Miss Leah!
She is doing well!
The foster has indicated that she has a fear response to men in hats/hoodies, brooms, rakes, hoses, and canes, too. Not surprising.
Being left outside in the winter makes her nervous – considering she was kept outside before rescue, it is also unsurprising.
Small children also tend to make her worried. Children are unpredictable. They are fast, flighty, loud, and quite spastic in movements. Again, not surprising.

She is very much a Dane with her ‘sassy’ talk back behaviour at times!




We are working on a silent auction to raise much-needed funds to pay for Miss Leah’s and Mr. Ernie’s vet bills.
If you have any items you may like to donate, please email

1) Saturday, July 6th, Ren’s Baseline – 9 AM – 3 PM – Baked goodies, nails, ears, anal glands, some merchandise for sale
1385 Baseline Rd Unit 3, Ottawa, ON K2C 3G1

2) Saturday, July 20th, 9 AM – 3 PM (BHRR)
2425 Totem Ranch Road West, Oxford Station, Ontario -*BBQ, Dog Collar/Leash & Horse Tack Sale, Nails, Ear Cleaning, Anal Glands

3) Saturday, July 27th – Gananoque! Thousand Islands Bark Bash
*Nail Trims, Ears/Anal Glands, Raffle Basket, Some items for sale

4) Sunday, August 25th – 10 AM – 3 PM (Leanne)
14 Canter Blvd, Nepean, Ontario

5) Saturday, September 14th – 10 AM – 2 PM – Brockville Hyundai
770 Steward Blvd, Brockville, Ontario
*Car wash, BBQ, some items for sale!

6) Fall Event: Paint Your Partner FUNraiser for Ottawa Rabbit Rescue & BHRR – Paint your friend, spouse, bf/gf, family member
Date, Time & Location TBD
*A fun plus hilarious night to free paint, then reveal and give your masterpiece to your friend/spouse, bf/gf, or family member!
*Silent auction and draw prizes, too

7) ONGOING – On February 21st, 2013, I received a most delightful and touching email from a woman named Allie MacAlister that is so very active in helping others

She is extremely talented and more lovely than any words can ever be put down on paper and she has wonderfully surprised me with the very stunning and unique artful creation of an Irish Wolfhound, inspired by our Bunker Dude. She is calling it ‘Art For A Cause’.  

The Wolfhound Cù Sìth

10% of sales of her products will come to BHRR!

*You can purchase t-shirts, mugs, mousepads, totes, greeting cards and SO much more! She will be adding products regularly.

The Wolfhound Cù Sìth

Great Dane
Health Status: HEALTHY!
Age: ~2 years – Born: ~April 2022
Weight: ~ 55.4 kgs(121.88 pounds) in March 2024. We want to keep her lean/muscled and fit. Becoming fat is NOT in her or any dog’s best interest.

Some information from her wonderful foster mama:
“Miss Leah is doing great. We’ve been working on leash manners and recall and she is learning quickly. We’ve also been working on politely interacting with other dogs, as she likes to bark loudly at other dogs she sees out in the world. She’s getting better with this when she’s in our yard but still needs work while we’re on walks.
Leah has been eating and drinking well and is a very happy girl. She is looking much healthier now that she has put on some weight.
Leah loves attention and cuddles and her toys. She is quite gentle with her toys and likes to gather them on her bed. She is getting along with my dog very well and they love to play together. They get very excited though, so we’ve also been practicing taking breaks from playing and just sitting/laying down quietly together.
We’ve been taking the dogs out for walks at a local trail and Leah is in heaven when she’s there!”
Type of Home Ideal For Miss Leah: She is smart and needs a solid structure. She interacts well with people she meets, and we hope for a quiet, socially low-active level home. A residence that, while visiting family plus friends and having people over, does not host frequent BBQs or gatherings of large groups. We do not want to see her in a home with a high level of travel, with other people taking care of her. She is loyal and loves her people, and we want her to be part of the family if they go camping, go to the cottage, or do other fun travels. She is social and needs a home that is like her. One that shall not overwhelm her and will continue to work on her dog-to-dog manners. She would adore cottage life or hang out at home with her family. Visiting friends, family, pet stores, and pet-friendly places are excellent too. We want a quietly active home for Miss Leah. She is happy, healthy, full of personality and a joy!

