Thank you to everyone for continuing to offer up prayers and blessings of support and strength as we went through the unimaginable on Friday July 24th. As per my worry posted in BHRR’s Potter’s Blog on July 22nd, I rushed in with our Grayson Dane’s Babyz Dragonz(almost 8 and BLK’s Maggi’s bestest of friends) just after 11:30 AM on July 24th as he was bloating and after valiantly trying to save him for almost 3 hours; I humanely let him go. Thank you to Dr. Adams, Kenda, April, Marie and Dave at Kanata Animal Hospital for working with me so hard in trying to save him. We honestly thought we ‘got’ him in time yet with his advanced age and vascular system; he just kept continuing to fill up with gas and with each digital X-Ray we took after working on him; we began to see his torsion and his spleen had been pushed way down and over. He was not well when I arrived with him; but we truly felt we got him turned around yet sadly, he was becoming more weak and shocky. When one loses one pet, it is truly heartwrenching; two pets, devastating; but in having lost three of our own Great Danes in a week; I feel just sick and even my hands are shaking from my own shock. I truly thought my knees were going to buckle at one point and the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life is tell my 6 year old daughter that I could not save her beloved ‘Babyz Dragonz’. 22 years without a bloat in one of our own Great Danes and we have now had two in one week plus the tragic loss of BHRR’s KB/JB. BHRR shall remain in a shutdown mode as we continue to stumble and struggle our way through these devastating tragedies. I am also seriously considering moving BHRR’s Mazda to an approved Volunteer or Adopter home for the next while for with my worries about Dragon after his bf Maggi bloated; and then we ended up losing him; I remain extremely concerned……… 😥 I have spent quite some time talking to some of my Show Mentors and many have told me that in their own multi-dog kennels/homes; they have gone through losses like this or have had friends who have. Apparently,a nightmare of this type is not as uncommon as one would have thought or even had hoped would be the case. Armed with this information; it makes me just that much more determined to stay proactive with the wellbeing plus health of all those that are in our home and hearts. I watched Dragon like a hawk the whole week since his bf Maggi bloated; yet I still could not save him in the end. I also remain watching our 10+ year old Kona; NewfX too but she seems to be bouncing back somewhat at this time. Maggi was a really close friend of hers too. Kona is the last of the FANTABULOUS ‘5’ in our home. She is also the last of the FANTASTIC ‘4’ that we moved into this house with back in August of 1999.

We sit here in continued shock as we lost BHRR’s KB/JB just before 6:00 PM on July 21st, 2009. Thank you to Dr. Wright and Dr. Adams plus Rebecca, Kenda and Shawna at Kanata Animal Hospital for being there. We knew we were getting close to saying good-bye with his osteosarcoma yet he had a stroke shortly after Sean got home from work, losing control of his body and after receiving a call from Sean around 4:35 PM as I was at the shows; KB/JB was rushed into the Hospital. He almost did not make it to the Hospital, he was declining so fast and was in shock. I feel so fortunate that I arrived just in time to pass along my own blessings of loving tears before he crossed over. The Vet agreed that he was doing really poorly and he passed peacefully in our arms. The agony of pain that we are experiencing with the loss of two of our Danes and so soon(within 4 days); is like a living nightmare. Our hearts are just screaming in anguish.

BHRR’s KB/JB August 2002 – July 21st, 2009 – Almost 7 and stolen from life way too early

We sit here in continued shock as we lost BHRR’s KB/JB tonight just before 6:00 PM. Thank you to Dr. Wright and Dr. Adams plus Rebecca, Kenda and Shawna for being there. We knew we were getting close to saying good-bye with his osteosarcoma yet he had a stroke shortly after Sean got home from work, losing control of his body and after receiving a call from Sean around 4:35 PM as I was at the shows; KB/JB was rushed into the Hospital. He almost did not make it to the Hospital, he was declining so fast and was in shock. I feel so fortunate that I arrived just in time to pass along my own blessings of loving tears before he crossed over. The Vet agreed that he was doing really poorly and he passed peacefully in our arms. The agony of pain that we are experiencing with the loss of two of our Danes and so soon; is like a living nightmare. Our hearts are just screaming in anguish.

