Wednesday, January 11, 2012


This is Maggie with my son Ben. We adopted Maggie back in November 2010 when she was 4 1/2 months old.

She's very smart and listens most of the time (I do need to spend more quality time training her). She and Ben get into all kinds of trouble together, but it's mostly Ben's fault. ;)

She drives our 16 year old cat a bit crazy at times. The cat is not so much into playing with her and Maggie thinks she is the boss of him, but really, I think the cat is the boss of her. heehee

She doesn't like it when people move around really fast and do 'dangerous' things, so sledding this time of year is a bit of a gong show if she's outside. She 'watches' from the window instead, barking her head off. The trainer said the only thing we can really do is offer her something better.... But really...... what could possibly be better to her than her boy racing down the hill in the front yard on a piece of plastic, screaming his head off at speeds that boys shouldn't be going (according to her)?? It's dangerous, don't you know. She has to protect him from such things.

At the bus stop, she doesn't like it when the kids get too rowdy and is a good excuse to get them to settle down. ;) She sometimes knocks the little ones over when she wags, not just her tail, but her entire back end because she's so excited to see them.

Her favourite things are tummy rubs, playing 'Find Ben' inside and outside (she's really good at tracking him down which we figure will come in handy should he ever get lost while we're camping) and running around the yard. She loves when she runs into some of her doggie friends from the neighborhood, regardless of whether they are her same size or just the size of her head. She loves fetching and running with sticks in the winter and balls in the summer. She's also a very good soccer goalie.

And that is Maggie. :)

Friday, January 6, 2012


This is not a story about a adopted dogs success, this is not a story of a poor neglected dog, it is not a story about bad beginnings. No, not at all. This is a story about my own success, my own achievements, my own happiness. Why then post here? Why write at all? Well the answer is a short one.....RUMOR.

We use the terminology "I adopted" a dog, well in this case only in a literal sense, Rumor really adopted me. I already had an almost two year old Aussie, one when I got her thought I am NEVER getting a puppy again! She was crazy, hyper, eater of everything loved (glasses, phones,books...). BUT around one and half the itch hit and I really thought Syd was not meant to be an "only" dog, she needed a buddy. With Syd I started many new things I had only heard about, we did obedience and agility and walks at the dog park. So with a new dog I wanted to do all of these things with us. I knew I wanted to "rescue" a dog, I wanted to rescue a dog when I got Syd but unfortunately was turned down (by another organization) because I didn't have a fenced in yard. My mother actually was the one who had heard about ARPH and put me onto them. I filled out an application and waited. I was SURE I wanted a male dog around one-didn't I? Well after a bit of a wait I was sent a picture of a dog..see below. REALLY- this dog needs a home? This dog needs me? well I guess I could meet her.

The rest as they say is history, I made arrangements to go and meet the foster family and the puppy. I fell in love from the first second this little red/brown lump tripped into my lap. Not only did I fall in love with her, I fell I love with her foster family and very please to say I consider them some of my closest friends and we continued our rescue adventure together.

More about Rumor; well Syd fell in love too, she adopted her as her own and (hind sight) loves her a little to much. The puppy started agility at 16 weeks and gave me an opportunity to really LEARN about dogs and the way they learn and all new ways that help a dog develop. Rumor at the beginning was a quick learner but really not all that enthusiastic. I am not sure exactly when that changed, but it did! Oh My! she is enthusiastic now! She loves agility, she is fast, she is crazy, a wild scream that there is no doubt who has just entered the ring, assuming that she can sit at the start line (work in progress) she quivers with excitement. She has offered me something that no other dog could have, although sometimes I get frustrated, she is destined to be one amazing agility dog. One that has taken me on a learning journey; present problem-search for solution-execute-and start all over again. Because of Rumors drive to work she has given us the opportunity to go to amazing clinics and workshops, we are are searching for the next thing to learn. We learned to DockDive together, we have learned to Skijor together, we have learned tricks together, we have learned patience (well I have-sort of) together. Our next adventure is a Disc seminar in February. So at two years old (heading towards her third birthday) Rumor has ADC (Agility Dog of Canada), SGDC (Starters Game Dog of Canada), and a novice DockDog title.

