LAST Gentle Reminder: The FACEBOOK BHRR Discussion Group has MOVED to! –


This is just a last gentle reminder that our Birch Haven Rescue and Rehabilitation Services(BHRR) Group has moved!


With the 'upgrade' and 'archiving' of the current discussion groups on Facebook, we believe that the needs of our Rescue & Rehab organization cannot sufficiently be met any longer and hence the change to a BHRR FAN PAGE Format.

As of June 1st; the current Birch Haven Rescue and Rehabilitation Services(BHRR) Facebook DISCUSSION GROUP had all members deleted and then the group was permanently disabled and so as of the evening of Thursday May 5th, 2011 we have since moved to a Facebook Birch Haven Rescue and Rehabilitation Services(BHRR) FAN PAGE format instead.

Our BHRR FAN Page is very interactive, user friendly and fosters great networking plus social friendships and it also feeds into our BHRR Twitter account! We already have had some good discussions with insightful comments happening!

So, to stay abreast of all things uniquely BHRR including requests for assistance, Event/Fundraiser Announcements, upcoming 'EXPERIENCE' Open Houses, GD & Honourary GD Walks/Hikes INCLUDING any Lost & Found Animals, interesting tidbits, Animal Welfare topics, courtesy postings for other reputable/quality organizations/groups, community events etc.; do come and 'LIKE' our Birch Haven Rescue and Rehabilitation Services(BHRR) FAN PAGE –

Sorry for any inconvenience caused! 🙁 is the URL to crosspost! As of now, we have 226 Supporters & counting! Thanks for joining the migration! 🙂

Thanks everyone for your understanding plus patience as we make this necessary transition to continue to have the best network in place to continue to assist animals in need of our programs with your strong 'CHAIN OF SUCCESS' support!

The BHRR Team

BHRR's Ava Marie shall be going to her new forever loving adoptive home on Friday May 27th!!!! This shall be the #310th adoption for BHRR! 🙂

As of June 1st; the current Birch Haven Rescue and Rehabilitation Services(BHRR) Facebook DISCUSSION GROUP shall have all members deleted and then the group permanently disabled/deleted.

Since the evening of Thursday May 5th, 2011 we have since moved to a Facebook Birch Haven Rescue and Rehabilitation Services(BHRR) 'Like' FAN PAGE format instead.

The current DISCUSSION groups are going to be archived & even for those that qualify to 'upgrade', groups shall lose the ability to 'interact' with all members. We depend on that important function to save animals in need through our posts for urgent requests and to update our supporting members on BHRR news.

All 256 members of our current BHRR DISCUSSION Group have now been notified of the change to our NEW Facebook BHRR 'LIKE' FAN PAGE FORMAT and we shall send out another notice as a gentle reminder a couple of days before deleting all members from the old Discussion 'GROUP'.

Sorry for any inconvenience caused! :( is the URL to crosspost! As of now, we have 96 Supporters & counting! Thanks for joining the migration! :)

Please inform those you know that follow us on the BHRR DISCUSSION GROUP that this GROUP will be deleted as of June 1st, 2011. We have so many that still have not moved over, so please help us get the word out! Please re-direct them to our NEW FACEBOOK BHRR FAN PAGE! Please come on over and 'LIKE' us!

Thanks everyone for your understanding plus patience as we make this necessary transition to continue to have the best network in place to continue to assist animals in need of our programs with your strong 'CHAIN OF SUCCESS' support!


We are moving BHRR's Ava Marie to an ADOPTED status!!!! The actual adoption date is still being determined yet it shall be within the next few weeks. GOSH! I am going to well up something fierce over this one!!!! I know that I shall see her here and there and I wish her and her newly approved forever loving home that absolute best! This sweetheart has fans all across the world and her adoption is a HUGE deal to so many.

At this time, we are placing BHRR's Ava Marie under a 'PENDING ADOPTION'.

Until such time as we can best determine if this is the right matched home for her; we will not be accepting any more inquiries or applications. Thank you for your patience plus understanding and we hope to be able to update her status shortly.

Here are the May availability dates/times for play dates, day trips and play trips for the BHRR dogs for our approved BHRR Volunteers to consider.

Please email if interested in giving a BHRR animal extra BLAST of a time social/training experiences!

Monday May 2nd – Anytime between 2 PM – 8 PM
Tuesday May 2nd – Anytime between 2 PM – 8 PM
Wednesday May 4th – Anytime between 2 PM – 8 PM
Tuesday May 10th – Anytime between 2 PM – 8 PM
Wednesday May 11th – Anytime between 2 PM – 8 PM
Friday May 13th – Anytime between 2 PM – 8 PM
Saturday May 14th – Anytime between 8 AM – 4 PM
Monday May 16th – Anytime between 2 PM – 8 PM
Tuesday May 17th – Anytime between 2 PM – 8 PM
Friday May 20th – Anytime between 2 PM – 8 PM
Saturday May 21st – Anytime between 8 AM – 4 PM
Tuesday May 24th – Anytime between 2 PM – 8 PM
Wednesday May 25th – Anytime between 2 PM – 8 PM

Here are the April availability dates for play dates, day trips and play dates for the BHRR dogs for our approved BHRR Volunteers to consider. BHRR's Lily Belle is not on this list as she is currently under a "PENDING ADOPTION" and we should know by end of Monday April 4th, that status of her application. Thanks everyone for your continued patience!


Friday April 1st – Anytime between Noon – 8 PM
Saturday April 2nd – Anytime between 8 AM – 4 PM
Wednesday April 6th – Anytime between 4 PM – 8 PM
Monday April 11th – Anytime between Noon – 8 PM
Wednesday April 13th – Anytime between 4 PM – 8 PM
Friday April 15th – Anytime between 4 PM – 8 PM
Saturday April 16th – Anytime between 8 AM – 4 PM
Monday April 18th – Anytime between Noon – 8 PM
Tuesday April 19th – Anytime between Noon – 8 PM
Wednesday April 20th – Anytime between 4 PM – 8 PM
Saturday April 23rd – Anytime between 8 AM – 4 PM
Monday April 25th – Anytime between Noon – 8 PM
Wednesday April 27th – Anytime between 4 PM – 8 PM
Friday April 29th – Anytime between 4 PM – 8 PM
Saturday April 30th – Anytime between 8 AM – 4 PM

Please email if interested in giving a BHRR animal extra BLAST of a time social/training experiences!



Thank you to all that helped raise much needed monies for both of our Rescues!



Two Ontario Great Dane Rescues – Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services(BHRR) & Danes in Distress(DiD) have come together to host this 2011 High Bid "War" to benefit animals in need of both of our programs.

These amazing pair of Hockey Tickets are to the Toronto Maple Leafs vs. the Ottawa Senators game being held on Saturday April 2nd, 2011 at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa starting at 7:00 PM.

These seats are in the 100L- Section 109 Row C and are fantabulous seats! The value on these pair of tickets are $400+ CDA.


The ‘HELP SCORE FOR THE BHRR & DID ANIMALS HOCKEY hig' Bid 'War' began on Wednesday March 23rd @ 8:00 AM EST and shall end on Tuesday March 29th @ 9:00 PM EST.

Tickets can be couriered at no cost to the winner for their convenience to their place of business or home.

To bid on the Sens vs. Leafs tickets, please email with your full name, address, phone number including area code, and please indicate your bid amount.

Bidding shall start at $100 and the website shall be updated regularly.

Note: Payment for the winning bidder must come direct to BHRR and BHRR will ONLY accept a payment of M/C OR VISA OR AMEX OR email transfer to (please ensure that we have the password).

Danes in Distress(DiD) shall NOT be accepting any payment for these Hockey bid tickets and will be directing all interest to BHRR. Any payment made direct to DiD shall be considered a donation and not as payment for these Hockey tickets for this Fundraiser.

Note: BHRR shall NOT accept any PayPal payment per their rules & regulations. Any monies sent via that method will be considered a donation.

Note: BHRR shall NOT accept personal checks.


After confirmation of receipt of payment sent to BHRR, BHRR will make arrangements to get your winning tickets to you ASAP.

Our deepest thanks being sent out in advance to everyone for your consideration in participating to help both BHRR and DiD continue to save animals in need of assistance! By showing your support, you are representing a wonderful effort to a great cause!

  • The BHRR Auction will begin at 8:00 AM EST on Wednesday March 23rd, 2011. Unfortunately, bids submitted prior to this time cannot be considered.
  • The BHRR Auction will end at 9:00 PM EST on Tuesday March 29nd, 2011. The highest bid on these tickets will be determined based on the time of the email sent as recorded by the time marked by our ISP.
  • High bidders will be identified each day ONLY by their first name and last initial.
  • All bid prices are in Canadian funds.
  • Bids must be done in $5.00 or Greater increments.
  • When bidding please include your first and last name plus a phone number that you can be reached at if necessary.
  • All Bidders must be at LEAST 18 years of age or older.
  • All bids are considered final and binding, please do not bid if you do not intend to follow through on payment. Also, please do not bid on behalf of anyone else without their explicit written permission. The owner of the email will be considered the bidder and responsible/accountable for the bid/payment should their email be the winning bidder.
  • High Bidder will be posted every day of the BHRR Auction and on the final Auction day; the bids shall be updated with postings made regularly until the BHRR Auction closes.
  • If you wish to leave a "maximum" bid as you will not be around to monitor the auction closely yourself, please indicate that in your email when making your bid. Only emailed bids will be accepted.
  • FULL payment is required within 24 hours of being notified of being the winner.
  • Should you be in default of not honouring your bid(which really affects the animals the most), the next person with the highest bid shall be offered the Tickets as the winner.
  • There are NO Returns or Exchanges and BHRR is not responsible for the condition of the Hockey Tickets upon receipt to the winner(s).

About Taxes: You are not actually buying these tickets in this online auction. What you are doing is making a donation and then receiving the item in turn as a thank you. All taxes have been paid on the items you are bidding on.


The BHRR & DiD Teams

The ‘BHRR’ Experience – One Volunteers Blog

Below is a note that the approved BHRR Volunteer wrote on her fb wall about her BHRR 'EXPERIENCE' in taking care of BHRR/our home while I had my first family vacation in almost 6 years. With her permission, it has been posted below. As I say so often to others plus posted this as a response to her fb wall post:

"AND I would love to 'share' your note with others interested in BHRR – either by adopting, volunteering, learning more about our stellar programs etc. – with your permission. I could never say any words better than what those themselves that are involved could say about the BHRR 'EXPERIENCE'. It is all of you that are the 'voice' making that 'CHAIN OF SUCCESS' so strong…"


Day 12 – Novice in Rescue , My Adventure at BHRR – Home coming for all

by Suzanne Desjardins on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 9:13pm


Is there ever anything sweeter than being home ???? I am very certain Gwen,Sean and kids feel the same…I have made some personal journeys in life but this is one for the bucket list 4sure …

I  will never think of rescue in another way except wow, the work involved is just staggering ….and i wasn't even training or rehabbing…..just reinforcing.  BUT the REWARDS are PRICELESS………

If anyone reading this note or my prior notes wonders how they too could be involved…DONATE DONATE DONATE…The amount of food that i fed over the 12 days was mind boggling …FOOD is life for this small respectable,reputable ONE OF A KIND rescue ….so the next time time you are in the pet store or grocery store , buy a bag and and let Gwen know you have food……..Towels, sheets, comforters, pinesol, treats, ALL very much needed …………..

I had tears in my eyes as I left today… there are several that I loved prior to this, and they have cemeted themselves in my heart forever…Potter, Soul and Albert, his trust in me was moving….Bleach is AMAZING for a deaf/blind puppy ….the way he motors around is nothin short of WOW………

 Gwen…. I thank you …………


'HELP SCORE FOR THE BHRR & DID ANIMALS' HOCKEY RAFFLE – ONLY 350 Tickets available – *ENDS Wednesday @ 9:00 PM EST

*CONGRATULATIONS TO D. Harbin of Ottawa, ON & to all in participating to raise funds for GD Rescue!*

Two Ontario Great Dane Rescues – Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services(BHRR) & Danes in Distress(DID) have come together to host this 2011 Hockey Raffle to benefit animals in need of both of our programs.

These amazing pair of Hockey Tickets are to the Toronto Maple Leafs vs. the Ottawa Senators game being held on Saturday April 2nd, 2011 at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa starting at 7:00 PM.

These seats are in the 100L- Section 109 Row O and are excellent seats! The value on these pair of tickets are $400+ CDA.

Furthermore, a Parking Voucher for free regular parking is included for the winner's added bonus!

Furthermore, Linda @ PJ Quigley's located @ 250 Greenbank Road donated a pre-game dinner for 2 (up to $25) to the winner!


We shall ONLY be selling 350 tickets and they are $10.00 each or 3 for $25.00.

The ‘HELP SCORE FOR THE BHRR & DID ANIMALS HOCKEY RAFFLE’ ticket sales began on Monday February 21st @ 8:00 AM EST and shall end on Wednesday March 9th @ 9:00 PM EST.

The draw shall take place on Thursday March 10th @ 8:00 AM EST and the tickets can be couriered at no cost to the winner for their convenience to their place of business or home.

To purchase your raffle tickets, please email with your full name, address, phone number including area code, number of tickets you would like to buy and please indicate your method of payment.

Note: All payments for raffle tickets must come direct to BHRR and BHRR will ONLY accept payments of M/C OR VISA OR AMEX OR email transfer to (please ensure that we have the password).

Danes in Distress(DID) shall NOT be accepting any payments for these Hockey raffle tickets and will be directing all interest to BHRR. Any payments made direct to DID shall be considered a donation and not as payment for Hockey raffle tickets for this Fundraiser.

Note: BHRR shall NOT accept PayPal payments per their rules & regulations. Any monies sent via that method will be considered a donation.

Note: BHRR shall NOT accept personal checks.


Note: Odds of winning are based upon total number of raffle tickets sold.

After confirmation of receipt of payment sent to BHRR, BHRR will email a copy of your raffle ticket(s) in a pdf format with your individual raffle tracking ticket number(s).

Our deepest thanks being sent out in advance to everyone for your consideration in participating to help both BHRR and DID continue to save animals in need of assistance! By showing your support, you are representing a wonderful effort to a great cause!