August 2002 – July 21st, 2009

Stolen from life WAY too soon.  😥

We appreciate the understanding of everyone that we are requesting some private time over the next while. With the loss of our sweet precious BLK’s Maggi on July 17th to bloat; we are now battling a new wave of pain with us having to let go BHRR’s KB/JB just before 6:00 PM tonight. I received a call while I was at the Lombardy shows around 4:30 PM from Sean that KB/JB was not doing well. From talking to Sean, it sounded like a stroke or seizure and I rushed off to meet Sean as he headed to the hospital. Sean’s initial worry was that it was bloat(I completely understand his fear as Maggi bloated on Friday while I was at home but Sean was at work and has had no real experience with bloat) yet from asking him questions and then seeing KB/JB myself and the Vet concurred, he had most likely had a stroke and that is why he lost control of his legs, especially in the hind end. When I felt his legs and feet, they were stone cold. We knew that we would only have a short more while with him due to his aggressive osteosarcoma yet we did not think that we would lose him like this. So, thank you to everyone for respecting our need for some privacy to properly mourn the losses of our incredible and amazing Danes; BLK’s Maggi(January 1st, 2001 – July 17th, 2009) & BHRR’s KB/JB(August 2002 – July 21st, 2009). The last four days have been just a walking nightmare for our home. 😥 We sit in stunned pain right now.

Most heartfelt thanks continue to be sent to everyone that continues to keep KB/JB in their prayers and thoughts plus Sean. KB/JB is ‘hanging’ tough and strong and I had wanted to be optimistic in that we would have him with us until the fall yet I am also trying to be a realist and am aware that this may not happen. I continue to look deep into his eyes and he continues to look straight back at me with clear and focused KB/JB character and though someday’s those eyes might be more clouded with discomfort; he remains quite strong at this time. He has not wanted to go on any more walkabouts of late and that is ok. He is most content just hanging around the house and be near Sean and Mazda most of all. As I keep saying, as much as he loves me; when Sean comes home from work; the ‘hopping’ he will do with his leg held up in excitement; just speaks tons for how close those two are. Mazda on her own volition will often just wish to be in the rec room with KB/JB and we continue to keep him closely supervised when the ‘rough’ boyz are out there like Dyce. We have also started to notice that he seems ‘sad’ when the play picks up and he cannot participate. I do not wish to keep him segregated completely from all of his friends(as is, we keep him quiet when company is over so as to not over excite or stress him) yet this sadness really is distressing to see. I know that Dyce, one of his closest play buds(MAN! DO they have the tough play down pat and have been close friends for all of Dyce’s life!) is also confused by things. That leg of KB/KB is so fragile that we do not wish to see him harmed and this rough play and running and bouncing has been very much part of his life up until the last few months and it has brought Sean and I discussing the whole ‘quality’ of life again. We have always said that for any dog; we would do ‘quality’ of life; not quantity and we find ourselves on a bit of a crossroads with some choices to make. We will not have him die with a broken heart or in spirit in addition to his osteosarcoma. 😥 We have much to discuss and think over and decide.

Today, we finally received a certified check for the funds that were meant to come to BHRR including coverage of the NSF fees. I picked up the check on my way to work at the Hospital. When I arrived at the hospital, I was informed that the instructor from the course had called and that surprised me for this was a BHRR matter. I then received a call at KAH on this same BHRR matter a couple hours later and we continue to request that all BHRR matters be taken care of away from the Hospital for my work there is separate from my work at BHRR. The call I received was from the instructor S. Candow of the Communications Course at St. Lawrence College and who was the organizer of the April 7th Speaker Day. She wanted to not only confirm that we did receive the certified check, which I had just received on my way to work today yet also strongly requested that I remove the blog about the funds bouncing from our site as it caused the College ‘distress’ and that her communications class was mentioned. As I very clearly explained; BHRR believes in full disclosure and this was the facts of the situation and as BHRR was not at fault for funds bouncing that were meant to come to us and that while I was very happy that in four years this had never happened to them before; the error was not ours, we have nothing to hide and BHRR was very much ‘distressed’ by having to be the proactive one to have this matter addressed. We are now at the end of May and finally getting resolution and the Speaker Day was April 7th. The student who bounced the check could have showed intiative to have this matter rectified as soon as she realised that the check would bounce yet did not. Our calls could have been returned sooner yet were not etc. Not only that, it put us into a very difficult and uncomfortable position for as mentioned; KAH has been very kind to accept checks on behalf of our Rescue for the last almost 5.5 years. That priviledge could have very easily been taken away from us. I firmly said that ‘no, I would not remove our blog’ for it is the truth of the matter and I was then informed by S. Candow that she wanted a blog posted that this matter had been rectified. I once again explained that BHRR believes in full disclosure and that when I was NOT working at the hospital and at my earliest opportunity; I would post that resolution was finally achieved yet once again; I WOULD not be removing any blog about something that was not our fault and that I would not remove something as if we were to ‘blame’. I stand by our position that this should have been more professionally handled and this latest experience today has reinformed my position that this has not be a very pleasant experience. At this time, as far as myself and my BOD of BHRR are concerned, this matter is now closed for we have finally received the funds that were originally meant to come to help the animals in need of our BHRR programs and we will not have any further contact on this topic. A huge thank you is extended to all for their continued support and also patience for in the dealing with this situation; it has taken away from being able to update blogs, post new pictures etc.

