*ANNIVERSARY ISSUE 2004*                                        volume 4



What’s in

this issue:



Experiences Amazing Growth!


The 1st Annual MKBCR

Rescue Reunion!




Pet Sense



MKBCR Goes Intl’


Foster Homes turn Adopters


Hypothyroidism in

Border Collies


A Tribute to Transporters


As always more wonderful

 Poems by Bridget Byrne!










Eleanor Roosevelt once said “It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” Jennifer Fitzwater and Kathy Hallberg saw a lot of darkness when they decided to start MO-KAN Border Collie Rescue There were few families able to foster. There was very little money and it seemed that the shelters in Kansas and Missouri had many more Border collies than could possibly be placed. The calls that came in were about relinquishing dogs not adopting them and the same old stories emerged. People had adopted a cute smart Border collie puppy and as he grew they didn’t understand or know how to meet his needs. He nipped the children or dug in the yard or wouldn’t fit in when they moved. Rescue seemed to be a sad world that burned out many and the problems always were the same. Jennifer and Kathy were joined by Fred and Barbie Ernst who did rescue in Southern Missouri and the darkness brightened somewhat. As they persevered many others joined and offered their help and now the future for abandoned and neglected Border collies is much brighter.


We are dedicating this issue to all those people who have made the flame bright and enduring.  Seventeen families have offered temporary or long term foster care for our dogs. Offers to transport our dogs and to do home studies for us have amazing. People have written articles for our newsletter, offered free grooming for our dogs donated supplies, offered discounted or free veterinary care provided expert computer and photography advice and the list goes on. One woman who is an artist auctioned off a work of art to help pay the medical care of a dog that had to have a leg amputated. Other rescue groups have helped us also. Groups such as the All breed rescue group, the Sheltie rescue group as well as the Pitbull and Lab rescue have transported, listed our dogs on their website etc.




Barbie with foster pup “Sean” (nka Chase)


Border collie rescue in other states have adopted some of our dogs as well as fostered them while we have been growing. And our group of potential adopters has grown. The number of dogs we can help has increased and we are keeping them in foster care for a much shorter period of time thus keeping dogs out of shelters. 



Kathy & Abby at an Independence dog festival


Meanwhile, Jennifer, Kathy, and Barbie continue to tirelessly work for the benefit of Border collies. Much advice has been provided to both to adopters of our dogs and to other Border collie owners thus increasing the odds of a successful placement and again keeping dogs out of shelters. Kathy Hallberg, often working behind the scenes manages much of the financial and business aspect of rescue and participates in dog events by organizing and running booths at local dog events.


    Jennifer working with Hope/Nell at Pam Wolf’s

Jennifer spends hours daily on the computer and phone dealing with the nitty gritty of arranging dog evaluations, home evaluations, transportation etc. This she does in addition to providing advice and connecting people with the best resources to deal with their Border collies. Not to mention that she usually is fostering one or more dogs, is the Captain of our flyball team and  assists in getting dogs evaluated for herding, as companion dogs, as flyball dogs, or agility dogs or therapy dogs. Barbie continues her work in Southern Missouri (please see Winter newsletter.) We now have another primary rescuer who has joined Mo-Kan - Kathy Daily in Wichita Kansas.


We thank all of you for the light burns bright now for our Border collies and this issue celebrates that light and you!




The 1st Annual Mo-Kan Border Collie

Rescue Reunion!



The reunion was a smashing success! Stacey McVey and her family are organizational wonders! The day started out with the threat of continuing showers but it cleared and was near perfect. For those of you who couldn’t attend you missed the amazing sight of well over twenty Border collies running free together, swimming in the pond, and of course catching balls and Frisbees. We had a flyball demonstration, an agility demo, and the opportunity to have our dogs photographed by Joni Godsy, a professional dog photographer and her assistant (and husband) Alan Godsy (adopters of Trace now know as Kip). All this and not one, I repeat not one dog fight! (Whew!) We ate, visited, shared stories, and for the first time some adopters met foster parents and all in all it was a glorious day. The most special part was seeing the joy in our dogs and remembering  each of  their stories and how far they have come though the love and dedication of all of you!

Ben & Abby watching the store…so THAT’S

where all the ham went to!!!




Thank you to Caryn and Duke for sharing their

BEAUTIFUL property with us!!


The dogs really enjoyed the pond!


Thanks to everyone for checking out the MKBCR store! 

Sales for lunch, t-shirts and other goodies tipped

the scale at just over $400






We have now rescued and placed over 60 dogs including two tri-pods! We have fostered one mother (Jubal) and her five “Fourth of July surprise” pups


Jubal & Pups


and the McVey’s are fostering a second (Freckles and her six puppies.)


Freckles & Pups


Frank McCarthy and Jack (adopted in 2003) placed in the top ten in the two mile race at the annual Dog n Jog


Frank & Jack at Dog-n-Jog


Rescues are a HIT at

Pet Sense Adoptathon!


