Sheltie Nation

Category Archive for ‘News & Stories’

Life lessons taught by a 16-year-old Sheltie

A very sweet reminder of how precious our pets can be to us.

A very lucky and much loved little Sheltie!

A New Year’s Eve Miracle

Shetland Sheepdog found on Martis Peak after being lost for five weeks

Veering off the more travelled snowmobile trails around Martis Peak, Ben Visnye and Luke Markham headed into untracked territory on a hillside in the late morning on New Year’s Eve. Suddenly, Markham spotted a small dug out circle in the snow. From inside the hole, a small dog raised its head — its hair matted, eyes almost closed shut with fluid, and ice balls covering its body. There were no signs other than the dog — no tracks from people, skiers, snowmobilers, or even the dog itself.

“The dog was literally frozen into the snow,” Visnye said.

The two Kings Beach locals pulled the dog out of the circle — made either by its body warmth melting the snow around it, or by pawing a place for itself — covered it with a jacket, gave it a bite of a granola bar and some water, and placed it on one of their laps for a five-mile snowmobile ride back home. Once home, they put the dog next to the fire and made a few phone calls, the first to the owners’ phone number displayed on its tag.

ml_lost sheltie_reunited_2

SURVIVOR: After enduring freezing temperatures and frequent snowstorms for approximately five weeks, Seamus, a Sheltie, is reunited with his family on Jan. 2. Pictured, left to right: Patrick Concannon, Sarah Felicetti (Donner Truckee Veterinary Hospital Kennel Attendant and Veterinary Assistant), Nedra Benites (DTVH Office Manager), and Diane Concannon. Photo by Eve Quesnel/Moonshine Ink

Markham then took the barely surviving animal to the Donner Truckee Veterinary Hospital in Truckee where Seamus, the Shetland Sheepdog, often known as a Sheltie, was given IV fluids to support stressed organ systems and to treat dehydration. Blood samples were taken to check organ systems for normal function. After Seamus experienced diarrhea after eating small frequent feedings of a bland diet, he was given GI medication to treat possible parasites. The Sheltie weighed a mere 15 pounds when he entered the hospital, down from his already slight build of 25 pounds. After a full examination and administration of medications, DTVH staff determined the dog had arrived at the nick of time — he was weakened, but was going to survive, so they lay him on a heated bed with extra blankets for a full night of warm sleep.

Hospital staff said that when Seamus first arrived at the hospital he was listless and disoriented from his traumatic experience, but when he received TLC he became more enthusiastic, connecting with the people around him.

On the other side of the story are Seamus’s owners, Moss Beach residents (between San Francisco and Half Moon Bay) Diane and Patrick Concannon, who received the good news as they were driving to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Diane looked down at her phone and thought, “A 530 area code? Could it be? Is it possible that Seamus is still alive?”

On Saturday Nov. 28, Seamus ran away behind their house in Agate Bay. Two days after Seamus had been missing, a woman reported seeing a dog on Highway 267 on the Tahoe side, but the dog fled when she tried to get his attention.

“We looked everywhere,” Diane explained. “We knocked on doors and posted fliers in the neighborhood and at the Humane Society and at veterinarians.”

After receiving the snowmobilers’ phone call, the Concannons rushed up from Southern California to see their miraculous fuzzy family member who had survived outside for approximately five weeks in below-freezing temperatures and early snowstorms.

The happy reunion happened Jan. 2 at Donner Truckee Veterinary Hospital. Just before the family left to go home, they praised the hospital staff for the wonderful care.

“We can’t thank you enough, and Ben and Luke, for everything you’ve done,” said Patrick, just before leaving the vet’s office with a tough Sheltie on his road back to health. “We can’t believe we have our Seamus back.”

Sheltie is finally home for Christmas

Heather Kennison, Elko Daily Free Press

ELKO — Willie got his Christmas present a little early this year, and he’s going to be home in time for the holidays.

It was a heartwarming moment for Elko Animal Shelter workers on Wednesday when the Shetland sheepdog was reunited with his family after being missing for six-and-a-half years.

David and Alison Marks of Las Vegas were shocked to discover he’d been found after all this time, more than 200 miles from where he was last seen. Willie was brought in as a stray on Monday, and a microchip scan identified his owners.

“It looks like he’s ready to go home,” David Marks said.

In spring 2009, the Marks had pulled up to their vacation home outside of Pioche. David Marks said he let Willie and his brother, Waylon, out of the truck. Both were about 4 years old and had been raised by the Marks since they were puppies.