The BHRR & DID Teams

BHRR's Ava Marie's weight today was 69 KGs(151.80 pounds), so she is maintaining beautifully!!! 😀

BHRR's Lily Belle & BHRR's Ava Marie are going to be temp fostered for some extra fun up until March 23rd, 2011! Going to miss these two beauties yet experiences like this shall only continue to enrich them plus expose them to new people, places sans myself and one never knows if their future forever adoptive home might meet them out and about! 🙂


BHRR can always use more approved foster homes & Volunteers for play dates, day trips, extra hands at fundraiser and please visit our Foster/Volunteer page for more information.

BHRR mourns the February 18th, 2011 loss of a treasured friend to many – Victim to Bloat/Tort.
Trice, beloved best friend of BHRR Board of Director member Barry.
As per Barry's wishes, Trice has been laid to eternal rest at BHRR, missed by all.
May all those that have been touched by Trice, cherish the incredible gifts that he has bestowed upon them.

Though Barry has requested that any donations in honour of Trice's memory be sent to BHRR; I would like to respectfully ask of each and every person that has had the special pleasure of being blessed to be touched by Trice; to share a photo and/or memory Barry's way. AND to please pass along your support of heart plus caring.

This was not the week it should have been for either one of them when they travelled up from the east coast earier that day. Trice was to come to BHRR for training/tweaking and the week was to be full of fun GD/Human hikes/walks, good training sessions, fantastic play dates, lots of laughter and tons of great memories with friends to warm the heart plus soul. 

I am blessed myself to have been called and upon directing all to meet me at AVAH; to have had the 'gift' of opportunity to pass along my good-byes and tears of heart ache on the night of his passing. This is a dog that I very much adored, has made me a better behavoural expert/trainer plus person and he has touched me very deeply since he plus Barry first crossed my path many years ago. To say that I love the 'Trices' of the world is putting it lightly. I live with a "Trice", I understand/accept the 'Trices' of the world and I feel truly fortunate to have had my life touched by this special Trice!

His loss has affected so many and I know that CH. Dyceman is completely crushed not to have had the opportunity and experiences that should have been theirs during the week that Trice was to be at BHRR. Trice was truly Dyce's best of friends and it has been a week of deep mourning for all……

A portrait of Trice by Barclay Guinn Fine Arts (an example of Barclay's work that had been shown at our 2009 BHRR Boat Cruise Fundraiser)
& BHRR's Kingston with Trice – August 28th, 2009(one of my fav pictures).

Honouring my 'promise!' 1 Picture of BHRR's Ava Marie from February 2nd, 2011 – 'WINTER WONDERLAND DAY' @ BHRR! DOESN'T she just look awesome!

BHRR's Ava Marie(the 'not another picture' look!) & BHRR's Potter

I have had not one, not two but THREE people email me to 'make' a deal! LOL AND that deal is that they will purchase tickets to our currently running BHRR/DiD Hockey Raffle Fundraiser in exchange for me posting new pictures of the dogs! Let me think about this…..UHMMMM! OK! YOU are on!!! Let the picture posting and raffle tickets sales go on! 😀

Perhaps, it might make others consider participating such that we can raise much needed funds NOT just for BHRR yet also for another Ontario GD Rescue – DiD(the oldest operating GD Rescue in Ontario at that!). Each penny that is raised is so desperately needed by both of our organizations and please, please, please do consider participating. Even if you are not  a Hockey Fan or would be able to attend the game on April 2nd yourself, purchasing a raffle ticket or two or three; MAKES a great gift for another!

These are fantastic tickets – 100 L, a Parking Voucher is included PLUS a very generous $25 pre-dinner for 2 at P.J's Quigley's on Greenbank in Ontario has been donated by Linda Price. We shall be selling Raffle Tickets until March 9th, 2011 @ 9:00 PM EST.



BHRR's Ava Marie shall be temp fostered from March 9th – March 23rd for if all goes well, I shall be headed on my first vacation in almost 6 years!

In honor of Gwennie, the Founder of BHRR, wishing her a most wonderful and special of birthdays today – February 3rd, 2011

If you believe in BHRR; enjoy all the blog updates, pictures, open houses, GD hikes, Gwennie novel posts, her educational articles plus links; please make a donation in support of her rescue efforts. This fundraiser shall run through until 11:59 PM today – Thursday February 3rd, 2011

This blog post was made without Gwennie's awareness, so imagine her surprise when she sees this later today!

You can help ease her stress and concerns a bit today about always worrying about money to save those in need of the programs she has worked so hard for. You can help ease her stress and concerns a bit today about coming up with funds for food and other essentials for the animals. You can help ease her stress and concerns a bit today about the mounting bills for BHRR. Together let's make that BHRR 'chain of success' for Gwennie even more strong today!

Email transfer to, PayPal (account or even call Kanata Animal Hospital (613) 836-2848 and make a donation on to the Birch Haven Rescue account with your Visa, Mastercard or Amex. A receipt will be mailed to your attention. As Gwennie states so often, there is no amount too small.

I recently asked Gwennie what she wanted for her birthday and not once did she mention anything for herself. Always her family, friends or animals. Help us make a birthday very special today for Gwennie by making a donation to BHRR.

Total Raised to Date$385 & 14 Days of Dog Food & New Logo for Behavoural/Training/Gwennie's Dog Boot Camp Programs
*PayPal took $1.03 in fees

Gwennie's BHRR Believers & Supporters:

Mason*donated his bi-weekly allowance
Kinsley*donated her bi-weekly allowance
Alex & Karen
Global Pet Foods – Kanata – 10 Days of Dog Food
Simone – On BHRR's Potter Bills @ Kanata Animal Hospital
Lisa – 13 KG bag of Natural Balance Dog Food
James – Bag of Dog Food
Jan & Her Boyz
Luanne of Rusty Dawg Pet Products

Today was 'WINTER WONDERLAND' Day at BHRR on our almost 148 acres after receiving 20 cm of snow and 10 more cm on the way! Below are two pictures! I will post all the individual pictures on the dog's own blogs ASAP. I was out with them myself on three different occasions for about an hour each time. WHAT a blast of a day! Now, that nighttime has come, the temperatures are dropping and the snow is turning more to ice pellets. Time for some nice warmth in front of the fireplaces and snuggles!

BHRR's 'WINTER WONDERLAND' Day! – February 2nd, 2011 – Name the dogs? LOL

BHRR's Ava Marie is now booked for a Playdate for Valentine's Day! :) The rest of her availability for February 2011 is listed below for our approved BHRR Volunteer(s) to consider taking her for a Playdate, day trip or play day. Please email.


Friday February 4th – Between 4 PM & 8 PM
Saturday February 5th – Between 8 AM & 4 PM
Monday February 7th – Between Noon & 8 PM
Tuesday February 8th – Between Noon & 8 PM
Wednesday February 9th – Between 9 AM & 4 PM
Monday February 14th – Between 4 PM & 8 PM*BHRR's Ava Marie BOOKED
Friday February 18th – Between Noon & 8 PM
Monday February 22nd – Between Noon & 8 PM
Wednesday February 23rd – Between 9 AM & 4 PM
Friday February 25th – Between Noon & 8 PM
Saturday February 26th – Between 8 AM & 4 PM

BHRR BOD Member Barry's 'Special 30th Birthday Request for BHRR' –

Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services Board of Director Member, Barry Cole is celebrating his 30th Birthday today. Here is his posted request:

"Can't believe I'm 30 today!! Not that im expecting presents but would appreciate Donations to help a GREAT rescue continue to do their amazing work!!"

Will keep a running public total of all monies raised in his honour to continue to help animals in need of BHRR!

Thanks in advance for the consideration!

Total Raised to Date: $165 – PayPal took $2.34 in fees


Barry's Birthday BHRR Buddies:


Mason*donated his bi-weekly alllowance
Kinsley*donated her bi-weekly allowance
Suzanne & Chuck
LT & Lil Linus(Jan)

BHRR's Ava Marie came with me along with Sir Maestro and Mason to meet up with a couple of friends today for a 2 hour walk/hike. AND boy, was she fiesty, full of beans and it was SOOOOOOO awesome to see! Everyone kept making comments about how muscled and solid she was and how mobile! YAY! We varied up the walk between open fields and forest such that we could get her to slow down a bit and this temperature is perfect for her knees! NOT too hot or cold! AND she was feeling her 'oats' so we had to regulate her such that she did not overdue things.AND she was still going strong after 2 hours. We even took various opportunities to stop and chat with other dog owners and lovers so that she could be made to 'rest'. BHRR's Ava Marie just did not want to stop! LOL She had such a great time and as one person stated, the last time she saw BHRR's Ava Marie at this locale walking; only one of her cruciates had been repaired and her mobility had its limitations. It made my heart just soar with how great all the feedback was about BHRR's Ava Marie in temperament, mobility, body condition and social skills with both humans/dogs etc. GO BHRR's Ava Marie GO!

One person we ran into, was really interested in her and we shall see if an application comes our way for us to review. BHRR's Ava Marie played with dogs of all sizes from labs to goldens to a berner to a boston terrier and everything in-between! As I have stated over and over again, she is just perfect to be a Therapy Dog and come the new year, while we await her forever loving home; I shall begin her CGN and TT training towards her Therapy Certification.

I am hoping and I am sure that some pictures from today shall be sent our way… 😉 and I shall be sure to post a few!

From the walk, we headed over to KAH for BHRR's Ava Marie's 'annual' and she weighed….drumroll……. a wiggly 69.2 KGs(152.24 pounds). ALL SOLID MUSCLE! WOOHOOOO! That makes a 39.56 pound loss since her arrival to BHRR! WTG GIRL! So many came out to love on her and to visit with her and were so impressed with the journey she has made since her arrival to BHRR. I am soooooooooo proud of this girl! The Vet had a lot of complimentary words as well regarding her calm and loving disposition and what great shape she was in. 🙂 Her left knee was a bit swollen at this time and she was a bit stiff doing to lay down and get up yet HOLY! BIG BIG BIG change from the dog that could hardly even walk when they arrived to BHRR. Upon arriving home, we gave her a Deramaxx and she is very happily snoozing on a Kuranda bed. 🙂

At this time, I do not wish to see her weigh any less than she does and if she puts on more muscle that is fine! Not sure where the muscle would go though! SHE Is rock solid. 🙂

I am adding a photo below from our last BHRR 'EXPERIENCE' Mini Open House no November 13th, 2010.

BHRR"s Ava Marie – November 13th, 2010 – BHRR "EXPERIENCE" Mini Open House
*Photo courtesy A. Bennett

BHRR's Ava Marie's Annual Appointment has been booked for December 30th, 2010.

BHRR does not adopt out during the XMAS season due to our position that it is not in the best interest of a new addition being added during such a busy, exciting and somewhat stressful time for many. Our XMAS Shutdown period for this year is from Saturday December 18th, 2010 to Monday January 3rd, 2011 inclusive.

Due to the emergency with BHRR's Potter, I have canceled BHRR's Ava Marie's annual for tomorrow. I shall reschedule ASAP.

I took BHRR's Ava Marie with me tonight when I was doing a hv for BHRR's Koop's possible adoption. She is such a great dog!!!! 🙂

Due to the loss of BHRR's Storm this evening, BHRR's Ava Marie shall be staying at BHRR. We will not have a need of a temp foster home at this time now.

BHRR's Ava Marie is heading to her temp foster home on Sunday December 5th and just as with BHRR's Lily Belle, I am going to miss her BUT she shall have a blast in having new experiences and making new friends!

To learn more about how to become an approved BHRR Foster/Volunteer home please visit our appropriate page here.

In order for BHRR to assist the extremely 'urgent' situation of 2 Great Danes and their former owner in a domestic abuse situation; BHRR's Lily Belle and BHRR's Ava Marie are going to temp foster homes! THANKS to everyone that stepped up so fast and for all the encouraging plus supportive emails, voice messages etc. From the point of notification of this situation from one of the most wonderful of people I have met to date(she is involved with animal rescue herself plus works with women's shelters) to the point of actual mobilization of these two Great Danes of BHRR's Hailey and BHRR's Lexy  to arriving under BHRR's authority it was less than 36 hours! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Will update the blogs of our newest additions ASAP yet they are both LOVELY! Just lovely girls!



The BHRR ONLINE Auction shall END on Thursday December 2nd, 2010 @ 9 PM EST

This is BHRR's last organized Fundraiser of 2010 and our next planned organized Fundraiser at this time is not until July of 2011, so each penny raised will be desperately needed to allow us to keep helping animals in need of our BHRR programs.

*To donate gift certificates, baskets, handmade crafts or any other items – Email BHRR (

*We have 153 Items to date!!!!

Permission to Cross Post is given!

Due to a family situation, BHRR's Ava Marie's Annual was rescheduled. I have her Vet appointment now scheduled for Saturday December 11th.

Some many photos to add of the dogs! So, let me first start with BHRR's Ava Marie and some photos from June 13th, 2010 from our screened in porch around the pool. A couple of these photos were added to our BHRR FB Group back in June yet wanted to also add them to her slideshow #38 – #45 and have put two below. With the cooler weather(AND that it is not yet too cold) BHRR's Ava Marie has been super mobile and full of 'spunk'! Within the last couple of weeks, she has also begun to get back up on our bed and is most content to stetch out and  'hog' as much as she can from the other dogs! cheekyJUST LOVING this girl to bits! DOESN'T she look so happy!!!!!

BHRR"s Ava Marie – June 13th, 2010 – 2.5 years of age

BHRR's Ava Marie came today on one of our regular GD Walk/Hikes & Honourary GD Walks/Hikes and SHE had such a blast! We can be as few as 6 at times and we have had as many as 40+ in attendance and our distribution list for these walks are now up to 83!!!! For anyone wishing to join us; please email and we only take responsible dog owners and their dogs. In having these walks for almost 15 years now; we have never had an incident and we are all very diligent, committed owners and there is always room for more. Nothing like seeing all of these Giants and 'honourary' giants out and about. We also regularly change up the locations so that we have different venues.  We have meet ups in areas such as Orleans, Ottawa, Kanata, Sittesville, Constance Bay, Carleton Place and even in the Kemptville area. We have another group that regularly meets up in the Brockville and Kingston areas too! Many commented on how mobile plus fit  Ava Marie looked today! Her leash manners were a little 'out' there here and there yet overall, so proud of her working on her flat buckle collar in such an exciting venue. Considering that we have not been able to do a lot of serious obedience training for very long to day due to all that she has had to overcome – weight loss, 2 surgeries and pneumonia so YAY for her! Picture below is of some that attended the walk. BHRR's Shiva was also there! As BHRR's Ava Marie is due for some vaccines in November, I have scheduled an appointment for November 24th. I am sooooooooo excited to see what she weighs now!!!

