We made the decision to move BHRR’s Dickens into our Haven Program and he now resides in a great match fit perma-foster home. 

These pictures are from his professional photo shoot that I had done on February 8th. 

This boy is what I call a ‘mirror image’ reactive dog and he has made leaps and bounds with his rehab journey. He will be what I also call a wonderful ‘lifetime labour of love’ and we will ensure that he lives the best quality filled life. 

BHRR’s Dickens!

On our way to his professional photo shoot! He will have his special announcement to make shortly.

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: gwen@birchhaven.org**

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**

This gorgeous BBBBB was back at KAH tonight for his boosters, a re-weigh, next exam etc.
BHRR’s Dickens!
He is up another kg(2.2 pounds) and while he still has another 10 or so pounds to go, he is looking really good overall now. The muscle mass and tone that he is getting is wonderful.
As a young growing boy – ~ 125-130 pounds should be a great ideal end weight for him when he has finished maturing. He is so nicely in propotion. Beautiful head on this boy and those ears…..
His Vet commented on how gorgeous and shiny and healthy plus glossy his coat is now looking. ? It was so coarse, dry, dull, flaky when he first arrived.
He is now fully integrated with all of the dogs and for a dog that we were told was ‘aggressive’ to other dogs, he has not had one issue. He jockeyed for position with BHRR’s Ryder a bit as both are the same gooberhead age and that has all settled down nicely.
His BFF is BHRR’s Rubble! Those two are such hamburgers! They will hang out and play all day together. Two very ‘manly’ dogs that seem to forget their tough big boy image when it comes time to play. They are awesome together!
His one thing is men in hats…that stresses him out and he still does have some barrier reactivity in the car so tonight, we again drove through as many drive-thru’s as we could and by the third one, he did not have a care in the world.
Remember that 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. There is a big difference and people often mis-use the word ‘aggressive.’
He has also come a LONG way with his obedience. His Vet was deeply impressed that he is actually almost a gentleman now! ? He showed how nice he could sit and takes treats gently and while another dog in the waiting room was barking and pulling, BHRR’s Dickens sat on the bench beside me calm and quiet and watched passively. PROUD of you!
The inside of his ears are still not something he enjoys having touched yet since he first arrived he has make leaps and bounds. We could even do two ear swabs on the left ear and other than some rare yeast found, both ears are healthy!
Temperature taking was a no-go via the ears.
He was a bit unimpressed with his back feet being lifted up yet realised that he was not going to be man handled and relaxed.
He has a super thin coat and his skin is quite pink, normal yet pink and so he wears a doggie coat.
He is scheduled for his professional photo shoot next week – the 8th of February and after some more obedience – his leash manners are coming along well too! – and manners 101 plus weight gain, he will then be ready to make his own special announcement.
He will go to an experienced home only. His personality is huge and he needs someone to be positively balanced in their approach to handling him. A calm, quietly confident home that is going to help him continue to be the best dog he can be and call him out when he is being a total boob yet know the difference between what makes him stressed and when he is just being an idjit.
He enjoys getting a reaction from people and a bit of an honest manipulator he is! LOVE him for it….if people are going to let him take an inch, he is going to take it and then try for more!
He is becoming more and more affectionate as he learns about helping hands not hurting manhandling hands.
He is so wonderful……and not for the faint of heart!
He is perfect in all of his imperfections and has a ton of potential that we are only just beginning to truly tap into as he allows us more and more into his world!

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.

BHRR’s Dickens was scheduled to have his Vet Visit on December 28th yet due to another client at the Hospital needing to be seen, we rescheduled to Saturday December 30th.

He is just over 110 pounds now! Having put on almost 12 pounds since his arrival on December 7th. He is looking good! Some more pounds and more muscle mass plus tone and he is going to look even more handsome! He still has quite a bit of dander yet his coat is finally becoming more sleek and shiny. Excellent food, proper exercise, grooming and love is going to make his coat be very glossy. 

He was a good boy at the Vets. Did well for everything other than ear checking and the taking of his temperature in his ears. Having had ear infections when he was dumped at the pound, and not having had a good history of proper handling, he is understandably stressed and also due to lack of manners, he liked to try and ‘throw’ his weight around.

His leash manners are also still a bit of a bull in a china shop yet improving daily! Managed to get a weight without any issues though. WTG BHRR’s Dickens…baby steps. 

He was fantastic for his bloodwork and vaccines!

We are back in a month for boosters and a re-weigh, recheck and with even more handling and love and patience and time and consistency, will be even better. 

I was so proud of him for he trusted Sean & I and while a bit nervous here and there, overall was quite solid. For a dog that was dumped at the pound said to be ‘aggressive’, not one aggressive bone to be found in his body to date. Such an overused and wrongly used term for so many dogs. He is what I call ‘mirror reactive’ and as we are calm, positively confident and being open with our expectations plus communications, he is not confused and is equally calm and settled and a happy, goofy, affectionate boy he is demonstrating to be. 

He has had zero issues with any of the dogs here other than being a bit ‘woofy’ at BHRR’s Ryder and vice versus yet with both being around the same age….they are both ‘jockeying’ for a spot higher than each other in the hierarchy. Nothing serious yet being monitored closely. 

BHRR’s Dickens best friend is BHRR’s Mama GD Gem though. She likes to push/boss him around yet god forbid he goes too far away from her and then she is right at him giving him a piece of her mind for leaving her….and he is quite happy to have her devoted attention…she is such a tiny explosive kanga-dane now to all in her small set up for success circle. The public arena’s terrify her so much still yet one small step at a time….

