee from our yard, opened a baby gate
we use for the dog room and even got himself out of a crate.
As the days passed, Cuddles was given a couple of baths that greatly improved his coat. He was fed
regularly, adding some needed pounds. Upon lifting Cuddle’s paw to clip the extra hair between the
pads, he growled at me. This was surprising. Collies don’t typically growl. Not long after, he was rest-
HeroeGolden s of the Highway
See CUDDLES, page 8
An Unexpected Journey
Kym McNabney’s
with Cuddles
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
ing beside the couch. My daughter had her feet up. And when she set them down, they touched Cud-
dles. He snapped his head around, acting as though he was going to bite her. Prior I had observed
him going up and down stairs at a slow pace. We immediately thought something was going on. After
an x-ray, it was discovered that he had severe arthritis along his spine.
We learned that his white blood cell count was off. The vet put him on medication to eliminate several
possible causes until new blood results came back. Sadly, they came back with the same results. I
was informed of the seriousness of this low blood count. The next step was to have an ultrasound
done. As we waited for the results, the worst scenario ran through my mind. At the same time, I told
myself it wouldn’t become a reality.
Then the call came. The memory of that moment is clear as if it happened just moments ago. Our
worst fears were confirmed. Cuddles had a mass in his gallbladder. People are able to live without
their gallbladder, but not dogs. They couldn’t even go in to extract a sample, for fear it would leak in-
ternally and cause instant death.
I had already talked through the “what ifs.” So when adoption coordinator Susie Moncek gave me my
options, I didn’t hesitate with my answer. There was no way I was letting Cuddles go. He’d been
through enough in his life. I would not abandon him, no matter what.
Each day with Cuddles, I take as a blessing. Whether he leaves us tomorrow or in several years, he’s
ours. It took fostering a terminally ill dog for me to realize that I often protect my heart from loving
each foster too much, knowing they’re not mine and will soon be going to their forever home. Foster-
ing is an amazing gift a gift of being a part of rescuing a dog, whether that is from abuse, neglect,
abandonment or an owner surrender due to uncontrollable circumstances. It satisfies my longing to
get a new pet, while doing something good in return for all the unconditional love I’ve received from
the dogs in my life over the years.
It’s a privilege and an honor that Collie Rescue has entrusted us to be Cuddles’ forever foster home.
What an amazing organization that loves the breed so much, it is willing to allow a terminally ill dog
to live out his life in a foster home.
Today, Cuddles is alive and thriving. He came to us looking run down, with little energy, pain from
being kenneled and arthritis. Today he romps and plays in the yard, chasing after his favorite red ball.
To look at him, one would never know his days are numbered. I don’t know how long we’ll have with
him. But what I do know we will embrace each day he’s with us.
CUDDLES, from page 7