I found Birch Haven link on a friend’s Facebook page and have been going through some of BHRR’s blogs. I’ve cried with you reading BHRR Bean’s story and final breaths and viewed those that have been fortunate to end up in your care after who knows how long a time of pain and suffering from abuse and getting a new lease on life. I have no idea how you do what you do without killing someone in the process!

This year I supported a local rescue through the United Way, next year I will be contacting you for a few details so that I can support the work you do. I know what I offer isn’t much but if more people reached out, it would make your work a little more easy financially.

Keep up the amazing work. The world needs more of you!

Love your name

saw you site on – well fb really, so accessed the site to tell you I LOVE your was my Mother’s family name…a large group of Birches are my Cousins

Tracy – Genesis Dog Rescue

We are very dedicated to helping rescues in our area when in need and you are truly amazing as a person and BHRR is
amazing so we take every opportunity we can to help you 🙂

Its been great to spend the little time we have together even if just during a home visit and Dane Walk with my non Danes lol 🙂
We can only strive to be remotely close to how great BHRR is but we are happy to have your support in our new journey.

We are always here if you are in need of transports, home visit help, food donation or funds or even Secret Santa gifts 🙂

Hope you are getting better from surgery and doing well.

Im here if you need anything. I will pass on your thanks to the team, we all love the BHRR team!


Paula L., Quebec

Also, I do want to say thank you for the blogs on Veteran and Atlas today.  Specifically, Atlas' blog was so touching and moving.  Through your words, I could feel their pain but mostly the love that you have for these beautiful dogs.  I am very thankful that they have you in their lives…as pitiful as their lives have been to date.  I am a strong believer that every being has a guardian angel and you are definitely theirs.  Thank you!!!
Have a great night Gwen.

Robyn Guest, Stratford, ON

Subject: Just a quick thank you…

For doing what you do.

I regularly peruse your rescue, as someday I hope to be able to provide a permanent home to a Saint in need.  We were lucky enough to be home to a rescued Saint Bernard for just under two years before he passed of cancer, but that was long enough that I have fallen in love with the breed, and can't wait to share our home with another. 

I've made a small donation, not much, but hopefully it helps a little.

Thank you again – your work is so important, and so appreciated.


Keep up the good work

Hi I’m a St bernard lover who currently has 3 saints and a saint bernard/ newf cross which was rescued…I wish everyone would do more good for these large takes a certain kind of person to do what you are doing..keep up the good work
a true st bernard lover as well

L. Hasenhindl, ON, CDA

Your rescue is amazing and in the future I will contact you to adopt.  (I particularly like Big Ben).  I can’t take a dog at the present time.

Paula L, Orleans, ON

Boers Family, again, it was a complete pleasure spending the day with you at the BHRR 'Experience' Open House yesterday. The dogs were so well behaved, if not adorable :o). I can honestly say that when I am there, standing among them all, it brings me such happiness to see how happy and content these animals all are. Thank you again for letting share this day with you.

J. DeSantis, NY, USA

Gwen and Sean, what a wonderful open house today! The dogs were beautifully behaved and full of love for everybody, and it was terrific to meet familiar friends and see new faces! It was a perfect way to usher in autumn!

Margaret A, Ottawa, ON

Thank you so much for the lovely day. I am amazed at all you do. All those beautiful Gentle Giants have a wonderful new start in life because of all your love and attention. Can't wait for November.

M. Bird, Orleans, ON

Gwen and Sean – Thank you so much for opening your home and sharing such a wonderful experience. What you do in incredible and I have no doubt that if they could talk, each and every dog that goes through BHRR would thank you from the bottom of their hearts for your compassion, dedication, understanding of their canine needs and your determination to make their lives better.

Lana & Warren, Ottawa, ON

Gwen and Sean, Thank you so much for inviting Warren and I (of Pet-errific) to your open house at your home today. We have been talking all day about the wonderful things you do. We can't believe how well behaved & loved all of your rescues are. It was a tremendously uplifting day for us and makes us even more determined to help out any way we can. Bless you and all of the goodness you bring to this world. Thank you so much. Lana & Warren

~Kirie~ H.

Dear Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation,

First, I would like to express how much respect and appreciation I have for organizations like you.
It is people like you who have always guided my actions with regards to animals.


