This is Gwennie!

Many of you may not know this face for she is always hiding from the lime-light.

Today is a very special day for today is Gwennie’s Birthday! 

If it were not for this truly amazing woman, BHRR would not exist and thousands upon thousands of animals/people would not have been helped over the past 22+ years.

The truly broken physically and/or behaviourally…Danes, Giants and Honourary that have been saved thanks to her. Dogs & Horses that many others would not or could not help. 98% of the dogs that come to Gwen are special needs for this was her mandate for BHRR and are often the dogs’ last chance at having a future. AND Gwennie delivers. She gives these dogs the best of everything.

Many friendships would never have been formed if it were not for this great woman either.

She has not only brought many dogs and people together, she is the glue that keeps those links on her BHRR Chain of Success so strong and stable.

She is often giving credit to others, even when it should come to her….content to stay in the background and let others be the focus of attention. Humble, generous, thoughtful and caring, nothing Gwennie would not do for anyone she felt was worthy.

Loyal to a fault and though trust is hard earned, once earned it is steadfast and solid. Break that trust and that is a whole different story! 

Where Gwennie does not take a back seat is when it comes to the animals and people in need. She has no hesitation in standing up for what is right, takes a zero tolerance approach and will go toe to toe in any situation that there is a need.

She has never once waivered in her vision over the past 22+ years for BHRR and has kept BHRR being a highly reputable, responsible and quality filled rescue. No animal lacks for anything and corners are never cut and she has kept BHRR small, personable with having second to none success rates.

She creates miracles every day…..many have born witness to this. She has never shied away from the difficult, heart wrenching and financially demanding animals in need. Even knowing that her heart will be ripped to shreds again and again, Gwennie continues to find strength and heart to save the next in need of her.

These animals are treated like cherished family members and anyone that visits BHRR has seen firsthand how the dogs follow and look for Gwennie. People can see how they look at Gwennie, the trust, the mutual respect, the love that they have. It is a beautiful and humbling thing to witness as these animals learn to be dogs and blossom plus grow under her care.

Time and time again, Gwennie has worked magic and has successfully rehabbed dogs to either be placed up for adoption or kept safe in BHRR’s Haven Program. She has given life to so many, great life.

Gwennie does without to ensure that the animals get everything…the big joke is how Gwennie does not even own a winter coat or boots!

It would be lovely if we could come together as her village and community and donate some funds to help Gwennie continue the extremely important work that she does.

**Email Transfer or PayPal:**

Do also join us in wishing her a wonderful day as we celebrate her!

HAPPY Birthday Gwennie! 

Your Loving BHRR Family/Team

**$410 Donated To Date**

ISO: Human and/or Doggie Treatie Bakers!
Our 5th ANNUAL ‘Breaking Bills Bake Online’ Auction is coming up fast! Starts Saturday January 20th!
Last year we had 67 incredibly donated yummy items and $1,158 was raised to help Brazilian Dane Baby Jackson! ??
Monies raised in our 2018 extremely unique & 1-of-a-kind annual event shall be divided up between BHRR’s Booker(DDB Puppy with the back broken leg) & our FCE Puppy, The Bakers Dozen of BHRR’s Carlsberg. ?
If anyone may consider donating an item or more of either a Canine and/or Human baked goodie – does not need to be made until after the fundraiser is over – so is fresh! – please do EMAIL
We only host five planned fundraisers a year and this is our first one of 2018.
Thank you deeply from our hearts if you may consider their worthy causes to support!
More details re: our amazing fundraiser can be found in this LINK.

As we head into New Years Eve, here is Sean’s end of year statement.

Sean is Co-Founder and a BHRR BOD Member of BHRR. This photo is of him and BHRR’s Daffodil from our traditional XMAS Even Photo shoot – December 24th, 2017! She remains Available For Adoption!

In Sean’s Words:

‘Here we are again – at the end of another year. Time to reflect on the great, the good, the bad and the ugly and set our sights on the year to come.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t specifically take this opportunity to thank everyone who has made a positive contribution to BHRR. I couldn’t possibly name everyone – but you certainly know who you are!

The contributions you’ve made through time and effort, vet bills, food, auction donations, cleaning supplies, transport, etc. is precisely what allows us to do what we do! We are a community – and stronger because of it. I offer my most heartfelt thank-you to all of you. I count our interactions with all of you as part of the highlight reel.

So many wonderful people have come into our lives.

