Our 4th Annual ‘Won’t You Be My Valentine’ Fundraiser is live!


Our Annual ‘Won’t You Be My Valentine’ Fundraiser is live!

Running through until the end of the day tomorrow, February 15!

Please help us give each doggie a special Valentine!

Thank you to everyone that has become a Valentine Angel to date, and to those asking, here is our email transfer address to send the vet bill part of your generous donation: contactbhrr@gmail.com

Please let us know if you would like to be a Secret Valentine!

Thanks in advance for any consideration!

My last post of my night!

Time for folks to think about what they plan on giving up for 14 days in our 9th Annual ‘Give it up 4 Autumn’ Fundraiser! 

Starts Thursday November 5th and we already have 4 people signed up to date! Be creative! Some people have even done a swear jar in the past putting money each time they or someone in their office swears and then donating the monies raised at the end of the 14 days.

All money raised shall go towards helping BHRR’s Symba and BHRR’s Coupe!

More details in the poster and please do email contactbhrr@gmail.com if you would like to be part of our 9th annual event!

Here are the blog links to BHRR’s Symba:

AND for BHRR’s Coupe

For those who wish to consider making a financial donation to their worthy causes, you can do so via PayPal gwen@birchhaven.org or via email transfer to contactbhrr@gmail.com OR you can do so directly to Liston Animal Hospital 613-591-0966

We have many many many thousands of dollars to raise and we are now set back even further as sadly, BHRR’s Oslo has needed emergency care today…..

From our home to all of our friends, family & supporters, the best of good night wishes are being sent!



Unfortunately, we find ourselves having to address the below issues once again. Every few years it seems we must re-visit this despite being very clear on our website, Facebook and Petfinder as to how we operate.

This last 24 hours we have had not one yet, two extremely unpleasant moments.

Let us be extremely clear that if people continue to disrespect what is openly stated; we will involve legal and take the necessary action(s).

Our camera’s are running.

1) we are a foster based rescue that operates out of our home and our approved fosters. NOWHERE does it state that you can just drop by, visit or ‘get’ a dog because you want one.

It is NOT even ok to leave a voice message as a ‘courtesy heads up’ that you are on your way or will be on your way shortly to our PRIVATE property which is our home.

We would never do this to you; so do not expect it to be ok to do it to us. We get so little quality family time as it is and your blatant disregard for being mindful of our family time is not going to be tolerated.

We have a very thorough adoption process which is and has been posted over and over and over again in the last shy of 25 years.

All of the steps to be considered for a BHRR approved adoption is found on our websites and even in the application. We have done our job to have the information there. It is now up to you to read and follow the instructions.

We have posted many times over that only completed applications shall be considered/reviewed. We are NOT going to respond to ANY inquiries sent via email, text, voice message, Petfinder or Facebook. This is and has been posted many times over. So Stop. Spamming via email, text, phone, and/or Petfinder is not going to receive a response. They will be deleted and if you continue, marked as spam/junk/blocked.  It is equally NOT acceptable for you to come uninvited; to our home, private property with or without any completed application in hand.

As we also post, if a dog is listed on Petfinder, on our Website or on Facebook page as being ‘Available For Adoption’, YES, that dog is still available. We directly state that we work to keep everything up to date.

We have equally posted many times over that we are not going to make exceptions to our adoption contract, processes, policies and procedures.

2) the steps to surrender a dog is also openly stated on our website.

Do NOT leave a message and then only a couple of hours later show up at our home expecting us to drop everything and put your request above all of the other needy dogs that are equally ‘urgent’.

This is our home. This is private property.

AND do not say to one of us that you left many emails or voice messages re: said dog when we communicate closely with each other and know that this is a lie.

YOU are making our work more difficult that it ever should be and trust me, operating a highly r/q Rescue is damn hard.

BHRR is not about you; it is about the animals and please allow us to do our jobs; our non paying, 24/7, 365 days a year jobs.

We have been doing this since 1996; know what we are doing, are the experts in what we do from rescue to transport, to rehabilitation to adoption, from feeding to vetting, to training to behavioural modification and so much more.

If you want to adopt; please follow the process. If you have a dog in need; please follow the process.

The Boerskins


1) In having a discussion with several members of the BHRR BOD; we shall be open as of Septermber 1st – subject to change if need be – for the intake of completed applications ONLY to consider for approved adoptions.

BHRR ONLY places per right matched personality fits and has an extremely thorough adoption screening process.

2) Unfortunately, again….in 2020 we will not be doing a BHRR Calendar. The cost is too high for what comes out of our personal pockets when that is monies that are desperately needed to keep BHRR open.