GD Walk/Hike & Honourary GD Walk/Hike – October 17th, 2010 – Some that attended

From Friday October 22nd to Friday November 5th inclusive, BHRR will not be open for adoptions or the intake of adoption applications. We do not adopt out around the Halloween season and many others Rescues, shelters, pounds etc. have also begun to follow a similar protocol to what we have been doing. We do not believe it is on the best interest of the animals in our program, especially for dark coloured dogs.

During this time, BHRR is available 24/7 as always for requests for assistance of animals in need.

BHRR is in its 3rd food crisis of 2010. We only have about 30 days worth of dog food left and we currently have 23 dogs under our authority between our BHRR Rescue/Rehabilitation Program, BHRR Adoption Program, BHRR Haven Dog Program & BHRR Foster/Perma-Foster Program.
BHRR is currently going through 600 pounds of dog food a month at a cost of a minimum of $825.00+ tax for the food.
Please consider donating to assist…. PayPal( or email transfer or check to ‘Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services’ and mail to:

Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services
C/O Gwendilin Boers
2425 Totem Ranch Road West
RR#1 Oxford Station, Ontario
K0G 1T0

September 19th, 2010$262.24 Donated to Date & 1,422.50 pounds of dog food since August 2010

BHRR’s Ava Marie had a great recheck appointment at LAH on Thursday. Thanks being publicly extended again to Barry for the assistance in getting her to her Vet appointment! The Vet thought her knee was good as is her other knee that was repaired on May 21s, 2010 and he did do a bit of draining on both knees and upon looking under the microscope, all was well, serum and soooooooooooooo, BHRR’s Ava Marie is now in the ‘all clear’ to not only have her *date* with the person who won this item as part of Ava Marie’s recent ONLINE Auction BUT….she is now officially ready to be placed as ‘AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION’. I literally find myself choked up with mixed feelings in reaching this point in her journey for the lessons, experiences, wisdom etc. that BHRR’s Ava Marie has extended my way during her time her at BHRR has just been incredible. This girl is full of the best heart, soul, acceptance, tolerance, patience, kindness and love that I have ever had the pleasure of encountering and of course, CANNOT forget those amazing velvety ears of hers! As with all the animals at BHRR, we are very protective of BHRR’s Ava Marie and she shall ONLY go to a home that is going to understand that she is my literal $10,000+ dollar girl yet in reality truly ‘priceless’. That she has had two very extensive surgeries on her knees, has battled an amazing weight loss, has significant arthritis in both of her knees and is not going to go to a home that is going to ‘pound’ the pavement with her, that is going to give time to icing her knees and massaging helps too(this part from Ava Marie!) and that her weight is going to be managed properly, that truly *sees* BHRR’s Ava Marie for who she is and not this ‘big ol’ Great Dane’ or a ‘broken’ dog for she is anything BUT! BHRR’s Ava Marie will make an incredible Therapy Dog and companion to almost any home. We would love to see her go to a home with one other dog(her best friend here is BHRR’s Apollo), yet a dog that is not going to be too much for her yet on the other hand, not a ‘pushover’ for BHRR’s Ava Marie has personality herself. This home must also understand that she might need more draining done on her knees in time and probably more than once. We are going to be very patient as we are with all of our adoptions for that right matched home for her and I am going to cherish each moment I have with her until it is her time to be adopted as this is one very incredibly special Great Dane. I truly do feel welled up inside that the time has come to think about us having to part ways and it is such a good thing for her and going to be a very very very sad time for me. Even one of the Vets tonight that I work with was just amazed at how fantastic she looked and how well she has done…GO BHRR’s AVA MARIE GO! Below is a picture that I took on September 1st, 2010. DOES she look marvelous! A waistline, muscle, toning and she can move! When I went to go to bed the other night, I was looking around for her as I say goodnight to each and every dog before I call it quits for the night myself and I could not find her! AND then I look closer on our king size bed, I thought it was Dyce’s rump yet it was hers. FOR those that have seen our master bedroom, this is no small feat to get up on that bed and here she was, laying on her side, snoring away(do not tell her that she snores!) and as comfortable as can be. She was not so pleased to see me ‘get her off the bed’ as there was not going to be room for me BUT to thinkg that she was able to get up on it in the first place is awesome! SOMETHING that would have been considered the ‘impossible’ back in March when she first arrived to BHRR. Now, she has not gone back up since for she was most ‘put out’ by my actions.  😛 AND when I try to encourage her to come up for a cuddle, she turns her head aside in a pout and slowly turns away to lay with great effort and many loud sighs on one of the dog beds…LOL What a character! I just adore her…..

BHRR’s Ava Marie & BHRR’s Ava Marie with BHRR’s Potter – September 1st, 2010

A deep heartfelt thank you being sent out to Barry, one of BHRR’s BOD members for offering to take BHRR’s Ava Marie to her recheck appointment with Dr. Liston tomorrow for 2:30 PM. Barry is visiting from the east coast and it shall be my only quick opportunity to say a personal hello to him in passing during his time here as we meet up to send BHRR’s Ava Marie off with him for her appointment.

ISO: BHRR Volunteer(s) to assist me in getting BHRR’s Ava Marie to a recheck Vet Appointment plus to have both of her knees drained at LAH – Liston Animal Hospital on Thursday September 9th – can schedule anytime between 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM. Please email:

Unfortunately, both of her knees shall need to be drained and should we have a ‘great’ recheck appointment, within the next couple of weeks; BHRR’s Ava Marie should be ready to be placed up for adoption!

I brought BHRR’s Ava Marie in to work with me today at KAH. Around 1:30 AM – 2:00 AM today; I noticed that her ‘good’ leg – the right one that had the ACL repair surgery back on May 21st, 2010 have a large odd shaped lump. I felt it and it looked almost like a really bad blown vein yet I knew that was not it and thought at one point it could have been an allergic reaction to something like a spider bite yet that did not seem right either and checked her temperature and it was normal and she was acting herself. I made an appointment first thing today for her and by the time we got to KAH; the large odd shaped lump was no longer ‘squishy’ yet very hard to the touch. That indicated to me that it is most likely fluid of some sort and the Vet confirmed this by doing an aspirate. It was synovial fluid and looked clear and did not appear to be infected yet the Vet had it spun down and looked more closely at it. The diagnosis is that by all the compensation that BHRR’s Ava Marie has had to do on this leg due to recovering from her leg leg ACL repair surgery(and we took the sutures out today while we were there…what a great girl!); that she developed a small tear and it was leaking. The Vet was not concerned that this would indicate any impact on her ACL and we discussed that most likely that Ava Marie will need to have this drained again in the future and possibly more than once. This is the leg that Dr. Liston drained a seroma from when I brought her in for a recheck and to remove her staples. The odd thing was as per the blog post that I made that the seroma was below the knee and it occured many days after her surgery. I am soooooooooooo relieved that we are not looking at anything more serious and the Vet felt so bad for Ava Marie with her very swollen knees with the arthritis. The Vet also could not believe that Ava Marie was 2 years old as she is so calm, well mannered and quiet. 😀 NOR with how amazing she was with all that poking, prodding that had to be done on her knees. I cannot stress enough about how incredible this Dane is!!!! Every time I took Ava Marie outside or when another person did, she just wanted to get into my truck to come home…..she just has been at the Vets far too many times and she just wanted to come home. WELL, we are home now and she is resting comfortably in the triage area and I will take her to LAH when Dr. Liston is back from holidays for a final ‘sign off’ on that leg and we will monitor her closely in case she needs more drainage. At this time, she will not be going up for adoption when we first anticipated she would as we want her as healthy as possible. Her weight today was 70.3 KGS(154.66 pounds) and she looked PERFECT for her size/age at this time. She is going to do some more filling out over the next year but she is right where I want her to be for the moment and gosh, she is stunning!

BHRR’s Ava Marie had a bit of a set back on Tuesday. She was feeling a bit fiesty and tried to ‘trot’ from the master bedroom to the main floor area and did not quite make the corner and hit her healing knee on the wall frame. She went down and the sounds she was making just ripped through my heart. I initially thought she had caused herself serious damage.  😥 I was right behind her yet had not been quick enough to get her collar to ‘force’ her to slow down. Idid manage to get her to the triage area – just a few feet away and she did not weight bear on the leg at all. I gave her a Deramaxx 100 mg, monitored her closely and looked the leg over and was one step away from calling one of her Vets as she was still whimpering a bit and I realised that she ‘scared’ herself more than anything else. For sure, it had to have hurt like the dickens yet the whole thing scared her more than it hurt and after much loving and some rest; she was all up for her breakfast(when Ava Marie does not eat, YOU know something is wrong) and had her antibiotics(we have kept her on a longer course and moved her to Clavamox 375 mg) and she was up to going out for a pee. I spent a good part of my AM, watching her and in a heartbeat I would have brought her in if I suspected anything wrong and will continue to monitor yet things seem back to norm. It shall be two weeks on Friday since her surgery and I shall remove her sutures at that time and bring her in next week for a recheck at LAH(Dr. Liston himself is away on vacation until September 7th or so) and I might wait until he is back to get his official ‘sign off’ on her leg. After that, a couple more weeks of rehab work at BHRR and then BHRR’s Ava Marie should be ready to be placed up for adoption AND even saying those words just ‘catches’ at me BUT it is what we do here and I know so many are going to miss her, so whomever adopts her; please stay in touch! 😀 This amazing dream of a Great Dane has touched the hearts of many across the world. I am adding a photo below of her leg from August 23rd and shall also add it to her ‘Ava’s Action Assistance Fundraiser‘ Page. We are still awaiting the collection on ONE item from her ONLINE Auction and when we have that sorted out; we will post the grand total raised between her ONLINE Auction and donations made direct to her account during that time. Ava Marie also decided about three nights ago that she was SO DONE with the triage area for sleeping at night and made her way to the master bedroom, settled herself on one of the dog beds and turned her head to the wall, refusing to look at me in case I was going to ask her to go back to the triage area! LOL No, you do not have too Ava Marie! AND, when I came home from dropping the wee ones at daycamp, who was all snuggled on one of our leather couches with BHRR’s Potter??? NONE other than Ava Marie herself! AND she looked very settled in and was making no move to get off in a hurry! LOL Silly girl! NO LEATHER RULE here at BHRR Missy!  😛

BHRR’s Ava Marie – August 23rd, 2010 – 10 days post-op

BHRR’s Ava Marie still has not had a proper bowel movement yet (one small and very hard bm to date) she figured out how to pee really quickly on this surgery. AND, my goodness, she is feeling fiesty this past day! LOL SLOW down! I think she feels awesome as the pain that she is now feeling is a ‘healing’ pain and at this rate, within the next 4-6 weeks; she will be ready to be placed up for adoption and just thinking about that makes me well up my eyes with both JOY for her and SADNESS for us as she is truly a DREAM of a GD and is going to make a home so very happy! As with all of our animals at BHRR; we are extremely protective of her and we will do our absolute best to ensure that she only goes to a best matched home which includes a home that understands that she is not a jogging/running partner and is not meant to pounding around on those knees/legs/joints of hers. She has bad arthritis already in those knees and we want BHRR’s Ava Marie to live the best and most quality filled life possible. I know that this doll has captured so many hearts around the world and as with all of our animals, I WISH all of you could meet her in person…..she will just enrapture you and those ears…sigh…I keep going back to those ears of hers….heavenly…..I have added new pictures to her slideshow #31 – #25 and I am going to add 2 below. The swelling is just terrible in that knee with edema yet she is on her Deramaxx 100 mg (1.5 tablets SID) and that has helped and she remains on her antibiotics for another 5 days. Tomorrow, I shall remove her pain patch and will monitor to see if I need to add another one. I will see what her comfort level is and I am working both tomorrow night and a good part of Friday at KAH, so can easily obtain another one for her if needed then. She has had more bruising this time around too, the poor thing. I truly cannot thank ALL of you enough for the cross-posting, donations and participation to her ONLINE AUCTION! We are still collecting monies and final total raised between donations direct to her account and in her ONLINE AUCTION will be announced, everything crossed by EOD on Friday! LAH has allowed us to carry a balance until end of week. My intent is to go to LAH on Saturday during my lunch break at KAH to pay off the remaining balance.

You can still donate to Ava’s Action Assistance Fundraiser by email transfer to or by PayPal(account is OR you can write a check/MO or Bank Draft out to ‘Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services’ OR to ‘Gwendilin & Sean Boers’ for her Vet Bills with BHRR’s Ava in the memo section and mail to:

Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services
C/O Gwendilin Boers
2425 Totem Ranch Road West
RR#1 Oxford Station, Ontario
K0G 1T0

OR you can call Liston Animal Hospital at (613) 591-0966 to pay on Ava Marie’s Bill directly by Visa or M/C – Ava’s bill is under the account name of ‘Ava Boers.’ There is still almost a $1,000.00 owing on her account at this time after I put a ‘goodwill’ deposit down on August 13th for Ava Marie to be able to have her surgery and other direct deposit donations made to her account during the time of her ONLINE AUCTION.

AND being the princess that BHRR’s Ava Marie is, she has so enjoyed having a double futon mattress to herself in the triage area, being waited on hand and foot! AND it has been my absolute delight to be a ‘slave’ to her pleasure! 😛 THIS is what rescue is all about, SO many pulling together to assist a deserving/worthy animal in need, making a difference! AND believe me, to BHRR’s Ava Marie, each and every one of you HAVE made a difference for so many others would have put her to sleep and OMG! The world would have been so deprived of one of the most incredible ‘land’ angels ever! Each animal at BHRR takes me on a journey and I am contantly learning and experiencing things that I wish I could that just by touching a finger to another; that; they too; could know such a gift…….CHAIN OF SUCCESS made that much stronger with the links of ALL of you assisting BHRR’s Ava Marie. I am humbled, touched and I have become so known of saying this of late BUT it is true; I wish there were more words in the dictionary to say I THANK YOU! So, on behalf of BHRR’s Ava Marie, I THANK YOU once more from my heart, soul and every fibre of my being. BHRR’s Ava Marie taught/showed me yet again that there is no pride/ego in place when it comes to asking for help for another in need and I have begged, pleaded, grovelled and shall remain to do so in the name of animals like her that deserve that fighting chance too.

