Sheltie Nation

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The goal of Sheltie Nation has been to create a strong, vibrant community of Sheltie lovers. We hope to educate, inform as well as entertain visitors about the breed known as the Shetland Sheepdog.  We encourage you to submit your own photos, stories & leave comments. We also hope you will join our forums, where you can make friends and network with other like-minded dog lovers.

My name is Kelly and I am the founder of Sheltie Nation. You might be wondering how I got to this point, possibly as a guide to how to avoid a Sheltie addiction yourself. ;)

For me, it all started with a Shetland Sheepdog named Trevor. It is a ludicrous understatement to say that Trevor was a remarkable creature. He was intelligent, sensitive, loving, hilarious, and adorably fuzzy. He became my muse, my inspiration, my “soul dog”. As he was growing and learning I knew he was special, but it wasn’t until almost the end of our journey together that it sank in just what a uniquely special privilege it was to have known him.

Trevor entered my life the week of Thanksgiving 1998. I had been anticipating and planning for his arrival for over a year. Having recently moved away from home for the first time, I was pretty lonely. I grew up always having a Sheltie in the house, so my own home was just too quiet. I found a reputable breeder and tried not to bug her often, but when I finally got the call, I started counting down the days. I had been very specific on the doggie personality I was seeking and I knew there was a real possibility that it might not work out. I reminded myself that therapy dog personalities don’t come along every day. My wait could go on a long time.

It wasn’t long before I knew Trevor had the right stuff. Because of his extreme intelligence, desire to please and a fast learning mind, Trevor amazed me by obtaining his therapy dog certification at the earliest age allowed – 2 years old.  We then immediately began visiting patients on a rehabilitation floor at our local hospital here in New Hampshire. I could tell you many heartwarming stories about our visits. But in a nutshell, Trevor brightened the days of thousands of people.  From doctors, nurses, other hospital staff, patients and visitors, not one would pass him by without at least a smile. Many would ask questions and wanted to pet him.  He knew his way around the hospital and what he was there to do. It was interesting to watch him interact with people. His extremely intuitive nature always seemed to lead him to those people who were afraid of dogs. In the end, they always warmed up to him and could not resist petting his glorious coat. He was a wonderful ambassador for the breed.

I had to eventually retire Trevor from therapy work. It made me sad, but I still felt compelled to try and share his amazing personality with people. He could continue to make a difference not just in my life, but others as well.

I knew Trevor for 11 years, 6 months, the last two years of which followed the horrible diagnosis of liver disease as a result of Cushings disease. On May 2, 2010 we had to help Trevor cross the rainbow bridge. It was the worst day of my life. I was completely devastated and did not know what to do. It always feels like we never get enough time with those we love but with Trevor, I felt especially cheated. How could such an amazing animal get the short straw?

Sheltie Nation had been created directly because of Trevor’s influence in my life. I’ve found it hard to carry on without him. I had began to doubt the future of Sheltie Nation and my ability to continue. But while I was in the depths of my grief, I had been flooded with reminders and well wishes. Many people missed the daily posts that made them smile. They also told me how Sheltie Nation had touched their lives or how the forum helped them better care for their dogs. That was when I realized that the website had become what I had hoped. It had evolved into a real community of Sheltie lovers who cared about improving the lives of their dogs through education and networking.  So many people understood my deep and profound grief.

I wish you all could have known Trevor, but at least this spot on the web was meant to be extension Trevor’s sunny personality; carrying on making people feel happy.  I hope after spending some time here, you will also smile and discover the magic of Shelties.

Thank you Trevor. I love you.

67 Responses »

  1. This is such a wonderful site and just wanted to drop you a note to tell you so. My sheltie, Cody, was with me for 14 and 1/2 years and I was devastated when he left me. They are such a wonderful breed and I commend you for doing such a wonderful job with this website. It brings a lot of people a lot of joy. Regards….

  2. Thanks for this great site. I grew up with shelties, back when the breed was “lesser known”. My grandfather had the first in the late 60’s/ early 70’s. His name was Danny Boy. Danny was such a well loved, loyal friend, that we became a sheltie family. We’ve since had Scotty, Piper, Collin, Mac, and Patches (the only blue merle). When my husband I first bought our house in 1999, and talked about adding a dog to our home, I was set on a sheltie. The hubs went along with it, not understanding what was so special about the breed. Now he knows. Luke became “his” dog, and the two had a wonderful relationship. We adopted Ben shortly thereafter. We lost Luke in November, and within 48 hours, learned that Ben had an inoperable tumor to his left rear leg. We were unable to bear the thought of a sheltie-less home, and began to put out our name to breeders in the area, and began to follow several on Facebook. This turned out to be a fateful decision that allowed the stars to line up perfectly and beautifully in our favor.

