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.