AND that brings me to some comments that I want to make to say that I am sorry for the two that emailed me to say that all of those monies we raised could have saved so many others in need over just saving one ‘dog’ as they termed Ava Marie and I know they did not mean ‘dog’ in a nice manner. Well, my response was a very polite one in stating that when I founded BHRR back in 1996, that our focus would be on those Special Needs and that means by our definition, clearly posted all over our websites; the sick, the INJURED; the old, the dying, the blind and the deaf etc. Therefore, by our very clearly defined mandates, BHRR’s Ava Marie more than fell under this definition as she was obese and had 2 blown cruciates. I know that I cannot please all that read our blogs, and that is a most unfortunate reality BUT I had a spot at BHRR and she was the next one in need and we stepped up to assist her AS she was the next one in need plus a Special Needs and I have not one regret. BHRR’s Apollo cost us $4,000+; BHRR’s Potter & BHRR’s Jaxson also cost thousands and thousands to save and I picked up extra shifts, more training/behavoural clients and our supporting public stepped up to do more than I, as one person could in helping them in their huge time of need and NO regrets expressed from my part! I remain open for feedback and comments at BHRR for I believe that all organizations can strive to continue to improve yet on this matter, I am in disagreement. We did what we did for BHRR’s Ava Marie BECAUSE that is what we do at BHRR and as per one of my BOD members, if you do not like reading about the animals we are saving/helping with the assistance of such a wonderful support system; then please do not visit BHRR’s blogs. For myself, I just invited both of them to attend our next BHRR ‘EXPERIENCE’ Mini Open house and to meet BHRR’s Ava Marie, look deep within those emotion filled eyes and tell her that ‘she is not worth saving’ and that she should have been, what one person termed it ‘was humanely disposed of’. Disposed of…..really……..that does not sound very humane at all…..

BHRR’s Ava Marie – August 15th, 2010 – 2 days post-op on left ACL repair surgery

If I were to hand out ‘NAIL TRIMMING’ Awards of Excellence, it would have to be BHRR’s Storm first with BHRR’s Apollo, BHRR’s Albert, BHRR’s Ava Marie and BHRR’s Hamilton The Newf all being a close second. OMG! These dogs are extremely easy dogs to do….what a dream! Bringing up in third place would have to be BHRR’s Shiva & BHRR’s Dana and just a smidge behind them would be BHRR’s Potter. If all the dogs were that easy, I would be doing nails every week and not every 2-3 weeks! LOL Coming in 4th would be BHRR’s Windsor, BHRR’s Koop and them BHRR’s Lily Belle. BHRR’s Porridge is still a ‘work’ in progress since he had his really bad experience with that tech student. BUT, I can now do his back feet myself most days and I know in time, he will be ‘ok’ again.

BHRR’s Ava Marie had a relatively good night  and I was able to get to bed for around 1 AM and I was up around 3:30 AM to give her a second injection of hydromorphone and she was still resting well when I got up to head to the Hospital today. She had a pee around noon for Sean today and seemed to feel so much more comfortable afterwards. She was able to be visited briefly today by our recently approved adoptive home (who adopted BHRR’s Moose!) plus another lovely person who had donated an item to her ONLINE AUCTION and had also won something in her auction. I will be in touch with all the winners shortly about payment, shipping and ensuring that they obtain their win items! THANKS ONCE more to everyone who cross-posted, otherwise advertised and participated in her Auction. Final total still to be tallied as I had to work this today and was up most of the night with BHRR’s Ava Marie and then had BHRR’s Moose adoption today. Thank you so much to everyone for their patience!

Update: August 13th – 1:38 PM – Ava Marie weighed 67.1 KGs today(147.62 pounds) and that makes her total weight loss since her arrival to BHRR as 44.18 pounds. Her weight is still down a wee bit more than I would like to see yet she is still slowly recovering in the weight department from her bout with pneumonia. With the increased rest she will be on, just as with her first cruciate surgery on May 21st, 2010; she will put some of that weight back much more easily now. She was also doing a wee bit of ‘wall’ leaning so that took a pound or two or three of her actual weight.  😉 She was out of surgery around 12:45 PM and everything went well! She is now still ‘out like a light’ and she will be headed home for around 6:00 PM. Cannot wait to get her all settled back at home! Will update her blog as I can and please please please do consider participating in her ONLINE AUCTION that shall end tonight at 9:00 PM EST!!!! OR Please consider donating………

PayPal, email transfer to, credit card(Visa or M/C) directly to Liston Animal Hospital (613) 591-0966 or even by mailing a check to Birch Haven Rescue and Rehabilitation Services would be beyond appreciative. On behalf of Ava Marie, THANK you so much for your continued support!

Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services
C/O Gwendilin Boers
2425 Totem Ranch Road West
RR#1 Oxford Station, Ontario
K0G 1T0

Will update her blog as I can and add post surgery/recovery photos.

Update: August 13th, 7:39 PM: BHRR’s Ava Marie arrived home about one hour ago. Sean helped me to get her settled and I gave her her first of two hydromorphone injections. She is now resting and I have her covered up to regulate her body temperature to avoid shock. I posted 2 pictures on our BHRR FB page and also on her ONLINE AUTION Page and will add two below plus I will add on her Ava’s Action Assistance Fundraiser page. YOUR consideration to support her will allow us to help pay for her bills and give her the best chance possible at having the best of futures ever! Dr. Liston determined that this time he would use stitches for her and I believe there are about 25 or so. I will have to count later and already the bruising is settling in, the poor thing. Keep her in your thoughts!

BHRR’s Ava Marie – August 13th, 2010 – 6.5+ hours Post – Op Surgery at BHRR

Please think of BHRR’s Ava Marie as she heads in for her 2nd cruciate repair surgery later today…we are now just after 1:00 AM and I know that I shall not be sleeping well. I always rest much easier after I have our dogs home and set up in our ‘triage’ area. Thank you from our hearts plus souls to everyone that has crossposted, participated in her ONLINE AUCTION or otherwise made another donation to her BHRR’s Ava Action Assistance Fundraiser to assist us in paying for her impending Bills!!! I know that Ava Marie is beyond thankful to have so many wonderful people out there caring about her! For those that still might wish to donate, IT is not too late! Truly, even $5.00 is not too little and you can can donate by email transfer to or by PayPal(account is OR you can write a check/MO or Bank Draft out to ‘Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services’ OR to ‘Gwendilin & Sean Boers’ for her Vet Bills with BHRR’s Ava in the memo section and mail to:

Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services
C/O Gwendilin Boers
2425 Totem Ranch Road West
RR#1 Oxford Station, Ontario
K0G 1T0

OR you can call Liston Animal Hospital at (613) 591-0966 to pay on Ava Marie’s Bill directly by Visa or M/C – Ava’s bill is under the account name of ‘Ava Boers.’

For those that might not be aware, BHRR’s Ava Marie is a Great Dane that came into BHRR on March 7th weighing 191.80 pounds and had two blown cruciates. After losing almost 40 pounds, BHRR’s Ava Marie had her first cruciate repair surgery on May 21st, 2010 at Liston Animal Hospital. After then battling a case of pneumonia since June 30th; Ava Marie is now well enough to have her second cruciate repair surgery, which has been scheduled for Friday August 13th @ Liston Animal Hospital.

With all the kindness shown to date with direct donations; we now ONLY have another $1,289.25 left to raise for this surgery.

To help BHRR’s Ava Marie; she is hosting an Online Auction which began on Saturday July 31st @ 7:00 AM and will run through until Friday August 13th @ 9:00 PM EST.

Louise Peterson, Lindsay Claire, Longaberger and many other items up for grabs! To date, we have 75 items and if you would like to donate an item, please do email Gwen. The more items we have – gift cards, gift baskets, throws, custom creations or work etc., the more $ we could possibly raise for BHRR’s Ava Marie.

Funds raised shall go towards the remaining $1,309.25 needed for Ava Marie’s 2nd cruciate surgery!

Permission given to cross-post!

Should you prefer to make a donation instead to her Bills; even $5.00 is not too little; you can donate by email transfer to or by PayPal(account is OR you can write a check/MO or Bank Draft out to ‘Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services’ with BHRR’s Ava in the memo section and mail to:

Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services
C/O Gwendilin Boers
2425 Totem Ranch Road West
RR#1 Oxford Station, Ontario
K0G 1T0

OR you can call Liston Animal Hospital at (613) 591-0966 to pay on Ava Marie’s Bill directly by Visa or M/C – Ava’s bill is under the account name of ‘Ava Boers.’ Dr. Liston was the Vet that also performed both BHRR’s Jaxson’s and BHRR’s Potter’s leg amputations in 2009 plus did BHRR’s Apollo’s own cruciate/meniscal surgery on July 2nd, 2010.

Thank you so much in advance for your consideration!

In preparation for BHRR’s Ava Marie’s 2nd cruciate surgery scheduled for Friday August 13th @ Liston Animal Hospital; we are seeking donations of duvets/comforters and/or sleeping bags! Gently used is just fine etc.! Please email Gwen, if you might have any donations to send our way. THANKS being sent out in advance on behalf of Ava Marie!

I talked to Dr. Liston’s office today and we have a date now scheduled for BHRR’s Ava Marie’s 2nd cruciate – Friday August 13th, 2010 AND we are now reaching out again to her fans/supporters to help us raise the last amount needed to pay for this 2nd cruciate repair surgery; just $1,309.25 more required as the last part of her Ava’s Action Assistance Fundraiser. Truly, even $5.00 is not too little and you can can donate by email transfer to or by PayPal(account is OR you can write a check/MO or Bank Draft out to ‘Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services’ OR to ‘Gwendilin & Sean Boers’ for her Vet Bills with BHRR’s Ava in the memo section and mail to:

Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services
C/O Gwendilin Boers
2425 Totem Ranch Road West
RR#1 Oxford Station, Ontario
K0G 1T0

OR you can call Liston Animal Hospital at (613) 591-0966 to pay on Ava Marie’s Bill directly by Visa or M/C – Ava’s bill is under the account name of ‘Ava Boers.’ Dr. Liston was the Vet that did both BHRR’s Jaxson’s and BHRR’s Potter’s leg amputations in 2009 plus did BHRR’s Apollo’s own cruciate/menisal surgery on July 2nd, 2010.

Between fundraisers and the absolutely generous kindness of her Action “Angels”; $4,690.75 has been raised to date to help BHRR’s Ava Marie get the 2 surgeries she has needed plus rehab to then be placed up for adoption to give her that chance of having a forever loving home to call her own.  Her first cruciate surgery was on May 21st, 2010 AND we are so close to being able to pay for her 2nd surgery now scheduled for Friday August 13th, 2010 and I am just pleading with all my soul for her adoring public to open up their hearts to consider donating a few monies her way to help us help her. To everyone that has met her at our BHRR “EXPERIENCE” Mini Open Houses, to those that have met her on our GD Walk/Hike events to those that have met her at Fundraisers; to those that have not yet had the delight in meeting her yet have fallen under her spell in seeing her pictures and have read her blogs as she has not only triumphed in losing almost 40 pounds yet has recovered from one of her cruciate surgeries with strength plus will power to overcome her injuries; to please please please consider donating to her cause. In turn, I know that BHRR’s Ava Marie would thank you with the best in person or even virtual leans and kisses for though she cannot use her words; I see in her eyes; how much better she feels and happier she is, how much better she can move and she is so touched by the warmth extended her way.

We have until end of day on Friday August 13th, 2010 to raise these funds for BHRR’s Ava Marie and I have been asking for any extra shifts I can at KAH to help reach this goal. Truly, thank you ALL in advance for your consideration of BHRR Ava Marie.

I have uploaded 4 new photos to BHRR’s Ava Marie’s slideshow #27-#30. I am also posting two below, one from our June 26th BHRR ‘EXPERIENCE’ Mini Open House and one from our recent July 18th, 2010 BHRR 3rd ANNUAL Microchip/Nail Trim & BBQ Fundraiser. $2,828.96 was raised and the biggest plus most appreciative thanks are being sent from the BHRR animals to all that came out in support! The weather was divine, the people incredible and the dogs adorable! AND the food was not bad either…THANKS Sean! 😛 $1,222.96 of the monies raised has come directly to BHRR’s Ava Marie to assist her with her 2nd cruciate repair surgery that is tentatively planned for August 2010. We are still waiting for her to finish her round of Doxy from her pneumonia. The rest of the monies raised went towards paying of the balance of her pneumona Vet Bills and also to BHRR’s Hamilton the Newf and his recent laceration Vet Bills. THANKS to your continued support and generousity; BHRR has been able to lower our current Vet Bills to $5,932.99. BHRR’s Ava Marie was an incredible hit at our recent Fundraiser along with BHRR’s Lily Belle, who was also in attendance. So many were just amazed at her 35-40 pound weight loss and how wonderful she looked! She is a true love bug this one for sure. She raised a LOT of money with her Donation Dog Coat to help others like her in need and THANKS so much yet again to everyone that helped promote this event, volunteered(we had 27 people), attended and cross-posted this Fundraiser event!!!

BHRR’s Ava Marie – June 26th, 2010 – BHRR’s Mini Open House & July 18th @ our Microchip/Nail Trim & BBQ Fundraiser

For her fans that wish to donate to her Ava Marie’s Action Assistance Fundraiser to help us raise the remaining $1,309.25 needed for her 2nd cruciate repair surgery; you can contact Liston Animal Hospital directly at (613) 591-0966 pay by Debit, Credit Card or Visa/Mastercard under the account name of ‘Ava Marie’ Boers or PayPal funds to the account of or email transfer funds to OR you can mail a check to:

Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services
C/O Gwendilin Boers
2425 Totem Ranch Road West
RR#1 Oxford Station, Ontario
K0G 1T0

We look forward in seeing many of our BHRR supporters and fans of the BHRR animals attend our 3rd ANNUAL Microchip/Nail Trim & BBQ Fundraiser being held tomorrow – Sunday July 18th!  8 AM – 5 PM at Kanata Animal Hospital located at 440 Hazeldean Road! *RAIN or SHINE! Pet Photos, draws including a $350USD Bracelet, Tug Ropes, Leashes, Collars, Homemade Dog Treats all part of the BHRR/KAH Experience!