She MUST go to a home that will continue to work on exposing her to new, fun, and beautiful things in the world. Time, patience, and effort have gone into having her be comfortable, to not only like yet love her own company. We are not advocates of dog parks. Many private properties rent out space for acreage rentals so that she can enjoy a controlled environment to run and zoom in.

We want her to look forward to the next adventures plus experiences. She needs a home that will give her new positive and great safe, memorable experiences along with structure, consisteny, plus patience. If you are a home that likes to take infrequent walks/hikes/strolls, Miss Leah is not for you…she is a healthy dog and needs to be kept emotionally and physically stimulated. She would make a great companion to get out into nature, explore, and enjoy the beach and other exciting adventures! She is also a great companion when watching movies or curled up with a good book.

A home that understands and shall continue to help her learn about this big fantastic world that we live in. We want her to live a quality-filled, enriched life. She is being fostered in a lovely home outside the Ottawa area, and can equally live comfortably in the city or country.
We want her to be happy and to live her best life every day. We want her to reach her full incredible potential!

She is another versatile BHRR dog! She can be in a home that works ft; pt works from home, is semi-retired or retired, etc. She will ONLY go to a home prepared to ensure she receives the balance he requires with proper exercise, socialisation, etc. along with positive balanced obedience.

She does need to go to a dog-experienced home, yet not specifically a Dane-specific experienced home. The home must be committed to her obedience, structure, and consistency, and to be patient, kind, and understanding, and while not hermits, they are not doing a hundred things each day or, weekly, or monthly. We want her to be treated as a beloved member in a right-matched, forever-loving home. We want her to be an invaluable member of her forever-loving adoptive home! She needs that right positive balance between patience, ‘tough’ love, calming assuring, and passively ignoring.

