After a very stressful few days, BHRR's Dana is back safely at BHRR and is now AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION again. This is our first failed adoption in FIVE years and may it be as long and hopefully, much longer than that before we ever have another one. BHRR works very hard with a detailed application process that is clearly posted, information packages and testimonials often sent as well as detailed blogs of our dogs. 2.5 hours was spent at this home after a 5 hour drive one way as part of our commitment to doing the best possible to set all up for success.

It is most unfortunate when any dog has to come back into Rescue, for me; however; it is just that much more unfortunate when it had to be one of our very wonderful black beauties that have been overlooked by so many to date.

AND no matter what is posted in this blog; there is going to be someone out there somewhere or two; that will believe us having to pull BHRR's Dana back to BHRR is 'her' fault. AND it is not.

BHRR's Dana is all she is indicated to be in her blog(we believe in full disclosure) and two of our approved BHRR homes(one adoptive and one foster) have even submitted testimonials that were also forwarded on to this home in our efforts to make this work and are now posted here for everyone to read that if people just follow what what is sent their way and understand that we know these dogs best; then there is much success to be had in the home. Our 100% success rates for over 10 years and now that we are in our 16th year; 99% can confirm that very real fact.

BHRR's Dana as so many can attest to is excellent with dogs, cats, people of all shapes, colours, sizes and both male and female. She has lived in harmony in our home and in her temp foster home over the past years without issue due to correct and proper positive reinforcement and leadership. AND so many can also attest to how we feel about dogs being allowed on human furniture and why this should not be allowed. AND many can also confirm that there is no reason to have a severe surgical intervention to remove her tail. We can only hope that by people who know BHRR's Dana who comes to work with me, attends ours GD walks/hikes, has play dates, visits with people all the time at our home; has lots of exposure at our BHRR 'EXPERIENCE' Mini Open Houses will also tell others about how great she is. Such, that others can know that the failure was not hers for having to come to BHRR.

Pulling her out of this home to come back to BHRR was in her best interest and we need to keep her best interest first and foremost as our priority.

Testimonial #1: From T. Vaive – temp foster home and respected community member extraordinaire – When one of their GD's was crossed over; their other one stopped eating and a discussion was had if there was a GD at BHRR that may assist their home in healing and getting their other GD to eat. BHRR's Dana was temp fostered by this home. This home has temp fostered a number of dogs for us over the years now and extremely successfully. We are so blessed to have Tasha and her home on board! THUMBS UP!

April 22, 2012

Gwennie and Sean,

I have wanted to write about our time with Dana our “Calvin” from Calvin and Hobbs for quite a while now.   When I saw of her adoption I thought WOW this is the perfect time.  

Obviously her new family knows she is the bomb diggiity or as our Adyson would say she is not just a bag of chips she is the potato. 

I remember talking to you Gwennie  on that fateful Birch Haven walk when Sheets was mourning so for his Pella and had literally stopped eating.  We were so excited to have our temporary foster come into our home not even know who it would be with the hopes of course that they would help Sheets get over this part of his grieving process and have the want to eat again.  

Fast forward to the  Dana meet and greet…..oh and one screen down. Lol.   😀  I remember reading over the foster package; the vet checks, the reference checks and the yard review from you. WHEW I quite distinctly recall thinking “really? I already own dogs and Danes at that why is she reviewing my home? Lol”    

HA!!!!!!  So it would seem this know it all “ Social worker, Medical Rehab professional , Dog show, rescue Dane master” was about to get a lesson in “Dana”  and learn all about a new concept to me at least at the time  RESOURSING!!!!!   Oh how I have come to resent that word!! cheeky 

Before we get into how this works and I will end on the same note!!!  Dana brought us laughter OMG the laughter and here I thought Harls were the clowns of the Dane world, well someone forgot to tell Dana.  We never laughed so hard!!! The expression and the think-it through tiles on this one.  Whew I tell you!!!  She had us healing as a family within 10 min of being in our home.   And I though Sheets was the only one having problems letting “Pella the Poop” go.  

We had the “LIST” sorry to say this but I did think yah whatever what does Gwennie know…….. this is MY home and I KNOW my home and MY family dynamics.  OK the rules for Dana were as follows. 

1)      Do not let her jump up on you ( yah no brainer)

2)      She will try to push boundaries and they MUST be made clear ( yah what dog doesn’t)

3)      She has to listen to you. Do not let that sweet face fool you.  (Do I look like a sucker?)

4)      She is NOT to be allowed on furniture or beds (hmm really? Mine have the 4 on the floor rule but we let them up to snuggy – why is that so bad?)

5)      It will take time for her to trust but once she does she will BOND and quickly!!!

6)      She needs to “SHARE” toys, space ect.  (DUH….who did this lady think I was an idiot??)

7)      Happy tail- Dana does not just wag her tail she wags her body.   Encourage her to sit and try not to get too excited in her crate. 

8)      CALL Gwennie  for anything at any time.