At this time, we are looking at bringing both BHRR’s Lily Belle and BHRR’s Ava Marie as not only ambassadors for BHRR yet as ambassadors to their Breeds ( Great Dane & Saint B) to our upcoming 3rd ANNUAL Microchip/Nail Trim & BBQ Fundraiser being hosted at the Kanata Animal Hospital located at 440 Hazeldean Road on Sunday April 18th from 8 AM – 5 PM. NO appointments are necessary and so come on and drop by to visit us this Sunday, meet Lily Belle, Ava Marie and many other adopters plus supporters of BHRR! Dog Collars, leashes, toys, treats will be up for sale, enter our free draws, take a picture of or with your pooch etc! The weather is promising to be superb!

BHRR’s Ava Marie is doing well! I have her eating 3 smaller meals a day down from 5 and she is just doing fantastic! The heat is taking its toll on all the dogs here and thank goodness for A/C and the dogs are taking turns hogging all the vents in their efforts to keep cool! 😛 $175.00 in donations have come her way to date to assist us in paying for her Vet and Pharmacy Bills and we SHOUT out a huge thank you for the support!!!! The balance owing is $953.71. She will remain on the Doxy until the end of July and from there we will determine if we need to take more X-Rays to see how her lungs are doing. She is breathing better and is less congested and I am so thrilled with her progress to date!!!! At this time, her 2nd cruciate repair surgery shall not happen until August and her mobility rehab progress has been so incredible since her first surgery!

Her Vet and Pharmacy Bills are over $1,000 and if any of her supporters wish to help her along with best wishes and some financial assistance, you can contact Kanata Animal Hospital directly (613) 836-2848 to pay by Debit, Credit Card or Visa/Mastercard under the account name of ‘Ava Marie’ under the ‘Birch Haven Rescue’ file or AMEX or PayPal funds to the account of or email transfer funds to OR you can mail a check to:

Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services
C/O Gwendilin Boers
2425 Totem Ranch Road West
RR#1 Oxford Station, Ontario
K0G 1T0

BHRR’s Ava Marie is doing wonderfully! Once her fever went down, her appetite has come nicely back(not 100% yet but close!) and I am feeding her 5 smaller meals throughout the day as she is having some breathing plus eating at the same time issues still and she is almost fully back on kibble and not canned food and/or homecooking. 🙂 She is more active and herself now and so can get up to get that congestion moving. Dr. Liston was asking about her this AM(as we were getting close to scheduling that 2nd cruciate repair surgery) when I dropped BHRR’s Apollo off for his surgery and he thinks her pneumonia could well have been caused by aspiration of lake water at my relatives cottage. Very plausible indeed! I am now awaiting the other 200 Doxy tabs to come in that I prepaid for at Pharmasave on Wednesday as I only have enough at this time up until early next week. They told me Friday or Saturday and I hope so! Her Vet and Pharmacy Bills were over $1,000 and if any of her supporters wish to help her along with best wishes and some financial assistance, you can contact Kanata Animal Hospital directly (613) 836-2848 to pay by Debit, Credit Card or Visa/Mastercard under the account name of ‘Ava Marie’ under the ‘Birch Haven Rescue’ file or AMEX or PayPal funds to the account of or email transfer funds to OR you can mail a check to:

Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services
C/O Gwendilin Boers
2425 Totem Ranch Road West
RR#1 Oxford Station, Ontario
K0G 1T0

BHRR’s Ava Marie had a good night. She ate a can of wet ‘Solid Gold’ brown rice dog food for a late supper last night and around 1:40 AM, I fed her another can and she rested well throughout the night. Her fever is greatly reduced as of today and she ate another can of wet around 8 AM and I will begin her back on a wee bit of kibble shortly for a noon meal. She took her pills this AM like the trooper she is and is more ‘alert’ and had a nice pee. One day at a time. Her Vet and Pharmacy Bills were over $1,000 and if any of her supporters wish to help her along with best wishes and some financial assistance, you can contact Kanata Animal Hospital directly (613) 836-2848 to pay by Debit, Credit Card or Visa/Mastercard under the account name of ‘Ava Marie’ under the ‘Birch Haven Rescue’ file or AMEX or PayPal funds to the account of or email transfer funds to OR you can mail a check to:

Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services
C/O Gwendilin Boers
2425 Totem Ranch Road West
RR#1 Oxford Station, Ontario
K0G 1T0

The Vet confirmed that BHRR’s Ava Marie does have pneumonia as I had suspected and why I had made the ’emerg’ appointment to bring her in today. I felt she was quite feverish and her temp was 40.2C when her Vet took it. X-Rays and bw were also done. Her bw is normal and her left lung is more affected than her right. I have now given her 1.5 x 100 mg of Deramaxx for her fever and per her Vet, she can have this for the next 3 days to bring her temp down. Her weight was 69.50 KGS(152.90 pounds) and so a bit on the thin side at this time. Ava Marie is also on 5 x 100mg of Doxycycline BID that I picked up from the Pharmasave near KAH and will be in on this for the next 28 days minimum. This means that any 2nd cruciate surgery that she would have had in July will now be postponed. As to ‘how’ or ‘why’ she got pneumonia, that is not something that we might ever know. She was completely fine at the BHRR ‘EXPERIENCE’ Mini Open House on Saturday and then went up to my relatives cottage and until last night was ‘appearing’ to be normal. The first sign that indicated that she was not feeling well was her not wanting to eat her supper last night. I asked the Vet, can pneumonia come on that fast and I was told yes. I told the Vet that all the dogs except one on Saturday at the BHRR Mini Open House were ours and as far as I was aware, that other dog visiting was healthy. I will send them an email asking if their dog had been recently ill etc. My relative told me when I asked if Ava Marie had been coughing at all and they said no, not until this AM. As I told them when they called last night; if Ava Marie is off her food, she needs to come home NOW and most likely seen by a Vet as that means something is very wrong. Today, she drank some water at home and I also asked my relative if she had been more quiet than normal and I was told everything was ‘good’ until last night and then she was more quiet; which has also been the case today. I could clearly see that she was having some difficulty breathing when she arrived home and was wanting to just rest and not being her normal active, outgoing friendly self plus was feverish and still was not overly interested in food. I am glad my relative re-arranged their schedule so quickly to get her to me ASAP so that I could then quickly assess her myself and determine if she should go in, which I did; to see a Vet immediately. Pneumonia is caused by bacterial, viral, fungal or parasitic infections. In case of dogs, pneumonia is mainly due to bacterial infection. Inhalation is typically a route of transmission of infection. All of our other dogs are fine to date, eating, drinking, going to the bathroom normally as is our recent new arrival to BHRR; Moose. Some things will always remain a mystery yet I am always the ‘why’ person and seek to be proactive and preventative yet I also realise that some factors/variables cannot be controlled and she has been taken out by approved Volunteers for daytrips, play dates to lots of public venues crowded with other dogs. She also had a recent HWT back in March, so there was no need to repeat that test so soon for sometimes a heartworm test and bronchoscopy are also performed to diagnose pneumonia in dogs. Keep her in your thoughts. Her Vet and Pharmacy Bills today were over $1,000 and if any of her supporters wish to help her along with best wishes and some financial assistance, you can contact Kanata Animal Hospital directly (613) 836-2848  to pay by Debit, Credit Card or Visa/Mastercard or AMEX or PayPal funds to the account of or email transfer funds to OR you can mail a check to:

Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services
C/O Gwendilin Boers
2425 Totem Ranch Road West
RR#1 Oxford Station, Ontario
K0G 1T0

I am bringing BHRR’s Ava Marie to KAH this afternoon in addition to BHRR’s Moose having his own appointment for his feet etc. as I suspect she might have possible pneumonia, yet I am going to see what her Vet determines. She was wonderful at the BHRR ‘EXPERIENCE’ Mini Open House on Saturday and then went up to a relatives cottage and last night I received a call that she did not eat her supper. WHEN Ava Marie does NOT eat, something is wrong. I had her brought home to me today and I am not liking how she looks or some of the sounds she is making when she breathes. I have listened to her lungs with my own stethoscope and we may do X-Rays when we get to KAH. My relative said that she was normal up until last night and the only abnormal sign was her not eating her supper last night. They told me that she was not making any breathing difficulty noises at all until this AM.  I encouraged her to eat some wet food which she did and she has been quiet and is resting. BUT she would not take a treat and that is not Ava Marie either. I will be heading out to the Vets shortly.

BHRR’s Ava Marie had a re-examination with Dr. Liston and she weighed 161.48 pounds(73.4 KGs), so up a bit from her surgery on May 21st. Being pretty much on ‘rest’ can definitely explain part of that slight gain. The other part would be that yes, I have been giving Ava Marie some special yummy treats to get her to take her antibiotics and Deramaxx etc. but now she is done her antibiotics and the Deramaxx is mostly taken in her food bowl without issue for the most part. Now that she has permission to be more mobile and for us to work on the physical rehab, she will trim up well again! Dr. Liston thought she was looking ‘great’ and that her incision has healed well, her knee is intact and he did see what I meant about the edema and that it was at her knee and not lower down as one would expect and that she has this edema now and not immediately post-op. He was not worried, drained most of the edema and it was just serum and some blood clots. Dr. Liston also confirmed that her knee was mostly pushed right due to the edema and we will continue to massage the knee. She is not fond of the icing part though! LOL So, the plan is to build up more muscle and strength and get the right leg to heal more, come back in a month to re-visit that leg plus to take a closer look at the left leg and plan her 2nd surgery, this time on the left cruciate. SO, we are begging and pleading for her fans to consider donating to her Ava’s Action Assistance Cause, so that we can help pay for her 2nd surgery and post-rehab with hydrotherapy etc. just as we are doing with the right ACL surgery she recently had. Ava Marie also brought in a big plate of homemade cinnamon buns to LAH as a token of her huge thanks for helping her get a new start on life!!! WHAT a trooper she is and so happy and everyone at the hospital just ADORES her! She then came to KAH with me to be loved on and hang out as I had a work shift there! GO AVA GO! The big thing at home with a challenge is the hardwood floors and her wanting to lay on them now that she going to be getting a bit more freedom and being ‘there’ to ensure she gets that extra hand on her hind end for those legs. They can be a bit slippery and traction can be hard for her and honestly for many dogs out there in the world. With the warm weather she would much prefer the floors over the dog beds etc. The good news is that she is almost always never far from myself when I am at home, so I am on hand most of the time to help her. As mentioned to her Vet she is truly going to make a home a ‘dream’ dog and will very much enjoy her strolls and walks YET cannot do anything super stenuous with those knees. No mountain hikes with this sweetheart. She also very much just loves going to parks, cottages or camping out and laying on the grass and soaking up the love and attention and fresh outdoor air. Such an AWESOME dog!

I have BHRR’s Ava Marie coming with me to LAH before my work shift at KAH on Wednesday June 2nd. I wish to have Dr. Liston take a look at her leg and we can remove her staples at that time. The incision looks WONDERFUL with only some minor ‘reaction’ to the staples that you will be able to see her newly posted photos! I have also added a new photo to her slideshow #26! I took her pain patch off last Thursday and she remains on the Deramaxx 100 mg. I did call Dr. Liston today to discuss her sudden onset of some edema and that when she now walks, her leg is straight yet her knee is facing more right. This could be from the edema yet I wanted to discuss with her Vet. One would have expected to have seen edema within the first few days post-op yet that was not the case. She is not running a fever and is eating, drinking, urinating and having normal BM’s. I am not overly concerned at this time and so we shall wait to see what her Vet has to say on Wednesday. She is doing well and has become quite the ‘escape’ artist from the still set up ‘triage’ area! LOL She decided quite a few nights ago that she wanted to sleep back in the master bedroom and the hard part is ensuring that she does not lay on the hardwood floors(it is cooler in this heat) as she just cannot get up and could wreck that repaired knee. Sean was able to capture some great pictures of her leg and you can see how swollen both knees are. 😥 We have just added another method for people to donate who do not have PayPal – ChipIn(though you can also donate via PayPal with ChipIn too) and we are hoping that people might consider stepping up to help us raise the remaining funds for her Ava’s Action Assistance Fundraiser for her second surgery – her left ACL repair – tentative date July 2010. In one of the photos, Sean managed to get Ava Marie as she was stretching.

BHRR’s Ava Marie – May 30th, 2010 – 9 days post-op

BHRR’s Ava Marie is doing AWESOME! I find her to be one of the most very inspiring plus sweetest creatures out there and she is healing so well! With her pain patch having kicked in, she is feeling very little pain and is sleeping, eating and drinking normally. She does wish to lay on the hardwood floors and we cannot have that and she ‘snuck’ out of the triage area three times yesterday to lay on the hardwood or tiled areas of our house and we had to move her back. She just cannot get the traction needed under her to get up safely and back to the big futon bed and layers of duvets/comforters she went.  The hard part is trying to keep her ‘quiet’ and today, I was flying solo with Sean having gone back to work and thank goodness for the commands I have been teaching her since her arrival ‘wait’, ‘easy’ and ‘gentle’ for she can still just pull one along if she so desired too. I have one arm slinging her and the other with leash in tow and opening up doors, closing doors, opening up gates and closing gates etc. LOL She has been also really good about minding my words about ‘no licking’ and has pretty much left her surgical site untouched since we first began to be on her to not lick. She has a lot more purple/pink bruising setting in yet the staples look great and I will take some more pictures tonight. We have had a total of $451.79 donated towards her second surgery/rehab to date and THANK you so much! We have another almost $2,600 to raise and I am so thankful for the supporting kindness that is being shown to Ava’s Action Assistance Fundraiser. You can donate directly by calling Liston Animal Hospital at (613) 591-0966 to pay on Ava Marie’s Bill by Visa or M/C – Ava’s bill is under the account name of ‘Ava Boers.’ Dr. Liston was the Vet that did both BHRR’s Jaxson’s and BHRR’s Potter’s leg amputations in 200 OR you can donate via PayPal or email transfer to OR you can mail a check to ‘Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services’

Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services
Gwendilin Boers
2425 Totem Ranch Road West
RR#1 Oxford Station, Ontario
K0G 1T0