3) ISO: Auction Items for our upcoming 9th Annual Dine with the BHRR Doggies Event. Human, dogs, cat, gift baskets, gift certificates etc. ALL are welcome!

We also need draw prizes!

Please do not post your kind offers here, please do email contactbhrr@gmail.com

4) It is that time again! Time to think about being a special Secret Santa to the BHRR doggies! 2020 marks our 18th year doing this!!

As of today, we still have 21 deserving BHRR doggies in need of a special SS to call their very own!

To learn more and to sign up, please do visit the link!

5) BHRR is in urgent need of the following items:
Garbage bags – all sizes
Laundry soap
Fabric Softner
Fabric Softner Sheets
Giants Sized Dog Toys
XL Costco Dog Beds
Blankets, Duvets, Towels
Paper Towels

6) Please do reach out if you or someone you know has a Great Dane/Giant Breed Dog in need. We are also a highly/strongly focused special needs rescue so take in other breeds as we can that are also: Deaf and/or Blind, Sick, Senior, Neuro, Injured, Pregnant, Palliative, Nursing, Other Medical, Orphaned & Behavioural

It hurts our hearts to see dogs being put to sleep when there is an organization – we have been around since 1996 – OR to see these dogs end up in disreputable places.

Please do email contactbhrr@gmail.com if you or someone that you know needs assistance.

BHRR’s Fred!

This uber handsome blue Great Dane is doing fantastic in our Haven Program!

He is such a personality filled boy who is affectionate and can be wonderfully quirky too!

He is thriving!

AND here is our givinggrid fundraiser link as we remain in great need of your support for Ottawa just announced that no public events can be held until at least the August, therefore, our biggest annual fundraiser of the year that we host in July cannot be held. 

If BHRR, operating since 1996 is going to withstand this COVID-19 pandemic and continue to help those that most other groups cannot or will not; we urgently need your help. 

Donations can also continue to be made via PayPal to gwen@birchhaven.org or via email transfer to contactbhrr@gmail.com and all of those donation totals are being added to our giving grid fundraiser total….

With the postponing of our annual Microchip/Nail Trim/BBQ and so much more event; we have had to up the total in our givinggird fundraiser that we need in order to keep operating. 

Extremely difficult worrisome times.

THIS came on my radar last night!

Nicki is making handmade bracelets to benefit our Giant Breed Rescue & Rehabilitation Programs!

100% comes to BHRR and she is doing this indefinitely!

HOW creative, thoughtful and generous is this?! 

I already bought mine!

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS & to purchase yours:


“This bracelet is to support the Ottawa Birch Haven giant dog breed Rescue and Rehabilitation centre. (BHRR).

The unakite beads are a stone that is believed to help with feelings of abandonment and separation issues – very fitting as a representation for dogs that have lost their homes for various reasons. The cost of feeding, medicating, and housing giant breed dogs is much higher than rescues for smaller breeds so every little bit helps.

Paw print charm is made of brass”

My last post of my night!

BHRR’s Fred – Isn’t he just magnificent?!

He continues to be such a delight and is settling in so well.

A huge Kanga-Dane thanks to all of Miss Lily’s help going outside at night…they have been so good for each other!

His additional canine friends now include BHRR’s Burst, my two Wolfies, BHRR’s Oliver and BHRR’s Juniper. Yet, BHRR’s Miss Lily is his ‘main’ squeeze. 

He also wanted me to impart the following upcoming BHRR events / information as a gentle reminder! 

1) Starting Thursday November 7th, 2019 @ 12:01 AM to Thursday November 21st, 2019 @ 11:59 PM is our 8th Annual ‘GIVE IT UP 4 Autumn’ Fundraiser

All monies raised shall go towards BHRR’s Mollie’s Lymes Disease Treatment along with the newest addition to BHRR; arriving tomorrow – BHRR’s Kenai – more information on them soon.

2) Our last Community Education/Public Awareness Event of 2019 is at Pet Valu Hazeldean on Saturday November 23rd from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
*We will not be back out until April of 2020!
*We are still ISO: 4 more approved Volunteers to lend a loving hand that day. Please email us!

3) 2019 marks our 17th annual BHRR Secret Santa to the BHRR Animals!
We still have 3 amazing BHRR doggies in need of a special Secret Santa to call their very own!

We have BHRR’s Burst, BHRR’s Glacier and BHRR’s Penelope who would really appreciate any ‘Secret’ Santa friends.