“They took off chasing an imaginary rabbit,” Alison Marks said.

Waylon returned. Willie did not. David Marks recounted how he looked for the dog all afternoon and evening in a snowstorm.

“I was lost in the mountains,” he said.

His wife, meanwhile, called the sheriff’s office. When David returned at 9:30 p.m. that evening after a deputy found him walking back, he still hadn’t found Willie.

willie-found-2The couple posted advertisements and reward signs, and continued searching for the dog for days, with no sign of him.

“We had no chance but to give up,” David Marks said.

Alison Marks, however, isn’t sure she ever did.

“Every time we drive up that road, I look to see if Willie is coming home,” she said. “And here he is.”

It’s unknown where Willie has been living all this time, but shelter manager Karen Walther and shelter worker JoAnn Kyriss said it appears he’s been well cared for. Walther testifies the success of reuniting him with the Marks as an example of why microchipping your animal pays off.

“Anything that comes in here, we scan them for a microchip,” said animal attendant Vickie Cooper.

It was actually the microchip company, Avid, that first called the Marks on their home phone and left a message, just minutes after the dog had been identified by the shelter.

“I thought I misunderstood,” Alison Marks recalled about listening to the voicemail recording. “I didn’t know what the woman was saying.”

At the same time, David Marks got a call on his cellphone. The couple came running up to each other to inform one another about Willie. Two days later, they made the drive to collect their missing family member.

“Who, at six years, gets their dog back?” Cooper said in amazement. “It’s something you read on Facebook.”willie-found-1

Willie was timid, at first, when being reunited with the Marks. His pleasure, however, was apparent in the wagging of his tail as he gratefully accepted loving caresses and was asked if he was ready to go home.

“His eyes literally lit up,” said Lori Gilbert, who was reporting on the reunion for KENV.

After a few minutes, the Marks took the dog outside to get re-acquainted with his brother Waylon. The brothers sniffed each other, tails wagging.

“He may not remember us, but he remembers Waylon,” Alison Marks said, laughing.

Willie also met his younger brother for the first time. The Marks got a pup from the same parents after Willie had disappeared. Both Alison and David Marks are retired, and had planned to head back to their Vegas home Wednesday afternoon.

Alison Marks said it’s exciting that Willie will get to meet her grandchildren, who were much younger when he was lost. The story of the dog being found has already been on social media, where family members from Washington to Texas are rejoicing in the tale.

“He will be home for Christmas,” Alison Marks said.

While no one at the shelter knew who Willie’s other parents might have been during the time he was missing, Walther said as far as the animal shelter is concerned, the Marks are the only identifiable owners.

“We talk about microchips,” she said. “… This is the almost foolproof way of being able to identify a lost animal. Thanks to Willie’s wonderful parents who have never given up on him.”

The Season of Sheltie Giving

dora-therapy-sheltieThis is Dora. In January Dora will be celebrating her third year as a therapy dog for Therapy Pet Pals of Texas. She sees about 150 people a month and sometimes many more. She visits a nursing home and an assisted living center. She also helps at recruiting and the special activities sponsored by TPPT. This month she is attending the UT Chill Fest where she will likely see upwards of 100 people in one afternoon.

Dora is the best at this kind of work. She loves people of all ages and is the most outgoing sheltie I have ever known. I only have to pick up the brush and she thinks we are going somewhere where she can meet people. I think she believes that all people in the world exist just so they can have a chance to pet her.

The best thing in the world is when you can do work that both you and your dog enjoy. I feel truly blessed that I have a pal like Dora and I know that all the people that she meets feel the love that she extends to them. She really is the best at what she does.

(Hugs to you both, David. Therapy work is a wonderful gift to those in need!)

It’s Finally Here! Sheltie Angels

sableangelblueWe have been working hard behind the scenes this year and are finally ready to roll out the new Sheltie Angels section of Sheltie Nation! It has been a long time coming, but now there is a place where everyone can leave a lasting online memorial to their beloved Sheltie.

It is 100% free to leave a basic memorial. There is also the ability for anyone in this community to leave a memorial candle for anyone else’s angel. Each angel page and all memorial candles will be moderated before release, so there is no chance for spam.  We are also offering a paid upgrade option to include a photo gallery of your angel, if you choose.

It is a brand new section, so there are not a lot of memorials just yet, so please create one! If you have any suggestions, contribution suggestions or general feedback we would love to hear from you.