Together we’ve done a lot of great things in 2017. There are so many BHRR dogs in forever loving homes, there have been successful events for awareness, education and fundraising. One of the most significant and recent successes for this year is The Bakers Dozen and demonstrates perfectly how everyone came together as strong links on the BHRR “CHAIN OF SUCCESS’ when needed.

This was a huge outpouring of support!

It blows my mind to contemplate the amount of puppy formula that was donated and consumed! This would not have been achievable without the enormous outpouring of support given. Seriously – the amount of formula we went through would make several mortgage payments look like chump change!

And the ugly…… I’m not generally one to dwell on the negative – but I think it is important to acknowledge and address what I feel is a growing and unfortunate trend. Let’s address something that is very real yet seldom openly discussed.

A trend not just with us, but across the internet, business and personal interactions all around. Over the past several years, we’ve seen an increasing amount of destructive and abusive interactions.

This year we were subjected to a new low – as at least one person out there already knows – BHRR was subject to a malicious attack. In the end, we were proven/validated to be operating a stellar, highly responsible, excellent and much needed organization for the animals. As this was not based in fact or naive ignorance, they received a cautionary warning and we are now investigating possible further legal venues.

However, our initial response from the actions of this vindictive individual was a ‘Wow – never saw that one coming…’

We have hosted regular BHRR events here – 6 a year for over 2 decades – for people’s benefit and for the animal’s of BHRR.

We open up our home to the scrutiny of strangers and, we have done so gladly, and, openly for we have nothing to hide………..

We commit to giving up what could be very precious, valuable coveted family time for the sake of our guests. We feel it is so important for people to witness firsthand what we do and, why we do it and, that we are not like ‘every’ other group or org. out there…..

We have even had people from approved Volunteers, the curious, the interested, stay here overnight, for days and even weeks at a time.

We have always remained full of disclosure and have shared the ups, the downs, the good, the bad and the ugly with all of our followers, supporters, friends and family.

But to the individual responsible for a baseless complaint – thank you so much for putting our family on edge and under the microscope. I can’t tell you how much we appreciated the surprise and shock instead of an open dialogue with anyone who may have had questions or concerns.

So much better to lob a hand grenade from the bushes and run away. This doesn’t feel constructive, or motivated by the best interests of the animals – this feels very personal and malicious. We are very proud of what we’ve done with our lives – can you say the same?

While I’m also not prone to extolling our own efforts – we have dedicated almost 22 years of our life to the protection of animals, particularly the special needs dogs and the giant breeds – those least likely to be picked up by high turnover rescues. Animals others cannot or will not assist. 99% of those we help are the truly medical and/or behaviourally broken, We are small, personal and dedicated. We’re not trying to be dramatic when we say this – even those who know us have absolutely no idea the level of personal commitment and sacrifice this has taken from our family. The sheer amount of physical work, the hours night and day, the successes and the heartbreaks.

Responsible/quality rescue is 24/7. We do not ‘dabble’ in rescue, only do the ‘fun’ things, hang out, visit and then get to go home to relax and enjoy 9 hours of restful sleep. The stress, lack of sleep, financial drain and complete lack of freedom for something as simple as a family vacation – or even a movie or dinner night out is our lives day in and day out and we have done this gladly! The cyberbullying endured, the tens of thousands of pounds of food transported and stacked. Hydro bills – OVER $1,100/ month and enough laundry – up to 12 loads daily – to choke a laundry mat.

We’re not looking for the thanks, the praise, the accolades, or parades in our honor. We do this for the dogs, not the recognition or for any ‘pats on the back’.

At the same time, we have grown even less tolerant of the abuse, the hand grenades thrown from the sidelines, the armchair quarterbacks who find it so easy to second guess and criticize – to judge, without ever actually seeking to understand or becoming involved.

Cyberbullying is a very real problem and after much research and conversations held with cyberbullying experts, professors and lawyers, note that regardless of the occupation, paid or volunteer, everyone has the right to work in an environment free from personal threat, free from worry about emotional and/or physical harm and the right to not be bullied. This is punishable by law.

Social media is an amazing thing, it is also an awful thing that so many spanning across a vast amount of businesses, non-profits, other professional venues and personal arena’s have been enduring some level/form of bullying.