The “Flexible Flyers “ flyball team were a hit at the Pet Sense adoption event this summer and shared the stage with Gary Lezak and have been asked back for this October 9 being billed as “See Dogs Fly!” Jess, Kate, Charly,  and Fynn all performed. Kathy Hallberg and family attending with Abby practicing as our next box loader…


Abby Hallberg




Mo-Kan Stars!


Katie adopted by John and Rachel Bishop posed for an ad for Sprint and was a true professional!


Katie practicing for her photo shoot


Fynn, adopted by Jennifer Fitzwater came in third at a Frisbee competition in Lawrence KS!

Fynn Flyin High!




Annie (bottom left) Diamond (top right) with their new pack in


Mo-Kan goes international. Diamond a three legged Border collie from Wichita fostered by Kathy Daly and Annie a Border collie relinquished after her owner died and fostered by Stacey McVey found new homes in Canada. They were adopted by Tia Arden and Sheri & Matt Cormie who have made both dogs very happy by involving them in Agility, Flyball, and herding. And if that weren’t wonderful enough Joe our dog who had been shot in the face and was fostered by Linda and Dan Ramirez went to live in Canada on a huge wildlife preserve with Zeev and Francine Hapner.


Joe with his new “wife” Mandy in




“The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him the one that proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog… He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer; he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world…

When all other friends desert, he remains.


-George G. Vest







You might remember Solo from the Winter 2003-2004 Newsletter.  Vicki and Solo have become a wonderful SAR team in training!  At 10 mos old, Solo passed the 20-acre wilderness search evaluation.  Currently, they are preparing for our 40-acre wilderness night search evaluation. Vicki and Solo hope to tackle their final 160-acre evaluation by Spring 2005, so they can become Wilderness Certified.  After that, they will start working on their disaster and cadaver specialties.


But it looked as though Solo’s career would be cut short.  All of a sudden, he wasn’t his happy, bold, curious self anymore.  He started getting very anxious and nervous, especially in close quarters or around lots of other dogs.  Also, for no known reason, Solo started being aggressive towards his Labrador sisters at home and also his SAR dog teammates.  No one could figure out what was happening or why.  After exhausting all of her own ideas and those of many dog-wise friends without success, Vicki contacted Dr. Emily Weiss, a Ph.D. Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, to help figure out why Solo had so suddenly become prone to bouts of unprovoked aggression.  Dr. Weiss immediately ordered a thyroid panel and that’s how they learned that Solo was suffering from hypothyroidism. This disease is fairly uncommon in younger dogs and very often veterinarians don’t think to test for it in younger dogs.


Solo is now taking medicine and my thyroid hormone is back to normal.  His level of anxiety and nervousness has almost returned to normal. They are working hard to get him back to the happy, well-adjusted fellow he was before the onset of his disease and the symptoms that took over his life in such a negative way.



Solo and Vicki getting ready to “Go Search!”






Here is an important excerpt from an article entitled “Thyroid Dysfunction as a Cause of Aggression in Dogs and Cats,” by L.P. Aronson DVM & N.H. Dodman RVMS, presented in 1997:


 At Tufts we have seriously considered obtaining a thyroid panel on all dogs presented for evaluation, and we feel that it is a very good screen for a condition which may underlie a wide variety of behavioral problems, and one which is relatively easily and cheaply treated. It is our recommendation that hypothyroidism be considered as a rule out for dogs … showing inappropriate aggression. It should also be a rule out for dogs which show an inability to learn or concentrate on the owner, or for older dogs which have developed a personality change either rapidly or more gradually. It is probably a good rule out for dogs which exhibit fears or anxieties and possibly for some dogs with compulsive disorders.


So, if you have a dog that has shown a sudden change in behavior or who has been labeled as a dog with problem behavior, please remember Solo’s story and have the thyroid test.  It might just save a dog’s life.  In Solo’s case, it even saved his career as Solo The Search Dog!!!


Solo passed his 40-acre night evaluation tonight.  He and I are now considered an operational K-9 SAR team.  He is now qualified as a second dog in to verify results of a fully operational team.  We have one more test - 160 acres, 4 hour time limit and multiple victims to become fully operational.




Our condolences go out to Rachel, John and Robert for their recent loss of their Jack Russell Terrier puppy, Dickens.  Dickens was an amazing little dog, not the least intimidated by all the Border collies on our flyball team.  He was our up and coming height dog for the Flexible Flyers as well as a treasured family member.  Both brothers Bob and Truman, a Mo-Kan alumni, were Dickens best buddies and sister Katie, also a Mo-Kan alumni, was his racing companion.  He will be much missed by everyone.


Oct 13, 2003Oct 3, 2004




A Tribute to Transporters


A simple call for help

And a yes is given

As these quiet angels and their charges

Embark on the forever journey


 It may be flight from the hell only

An abandoned dog knows

Or a stop on the path to a new start

Or best of all going home for good.