She is fed in a quiet place and knows that she will be fed enough food on time and that no one will take her away.
She loves home and her friends.
Personality/Temperament: Super loving, affectionate, calm, happy sweet; she loves to get outside to romp and run and is a delightful, playful pup! She needs to be emotionally/physically properly stimulated, social, active, gentle, plus kind. She thrives with consistency, structure, routine, and clear open communication to understand precisely what is expected of her. She is a very smart, active, and healthy puppy!
Previous Dog Experience: Previous Dog experience is required per the above, and she needs a home that is going to be committed to her wellbeing and make the small adjustments required as she is still an adolescent, still learning, and still mentally plus physically growing. She sleeps well, and ideally, while we would like to see her in a home with at least one right-matched personality-fit dog, it is not a deal breaker. She absolutely needs a strong doggie friend network in the community, though. That is so important. We have friends; she needs friends too. It is important for her to have doggie friends to continue to work on her manners.
Good With Cats: Unknown. She has been ok with the clinic cat yet, the clinic cat is not really a cat!
Good with Pocket Pets: Unknown
Good with Children: We feel that any right-matched personality fit home for Miss. Leah should not have small or young children. We will consider homes with children 12 and older and no more than two children in the home.
Grooming: She needs regular grooming to keep her coat healthy and look his best. Regular grooming includes nails and ears.
Car: She travels well in the car.
Housebroken/crate Trained: She is housebroken and crate trained – though the foster home has not used a crate. We never recommend giving any new addition too much freedom to start. It can be very overwhelming plus too stimulating for them.
Obedience: She requires a home that will be consistent and dedicated to continuing to help her become the best dog she can be. Her potential is enormous! As per our adoption contract, a full round of group obedience is required with all of our dogs. This is not about having a dog that ‘listens.’ This is about creating a strong and mutually respectful bonding relationship. Trust and respect work both ways. It is imperative that humans give dogs reasons to trust them.
Activities Suited For Her: She would excel in being your bff. Great companion at home, a great companion for camping, cottaging, hikes, and exploring new things! Her personality is HUGE! She loves the beach.
Loves & Bad Habits: Like any dog, she is not perfect. She is perfect in all of his imperfections, though! NOT to mention so beautiful. She still can bark, jump towards other dogs in her mixture of excitement, worry and lack of manners.
Anxieties/Worries: It is integral that the right-matched personality fit home and does not spend 24/7 with her. During the pandemic and even before it, we still need groceries; we should still go out and do errands; we should still get in our cars and go for a small drive to go somewhere to do something! Time has been spent having her learn to not only like yet enjoy her own company. As we need our alone time, she must do too. She is a solid and stable dog; we do not want any SA behaviours to develop.
As we have stated for over 28 years now, we will NEVER rush any dogs’ rehabilitation journey, we do not flip dogs, and we are not desperate to adopt them out. I had wanted to place her up for adoption a couple of months ago, yet other matters took precedence, and now it is all about her turn!
We will always place up for adoption the dogs that can be adopted and safe haven all others that cannot be placed up for adoption due to medical and/or behavioural reasons.
We do not take in hundreds of dogs yearly; we only took in 18 dogs in 2022 as it is about helping the next in need of us, giving them top-quality care, and not about taking in numbers. In 2023, we have ONLY taken in 6 dogs. We have taken in none in 2024 as of yet. Finances are extremely tight in rescue at this time.
After 28+ years, we know that we cannot please everyone, which means that BHRR is not the rescue to be followed, supported, and believed in by everyone. We remain small plus mighty, and as we go through this next transitional stage for BHRR, we shall continue to operate with a zero-tolerance approach, providing and beyond care to the animals.
Our mandates have never changed and will remain the same as long as we are around; the animals shall always be done right by as our priority.
Our adoption success rates remain second to no other group – 100% for over ten years of operating, and now 99% as we go through year 28, and we are excited as we go through this slow transition for BHRR!
You have done a THUMBS up job, as has your fantabulous foster home, Miss Leah, and we are thrilled you are making your special announcement!

Miss Leah!
This is her and her SVA gift!
She & I are hanging out today to work on some adolescent manners!
Her weight was 55.4 kgs(121.88 pounds), and she is looking amazing; she could afford to lose a few more pounds yet overall incredible body condition!!! No longer emaciated.
Kim A., you and your daughter are doing a magnificent job with her!

BHRR’s Leah had her professional photo shoot last Wednesday – Thanks so much again to Liz Bradley for donating her time plus talent, and keeping me in the loop! 
Thank you to BHRR’s Leah’s lovely foster home for making the drive for Liz to take these pictures. 
Unfortunately, I cannot download them on my phone, so when I am back home, I will do so on my main computer. 
So, this photo is a watermarked screenshot. Sneak peek!
I am also going to be working on some play dates with her. Apparently, she is still exhibiting some poor dog-to-dog communication and inappropriate display for attention seeking – barking to go see other dogs.
I will start by bringing her to my home and, from there work on asking others in our invaluable network to schedule some dates with them too.
We are getting ever closer to her making her own special announcement!
She is also still in need of a Secret Valentine Admirer! 

BHRR’s Leah’s Biopsy Results & Per Her Surgeon:

“They came back as “mammary duct ectasia with mild multifocal lymphohistiocytic cellulitis”.  The comments say that mammary duct ectasia is a benign dilation of one or more ductal structures. Lesions can be single or multiple, often forming a mass-like lesion clinically. These lesions can occur in both intact and spayed animals, and are not associated with an increased risk of mammary neoplasia. As these cystic ducts enlarge, they can become secondarily inflamed. Complete excision of individual lesions is curative. In this case there is rupture of some of the smaller ducts, resulting in mild inflammation.”


“To me this sounds like we should just monitor, and if they become inflamed and a problem, then we can remove them at that time.  This is great news!”