BHRR’s Ava Marie had a good night all things considered. Her Hydromorphone began to wear off around twenty minutes to 11 PM and we got her up on her feet and outside to see if she would pee and to give her a bit of a mental/physical stimulation break from her laying and thinking of her healing pain. She still could not figure out how to squat and pee with her leg and she did enjoy just standing outside in the lovely night air with us slinging her for a few minutes. Brought her back in, settled her down and everyone was in bed by just after 11 PM. I was up at 1:05 AM and checked on her and she was doing well and so I went back to bed. I got up again just past 3 AM and she was still hanging in strong, so I held off on the second injection of the Hydromorphone until I knew she absolutely needed it. At just after 5 AM, Sean called me and I came out and we gave her her antibiotics, a Deramaxx and tried to see if she might pee yet she still was not able to get things figured out to pee and she wanted to go and lay down in her favourite spot in the fenced in yard and we had to greatly encourage her to head back into the house. Once she was in, I gave her her Hydropmorphone injection and she went to la la land until just past 10 AM. Gave her a tiny bit of wet dog food of which she ate most of it and then we tried to see if she would pee again. She was determined to drag us to her favourite laying spot and it was an effort to get her to come back inside sans a pee. We knew she had to go yet we also knew that while we could encourage and support her, we could not pee for her and she had to figure it out on her own. That is the hard part, watching them ‘struggle’ for she had to pee and is housebroken yet could not figure out as of yet how to squat with that leg to pee while we were outside. We got her back in and she drank some water and then she rested on and off again until this afternoon. She has been very determined as well to ‘go’ for the incision and she has to be watched 24/7. I have a 40 cm collar on special order yet it shall not be coming in until about Wednesday, so it is constant ‘on’ her to stay away from her surgical site. I called LAH to give Dr. Liston an update and unless something untoward happens, I shall next be seeing him when it is time to take her staples out for I would like for him to recheck that area then instead of taking them out at home by myself. The bruising is beginning to come out big time and she has one area where the tension of sleeping, bending and turning(and she lays on both sides really well on her own and we do not have to flip or roll her now) where the staples have really pulled. It is very common and we will watch it closely. She has some drainage and our washer is working overtime in keeping the duvets/comforters clean for her. This afternoon, Sean helped me get her up and out again and she just almost pulled us out the door and I thought to myself ‘this is it’, she has figured it out!!!! YAY! She took us out on the front lawn that needs to be mowed 😛 and the grass was tickling her feet and she had her first pee and a nice big one and I not sure who was more relieved us or her!!! GOOD girl Ava Marie! I know she has to poop as well yet this was exhausting for her and so, we headed back inside, I gave her some tramadol(she can have this in addition to the Fentanyl patch) and she drank a bit more water, had another nice large tablespoon of high quality wet dog food and she has been resting most comfortably since. I will take some new pictures of her surgical area later today to post. We are now working on saving up monies and accepting donations for her second surgery that should be happening in July should all go well and THANKS so much to everyone for being there for her. For those attending our Fencing weekend coming up on June 5th & 6th; I cannot wait for you to meet her (if you have not yet already!) and then also those attending our June BHRR Mini Open House. At this time, BHRR’s Ava Marie, will be one of the Ambassadors at our 3rd ANNUAL Microchip/Nail Trim/BBQ Fundraiser coming up on Sunday July 18th.

Update: May 22nd – 10:04 PM – Picture of BHRR’s Ava Marie’s right leg/knee from tonight. She was given about 1/3 of her normal supper ration and ate it really well. She has not wanted to drink anything since this afternoon yet is resting really well. She also did not wish to pee again earlier tonight and has yet to poop yet with being fasted than having surgery; this is not completely abnormal. With the ‘gas’ she is having, it will not be too long now. Before we go to bed, we shall take her out again on the front lawn to see if she would like to pee.

BHRR’s Ava Marie – May 22nd, 2010 – 1 day post-op on right ACL repair

Update: May 21st – 9:29 AM – Ava Marie was about 72 KGs(158.4 pounds) for a total loss of 33.4 pounds since her arrival to BHRR on March 7th. SHE is almost at ‘goal’ weight! I wanted to see her around 155 pounds at her current age. From the initial consult in March plus looking at her X-Rays, the right knee was clearly the worst. From a quick assessment today, Dr. Liston was not sure which one should be done first and with the warmer weather/heat etc., she has had both knees swelling and has had days where it is 50/50 as to which one might be bothering her more. Dr. Liston is going to wait until she is under anaesthetic to exam her(she is tensing right now) to best determine which cruciate should be repaired first. Will update as I can. He was very impressed with her weight loss and how she was looking. GO AVA MARIE!

Update: May 21st – 3:13 PM – Ava Marie was out of surgery around 12:50 PM and all went really well. The right cruciate was the one determined to be the side that should be fixed first and she is now still out like a light, with her tongue hanging out(do not tell her that!) and her eyes extremely droopy. I should be bringing her home around 5:45 PM or so and the challenge is going to be to get her into the vehicle and then out of my car and then into the house. At almost 159 pounds, she is a very sizeable girl still.  Will update with photos after I get her home! Thanks for all the well wishes being sent her way!!!!

Update: May 21st – 9:01 PM – It was a wee bit of a challenge getting Ava Marie home. In hearing my voice, she was able to maneuver herself with some assistance with me at the front and Dr. Liston at the rear into the back of my car. She then slipped into the wheel well and we had to get her up again. WHAT a trooper she is! Her medication of Hydromorphone was held off until I could get her at home and settled into our triage area and she was in substantial pain travelling home for no matter how smooth/careful one tries to drive there are bumps and turns on the road. Unfortunately, on the way home she slipped into the wheel well again and was half on her back. I had to pull over on Shea Road and I was not able to get her up myself for if I was at her hind end, she wanted to turn towards me yet could not and I did not want her to panic. If I was at her head, she did not have the ‘leg’ to get under her to move back up on the sheet. I called Sean yet with the truck being apart(he is replacing the brakes), he could not come out to assist me yet then again, in knowing where I was, I was still about 30 minutes from home. Soooooooooooooo, I told Sean that I was going to have to pull someone over and this nice young man stopped and he was so very kind in assisting me. I said to him ‘I guess you did not think you would be doing this when I flagged you down’ and he said ‘That’s for sure!’ But he told me he was so happy to help yet also did not want to hurt her. He thought Ava Marie was a ‘he’ and even though I prepared him that this was a Great Dane that I needed some help with, I think he was still a bit taken aback by HOW much of a ‘Great’ Dane she was!  😉 I told him that Ava Marie would do most of the work as I encouraged her from her head and he just needed to scoop under her rump to give her that extra ‘boost’ once she began to move. The hard part was being able to get his hands underneathe her yet I had moved the drivers seat as far as I could and with great effort on Ava Marie’s part and our own; we got her up and she moved to lie on her bad leg. This was the side that we had wanted her on when we left LAH yet she had flipped over into the wheel well and we could not get her to flip back. It was good for her to lay on the other side as she had been on the left side since her surgery. I could not thank this young man enough for stopping and helping me and told him that I am so extremely grateful. He remained calm, trusted me in what I said in what we had to do plus that Ava Marie would not bite him as I was at her head and that we would take our time and we could do this. Ava Marie did not panic once and though it had to have hurt her tremendously, she pulled at her staples(she has about 40 of them) and had some drainage; none tore out and it was a more uneventful drive home. I am sending out another HUGE thanks to this young man for stopping in my time of need!!!! Sean met me at home and helped slide her out by pulling the duvet she was on until her front feet could get under her and we slung her with our fireplace log carrier(it is the perfect sling)and we took our time up the wide sweeping stairs at our home. Of course, she did not feel like peeing and we got her to the triage area, settled down, covered up with a duvet for shock and shortly afterwards gave her her first Hydromorphone injection. I will give her another one in the middle of the night. Sean will be spending the next few nights in the triage area with her and below are some pictures. In 14 days, we shall take the staples out, exam the leg and re-assess the left cruciate. Dr. Liston is worried that with so much arthritis settled in on the left side as to how much overall significant improvement we might get in repairing that left side yet we will see what the next 6-8 weeks will bring. With her having to compensate on that left side right now, she is going to be causing more stress on that left knee and we might have no choice but to go in and we are sticking to our original treatment plan made in March that this left knee will also need to be repaired. For now, our focus is getting her up and healing on the right side. She is on Cephalexin 500 mg; 3 tablets BID and 1.5 tabs of 100 mg of Deramaxx SID. I shall remove her Duragesic 100 ug transdermal pain patch in about 6 days. There is a lot of arthritis even on her right side explaining why her knees become so swollen in this heat. 😥 She will need to continue to be fed the best food and giving glucosamine etc. for the rest of her life to give her the best quality of life possible. I cannot thank Dr. Liston and his amazing team enough for the care and support they have shown to Ava Marie today and Cinnamon Buns all around soon!!!

Please consider donating………PayPal, email transfer to, credit card(Visa or M/C) directly to Liston Animal Hospital (613) 591-0966 or even by mailing a check to Birch Haven Rescue and Rehabilitation Services would be beyond appreciative. On behalf of Ava Marie, THANK you so much for your continued support!

Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services
C/O Gwendilin Boers
2425 Totem Ranch Road West
RR#1 Oxford Station, Ontario
K0G 1T0

BHRR’s Ava Marie’s first cruciate repair surgery is tomorrow. I cannot wait to see what she weighs now! She was a HUGE hit at the ‘Alvin For Ava’ Afternoon at the Movies Fundraiser in addition to being at The Wag Pet Shop both before and after the Fundraiser. She is truly a “DREAM” girl. Please keep her in your thoughts and BHRR would truly welcome any donations of gently used duvets, comforters, blankets etc. for Ava Marie will be in great need of lots of soft bedding as she rehabs. This has been such a touching / heartfelt journey with Ava Marie with her weight loss since her arrival to BHRR on March 7th to prepare her for this surgery yet as with all the animals here; I will not rest easy until I have her home recuperating. There have been many questions as to whether Ava Marie will be placed up for adoption and my answer is that I see no reason why not at this time and her new forever loving home is going to have to understand that she is not a Dane that is going to be able to zip, zoom and go for long or extended hikes. She is going to be the best strolling partner and will make someone a great bed or couch warmer!!! She is walking almost 2 KMs in the AM with me and almost 2 KMs in the evening with me and just taking our time and just like BHRR’s Albert, she has really begun to develop muscle and strength plus endurance as she becomes more active and fit due to her extensive weight loss. Her increased level of mobility is incredible! She could barely walk when she first arrived at BHRR. As I told many last Sunday at the Fundraiser as they were marvelling over her amazing temperament, just imagine how much more amazing she is going to be without being in such chronic pain. She has an incredible disposition, loves all people and dogs and also possesses a great wicked of humour! She has realised that she has ‘bulk’ and likes to get out the door before the other dogs and wait as they come out and will ‘bump’ them with her hip and see them lose their balance a bit and wobble. She finds this greatly entertaining and we are working on the ‘gentle’, ‘be nice’ as she stands there wagging her tail furiously waiting for the next ‘victim’. And though she cannot race and zoom like the other dogs, she gets her ‘trot’ going on and can really pick up speed going down our hills and it makes my heart catch a bit for I worry a bit that she might stumble but the expression on her face(yes, I am projecting human emotions here…LOL) is priceless. Her long floppy super velvety ears are flapping behind her head, her tongue is out and drooling(do not tell her that Miss UBER feminine) and her body just is full of happiness and enthusiasm. She is such a happy girl and we do our best to try and keep her not going above that stroll. Since BHRR’s Barkley went to his new home on Monday; the Great Dane puppy that we are temp loving on for a friend has really become that much closer to Ava Marie herself and Ava Marie is such a great teacher. These two have met before this puppy came to our place and this puppy made Ava Marie a bit nervous for Ava Marie was worried that the puppy might hurt her hind end with all that puppy jumping and playing yet once our walk was over that day when I met up with two friends; Ava Marie took all in stride and realised that no one was going to hurt her. They are almost inseparable these days. It is going to be a long night for I never rest well before surgeries for the dogs.  Send Ava Marie your best thoughts and wishes for tomorrow and I will update her blog as I can and post pictures for as most know, I like people to see exactly what their monies of support are doing for the animals in need of our very special BHRR program(s). Every last penny sent our way goes to help animals like Ava Marie and please consider donating……….PayPal, email transfer to, credit card directly to Liston Animal Hospital (613) 591-0966 or even by mailing a check to Birch Haven Rescue and Rehabilitation Services would be incredibly appreciated.

Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services
C/O Gwendilin Boers
2425 Totem Ranch Road West
RR#1 Oxford Station, Ontario
K0G 1T0

We have a surgery date! BHRR’s Ava Marie is booked for her right cruciate repair on Friday May 21st! I shall drop her off at LAH for 8:00 AM. This has been a long time wait and lots of work for Ava Marie to lose all that weight and I am already not only looking forward to that date for her sake yet anxious to have it come and go so that she is back home rehabbing with us. We are still looking at raising another $3,955 for her Vet/Rehab bills as part of her Ava’s Action Assistance Fundraiser and truly no amount is too small to help her! She will be in attendance at the BHRR’s ‘Alvin For Ava’ BRING YOUR DOG TO THE MOVIES Fundraiser on Sunday May 16th and we shall have a donation jar there for those that might wish to donate to her cause. I am also going to post two pictures below from Sunday April 25th that was taken when I had her out for a mini training/social stroll. Doesn’t she look MARVELOUS!

BHRR’s Ava Marie – April 25th, 2010 – 2 years of age
*Photos courtesy of S. Tarnoczy

BIG Drumroll…..BHRR’s Ava Marie is now down to 74.8 Kgs(164.56 pounds) and that means she has now lost a grand total of 27.24 pounds! YAY! YAY! YAY! I called LAH this AM to see if I could talk to her Vet to book a possible surgery date – looking at Friday May 14th and he will be back in on Monday. A message was left for him and between us both, we should be able to connect to determine when it might be best for Ava Marie to be booked for her first cruciate repair. By the time she has the surgery, she will be over the 30 pounds lost and I honestly do not wish to have too much more weight lost for she is a big boned girl and looking really good! Perhaps if she got down to 155 – 160 pounds she will be awesome! GO AVA MARIE GO!