9)      Dana will eat and will try to “share” Sheets’ food as well.   Do NOT let her be pushy!!  (huh? Of course not!! I am ON this)


Ok so Dana arrives; this list and all the hoops have been jumped through.  I figure hey “I got this dialed” as we like to say.  First thing Dana jumps on me and I push her down. Good start I got her knowing I am the boss….out her and Sheets go to run the yard…..good things, all good things. Gwennie umm Tasha about that low screen on your back door.  Oh no worries I say she will listen and not run through it.  First time  Dana “no”  she listened ( see I got this) second time umm down a screen.  Gwennie 'oh my please let me replace it'.  NO NO NO it would seem I need to do some work with my Alpha skills here. 😀

Gwennie leaves  dog room all set up we get ready for dinner.    Sheets and Dana have shared water outside and been great.  Pics to prove it.   We have dinner no fuss or muss.  I stand between to make sure the new friends know to not borrow kibble from the others bowl. Sheets eats yah!!!!   

 Dogs are to sleep in the dog room right by my room.  Dana is very, very sad…… I mean she is happy but whining  must miss her “home”  poor pooch ok so I will let her up to snuggly for a few minutes to show her we are  a great family 🙂  Yes oh this is a GREAT  idea….(please refer to rules above)  Pup up Dana on the bed.  Just for a few minutes it will be ok…Sheets is like hey wait a sec…..I want up too .  NO Sheets  you need to go lay down.  We snuggly all good I send her off and we are fine…….. HA!!!!

A couple of days go by Dana has settled in very well.  Her and Sheets get along like to pigs in a blanket.  A few issues with jumping up but all in all good.  The whining thing is getting on my nerves. Letting her up on the bed stops it for a bit but then whammo back at it.  What am I doing wrong??? (Please once again refer to rules above #3) 

Gwemnie does a check in – all good.   I talk about the whining.  Water spray bottle and don’t give in she knows how to settle in a crate she is testing you! Ok . Water spray bottle it is.   Hey it works!!! Then holy hanna the worst  squeal you have ever heard!!!  Dana is wayyyyyy to smart and was trying to get the crate open and got her one of her toes stuck in between the bars.  OMG I have broken her. I get her toe out and call Gwennie.  She is on her way!!!  Poor wee bean quick you need a cuddle on my bed…..she is limping but can jump up no issues….. hmmm ok 20 min love in and Gwennie here.   I tell her we were just snuggly in the bed. Gwennie “oh Tasha” what????  Oh yah rules. Well she was sad and hurt and, and, and I did move her to the couch….. I get the refresher on “resourcing”   Well I think to myself this has not happened yet what do you know.

Later that night, Dana won’t settle so I bring her into my room NOT ON THE BED!!! 🙂  I put her bed beside mine on the floor.  Well Sheets gets right on it and settles. Darn so I out one on the other side. GO settle Dana.  She wanted to be close to me so did Sheets.  I moved Sheets to settle Dana by me.   Sheets kept bugging Dana and she was not moving he pestered and grumped….Nudged and pushed.  Dana responded in kind.  Ok enough of this Sheets’ stop being a bully she is hurting and I need sleep.  Dana up on the bed Sheets you lie down by me. Good right??  (Please see rules above and keep in mind I did get a refresher on resourcing earlier.  It would seen I am not all that bright)

I get up to do something Dana stays on the bed Sheets follows.  I come back into the room Dana is NOT having Sheets in the ROOM.  Sheet s is NOT happy with DANA on THE BED!!!! 1am …. oh insert foul language here.   Are you flippin kidding me???  OK crates for all and GOOD NIGHT!!!

A few days later I am still working through my stupidity and trying to get back that pack order we had the first few days before I ruined it.  We are getting better same rules for all and 4 on the floor!   We go shopping for new toys 🙂  YAHHHH. 

Great day – Dana likes to sit on Sheet’s head to get his bed or his toy. So funny…Sheets does not think so.  So he brings his toy over to me and places it between me, his body and Dana…. HERE it comes …. She comes to get it he toy and tries to get between Sheets and I…… Oh ok so man o man not a big deal but they BOTH claim me as theirs and the snippity starts.  What is going on here?? Dana NO, Sheet’s NO!!  Oh yah sharing. (Please refer to rule #6 that I totally blew off) 

Luckily I have the great resource , you know the one I thought didn’t know what she was talking about and really how could she really know Dana that well with how many other dogs in her rescue??  Ok so candid blunt conversation later = I need to get my act together!!  Could I be the reason these behaviours are happening??  OK print off and post rules on fridge.   Thanks to me we are back at square one and I am thinking maybe below that and me undoing the great work that has been put into this girl.  I mean my “helping” was not helping at all but setting not just her but Sheets and us all to fail.  Hmmmm that was a bitter pill to swallow.  Ok so a glass of wine later ok maybe two  I found my big girl panties and got to work.  