Those who want to blame, point fingers instead of learn and understand, shame on you. Those who want to take shortcuts and then foist their problems on us, shame on you. Those who want to be coddled and told they are doing everything properly when in fact they are the issue, not the animal, shame on you. Those who are turned down for an adoption and respond by spewing accusations, sour grapes and names, shame on you. Since our inception in 1996, we have retained a zero tolerance approach with the amount of nonsense, armchair quarterbacks and negativity endured.

Setting our sights on the year(s) to come – what’s next for Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services? Same wonderful people – same Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services – same strong rescue mission. Absolutely nothing will change 
overnight – we will continue to do what we have always done. We continue to help the next dog in need – we continue to place adoptable dogs into their right matched forever homes and we continue to provide a safe haven for those animals that need us.

Over the coming years – we will gradually transition to our long held vision of more of a haven program (which is already a large part of what we do). We will always focus on the giant breeds and canines/horses with special needs. These are the ones that need us – these are the ones we feel we can provide the greatest benefit to with our education, experience, knowledge and heart.

As of January 2018, one of our changes shall be to our adoption area’s covered – we will adopt up to an including the Barrie and Cambridge, Ontario area’s from our location and into Quebec, we will cover up to the Montreal area. We will still rescue all across the world.

Over the next year, will also be implementing an ‘Advisory Round Table Board’ of like-minded BHRR approved Volunteers in addition to our BHRR BOD Team.

We will be adding two more BHRR approved Volunteers to our Community Education Liaison Member Team too.

I look forward to working with all of our supporters in 2018 – let us do as many wonderful things this coming year together as we were able to accomplish in 2017!

BHRR Co-Founder
BHRR BOD Team Member’


BHRR does not adopt out during the XMAS season due to our position that it is not in the best interest of any new addition being added during such a busy, exciting and somewhat stressful time for many.

Quite a few other Rescues, Shelters, Pounds etc. have also begun to follow a similar protocol to what we have been doing for 2 decades.

Our XMAS Shut down period for this year is from Friday December 22nd, 2018 to Wednesday January 3rd, 2018 inclusive.

Any applications received during this time will be processed/reviewed as of Thursday January 4th, 2018!

During this time, BHRR is always available 24/7 for requests for assistance of animals in need and we shall then network accordingly for as the local Great Dane/Giant Breed Rescue since 1996, the welfare of the animals are our top priority. We do not wish to see any animal end up in a disreputable place of which sadly there are far too many out there. 

Thank you for your continued understanding – The BHRR Team

AND thank you to Xandria for surprising us so wonderfully wiith this fabu photo! 

BHRR shall be closed for the intake of adoption applications and shall not approve any adoptions from Monday October 23rd to Wednesday November 1st inclusive.

We do not adopt out around the Halloween season and many other Rescues, shelters, pounds etc. have also begun to follow a similar protocol.

We do not believe it is in 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 and will network these requests to r/q organisations for we remain closed for intake. 

This photo is of BHRR’s Navy. 

Sunday July 9th @ Pet Valu Stittsville – Our 10th Annual Microchip/Nail Trim & BBQ Fundraiser AND So Much More!
*No appointments necessary

2017 marks our 10th year of hosting this exciting event!

BHRR has been precedent setting in the community in seeing more cats & dogs microchipped to give them the best chance possible to get home should they be lost or stolen.

More information in link above and in poster!

BHRR’s Black Diamond is ready to make her special announcement!


You have come a far way beautiful girl!

BHRR never professes to be miracle workers.

We work to assess/evaluate each dog we are asked to help and to give each dog the individual program they need to help them become the best dogs they can be via our rehabilitation programs.

To us, rehabilitate does not mean to make normal in the sense that many would term as ‘cured’.

As we say so often, behaviour cannot be changed. Behaviour can be successfully modified and managed to be the best behaviour possible.

BHRR’s Black Diamond came to us reactive. A leash could not even properly be placed upon her, she was was not even part of the land of the living, she was so scared and shutdown. I know I have said this several times yet a reactive dog is not trying to give us a hard time, they are trying to tell us that they are having a hard time.

As we have helped her heal as she clearly was emotionally, behaviourally broken, she has gained comfidence, self-control and manners.

We gave her time, consistency, love, patience, understanding, obedience, structure to help her learn to like and love herself, make good decisions, to trust, to play, have self-control and once she decided that we were worthy of her trust and respect, her progress just made leaps and bounds.

To be clear, if she ended up in a situation that would trigger all that she overcame, she would absolutely resort back to demonstrating fear, lack of trust, and stress in the manner that she did upon arrival.