4) Our 8th ANNUAL CHAIN OF SUCCESS ‘THANK YOU’ Pooch/People Potluck is Sunday December 22nd, 2019 from 2 PM – 8 PM
*Free to attend yet registration is required – please see below group to join!

5) We are working on a Sign Night in January 2020 and details shall be released soon. We will be pairing up with Ottawa Rabbit Rescue for that night! 
*Tentative date is Thursday January 16th @ Don Cherry’s with the same amazing hostess we had for our SOLD OUT Paint Nite – Joyce!
*You get to choose your own sign out of over 500+ designs!

6) AND our Annual creative, one of a kind Dine With The BHRR Doggies Event for 2020 is 60% SOLD Out! September 19th, 2020

7) Here is our FlipGive team link to join to shop to help the animals in need of our highly specialised programs! 

So many amazing places such as Amazon, Expedia, Gas, Groceries, Clearly, Dining, Costco, Activities, Movies, Canadian Tire, Hotels and so much more!

The Team CODE to join our BHRR Team: F2M39S

Thanks again Cherie Barnes Maracle for the amazing fundraising idea! 

To date: we have had over $350 raised via FlipGive for our rescue!


We truly have so much to be thankful for in 2019….it was a really tough, difficult and heartbreaking year in so many ways YET, we have had the best in supporters, believers, volunteers, family plus friends stand strong by our sides helping us to re-open BHRR’s doors and continue to help those in need of our highly specialised programs.

While we are still battling the Vet Bills, we are at least able to now bring in one more that is in urgent need of us and we have more in the pipe to come once we are more financially stable.

To those that may not be aware, you can do bi-weekly and monthly donations to help us continue to help the underdogs, the overlooked, the ones that are often turned away, the first to be put to sleep….


AND final reminder for the night is that as of Saturday October 26th, our facebook page and home website shall be unpublished until Tuesday November 12th. The Boers men shall be holding down the fort with friends while the Boers women have to be away….

AND on that note, from our home to all of our friends, family and supporters, the warmest of good night wishes are being sent!

Good Friday afternoon!

The nickname I have for my one Dane, Jigsaw that I posted about earlier this week is ‘Elvis’ as ever since he was a wee pup, he always would give me this Elvis type smile….and now he even does it when I ask. 

Well, this is Mr. Fred and he just may give my Jiggie a run for his money with the Elvis lip impression! 

My one sweet story re: him is how Miss Lilly(Deaf/Visually Impaired GD) has taken him under her paws.

As many may recall, she has had issues with confidence plus stress going out at night when it is dark….she has made wonderful progress with that and in her housebreaking.

For some reason, Mr. Fred has also had some worries going outside at night and from the moment they first met, Miss Lily has taken him under her paws….

Her helping him has also helped herself!

She now zips in and out of the open door, showing him that it is ok to go out in the dark and she is really smitten with him…. 

Mr. Fred is quite reserved in situations he is not sure of and Miss Lily has been working her own magic and now he will often ‘Kanga-Dane’ in excitement at the door to go outside.

She is now such a playful girl and is slowly bringing out his inner carefree puppy and their relationship is deeply fascinating to witness.

In turn, he has been helping her get to a point of getting that much more close in being almost 100% housebroken and that we can go out in the rain and/or in the dark and while they do not have to be outside long, to do their business outside.

I have been doing this a long time, have several degrees in psychology and behaviour including a PhD and it never ceases to amaze me to see how much the animals help each other in more ways than I ever could…..

What a humbling beautiful experience these two Danes are giving me right now….incredibly WOW moments daily! 

As I also say so often, while I wish r/q Rescue did not have to exist, to be given experiences such as this is very beautiful…..

BHRR’S Fred(Freddie) was at EVC tonight.

This is us on a small walk prior to heading out.

He weighed 51 kgs(112.20 pounds) and is at an ideal wonderful weight!  He was a rockstar getting up on to the scale! Solid.

I was so proud of him for he was worried and we worked to set him up for success to go to this apt. and I also brought him right to the back so that he could have more space and not feel closed in as he would in an exam room – as big as they are.

His heart and lungs are great, he is battling yeasty issues in his ears – we did cytologies – and we will use Burrows to help get them better. He is also battling skin issues between his toes – which his ears and skin have been a re-occurring issue per his previous Vet records prior to coming to BHRR. This is not uncommon with the Blue Great Danes. Skin and ear and allergies are quite prevalent in blues.

He is now fed exclusively a fish based food and we are seeing an improvement and hoping it gets better and better for him for he has been shaking his head since we picked him up. However, I needed him to settle in first to set him up for a wonderful positive experience going to the Vet.

