L to R: Russell, Huggy and Jasmine posing on the Stratford Greenway one frosty morning gave us the idea of producing our very own Christmas cards to send to friends and supporters. Jasmine, our original collie, was joined by Huggy in January 1991 and Russell in December 1991. Huggy had been rescued from the West Midlands Police Dog Pound near Wolverhampton. It was touch and go whether he would survive from a virus he acquired during his seven day stay at the kennels.
L to R:
Jasmine, Russell and Huggy enjoying the festivities.
L to R: Jasmine, Russell and Huggy
No sooner had we moved to our current home, the snow fell giving us the perfect opportunity to use this photo for our third annual card.
L to R:
Huggy, Russell and Jasmine enjoying another snowy winter.
L to R: Sparky, Huggy, Biffin, Russell and Jasmine. 1997 saw our family grow from three to five permanent canines. Sparky the Sheltie came to us while he recovered from a difficult ear operation and ended up staying! We also acquired Biffin, an Australian Shepherd x Border Collie who turned out to be epileptic. This was our last Christmas with Jasmine to whom we said goodbye just before the New Year arrived.
L to R: Huggy, Russell, Jodie, Sparky and Biffin.
What a perfect picture - we were always so proud of this gang. Jodie, who joined us in the Spring of 1998, soon took on the alpha female role left vacant when Jasmine passed on.
L to R: Russell, Sparky, Biffin, Huggy and Jodie
Yet another picture of the gang taken on The Greenway overlooking Stratford Racecourse. They were brilliant at posing while we clicked our way through a roll of film.
L to R: Sparky, Huggy, Russell, Jodie and Biffin
We were so proud of this picture of the gang, taken on Constantine Bay, Cornwall, in the May that we thought we would use it for the annual Christmas card.
L to R: Biffin, Suki, Jodie, Russell and Huggy
It was back to the more formal wintry background for this year's card. Sadly we had lost Sparky during the year. When we took this photo early in 2001, we were fostering the tri Sheltie, Suki, who was recovering from an operation in which a tumour had been removed from one of her legs.
L to R: Huggy, Jasmine and Russell
Our special tribute to Huggy who was given eternal sleep during the summer of 2002. Our Christmas Card that year depicted a portrait on canvas of this perfect trio of rough collies, commissioned in 1994 when Huggy was chosen by Peter Purvis as Best Rescue at a local fun dog show. (c) Roger Clarke
Russell and Friends Past and Present
Our personal tribute to darling Russell, a five month old rough collie we managed to "rescue" from a pet shop in the West Midlands back in 1991. He had been so traumatised by the experience he found it difficult to negotiate doorways and interacting with people. He spent the day on display in a glass cabinet and incarcerated by night in a metal cage at the back of the shop. He helped to inspire us in our quest to care for vulnerable and unwanted rough collies. It was indeed an honour to share our lives with this special boy.
Christmas 2004 - Our Tribute to Jamie who came to the Collie Hospice in September 2003 but given forever sleep in June 2004. Jamie came to us for rehoming after he had been found wandering in a park in Stourbridge. Sadly, he had compression of the spine but was still managing to live life to the full. The specialist, who found it hard to believe he was able to walk, advised we should think of quality not quantity of life on this occasion. It broke our hearts when the dreaded day came but it brings great comfort to have this lasting memory of such a wonderful and gentle rough collie, caught on film during our May holiday at Treyarnon Point, Cornwall.
We would be interested to hear from you if you have (or have had) a rough collie with a similar character to Rusty.
Please phone or email in confidence.
Christmas 2005 - L to R: Rusty, Sunny, Sally and Jodie
Believe it or not, this was taken in our back garden!
Easy-going, well-tempered, affectionate are not words that are synonymous with Rusty. He came to us in 2002 (only 10 months old) from a lady who had always had rough collies but was unable to cope with him. Rusty, whose first option is to use his teeth - is one of the very few collies we have never managed to "turn round" - and there have been more than a couple of occasions where the inevitable has been discussed with the vet! However, thanks to some very supportive friends who have had him on a long-term foster since 2008, he has a great life where he seems to be happy - albeit he tends to prefer his own company most of the time! He comes back to us for grooming and holidays and prefers the dogs to us!
Left to right:
L to R: Sunny, Jodie, Sally and Rusty
Another photo taken in our back garden - a carpet of collies!
As you can see Rusty is thinking "have I really got to do this!".
L to R:
Sunny, Ivan (at rear), Jodie, Sally and Rusty
Ivan had just arrived from our friend Jean in Eire. He probably thought we were made setting up this snowy scene in our back garden but he was keen to be included! Just look at Rusty thinking "I'm off out of here when I get the chance!".
L to R: Jodie, Sunny, Sally and Rusty
Nothing fake about this snow!
This was the last Christmas Jodie spent with us; we had to make that awful decision in the autumn of 2009 when her fight against Cushings had sapped her strength. Once again, Rusty is there to humour us!