She is not ‘cured’, no dog is. She is a magnificent dog that needs to continue to be set up for success and in that right match forever loving home, she shall be!

She is great with people….just needs to be given a bit of space for her to size things up and treats also can help. That she may or may not take the treat is not what is important. What is important is the offering of the treat and it being associated with a positive experience.

She has had zero issues at the Vet when she was ready to go or when she had her professional photo’s done or when we have had people visiting us.

She can go to a home that works full time, part time, works from home, is retired or even semi-retired. Another amazing versatile BHRR dog.

We would prefer a home without kids under the age of 13 as children can and are often spastic plus flighty in their movements. She needs stability, clear open communication and to feel safe.

She can go to a home with or without another dog. What is most important is her having right matched personality fit friends to play with. She is great with the dogs at our home yet does seem to prefer when it comes down to it, males over females. She has been working her way up the doggie hierarchy where the girls are concerned with subtle body movements.

She is not a wallflower. This girl has strength plus backbone and needs a really dog experienced home, not necessarily a Dane experienced home.

It is unknown how she is with cats.

She travels wonderfully in the vehicle and is crate plus x-pen trained.

She is quiet and sweet and incredibly affectionate!

Each morning she just lights up when I say ‘Good Morning’ and is ready to take on all the adventures of the day! ?

She is truly wonderful and has taught me much and I remain humbled by her being willing to take the necessary steps to come to the land of the living…

She is a ham! A real character and she is going to make the home that is meant for her a truly amazing addition!

Proud of you, you gorgeous BBBBB!

Thank you again to Elizabeth for the help in getting her and BHRR’s Sambuca’s professional photo’s done and also thank you to Liz again for the gorgeous pictures!

From a BHRR Approved Volunteer from her experience yesterday in helping to hold/love on BHRR’s Sambuca & BHRR’s Black Diamond while I got each dogs’ professional photo’s done.

“I’ve been thinking of her so much since yesterday… once again I am in utter awe (but not in the least bit surprised) at the change in BHRR’s Black Diamond since coming into your care. You have let her see past the fear and become being the best dog she can be. From the photos of her at the beginning, to seeing her yesterday.. I would not think it was the same dog.. to go from not being able to be touched to leaning on a total stranger and getting pets, and bouncing through the grass in an unfamiliar place… you amaze me Gwen and I am eternally so grateful for the chances you give these dogs at a life of true happiness. <3”

Two more pictures taken at KAH!

I know! Lots of posts flying today!!

This is my last post of my night and what a great post to end a magnificent sunny spring day….the last we are to see again for some time with yet more rain heading our way.

Many may remember the photo of a terrified Great Dane, that I posted March 9th. A picture of a Dane completely overcome with fear….here are some of the words from that post….words sent our way when we were asked to help her. They could not even get a leash on her.

‘This stunning girl is absolutely and extremely terrified plus severely anxious….to the point that she cannot be properly handled, she cannot be examined and is very defensive plus protective of her space. The Dane is so fearful to the point of being assessed by the shelter as being aggressive.’

We were asked to assist her as it is our mandate to be here for dogs like her. We focus on behaviours such as this and I am going to quote what Steve Frost, an Animal Enrichment & Behaviour Manager in Chicago stated best. For, he sums up well what we knew BHRR’s Black Diamond was demonstrating, she was being reactive.

You see, many people will label a dog as aggressive when in fact, they are actually ‘reactive’. There is a difference.

Bear with me….as this is a Gwennie Novel!

Per Steve, ‘A dog displaying reactive behaviours isn’t giving us a hard time; he’s letting us know he’s having a hard time.’

He goes on to add that he ’empathises that the goal is not to stigmatise, label or oversimplify. In the average animal shelter, in fact, reactive signs are on display almost daily.’

Many dogs are under extreme stress in shelters and it can cause them to ‘cross over’ from acceptable to unacceptable behaviours aka thresholds.

So, all of this to say that, we ‘understood’ BHRR’s Black Diamond and we needed to make sure we provided a stable, safe, consistent, positive, structured environment; one that included so much time, patience and obedience also.

Fast forward to exactly 8 weeks later – she arrived to BHRR March 12th – to tonight at Kanata Animal Hospital and look at her now?!

She has become a true goober at our home….she plays and she asks for affection, she leans on you, sits on you, more than once she has put her front legs on my shoulders to look me in the eye….yup, she will look into our eyes now and I have to say ‘off my shoulders!’ LOL

She grinds her head into you, she is so excited every morning when I say ‘Good Morning’ to her for she is ready to take on the day and what adventures that day shall bring!

