alfieSo I thought I was going to be slick and improve the daily email delivery of the Sheltie Nation posts without you all noticing.  It should have been a simple importation of everyone’s email addresses. Wrong!  Apparently importing made a big mess of things and everyone was getting multiple deliveries of the same email. (Google is doing away with the Feedburner application that we have been using for many years and I’ve been putting off the transfer for some time.)

I apologize for bombarding your email. The designer of the software has not gotten back to me with a fix yet, so I don’t have a work around yet.

Thanks for your patience everyone! (And a thanks to Bebe for the cute picture of Alfie!)


Stella the Shetland Sheepdog, stands next to Jeannine Michalec at PAWS. Stella has been missing since a wreck on the Eglin reservation killed one of her owners more than a year ago

FORT WALTON BEACH — A dog missing since a wreck on the Eglin reservation killed her owner more than a year ago has been reunited with her family.

When Jonathan Seaton’s Jeep overturned while he was trail riding Jan. 21, 2012, his fiancée, Jeannine Michalec, was thrown free.

She remembers waking up and seeing their puppy, a sheltie named Stella, running into the woods. She got up to help Jon and never saw the dog again.

“Jon had told me that we shouldn’t take her with us,” she said. “I felt we didn’t spend enough time with her. I insisted we take her.”

Family, friends, law officers and animal control workers searched for the young sheltie for weeks afterward.

Late last week, she was dropped off at the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society by someone who found her wandering in Ocean City. Michalec had since moved to Pensacola but drove over for the reunion.

“It’s absolutely surreal,” she said of seeing Stella again. “I’m in shock.”

Her daughter was a toddler when Jon was killed and Stella was lost. She would cry for Stella whenever she heard a dog bark, her mom recalls.

The two were reunited Friday night.

Stella is underweight, has fleas and has tested positive for heartworm, PAWS workers told Michalec. Scrub-A-Pup in Mary Esther gave her a free bath and grooming on Friday.

PAWS workers gave Michalec a big bag of puppy chow and told her to get some weight back on Stella to prepare her for heartworm treatment.

“I’m glad I have her back so I can nurse her back to health,” Michalec said. “She is the only thing that experienced the car accident with me. It’s sort of like a merger with the new life that I’ve created after (Jon’s) death and the previous life.

“It’s really strange.”

Five teenagers were enjoying the tail end of their first adult-free canoe trip on Sunday when they found a startling note inscribed on a rock near the shore of a small island in Cook County, Minn. “Lost dog. Call DNR. Red Sheltie,” the charcoal-written plea read.


The five teenagers pose with the dog they rescued, Tomah (from left to right): Nate Janssen, Riley Nelson, Jonathan Croskey, Scott Kvidera and Casey Halbmaier.

At first the friends, all current or former cross-country captains at Minnetonka High School, assumed the dog was long gone or had already been found. But the next morning, as they checked out Brule Lake island, they found themselves on an animal rescue mission.

“We were exploring the island and saw the dog, but of course it ran away,” Jonathan Croskey, 17, told “We looked for about a half-hour.”

They returned to their campsite, but decided not to give up on trying to find the dog. The Shetland sheepdog returned to their area two more times that afternoon, and each time the runners darted after her, only to be thwarted by her skillful navigation through the dense forest. Their search continued for a few hours that night without success, though they were woken up several times by the dog’s bark in the background.

“But when we came out of our tents, it kept running away,” Croskey said. “We just couldn’t get to it.”

By the next morning, the dog’s skittish demeanor had changed. They found her lying still on the edge of their camp, where they quickly tied a makeshift harness around her body so she couldn’t wander away again.

“It wasn’t running or anything, so we slowly moved in to get a hold of it,” Croskey said of the dog. “We canoed back to meet my dad, and she was calm, but she seemed pretty scared at the same time.”Croskey’s father, Tom, met the boys at their designated pickup point, and was surprised to find the group had gained a sixth member. “We were just pleased as can be,” Tom said. “This was the first time they were out on their own.”


The original notice.

Meanwhile, 18-year-old Ashley Ross was mourning the loss of her 6-year-old pup, Tomah, who ran off around dinnertime on July 20, during a family camping trip to the Brule Lake island. The family had searched the island unsuccessfully for two days, and notified the Forest Service of their missing Sheltie on their way home.

“We figured she’d find her way back on that cold Saturday night, but when she didn’t, everyone got a little more worried,” Ross told “When we had to leave the island, we weren’t sure what was going to happen.”

Ashley Ross’s father, Mike, had brought home the dog in 2007 when his stateside deployment in Wisconsin was over. She named the dog Tomah for the city her dad was stationed in during his military service.

It was her father who got the call from the Forest Service on Tuesday afternoon, and went to pick up Tomah, though he didn’t immediately tell his daughter about the rescue. Instead, he stopped by the Lutsen Mountains, where she was working, and gave her quite the surprise.

