Category Archives: Foster Dogs


From Foster to Forever: Barbara’s Adopted!

One of the saddest things in the world is when a senior dog is dumped at a shelter, so we’re especially happy for the sweet pug Barbara we brought into our foster care program.

Eleven-year-old Barbara’s become a foster graduate! Her foster family says they “fell in love with Barbara” while caring for her!


Who could resist such a sweet senior girl with big googly pug eyes and a tongue that hangs out from having so few teeth? Best of all, Barbara is super-cuddly and loves nothing more than to snuggle (OK, well, maybe food!)

barbara11yroldpugcroppedBeautiful grey lady Barbara’s sweet face!

Barbara has lots of companionship, now, too: new parents Shaun and Debra have three children and a senior female sheepdog who is the same age as Barbara. She has the run of the house and a securely fenced-in yard to play in.


We’re beyond happy for Barbara. No dog deserves to be dumped in their golden years and we’re glad she came to us and found her forever home. A wonderful outcome for Barbara to be adopted by the people she’s come to know, trust and love.

Thank you, Shaun, Debra and family!


Something Special about Northern Dogs

Our contact in the North asked us to take in two Northern dogs and we jumped at the chance. You ask anyone with a Northern dog how special they are and you’d better sit down and buy a coffee because you’re in for a wonderfully long tale.

It turns out one of the dogs is the Mom to Whiskey. Do you remember Whiskey? What an odd mix of a dog and now that we’ve met his mom – we know why.  Below is a picture of Whiskey.


And this is his mom…


And his brother (Monique’s son)….


Families are often very different.

The mom to the two boys is named Monique and she’s a mini version of Whiskey. I thought for sure he was one of a kind, but it turns out he has a mini-me in his mother.

Monique took 24 hours to adjust to a new life and she’s embracing it! She can finally relax and know she’s getting 3 squares a day.

Her son, Boozoo is about a year and a half old and wonderfully delightful. He does have some front leg issues we talked to Aunt Rachel about and she feels that if he’s moving well don’t mess with nature. Boozoo will have early onset arthritis due to his odd looking front legs. It makes him unique, special and a perfect dog to come through BCFS.


Both of these dog came in spayed / neutered and dewormed. We brought them up to date on their vaccinations on November 3, 2016 and they’re ready for adoption!

Boozoo is good with kids and other dogs. We aren’t sure about cats, but we don’t believe he’d be good with cats. The northern dogs tend to have a higher prey drive and he’s never seen a cat before.

Monique is about three years old and very healthy. She’s wonderfully unusual.


If you’re interested in adopting Monique or Boozoo please fill out an adoption application. A fenced yard is a good idea for these dogs.

We’d love to see them adopted together as they tend to bring each other comfort.







Healing Pippa’s Broken Spirit – Foster Mom Update

In September we introduced you to Pippa, a 4-year-old apricot poodle used and dumped at a shelter by a breeder. Her broken spirit and extreme fear of people makes her pee and poop on anyone who handles her. She has a profound fear of men in particular.


Pippa Makes Progress with a Little Help from Her Friends

Pippa has been in the safe care of one of BCFS’ trusted fosters. Raye’s permanent BCFS foster dog Harriette and her pug Sally have been helping to heal Pippa’s emotional wounds.


Pippa snugly sandwiched between Sally and Harriette

Foster mom Raye sent us an update and new photos of Pippa to share.


We’re heartened to know that Pippa is gradually learning how to be a normal dog, to work on her fears day by day, and to adjust to life without being constantly bred for money-making puppies. Raye writes,

“Pippa had dental work September 30th and came through with flying colours. She had one tooth crack all the way to the gum line and also had 3 others removed. I have her on soft food for a few days and she is eating well.

Pippa is bonding with Harriette ( BCFS cushings foster) and Sally our pug as well. She now cries to be out of her crate so she can be with the girls. I am in the process of leash training her. I brace her with Harriette and she is not as timid but our route is very limited. She is learning about cars driving by.

The antibiotics for the UTI have worked, wonderfully very few accidents in the house. She still panics over any strange noise or sudden move. Paul has found that it is not just – all men are evil. She has learned to keep one eye on him but will stay out of her crate and allow him to get within 2 feet as long as he is slow and quiet. She does not hide under the plants when the neighbours come to the fence to visit now. I believe part of that is Max their Havanese is her friend as well.