Does she still have a long way to go….yes, in some ways she does and she shall always be a product of her genetics plus past and our roles are to help her become the best dog she can be and man, she is fabu!

Was she nervous getting into the car tonight, yes. We also had BHRR’s Sambuca so that made her more comfortable. I asked Sean to come with me so she had two humans and BHRR’s Sambuca – a truly solid dog, surrounding her with support to set her up for success.

She was weighed – 37.8 kgs – 83.16 pounds. She will never be a ‘Giant Dane’ in size but she is Giant in heart plus personality! When she is done maturing and eats even better, she ‘may’ make 90-95 pounds yet any more than that and she would be fat.

To those with Danes 120 pounds, that is not small…..and it is never about the actual number, it is about their health and what is the ideal for them.

BHRR’s Black Diamond did SO well at KAH. We did her bloodwork for Heartworm plus Tickborne diseases. We microchipped her. She had her heart, lungs, eyes, ears looked at and a thumbs up given! She had her vaccines and took treats from both the Vet and other Staff.

She even voluntarily went up to one of the staff and accepted some pats.

Huge huge huge progress made!!

Leashes still scare her and so, we will keep working on that.

This is such a wonderful BBBBB and her Vet found her to be lean, smart, loved her coat and in great health. She said she was a pretty little thing and quite nice.

BHRR’s Black Diamond, our journey together is going to take a different path shortly……for soon you shall go to another for almost 6 weeks to be temp fostered plus to help us bring you to the next stage of your rehab journey! From there we will re-evaluate and go forward….

Proud of you….love you! You are one of the bravest dogs ever and we knew you were not a wallflower for you had to have had backbone somewhere in you to have not given up.

You came back to the land of the living….you gave humans another chance to do right by you as you were failed in your past….you trusted again….and our promise remains to you that we will not see you failed….we will see you flourish and blossom and become the best dog you can be and we know that you are already one incredible girl!

From our home to all of our friends, family and supporters and on behalf of BHRR’s Diamond, Good- Night!

On a side note: BHRR’s Black Diamond began playing on the weekend for the first time and my 9 month old Wolfie Brogan is like ice cream, chocolate plus a whole desert buffet in her mind! An update for another post!

It is just a FEEL good kind of day in so many ways! Gwennie Novel…again…run while you can! 😀
My heart is floating……..
Talk about a HUGE step forward with BHRR’s Black Diamond today with me.
We have gotten into this rhythm together that when she comes out of her crate – the door is left open other than eating and sleeping and she has free run of the sunroom or more, it is up to her – that as she quickly raced out, my hand would just lightly float along her back. Then, I would open up the front door and do the same thing with my hand as she would almost slink out the door.
Throughout this past week, the time of her rushing out and my hand gently gliding along her back has increased until today!
Today, she did not just pause, she stopped. She actually stopped let me gently stroke her from back of head to tail and more than once heading out the door! YAY!
AND, what is truly exciting and wonderful and melts my heart is that when she came in, she did not run to a corner or into her open crate. She stopped, looked at me with those beautiful dark eyes of hers and I mean looked at me At my face.
I took a careful step towards her and while her head lowered a bit, her body did not tremble and shake like has been her habit.
I took another careful step towards her, making sure my body was angled sideways yet what I have learned not long after she arrived to BHRR is that she needs to see people’s faces and eyes. She becomes really stressed if she cannot. She wants to see people, so I have always looked around her face area and then briefly in her eyes and then back around her face as I do not want to make her further uncomfortable by staring into her eyes.
I reached out my hand every so softly, knuckles first as she feels less intimidated than with an open palm.
I gave her a few back of neck to lower back touches and stopped….what happened next is what is truly beautiful.
She moved her heads towards me and I gently ran my hand again along her lovely black fur.
When I stopped, she moved her head again towards me and took a side step. I then quietly took a step closer to her and repeated the petting.
Soon, I was right by her side and she did the Dane lean! She did the Dane lean!! YES! YES! Right into my side!
We spent several cherished moments of leans, love and looks exchanged between us. She always made sure that she had at least a corner of an eye looking at me and I made sure my head was craned back so she could see my face.
OMG! We have made a massive break through her and I! Massive, huge, enormous and she has given me that first show of trust and man, was it a big show!
When I would go to take a small step backwards, she would lean a bit more…..her tail while not in a normal relaxed position was almost flat, the tail tip tucked under a bit. Her body did not flinch with each touch and her body was more relaxed.
When I felt that her body seemed to tense, I whispered what an amazing girl she was and let her go…..she then did not scurry into her crate, she walked, almost normal and turned sat down and the look I was given…..I will never forget….I had tears spring to my eyes.
IT is the first sign of true ‘life’ I have seen in her eyes since she arrived. She fully was registering the moment we shared….
Oh YES! So proud of you Black Diamond! So so so proud…..
All of our the time, patience, consistency, structure and being there for her, passively ignoring when needed and not leaving when needed, is finally paying off….
May her and I reach this place again soon…..may there be less steps backwards and more forwards yet as always, if there are, no worries…we have all the time in the world……..

