September 2003                                                          volume 1  


What’s in

this issue:


Read Jack’s story


A renewed MKBCR



Our featured


for the month of September


How YOU can help!!


Upcoming EVENTS


Member info

and contact listing




How to entertain your border collie

Get an old milk jug (any size will work, just needs to be a capped one), and cut about 4-5 holes in it, each just a smidge bigger than the size of their kibble.  Fill the jug with their breakfast or dinner, cap it off and put it on the floor or in the yard.  They will have to roll the jug around on the floor to get their meal out and it will keep them busy for at least ½ hr.  You might have to help them out the first time but after that, they’ll have it under control!  Not only does this help with dogs that eat too fast but it also give them a puzzle to solve which border collies LOVE!!



Jack was found wandering the streets of Lee's Summit foraging in garbage cans, and only twenty four hours from being euthanized. A devoted Border Collie rescuer was alerted and she moved quickly, calling several others who, despite having many dogs/kids of their own committed to fostering Jack for a week at a time. My dear friend, Bridget, a member of this group, brought a small and hand-shy Jack by our home in the early Spring.

His big eyes set in his broad loving face, his ability to curl up and make himself at home with our two cats, a Miniature Pinscher and a crabby elderly Bichon Frise won my heart. Since then he has flourished. He overcame his hand-shyness, comes EVERY TIME we call him. He quickly conditioned to run up to 7 miles a day in this 95 degree humid heat with my marathoner husband. He's a watch dog, loves to play with children and learns so quickly it's scary! Jacky is an energetic dog, who also tolerates "kennel time" quite well when we've "had enough" for a while. He rides in the car so well, sitting calmly when we stop. Jacky is a great member of our family!


-Jacky’s new Mom, Marilyn


Jack and his new Mom and Dad 

Marilyn and Frank



Lessons from rescue


I was reluctant to risk loving you

Knowing you would leave one day

I said to myself I could never say goodbye

But there was nowhere for you to go

Your eyes were sad, afraid to hope


Your bones stood out against your coat

Which had never known brush nor a gentle hand

Slowly you moved towards me so lightly

Touched my hand with a barely felt lick

You looked at me with a soft question


In that moment you asked me to take a chance

To love you, knowing you would have to leave

So we made a pact you and I

You would try to learn and I to teach and

We would forgive one another for that final parting


So we grew together you and I

You learned to play and a sparkle came into your eyes

Your world once grey and forbidding became a joy

As you grew bolder and began to trust beyond my hand

And I knew the time of parting was near….


I watched as you walked away into your bright new world

Your tail wagging your head held high

Eager for new adventure and open to new love

And yes there is bittersweet sadness

But more powerful is the pride I feel in you and

the lesson we have learned together


That loving and letting go rather than losing

multiplies the love and gives the chance of

being able to love once again


- Bridget Byrne, 2003









Jennifer Fitzwater




Kathy Hallberg




Barbie Ernst





Upcoming Events:

Dogtoberfest at Fleming Park 

Oct 19For details visit:

Jackson County

Parks and Rec


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


MKBCR Starts



In March of 2003 Mo-Kan Border Collie Rescue was started again by Kathy Hallberg and Jennifer Fitzwater and a dog named Jack. During a previous effort at rescue, several dogs were placed but due to a lack of foster homes and volunteers it was reluctantly suspended.


Kathy was contacted by one of the local shelters about an especially sweet Border Collie whose days were numbered.  Jennifer came up with the idea of rotating Jack among our Flyball team members since no one could provide long term placement. Well it worked! Jack found a wonderful new forever home.


The reason MKBCR was able to begin anew was because of the generous support of many Border Collie lovers. There are those who have opened their hearts, homes and families.  Their contributions have included money, time, know-ledge and skills.  Without the selfless generosity of these supporters many special Border Collies would not have been saved.


Since that time several very special dogs have found their forever homes. Ellie, who was rejected by her owners as “too” shy is now working as a herd-ing dog on 100 acres and is a gentle companion to her new family. Fynn, once valued only for his breeding potential has become a swift flyball do, participated in agility and herd-ing and been a steady foster brother to new rescues. Percy, who was left chained in the backyard because she was


too energetic, now is an active companion with her new family and gets all the exercise, love and stimulation she needs. Freckles (nka Solo), relinquished to rescue because the owner realized they couldn’t take on training him, has been adopted to be trained for Search and Rescue work. Kate was a dog so nervous and tempera-mental that she could only tolerate people if they were sitting now excels at flyball and is beloved part of her new family. The list goes on. The help of those who have contributed financially continues to help us rehabilitate and rehome our dogs.  Veterinarians such as those at John Veterinary Clinic in Inde-pendence and Diane Barr DVM at Gladstone Veterinary Clinic have given us invaluable advice and discounts on services. Joni and Alan Godsy have created a website that shows each of our dog’s special beauty and personality.  Our primary rescuers Jennifer Fitzwater, Kathy Hallberg and Fred and Barbie Ernst have taken the sad and urgent calls and gone to evaluate Border Collies in distress as well as matching new homes with our dogs and spending endless hours looking for creative solutions and placements. But most of all our foster families have been the lifeblood of our group.