As some are aware, BHRR has been dealing with a situation to try and obtain resolution on some funds that were specifically raised for BHRR by members of a Veterinary Assistance team at St. Lawrence College in Kingston when BHRR was there to present for their Speaker Day back in April 2009. As part of their course ‘task’; this team was to raise funds for the guest organization that came in to speak and $300.00 was raised for BHRR; yet the check that was given to us; bounced and now we are being charged with a NSF fee. Kanata Animal Hospital has allowed us to have checks written out into their name as they have believed in BHRR and our programs and this is the first time in my almost 5.5 years working there that this has happened. I have emailed my ‘contact’ person; T. Belbeck from the Speaker Day and I have also left a message with the instructor; Sandra of their Vet Assistant Communications course who hosted this “Speaker Day”; yet to date; we still have not been given a replacement check(I have requested this to be a Money Order or Bank Draft this time around) nor has an appropriate resolution been sent our way. As mentioned in my one email sent out on this matter; we shall take whatever steps are necessary for this is completely unacceptable for monies that were specifically raised and meant for the animals at BHRR to have been kept by another(s) and now BHRR is out the $300 plus a NSF charge. This is one reason why our blogs have not been updated this week; for this situation has occupied much of my time since last Tuesday. The BOD of BHRR is beyond unimpressed with what has happened plus how it has been handled to date. In fact, we are absolutely dismayed with what has taken place and one of our next steps is also going to be contacting Chris Whitaker; President & CEO at St. Lawrence College.

I would like to extend a massive thank you to everyone that has been sending well wishes to KB/JB(& to Sean). He is ‘hanging’ in there. We are taking it one QUALITY day at a time. KB/JB has not so very good days and good days and some really great days. In fact, within the last week; he has decided he was well enough to go on ‘walk about’ and just started to ‘trot’ down the laneway to some of the trails. KB/JB has NOT felt like doing such a walk about in ages and Sean was like; ‘OH MY GOD’! I could not tell who was more excited and held everyone else back so the two of them could have some extra special time together. He remains on the Tramadol and on the Cephalexin and I have some new pics to post. Slides #13 – #20 and I have put one below as I love that profile shot of him. I also wanted to post some extra information for those that have asked what is osteosarcoma etc.

Osteosarcoma is by far the most common bone tumor of the dog, usually striking the leg bones of larger breeds. Osteosarcoma usually arises in middle aged or elderly dogs but can arise in a dog of any age with larger breeds tending to develop tumors at younger ages. Osteosarcoma can develop in any bone but the limbs account for 75-85% of affected bones. Osteosarcoma of the limbs is called “appendicular osteosarcoma.” Osteosarcoma develops deep within the bone and becomes progressively more painful as it grows outward and the bone is destroyed from the inside out. The lameness goes from intermittent to constant over the period of mere months. Obvious swelling becomes evident as the tumor grows and normal bone is replaced by tumorous bone. Osteosarcoma is unfortunately a fast spreading tumor. By the time the tumor is found in the limb, it is considered to have already spread. (Osteosarcoma spreads to the lung in a malignant process called “metastasis.”). Prognosis is substantially worse if the tumor spread is actually visible on radiographs in the chest so if chemotherapy is being contemplated, it is important to have chest radiographs taken. Young dogs with osteosarcoma tend to have shorter survival times and more aggressive disease than older dogs with osteosarcoma. While osteosarcoma of the limbs is the classical form of this disease, as mentioned above, osteosarcoma can develop anywhere there is bone. “Axial” osteosarcoma is the term for osteosarcoma originating in bones other than limb bones, with the most common affected bones being the jaws (both lower and upper). Victims of the axial form of osteosarcoma tend to be smaller, middle-aged, and females outnumber males 2:1.