The photo below is of this BBBBB from when Maira/Tom helped transport her closer to me.

Happy Tuesday!


Flash Blast of Winter today….and managed to capture BHRR’s Black Diamond in the blur of the falling snow…..still not a great picture yet camera’s do make her nervous as she cannot see ones facial expression….

She does not like us too close to her outside and she comes back with the calling of her name amazingly reliably and with so much enthusiasm now. The closer she gets to the house, the slower and more nervous she gets yet she is more brave and now ‘meets her fear’. That is such a big thing!!

If I go out to visit her in the 3+ fenced in yard, she comes closer than she once did yet still stays within a good distance. Yet, when I turn around and walk back to the house, she is right on my heels closely following me!


Still much more comfortable with Sean and Mason yet, improving so much with me. Kinsley is the one helping to prepare her food so that her scent becomes known to Black Diamond too.

She has met Cookie Dough Dynamo and also BHRR’s Abby outside and her desire is to flee. No worries. She is not ready…..

Inside, she prefers to hang in the sunroom and that is where we also have her colossal crate and leave the crate door open unless feeding or sleeptime.

When she knows Sean is around she has now begun to do some Kanga-Daning so that she can see him over the 3/4 door. Yet, when he approaches she will go to the corner….as she does when anyone first goes into the sunroom.

She still shakes and quivers as you sit and turn slightly sideways and passively ignore her yet less than it once was.

You slowly reach out a hand and she still flinches yet is more accepting of the touch and will look at you if you stop gently stroking her fur. She still sometimes will move away yet more and more she will inch and lean more towards us to get us to keep going when we stop…

Or will pace back and forth across our outstretched fingers and if we drop our hand, she pauses in front of us, looking at us out of the corner of her eye…, we lift our fingertips again and she will brush up and down them again.

She is so pretty…the look in her eyes is still quite terrified, yet less confused and yesterday I actually saw her race and bounce outside in the glorious sunshine for a really small bit!!!! Makes me smile and feel so good inside……

As I end most of her posts….tomorrow is another day!

AND here is BHRR’s Black Diamond wearing the gorgeous collar sent by Margaret with East Coast healing love! Good-bye to that awful choke chain that she arrived in…..

The beautiful collar arrived last night and per my previous post, she trusted Mason enough to allow him to place it on her…..

What a gorgeous BBBBB she is! She is uneasy with her photo being taken so not the best photo yet one can still see how gorgeous she looks!

One baby step at a time Black Diamond…..Rome was not built in a day and your rehab shall be as long as it takes…you are surrounded by a village that is patient, kind and caring.

We shall show you helping kind hands…not hurtful ones. Your trust is a gift and we are patient…..

She trusts Sean/Mason the most and that does not say too much.

She shall reliably come in for them when they let her out and for for me, I am batting about 85-95% on that front.

The first day she arrived, she was leaning into me, letting me gently touch her several hours after her arrival and then every AM is back to the beginning all over again. She is back to her shutdown survivor mode.

Even if you have to go to the bathroom and come out again, it is right back to step 1.

When you are with her long enough, her eyes begin to register things….when you leave to do a load of laundry for example, her eyes are right back,,,,,unfocused, not seeing anything, filled with terror.

She does not whimper in fear, she will almost scream softly in fear if she feels intimidated and threatened, which thank goodness is less and less.

Yesterday, two times I did have to circle around her again in the fenced in yard to gently guide her inside. We are a long way off from using a lunge line etc. Leashes terrify her.

Today, so far she is back to the progress I made days ago with opening up the door and passively ignoring her and she comes in.

She will at least drink in front of us and around us now. Eating was not there when she first arrive – not abnormal – then she was eating and then she went off eating.