Pippa still poops when any stranger goes to touch her as the vet tech found out at the dental. This may be a forever trait. I always tell her when I am going to pick her up and she is fine with me.

Although she will mostly come when I call her she needs to wear her leash at all times because sometimes life does not allow an hour with the door open to get her to come in or if she hears a scary noise and hides in the cedar bush and won’t come out. The leash training has help me get her. With Paul the leash is a great tool for him to use.”


Pippa is gradually making positive progress in foster care but Raye writes,

“Pippa will not be ready for adoption for awhile yet.  Her needs are many and her anxiety is high. She has human male issues, noise issues, and house training issues. She is still learning to be a dog. She has taken to Harriette the BCFS permanent foster dog that has Cushings .”

We’re grateful for the patience, love and healing our fosters provide to broken rescue dogs like Pippa.  With Raye, Harriette, Sally and BCFS, Pippa has another chance in life – the chance she and every dog deserves.  We’ll keep you updated on Pippa’s progress and are grateful for your support of BCFS.


Harriette – Update on our Cushing’s Dog

Harriette came into foster dog care suffering extreme allergies that had robbed her of much of her fur, and left her skin red and raw and sore all over. Her eyes were swollen and weepy.

harriette at intake

She was also carrying an additional 20 pounds on her small frame. The average Shih Tzu or Poodle, of which we guess she is a mix, weighs about 12 pounds; Harriette was 32 pounds at the time of her intake. She was morbidly obese. She was also lethargic and seemingly depressed, likely due to her poor health combined with the constant and unwanted attentions of brother Ozzie.


With diligence, informed medical care, and healthy nutrition, Harriette has blossomed. She has made impressive strides, and happily looks forward to the continued regime.

harriette gets well

It’s been over a year since Harriette came to live with foster mom Raye and foster dad Paul. They have done amazing things to bring this girl back to life.

Canine Camp of Western New York! 

We’d like to  share pictures of Harriette at Canine Camp Getaway of WNY — a dog camp where you spend your vacation with your best four legged friend.

When Harriette found her calling as a “Barn Hunt” dog and went crazy with anticipation of finding the rat — Raye laughed and said “it looks like this old lady is going to be around for a while. I better start teaching her some obedience.”


Raye had merely planned on giving Harriette a good end of days when she discovered the old lady had Cushing’s disease. Harriette was given a poor prognosis and it was decided Harriette would become a permanent foster with Raye and Paul.


She wasn’t give long to live and Raye was determined to make sure Harriette knew she was loved, but more than that Raye never quit trying to make life better.

Raye Succeeded. 

Harriette is still on expensive medications, but she’s starting to grow a bit of peach fuzzy hair on her tail for the first time in years. She follows Raye around like a love sick puppy and the bond shared by these two extraordinary ladies is one to be envied.


The love they share is an inspiration to all of us, not just in the world of animal rescue, but in life.


Never Give Up. Never Say Die. Never Stop Trying. 

A million thanks to Raye, Paul and Harriette for all the hard work. This story is a kudos out to a foster family who changed the world for one dog and saved her life.


Cookie – Just another rescue dog…

It was late summer when she was turned out in the street. I don’t know if she was sick right away or became sick from living on the street, but I’m guessing she wasn’t turned out with a full tummy. I can’t imagine the fear she must have felt that first night when the sun was setting and the world took on its frightening dark form. Did she find an empty cardboard box to curl up in? Did she find some warm garbage to get her though the night? The flies and fleas buzzed around her body spreading the infection making her feel warm.

Left in the street
Left in the street

I don’t know how she survived that first night or the many nights that followed, but she did and she did it on her own. I believe she was on her own for days before a stranger finally took notice of her standing in the street. How many people had passed her by and turned the other way? How many people had glanced and thought: what a dirty little dog? How many people passed her and thought: I would stop and help, but I’m late for work, dinner, an appointment, court.

Did anyone spare a thought to how this little one ended up on a busy street in the city? Alone and afraid she was suffering from starvation and infection. It wasn’t her fault her eyes were filled with pus and her skin was bleeding with disease. Where were her people? How could they do this to an animal, yet alone one who was the size of a new born and just as defenseless?