Dr. Adams, Kanata, ON, CDA

I am glad to have been helpful for your dogs- I think that you are doing a great service with your rescue. It takes an amazing amount of dedication; let alone time & money.


thanks again,


The Holmes, ON, CDA

As an aside, I was reading Mackenzie Goliath's updates tonight.  She thought the kleenex story was so funny and told me that she plans to collect donations every year for your organization.  I told her how lucky she was to be a part of something so special.. Just thought I would share.  Your children are learning something so very special and we thank you for helping us teach our children something so valuable.

Lindsey Ward, TO, ON

This is a message for Gwen, who took the time to call me back in the middle of the night tonight to provide some much needed support. Gwen, thank you for taking the time to call me and providing me support, encouragement, and resources in a time of desperation and uncertainty for me.
Your kind words validated what I was feeling and did not make me feel guilty about making a hard decision under overwhelming circumstances. I am so impressed that someone who doesn't even know me or hasn't had any history with Rocky would call me to support me and to offer guidance and assistance. I am so happy to know that there are people like you out there who are helping dogs in need, including mine, however indirectly.
Thank you again, so much.
Lindsey W.

Just saw you now on facebook

Will find out more about you, and would love to help in future, especially on the equine side. Keep me posted on what is happening! I am on facebook, but you have my email address. Love what you are doing!

Jennifer Jones

Two Wonderful Days Beside this Terrific Family

Hi Birch Haven Family

Warren and I (from Pet-errific) are amazed at such a caring family. We spent 2 glorious days beside your rescue booth this past weekend. Pet-errific has now found a cause to make our own as we build our business.

You are such a warm and caring family. It’s wonderful to see that the large breed doggies of any type have a haven but more important a warm & caring family to love them once again.

You are all amazing and we wish you all the best.
Lana & Warren
Pet-errific Services & Gifts

P. Lirette – Ottawa, ON

Holy macaroni! Spending a day within BHRR was amazing! I'm left speechless at how much time, dedication and love goes into every rescued and rehabed dog. All this shows through every single dog. They are so happy! My hat goes off to the Boers family….you are very special people! :o)


hi gwen i want to thank you again for all you have done for potter and AVA with out you they would not be with us. potter would have died alone and in pain now he is a happy healthy and very much love member of a forever home.AVA would have spent the most of her life in pain and most likely end up put to sleep. the out come for both of thees kids would have be death but for you , i wish there was more i could do to help please know you are all in my prayers every night . theresa

Kenda C., Ottawa, ON

Hey you,


You are so very welcome.  I wish that I could do more.  BHRR is a wonderful organization run by an amazing family!!  See you at the microchip clinic.  I look forward to meeting Maggie May.


Luv Kenda



Gwen, Holden is sooooooo cute i know he will do well with you and i wish him good luck,please give potter and ave a hug from me. Theresa

Sara & Mar, Ottawa, ON

Hi Gwen!


Whatever we can do to help you, please let us know.  There's a community garage sale at the end of this month here and we will be participating.  

Whatever we are fortunate to sell and the money that we will raise, will go to our favourite cause and that is to help man's and woman's best friend.

It may sound corny but you are a wonderful, caring human being who has all the best intentions at heart and who really does make a difference in this


Sara and Mar.

****AVA*MARIEEEEE………AHhhhhhhhhhhh !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


So……….Happy *GWEN & SEAN* Found That Forever Home

for This BEAUTIFUL Dane CREATURE !!!!!

I/We are Partial to *Harlequins’….?? Right ?? *Zane ??


To The -> *Forever/Home* ………

***You LUCKY/People, You Are Going To Have Some Fun !!!

—> *HARLEQUIN/STYLE !!!!!!!!!!!!

***GOOD LUCK……& Give That *SWEETHEART* A –KISS– !!!



The – *Rodgers’/Zane & Black-Jack !!! Toronto, Ontario.

Virginia; Muskoka, ON

What a wonderful service you provide our giant friends! I am very impressed with the details of and restrictions applied to people who want to adopt/rescue a giant breed. I have had six Irish Wolfhounds and have loved all of them. I've also had to cuddle them as they were peacefully put down due to cancer etc.

In the near future, I am considering acquiring another Wolfie and came across your site. I know how important it is to be very strict with potential families.

We have a wonderful little farm in Muskoka with just under one acre high wooden fenced area for our dogs. They love to play catch etc. and get lots of exercise.