We are now mixing wet and she eats best when everyone is asleep.

Once she lets you touch her, she begins almost frozen to the spot and then over time will stand up and pace back and forth just within reach of your fingertips. If you let you hand fall down, she will step a bit closer, not much and you know that she wants you to lift your hand again and let her walk past them letting them gently drift across her fur.

When we also let our hand fall back down, she will look towards you, so that is when you know she is registering and in the depths of her fear, is on the edge of the land of the living.

She is wonderful in her crate and is housebroken and this is why BHRR exists…for her, for dogs like her…..

AND as long as it takes….we are patient…..very patient….we have demonstrated that many times over the past 21+ years.

ND it is now off!

Thanks to Mason. BHRR’s Black Diamond trusted him enough to allow him to remove the horrible choke collar that she arrived into rescue with. It is finally gone!

BHRR’s Black Diamond is now sporting this gorgeous collar sent all the way from the East Coast. It was donated so generously and with such love by M. Gladstone. A matching leash is also being sent her way.

Thank you again…..SO much! It is stunning on her.

Per Margaret: “I believe the warm colours and fun zany pattern will help her spirit heal.”

We will take some photo’s of her modelling her new fashion-wear shortly.

This is BHRR’s Black Diamond. She arrived to BHRR March 12th and is truly one of the more heartbreaking Danes we have seen and we have seen many over the past 21 years.

I was going to post a video I took of her yesterday AM and I decided not to. For those who have followed her since the first picture was posted at the pound of her terrified, tail tucked up, eyes wide and almost frozen with fear to the spot and read about how she was impossible to leash or examine etc., already know that she has a long rehab journey ahead of her.

So, I want to focus on the positives since her arrival and not just the real terror she feels and that every touch no matter how slight makes her flinch….that is when you can get close enough to touch her.

Every step forward or two forward is met with a step or two backwards once we are out of her presence and sight…..then we start from the beginning again.

So positive first:
1) she finally started eating and drinking last night!
2) she actually munched and crunched on a smoked marrow bone from the butchery today
3) she has learned where the door is and will come back to the door now
4) she will allow us sometimes to take her by her collar and lead her gently to her crate
5) she will more easily go into her crate
6) she spends her time now 75% open crate and 25% on her own volition in our sunroom that has 6 Costco dog beds and the radiant floor heating on
7) when you can touch her and you leave your hand on her gently, while she is still extremely tense she is less posed for flight
8) she looks at you with such terror in her eyes yet she has now begun to actually ‘see’ & ‘notice’ other things around her – this is excellent….she is so lost within herself right now that she is in survival shutdown mode
9) while there are still small fear growls and whimpers of being scared it is less
10) when we are outside, she will actually take a few steps in our direction and not just bolt first
11) she is panting less in stress than she was
12) she has only made one attempt to snap at the leash and that was on Sunday night
13) when she does come in, she no longer makes a beeline to a corner of the sun-room
14) she has so much potential!
15) in both pictures posted her tail is not tucked up right under her belly!

She has only been with us just over 48 hours….this is good!

The heartbreaking reality….for now:
1) so undersocialised
2) she has not felt caring loving gentle touches for she flinches and tenses up at every touch and begins to panic yet she is a lot less likely to bolt – she has been neglected & hurt
3) there was a lot of trouble leashing her at the pound and even when Tom/Maira went to pick her up, she lunged and bit at the leash in complete fear & she did that once so far here
4) we cannot as of yet get that oversized terrible choke collar off her….but that time will come!
5) she was so scared on Sunday – Maira told me that she was having a lot of gas & she was – that she fear pooped once – only the one time
6) the leash is still quite scary to her and I show it to her so she gets to see it and will learn it means something so good/exciting and not something horrible. We no longer loop leash her as we can get her in and out without a leash now.
7) Up until today, I had to circle around her in the 3+ fenced acreage as she would run to the far corner and cower – two of our 2011 Freedom Danes also did this when they first arrived BHRR’s Gretta & her sister BHRR’s Peanut – and she would run away from me and I just walked behind her slowly guiding her in the direction I wanted her to go….towards the house
8) this girl is broken…her spirit crushed
9) she is confused and clearly has had a lack of structure, consistency and very little true love in her short life to date
10) she wrenches at my heart yet we must continue forward. I do not show her pity or sorrow….I keep that deep within me for that is doing her zero favours. She is doing things at her pace and on her terms with us giving her opportunities and guiding her in the move forward direction she needs in order to come back to the land of the living

This is BHRR’s Black Diamond today as part of her first BHRR Winter Wonderland. I got as close to her as I could so she did not feel intimidated and then was so pleased to see her come even closer to me!