As I examined this little tiny girl I saw she was missing teeth and was a skeleton of bones and hot red infected skin. Her ears were packed with dirt and more filth hung in great chunks off her matted hair. Her eyes, once cleaned were cloudy with a hint of infection and an ulcer. As I picked up her shaking body and turned to look at her face her tongue darted out and licked my cheek.

After all people had done, and not done, to this little girl she still held love in her heart.

I can only speculate that this little girl was used as a breeding dog and was kept in a cage where she lost all her canine teeth chewing on bars trying to escape. A healthy weight for this little girl is about ten or eleven pounds and she weights a mere six pounds. I would guess by the size and shape of her utter that she was bred over and over again to produce puppies for her companions to make money. I believe she was turned out in the street when she couldn’t produce any more money. Tossed out like garbage and left to die. She nearly did.


Her first rescuer was an animal lover who stopped the car when she saw the filthy little dog sitting in the street. Frightened, cold and hungry the kind stranger fed and tried to bath the little girl, but she was too matted and the water made the smell worse and the fleas dance. After a grateful night in a warm bed in a home she found herself in a shelter.

The noise, smell and terror of the other abandon animals made her skin vibrate with pain and redness. Gentle hands shaved the filthy fir and cleaned the pus from her eyes and the dirt from her ears. She was stabbed with needles and poked and prodded by fat fingers. They determined she was too sick for adoption and was a candidate for rescue or euthanasia if nobody was willing to take her case.

A man came for her one day. A kind gentle man who held her tight and warm in the car where she finally fell asleep, exhausted. She was taken to a home where she was fed and kept safe and warm. Time moved slowly until one day a woman came to bundled her into a crate and they drove for hours and hours.


By now the little girl was too tired to care and had learned to sleep in a warm place when she could and eat when the food was plentiful, even if she gorged herself sick. It was late and dark when she was plucked from the crate, a mere skeleton with red skin and brought to a new place. A big open place with different smells and many warm beds.

The bowl of water on the floor was fresh and the food was tasty. The grass was green and it was quiet. Tired and afraid she clung close to the people as dogs danced around her sniffing and barking. What would happen next?

We are a group of animal lovers who want to stop and help dogs like this one, but we need your help. Don’t shop adopt. If you can’t foster, volunteer and if you can’t volunteer donate. If you can’t donate would you consider sponsoring one of the animals we care for everyday? Every little bit does help and if a kind stranger hadn’t stopped to look at this little one she would have been another dead dog.



Every day 9000 companion animals are euthanized. Every day. If everyone would simply educate themselves and their neighbour on the importance of spay/neutering your pet to help control the pet population and being a responsible companion to your pet I bet that number would fall to near zero. Our goal is to abolish the words: high kill shelters.

Remember when you adopt from a rescue or shelter your money is paid forward to the next dog in need and you get your dog up to date on shots, spayed or neutered, teeth cleaned and healthy for free. Won’t you pay it forward?

Pay it forward
Pay it forward


Check back to see what happens next with Cookie…

Everyday Life

It’s mid-August 2012 and its been a very dry summer. Its the start of a hay shortage if we don’t have some rain soon. Really soon. Like yesterday. We don’t have enough hay to get us through the winter and I’m a little worried.

A few weeks ago we lost Mr G Smith. He seemed healthy until Brent noticed he wasn’t walking well at 10am on a Tuesday. I brought him in the house and we started some antibiotic therapy, but we were too late and he died later that night. This is the sadness of having a geriatric farm as the old animals will die one day. Mr. W Smith is still doing well. He’s actually biting less and allowing me to pet him more.

Mr and Mr Smith

Keep reading this post

The Foster Dogs We’ve Loved

Brent and I started fostering with Pomeranian and Small Breed Rescue in the fall of 2008 – the same time we adopted Gizmo.

Gizmo opened our eyes to the plight of rescue dogs, particularly puppy mill dogs. We instantly decided to become a foster family to dogs who needed help and guidance in order to become adoptable.

Gizmo – our first rescue dog we adopted right out of a puppy mill in Ohio. It was a long drive to Ohio and it felt like an ever longer drive home with our very sick puppy in the back seat.  Adopted as a companion to our Super Taz we quickly realized we had far more to learn from him than he did from us.