Again, thank you for what you do. There should be more people out there like you.


Sara B, Ottawa, ON

Hi Gwen,


I hope everything is well with you and the dogs.  I wanted to keep in touch and remind you to let us know of the next walk which I hope to attend with my mom and Tobey.  Thank you very much for the lovely things you said in your email.  Whatever we can do to make dogs' lives better, we're glad to do and it comes from our hearts.


Keep in touch, and if there is anything you need and we can provide it, please let us know.



Marilyn Miller, Peterborough, ON

Dear Gwen,


I just read about Albert.  Please accept my deepest sympathy.  I had the honour and privilege of meeting Albert last June at your open house.  He couldn't deal with coming out of his crate but I think he enjoyed seeing and meeting people.  The March 4 picture of him running is wonderful….to think back when he arrived at Birch Haven to being able to run and have fun is wonderful.  By the sounds of it, he had a quite the sense of humour. 


Just know Gwen that because of your love, commitment and devotion, his last 15 months were the best.  I know how hard it is to lose a "bestest friend" but I am sure your other fur-family members will help to heal that huge hole in your heart.


Thinking of you,

Marilyn Miller


Melissa K., Orleans, ON

Hi Gwen,

You're awesome and think of everything and that's why I love what you do so much! These dogs are so lucky to have you!

Lynn B, Pembroke, ON


Just to say a thanks for taking Albert in and giving him a very dignified and loving fifteen months. We never met him, but mourn with you. He loved you and loved what you gave him. I know how hard this is, but may your memories give you comfort. You are a good person with a great heart.

Take care of yourself

Heather Mann, SWO, ON

Thank you kindly for the response…I thank you again and commend you for all  of the work you do for the many many creatures that you come in contact with. Thank God for people like you.Thanks again and all the best to you.


God Bless,


Heather Mann

N. Graveline, Port Colbourne, ON

Hi Gwen ,

My name is Nicole Graveline .

I was just wondering if I could be eligible to foster if I live in port Colborne , Ontario, it's about 30-45 minutes away from niagara falls.

Regardless of the answer it makes me so happy to know there are people like you and your team to care for animals in need, and if possible I would love to help you foster any dog or animal in need.

What you and your team go for these animals is amazing. It takes someone with a lot of love, patience , courage and trust to do what you do, and I like you believe we can make a loving world for animals that get over looked everyday. Again I just wanted to say thank you and I am excited for your reply.

P.s- my heart goes out to Potter, may he have a safe and wonderful recovery.

And hope all the animals find loving homes.


Thank you

Nicole Graveline


Renee, Montreal, Quebec

Hi Gwen,
First, my apologies for taking so long to respond. And second, thank you so much for all of the time and effort you put into the advice you gave me. I really did not expect you to give me such a wealth of information and it is appreciated.  Few people take on this breed because of their size and the expense, etc, so there aren't alot of people out there who can give 'dane-specific' advice.  I have been practising with Wyatt and his recall is improving thanks to  increased effort on the part of his 'mommy' and the purchase of some freeze dried liver and duck and sweet potato treats. Yummers!  I am looking more interesting to him by the minute! LOL  I find that I have been getting better  leash behaviour too. It's still a work in progress, but when I see him put himself in heel postion when we are crossing the street without my having to prompt him, I see that things are sinking in.

Unfortunately I am in Montreal so it would be a bit of a trek to get to your walks 🙁

But thank you SO MUCH for your time and help.

Take care,

Denise, N.S., CDA

Gwen I was talking to Barry today and I was so shocked & sad to hear about Trice. They were very lucky to have each other even though it was for a short time.
I was so glad to hear that you were with Barry and that you took Trice back to BHRR to lay him to rest.
Thank you for being there!! Thank you for everything you do!!
My heart just aches.

Natasha Pinsent, Serge Rivard Photography, ON

Good Day Gwen,
This is Natasha (Serge's wife and assistant), we were the photographers that worked with Lucie and Fromm to raise money for your rescue last year.  We were wondering if we could link to your BirchHaven site? 
Having 4 pets also from rescues we are huge supporters, so it would be our pleasure to help spread the word about your organization!  Be sure to keep us in mind for any other fundraising events you think we may be able to help with!
Thanks a million for your fantastic work!

Have a wonderful day!


