On March 15th we received a call about a collie mix that was found lying in the snow, That’s news you never want to hear. My mind became filled with so many questions: Has anyone posted anything about a lost collie mix? Is she injured? Has she been hit by a car? Does she have a collar? Microchip?
This is where Neve’s story starts. I made a call to the family, who I will refer to as J & J, who found her in the snowbank, to see exactly what we were dealing with. She was found with a collar on and was taken to the police department to scan for a microchip. When no chip was found, J & J then contacted the local animal shelter to see if anyone had been looking for a dog that matched her description. When the shelter showed no real interest in rescuing this older dog found abandoned, J & J were discouraged and started trying other options. That’s how they found us, the Northeast Ohio Collie Rescue. After getting a picture of the dog, my heart broke for her. She was pitiful. I made arrangements with J & J to pick her up after I got off work. They filled me in on what she had ate, her personality, etc. They had also spent their day off loving and cuddling with ‘Snowflake’, as they had been calling her.
I became infuriated inside, just like they were, that a person could let a dog live like this. It was obvious from looking at her that she was emaciated, severely matted, her nails had grown around her paws (the vet said over 2 years of nail growth), and something was wrong with one of her hind legs. On top of that, she was suffering from vision and hearing loss.
I brought her home with me and we spent all Wednesday evening cuddled up by the fire while I gently worked on getting some of the mats & hair out of her as best I could. I also trimmed enough of her overgrown nails to where they weren’t curled around her feet. The poor sweet girl laid right there and never said a word. You could tell by looking in her eyes what a sweetheart she was. During this time, I also started calling her Neve, which means snow; bright and radiant. I thought that fit her.
First thing Thursday morning I made a call to Akron-Medina Vet Hospital. Due to the situation, they were able to squeeze Neve in to see the vet. She spent the day with them getting checked out and pampered. They went above and beyond what most clinics would have done. Because the veterinarian did such a thorough examination on Neve, we ended up getting a lot of questions answered. Unfortunately, the prognosis was not good for Neve. The bloodwork showed she was in renal failure. The x-ray performed on her hind leg showed that the leg had been broken in the past. Due to the leg not being tended to, it healed improperly. The x-ray also showed Neve had Osteosarcoma in that leg. An additional X-ray of her chest confirmed that the cancer had spread to her lungs. She was also half the weight that she should have been. She weighs 19 pounds. After speaking to the Vet, we decided to let Neve enjoy the weekend snuggled up by the fire with me and being pampered with love and her belly full with whatever her heart desired. And we did just that until early Saturday morning.
Friday evening Neve refused to eat and was showing signs that her time was near. That night we curled up in my recliner next to the fire and snuggled until her first seizure came. She continued to seize on and off throughout the night. It was a long night for both of us. We shared lots of heart-to-heart conversations where I talked and she listened about what doggie heaven was like and how much she was loved. I prayed all night that her life on earth was filled with more happy times than sad.
At the crack of dawn, I loaded her up and was out the door to North Ridgeville Emergency Clinic. I kept thinking all through the night she would pass, but she did not want to give up her spot by the fire. With her in my lap we started our drive to North Ridgeville. While on the phone with the emergency staff she proceeded to have her final seizure. It was heartbreaking having to drive and not be able to do anything until the seizing stopped. We made it to North Ridgeview Animal Clinic and were treated with such compassion and care. Neve was wrapped in my embrace when she took her last breath.
To know a dog was dumped in the snow and left to suffer alone is terrible, but because of the wonderful people who found our Snowflake Neve, her horrific ending turned out to be a ending of hope, love and snuggles. So many wonderful people helped Neve in a matter of days. Her journey with me was short, but the impact of Neve’s story is heartbreaking.
Not all dogs that come into Northeast Ohio Collie Rescue are in such bad shape as Neve, but many come in with medical issues. Some issues are expensive, due to the long-term and/or severity. Every dog that comes into our rescue is seen by a Vet where they are checked out, heartworm tested, update on shots, microchipped, and started on preventatives. They also will be spayed or neutered, if not already. Many of the dogs are in bad shape appearance wise and need to be groomed.
To keep adoption fees reasonable, we rely solely on donations. Your donation will help us with the many dogs we are seeing come into the rescue. In 2022, we placed 23 collies – not including the 15 collies from the Illinois hoarding situation in August. So far in 2023, we have already surpassed half of what our numbers were in 2022 (not counting those from the Illinois situation) and it doesn’t look like things will be slowing down anytime soon. We are staying busy with so many dogs coming in. We are always looking for volunteers! There are so many ways that volunteers help. Some ways include helping with administrative task, fundraising, fostering, or transporting dogs when needed. You can also donate supplies to help collies in need.
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