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Border Collie Skye - A Special Girl

Skye Border Collie

Skye the Border Collie


Pet Portraits - Dogs, Cats and ALL animals painted from your own photos

A big thank you to all the kind people who bought Skye's Fund greeting cards and/or donated to Skye.

A VERY special thanks to Mary Burke for all her hard work for Skye.

Border Collie Skye as a baby Skye on Boxing Day 2004 Border Collie Skye with  young Border Collie Cross Breeze. Skye checking the tree tops for squirrels jumping.
Hello!  I'm Skye little. Hello!  I'm Skye bigger. Me with my little sister Breeze Looking for Squirrels
Skye the Border Collie doing her swimming therapy Skye the Border Collie with Breeze her house sister Breeze. Skye the Border Collie with a branch she wants to keep. Skye the Border Collie lying down in Floyds field
Doing my hydrotherapy. Still looking for squirrels. How do I get this big stick home? Taking a break in the meadow.
Skye posing nicely so she can have that treat just out of camera range. Border Collie Skye's house sister Breeze a Border Collie Mix from Dogs Trust Border Collie Skye's house brother Borage Border Collie Skye hunting again.
Taking a break in the garden. Breeze waiting for Skye Borage waiting for Skye & Breeze Skye Hunting
Border Collie Skye's house brother Borage the English Springer Spaniel A Local wood where we often take Border Collie Skye for her walks. Border Collie Skye hunting for mice and frogs in the long grass.
Borage posing A bee which fascinated Skye June 2008 - Skye Hunting again June 2008 - Skye the Poser
Border Collie Skye splashing the water which she loves doing. Border Collie Skye watching her babies - the Guinea Pigs Border Collie Skye's friend Tufty the Guinea Pig Border Collie Skye's friend Tommy the Guinea Pig
July 2008 - Skye splashing Skye watching her Guinea Pigs July 2008 - Skye's friend Tufty the Guinea Pig July 2008 - Skye's friend Tommy the Guinea Pig
Border Collie Skye paddling in a local river Skye the Border Collie Dog Skye our Border Collie, recovering from her first TPLO operation Gonzo our Chihuahua
Skye Paddling & Borage Jumping Skye Posing again 1st Cruciate Break - My mum put the Guinea pigs down here for me to watch 'cos I'm bored lying here while my leg mends. Skye's latest housemate - Gonzales (Gonzo) the Chihuahua.

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow.
Don't walk behind me, I may not lead.
Just walk beside me and be my friend forever.
Author Unknown

Skye is a beautiful Collie, born on a farm in the centre of England on 23 May 2002.  She was adopted at 10 weeks of age and went to live with a 12 year old boy, his younger brother aged eight and his father. However, the family were to find out, over the next few months, that the little pup had some major problems.

When she was a few months old, she started having increasing difficulty rising from a lying down position.  In fact she started to cry out in pain.  Eventually, if she really wanted to move, she sometimes dragged herself across the floor by her elbows rather than go through the pain of trying to stand.  She never sat down but, amazingly, balanced on her front legs while appearing to be adopting a sitting position when told to sit. Her difficulty in walking increased by the week and she gave up playing games. She was unable to climb onto the armchairs, never attempted going upstairs and never jumped up to greet anybody. She did not have to be trained into this behaviour.  It was just too painful for her to do these things. She was a young puppy lying quietly on her bed, like an elderly dog and she was so depressed.

Her Vet diagnosed that she has hip dysplasia in both her hips and prescribed some daily pain medication for her, and swimming therapy to enable her to build up her hip muscles without placing too much strain on her bad hips.

Even with pain medication, with the puppy's increasing size and weight, her pain was also increasing and Skye had to have a bilateral pendectomy operation when she was 7 months old.  This is an operation on both her hips to enable her to walk with less pain.  She was too young to have the full hip replacement operation. The pendectomy operation helped considerably and she started to play again.