Miss Leah during her mammary biopsies surgical procedure. Her lungs were clear in the X-rays!

She has been putting on the weight/muscle mass really well, and her energy level is normal, so we are extremely happy with her medical rehabilitation journey to date.

Her mammaries are smaller than in December, except in one area. That area is bigger.

So, we will now see what the biopsies results say to determine the next steps that shall be in her best interest.

UPDATE: From her foster home:

“Miss Leah is doing great. We’ve been working on leash manners and recall and she is learning quickly. We’ve also been working on politely interacting with other dogs, as she likes to bark loudly at other dogs she sees out in the world. She’s getting better with this when she’s in our yard but still needs work while we’re on walks. 

Leah has been eating and drinking well and is a very happy girl. She is looking much healthier now that she has put on some weight. 

Leah loves attention and cuddles and her toys. She is quite gentle with her toys and likes to gather them on her bed. She is getting along with my dog very well now and they love to play together. They get very excited though, so we’ve also been practicing taking breaks from playing and just sitting/laying down quietly together. 

We’ve been taking the dogs out for walks at a local trail and Leah is in heaven when she’s there!”


Here is a copy of Miss Leah’s abdominal biopsy results.

Miss Leah is scheduled on January 9th for x-rays of her lungs and, from there, biopsies of her mammary chain.

Depending on those results, either she will be referred to oncology if malignant, or remove one mammary chain, then the other in two separate surgeries, or there is not anything to do medically at that time – benign, no medical intervention necessary, or she is palliative.

Should Miss Leah be deemed adoptable, a copy of all diagnostics and results will be shared with the approved adoptive home and the Veterinary Clinic they will use. We believe in full disclosure.

BHRR’s Leah’s u/s report – she had her semi-urgent u/s on December 18th, 2023.
I will post separately her biopsy report as we had biopsies taken from the abdominal mass on December 18th.

What we know to date for these two amazing dogs!
1) Miss Leah – has mammary tumours that shall require surgery, pathology. An abdominal mass was felt on December 3rd at her recheck, and she is scheduled for an u/s with the specialist, Dr. Ibey, on December 18th. She will require x-rays of her chest to ensure that she does not have any mets before going into surgery – should surgery be an option for her depending on the u/s results. She has put on 6 kgs since her arrival on November 4th; she is now 52 kgs(114.4 pounds).
2) Mr. Ernie has put on 5 kgs since his arrival on December 3rd. He is now 60 kgs(121 kgs). He had a recheck on December 12th for his ears – he is now on ear meds & to further examine a mass/lump found on his tail. He has been placed on Gabapentin, and once he is healthier, he will need surgery for his bilateral entropion, to be neutered, to address what could well be a tail fracture & may require a partial tail amputation plus a biopsy – we will x-ray along with x-raying his hips/knees while sedated. We strongly suspect HD, and cannot rule out cruciate issues on one or both legs.
Our doors are closed to intake, as both of these incredible dogs will require many, many, many thousands of dollars to rehabilitate successfully.

BHRR’s Leah – 18-month-old heavily marked fawn mantle, Great Dane.
She was at the Vet for her recheck on December 3rd.
When she first arrived on November 4th, she weighed 46 kgs(101.2 pounds).
On December 3rd, she weighed 52 kgs(114.4 pounds). She has put on a much-needed 13.2 pounds of weight and muscle mass.
She is now lean and developing wonderful muscle tone. I would like to see just a bit more on her, especially heading into winter. She is presently eating 6+ cups of food, and we are gradually working up to 7.5 cups. From there, we can re-assess and adjust as necessary.
She is on a fish-based food, and her coat, ears, and feet look great!
She had a thorough recheck exam, and while her mammary chain has significantly reduced, many mammary tumours can easily be palpated now. 
Additionally, the Vet felt a firm mass in her abdomen.

We are now waiting on an ultrasound with a specialist.

