The Last "Willow-Gram"


Today is October 6, and I’ve been waiting here at Rainbow Bridge since August 10, 1015. You see, I am one of the Lancaster 11; I am one of the lucky ones.

When I was rescued back in September 2007, I didn’t know what to expect. I lived in a cage, laid in my own pee and poop, and was fed enough to keep me alive. I had litters of Sheltie puppies that were taken from me that I never knew. I had outlived my usefulness and was going to be killed.

Then these strange people came; took me out into the sun, cleaned me, washed me, fed me. I had no idea what was going on or what was going to happen. I met Anita, Camille and Diane, and Laura Flynn. I was introduced to the NJ Sheltie Foster Moms. I got to stay with Donna. She took care of me. She told me I was loved; I was special; I was wanted. I didn’t believe her. I was just scared.

Then, one day in February, of 2008, a man came to see ME. He held me, gave me a treat, talked to my sheltie friends and me. Didn’t trust him either. But he came back. He took me home with him. That’s right, HOME.

willow and paige
I was outside, had grass under my paws. The sun warmed me as it shined. Then this blue merle came around the corner. It was Paige. We looked at each other. She slowly came toward me. One sniff was all we needed. I had a friend.

We spent the next seven years together. We went everywhere. I was never alone again. The man and the lady took care of me, held me, and loved me. No matter what happened, or what I did, I was loved. I wasn’t scared anymore; I had found tranquility, loyalty, and a sister named Paige. The lady would lay with me as we watched TV. She brushed me and cared for Paige and me. I felt so safe. The lady would play the guitar; I would lay at her feet and listen. I was her Sheltie. The man would walk us every day; we went to the park, took car rides, we just hung out.

willow and paige
Then I got sick. I didn’t know what kidney disease was, but I got to eat different food and still felt pretty good. I got sicker. Paige never left my side. I was getting tired. I didn’t feel well. I knew it was time. All the unconditional love the man and the lady had given me, and that I had returned was about to be tested. They taught me to trust. I trusted them to help me. On August 10, I told the lady it was time. I didn’t want to, but I had to. The lady and the man held me, kissed me, told me they loved me, and that I wouldn’t hurt anymore.

As I watched over Paige, and the man and the lady, I noticed Paige was starting to feel the way I did a year ago. They noticed too.

The man and the lady took care of Paige the same way they took care of me. They spared no expense to make Paige feel better. She got to eat roast beef and chicken. She ate sweet potatoes and cantaloupe. Paige took her medicine and ate well. But soon Paige started to feel sick from the same problem that took me from them.

willow and paige
On October 3, 2016, Paige told the man it was time. And just like me, he picked Paige up and held her. The lady came home and told Paige she was going to see me. I was very excited. I missed her so much; but then I realized for me and Paige to be happy, Paige had to come here.

The love that the man and the lady had for us was so great that they gave me my final wish. Paige is here with me at The Rainbow Bridge. We met Sabel and Isabelle, who Paige knew. Now the four of us get to romp and play together. We have no pain, no more stiff joints, no more sickness.

Now our last task is to wait here, until the man and the lady come, and then all of us get to cross the Rainbow Bridge together; forever.

* We do not permit adoptions of shelties as gifts. If you would like to give one as a gift you can contact us for advice on how to handle the situation.
Please note that we do NOT adopt to homes with children under the age of 10. Herding dogs, especially shelties, tend to chase whatever/whoever is running & they often will nip at the back of legs in their attempt to gather everyone into a neat, manageable area.
If you cannot adopt but would like to make a donation or to sponsor one of our forever fosters, seniors or special needs dogs, please email us.