The photo in the thread shows her posed to take flight and proud of her that she did not! BHRR’s Black Diamond you are doing great! I ask from you no more than I know you can give and we do have some tough love as we take your rehab journey for there is much to show you and for you to experience as you are ready….to help you realise what an amazing girl you are!

Tomorrow is Day three….another day and the path of new steps to be taken forward and back and in time more forward than back and then just forward onward we go!

You will learn that you can like yourself and that you are worthy and deserving!

Notice that as nervous as she is, her tail is not tucked up right to her belly like it was at the shelter!



We are now home!!

For those who had the pleasure of meeting BHRR’s Cherry and BHRR’s Blossom – two amazing, equally terrified BBBBB’s that came into BHRR over the years and were successfully rehabbed. Both also were from the same area of Quebec and I would almost bet my bottom dollar they are all related……

BHRR’s Black Diamond is a small, lovely in porpotion, beautiful Dane about 1 year of age. She is shedding a lot and has lots of dander, gas too! Yet, per a post I made on her first photo, her body condition is quite good overall. She is not skinny. I wish more people understood a skinny dog over one that is nice & lean!

I am already receiving signs of trust with some leans and being able to touch her from head, side of face to rump. She watches me and will follow me. Always so humbling….

First line of business when she lets me is to take off that horrible choke chain.

Thank you again to Maira & Tom for picking her up from the pound and safely transporting her closer to me! Thank you for the leash and the two blankets for her also!! Maira kept declining my offer to reimburse her for fuel too….so darn lucky to know such kind good and generous people!

We are settling in and more soon!

Welcome to BHRR Black Diamond!

@ 9:00 AM Maira & Tom had BHRR’s Black Diamond in their safe keeping and I am on my way to meet them!

Will update again as I can!

Maira says she is travelling well!

Per Maira, they had trouble getting the leash on at the pound and we knew that would be the case as they found it impossible to leash her nor were able to exam her.

She did lunge and bite at the leash….all expected plus understood behaviour.

Why I have called her BHRR’s Black Diamond. Several reasons for this:

1) she is a beautiful diamond in the rough
2) black diamonds are most valued for their artistic beauty and dark allure
3) natural Black diamonds are somewhat different from most other diamonds in that these stones are incredibly precious, absolutely beautiful, and considered quite valuable.
4) Found in very few locations – Brazil being one of them. For you Maira as her rescue transport angel meeting me!
5) the mesmerising color is received from Mother Nature.
6) Natural Fancy Black Diamonds are rare and beautiful

So, BHRR’s Black Diamond aka Diamond she is named!

This gorgeous adolescent black beauty (no more than 18 months old) is waiting in the wings to come to BHRR as the next in need of our highly specialised rescue assistance.

She shall be only the 4th dog to date in 2017 that we have been able to step up to assist. We have to always be about quality not quantity.

With BHRR’s expertise being on the special needs, medical and/or behavioural, 95%+ of the Danes/Giant & honorary Giants we take in are the really broken, the severely neglected and/or abused, the emaciated, the hurt, the terrified, the untrained, the dying, the deaf and/or the blind, the misunderstood, the sick and the almost destroyed etc….

Dogs, others will not or cannot assist and this has been our mandate since our inception in 1996 to be there for these dogs as we believe that they to deserve the best of lives as it is not their fault they have been let down by humans.

Our Haven program has been the safe home to so many over the past 21 years and we always adopt out those we can and continue to protect plus adore those for life that are not able to be adopted out.

We are not miracle workers, and do not pretend to be. We are committed, experienced, highly educated plus knowledgeable humans that have dedicated our lives to be there for those that cannot speak or stand up for themselves.

This stunning girl is absolutely and extremely terrified plus severely anxious….to the point that she cannot be properly handled, she cannot be examined and is very defensive plus protective of her space. The Dane is so fearful to the point of being assessed by the shelter as being aggressive.

This is why we were contacted to see if we could help her.

With the possibility of more approved adoptions on the horizon, how could we not step up ……she needs so much…..

She will need a name….she will need to learn about helping hands, not hurting hands and we have promised to do right by her…..

ETA to BHRR Sunday March 12th.