This picture is of BHRR’s Dickens from our annual traditional Christmas Eve Photo shoot on December 24th, 2017. He did so well! 

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’s Dickens is scheduled to have his Vet visit on December 28th! He is going to make a truly lucky home an amazing addition! HE is so awesome!

Sean has decided on a name!

BHRR’s Dickens!

He had a fantastic night! 

He has been out in our 3+ acres of fenced in yard…..sniffing and exploring and strolling around. After about 10 minutes he came to the door -Sean & I stood outside on the brick deck observing him – and saw Sean and skittishly skittered away.

Naturally worried re: Sean and lets me gently take his collar and pet him slowly and softly with a few strokes. 

AND is now having a little bit of breakfast. Has not drank anything to date yet his breakfast has some canned food in it and he has access to fresh water. Not unusual behaviour. 

Today is the first day of his new beginning and learning more about each other.

Sean will go over all of the name suggestions to date made in both threads and we all wait with bated breath as to his final decision! Keep up the great name suggestions!

AND we are finally home!

BHRR’s Mr. X is settling in quite well.

It was a rocky start at the shelter and as I figured out quite quickly in watching the video Maira sent, he is what I call a ‘mirror image’ Dane.

If someone is nervous, he is nervous.
If someone is calm and quietly assured, he is calm and quietly assured
If a dog reacts and barks or lunges, he reacts and backs and lunges

I watched the short video Maira sent to me when they went to pick him up at the shelter and in the run, he was just being an adolescent gooberhead.

Yet, as the Shelter staff was nervous of him, he became nervous. Once he was away from them, he settled beautifully. He was very treat motivated for Maira.

Dogs reacted to him, so he reacted back at the shelter yet now at my home, he is in his collosal crate settling in.

He was more scared of Maira’s Male travel buddy than her and by the time I met them in Cornwall, all were fast friends!  I asked him to be the one to load Mr. X up as Mr. X knew them some and I was now the stranger. Yet, there was some leash malfunctions and I ended up tethering him without issue…he had some little grumps and I just took my hands away, showed him I was a non threat and got back to the business of tethering him. Travelled wonderfully on the way home!

Understandably stranger danger in seeing Sean and Mason outside and not a peep from him when we were inside and they will spend time with him once daylight comes and he can decompress from his journey tonight.

Both Sean and I thought the same thing in only being around him a few moments – he reminds us of BHRR’s Rubble in quite a few ways. Looking forward to learning more about him and taking this rehab path with him!

His body condition is actually quite good….he lacks muscle mass and tone yet he is not thin or skinny or emaciated. A rarity for us at BHRR as we specialise heavily in dogs in such poor physical condition.

This BBBBB is behaviourally in big need of us….

He is a smaller Male Great Dane yet nicely in proportion! Really handsome.  I would say he is between 120-125 right now. Love his ears and head and those eyes! Yup…another ‘do not look too deep into the eyes kind of dog or you may be sunk!’ 

I am deeply indebted to Maira for helping to get him closer to me! 

We did not think we could help another Dane/Giant or Honourary Giant until 2018 yet with 7 Approved adoptions since October 1st, 1 Pending Adoption – Home-Visit on Sunday and sadly the loss of two of our 9 year old amazing Seniors, we felt we could help one more in need of us in 2017 and this boy needed a XMAS miracle. He is emotionally and behaviourally mixed/messed up, lacks proper human and dog social skills not to mention obedience. He really has zero idea that you are talking to him and trying to communicate with him….all that shall change!

Welcome to BHRR, Mr. X and thanks Maira for the pics as I could not get any! Way too dark and I was all by myself.

Mr. X still needs a name!

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

AND Maira has Mr. X!

It was a rocky start yet she now has him!

I am making the drive to meet up with her shortly in Cornwall! A long night for all of us – after a long day as we both worked – yet we are this boy’s XMAS Miracle and thanks to the dedication and big heart of Maira, we are going to make this happen for him! 

Drive safe Maira and see you soon!

BHRR’s ??
Needs A Name! Name Guru’s?!

He is a 1 year old black Male Great Dane. Dumped as the Owners say he is not good with other dogs(was ‘ok’ with their own and as been fine at the pound) and clearly lacks manners and proper socialisation. Plus, from what has come my way, he was ‘man-handled’, so is *quirky*. The Pound workers do not trust him and are not comfortable around him.

It never ceases to make us cringe over the high number of Great Danes/Giants:

1) that are purchased from backyard yard breeders and puppymillers
2) that never were properly socialised
3) that never were properly positively balanced trained 
4) that people think that man handling and forcing a dog through harsh, punitive and painful methods is an acceptable and successful method of training 
5) that people think are a disposable commodity 
6) that when they have kids it is ok to get rid of their pets 
7) that get a dog whether they do or do not have kids and they do not get a dog based upon what is the best match personality fit for their home and then the dog is labelled – often incorrectly -in any number of ways and then gotten rid of
AND the list goes on and on….. 

The genetic personality and temperament of a dog is present since birth and the right environment is necessary to help make any dog reach their full potential and become an asset to home plus community.

We will be stepping up to assist this soon to be BBBBB as he needed his own XMAS Miracle.

Thank you to BHRR BOD member Mary for offering to be his special Secret Santa! 

Thank you to Maira for being so willing to help transport him closer to me!