He has what appears to be a receding papilloma on his lower lip and once he is under for his dental in November, we will get a better look at that and his teeth.

He was such a good boy and so brave. Plenty of unsure low tail wags and once his exam was over, took treats beautifully. He does very well with his commands – sits and can give one paw and then the other when asked.

Leash manners are still like a bit of a freight train yet we are working on it!

He was calm and overall somewhat relaxed – only a wee bit tense – which is what I wanted for him. The best Vet visit I could give him.

As our relationship together gets stronger and he trusts me more and more, things will only get better and better! He is making wonderful progress.

Thank you to his first Rescue for all that they did for him and once again in asking us to assist him!  You did so much for him!!

He is a lovely boy that we have promised to keep safe and ensure that he thrives!

Got him!

A handsome small Male Blue Great Dane!

My heart pours out with so much support to his lovely home who have made this really difficult decision to let him go.

Great people as I say so often, have to give up their dogs and this was heartbreaking.

Yes, he has one ear that is a failed crop yet, he is stunning and we are now going to work our way home….he is covered in scars from being on the streets in the First Nation Community having to fend for himself.

Welcome to The BHRR Family Mr. Freddie! 

Once he settles in a small bit as he needs to learn to trust me some first, off to the Vet for examination and a detailed blood panel that will include thyroid and Tickborne disease testing to help determine if there is any underlying medical condition that may have caused this snap/connection.

The behavioural assessment is already in progress. From the moment I got my hands on him, it started and we shall see where this goes for him.

We are not miracle workers yet, he will be given every opportunity for us to help him so that another situation like this does not occur.

In learning more re: the snap – the adult daughter was on the couch and his head was on her lap and she was petting him and then went to lift up his head to give him a kiss – and he made a noise and snapped, and in the process, made a connection on her skin – bruised and swollen, no punctures. So, that already tells me, that he was showing restraint for if he had wanted to, he could have seriously harmed her.

As to what triggered it, pain, a trigger from his past, was he startled, privileged behaviour as he was on the couch, space issue? Something else?….that I do not know.

What I do know is that he and I are going to have a close working relationship together as we go through this journey together….

Please join me in keeping his wonderful previous home in your hearts as letting him go was so hard on them.

In several hours time, I shall be on the road to pick up this handsome blue GD, BHRR’s Fred. ~3 years of age.
His background story for those that may not remember:
A blue male GD that was rescued earlier this year from a northern Ontario First Nation’s community
He was adopted out, ~5 weeks post rescue by that rescue group – to the home that was fostering for them.
A few weeks ago, he snapped at their adult daughter – that lives with them – who was on the couch with him – did not puncture or break skin, yet, caused bruising plus swelling.
They do not wish to keep him any longer and are nervous of him.
The rescue has reached out to us asking if we can assist.
His options are limited…..
He is ~120 pounds, good with people and dogs and cats and clearly needs to learn some manners plus boundaries. High value items like couches are something to be earned. They are not a right.
We shall work to figure out how best we can assist him moving forward. We do know that he had been taken to the Vet after the snap/connection and no ear infection had been discovered.
We will review the vetting paperwork also to determine if a T4 and an Accuplex(4DX) had been done to rule out anything underlying medically and shall also focus on his behaviour, genetic temperament etc. too.
Looking forward to your arrival!
I am off to bed shortly myself for a wee nap and I will post more after I have him.
From my home – which many of you are already in bed! – good night wishes are being sent to all of our friends, family plus supporters!

This is ~3 year old Fred

A blue male GD that was rescued earlier this year from a northern Ontario First Nation’s community

He was adopted out by another rescue – the home that was fostering for them.

Recently, he snapped at their adult daughter who was on the couch with him – did not puncture or break skin, yet, caused bruising plus swelling.

They do not wish to keep him any longer and are nervous of him.

The rescue has reached out to us asking if we can assist.

I have been working 6/7 days a week – on track for my next pay period to be 112 hours right now – to get BHRR’s doors re-opened for intake.

With my own work schedule AND with the kindness of several others that have made incredibly generous donations to also try to get our doors re-opened, we are going to work on seeing if we can bring him into BHRR.

We are NOT out of the woods yet with our enormous unexpected Vet Bills yet we are close…..thanks to all that stood by our sides and believed in us!

His options are limited…..

He is ~120 pounds, good with people and dogs and cats and clearly needs to learn some manners plus boundaries. High value items like couches are something to be earned. They are not a right.

ETA: Sunday September 22nd.