    On New Years Eve, we brought home our first “non-puppy” sheltie. We learned from a breeder in a bordering state that a family had surrendered their sheltie to her the day after Christmas after having him for five years. He was very unkept, and showed signs of both abuse and neglect. When we met him, we just couldn’t fathom why anyone would not want this sweet boy, much less allow him to be abused in any way. But their stupidity is our good fortune. We have renamed him Oliver, and brought him into a kind, loving home where he will surely be spoiled with love, kisses, and toys. He is just the sweetest boy, and we’re head over heels in love.

    Meanwhile, we’ve noticed more and more shelties in our travels. Our neighbor has one just around the corner from us, and we’ve noticed others in the neighborhood. They seem to be gaining popularity, and rightfully so. It’s good to see. They’re the most loyal, intelligent and loving breed I’ve ever known.

  3. I am really enjoying this website! My Sheltie is 3 years old and I love him so much. Shea is the most loyal and loving puppy. When my husband and I started talking about getting a dog, I knew instantly that I wanted a Sheltie. When I was a little girl I fell in love with a sheltie named Harley. He was the cutest, smartest, most playful dog I had ever known. I knew that once I grew up, I would want a Sheltie of my own. My husband took a little more convincing. He just keep thinking about the amount of grooming a Sheltie would need, LOL. We went to look at puppies and there was this little sable Sheltie just sitting quietly in his pen. When my husband approach, Shea gently stepped up on the side of the pen and rubbed his head on my husbands hand. That was all it took to win over my husband. My husband didn’t even know that Shea was a Sheltie until we were filling out the paperwork. Shea is not just our puppy, he is a member of my family. He is Smart, Kind, Playful, and loving. I love him so much!!!

  4. We own a 5-year old male Sheltie that we named Alfie two years ago (short for Alfonso when he was rescued).

    Apart from his barking at “intruders” approaching the house, the opening of the front door, while “attacking” the squirrels on the wires in the back yard, he is no doubt the “smartest” member of our family.

    Totally obedient and respectful in all aspects of his well-being, shows love with no bounds to all of us!

    Loves to drive with us anywhere we go and makes sure he is at the door when we are about to go out.

    So he gets the best we can get him for food, treats, exercise and grooming.

    We will surely miss him when he goes as he will continue to strengthen his place with his family.

    Rocco

    P.S. Can I send his photo?

  5. I just found this site and I love it!I have a 5 yr female sheltie named sasha.I could never explain the love I have for this dog, except maybe to another sheltie owner. My three children and I picked out sasha, without knowing what kind of dog she was, we just knew she was the one for us. I then became so loyal to the breed,and enjoyed learning all about shelties. Two days ago, we added a new 8 week old female sheltie that we have yet to name. Sasha is tri-colored, and is on the smaller side,our new baby is tan and white, with a few spots on her back. I found this site while I was looking for possible names for the new baby. I love the beautiful sheltie pictures and it’s great to hear how loved these dogs are. The stories where people talk about losing their dogs,I so feel for you. Thank you for this wonderful site!

  6. I am so glad that I found this site tonight. I am a newer Sheltie owner and I am finding it very helpful. We have struggled since the loss of our 2 beloved dogs that both passed in April and May 2012. I realized that no dog could replace Bo and Tanner. We looked and talked to our Vet and she said a Sheltie would be perfect for our young family.

    Ginger has been great and now protective and fitting right in. My 6 yr old daughter and myself have been taking her to obedience training and she is such a smart dog. We have enjoyed the stories and pictures.

    Kelly thank you for keeping up this site. I am sure it is hard, and know you miss Trevor as much as we miss our “boys”, Tanner and Bo. It still hurts, but I know they are waiting at the Rainbow Bridge.

    I look forward to many more stories and maybe one day will get a story and a picture of Ginger.