Gizmo. So unique. So amazing.We lost Gizmo suddenly and traumatically on August 2, 2011. He was 4 1/2 years old and in the best physical condition of his life. See the post titled “Goodbye to Gizmo” on our devastating loss.

Gizmo’s spirit and teachings thrive as we continue through the pain as a foster family for canines in need of rescue. Enjoy our stroll through our foster rescue dogs.

Missy (October 2008) – our first foster dog:

This is our first Foster Dog Missy through PSBR in October 2008

Missy came to us from Kingston, ON and was full of mats, feces and urine burn. her nails were so long they were cutting into her pads on her paws. She had a sweet face and her personality softened when she realized food was available, fresh water, a warm bed and a few canine friends. She’s in the picture above with Taz the moment we brought her home. She was adopted out several weeks later.

The sweet girl buried under all the dirt.

Our next foster was tricoloured poodle with no name. He came to us through the puppy mill auction in Ohio. Another puppy mill pup with limited exposure to people and fearful of everything.

A tricolour Poodle who got a home very quickly.

The tricoloured poodle was only with us for a couple weeks before he was adopted out to a lovely retired lady in Niagara Falls. I did the transport to his new home and had a cup of tea with his new mom. Meeting the people who wish to rescue a dog is incredibly rewarding. People with big hearts and kind souls.

Next we had Nora (third foster)  who ended up having several names before she was adopted out nearly a year after coming into foster care. Nora aka No-Nose was a puppy mill bitch who spent the first five years of her life having litter after litter of babies. She was so horribly constipated when she came into rescue that the vets mistook her x-rays of a full colon as more babies.

I had Nora and the tricoloured poodle at the same time.

It took months for Nora to find her feet. She was about five years old and considered useless in the Puppy Mill world and deemed unworthy. She was banished to the puppy mill auction where other millers looked for new bitches. Luckily Nora was saved by a rescue group and ended up on the farm. Funny how she looks like Jackson.

Often the frightened fosters would gain comfort from each other.

This is the tricolour poodle and Nora gathering comfort from each other. Shortly after the poodle left, Bianca arrived (fourth)! She was a very small maltese girl also from an Ohio puppy mill who achieved emancipation at a puppy mill auction by a rescue group.

Bianca – not up for long.

Bianca wasn’t with us for long before she was adopted by a wonderful lady near Windsor, Ontario. Bianca was a tiny girl and now spends her days on a pink princess pillow lavished with love. It’s a long way from the puppy mill.

Gizmo and this pup were in love!

Next we had a three month old poodle cross (fifth) that Gizmo fell in love with. She was high energy and incredibly sweet. She and Gizmo would chase each other so much that he actually lost weight. I remember being in the bathtub one night and she came around the corner so fast she leapt and ended up in the tub with me! Fostering can be very exciting.

Perry, a striking grey poodle with matching attitude.

Our sixth foster was a silver poodle named Perry. This young man had some territorial issues that needed to be worked out before he could go to his forever home. He was with us for a few months before a lady who was wheelchair bound with special needs adopted this handsome boy.

Then came Poco…


Poco arrived at our doorsteps through the SPCA in March 2009. Rescue groups frequently take dogs that fail the behaviour test and are considered “unadoptable” – without rescue these dogs would be immediately euthanized.

Our seventh foster Poco came to the farm in March of 2009 and was one of the worst cases of abuse I’ve ever encounter. We can only guess by this guy’s physical injuries what kind of abuse he must have suffered at the hands of his owners: a mother and teenage daughter.

Poco was so matted we couldn’t tell his gender until we shaved him down to the skin. His hair was thick with feces and urine that burned his skin. He had sores on his paws because his nails were so long they had cut wounds into the pads of his paws.

Poco’s back end was a mess of hunks of feces hanging from the hair. His legs are disfigured and he has an unusual walk. He is blind his right eye due to retinal detachment from a blow to the head. The vet said his cardiovascular system was so damaged that his veins would collapse when they tried to get blood for tests. They said he was only six years old, but had the body of a fifteen year old dog.

Feeding Time!

Poco would bite to defend himself. We had to muzzle him to get shave the filth off his skin. We had to muzzle him to give him a bath and wash away the urine that was constantly burning his flesh. He was angry and horribly sad.