Depending on what is found, sedation and X-rays of her chest shall be done prior to the removal of the mammary tumour’s and abdominal mass. They will then be sent off to histopathology.

We were hoping to hear something soon. I will follow up should we not hear anything.

We were not able to move on any of these diagnostics/treatments earlier as she was just too emaciated, not strong enough, and would not have survived.
Time is sometimes your friend, and sometimes it is not. It is a risk vs. benefit situation.
Our annual Empties 4 Paws drive starting December 16th shall see all funds go to her care.

Ottawa Rabbit Rescue has invited us to do a joint Paint event with Janet in the early New Year, and those monies shall go towards her and Mr. Ernie’s care.

Her Vet bill was $349.42

Donations to her care can be made via PayPal gwen@birchhaven.org OR via email transfer to contactbhrr@gmail.com

Busy day for BHRR today!
Miss Leah was at the vet for her recheck – details on her blog!
AND Mr. Ernie was picked up tonight from the kennel that we had him at after busting him out of the kill pound early as the worry per what we had been told is they can often kill animals earlier than the deadlines.
He is at the Vet tomorrow AM at 10:30.
His lovely foster mama said he gave kisses to her ALL the way home! We already knew he was a flirt, and he is going to steal MANY hearts! 
He is said to be super skinny, which we already knew, and was being fed 6 cups a day per the boarding kennel. We shall be working his daily intake up to 10 cups, and re-evaluate in 4-5 weeks.
Stress from being a stray, being in the kill pound, then being moved to a kennel, plus who knows how neglected/abusive his life was before he was dumped, has taken its toll on him. Not to mention the pain he is in with his eyes, ears, skin, knees, and hips. We will also be proactively plus preventatively de-worming him per our protocols and doing blood work.
He and Miss Leah shall have very high vet bills – both require surgeries, and our thinking caps are on to help figure out how to raise many thousands of dollars….
They are both incredibly deserving….
More soon!
Welcome to BHRR, Mr. Ernie!

BHRR’s Leah – when she first arrived in our care.

Miss Leah arrived to BHRR’s care on Saturday.