The kids, Sheet’s and I stuck to the rules.  Dana did split her tail (crazy wiggle butt) but we worked through it.  Dana and Sheet’s both learnt to play with each other with manners.  Sheets taught Dana how to blow bubbles in the kiddy pool. Dana taught Sheets how to open doors, blow through screens, open the fridge J  and to give that look that will melt your heart.  

Dana taught us how to love again and to lose again(when she went back to Birch Haven due to Ady’s spinal surgery)  but too be ok with it.  She brought us happiness, laughter oh and Knowledge.  We learnt so much from Dana and so did our animals.  Dana met her first cat and our cat met her first foster.  It was a bit of a rough road at the start. But WOW!!!!!  Dana made it easy to see how wonderful things could be if the respect and love was given in the appropriate way. 

I learnt so much about myself, us as a family and that “gulp” maybe I can stand to learn a thing or two and see things from a different perspective. 

She can be a challenge for sure but if they stick to the rules (lol J)  The rewards and her love and boundless. 

Tasha and Family- Fur kids included. 

PS:  I think it is important for people to recognize that you set the structure up for your adoption and fostering the way you do for a  reason. It honestly is sooo much easier when you do!!! Trust me. LOL I have the t-shirt.  😀  I know like many this girl has touch our hearts.   

Testimonial #2: From S. Desjardins – approved BHRR adoptive home to not one but 2 Great Danes over the years and also a very valuable respected asset to her community. She has also lived at BHRR on two separate occasions, up to 14 days over the past year+ and knows BHRR's Dana well. The first GD they adopted had very clearly outlined rules posted on the dogs' blog and in their information package plus discussed of what that GD needed and within three days of adoption, we were given a call to see if we could help re: them allowing this GD on the furniture etc. It is so easy for people to fall for those amazing 'eyes' of a dog and it takes a dedicated and great home to realise what was going on, contact us for assistance as we know the dog best and pull up those socks and make things work! THUMBS UP!

April 22nd, 2012

Hi Gwen

I am not sure where I should start, maybe the beginning is a good idea.  Although Chuck  and I had owned several dogs before we adopted Jenni and Mudslide from BHRR  we had no idea how some of our actions were setting our dogs up for failure and setting the pattern for a life time of frustration, for both us and them.

I am the typical “mushheart” when it comes to my dogs and have a failing in that I struggle daily to not “humanize” then. Prior to working with you and “the girls “ Chuck and I had let our dogs, Axel, Ozzy and Cooper on the couches and sleep with us.  We didn’t realize that by doing this it allowed them to view the furniture as their own.  I was being selfish in thinking that it was much easier for me to cuddle with them on the couch. Once we let the dogs ( Axl, Ozzy and Cooper) sleep with us the tone was set and when Chuck switched careers and went from working nights to days, we had to buy a king-size bed….much easier that re-training the dog o sleep on the floor on dog beds.  After all they might think we don’t love them anymore and the floor is hard and cold and,  and,  and ….We were extremely fortunate that none of our dogs resourced over us or the furniture when we had friends over. It could have a been a disaster with someone getting hurt.

You explained to Chuck and I that , when we adopted Jenni, she had had been raised to not go up on couches or beds and that she has to share everything in the house with Axl.  That by allowing her to break from this training would set her up for failure as she would start to resource over water bowls , toys , us as she viewed them as her possessions.

Well for a bit we followed your advice and as old habits die hard we slipped into “our familiar” routines and did exactly that set Jenni up for failure, which she did as you know when you visited with Potter  and she grumped at him as she was on the couch and actually growled as well.  We had to correct her about that which made her even more confused as she didn’t understand why, after all it was her couch wasn’t it.

Now the girls ( Mudslide and Jenni) DO NOT go on the couches unless invited. And this would be only for a very special reason and not oft repeated. They have their very comfy beds in the living room to lounge on. We are now able to have friends over with their dogs and there is no resourcing , everyone, including the dogs know couches are for  humans. No more failure. Both girls drink out of ONE water bowl and share all toys and even the cat Dexter…LOL. |When we take the girls out anywhere we are constantly being complemented on how very well they are behaved and listen to us. This is due to the amazing foundation of positive training that they received from BHRR and that has been unstintingly passed on to us by yourself time and time again as we have had need.  Had we stuck with your teaching and training there would not have been any failure on Jenni`s part or ours.

This is the type of amazing structure Dana has had. Dana is amazing in her heart and soul and knows beyond a shadow of a doubt how to live in harmony with dogs and people as long as her people remain faithful to the positive training and teaching of no resourcing and all must share.  That means No couches, No beds, she knows her boundaries and when they are reinforced and adhered to she ROCKS. She will test you, to see how far she can go,  as I have experienced when staying out at BHRR, the little monkey…LOL… in the beginning it was  Dana off the couch, Dana off the bed , Dana move away and share, share, share and within a matter of a day she realizes that I am not going to be a pushover for her ( as much as I would love to be) as I want her to continue to succeed and be that great lovable girl she is.  

Dana is much like my Jenni,  she love with her soul and NEEDS TO KNOW you are the leader and will protect her so she doesn`t have to step up.