    Joseph

  7. I love looking at all the pictures on this site. We found you this fall when we were getting ready to welcome a new sheltie into our lives. We had two wonderful shelties (including Marcus, the absolute love of my life) but had to put them to sleep about a year apart. They were amazing dogs and had long, happy lives… but forever with them would not have been enough for me and they left huge holes in my heart when we had to let them go. After being sheltieless for about a year, we decided that our hearts were ready to add a new member to the family. To get my sons excited for a sheltie puppy, we looked at pictures online and found the Sheltie Nation. Our tri-color pup, Molly, has been a wonderful blessing to us. She can never fill the holes in my heart from my previous pups, but she did help expand my heart to love her for the sheltie she is. My sons want to send photos of Molly for you to share on your page, so you will probably hear more from us. :) My sheltie angels Marcus and Sammy used to have their own webpage in the mid 90’s, so I know they would whole-heartedly approve of the Sheltie Nation.

  8. I just found this site and find it so inspiring. I lost one of the most incredible shelties anyone could ever hope to have over a year ago. She was the light of my life and well as many others. I have since gotten two of her nephews and love them dearly, but they are not Fiona Rose and that is the way it is supposed to be. When I got the boys, I was asked why because I am setting myself up for more heartache some day. My reply is look at all the joy and happiness I have until that time. I just cannot be without one of these special little dogs in my life.
    Thank you so much for allowing us to express ouselves,
    Tuck Rogers

  9. dear kelly
    i am learning more about you and your wonderful website every time I look at it. You seem to have had a wonderful life with shelties. I fear the day when my boys will have to leave but know I will get a whole lot of comfort and joy from coming here to your site. please keep up your fabulous work.
    mary

  10. I lost my 14 year old male Sheltie “Toonie” this afternoon. We helped him reach the Rainbow bridge. The pain this evening in my heart is terrible. Thank you for your site. I havent made it through every page but enjoy your babies! I’m missing mine tonight!

    • I’m sorry to hear about Toonie. We lost one of our shelties, Luke, in November. He was 14 1/2. 48 hours later, we found out our other boy, Ben (13) has an inoperable tumor in his leg and is now on palliative care. They really have been the best family members anyone could ever ask for.

      I have to say, I love the name, Toonie for a sheltie. If memory serves correctly, this was the original name for the breed. Plus, it’s just cute.

  11. Kelly, thank you for this website and your heartwarming story.

    I went ten years between Shelties (my husband asked to be dogless for a while after our Sadie passed away at age 18, and time flew by). I was devastated by her absence, and hardly thought I could find another Sheltie to equal her, but we finally found Shadow. He is a completely different “person” than Sadie was, but instantly and completely worked his way into our hearts and life. At nine months and quite a serious character, he has been called an “old soul” by many who meet him.

    During the years I was “Sheltie-less,” the only thing that kept me going were YouTube videos of Shelties, and finally, Sheltie Nation. I applaud your dedication to the breed and the degree of time and work you put into this. It makes my day, first thing every morning. It’s the first site I look at. Thank you.

    All best to you, Kelly.

    Lum

  12. Kelly,

    Just wanted to thank you for your site and continuing celebration of the Shetland Sheepdog. Aggie says to tell you thanks for featuring her about four times by my count

    She is so special to me. I well up with tears when I think about “the day.” I don’t know if I can own another Sheltie without comparing it to Aggie. Also, I’m very active in the homeless pet community here in Salt Lake. I volunteer at our county shelter (one of 11 in our valley) and, thankfully, see very few Shelties.

    I believe I want my next dog to be a rescue. When I think about rescuing a Sheltie, it’s hard for me to fathom because Aggie is so special. Such a one of a kind, at least to me. But there are Shelties to rescue (we have a local, albeit small, Sheltie rescue here in Utah) and maybe my mind will change. I hope I have five or six more years before I have to cross that bridge.

    Keep up the great work!

    Ken & Aggie

    • The truth is that rescue is the only way I’ve been able to love all my shelties. Over the years, with the exception of my first Sheltie I purchased from a farm in Rockford, IL, I’ve rescued all of the other 4, and plan to next Spring, adopt another. I recently had to put down my Shiloh and, my Lacey seems lonely without a companion. I’ve had some problems lately with finances but, things are looking up and I want to contribute as much as possible to the shelter, they do amazing things with the neglected shelties they rescue. There was one I was considering, but the timing was not right and, he had had a terrible thing done to him. Someone set his back paws on fire and then smashed all his bones. He can walk a short distance. There was another last week that had an embedded collar and maggots all over him.

      This shelter is located in Bloomington, IL. Central Illinois Sheltie Rescue. The foster moms and the person who runs the shelter are magnificient and deserve so much adoration for what they do.

      It’s always difficult to have a beloved pet move on and it hurts so bad but, rescue shelties or any other dog breed, are usually very happy in the time they have with the new owner who saved them.

      Shirley

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