Unfortunately, in December 2003, she gave a terrible scream while out walking and, it was discovered that she had dislocated her hip.  Then early in 2004 she dislocated the same hip twice more and at the age of 21 months, the Vet advised the family that she needed both her hips replaced.

This, of course, is where the problem lies.  Each hip costs about 4,000 and Skye's owner is a lone young dad trying to raise his two boys.  He does not have this kind of money but has made a promise to his sons that Skye will not be put to sleep.  He really wants to keep this promise so he is trying to raise enough funds to have Skye's hips replaced.

The family are saving what money they can and the boys are even saving their little bit of weekly allowance for Skye's operations. However, they cannot save much and it will take many years for them to save up enough to get Skye's hips fixed.

Please would you help Skye by donating whatever you can afford.  Even small sums will bring Skye's operation that little bit closer.  If you wish to donate by credit card via Isabel Clark Paintings, just click on the PayPal Donate button under Skye's picture above and follow the instructions. Please make sure you state that your donation is marked for SKYE'S FUND.  You may also send donations by cheque to:- Skye's Fund, c/o Isabel Clark, 24, Goodman Way, Tile Hill Village, Coventry CV4 9UF.  Please make out your cheques to Skye's Fund and please give your address for acknowledgement of your kind gift.

Thank you all in advance. Skye is a wonderful young Border Collie who has experienced constant pain throughout her short life.  She really deserves a chance to feel what living without pain is like.  To follow Skye's progress, please keep checking on the website. 

2006 - 2008 Update

Skye, whom we had been watching for some years during the day, stayed with us for longer and longer periods and now, it appears, is staying for good.  It is safer we have her with us anyway, as she dislocated her hip 3 times and that would have been disastrous if nobody had been at home.  As I work from home, I can check on her constantly.

In about May 2008, it was discovered that Skye has a heart murmur, which is rather worrying but the vet says it is slight.  We are hoping it does not get too bad.  She has enough problems to deal with.

On 31 August 2008, Skye broke her cruciate ligament and was not able to walk on that leg.  In fact, she constantly held it out at a funny angle.  She was booked in for an operation, which was carried out on 8 September 2008.  To overcome the problem of the broken cruciate ligament, a TPLO operation was carried out.  This is quite a major operation and involved cutting through the leg bone and re-aligning it with the lower limb, then screwing a plate on to keep it in its new place during the healing of the bone.  During the surgery, they found she had also badly damaged her cartilage and they had to remove about half of it.  Unfortunately, this means she will eventually have arthritis in that knee but that is another worry for tomorrow.  Meanwhile, the TPLO operation appears to have gone well and the surgeon who operated on Skye is a extremely good vet. 

We did warn the Vet and staff at the hospital that Skye was an extremely fearful dog in strange places.  We were hoping she would be too doped up to know or care where she was. However, just after her operation, when the vet and nurse tried to make their post-op check on her, Skye was terrified and would not let them near her or her leg and eventually, trying to avoid the vet, ended up on her back scrabbling, frightened silly.  In the end, the vet phoned me up and explained they were having problems checking her as she was too distressed.  I asked, "Would you like us to come and pick her up?"  I have never heard such relief in a person's voice.  Well, we picked her up, after the vet had given her a pain-killing injection to last that first night, and Skye seems to have progressed very nicely since then.  She is only allowed gentle walks for up to 10 minutes on level ground and she was getting very bored not being able to go out for longer walks and not being able to play much, so we have put the Guinea Pigs down on the floor in the front room for her to watch.  This solved the problem as she really loves watching them and they are completely used to her and don't worry even when she barks.

In 2007 we also acquired Borage, an English Springer Spaniel.  We also just looked after him during the day at first but his owner realised that he was very fond of Skye and Breeze and did not like being away from them and they also had a very demanding job, with not much time to spare, so I think he is staying too.


