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Rescue Success Stories


April 2006
One day, we had a call from Ann Dixon. Someone had informed her there was a beardie in Scarborough Animal Services shelter and he was scheduled to be put down. Bruce and I traveled the short distance to the shelter, wondering if he would really be a Beardie. We had been told that it was an “awful place” and that they weren't very nice to the dogs and were resistant to rescue members. When we arrived, we were told to go into Room 1. We looked and saw nothing but pit bulls – I kid you not. It is very depressing to go to a shelter and find a room full of pit bulls that you know have a very short time to live. We had to go back to the receptionist and tell her there was no Beardie in Room 1. Where was he? She then did a few phone calls and we found out he was in the lost and found room. (We later found out he had been found tied to a bus shelter bench – abandoned). When we went into the lost and found room, there he was – definitely a Beardie – but what a mess! The shelter had a policy of releasing dogs to rescue groups for a minimal amount of money, so we paid the small fee and he was ours! On the way home, we decided to call him Buster for the time being. He was a very friendly, but filthy, dog and ingratiated himself right into our hearts.

The first hurdle when we got home was to introduce him to Bella and Beau. No problem – he was very dog-friendly and had no problems integrating himself with the other two. Next came our biggest problem – he was a dirty mess. When you touched him, your hand came back black. We started trying to shave him – no way – our clippers wouldn’t go through the mats and it was obviously quite painful for him. As there was no way we could bring him in the house, we started phoning around to see if we could get him groomed. It was Saturday and absolutely no one would see him that day. We finally decided to take him to the emergency vet clinic. He would need a surgical shave and sedation to get it done. Since the mats were so close to the skin and so huge it was painful for him, a medical route was the only way he was going to let it happen.

So, we were off to the emergency vet clinic. We left him with the vet to be sedated and shaved. When we came back to retrieve him, what a different dog! First of all he was structurally beautiful . Secondly there was a huge scar from his withers to his tail that we will never know how he got. But he was happy! He had a jaunty scarf around his neck and did he feel good! He was strutting around like a king.

After such a traumatic day, we went home and he was exhausted. However, he wasn’t too sure of his new surroundings and felt that he had to crawl into bed in between Bruce and me. He spent the night in the middle of the bed. Alfie is not a small Beardie – he took up a lot of room that night and for several nights to follow.

After another traumatic evening – a neuter and a round of shots – he was ready to go to his forever home. Ann suggested we call the Charlesworths. They were at our place very quickly. They were about to go to the Humane Society to get a dog because they had waited so long for a Beardie. When they came over, it was love at first sight. We felt they were a great home for Buster, now named Alfie, and they had fallen in love with him. They took him home and the rest of the story is told by Ian…..

Joan Wright, Past Rescue Coordinator

Alphie before shaving
Alfie before shaving

Alfie after shaving
Alfie after shaving

Alfie's scar
Alfie's scar

Rags, Pistache, Fanny

We have placed three dogs since the beginning of May.
"Rags" and "Pistache" came from the SPCA, and "Fanny" came from a family that had bought her at a local pet shop and decided they couldn't keep her.This sweet pup had lived in the pet shop for three months and then in her new home for only two.

All three of these Beardies are in wonderful new homes now and doing very well!

Ann Dixon, Past Rescue Coordinator

  Pistache    Rags
Pistache, now in New Brunswick          Rags

Fanny, now in Lac St-Jean


I'm pleased to be able to let you know that "Fletcher, the 3 year old Beardie boy in Vancouver, now has a wonderful home in Maine ... yes Maine! Special thanks to Jacquie Byrnes in B.C. who fostered Fletcher for several weeks. Through the internet we were able to find him a perfect home where he is truly loved. Air Canada was very generous to fly Fletcher from Vancouver to Halifax at no charge. He spent a few weeks with Chris Neilson, who did some "clicker" training with him, then Fletcher, now called Clipper, went to live with Chris' Mum in Maine. What you'd call a happy ending. .. or more appropriately a happy beginning!

Ann Dixon, Past Rescue Coordinator



Summer 1996
Note: Toby was a pet shop Beardie rescue who went to his new home in July 1996. His first owners decided to place him with us in hopes of finding a good home for him. I think we were successful!!