BHRR’s KB/JB April 2009 – Strand of drool can be seen – KB/JB’s ‘signature’ style!  😛

We are very sad to say that KB/JB has osteosarcoma and his prognosis is not good. Perhaps, 6-9 months; if we are blessed. I am sorry that I have not had the opportunity to update everyone’s blogs and add pictures as I desire yet we have been very focused on KB/JB and what he needs at this time. I am also just being with Sean to help him through this. I love KB/JB, no doubts there BUT KB/JB and Sean are like ‘one’ and with his beloved Jasper being let go last June; my heart is in exreme agony of how painful this journey is. I want all of us to enjoy KB/JB for who is his alive and not mourn him before his time has come and this is about quality of life for him, not quantity(NO matter how selfish, our hearts might want to be to hang on to this special boy for as long as we can). The greatest gift we can give our babies is to hold them in our loving arms, bathe them in our adoring tears and allow them to cross over with dignity. It is also one of the HARDEST things for us to do. I will update blogs etc. as I can yet we thank everyone in advance for their patience and understanding as we focus on the animals in our program and spend our time where it is most needed right now….which is off the computer and with them directly. I cannot believe that we have had this amazing Great Dane for just under 4.5 years. Time has flown by…………..Please do keep him in your thoughts and blessings and Sean too……….Thanks………

We would like to clarify that while BHRR will most likely be moving locales in the forseeable future(locale TBD); we are still very much open for adoptions to the provinces of Ontario and Quebec at this time. We ALSO remain very active in the assistance of animals in need and are open 24/7 for that assistance. THANKS! 🙂

A huge thank you from us at BHRR again for the understanding that most have shown us as we work around the clock resolving the BHRR Computer issues. We are getting there and updates plus pictures should be able to be uploaded within the next few days. We know that the fans of BHRR have appreciated how unique we are in keeping updating blogs and pics on the animals in our care and for those that are attending our upcoming BHRR Mini-Open House; you will at least get to see everyone in person to know how they are doing!!!! We are looking forward to the Open House as we have not had one since September. I know the horses and dogs cannot wait too. Thanks to everyone for continuing to support BHRR!

As per our home page:

*****ALERT! Our BHRR computer has been compromised with the harddrive plus both servers affected with several malicious viruses which has even corrupted our current anti-spyware software. Please bear with us as Sean assists me in righting this situation. We have had to buy a brand new computer etc. and it is going to take some time to resolve. Sorry for any inconvenience and the best way to reach us at this time is on our BHRR line (613) 725-4279 for any matters relating to rescue. Email & Internet cannot be accessed!*****

So many updates to do and also pics to post. The next while is going to be very busy as I update everyone’s blog. KB/JB is loving his heater(we ended up returning the first one that we bought and bought another one and then two others to have on hand) and the Kuranda Bed that was donated for Lil Linus has become KB/JB’s favourite spot to be. Not sure why this Kuranda bed over the other two(the only thing different is the colour of vinyl) and maybe KB/JB likes BLUE better than the dark burgundy! 😛 Lil Linus on the other hand prefers one of the Burgundy Kuranda beds and so, I guess everyone is happy!!! Yet, what I think I will do is put on our special request wish list; another Kuranda bed for the dogs in our BHRR programs. Additionally; KB/JB is really stiffening up in this cold and the oesteoarthritis is only part of his problem that I strongly suspect at this time with that one leg. I am bringing him in shortly after the New Year for another exam plus check-up on him and I am a wee bit worried about what we might find in that one leg. 🙁 He is almost 6.5 years now(the best that we can guessestimate based upon teeth and calcification in his lungs from X-Rays taken shortly after his arrival 4 years ago) and the rest of his body, other than his still as of yet not diagnosed ‘neuro’ shaking is just in the best shape. I am just not convinced that what we are seeing is just ‘signs’ of him aging and from past injuries before he came to our program. I absolutely believe that aging is very much part of what is happening but I believe there is more to it and I think it is time for more tissue biopsies, X-Rays, bw etc. to be done. I know that I have said this before but as much as I love KB/JB and him me; he and Sean are like ‘one’ and having lost my own heart dog of Frost ‘T’, almost 2 years ago; I do not wish to see Sean lose KB/JB anytime soon. KB/JB is such a beautiful boy with a fantastic spirit and he has been through so much in his life that all I want to do is scoop him up and protect him from anything painful or harmful. Please keep him and Sean in your thoughts.

