8-year-old Tricolor male  This Collie has Special NeedsRequires expensive medical treatment in foster care Read what ‘Heartworm Positive’ means

This is the story of Lance and his life since being brought in as a stray to a shelter in southern Wisconsin:

He had an oldness to his face.  It was hard to know how old he actually was.  He was tested for Heartworm and found to be positive, so the shelter contacted MWCR to see if they could help him.  The shelter thought he was a very sweet boy, maybe an older boy, but they didn't have the funds to treat him for the heartworm as treatment is costly.

MWCR was pretty full of needy collies at the time, but there was a foster home not far from the shelter that offered to take him in. The MWCR volunteer went to see Lance at the shelter.  He was very thin.  His hair looked reddish black, which usually means he had been getting very poor nutrition and care.  He had a nice bed and clean area at this shelter, with fresh water and food.  He was very happy there and cried when his new foster mom took him in her car.  She had never had a dog cry when leaving a shelter before.  It was probably the nicest place Lance had ever been in his life.  They were kind to him and he had shelter and food.  He did not want to leave.

Shortly, though, Lance discovered that he was being taken to a home where there were several Collies like him, all friendly and happy to see a new face.  This new place had food and water also, and beds to sleep on.  He started thinking this might be ok.

Lance was taken to the vet and retested for the heartworm and examined for his poor skin condition and really dry brittle coat.  He was glad to get back home from that visit and the foster mom was given some meds for his skin and medicated shampoo and orders to try to put a little weight on those bones before giving him the immedicide (a poison which needs to be given to kill the heartworms). The treatment is hard on dogs, and they need to be kept still for several weeks after this treatment is administered.

Lance completed his heartworm treatments, and now gets medicated shampoos to help his skin and hair which is looking shiny and feeling softer all the time.  He was very brave while getting the treatments.  It's a painful injection and he took it very quietly – just trustingly leaned into the lady doctor as it was administered.  She was very amazed at how brave and good he was.

In all ways at his foster home, he is gentle and sweet and such a good boy through everything.  It has now been several weeks since his heartworm treatment has been completed, and he can finally run and play with his friends there.  He has greatly increased energy, and even prances around like a beautiful collie should.

“It is clear”, says his foster mom, “that Lance did not have a very good life before being rescued.”  He still will reactively respond with fear if his foster mom walks towards him with a rake or broom in her hand.  He is afraid of anything being thrown in his direction.  Clearly he was not treated kindly in his life.  He may always respond to a broom or rake or shovel as a threat.  That makes his foster mom very sad.  It's always hard to understand someone treating a gentle sweet dog like Lance (or any dog!) in a cruel mean way.

In all the weeks of being with his foster family, Lance has never once shown even a trace of grumpiness.  He is the most gentle, sweet collie that his foster mom has ever had.  For all he's been through, he doesn't have a mean bone in his body.

He is being fostered near Madison, WI.