They often travel at night alone

With their fellow travelers

Offering comfort and soothing

Their touch however brief

Leaves an imprint everlasting


As they pass their charges on

They exchange a glance and a pat

And a cold nose or a sweet kiss

Is all the payment they ask


We salute these quiet angels

Who carry our dogs from pain

And sadness to a happy new life

And for the joy that they bring

To the new family who awaits


-Bridget Byrne & Jennifer Fitzwater


Mo-Kan Transporters:

Linda French & Larry Mason

Carl Nylund

Mark McVey

Linda & Paul Yoos

Marilyn Dawson-McCarthy &

Frank McCarthy

Alexa Peters

Phil (Golden Rescue)

…and all the others that had assisted us in transport











Jennifer Fitzwater





Kathy Hallberg





Barbie Ernst




Editor in Chief

Bridget Byrne







How you can help



There are four ways to help:




Donate (includes becoming a Border Collie Angel)


For more information on the suggestions above, please visit our website





As we move to the end of the year and you are thinking of charitable donations please remember Mo-Kan

Border Rescue!

From all of us and the Border collies you have saved THANK YOU!!



Foster Homes turn Adopters…


Jill and Tyler Harrelson started out fostering for Mo-Kan with Buddy (nka Finn, adopted by Elizabeth in Booneville, MO) soon joined by Eve, our second tripod.  Once both Buddy/Finn and Eve were adopted, they took in Charlie soon followed by Kelty.  Kelty was only with them days before I got the email saying they had decided to make him a part of their family.  Tyler then decided he and Charlie had a bond that he wasn’t willing to break and they decided to keep Charlie as a family member as well. 


Also joining the ranks of foster turned adopter are the Sparks family.  Diane, Mike, Becky and Ben started out fostering for Mo-Kan with Nellie in May of this year.  They had Nellie for several months overcoming some obstacles with her.  Nellie then moved onto a new foster home with Jeff, Stephanie and Rachel Goodnight.  The Sparks took a little time off and then took in a stray from Warrensburg MO.  They quickly named her Callie and stated that she was never leaving their home!  She is now a happy girl with her new sisters Lucy and Desi !


Jim and Courtney are our third foster home to turn adopter.  They started out fostering with Rook of “Rook and Jubal”.  When Jubal gave birth to her surprise litter, Rook needed to find a new temporary home!  After Rook was adopted, Jim and Courtney took in Josie, a stray from Des Moines IA and not 48 hrs later declared she was there to stay!!  She is now happy with her new brother, Buddy!


All of these families have been wonderful foster homes and they have taken new rolls as forever homes (welcome to the club guys! J).




(This is for all those new Mo-Kan puppy owners out there!!! :)


Poem for New Puppy Owner


Don’t smell crotches, don’t eat plants,

Don’t steal food or underpants.
Don’t eat my socks; don’t grab my hair…

Don’t eat those peas, don’t touch that bush,

Don’t chew my shoes, what IS this mush?!
Eat you cookies, drink your drink,
Outta the toilet! Outta the sink!
AWAY FROM THE LITTER BOX, IT’S FOR THE CAT! (and must you kiss me after that?!)

Raising a puppy is not for the lazy,

Those rugrats are funny, but also quite crazy.

Don’t despair through the toil and strife.

Cause after three years you’ll get back your life!

So lets go for walkies, so you can do your “thing”

And maybe I”ll get back my diamond ring!!

-Author Unknown


The New Foster Dog

(This poem was inspired by “Quinn” and dedicated to all our beloved rescues)


A black and white whirlwind you were

Racing from door to door and atop the

Couches, chairs and beds, grabbing newspapers

And shoes as you sped by me

No counter was safe, no object sacred


Captured at last, your heart was beating

And your tongue lolling outside your mouth

And you eyes were unreadable wild and untamed

And that old doubt that always came, returned

Will this be the one we can’t help?


Two steps forward, one back, learning the way

The first sit, learning to walk at my side,

Mastering the car rides, returning the ball

Taking a bath and making your crate a home

Learning a new name for we never knew yours


All, successes greater to us than world peace

Then the doubts, the testing, the challenging,

The regressions, the chewed shoes, a new accident

We remind ourselves this is normal

That we have been this way before


Then one day you offer a paw

And the look in your eyes is focused and clear

As though you are saying, “I understand now”

Your kisses are gentle, you delight in our praise

And showing your lessons, ignoring the forbidden


And, yes with a tear, we know the time is near

For you to leave us, now a partner and friend

To meet your new family and begin on the forever journey

That will be the rest of your life

-Bridget Byrne



Quinn’s made quite a journey, not only in the miles from southern Missouri shelter to a loving home in central Kansas, but also from a sweet, yet frantic hungry, wandering young dog to a well-mannered companion. Rusty has honored us by giving Quinn the registered name of “MO-Kan Quentin call name Quinn.” It took no less than the commitment of ten people to make this small miracle occur. The story of Quinn is a celebration of those people whose dedication to the welfare of Border Collies has saved countless dogs since MKBCR began.


















































11518 PEERY ST