My family has always been fairly tranquil, even boring at times, which has always been reflected in the personality of our dog. Daisy, our Beardie of 15 years, was often approaching comatose. She slept constantly, both in the house and on the front lawn, and never had to be on a leash. If anyone passed by she would never think of moving off the property, but she would bark sometimes. After her death we were lucky enough to find Toby and Ann Dixon's rescue outside of Montreal. We drove to pick him up, loved his nature and talked about him throughout our long drive to Toronto while the dog slept all the way home. What a wonderful guy!That was it. Toby woke up the next morning full of energy. he had eaten the telephone, which had to be replaced, chewed the remote control for the car alarm, resulting in the car locks consistently going up and down for three days non-stop, and on numerous occasions he has taken the dishes out of the dishwasher and into the living room. What a guy! He barks at everyone, especially those on bicycles, and on at least one occasion he tore the leash from my hand and ran 3 blocks after a 7 year old cyclist who was terrified of Toby's kisses. He jumps on everyone he sees and at 6:00am jumps on my bed because he wants to go for a walk. What a guy!Toby has added spunk and life to my family of 3 children which I am sure you can appreciate was about the last thing we really needed. He is comical, lovable and truly loved. Last week he was neutered which was very traumatic for us all. My daughter's job was to take Toby to the vet early in the morning. The two boys went off to school, but called home 4 times to check his condition. I went out of town because I guess the pain was too much to handle. I did make several phone calls to the vet though. Is he ok? Out of surgery? Crying? Thirsty? In pain? At 4:00pm he was picked up by a friend while we waited at home for the patient. At 4:30 the car drove up. Toby came running in the house, bounding up the stairs, on the couch, on the bed, jumping over chairs. You would never know that he was the patient as he was full of the usual energy, eating my tennis shoes. The family on the other hand was in bed by 9:00pm, exhausted from the stress of the surgery.

To be serious for a moment, we have found Toby to be a wonderful and loving dog that has become a very integral, yet active part of our family. Everyone in the neighbourhood knows him by name, although they don't know me or my wife who have lived here for 25 years. Although he is truly a character, we love him so much that we don't even care that he has us wrapped around his finger (paw).

Michael Appleby and Family

Toby and his new dad
Toby and his new dad


Spring 1996
Harry, an 8 month old blue boy, was sold here in Montreal by a local pet shop that imports a wide variety of breeds from the USA. He came originally from a puppy farm in Missouri. He ended up in our care after his owner decided that he was just too much for her. She had been told by the pet shop that Bearded Collies were 'low maintenance dogs requiring very little exercise'! She thought he'd be perfect for her lifestyle.

Harry lived with us for about 6 weeks and was quite a handful, but also a real sweetie. He has now been placed with a wonderful family in Rochester, N.Y. They had owned a rescue Beardie before for 15 years and Harry has proven to be just what they were looking for! They have the patience, time and love to give him the life he deserves. Special thanks to Kelly Canham-Tonkin who put us in touch with the adopting family by responding to the post we sent to the 'Beardies-l' mailing list on the internet.

Technology came through for Harry! Harry's story has a happy ending. We wish it could be the same for all.

Ann Dixon, Past Rescue Coordinator



Fall 1995
Sofie has been with us for just over two weeks now. In that short time we have seen a shy, neglected dog turn into a sweet, bouncy, devilish Beardie. Her story began three weeks ago with a phone call to Diane Newman from a woman living near Lachute, Quebec. She thought that Diane might be interested in buying her six year old bitch for her 'breeding program'. She'd had the dog about a year and couldn't cope with her. This was already her third home! Sofie was originally from Germany, and the woman had her pedigree and registration papers. She had never been shown or bred and was not CKC registered. She basically lived outside, tied up to a doghouse, and had not been groomed nor seen a vet in the time she'd had her. The woman wanted several hundred dollars for her and was determined to sell her. One of our fears was that an individual we know of in the area that breeds unregistered Beardies with no health checks might get a hold of her. We did not want Sofie to get into his hands!

That's when Pierre Chevrier, a new BCCC member, stepped in. Being able to reason with the woman in the French language, he convinced her that breeding Sofie was not a good idea and that the BCCC would be more than happy to help her out by finding a good home for Sofie. A donation of $100 from a very kind 'non-Beardie owner, but Beardie lover' had been offered to the Club to help spring Sofie. Pierre was able to talk the woman down to $100 and Sofie was ours! He then drove a considerable distance to pick her up. She was a mess ... a matted, sad, skinny mess, but through all of the tangled, dirty unkempt coat he could see those beautiful, soulful Beardie eyes. On his return, as I looked into the crate in the back of Pierre's van and whispered 'Sofie' the tail started to twitch. Well that twitch has now turned into an all out Beardie bum wiggle!! In fact, this morning she wagged her tail so enthusiastically that she whacked herself in the eye! Sofie was bathed and clipped (unfortunately the only option) then, a few days later was spayed, had her teeth cleaned and an umbilical hernia repaired. She's in great shape now, has gained a few pounds and her hair is slowly growing back. She's fitting right in at our house too...she assisted Abby in the theft of a lemon cake off the counter last week (her sticky lemon beard gave her away!). It has been a wonderful experience having Sofie with us but it also shows, once again, that there is a long way to go towards educating the public on responsible pet ownership. We will miss her, but today she starts her new life with her new family not too far away. It just happens to be Thanksgiving day! Sofie enjoy your turkey but please try to stay away from the pumpkin pie!

Special thanks to Diane Newman for alerting us to Sofie's predicament, to Pierre Chevrier for everything he did to make this rescue a success, and to our anonymous rescue donor!

Ann Dixon, Past Rescue Coordinator

Sophie and her new mom
Sophie and her new mom

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Last revised: April 9, 2012