I will be bringing BHRR’s Ava Marie to work with me on May 1st to get an updated weight. It will have been 17 days since her last weight (April 14th) and everything crossed that we have surpassed the minimum of 30 pounds lost to have her first cruciate repair surgery! She looks so good and is so much more mobile!!!! I was also told that some pictures from last Sunday’s training / social  session should be heading our way by week’s end. CANNOT wait! On Sunday May 16th, there shall be a ‘BRING YOUR DOG TO THE MOVIES’ Fundraiser event at the Mayfair Theatre – 1:00 PM whereby all funds raise shall go to assist BHRR’s Ava Marie with her Vet/Rehab Bills. It is not mandatory to have a dog to be in attendance and you, your family, friends, neighbours, work colleagues are more than welcome to attend what promises to be a blast of a fun filled afternoon! We shall even have some prizes to hand out and BHRR’s Ava Marie to be in attendance herself! The movie that shall be playing is Alvin & The Chipmunks – The Squeakquel and we are calling it ‘ALVIN FOR AVA’ to help Ava Marie with some much needed financial assistance to get her heathy again. I also remain somewhat concerned on those marks on her side and shall re-visit them with her Vet. They are so itchy for her now.

Today, I took BHRR’s Ava Marie with me for a short training and social session in Stittesville when I met up with a couple of friends. Poor Ava Marie, she was a little bit unsure and nervous at first of the 5 month old Great Dane puppy there! Yet, once she realised that she would not be hurt(she worries about her knees), all was great. Ava Marie was wonderful in providing the right level of correction to the Great Dane puppy when she felt that boundaries were being crossed. SO proud of you Ava Marie. She just loved every person and dog she met and while the walk was not a large one by any means; it helped her immensely with the losing of some more weight and building up more stength and muscle(you can really see how much she has built up on her thighs and ribs) in those legs plus body. After our short walk, we hung out on the grass for a bit and Ava Marie just loved watching all the action her, basking in the sun, being loved on and while her body was tired and could not do more, her brain and mind were sharp and you could tell she so wanted to do more. Yet, baby steps and to think that when she first arrived, she could barely move. The loss of so much weight, adding of muscle and what other rehab I can do with her with massage etc. has been making a HUGE difference in her quality of life. She was so ladylike around the mud puddles we encountered and she proved herself worthy of total freedom being given with how great her recall and obedience was to me. She is very bonded to me and no way was she going to let me leave without her! LOL Her leash manners are getting there. She is still all puppy herself and can ‘forget’ herself but she listens to the ‘wait’ command both on and off her leash and she is only going to get better and better the more that I can do with her. She is a DREAM indeed. One of my friends took some of the best pictures EVER and I am hoping she might share some  😉 for me to post of BHRR’s Ava Marie and possibly use one or two to create an AVA MARIE CAFEPRESS section in our BHRR Cafe store; so that any additional funds that come in can be donated to her ‘Ava’s Action Assistance’ Fundraiser cause. So many people could not believe how mellow, relaxed, calm and genteel she was! She makes me so proud of her!!!! She slept on the way home and I can tell she has dropped more weight for each time she gets into my back seat, more and more of her fits better on my seat! I cannot wait to get that new weight and if all goes well, we are getting closer and closer to her first cruciate repair surgery to be scheduled in May. GO AVA MARIE GO! I also noted that when we were out, she had a clear preference of being called ‘AVA MARIE’ and not ‘Ava’ at all! LOL I think she likes her revised name…just a wee bit after witnessing that!

Today was weigh day for BHRR’s Ava Marie and DRUMROLLLLLLLLLLL…… She is now 77.5 KGs(170.5 pounds)! This means that she has now lost 21.3 pound since her arrival on March 7th! Less than 10 pounds to go and she can have that first cruciate repair surgery! GO AVA MARIE GO!

With all that has gone in the last week+, BHRR’s Ava Marie was unable to have her weigh-in last Wednesday and this week, it looks like it shall have to be pushed back a wee bit further. My goal was to bring her in weekly just to see how progress is being made and I am now planning to bring her in on Wednesday April 14th to see where she stands now. Everything crossed that we are moving forward well! One of her newest best friends and in fact, her closest friend now that he has been neutered is BHRR’s Koop! He seems to instinctively understand that she is not as mobile as his other close playmate BHRR’s Shiva and they just mouth wrestle and play while she lies down. IT is positively precious to watch them. 🙂 I have added new pictures to BHRR’s Ava Marie’s slideshow #20 – #23. I am also adding two below – one that I cannot believe we actually were able to capture, Ava Marie and our EM Guinness actually FITTING on the same dog bed and one that just pulled at my heart; seeing the special needs animals of BHRR’s Ava Marie, BHRR’s Potter and BHRR’s Barkley all outside and staying together and supporting each other; and almost looking out for each other. Truly, this is what it is about for BHRR. Helping those that are in need of our program(s) and we continue to reach out to all of you for your consideration in supporting us to let us keep assisting them AND all the others out there that are in urgent need for BHRR to save them. At this time as our food resources dwindle and our Vet Bills increase; BHRR cannot take on any more animals and it has been a very ‘needy’ spring for requests. We remain just touched and indebted to everyone that has donated blankets(WE need more comforters/duvets), finances and dog food that has allowed us to do what we have to date for the animals! Yet we are unable to help any more until such time as our resources of food increase and our Vet/Rehab bills decrease.  😥

BHRR’s Ava Marie & Guinness – March 2010 & BHRR’s Potter, BHRR’s Ava Marie and BHRR’s Barkley – April 5th, 2010

I have put BHRR’s Ava Marie on antibiotics. Her side ‘marks’ have begun to really itch and bother her as they are healing and she wants to lick and scratch at them. 😥 She is not very receptive to BHRR’s Koop’s amourous advances and good for her to stand strong! She is truly such a dream! The 2010 Spring Fever Basket Raffle Fundraiser ends tonight, Monday at 9:00 PM EST and we still have tickets available so please consider supporting BHRR’s Ava Marie!!!! All monies raised are going to her ‘Action Assistance’ Fundraiser. He next weigh-in day is Wednesday March 31st and GO AVA MARIE GO! Truly such a ‘dream’ Great Dane. Cannot say it enough! She almost ‘took’ me out a few days ago as she was so excited to see me and swiped at me with her paw and then leaned into me! LOL. BHRR’s Mr. Parker Paws would have been so proud of her for that move! LOL What I have to keep telling people is that while she might be a large girl, she is all puppy still! You should see their eyes widen when I say that! 😛 In this damp weather, her right leg has been troubling her a lot and while the left leg is not great either, it is bearing the most weight as she is straining on that right leg. 😥 She still has great days for eating and not so great days and we have been trying a few different types of food and she seems to like the fish and potato brands the best. I have to head out to purchase more Glucosamine plus Omega’s for her as due to her size, she goes through a significant amount. 🙂 She is now taking herself out to the fenced in yard most of the time. Night times seem to make her a bit hesitant yet with us putting all of the lights on, she then trucks on out. She is so feminine and not keen on getting those paws muddy! She enjoys me wiping off her feet when she comes in for her facial expression says it all ‘EWWWWW! ICK! DIRTY!’ Just enjoying Ava Marie sooooooooo much as she stays here with us!

I have added 2 new pictures to BHRR’s Ava Marie’s slideshow #18 & #19 and am putting them below. They are from March 24th, 2010! She is a wee bit better mobile since she has begun her weight loss regime and it makes my heart heavy to see her in such chronic pain. Thanks on behalf of BHRR’s Ava Marie for everyone that has been supporting her in our 2010 ‘Spring Fever’ Basket Raffle Fundraiser. Ticket sales end Monday March 29th @ 9 PM and all funds raised shall go towards BHRR’s Ava Marie’s Action Assistance Fundraiser. We are also working on a special May Canine/Movie event to also help raise much needed monies for BHRR’s Ava Marie and stay posted! Those on our BHRR FB Group already have a bit of the ‘inside’ scoop on this!  😉

BHRR’s Ava Marie – March 24th, 2010 – 2 years of age

BHRR’s Ava Marie’s new weight is 84.2 KGs(185.24 pounds)! That is another loss of 1.32 pounds in one week. GO AVA MARIE GO! This is a total weight loss since March 7th of 10.96 pounds. 😀 THUMBS up to you Ava Marie!!!!

Wednesday is BHRR’s Ava Marie’s weekly weigh-in day! Everything crossed that she has lost more weight. I really love this girl. SHE is just so girly and feminine and affectionate!

BHRR’s Ava Marie’s new weight is 82.80 KGs(182.16 pounds). YAY! Since Ava Marie has arrived to BHRR on March 7th, she has lost 9.64 pounds. Since March 10th, she has lost 2.64 pounds in one week.

Today is weigh in day for BHRR’s Ava Marie. Will update her blog when I can!

BHRR’s Ava Marie’s HWT came back negative and her bw is good! I have asked to have these results faxed to LAH. I will be bringing her into work with me on Wednesday so that I can obtain a current weight on her. Her eating and drinking seems to go in spurts. Great and not so great and I still have to escort her out into the fully fenced in yard yet once she is out there, she is fine.

I am so proud to say that Birch Haven Rescue and Rehabilitation Services(BHRR) has met all the pre-approval compliance requirements for PayPal as a registered non-profit/charity organization!!!! I faxed over 40 pages of documentation including CRA forms, Banking and Legal information plus contacts last Saturday March 6th and today, I have heard back that all is in order from their extensive review and BHRR is now PRE-APPROVED as we move to our next status level from our registered non-profit to registered charity with the CRA to continue to collect much needed funds/donations via PayPal (account is

Additionally, per their User Policy Agreement; their policy includes a restriction on activities that involve an entry fee and a prize, such as raffles, drawings or lotteries. Therefore, just a HUGE reminder that for our upcoming Spring Fever Basket Raffle; please note that we will NOT accept payment for these raffle tickets via PayPal. BHRR will ONLY take Visa/MC/Amex/Cash/Email Transfer to or Check/MO/Bank Draft to ‘Birch Haven Rescue and Rehabilitation Services’ for this raffle that shall commence on Friday March 19th.

Just before PPSS and I go find our bed(I should think about dinner too!) as it is now 3:30 AM and we both have been up since 7:30 Tuesday AM; I wanted to also update BHRR’s Ava Marie’s blog in respect to those red marks under her arms. As soon as I showed them to the Vet, he said the same thing; it looked like she had been ‘branded’ or ‘burned’ and that it could be possible that it was from a harness. If it is a reaction to metal on a harness; they are so deep and she will be scarred even when the areas heal, they are that bad. What we are going to do is try different pieces of metal on her skin to ‘test’ to see if she is reacting to copper or stainless steel etc. for the clamps that are used in the surgery for her cruciate repair are metal. With how bad this looks to be of a reaction and we do not know how long the exposure was and we are, of course, just making the best judgement call we can as to it even being a ‘metal’ reaction to something like a harness; we will need to experiment to see if we duplicate the reaction. We do not wish to see her in surgery and being clamped off with metal clamps and having a reaction. So, per her Vet, we are going to do some testing. They are not infected and I will take better close up pictures of them later today. I wish she could tell us about these marks. I do remember seeing a Dane that had reacted to the buckles on his doggie coat as it criss-crossed under the underarms and had metal buckles when I was out and about one day and we see many dogs that have reacted to metal tags on their collars(rabies, license) as well as the metal leash loop or fastener on their collars yet I have never seen such a nasty reaction to a harness, if that is what it is. We looked so closely throughout her hair to see if we could find other traces of the use of a harness yet I did not see those on Sunday and I still do not see them today, not did her Vet. Puzzling for sure yet they are not bothering her(however, with the pain that she is in with those cruciates, anything else is secondary) and I am keeping them clean and dry to heal as best as they can. With how big she is, she is getting some rubbing with the skin on the arms but as she is not very mobile, she is getting minimal irritation from her weight and the rubbing.

Later today, my focus is to get BHRR’s Potter and BHRR’s Alberts Blogs updated plus I have CRA Paperwork to complete. AND for those that are still considering donating to BHRR’s Ava’s Action Assistance Fund; I really hope you would do so. We need to raise another $4,700 and she has a very long road to travel ahead of her. Any help to make her road better travelled means the world! AND thanks so much again to everyone for the caring words, financial support in not just believing in what BHRR does YET believing in BHRR’s Ava Marie AND that she is worth every penny that comes her way to make her healthy again!

I took BHRR’s Ava Marie in to see Dr. Liston today and he agrees that the right one is the worst one right now and should possibly be the one considered to be repaired first. When it is time to do her first surgeyr, he will re-evaluate then. In looking at the X-Rays, one can see the calcification and bone spurs that have already been occuring and from the X-Rays; the left cruciate appears to have been injured well before the right for that one had more bone spurs, calcification plus more arthritis setting in. The right cruciate rupture is more recent and there is less bone spurs, calcification plus arthritis and clearly causing her the most pain at this moment and she is in a lot of pain. The Deramaxx continues to be given to Ava Marie daily. The move forward plan of attack is for me to draw blood and we will do her presurgical bw plus a HWT and we need her to lose at least 30 pounds within the next 8 weeks to schedule the cruciate repair on the right leg ASAP. So, our timeframe is the first week and a bit in May of 2010. It is just not feasible to do it before then and honestly it is not safe either. In talking to the Vet, we discussed that she is getting 6 cups of food within 3-4 meals a day and we talked about reducing her even further to get her down to 4 cups of food a day to get her where we need to by the May timeframe for the best chance of this surgery working for Ava Marie. I had originally looked at 4 cups yet felt that was too drastic so soon after her arrival and we will work on transitioning her down even further to 4 cups. Her weight today was now 184.80 pounds(84 KGS) – yet she was a waggle butt on the scale – and I know that she has lost weight since her arrival for she did not even begin to eat until last night nor drink well.  I am going to weigh her weekly and stay in regular touch with the Vet to keep them updated on her progress. As we cannot really exercise to assist in the weight loss needed; this will be a challenge. One we must face and overcome in order to truly save her life. The Vet and I will re-visit that left cruciate once she is under for while he could not feel any displacement today; she was tensing that leg making it hard to really examine it. The right leg is not only obvious in watching her yet the Vet could easily feel the damage upon manipulation. We know that the X-Rays are from February 5th and even in those, the leg knee has undergone much transformation from when it had to have been first hurt and we shall see what it feels like when she is under for her right cruciate repair by the Vet. AND then again 4 weeks after her right side has undergone surgery. I told the Vet that if he feels that he might have to take more X-Rays at the time of her surgery, to please do so. It might not be possible to do surgery on that left leg at all by then due to all the time that has past before she even came to BHRR and now that she is at BHRR, the right one is in far worse condition and how it has begun to ‘heal’ and ‘scar’ even before those X-Rays were taken a month+ ago.  🙁 Yet one step at a time. AND as we believe in full disclosure at BHRR and I did mention it above, BHRR’s Ava Marie does have the beginings of arthritis in her knees and this is not something that is going to go away. She is on Glusosamine plus Omega and if anyone wishes to donate any of these items to her cause; please email Gwen. She goes through a lot in a day!  😉 Should BHRR’s Ava Marie rehab well; I also see no reason that she could not be placed up for adoption BUT she will not go to a home that does tons of hiking and hills and other types of activities that would not be of benefit to her size, arthritis and past history of having two blown cruciates. SHE was a huge hit at the hospital and travelled great in the car! One man thought she was the largest Dalmation he ever saw and when I said ‘no, sorry, she is a Great Dane’; he went….’oh yeah, right lady’… LOL LOL I do not think he believed me!