Molly and Emily McVey with their 2nd foster Percy (see Percy’s story on the website!)

~The McVeys~

Our Featured Foster Family for September


Stacey and Mark and their two daughters Molly and Emily are one of our foster families. Stacey and Mark both work full time and have a cat and a Border collie “Jules”. They feel that fostering allows them to share their home with another dog on a temporary basis. They feel that this experience teaches their children and the friends of their children some important lessons about responsibly for our animals. Molly and Emily are active in caring for current foster dog Callie and Jewels has a companion. Many people shy away from fostering because they say “Oh I get too attached I could never do that.” Or they worry about having the time or whether the foster dog will get along with their children or other pets. We screen our dogs for the right foster placement so a dog that doesn’t do well with children is not placed in a home with children etc. Initially they do take more time but most of our dogs will be going to homes where people work and need to learn that routine. And yes foster parents do get attached to the dogs they foster. And yes that moment of goodbye is a sad one but that sadness is mixed with pride. At the moment they see the result of the love and care they have given a dog. And that is really a high! But the rest of the satisfaction is in what these dogs give as they pass through our lives. Each leaves his or her mark on our lives and our lives are better for it. So consider fostering, not only can you change the life of a dog but also your own.

-cont on page 3-





Our Featured Foster for the Month of September



Callie is a three and a half year old smooth coated, purebred Border Collie. Although not as well known in this area smooth coated Border collies are often preferred because of their greater tolerance to heat and the simpler grooming that is required. Callie is a very special girl. Despite the fact that she came from a herding background she is the perfect family dog. She seemed to have arrived house trained and is happy to quietly be with her foster family. She is a gentle dog who loves children, enjoys cuddling and walking. She is just beginning to learn to play. Unlike many Border Collies, Callie doesn’t require a great deal of activity and stimulation and is described by her foster family as “an easy dog to be with” as well as sweet and lovable. {If you are interested in learning more about Callie please contact Jennifer Fitzwater or Kathy Hallberg – see contacts}





~The McVeys~

Our Featured Foster Family for September


Our Fostering Experience


I never really expected that we would become a foster family for dogs.  We were pretty set in our routine.  Our kids have busy schedules and we both worked.  We also assumed with fostering you would get too attached to the dog and just couldn’t let them go.  When I met my new friends who were involved in Border Collie rescue, I was amazed at their dedication towards dogs that needed a second chance.  We knew we could not manage another dog on a permanent basis and but realized that fostering would allow us to help in our own way.


We were first asked to foster a Border Collie who was being relinquished by a man who was moving. Dietz was placed in just a week.  Before we realized it, he was off to his new home, which turned out to be perfect for him! 



Our second foster dog was Percy.  A family, who had underestimated the energy of a Border Collie, was relinquishing her.  Percy required some adjusting to our family routine.  She was a very good dog, but required much more exercise, mental challenge and supervision than what we were used to.  She was always on the go.  We adjusted and she eventually settled down.  We had Percy for two months before she was placed in her new home.  We were involved in reviewing the applicants since we were so close to her and felt we knew her best.  It was sad to see her go, but we knew she was off to a great home.


Our third foster is currently Callie.  She came from a shelter and her situation was very different from what we had experienced before.  She needed minor medical attention and several baths.  As a result of her experiences, she was very shy and underweight.  After about two weeks, her darling personality started to emerge.  She makes us chuckle!!  You can see that she is a great dog, just needing some love and kindness.  We know that she will make a great dog for someone.  We can’t wait for her to find that…. 


It makes us sad to think of all the dogs out there that are in bad situations and need loving homes.  It is difficult to understand that people can discard pets like a piece of trash out the car window.  You want to try to change the big problem, but it is so overwhelming.  It gives us satisfaction to be able to help the animals we can, one at a time.  It is wonderful to know that we are helping a dog that otherwise may be destroyed and help prepare it for a wonderful existence in a new home.  You can see it in the dog’s faces that they appreciate the chance and just want to be happy.


Being a foster family is not that difficult.  If you care for animals then you are open to helping them however you can.  Being a foster family allows you to get to know a dog, help it adjust and then send it on its way to a wonderful new life.  Giving them up can be sad, but you are happy that they are happy.  We feel this is a great experience for our children and will teach them to be loving and dedicated animal owners.  Our advice is to try fostering.  You will be amazed at the difference you can make and it will make you feel very good.  Not only does the dog win, but also you will gain so much in return.  It is priceless!

-Stacey McVey


This is Dietz, the McVey’s first foster dog