A BCCA Beardie Rescue Dog

from: Maggie in Venice

A Bearded Collie in winter

ABOVE: Maggie in winter.

By Durant and Cheryl Imboden,

Bearded Collies were part of our family for nearly 17 years. Holly, our black-and-white Beardie, died in 2001 at age 15; Pippa, our white-and-black "mismark," was just three months short of her 17th birthday when she died in 2002.

photoSo, when we decided in fall of 2003 that the time had come to get another dog, we wanted a Beardie or a "Neardie." And because we'd always owned purebreds that we'd raised from puppyhood, we thought it was time that we adopted a homeless dog. So we contacted Beardie Rescue and B.O.N.E., two organizations that locate and find homes for Bearded Collies or "Neardies." We soon got an e-mail that told us of an adult female Beardie that needed a new home, and we agreed to adopt her sight unseen. (See "If you're interested in rescuing a dog" and "If you need to give up a dog" below.)

Maggie in VeniceWe picked Maggie up at a Beardie Rescue worker's home in the Chicago area and drove her home to Minneapolis, where she was an instant hit with our family. Now, more than six years later, she continues to be very much a part of our lives, and adopting her from Beardie Rescue was one of the best decisions we've ever made. She's also the star of Maggie in Venice, a blog about the adventures of an American dog in Italy.

Update: Maggie died in 2017 at the ripe old age of 16 years and 3 days. We miss her and think of her every day.

If you're interested in rescuing a dog:

  • Don't overlook your local pound, Humane Society, or "no-kill" pet shelter. We had our hearts set on a Beardie or "Neardie," but if we'd been been less interested in a specific breed or mix (or if we'd wanted a type of dog that was more popular in our region), we would have adopted from a local shelter.

  • Be sure you're ready for a long-term commitment. Countless pets are handed over to shelters and rescue programs every year because the owners don't have time to care for them or can't afford to pay for food, veterinarary services, and other costs of pet ownership. If you adopt a dog, be prepared to accept responsibility for that animal.

  • If you're adopting a purebred, research the breed. Different breeds have different characteristics. For example, Beardies tend to be sweet and affectionate, but they also need exercise, human companionship, and frequent grooming. (If you want a low-maintenance pet, don't get a Bearded Collie!)

  • When asked for the required donation, give more than the minimum. The required donation or fee often doesn't cover the expenses related to the dog's rescue and pre-adoption care, which may include a vet's exam and spaying or neutering as well as food and incidental costs. The rescue coordinators and foster homes give generously of their time, so please be equally generous when you write your check. (Think of canine adoption as a good deed, not as a way to get a dog at a bargain price.)

  • For Beardie and Neardie rescue organizations, see the links in the navigation table below. For other breeds and mixed breeds, see the Open Directory Project's canine Rescues and Shelters index.  If you'd like to take an older dog into your home, contact The Senior Dogs Project. And in Britain, see The Dog Rescue Pages.

If you need to give up a dog:

  • Don't just hand your pet over to the pound. Instead, look for a shelter or rescue organization that can help place the dog in a home where it will be cherished and cared for. That's what Maggie's owner did--and because Maggie's owner took the time to find Beardie Rescue, Maggie ended up with our family instead of being put to death in a city dog pound.

For information on rescuing a Beardie or a "Neardie," see:

BCCA Beardie Rescue
(Bearded Collie Club of America)

(Beardies and Others Needing Emissaries)