I must send out a most sincere and huge thanks to EVERYONE that sent us emails and called us with suggestions about where to find a great heater for KB/JB and what type of heater to look out for! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Sean purchased a heater today for KB/JB and he shall be nice and roasty during the times that we cannot have a fire roading in the rec room fireplace.

At the age of almost 6.5 years; KB/JB is starting to show some major signs of osteoarthritis in his right front shoulder(this is the same leg that he had a lick granuloma that was down to the bone and that we have struggled for years to re-train him from his OCD in licking at it, especially when stressed like when he had his 2 obstruction surgeries) and he loves our Recreation Room. However; this room used to be the old owner’s garage that they ‘took’ out and made into a work shop and the area that was the garage door; they put in a mini greenhouse(yet it was not done properly and the window seals are poor etc.) and while we have re-painted plus furnished the room with couches etc., it is still quite cold in the winter. We do not leave the woodstove down their burning while we are out and that makes the room that much colder. What we would like to do is purchase a small floor heater for KB/JB to help him. This is the room that he likes to go to when we have our mini-open houses for BHRR as he cannot get too excited(as this is a form of stress) for he is at a high risk of bloating. If anyone knows of where would be a great place to obtain a small floor heater at a reasonable cost; please do contact Gwen Ideally, we would love to obtain two yet even to get one for him at this time, would be extremely beneficial!

Our 2008 Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services(BHRR) Online Auction started on Saturday November 22nd @ 7:00 AM EST and shall run through until Thursday December 4th @ 9:00 PM EST.

To learn more such as bidding rules, items up for grabs PLUS to begin bidding; please click on the below link:

2008 BHRR’s Online Auction

On behalf of everyone at BHRR and especially all the animals in need of our BHRR Programs; THANK YOU for your consideration in participating. Additionally, if anyone has any items they would like to donate to support this worthy cause; please email Gwen


We took out another one of KB/JB’s stitches tonight and he still has about 5 to go yet they were still not quite ready. We cleaned the whole area with Betadine afterwards and he remains on the Clavamox. He has some pretty big healing scabs that indicate that he is still having some leakage in those two areas. Other than that, he is eating, drinking, acting like the KB/JB of old(except much smaller and more frequent meals). Mazda has really missed playing with him as has Cherokee and I know that he is getting a bit stir crazy himself. I know that he would have LOVED to have played in the 72+cm of snow we received over the weekend!

We took out 7 of KB/JB’s stitches out tonight. As always, he was great! He just lied there while Sean/I took them out and enjoyed the yummy treat he received afterwards! 🙂 He still has about half a dozen left and they should be ready to come out within the next day or so. It is the middle one’s that are the one’s that are still a bit inflamed. The Clavamox has really helped and I am glad that I put him on the it. Pics below of his incision site as of March 6th, 2008. He is doing really well!!!! We are still feeding about 5 smaller meals a day as we do not wish to see him bloat or obstruct again. We are also watching his water intake very closely. I will take new pics of his incision later this week once all the stitches are out. He is still on very restricted exercise even though KB/JB thinks he can run and jump and bounce around like a rabbit! He has really enjoyed lying in his king set up on the main floor with the x-pen around him as the other dogs have mingled about. While he has not been able to participate in the play and the energetic activity of the other dogs; he has really enjoyed just being able to watch them and has respected the boundaries of the X-pen as have the other dogs in not trying to bust in on him as he has been healing. We opened up the X-Pen so that it goes from one end of the one couch to the other and he has about 1/4 of the whole main floor(500 square feet) to himself to move about and be the pampered king he is!