“At first I was sad because when my dad shows up to work or school, it’s usually bad news. I figured they were going to say they didn’t find her or she wasn’t alive,” Ross said. “I was already crying by that point.”

But her tears of sadness turned into joy when her father stepped aside, revealing her lost friend.

“It was so exciting,” Ashley said. “I was most definitely surprised and very grateful.”

They took the very tired Tomah home, where the dog got some much-needed rest and returned to her normal self within a couple of days.

“Our family is very thankful,” Ross said. “We’re very lucky to have had people find her.”


Forest Service officials helped Tomah find his way back to Ashley Ross by alerting her father, Mike. Tomah also wandered away when she was just a puppy.

sadie2Reported from

Sadie was found in a tree after Monday’s tornado that devastated Moore, OK.  She was taken to the Central Oklahoma Humane Society, where she got widespread attention after a photo of her looking forlorn was posted at Facebook, and people as far away as Texas and Michigan were prepared to foster the sweet, displaced Sheltie  until her family could be found.

Sadie’s family saw the photo and called the shelter. Once shelter staffers had her name, they called out “Sadie” and she perked right up, helping to confirm her identity while the family member was still on the phone.

sadine1Kyrie Malmberg wrote this morning, “My mom got her dog back. She cried when they brought Sadie out. It was amazing see her reunited with her four legged companion.”

Kyrie says Sadie is very happy to be back with her family and has not left the mother’s side.

Reported by: Sean Carroll, 13WHAM

Pittsford, N.Y. — A social media campaign to find a six year-old Sheltie named “Meggie” came to a happy end Friday morning.  The dog went missing on July 1st after running away from a dog-sitter while her owners were out of the country on vacation.

Months of tracking and Meggie across towns on the east side of Rochester culminated in her capture around 3:30 a.m. at a home in Penfield Gardens according to Meggie’s owners.

13WHAM News was provided video of her capture on the porch of that home.  The homeowners, who wish to remain anonymous, spent weeks working with Meggie’s owners to lure her into the trap.  Motion-activated cameras revealed Meggie was in the area since mid-February.  A feeding station in the backyard eventually lured her to the trap.

“They covered the side porch with chicken wire and devised a gate that would drop down very fast,” said Meggie’s owner Jenny Lloyd.  “The homeowner had to press the button because he was looking at the screen.”

“She went on the porch and he was watching with the camera,” added Connie Gates, Meggie’s other owner.  “Everything went as it was supposed to.”

A Facebook Page called “Meggie – Lost Dog – Rochester, NY Area” was used to track and detail the exhaustive search for her.  The page generated more than a thousand followers and each day Meggie’s owners heard from people wishing them the best and vowing to keep their eyes peeled for Meggie.

“We had people who would call and say I’m on the road for my job and if there’s anything I can do to help you, I’m watching for her all the time,” said Connie Gates.  The couple also notified area school bus drivers, letter carriers, and sanitation workers.  Some of them even called in tips.

A local animal control officer who also works with the New York State Wildlife Rehabilitation Council volunteered many hours in this search.  She knew from the start that capturing Meggie would not be easy.

“They (Sheltie’s) are bred to be herding dogs they come out of the shoot smart as smart as smart IQs so I wasn’t surprised by any of that stuff that she was doing,” Barbara Acomb-Hollands said.  “They’re also an extremely difficult breed to box trap because they don’t like to go into small, ‘tunnel-ley’ areas.”

Within an hour of her capture Meggie was with her owners and on her way home.  She appeared to recognize the garage, home, and backyard.  She quickly re-introduced herself to Jessie, a ten year-old Sheltie who often acts as the attention-grabbing “big sister” to Meggie.

“She’s been sticking to me like glue since she got home,” Connie Gates said.  “She’s tired, she is tired I see that.”

Considering all she’s been through, Meggie is in good health but did spend Friday afternoon with her veterinarian.

“It is truly amazing how good people have been and how many people have been willing to help,” said Jenny Lloyd.  “Oh it’s wonderful it’s just amazing, I still can’t hardly believe it.”


Jerky RecallThe FDA has issued a warning against feeding dogs the Nature’s Deli Chicken Jerky treats after 34 out of 72 samples taken by the Colorado Department of Agriculture tested positive for Salmonella.  These snacks were sold at Costco stores in the Denver area.

Kasel Associates of Denver has recalled several of their other products this year, but did not voluntarily recall these treats.  Costco has pulled all of these treats with lot code BESTBY061913DEN.

The FDA says that this recall is not in connection with the string of illnesses and deaths linked to other chicken jerky strips, which are primarily Chinese-manufactured. Kasel Associates makes, packages and distributes their products in the US.

Salmonella in dogs can cause fever, shock, lethargy, dehydration, decreased appetite, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  Salmonella can also be spread to humans, so be sure to wash hands thoroughly after disposing of these treats.  Humans and animals displaying these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.  Serious complications can manifest if left untreated.

