Dog Days

Dog Days at Mid-Atlantic Border Collie Rescue

18 September 2017

In Memory - MABCR Nellie Bolton

Sarah –

Here we meet again, with heavy hearts. We are sad to write we lost our baby girl Nell on Monday, 9/11. She had a massive stroke on Saturday and went into total paralysis. Nothing could be done except to let her go to be with her Big Sis. I spent all day Sunday until it was time to go to bed just lying with Nellie loving her and keeping her hydrated, knowing full well what the inevitable outcome would be come Monday morning. We laid her to rest at approximately 9:30 am.

She was a beautiful and loving girl and we will miss her terribly. After the pain of losing Scooch had passed, Nellie blossomed (no more need to be jealous!), and ate up all the love we gave her. We know Scooch wanted her Baby Sister back and now they are together.

WOW, I just took the time to read my email I sent to you last year (below) regarding Scoochy and noted ironically how the dates coincided. Scooch and Nell were truly connected. (editor's note - Scooch passed 11 September 2016)

As you can imagine, we are completely devastated. The house is too quiet, no one to say goodbye to in the mornings and no one to greet us at the end of the day. My prayer is that the girls will be in heaven waiting for us when it’s our time to join them. God bless you, Baby Mamu! Play in peace!!

Born: April 28, 2003 Died: September 11, 2017

** For those of you who know me, Nell is my Grace's littermate, so passings such as this, remind us all how precious the old age of our dear friends is. ~ Sarah

25 November 2016

Adoption Update: Beagan!

A quick update on the little guy...

He's now about 9 years old, but still has the go-go-go of a MUCH younger dog! He's the most wonderful companion, is silly and sweet, and is of course, super smart. He's a trick dog, and is surprisingly well known in our little town. He's been featured on television with my husband Eric, performs every year to support a local pet therapy organization, and is jokingly referred to as the mayor of our neighborhood. 

We have a beautiful wooded park nearby with loose leash laws, so he gets lots of time every day to run around and be a dog in a natural setting. He's not super interested in many other dogs and is usually afraid of cats, haha. He's learned how act around small children, though I don't think he likes the littlest ones much 😉 (we don't have children of our own). He loves to play tug, be chased, and fetch the ball. He is very spoiled, but hopefully in a healthy way! Thank you so much for bringing us together!!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thanks again,


21 October 2016

Adoption Update: Junior (formerly Newt)


I wanted to give you an update on Junior (Newt).  He is the absolute love of our lives, along with his brother Bo of course. We can not imagine life without him anymore and he spends all day, everyday with us. My older dog Bo NEVER played with any of my foster dogs, and as I type this, he and Junior are wrestling at my feet. They love to race around the yard and play frisbee. They love each other. Everyone compliments me on how well trained Junior is already, he is so smart! He knows sit, stay, lay down, come, paw left and right, spin, and we are working on roll over and fetch. He rarely has accidents in the house, and only chews on his toys. 

He went to his first puppy class today which he absolutely loved. He loved playing with all the other dogs, meeting new people, and playing on big toys. He loves rides in the car and coming to work with me. His vet appointments have been going well. He has been microchipped, had all puppy shots, rabies shot and is being vaccinated for Lyme because of where we live. He is on Nex guard and Heartguard already. 

I can not express how fortunate I am for being abe to adopt this little man. He is exactly what I have wanted to add to my family for the last couple of years, I am so glad I waited. Thank you so much for letting him adopt us, he is very very happy.


17 August 2016

In Memory: MABCR Sawyer


Back in late summer of 2008 we adopted a beautiful dog named Sawyer.  He came to MABCR from West Virginia.  Sawyer was a mix of Border Collie and a Sheep Guardian Dog – Probably Bernese Mountain.    I send you this email as Sawyer passed away today.   He was diagnosed with a terminal Nasal Carcinoma in May.

I wanted to let you know since we were under obligation to return him to you if we didn’t wish to care for him.  This of course was never the case.  He was deeply loved and a wonderful member of our family.   Thank you for picking us for him.   

Urbana, Maryland

03 June 2016

In Memory: UCD MABCR's Signing Bonus UDX, OM2, VER, RN, OTCH (Moss)

I'd always wanted a split faced dog and MABCR had one. But Sarah insisted I look at Moss instead. As I recall, her words were something along these lines: "He's a maniac and if you don't take him, whoever does will strangle him with their bare hands." (editor's note: Ilene is paraphrasing :) )

So I took him. And he was, indeed, a handful. No impulse control, no fear, acted first and thought afterward. But there were so many redeeming features! He was bright, clever, indefatigable, optimistic, willing to try anything, really wanted to please me and really wanted to work. He was happy from the minute he opened his eyes in the morning to when he drifted off into sweet dreams. 
I adored him.