Skye was having a wonderful time chasing swallows in Floyd's Field near our home when she suddenly came to a halt and lifted her back leg in a peculiar position.  At first, I thought she had dislocated her hip again but it did not look quite the same as when she had last dislocated her hip.

After getting all the dogs home, Skye was taken to her Vet where she was kept in to have some X-Rays taken.  The vet did not seem very certain it was her hips this time.

When we were called back in to speak to the vet and pick Skye up, the vet explained that it was her cruciate ligament which had been broken and they would have to refer her to a specialist vet.  A few days later we were at the Referral Vet's where we had to leave Skye again while they checked her out themselves.  She, as usual, had to be sedated as she is so frightened when she is left with strangers.

The end result was that the Vet had to perform a TPLO operation on Skye.  This involved cutting her bone and rotating it a little, then securing it with plates and screws. One of her bones cracked a little during this operation but it healed itself in time.  However, Skye was so frightened when she came around from the operation, the vet could not check her out so we were called in to pick her up.   The vet then was able to check her out.  However, although she had only just had the operation, he thought she would be better going home with us filled up with enough pain killers.  So that is what we did and she did not look back.  It was a long recovery though.  She broke her cruciate in July and was not allowed off her lead until December.  In December we thought, great, that's finished with.  We could not see into the future.


Once again, in July when the Swallows are swooping over Floyds field after the midges, the dogs and I were wandering back from some further fields.  I looked up to get Skye on her lead to stop her chasing the Swallows again as we came back into Floyds.  She was nowhere in sight and I realised she must have gone ahead.  This was unusual for her.  She always stayed by me as we walked through the further fields.  I hurried on hoping she was not trying to chase swallows.  As I came over the bank into Floyds I sighed with relief to see her standing nearby.  However, the relief was misplaced.  When Skye saw me she turned to come to me and it was then I saw that one of her legs was sticking out at a peculiar angle.  Yes, she had broken the other cruciate ligament.

We had to repeat the same rigmarole as the year before.  However, this time, the vet was prepared for her being frightened.  She had another TPLO operation with a newer design of plate and luckily her bone did not break when the put the screws in this time.  Anyway, Skye got through it all once again.  She is now the bionic dog and there is now no way we could take her abroad without her setting off all the alarms in the airports.

We are now looking after a young Chihuahua male called Gonzales - Gonzo for short.  He actually belongs to my son's partner but unlike their other 2 Chihuahuas, Gonzo could not be left on his own.  I am at home all day so he is fine here.

Breeze found a 5 week old grey squirrel baby at the end of August.  The poor little thing was desperately trying to climb up the nearby tree but it could hardly crawl.  In the end it tried to crawl into some undergrowth.  However, Reg came over to see what Breeze was watching and rescued it. Grey Squirrels are considered vermin in the UK because they are not indigenous but this was a tiny baby who looked like it had not fed for a while.  It is a good thing that Borage, the English Springer, did not find the squirrel.  He would have just killed it in seconds.  Breeze is not a hunter, unlike Borage.


Skye is still fascinated with the guinea-pigs.  I think she regards them as pups.  She has found out how to open the door to their cage and we have found her with her head inside on a number of occasions.  She just watches the piggies while they totally ignore her and carry on eating or whatever they want to do.


Isabel Clark BA (Honours) Fine Art

Pet Portraits of Dogs, Cats & Animals in oils on canvas or watercolours

by Isabel Clark Paintings Make Very Special Gifts or Cards

Contact Name and Address:-

Isabel Clark - Proprietor, 24 Goodman Way, Tile Hill Village, Coventry  CV4 9UF England - Tel: 024 76462885

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Then click on the following link 


and order a unique one created by Isabel Clark

Bespoke Greeting Cards, stationery & Prints are also available on the above website


Paintings of Horses and Ponies Paintings of People Pencil Study Portraits
Frequently Asked Questions The Artist's Pets GIFT VOUCHERS


Animal  Poems Nature  Poems England  Poems Assorted  Poems Message  Poems

I just need  a CLEAR photo of your pet dogs, cats, ponies, horses, birds or any other pet animals, persons or places,

to create a unique and special gift.

