Just as NORBIT was turning 11, marking a year at Glen Highland, he sadly weakened and was unable to lift his backend properly. Knowing that he had a severely enlarged heart from cardiomegaly as well as heartworm disease, we quickly had various diagnostics performed. In a surprise twist, it wasn’t his heart at all, it was a tumor on his spleen. Already the size of a baseball, it was leaking fluid causing the mobility issues and coughing as well. There was only one decision…

NORBIT left us Friday afternoon on May 10th, peacefully released back to spirit.

This puppy looking little guy brought such charm to everyone he met…not 'cause he was adorable which he was but mostly because he was such a spunky, opinionated fella who ‘suffered no fools’. We all knew the “who are you and what do you want” look which meant respect was in order! That was Norbit’s way…’his way or the highway’, as the saying goes.

There was another Norbit who emerged many, many months after arrival from Texas…he began to watch the other dogs and enjoy toy play, totally adorable as if he was freed from the constraints of the ‘old man’ views and inhabited that puppy size body!

Norbit was a funny character through and through. He arrived in very, very rough shape and left us a very content, trusting and happy guy. Norbit and his toys and his new life, were a great bonus for him and he loved it all.

Lucky for those of us who met him in person or through his pictures…Norbit shared the joy of a new journey to all those who looked closely… We will miss him…

Update January 2024

NORBIT has really landed well…finally settling in as if he’s been here all his life.

This little fella had lived on a boat and since we had no access to solid information, we had to wait and see how he approached life. Well, he was clear as a bell. He looked at us as if we had three heads, were totally off track and knew absolutely nothing. He tolerated us for his meals and then went on his way…perhaps a house was just too off plan to make sense! He intently watched from afar, the gang of rescues he lived with and stared non-stop at the Caretaker.

Roll ahead months later and finally, Norbit picks up toys as if they were his all along and began to act like a happier guy. Walking around the house with his toys, showing the caretaker his prizes... Just the greatest transformation!

Little Norbit is a tiny guy, either the runt of the litter or mixed with some pocket size dog yet he is a perfect Border Collie in looks and brain power…He’s very low energy because of his medical condition with an enlarged heart and heartworm disease but he is now showing his more engaging playful side…quite a charmer…

Enjoy a peek at this pint size Border Collie…he seems to have his feet on land now!

Barbara Erskine and my wonderful senior girl, GH alum Janie

"You are safe now."
- Love Linda, Sky, Jim & Alice the cat

Michael Opalinski, on behalf of Tux and Reid

In memory of "Brodie" our BC who passed, and our current girl Maddy - Larry Cable

With love and admiration for the entire Glen Highland family -
Jim & Rene Duffy and Sara, Gracie & Dakota



We're glad Norbit is here with us because his diagnostics told a bigger story than heartworm…

He has cardiomegaly, secondary to heartworm disease. His heart is 60% larger than it should be, making his heart pump harder than usual and often the organs like lungs and kidneys also work poorly. His labwork reveals lots of problems in his body. This all leaves him in a VERY delicate state… he fatigues without much effort… he is generally sedate. He is certainly not living the life of a Border Collie, even at 10.

Norbit’s condition is guarded. At Glen Highland’s Senior Sanctuary, we often have older dogs who are at death’s door and the soft landing we can provide lessens their suffering as well as provides a cocoon of love. Many we have lost had the best week… weeks or month… before they returned to spirit.

Norbit’s Echocardiogram revealed advanced heart disease, as expected, so he is on medication to prevent fluid build-up in his chest. He is doing well and has gained more energy so we are optimistic we can gain more time for him.

On arrival to Glen Highland in June 2023, Norbit kept to himself, assessing his new situation, looking so serious as his entire world had changed. But now he follows our caretaker around, and comes in for hellos and head scratches with a wag of his nub tail. He is enjoying his Border Collie pals, moving easily amongst them and showing interest in simplified ball and toy play, too, pouncing like a cat on his ‘prize’. Norbit also helps our caretaker keep track of mealtimes... he loves to eat! He also recently discovered the comfort of a cushy dog bed - he used to prefer sleeping in the middle of a rug.

Some of Norbit’s new buddies are also on borrowed time so they all are moving at about the same speed…thankfully all of them, Norbit included, have a great will to go on! They love attention, play time and food... All good indicators that more time is possible.

Norbit is a petite 37 pounds. He was discovered on a boat with his deceased guardian. The guardian’s family told the shelter to euthanize him because they didn’t want him. THAT was not meant to be his fate.



A huge thanks to rescuer Chris Mueller who advocated for Norbit to get to
Glen Highland; and to GH adopter Sandy Iglesias who dropped everything
driving a 7 hour roundtrip to prevent his euthanasia. Days later,
Norbit traveled 24 hours from Texas to Virginia. And major kudos to the very
overcrowded Galveston Shelter who refused to put down such a
nice dog when the relative said to do so.

All these heroes are needed as more and more Border Collies,
especially Seniors, truly fight for their lives just hoping for a second chance.