You would think this is a hard dog to live with? Nope, she is what has been coined an Anti-Aussie in the house, she just finds a place to curl up and goes to sleep, she cuddles and her nub wags in excitement to meet you. Very easy dog to live with (good thing as her sister is still crazy, hyper, eater of everything loved). She is not without her problems, she requires care around new dogs and easily aroused in what she thinks is exciting places, this isn't because she is a rescue this is because she is who she is. And although a challenge has afforded me an opportunity to learn.

At the beginning I started off in saying this is about my success, and reading you must wonder what I was talking about? Through the adoption of Rumor I have been given a connection to rescue and a very short time after her adoption I began fostering for ARPH. I have met through the rescue amazing people, people that I can only attempt to model myself by. People that are trainers, that are rescuers, people that are incredibly dedicated to the care and wellness of animals. I have been given the opportunity to truly become involved, I have made connections with people through our animals. I have learned and am still learning, these animals no matter what their beginnings are some of the best teachers there are. The animals have taught me patience, gentleness and sometimes forgiveness. If this small soul can give humanity another chance, can I not learn to forgive people as well?

I have learned that rescue is a amazing community of people that from all walks of life can be united under one cause. Everyone no matter how small, or big the contribution lends to the community and creates an environment on inclusion. This is my success, I have contributed, I feel that I am part of something bigger then myself, and I have the opportunity to meet people that I never would have before. For this I am Thankful that Rumor came into my life. I truly am the lucky one and she has rescued me.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Cinder-ella Story


A Cinder-ella Story

It is only fitting that this success story is posted today as it is a special day for me , exactly one year ago yesterday marked a very special and exciting moment in my life, a dog that I had been fostering for many months under her own steam off leash approached another person! Why my excitement? Why is this a big deal?

Well some background, Cinders came to us from a hoarding situation, she with others were brought into rescue and although each dog had its challenges and it’s difficulties to overcome Cinders was a dog that just could not trust people. She quickly loved her foster Mom’s but even when they would meet again she had a hard time engaging them unless she was left alone with them.  She would bark at anyone new in her space or hide from them. We all did what we could; we loved her as she wanted to be loved. We had to accept that she was a dog that needed time to adjust to everything, potty training, eating alone, taking food from hands. She went to all kinds of events and training classes to help with socialization, she was walked in public places and training in home. Through the efforts of many amazing volunteers she was worked with either through their help in fostering or socialization and training.

So when Cinders decided at an Aussie event that she would go up to someone that although she had met many times before had never been able to overcome her fear and sit next to her there were cheers for joy and promises of Champagne! As a rescuer this really was one of most momentous events, one that brought tears of joy to my eyes. This little animal that once feared humans with good reason has decided that she truly could overcome her fear of the unknown. Although this was one small step, one that followed many small steps before this will be a moment in time I will always remember.

The Happily ever After?

Shortly after this day a wonderful adopting family decided that they wanted to take this lovely little girl into their home, issues and all. I could not have hand selected a better home for Cinders. Here with their permission here is their most recent update and picture;

Just thought we'd send along some Xmas wishes to you and yours from Cinders. She is doing really well! She is up to 38lbs. and is very trustworthy in the house, no accidents since about early May. We don't crate her for work but we leave her in our bedroom (she loves the bed!) with the door closed (the room is dog-proofed) and she is excellent!

For short durations, she has the run of the house and generally greets us at the door with excited squirms and wiggles--no jumping! It's hard to believe that it has been almost 1 yr. since we started the process.

We have absolutely no regrets! She is a perfect little lady, with some social issues (still very timid but......not terrified as before, and still requires coaxing but...she'll stay in the room now with company and doesn't get too excited if someone approaches, she just lays there calmly although a little uncomfortably but much much better). Christine says she's (Cinders) a bit of a diva (actually she says "sex pot") and she sure is beautiful.

Thanks again and have a Happy New Year as well
Dan & Christine & Cinders (of course)