If you do not have any clear, close up photos of your pet, take some NOW.

If your pet has sadly died and it is too late to take any clear photos I will willingly look at your photo and let you know if it is clear enough. I love my pet portrait work, but one of the saddest aspects is where an old pet has died and the owner has no clear photo to remember their friend by, or, indeed, to create a pet portrait memorial to their lost one. So take those pictures now, even if you do not yet decide on a painting of your pet.

The happiest aspect of my work is when my client has received their pet portrait and telephone or write to let me know how delighted they are in spite of the tears over their lost friend. I have so many lovely letters telling me how the portrait of their pet is now taking pride of place in their home, and how they feel their pet's spirit is still with them whenever they gaze at the painting. So do not hesitate. Order your pet portrait painting today.  You will be so glad you did.

Children or any person or pet can be painted into the scene, even if they were not in that particular photo. Many things are possible. If you have a special request, just ask. If it is possible it can be done.

So, if you have no CLEAR photos, get clicking and send your favourite photo to me for that dog painting, cat painting, animal painting, or landscape painting. You will be delighted with the result.

Pet dogs, cats, animals or any child or adult can be painted into the scene, even if they were not in that particular photo. Many things are possible. If you have a special request, just ask. If it is possible it can be done.

We should all value our historical houses be they palaces, farmhouses or cottages, they are our links to our past, but sadly, many are being allowed to deteriorate beyond any repair. It would be a poorer world with no physical reminders of our ancestors presence. Whenever, I get the opportunity I am out painting and capturing little corners of this England onto canvas or watercolour paper.

We should have much tougher laws against the pollution of our rivers and fields, and stricter laws to protect pressured animals and green spaces.

Imagine a world with only one creature, the human being. What a dreadful place that would be. We must all do our best to alleviate some of the harm man has done to this world and its animal inhabitants. One way is to enforce planning controls for new human dwellings, office blocks and factories that are sympathetic to the natural environment.

The welfare of this Earth's wild creatures is something I feel very passionately about. We have done so much harm to these fellow residents of our planet, who, of course, have as much right to exist as humanity. Wild animals, including the smallest insect have no less right to live out their natural lifespan as ourselves.

We should not attempt to turn all their wild habitats into pretty parks for just our enjoyment. Nature is wild and beautiful in its wildness. Wild animals need to be wild and free and people can find enjoyment in this too.

We cannot turn this, still beautiful, Earth into a controlled, barren environment for the convenience of just one of this world's creatures, ourselves. We can help these animals in many ways, such as not mowing every piece of wild meadow near our towns. No voles, hawks or butterflies can exist on a lawn. These animals need the shelter of tall grasses to hide in and to feed from. Where there are no hiding places, there are no wild creatures. Where the grass is mown no wild flowers can flourish. However, with a little goodwill on our part it is amazing how quickly Mother Nature heals her wounds.

Remember the warm days of summer as, during the cold days of winter, you gaze at your painting of your sunny garden and home.

If  you want a really unusual and special gift for a pet or animal lover for Christmas, Birthdays, Thanksgiving, Easter, Anniversaries, Retirements, Presentations or any other celebration, a portrait of a beloved pet is always a unique and very welcome gift. Whether it is a dog painting, cat painting, horse painting, wild animal painting, bird painting, child or adult human painting or a painting of someone's home and garden, it will bring delight and surprise to the recipient.

Pet Portraits of  Special Pets make Special Gifts
Isabel Clark's Pet Portraits of Special Pets make very Special Gifts

Pet Portraits of Dogs, Cats, Animals, Wildlife, People, Landscape Paintings & Greeting Cards created from Your Own Photos

Death is the liberator of him whom freedom cannot release,
the physician of him whom medicine cannot cure,
and the comforter of him whom time cannot console.
- Charles Caleb Colton -

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