Other treats that have been recently recalled due to possible Salmonella contamination:

  • Kasel’s Boots & Barkley Roasted American Pig Ears
  • Kasel’s Boots & Barkley American Variety Pack Dog Treats
  • Kasel’s Boots & Barkley Beef Bully Sticks
  • Carolina Prime Pet Company’s Priority Total Pet Care All Natural Bullstrips (Lot Codes 20082712 S3195 and 20090312 S3195)
  • The Barking Dog’s Yoghund Organic Banana & Peanut Butter frozen yogurt

Complaints about pet treats can be issued to:

Reprinted with permission by Mel at No Dog About it Blog

Cupcake’s first day home after being lost for 12 days.

I was reminded once again this past weekend how much we dog owners don’t know about missing pets. That’s not a judgement in any way,  just an observation. So few of us really know or understand what happens to a pet when they become lost.

This past weekend someone asked me why any lost dog would not just go to their owner once they saw them. It’s a good question. I think most of us just assume that our own dogs would come running to us as soon as they saw us. After all, we’ve cared for them, fed them, cuddled with them and loved them. But, sadly that is not the case for every lost dog – even your lost dog.

I first read this story (Dog Lost for Four Months Recognizes Family by Whistle)  on Life With Dogs back in October. It’s a good example of how a lost dog can become confused and disoriented when they are lost for several days or months. Luna, the dog in the story, was missing for four months. When her family finally found her again, she didn’t recognize them, and even walked away from them when they arrived to be reunited with her. It took two days, six visits and a distinctive whistle by the owner, for her to realize it was them. What had been a puzzling circumstance finally resulted in a happy reunion for all.

As many of us already know, not all dogs are created equal (if they were our lives would be pretty boring!). Some dogs are happy-go-lucky, love people and other dogs, while others are much more wary and unsure. Puppy mill dogs are especially wary of strangers. They’re also more skittish. They are less likely to stick around and see if the human approaching them is “their” human or someone intending to harm them. As a result, they are much harder to catch and usually have to be trapped.

But a dog does not have to be a puppy mill dog to react this way. Many lost dogs tend to go into “survival mode”. They are frightened, unsure, hungry, tired (exhausted) and on constant alert. In many cases, they are fending for their lives. The longer they live in this state the less likely they are to recognize their owner on sight – and in fact, they are less likely to stick around and wait to see if it if the person approaching them is their owner.

A year ago this week, my foster dog, Cupcake, was missing. As a lost dog and owner, Cupcake and I had a lot going against us finding one another again – she was a puppy mill dog, had only been with me a little over a month, and was frightened of strangers. She was dodging traffic, coyotes and people in the twelve days she was missing. Talk about being in survival mode – she was definitely in it.

When we finally were able to see each other again it was at a warehouse loading dock. Even as people blocked all her avenues of escape, she continued to run back and forth, trying to find a way out. I was standing right there and she didn’t even recognize me. I called her name and she kept running. I asked if she wanted to go home to see Daisy and Jasper (my other two dogs) and she stopped for a second, then keep running – she was in survival mode, searching for a way out.

It wasn’t until I sat down with my body turned sideways from her, with my head bowed down and avoided eye contact with her, that she came close enough to smell me. I still remember the moment she started to realize it was me. She lifted her nose to the air and sniffed me. Then she moved closer and sniffed again. When she finally got close enough to really sniff me, and to hear my voice, she sighed. It was at that very moment she realized it was me. She leaned into me. She finally knew she was safe.

All lost dogs act differently. As owners, we need to know that before our pet goes missing.

We need to know that chasing a lost dog is one of the worst things we can do. It only reaffirms to the dog that people should be avoided.

So what should you do when you encounter a lost dog or your own lost dog?

  • Sit down.
  • Turn your body so your back or side is to the dog.
  • Keep your eyes averted and bow your head so as to look non-threatening.
  • Toss tasty treats (hot dogs, chicken, smelly cheese, etc.) behind you or to the side of you.
  • Don’t talk.
  • Wait patiently for the dog to approach you. Don’t make any sudden movements, but continue to toss treats.
  • Don’t grab the dog when they get close, but wait patiently and build trust.
  • Speak softly, but if they back away, stop talking and just continue to toss treats until they trust you enough to come closer.

Cupcake – Happy to be back home!

From the Dogington Post

Thanksgiving is a time of love and laughter, of family and friends, of being thankful, and of course, for stuffing ourselves silly with a smorgasbord of Turkey Day treats!

That said, if your family and friends includes the four-legged variety, make sure the only foods they eat this Thanksgiving are healthy and safe. Lurking within that pumpkin pie is a deadly danger for your dog.

Use this info graphic as a reminder for yourself and your house guests on what’s safe (and what’s not!) for your dog during this holiday.

Be safe and have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!

Thanksgiving foods that can kill dogs