 Moss grew up but he never grew old. He developed self-control but never stopped being silly. He placed in some sheepdog trials but he really excelled in the obedience ring, winning multiple High in Trial awards with performances that awed spectators and garnered comments like "I think he's splendid!" and "Damn, that dog is having fun!"

Moss ran and swam miles with us, flung himself off countless docks in pursuit of his flippy, joined us on a cross-country drive, demo-ed for my training business, and loved to ride on my paddleboard. He did it all with gusto and verve. So many times I wished I had his optimism, his good cheer and yes, just a wee bit of his impulsive silliness.

My Mossaboo now sleeps outside my bedroom door. I though he'd rather be there than anywhere else. We planted an azalea bush and I expect it to be a riot of color.

30 May 2016

On Our Way! Travels With Polly

Hi Sarah,

We are well on our way to CA. Polly says hello! Here are a few photos and a couple of videos which I hope you'll be able to view. Polly insisted on being the first item of luggage loaded into the car--there she is in her crate all ready to go (we had to convince her that we weren't leaving for another couple of hours). We spent last night at a KOA campground--that's us on the porch swing. And then today we found an amazing dog-friendly spot, Elk Meadow Open Space Park. Lots of dog-friendly hiking trails, a lovely cool stream to splash in, and a large fenced-in area with rocks and trees and things to scramble over. 

Happy Trails!


26 December 2015

MABCR Update!

As Mid-Atlantic Border Collie Rescue (MABCR) looks forward to its eighteenth (!!!) year of rescue, I am proud at how far we have come. At the same time, I feel challenged at how many miles we have yet to go.

In its first year of operation, MABCR rescued four dogs, but with your help through the years, we have rescued and re-homed more than 1,700 Border Collies, Border Collie mixes, and other worthy dogs that have come our way—as well as the occasional cat, goat, and miniature horse!

As many dogs as we assist, we still turn away an average of three dogs each day—1,095 per year—from our doors. You may wonder how MABCR's dedicated volunteers and I stay in the game; we do it by focusing on the dogs we can save.

You see, each and every dog that passes through our rescue is a great save, and every dog rehomed gives us the joy and hope to reach out to the next one that needs help. (We also love that the dogs we place change our adopters’ lives for the better!)

This year's highlights include:

  • Two litters of pups, along with their mamas, both pulled from the shelters where they had delivered their pups. Both litters were fostered by MABCR volunteers until they were old enough to come to the farm, and then go on to their new homes. Both moms went to great, loving homes as well!
  • Matty, who has been with us for more than 18 months waiting for his forever home. 
  • Lady, a bilaterally deaf dog who was misunderstood in her previous home. Understandable since it took us several months to uncover this sweet girl was unable to hear.
  • And most recently, Jack, an eight-month-old puppy who was found and turned over to us after he had been living feral for more than three months. 

Each and every animal is a great save. Each pup is special. Each forever home is special. The relationship that consequently grows between a newly rehomed dog and their new humans is very special.
Your commitment to MABCR has helped make each and every one of them possible. Every dollar donated supports our dogs and helps to keep them comfortable until we are able to find the appropriate home for them.

In 2015, through incredible support from a donor, we were able to raise the funds (through a matching challenge) to install additional fencing to protect our rescue guests. All of our rescues have benefited from a safe, securely fenced play area.


Projects scheduled for 2016 include repairing the doors in our kennel building, as well as replacing some of our old gates with new, stronger, safer gates, in addition, we would like to add outdoor lighting to allow dogs to be walked and exercised after dark during the long dark months of winter. Volunteers are lined up to tackle this hard work—three groups of students are scheduled to come to the farm this winter via our Break Away [] program.

These are ambitious goals, but achievable ones, if we all work together.

The dogs we rescue count on us, and on you. Without you, we cannot do what we do. With your gift
we can accomplish these vital goals together, and provide essential supplies that will benefit all the dogs that we care for in 2016 and beyond. Your continued financial support will help us continue on our mission to change the lives of our dogs with the simplest of ingredients. Thank you for helping MABCR save and enrich the lives of so many deserving Border Collies.

Good tidings, and great joy to you and yours for a wonderful New Year.


Sarah Ruckelshaus

Executive Director

Mid-Atlantic Border Collie Rescue

P.S. If you prefer, you can make your secure contribution of any amount online at

P.P.S. You can also make a difference all year long by becoming a member of the Shepherds’ Nook. You’ll make a huge impact for as little as 27 cents a day. Find out more at

Ways to Give to MABCR: Check/Money Order payable to MABCR, Inc. P.S. If you prefer, you can make your secure contribution of any amount online at

Donations of stock and marketable securities can be made to MABCR as well—please contact Sarah Ruckelshaus at

Mid-Atlantic Border Collie Rescue, Inc., is a registered 501-C-3 nonprofit. Donations are tax-deductible and a copy of the financial statement can be reviewed by contacting Sarah Ruckelshaus at:

MABCR~24420 Chestertown Road~Chestertown Maryland 21620