Poco had given up on life. His depression and fear was palpable. He would sit in the middle of the kitchen floor and shake for hours. This behaviour lasted for years.

Poco has the potential to bite. If he was startled or afraid he’d nip. He’d bitten me three times in the first two months at the farm. This was a difficult time at the rescue and there was some pressure to adopt out the unpredictable Poco and after some discussion we decided to adopt Poco.

This is the only time before or since we’ve adopted a foster dog. When we foster we go in with the idea that this is not our dog, but a visitor who is waiting for their owner to bring them home.

Sure he’s not good with kids! Poco and my 2 year old nephew James.

Sure he’s not good with kids, but he hasn’t bitten anyone in months. Sure he’s afraid of loud noises and storms, but he doesn’t spend all his time shaking anymore.

Poco at the CCG 2011






Poco is a part of our lives and we’ve had the privilege of watching him become an  amazing dog. Adopting Poco was one of  the best things we’ve ever done.

Then came number eight: Sammy.


Sammy had some severe aggression issue due to abuse at the hands of a heavy drinker. We were surprised when a family wanted to adopt and work on his issues. I’m so proud to know people who would take on a challenge.

Kayla was our ninth foster dog.

Kayla was only with us a for less than a week when she was snapped up by a wonderful family who smiled and waved so brightly when they came to pick her up that I got tears in my eyes and a really good feeling in my heart.

We had another foster dog named Kalie who was a similar looking female shih tzu cross who was adopted by my good friend Maria after she agreed to look after her while we were on vacation. She fell in love and we were open for another foster. Kalie was our tenth  foster dog.

Sweet eleven! Chico was one of the most affectionate dogs we’ve ever fostered. He loved kids and would let them do anything. Chico was lucky enough to be adopted by a family with four children, so he was  guaranteed lots and lots of cuddled!

Our twelfth  foster was from the Potcake Rescue and was a lab cross from the Bahamas. Archie was incredibly energetic! He was adopted by a wonderful family in Toronto with two little girls who promised to walk him every day!


Number thirteen is our first foster from the Canadian Chihuahua  Rescue and Transport (CCRT). Little Vincent is from a hoarding situation in Oakville. We picked up Vincent from the Mississauga / Oakville humane society a week after Gizmo died. Little Vincent was terrified of everything, but so desperately wanted to cuddle. We nearly adopted Vincent, but decided it was too soon after losing Gizmo. Vincent had lost one ear and part of the other one in his hoarding home and that’s how he got his name. Vincent Van Gogh.

Number fourteen can’t really be counted as a foster dog because we adopted him straight out of Ohio. They called him Drover and we changed his name to Jackson. This is the ad that broke my heart and I knew this guy needed us as his forever home.

The heartwrenching photo of Jax

Once we cleaned Jax up and gave him a few good meals he was forever bonded to our family. He big bear fights with Taz and loves to cuddle with his mama.

Jackson starting to settle in

Our second CCRT foster dog Pepito (fifteenth foster dog). Pepito was found roaming the streets of St Catharines and was never picked up by his family.

Pepito was clearly loved and is not shy with people. He’s an interesting blend of chihuahua and italian greyhound. His long legs and beautiful ears make him an interesting combination. I’m shocked this guy hasn’t been snapped up yet due to his loving nature and toughness. This guy can handle himself.                                                                                    

These are the foster dogs we’ve had as of December 2011. We’re proud of the dogs we’ve helped and always regretful of the ones we couldn’t. Consider being a foster home and rewarding the animal lover inside your heart.

Some people think I’m a little crazy to donate my time, home and money to save these guys, but I don’t think we’ve done nearly enough.

On top of the foster dogs all our farm animals are also rescues. It’s how we roll.






Foster Dog: Pepito 11/11/11

Day one in foster care: 11/11/11

Pepito is our new foster pup we picked up on 11/11/11 from St Catharines. Pepito was found wandering the streets as a stray and he’s learned some street lingo and gotten a few scars.

Pepito is an emaciated chihuahua cross. We guess he might be a little bit chi and a little bit italian greyhound due to his long legs, bigger size and arched back. He barely sheds and is very much like a cat as he tip toes around the house. He managed to climb behind Brent’s head on the back of the couch and curl up like my cat Spike used to do. It was a delightful memory that this stray brought to the farm.

