WOW! I cannot believe it has almost been 2.5 months since Shiva’s blog was updated! ????? I am wondering if one of my updates did not ‘post’ as I thought it had for I cannot ever think that it has taken so long to update anyone’s blog…. Anyway, I have added three new slides # 13 – #15 of BHRR’s Shiva today and while I wanted some action shots; she was most comfortable on what I call the ‘prime real estate’ spot AKA our bed! 😛 As you can see in those new slides; BHRR’s Shiva is also in need of a new collar to call her own. She is a little ‘naked’ in that department right now. 😎 What to say about one of the best ‘all around’ and ‘bomb’ proof dogs I have ever seen in our program…. She ROCKS! As our Kona(who is now 10) has slowly been relinquishing the reins of ‘leader’ female in our home; BHRR’s Shiva and our own BHRR’s Cherokee have been taking up those reins. This is the first time in those 10 years that we have not had a very clear ‘leader’ female and the dynamics have been most fascinating to see and interesting to note. Many believe that there ALWAYS has to be a ‘clear’ male and a ‘clear’ female leader in a pack yet I have learnt through experiences as have several other of the behavoural experts out there that there is actually a lot more ‘fludity’ within a pack than perhaps once realised; with sometimes one or even two taking on that role at times. Our home has been without a ‘clear’ leader male for some years as our aging BHRR’s Jasper was letting go of that role. The only problems really come into play when the wrong dogs(those not mean to be true leaders) try to step up into this role. Something, I could write many a ‘Gwennie’ novel on as I work with many a home with this issue and how to handle/resolve it. All this to say is that between Cherokee and Shiva; there is a good balance in our home. Each one has taken on certain responsibilities yet I know that Shiva is already ‘testing’ Cherokee(tends to be first thing in the AM) and to date, Cherokee has handled this wonderfully and I remain a passive bystander as these two really good dogs; work together to help run our home. I am going to be very interested to see what happens as Shiva matures even more; Cherokee shall be 5 herself in June. I have just truly enjoyed watching these two fantastic dogs work together to keep order within the pack. Of course, my BHRR’s Dana/Alvin loves to put a monkey wrench into things yet Dana is most respectful and mindful of Shiva and Cherokee and I have been so impressed with seeing all of this fall into place. As those that visit us can attest; we have no dog fights in our home or lack of harmony. Everyone gets along and play and share together. This is because of many reasons(another novel that I could write) and I am truly loving what I am seeing come out of Shiva’s re-positioning in our home and how she is conducting herself. Gosh, there is nothing that I feel this Dane cannot do! She is incredible. She possesses the true and all around qualities that few dogs have to be such a calm, unimposing, patient, kind, comfortable, secure yet not cocky leader. I also could stare into her big brown eyes for days….she is just so sweet. As mentioned to someone that sent me a note not that long ago about being surprised that Shiva was still here and that it has been “SO” long since we had her; we shall only place her in the ‘right’ match home or not at all. Shiva is that oh so very famous and common colour of ‘black’ and many tend to want to overlook such a colour and not ‘see’ the true beauty that is there before them. Additionally; she has not been up for adoption since she first stepped foot in our home and while I am always happy to explain our program; I shall not defend it. Our stellar and impeccable reputation speaks for itself as does our very sucesssful; ‘second’ to none adoption statistics. I am sorry that this person feels that maybe Shiva needs to be crossposted and that it is too bad that she is still with us; yet I hold no concern for Shiva’s wellbeing. Anyone that has been to our home(and we hold regular open houses; have Volunteers here all the time; plus friends and family) can easily see with their own eyes how we take care of the animals here; Shiva included. There shall always be people out there that ‘know’ better than we or ‘feel’ that they could do better than we and as always, my response back is simple; you do what we do daily at the high standards that we do and experience all that we do in these ‘rescue’ trenches and I will be the first person standing behind you as you operate your own extremely high quality Rescue program; yet until you step in our shoes; your ‘outside’ judging holds very little value. We are an all Volunteer organization and some people just do not realise that a kind word can accomplish so much more than their ‘sitting on their couch…pointing a finger’ approach. We shall always remain open to feedback as I believe any program can improve yet as one of my Rescue Mentors told me years ago; there would come a day when I would reach a ‘zero’ tolerance on such ignorant comments being sent our way and I guess she is right….I am reaching that point. I will also always seek to educate where I can and impart knowledge and to share plus learn(for we should never stop learning) yet Rescue is a difficult and heartwrenching enough thing to do without ‘such’ things being sent to our way by people that truly should know better. So, as I have done in the past with such things that are sent our way; I post it on our site…so that people do see that we go through great, good, bad and some ugly(I have nothing to hide and am ashamed of nothing…yet am very proud of BHRR and what we respresent) every year BUT we continue to do what we do, because we know that we do make a difference out there to animals in need of us plus our programs and the success is the proof in our statistics AND the ‘before’ & ‘after’ pictures AND smiles of the adopters AND the happiness/light that is in the dogs that we do save etc. I lose enough sleep over trying to save animals that have been starved to the point that they cannot stand, have been shot, beaten, burnt, stabbed, have imbedded collars, festering infections, busted bones and teeth, diseases etc.; and that is what I and our Volunteers need to focus on.