KB/JB’s incision site March 6th, 2008

KB/JB started Clavamox 375 MG, two tablets every 12 hours. I will have to take updated pics of his incision. While he has shown no signs of going after his stitches, he will worry at his leg in stress; so he is wearing the good ol’ E-collar. He is eating 5 small meals a day, drinking and sleeping well. He and Sean are such a team and KB/JB is to Sean as Frost ‘T’ was to me. To watch their relationship truly does bring me to strong emotion. That dog just adores Sean and vice versa!

KB underwent another emergency gastronomy on Wednesday February 27th. He ate about 1/3 of his food that AM, vomited three times and we observed for several hours and when there was no improvement; brought him in for a 5:30 PM appointment. We know from experience that when he is ‘off’ his food, something is wrong. X-Rays showed another blockage and by 6:07 PM he was on the operating table. Surgery was done by 8 PM and we had KB/JB home by 9:40 PM and resting. The Vet pushed down into KB/JB’s colon what food he could and everything else was taken out of his stomach. The worry was that he might not survive another major abdominal surgery yet with having caught this blockage / obstruction so quickly; the success rate is prognosed as being very high. KB/JB finally began to poop on Saturday and what is concerning us a bit now is the drainage he is continuing to have from his incision site. He is on Baytril 150 mg, 2 tablets daily and I had him on the 100 MG chewable Rimadyl, two tabs daily for pain and now have moved him to Deramaxx 100 mg tablets, two tabs daily. Pictures below of KB/JB’s gastonomy. This boy is determined that we won’t ever be able to afford to re-side our home! 🙂

I was not able to participate in Bronson’s show in Kitchener as Sean called to say that KB/JB(our Dane that had emergency surgery back in April and had enteronomies, gastronomies(re-sectioning of stomach and 8″ of intestine removed; so bloat has been a concern) began to fill up with gas. I packed up and drove the 5+ hours home. Advised Sean to give Gas X, Zantac and Famotidine and walk KB/JB. Put Hospitals on alert just in case and the poop that this dog passed was unbelievable. HUGE KUDOS to Sean for being calm and proactive.

With KB/JB recovering fairly well from his gastronomy, enteronomies, 8 inches of his intestine removed etc.; I feel comfortable enough at this time to reschedule Tyke’s neuter to Friday May 11th. Should KB/JB require any more surgery or has any additional setbacks(we will be doing another CBC and X-Rays tomorrow); I will reschedule Tyke AKA ‘The Biscuit’ for later on in May. Picture below of his healing incision.


We are currently dealing with one of our own Great Danes(KB/JB) that we will be doing exploratory surgery on this AM if the new X-Rays do not show that the items have moved in the indication that he might pass them. I rushed him in last night when I was going to work and it appears that he has some pieces of small metal in his abdomen. Until we take them out or if he passes them; we will not know if they are something like staples or small pieces of metal fencing; both of which he had no access to at our place but one of our new neighbours had him over at their place and they have been cleaning out a lot of junk including lots of metal items so that is a possibility. So, it was a long night of iv bags, antibiotics and looking for poop/gas. We hope for no perforations. KB/JB had vomited once on Sunday; stopped eating on Monday; had a huge vomit on Tuesday and I took him in last night as though he was drinking; he was getting dehydrated and it had been long enough at my comfort level without food. No one thought that when we did the X-Rays that we would see this! We were thinking of something similar to Soul’s pneumonia yet the signs/symptoms were not all there in similarity and we were not thinking anything otherwise too serious as he was not painful to palpate, no fever or lowered body temp etc. So, at this time, Tyke’s surgery is still at go but I might be rescheduling it depending on the outcome of today. Pictures below.


KB/JB has been part of our program since December 2004 and is one of our BHRR HAVEN dogs. He came to us HW positive with a very nasty lick granuloma and has a neurological shaking disorder akin to Parkinson’s in humans etc. We celebrate his birthday in August every year. He shall turn 6 in 2008.