Pepito failed the behaviour test at the humane society and was deemed unadoptable. His only salvation would be a rescue group willing to work with  him until he could be considered rehabilitated.

I can’t believe this sweet guy needs rehabilitation? He’s wearing a black fleece that used to be Gizmos and is sleeping on the couch beside me completely accepting any affection.

He’s great with my dogs and pays no attention to the cats outside. I’ve yet to hear him bark, but it’s only day one and he’s not quite himself after a long stay in a kennel with tests and stress. He’s sleeping his way back to health.

I don’t know how many foster dogs we’ve had over the past four years, but it must be close to twenty. I think of it as twenty heart beats we helped find  new lives. Twenty heart beats we brought back from the brink of destruction. Twenty little lives we had to be caring enough and strong enough to let go to their forever homes.

Some foster dogs are easier to let go than other and some foster dogs break my heart when I watch them drive away with their new loving parents. Some dog are only with us for a few weeks and some stay for a few months. They’re all welcome and we help them recover and realize that life is a good place to be a dog.

Super Taz - Ignore the bows: she's a 8 pounds of fury.

Taz is a huge helper in rehabilitating these lost souls. She’s the total package: nurse when their sick, mother when they step out of line, big sister if they try and borrow her clothes, best friend when they need to tell a secret, guide when they’re learning where to potty, eat, drink or sleep. She cuddles the afraid and straighten outs the rebels. I don’t think we’d be successful without our Taz. It’s one of the reasons we call her “Super”.

She’s not finding Pepito much of a challenge. He’s quiet and respectful. He sleeps in her least favorite bed and doesn’t bother her when she eats. He has yet to try and steal her toys or harass her little brother. He did sniff her with too much zest, but immediately backed off when she emitted a single, very female, low throated growl.

Looks like Pepito might be one of easier boys to foster. He’s a good eater and gets along well with everyone. He’s wonderful on leash. The only drawback? He was just neutered on Wednesday, so has a tendency to mark. He’s only marked twice in the house and is quickly realizing this is not acceptable.

Brent and I have so much to do today around the farm, but we decided to prioritize what was really important. Brent and I had one goal today that needed to be achieved: save a puppy.

We didn’t get the laundry folder, the back barn cleaned out, the garage straightened up, the floors washed, dishwasher emptied, eaves cleaned or the backhoe lubricated, but we did save Pepito. We picked him up on Friday.

On the following Saturday night we thought we’d lost Pepito. We tore the house apart trying to find him and found ourselves in the fully fenced yard looking beyond the fence. The dread grew and the harder we looked the less likely it seemed we would locate our foster we’d had for a day.

I had thoughts of cars, busy roads or coyotes. There are so many things that go bump in the night out in the country. My good friend was visiting with her three dogs and the one was in the kitchen while we search.

With a deep inlay of panic Brent and I  jumped when Tanya yelled “found him!” Relief led to tears and a desire to hug and/or choke our little Pepito.

Tanya found Pepito sniffing her dog Madeline in the kitchen and he didn’t really understand why all the hoopla. We still didn’t know where he’d been hiding.

After a quick drink to quell the anxiety we got ready for bed and started upstairs. I was afraid to ask, but where was Pepito? Brent and I exchanged nervous glances, but our stress was short lived because when Ipulled the blanket back on the bed there he was snug as bug tucked into our bed.

I’ve thought I’ve lost Pepito two more times, but I found him under the blankets of our bed and then under a pile of clothes in the laundry room. He loves to be covered up and it’s great information to have on hand.

We've only had him for 3 days!

After a few days Pepito is starting to fill out and look happier. He no longer marks in the house and is fairly quiet. He gets along well with my guys and seems to be recovering nicely from his neuter.

Pepito will be up for adoption shortly. If you’re interested please go to the CCRT website: and fill out an application.


Vincent Goes to his Forever Home

Its been nearly four weeks since Vincent came to farm and today he left for his forever home. It was difficult to watch him drive away in his new mom’s arms, but it was also right. The family called when they got home and said how much they loved Vincent and he was resting comfortably in his new basket dog bed. He’d eaten several treats on the ride home.