I also wish to take this opportunity to publicly thank EVERYONE that has donated, cross-posted and supported BHRR since we committed to assisting her! I have sent such deep thanks in person, emails and in phone calls all that I am aware of who have donated and to those that donated anonymously via directly to Liston Animal Hospital for BHRR’s Ava Marie; I wish to THANK all of YOU as well and will have to do so via Ava Marie’s blog; for I cannot do so in another means as I do not know who you are.  🙂 BUT you are equally so special to our hearts with your kindness shown and I want you to know that your contributions mean the world to BHRR’s Ava Marie to give her a quality of life that she should be living. I do not think I have had a moment in the past almost 24 hours that I have not felt a tear in my eye with PPSS and then with the continued warmth from everyone to date that has helped BHRR’s Ava Marie. Every single person who has helped is what makes BHRR so special and successful and may one day, I be able to meet you in person to express my feelings of gratefulness.

I almost brought BHRR’s Ava Marie into work with me yesterday as she was really pushing my comfort zone of new arrivals to BHRR with the not eating well nor drinking yet I decided to give her a bit more time and she ate her supper well Tuesday night! She wants to drink out of the water bowl yet for some reason cannot bring herself to do it as much as she wants. Progress slowly made though! Also, when I came home from work, she was so happy to see me! She almost knocked me over as she leaned into me! LOL She makes these small ‘sounds’ in her throat to express herself and it is really sweet!!!! She is very interested in the chairs leading to Mason’s room plus the recreation room yet there is no way that she is going to be allowed to do any steps, not with those legs of hers. She seems to have some good moments with her mobility yet often she is very lame and in constant pain. We keep giving her the Deramaxx and I have to say that Ava Marie has the softest of ears that I have ever felt in ages. They are so soft and long and I just love to carress them. She does not seem to mind me bugging her so often just to love on them and her.  😛 I will post an update on her Vet visit to Dr. Liston later today. I have also managed to pick up an extra 8.5 hours of work myself at the Hospital next week to have extra monies to go towards her impending Vet & Rehab Bills. I will also see how many more I can obtain come the month of April. I meant to bring in blood today to do a HWT yet will try to do that on Friday. Thanks so much once again to all of her supporters for their donations and as it is going to be ages for BHRR’s Ava Marie to be able to be placed up for adoption, if ever; she is one of the animals that we are seriously considering being one of the BHRR ambassadors at our 3rd annual Microchip/Nail Trim plus BBQ Fundraiser on Sunday July 18th. we need to get her to lose a considerable amount of weight before she can even have the first surgery. May many of you get the opportunity to meet her then for I know that she would love to pass along her own thanks of gratefulness with leans, drool(do not tell her that I said she drools though for despite her large size, she is all girly!!!) and kisses. One look into her beautiful soft eyes and you, too will become completely enraptured by not just her beauty but her charm. She is such a delight!!!!

We only need $100 more to raise by Wednesday March 10th @ 5:00 PM EST. PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! We are so close to being able to put down a ‘good’ faith deposit to have her cruciates fixed. Please consider supporting BHRR’s Ava’s Action Assistance Fundraiser. We are also hoping that our first ever Spring Fever Basket Raffle will bring in enough to pay for a good portion of her one surgery in addition to the deposit that we are looking to put down this Wednesday. As many know, I am not above begging or pleading to help out an animal in need and I truly am imploring the public to seriously please please please to consider donating, even $5.00 to help her. She is such a wonderful dog and I am also trying to pick up extra shifts myself at the Hospital to bring in more monies for her. Ava Marie is so kind, gentle and just positively one of the sweetest creatures ever and we want to give her nothing but the best that life can offer!!!!

I am going to post two more pictures on BHRR’s Ava Marie’s slideshow #16 & #17 from March 9th, 2010 and I am also going to post them below. One is a great comparison shot with PPSS and part of our own EM Guinness and another is a face shot for that was what I was taking tonight of some of the dogs. Those that have met my PPSS, know that he is not a small boy at around 150 pounds himself yet you can see that he looks so small next to BHRR’s Ava Marie and Guinness’s head does not look all that large anymore either. AND great success today for we have her lying on a dog bed yet even the dog bed looks tiny. Later this week, we are going to tackle her nails too. Thursday is what I have dubbed ‘conveyor nail trimming belt’ day at our home and we shall see how Ava Marie handles this experience.

BHRR’s Ava Marie – My GD PPSS & EM Guinness – March 9th, 2010

So, I took at height on BHRR’s Ava Marie last night; she is about 36″ and one of the tallest females I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. I would like to see her weight around 150 yet as she loses weight; I will get a better idea with that incredible bone/substance that she has; where she should fall and 150 pounds is my target for her at this time. I will adjust as necessary. She is going to be fed 4 smaller meals a day so that she does not feel hungry; and bringing her food total of cups to about 6 cups a day. She did not eat her supper well last night and that is not surprising and after one ‘moment’ of her resisting going into her 45″ in height collosal crate(THANKS again Theresa!); she has been fine going in and out. She has not yet peed or pooped that I have seen and today, we shall work on the comfort level going into the fenced in yard. She has been fully integrated with all and other than BHRR’s Dana still trying to determine if Ava Marie could possibly be a new Dane friend to make as one of her mischief making protege’s and corrupt or if Ava Marie is just too ladylike for her ‘liking’ all has been quiet! LOL LOL Dana just cracks me up! For some reason, Ava Marie will not lie on one of the Kuranda beds(she will walk across them) or a dog bed. She will lie on our hardwood floors and I do not want that. As with BHRR’s Albert; we would love to have any donations of gently used comforters/duvets; any sizes; to have on hand for her now and after her surgeries. We would be happy to meet anyone in the area for pick up or contact one of our Volunteers to possibly connect with someone in your area to hold on to for us until we get a chance to hook up. Within the next day or so, I am hoping to get a video posted of her and I really hope that our supporting public will become a fan of hers and open up their own hearts to considering to assist her with even a donation of $5.00. With your kindness and those of others, we will get closer to that $6,000 mark!!! We have promised to make Ava Marie the best that she can be and give her the most quality filled life she deserves and we continue to rely on that ‘chain of success’ that makes BHRR the stellar program it is; in order to do this for Ava Marie. We can not do this all alone and she is in need of much right now. Her personality is sweetness personified and I am truly looking forward in getting to know her better and to see what she is like once she loses weight, comes out of her honymoon period and is not living in chronic crippling pain/lameness.

I went to NY, USA to pick up BHRR’s Ava Marie today(I am calling her Ava Marie!) and so much to update yet it is time to get all dogs settled in, fed and other chores plus responsiblities to be taken care of first. Sean took some pictures for me of her today and thanks so much to Theresa for some crates including 2 HUGE collosal ones. We have set one up for Ava Marie. She let me manually give her her Deramaxx and Sean is going to take some video of her on his BB for me to upload and I hope that people will begin to make a connection wtih her and then want to help her! SHE is a dream of a girl. She just melted my soul when I first met her and as per the revised blog I made earlier; she is just over 2 years of age. A mere pup of a Great Dane and I have her last recorded weight of 191.80 pounds. While she is most assuredly a big boned girl; she needs to seriously lose a good 40 -50 pounds to start. It is a rare dog indeed that makes our own 206 pound English Mastiff Guinness look small!!!! I was also given her X-Rays from February 5th and have taken a good look at them myself. While she is mobile, that right leg is definitely the worst and will need to be repaired first. For those wanting to help BHRR’s Ava Action Assistance Fundraiser yet feel that their $5 or $10 might be too small, it ISN’T! Yours will add to another kind person and then with another and so on and together we can all make the biggest difference to Ava Marie so that she is not living in chronic pain and can be the puppy she is again, playing and romping! I also wish to say that it is a rare person that I want to comfort and hug when there is an o/s of a dog to our program yet in saying good-bye to my friend from Animal Control; I hugged the young man who was surrendering Ava Marie to us and told him how sorry I was. He was truly heartbroken to see her leave and I wish that owning a Giant Breed Dog was not so expensive; yet unfortunately; it is not and the costs can run up extremely high when they are sick or injured.  My heart was heavy. I told him to please stay in touch, ensured he had our website information and that there would be tons of pictures plus updates on our site. Small comfort I know in this situation to him. 😥 The love he feels for her is so much that he wanted better for her and let her go to us instead of keeping her untreated with him or having her put to sleep. That is the ultimate in love and Ava Marie is a ‘dream’ of a Dane! Not just in looks yet I am loving what I am seeing to date of her personality! She is already integrated with BHRR’s Albert and BHRR’s Potter plus Guinness. When the other dogs went filing past her crate in the sunroom; all was great. Dana was her usually ‘mischief’ self and went right up to her crate and did her ‘bluff’ routine of ‘I am queen.’ 😛 I am completely not worried about full integration with Ava Marie and just want the younger ones to be careful/mindful of her back legs yet they do great with PPPSS(with his one hip and then the knee on the other back leg) plus Guinness with his own knees and Kona plus BHRR’s Hamilton the Newf with their HD etc. The look on Potter’s face in seeing her though was priceless. He was in ‘girly heaven’! OMG! LOL I will do a HWT on her for I did not see one and I have yet to find the paperwork for her Thyroid testing yet shall look more closely. My only issue bringing her back across the border was that her HC was not in my/BHRR’s name and I had to pull on to the side of the road after getting her to be sure that I had all supporting documentation with me from BHRR with registration number, CRA paperwork etc. so that things would run smoothly at Customs as the HC was not in our name. I am going to add two pictures below from after her arrival to BHRR today and also to her slideshow. She shall be seeing Dr. Liston on Wednesday March 10th, 2010 and we still have $255.00 to raise for a deposit to put down for her surgeries, of which the right one will need to be done first and then we shall see about the left one within 4-8 weeks after that if necessary. You can donate by PayPal (account is or email transfer to or even mail a check witten out to ‘Liston Animal Hospital’ or ‘Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services’ and mail it. I will also have Dr. Liston take a look at what appears to be some of rash under both of her underarms. Not sure if it is a reaction to a possible harness yet we shall have that looked into. I will post a picture below where you can clearly see the one side of this – almost looks like a ‘brand’ it is so red, bumpy and rasied on the left side. I have added slides #2 – 15 to her slideshow. WELCOME TO BHRR AVA MARIE!

BHRR’s Ava Marie – March 7th, 2010 – Day of Arrival to BHRR – 2 years of age

BHRR’s Ava Marie – March 7th, 2010 – You can see the ‘rectangle’ of redness under her arm

We have learnt that Ava is just over 2 years of age – born November 21st, 2007 per her Dog License information with the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets – Division of Animal Industry. She was spayed March 11th, 2008 and she was given a 3 year Rabies on March 25th, 2009(Due March 25th, 2012) and DHLPPC was given on November 17th, 2009(Due November 17th, 2010). At exam on November 17th, 2009; she was 191.80 pounds.

Ava’s Action Assistance Fundraiser Page has been created and will be an ongoing fundraiser until her Vet + Rehab Bills are paid off – Updated Total: $495.00 Raised To Date
*Goal to raise $750 to put down a deposit by Wednesday March 10th for the 2 surgeries she shall require ASAP

OR you can call Liston Animal Hospital at (613) 591-0966 to pay on Ava’s Bill directly by Visa or M/C – Ava’s bill is under the account name of ‘Boers’ Dr. Liston was the Vet that did both BHRR’s Jaxson’s and BHRR’s Potter’s leg amputations in 2009.

Our initial plan of attack is to get BHRR’s Ava here and I will put her on 1.5 -2 tabs of 100 mg Deramxx SID and Ava has an appointment booked for Wednesday March 10th for Dr. Liston to evaluate. We discussed that we most likely will have to get her to lose significant weight before her first cruciate repair surgery(we will not do both at once on such a large dog) and schedule that within 3-4 months from her arrival. At the weight she is, she could easily re-injure herself by ‘weight’ bearing. About 4 weeks – 6 weeks after that, we would do the second cruciate. Per Dr. Liston, this is a very difficult situation for successful treatment for BHRR’s Ava in respect to finances, recovery plus rehab and I appreciate his honesty. BHRR has been done this road before and we thank everyone in advance for their consideration in helping us with Ava.  We shall see what Dr. Liston’s professional opinion is on the sucess of treating BHRR’s Ava.

BHRR has been asked to take in an extra large heavily marked female Great Dane(183 pounds), Ava who has blown both of her cruciates. She was out playing with dogs belonging to the owner`s mother. Her current owner cannot afford to pay for her extensive Vet Bills and she is being surrendered to BHRR. If BHRR did not commit to taking her in; she was at high risk of being put to sleep. At this time, I do not know her age yet it matters naught.  Ava is spayed, her thyroid has been tested(was normal and we will obtain Vet records) and she is utd on vaccines. She is microchipped and we are moving forward with having the owner transfer the legal authority to BHRR on this microchip. I have been told that she came into animal control around 165 pounds and is now overweight at 183 pounds yet we are told the owner is not over feeding her. She is the next one in need of BHRR of our special programs and she will be helped. 🙂 She will have her Rabies Certificate plus Health Certificate papers in order before she crosses the border as she is currently located in NY, USA. If all goes well, I should be meeting the transporter on Sunday March 7th. She will require lots of soft bedding and we are putting out the call yet again for any donations of comforters or duvets to help us assist her through her extensive upcoming rehab. Her Vet bills will be thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars yet BHRR is about helping those SN`s and she needs us. Our upcoming Spring Fever Basket Raffle Fundraiser shall hopefully bring in some much needed funding to help us with her impending Vet plus Rehab bills. A picture was sent our way tonight of BHRR’s Ava and has been added to her slideshow. BHRR will now be full again and BHRR`s Ava is NOT YET AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION!!!