We immediately had her vetted at my Hospital, EVC.
Her weight was ~46 kgs(101.2 pounds). She is skinny. Quite. I would like to see her closer to 112-115 pounds with better weight and muscle mass. She was a bit wiggly on the scale.
She is excellent with all humans!
She needs manners – not her fault. She will receive structure, consistency, and routine now.
She was indifferent to the clinic cat – she lived with a cat/dogs & she was overstimulated by most of the dogs she saw. She was wanting to see them!
Considering that she was in a pound for almost 6 weeks, travelled for 6 hours, and went to the vet, her being overstimulated was perfectly fine.
She is a smaller yet extremely well-proportioned, heavily marked fawn mantle Great Dane. Her headpiece alone tells me that there are some great lines in her pedigree somewhere.
I wish she had a chip, maybe we could have done some investigating. I have reached out to quite a few of my show mentor contacts anyway…just to see.
Once a dog is backyard-bred, one of the first things lost is headpiece. Her headpiece is lovely. She may well have been bred by a r/q show breeder and ended up in the wrong hands. Yet, most r/q show breeder’s microchip. Of course, there was no contract handed over with her, when she was dumped at the pound.
She is now microchipped to us, and shall always have us on her side!
I can confirm that I do believe her age to be perhaps a wee bit older than 18 months, yet no more than 2. She has had a very tough life to date, and that also may make her look a smidge older. She was kept outdoors, and never had her nails trimmed, per what we have been told. We had them done when she was spayed.
She also has the masking gene which as a Great Dane throws people off, and they think the dog is much older. This is, as stated many times over the years a genetic thing just as in humans. Premature greying is very common.
Her spay was on October 26th, and her incision has healed well, so we took out her staples.
She was healthy enough for her booster of DHPP – we did rabies while she was in the shelter on October 26th.
We also gave her Lepto, Lyme, and Bordetella per our protocols. We do not cut corners.
I wanted Nexgard for fleas/ticks and Interceptor Plus for heartworm preventative, and as an excellent de-wormer yet her size of flea/tick was not in stock. So, we went with Nexgard Spectra, which will cover fleas/ticks/heartworm/hw plus is a great de-wormer.
My biggest concern is her many mammary masses, one large area in particular – I nor her Vet do not like the feel. We have seen our share of extremely bad cases.
I also noted that she has a very enlarged lymph node on one side of her neck – right, the other is only slightly enlarged at this time. Her teeth look wonderful so it is not from a notable tooth issue. Her vet confirmed my findings. The enlarged one is on the same side as the largest mammary mass.
The plan right now is to get in better shape, allow her to decompress over this next month, and when she comes back – do the bloodwork I wanted to do, including for tickborne diseases and heartworm exposure. Then to also re-visit her mammary masses – she had a litter not all that long ago, and with the overbreeding, her mammaries are quite large. Poor thing. Babies should not be having babies.
The plan is to then schedule her to take biopsies. It would not be the safest to put her under anesthesia right now.
Her skin infection is clearing up nicely, and the fosters will monitor an inflamed area on one of her feet. It could be from the kennel or she is developing a behavioural issue with licking to self-soothe.
One of her nostrils has a minor almost abrasion, which is not concerning as she was in a kennel for nearly 6 weeks or could have scraped it on the transport to us.
She is also still in need of a special Secret Santa to call her very own! 
She is in need of an XL Costco dog bed, and treats, and I already bought her two wiggle bumz collars. The foster now has them.
Her bills on Saturday were just under $400, and I have already spent almost $400 when she was at the shelter for vet care.
I have her on a fish-based food as her colour can be prone to food allergies, seasonal and/or environmental allergies. It will really help her skin and coat.
If you may consider being a special Secret Santa for her or making a donation to her care – PayPal gwen@birchhaven.org or email transfer to contactbhrr@gmail.com – please do email us – contactbhrr@gmail.com
Thanks in advance for any consideration, and we will post updates as soon as we can.

She is on her way! She began her travels this AM.
The foster home should have her soon & I am meeting them at work for her to be vetted.
I hear she is super sweet, really adorable, nervous, and a bit confused.
I also hear that she is really strong – that lack of training.
Cannot wait to meet her!

Miss Leah was spayed by the shelter today, had her rabies vaccine, plus was microchipped.
She had been dewormed once and had her DHPP vaccine done recently.
We also placed her on antibiotics as a skin infection was noted. She appears to have some mammary masses that we shall investigate further with our veterinarian team. The shelter is limited in what they can do.
Once she arrives, we will do more bloodwork, a thorough exam, boosters, give additional vaccines, place on flea/tick, heartworm preventative, and de-worm again.
I have paid off her vet bill to date, and if all goes well, she will arrive next Friday or Saturday.
Thanks to a generous $100 donation, I have been able to purchase a leash, collar, and dog bowls. I am lending her foster home one of the chilly dog coats I have from one of my own Danes.
If anyone may consider donating an XL Costco dog bed – she never had any comfort in her past life was kept outside – we would be so grateful.
If anyone wishes to make a financial donation instead, they can be made via PayPal to gwen@birchhaven.org or via email transfer to contactbhrr@gmail.com
She is only the fifth dog we have been able to assist in 2023.
Miss Leah is in need of a special Secret Santa of her own! Please let us know if you would like to spoil her for Christmas!

1.5-year-old female fawn mantle Great Dane. We will ensure that she is spayed.
Was surrendered to the pound as she barked – was anxious.
Calm, gentle, active, friendly, playful, follows her humans everywhere, loves to be petted, loves toys, appears to have been bred several times(large drooping teats – recently litter?), housetrained, never had nails trimmed, appears to have been kept in unsanitary conditions, has some hair missing.
Lived with dogs – 3 of them and a cat and did great, excellent with people – she was a bit worried when she first was dumped at the shelter yet is comfortable with the staff now.