Vincent was one of those dogs who really tugged at my heart strings. His story, his shyness, his progress and his love made him irresistible. Brent and I discussed adopting Vincent and keeping him as our forever dog, but it was simply too soon after Gizmo’s death.

We weren’t ready as a family. Brent and I decided that Vincent helped us more than we helped him through a rough transition. We’d just lost our Gizmo and here came this little vulnerable, fragile, fractured little pup who needed a sanctuary.

It was a tough decision to take him in, but we thought Gizmo would want us to help another shy guy come to life. With our little chocolate dude in mind we brought Vincent into our home and watched him blossom. It was amazing.

Happy tails in your forever home Vincent. We miss you too.

Vincent’s Progress

Vincent is our foster dog from the CCRT (Canadian Chihuahua Rescue and Transport) that came to the farm one week after Gizmo was killed. As I watch Vincent progress I can’t but think how much Gizmo would have helped this little guy.

Vincent is one of the last remaining dogs from the Oakville hoarding situation back in April 2011. He was rescued by the Oakville Humane Society in April and spent months in another cage at the Humane Society.

Vincent would sit shaking in his cage terrified of all the people, dogs, cats and noises. When potential families would look at him they would see a disfigured chihuahua that refused to be held, walked or touched. Vincent would freeze or try and run.

Vincent survived the first two years and eight months of his life by running and he still didn’t get away without damage.

While still a puppy Vincent had his ears chewed off. One ear is completely gone and there is only a small piece of the other ear flap remaining. I looked up the article and the dogs were stacked on top of each other in large crates. Several dogs to a crate and they were left intact to breed.–33-chihuahuas-seized-from-oakville-home

The article reports 33, but the Humane Society says it was 37 chihuahuas that were seized. As of August 2011 there are only three remaining chihuahuas that have not been adopted, and Vincent is one of them.

After several months of being unable to find Vincent a home the Humane Society called the CCRT and asked if they could take Vincent into rescue and see if he’d thrive in a foster home. The CCRT called me.

It was one week since Gizmo was killed and I spoke the the regional coordinator in tears one evening. I suggested that perhaps we wouldn’t be a good home. We’d just lost a Gizmo. She asked if we needed time. I thought, yes and then she told me about Vincent.

I didn’t think my heart could break further at this point, but it did a little for this damaged soul. Gizmo would want us to help this little guy. Gizmo would not hesitate to let Vincent crawl into his heated bed to cuddle. Gizmo would have shown Vincent where we keep the endless supply of kibble. Gizmo would have played with Vincent and shown him how to be a real dog.

I cried as I drove to pick up Vincent. I took Taz and Poco for the ride to Oakville since I couldn’t possibly leave them behind. We walked into the busy building as an elderly man at the counter was making arrangements for cremation for his pet. I cried a little more. He looked so sad.

I waited my turn and took in the bags of dog food, toys and supplies on the floor: donations. The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful. I kept my tears in check long enough to meet Donna who was cuddling Vincent. She had tears shimmering in her eyes as she passed Vincent over to my arms stating “please take good care of him. He deserves a break.”

We exchanged emails and I promised to keep Donna and the staff at the Oakville Humane Society posted on Vincent’s progress.

I took a video of Vincent’s first day on the farm. He wouldn’t come close to me, but would run over and sniff my hand then then run away. He’s was so afraid and Gizmo would have loved him.

Vincent sat between the seats of my Smart car the whole drive to the farm. I cried and Taz tried to lick my face while I drove. I thought of Gizmo.

Vincent must have been tired because he spent his first week sleeping or hiding. We let him. In his second week he started to cuddle and tried to play with Taz. It’s like a tap dance scene from West Side Story. Who’s the Jet and who’s the Shark?

After three weeks at the farm Vincent barked for the very first time. The progress is incredible. Go give your dog a hug and he’ll hug you back in all sorts of ways.

When Gizmo first came to the farm he slept for months and it was a year before we heard his rough bark. Vincent was more damaged on the outside, but luckily dogs have no idea that appearances matter.

Vincent is a tribute to our Gizmo who still continues to rescue other dogs in need. Thanks little dude for keeping us on the right path and for watching over us from your heated dog bed in heaven. We miss you buddy.