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Meet Marley & Dakota

Submitted by Susan Skowronski


The original owner of collies Marley (a female white factor) and Dakota (a male tri) transitioned into a nursing home leaving the two dogs at their home for a lengthy period of time, mostly alone. The owner’s caretaker and caretaker’s family visited the dogs to feed them and provide playtime, but for the majority of hours in a day, the dogs were left without companionship behind a high fence that made them non-visible to passers-by at the neglected property. At the time of pickup, the property was weed infested and the grass was overgrown.


Neglected and mostly alone, the dogs were void of vet care and their fur became severely matted and overgrown. An internet map view of the property detailed a bald path worn by the dogs around the circumference of their lot where they mostly likely paced to combat boredom and loneliness. 

Pam Demko from of NorthEast Ohio Collie Rescue was contacted by the caretaker’s daughter and worked patiently with her for several weeks to collect details and determine arrangements for intake of the two dogs. Pam, along with Leon Skowronski, met with Shari Somogyi to pick up the dogs and transport them to the vet for evaluation and follow-up.


The vet determined Marley to be approximately six years old and Dakota two-three years older. Dakota was suffering from significant dental deformities that later led to extraction of three teeth. Shari and Frank Somogyi, former owners and lovers of collies, were happy to be contacted to foster the dogs as the last of their collie family had passed away several months earlier.


Shari immediately began devoting great care and attention to her new fosters. She shaved their matted fur and crafted coats for sun protection to cover bald spots when the dogs were outside. Dakota, at time of pickup, exhibited limited mobility. Shari and Pam discovered that the fur on his neck was so matted by urine and feces that he was unable to turn his head. Following shaving, he began moving more freely.


Dakota was shy and withdrawn at time of intake, but Shari has worked with him to socialize him to his new family which includes horses and cats. With time, Dakota has become more independent and outgoing.


Marley was friendly and outgoing at time of pickup, and she continues to share her sunny personality with the Somogyis, now freely roaming her multiple acres of fenced yard and never void of attention or care.


Shari and Frank were thrilled when the topic of transition from foster to adoption was discussed and have decided to provide a “forever” home for them. Marley and Dakota will enjoy roaming multiple fenced acres, a quiet country environment, and sharing their new lives when outside with two horses and three felines. 


Shari and Frank have provided excellent care for these two special dogs. A recent visit to the Somogyi home found the two dogs happy and content, enjoying dog beds and long walks through the fields. Not only do they look forward to their nightly walk around a large fenced side yard with their new owners and feline siblings, but Dakota enjoyed a recent walk on his own one night when Shari held back due to threatening rain.


Marley and Dakota now enjoy frozen treats, bubble baths, endearing new owners and the safety of never being neglected again. Much gratitude is extended to Pam for her devotion to this successful rescue, and to Betty Hodgson for securing these wonderful fosters.

Dakota & Marley

Dakota & Marley