L. Benson, Pembroke, ON

I have to tell you that I was very upset to read Albert's blog on Monday, as I was sure you must have been 10 times more devasted to write it. I knew one day, I would
see something like this, but just wasn't prepared. Al and I both agreed that it is funny that we haven't even met this wonderful 'Old Man', but have been so taken by him and his story. We also know that if he were one of our dogs, we would do the same thing. It's really quite sad and the dogs absolutely hate to be that way.
You have given Albert the very best time of his life. I wish he could have known his whole life this way. What ever I can help with, I would be glad to try to assist. I do know that he loves you in his own way. You are the Mom he has waited for his whole life, just like all these other poor souls. 
In the meantime, please give Albert a big hug from us.
Best wishes

My son and his wife adopted Koop! So he is my official Grand-doggy. What joy and love he has brought to our families . My husband and I have a 16 year old dog that we adopted from the humane society when he was 4 months old and Koop is just so wonderful when he comes to visit. God bless you Gwennie and Thanks.

Crystal F., USA

"Hi Gwen, I will catch up with you in a few days,always a pleasure talking to you! You know how much I respect you and Birch Haven!!!!! I just wish the world was full of "Gwennie's" !!!!!! You are the BEST!!!!!!"


Hello Gwen,

When I was in the market for a Dane I came across your blog and I still read it quite often just because I enjoy hearing about the success you have with nursing Danes back to health.  I am contacting you because you really know this breed in particular.



Luanne P., Ottawa, ON

I'm glad you liked it Gwen! You really do amazing work and more people need to know about it.

H. Kimery, Lethbridge, AB

Hi Gwen  – I wanted to thank you for taking the time to chat with me on the phone today  – it was just lovely meeting someone like you  – a giant breed lover  – who puts her heart and soul in to saving these dogs! I so admire that  – and only wish we were closer so I could visit you and all your beautiful dogs and perhaps get to know you better.
I am thinking and hoping that there might still be a way for me to adopt from you  – please, please keep me in mind for the future and also if you hear about a Dane or a Saint closer to me. I am now going back to your site to drool over the dogs  – and dream that one of them could be mine 🙂 Thank you for your honesty, your sense of humour  – and most of all for what you do! The world needs more people like you. I will leave you with all my info and hope we will be in touch again some day soon. Give the saints a big hug for me okay?
Helle Kimery

Pat W., ON, CDA

Hi Gwen:  Just wanted to thank you for a lovely day at the open house.  It was great to meet you and Sean – tell him the hot dogs were great.  So enjoyed talking with you – my head was full with questions I wanted to ask you.  Real nice to get my "fix" and lots of "big dog leans".  Once again, if I can help out in anyway – i.e. home visits etc, calling prospective adoptive homes or foster homes, don't hesitate to let me know, or any other help, for that matter.  It's hard in today's world, with our economic situation to take on the care of the "giant dogs".  Shake my head always at the people who get them as cute puppies but refuse to look after them once they reach adults.  So glad there are caring people like your family and volunteers.  Love my "anklebiters"(small dogs) but there is something about the danes that reach inside your heart and don't leave.
Take care, Pat.

Lindsay – Ottawa, ON, CDA

It is so nice to hear from you. You are truly deserving of the support and encouragement you receive for your good work. I am glad I could warm your day, as you did mine.

I will continue to support your work, and I have forwarded your site to a doggy-loving friend so she too could see the good work you are doing and donate what she can.

I would LOVE to come visit you and your animals. I have told her about your work and we'd both enjoy meeting you and the animals you care for. Thank you so much for the invitation!!!!

I also appreciate your encouragement. I would love to own a dog and share my life and love with a deserving lil pup. There isn't a day that goes by that I do not think about being a doggy-mum… especially as I see so many dogs walking about the city with their owners.

Thank you so much for your letter!


Suzanne, Orleans, ON

Hi there,

I wanted to email and thank you once again for allowing my life to be enriched for another year by BHRR. In all the success that has been celebrated and the tears that have been shed over the losses, I would not change one experience I have had as a Volunteer/Adopter.

I pray that 2011 is an awesome Year for BHRR, the dogs in the Haven and Rescue, may their right matched homes come soon,  and the Boers family, Big, Little and Fur skinned


Love Jenni, Mudslide, Dexter and of course,  Myself and Chuck