Goodbye to our South Korean collie: ShinBi (8 June 2015)

For those of you who don’t know, the decision was made to put ShinBi to sleep. It was, perhaps, something that we could have predicted and perhaps some will say what Southland Collie Rescue did was just stalling the inevitable. I’ve thought about this a lot. I have in the past made the decision for my own dogs when it was time. This was not my decision, but I respect the judgment of ShinBi’s foster mom, Sue Baldwin.

Baldwin is the person who matched me with my first rescue collie, Laddie. She then matched me with Bodhi, my first smooth collie. Laddie and Bodhi are now long gone, dying at about 10 and 14 respectively.

We do not know the age of ShinBi. We only know that when he was first pulled from the shelter in South Korea, he was alert and he pranced. Yes, he pranced. By the time he got to the U.S., landing in 20 February 2014, he was very thin and very ill. He was also a very lucky dog. He should not have made it to the U.S. because he had heartworm. We learned that heartworm doesn’t show up until there are adult worms who had mated and propagated. ShinBi came in just before that happened.

Southland Collie Rescue then faced the long and expensive medical journey required to treat heartworm and diabetes. I learned a lot about heartworm and expect to look even more into the experience of the owning a diabetic animal.

Although I originally raised the money to bring another dog, Kobe, over from South Korea, bringing over ShinBi forced me to do more than one GoFundMe campaign. We needed to raise money to cover his medical costs. As I and my collie friends learned more about the possibilities of GoFundMe, we also had other collie-related crises. I was able to, with varying success, help other rescues using GoFundMe, including Rocky Mountain Collie and Sheltie Rescue, especially for their Dallas the dog GoFundMe campaign.

When ShinBi arrived at LAX, I met Bert Grimm and his wife Shauna Hoffman. I also met a woman who loves purple just as much as I do, Kyle Orlemann. During the year and three months that ShinBi was alive in California, I raised money for an expedition that Hoffman took to Houston, Texas to bring back four Tomball collies and I was ready to start a GoFundMe campaign for Jerry Orlemann’s service dog Barak when Kyle wrote about his emergency medical crisis on Facebook.

I know that some people will think that raising money to save a dog for only one year and three months might not be a good investment of time and money, and further, to raise money for an eye surgery for a dog who lives only one month past the surgery was a waste of resources,  but for a collie, one year is like seven human years to a dog. One month is like seven months. ShinBi was warm and happy and loved, not just by Sue Baldwin, but by Southland Collie Rescue and many of his fans.

His foster mom, Sue Baldwin wrote on FB, “For 8 long months SCR treated his heartworm and put him on several liver medications to get his values down in order to get him healthy enough to do cataract surgery. May 11, 2015 at Eye Care for Animals was monumental as he could see once again. Our hopes were that with his sight restored he would be motivated to move more once again. He lived in a home with several other dogs and cats and initially loved going out to bark and play with them. Motivated he was, but now physically unable due to the toll of his diabetes and other issues causing his muscles to atrophy. Just one month after surgery, no longer could he get up on his own.”

ShinBi was a collie that required a dedicated community to raise,  a community that I didn’t know existed until ShinBi came to California.

Baldwin wrote, “ShinBi didn’t have a mean bone in his body and gladly went often to the vet’s for treatments. We thank all of you who supported him this last year with your thoughts, prayers, gifts of clothing and toys, and monetary donations. ShinBi, like any dog who comes to SCR, is given every possible chance. We never give up. But in the end, Shin did give up as it was just too much to ask of him. He crossed to the Rainbow Bridge on June 8th easily and peacefully knowing he was loved by so so many. He will be forever in our hearts.”

Thank you for all of your kindness and generosity.

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