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**

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 Rickards XMAS Eve Photo – part of our annual traditional candid photo shoot!


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 Rickards is moving to a “HOLD” Pattern Status right now. We will update his blog as we can.

BHRR’s Rickards says ‘I am ready to make my special announcement!’
~2 year old English Mastiff


BHRR’s Rickards was dumped a very rural pound as his owners were having a baby.

BHRR’s Rickards is such a great dog! He is housebroken, crate trained and very obedient. His leash manners are now outstanding.

He is affectionate, loyal, kind and uber handsome!

He has such a big head for his body yet it only makes him more adorable plus endearing. He is lean, muscled, happy and healthy and we do not want to see him become fat like so many dogs of his breed and what we see happen to many dogs out there.

He travels beautifully in a car, is great with cats, excellent with dogs of all shapes and sizes yet we feel it best that he be either an only dog or be placed with a right matched personality fit female dog or with cats. He has mostly been indifferent to the males here and yet, still likes to sometimes get pushy with my now 9 month old male Wolfie, Brogan. He seems to almost flirt with the ladies though! He corrects well and we think he would be happiest as either an only dog, in a home with a right matched cat or two or with a female fit dog. He loves the companionship of the dogs and is such a low maintenance boy!

He is amazing to do nails, wash and go to the Vet. He is pretty darn close to being bomb proof. He is extremely well balanced and rounded. His temperament is rock solid.

A smaller EM yet to that right matched forever loving home, it will not matter. He can go to a home without or with kids(prefer 10 and up if the home does have children). He is calm, quiet – except when I come home and he has these amazing wee squeals of ‘she’s home! Gwennie is home!’ and truly a well adjusted kind gentle giant.

He can be adopted to a home that works ft or pt, or works from home, is semi-retired or retired. He is another ever so versatile BHRR dog.

He has been a gem to have with us. Makes us miss our own two EM’s dearly and he is going to make a lucky home a fabu addition!

BHRR’s Rickards, I cannot believe that someone would dump you…you are a treasure….a true fine specimen of model behaviour and goodness and that home did not deserve you. You deserve a home that will demonstrate to you daily just how special and worthy you are!!

I love you so much and thank you for being you!

Thank you again to Liz Bradley for her time and talent on April 5th to do these professional photo’s! Thank you also to Elizabeth White for your extra loving hands so that I could get his and BHRR’s Giselle’s pictures done!

SNEAK Peek Photo’s!
Taken April 5th, 2017

BHRR’s Rickards (EM) shall be making his special announcement later tonight – April 7th, 2017!

Stay Tuned!

Thanks to Elizabeth White for helping me get these professional photo’s done on April 5th AND to Liz Bradley for all of her talent, patience and time for doing these incredible Rescue Pawtraits!

He is looking at me waiting patiently for his treat for being such a good boy!


Aren’t they both so freakin’ fabu!?!? AND stunning?!

BHRR’s Rickards and BHRR’s Giselle when they caught sight of the kids when they got off the bus!!


AND we are on our way! Professional photo time for BHRR’s Rickards and BHRR’s Giselle!

Here I am all super excited and BHRR’s Rickards is like all chill and calm!

Stay tuned for BHRR’s Rickards special announcement over the next week or so once I get his professional photo’s back!

BHRR’s Rickards – EM

Winter Wonderland Day
March 14th, 2017


This handsome boy was also at KAH tonight with BHRR’s Giselle!

He had his latest recheck exam and the two rounds of antibiotics have finally worked its magic! His skin looks good, his eyes and ears look good and he received a thumbs up! I would like to see a bit more weight and his Vet agrees, yet it is not anything that would hold him back from being placed up for adoption anytime soon.

BHRR’s Rickards is scheduled for his professional photo shoot on March 31st and once those photos are in, he will have his special announcement to make! Gives him a few more weeks to put on some more weight too.

So stay tuned over the next three weeks for his special announcement!

WTG! BHRR’s Rickards!


This handsome young man was neutered & microchipped today. BHRR’s Rickards.

His repeat bloodwork after finishing his first round of antibiotics plus completing his de-worming protocol gave him the thumbs up to be neutered.

All the pics Sean took were fuzzy of him today so no new photo’s to share of him yet we will get professional ones done of him in March.

He is hovering just under 120 pounds and is still slowly putting on the weight.

He remains on antibiotics for his skin and he shall have a recheck in mid-March to see where things stand.

If all goes well, perhaps by end of March, BHRR’s Rickards will have his own special announcement to make!

He has been great with all the females here yet has wanted to bully two males – twice now of my 7 month old Wolfie and once, BHRR’s Rubble(AVAILABLE For Adoption). We are working on acceptable / appropriate manners and he is responding beautifully….

Busy times at BHRR!

BHRR’s Ani was at KAH last night for a quick exam and repeat bloodwork as we prepare for her third epulus ligament surgery.

Today BHRR’s Rain, one of our amazing Haven dogs went to her approved temp foster while BHRR’s Rickards left that same approved foster home to come to me. Thank you to them for stepping up to be his emerge temp foster for the last just shy of 6 weeks!

BHRR’s Rickards had a recheck today, we also did repeat bloodwork, he had his booster and another refill on antibiotics was given as his face/muzzle are battling some new area’s of rawness….he had finished his last round of meds February 8th. He was fawned and loved on by many and what a Mr. Nosey he is!! LOL It is great to finally meet him myself….I had been hearing from quite a few how fabu he is and he sure is!

Tomorrow, after work at the Hospital, I am making the long drive to Blue Mountains, Ontario with Mason and BHRR’s Baby Kaos to prepare for his home-visit for a possible approved adoption on the Sunday.

Thank you as well to Kelley for the donation of empty wine bottles and other goodies our way that Sean picked up today on his way home from work!

This picture is of the beautiful BHRR’s Rain in her approved temp foster home!

From our home to all of our friends and family, we hope that all of you have a most wonderful good night!



This handsome man, BHRR’s Rickards(EM) is leaving his emerge BHRR approved temp foster home on Friday to come to us.

Thank you to this wonderful BHRR approved temp foster home in stepping up to assist us in helping him, for keeping him safe plus loving on him for the last almost 6 weeks!

We were in urgent need of spot for him in so that he could get out of the rural pound he was in and we are truly grateful for their assistance! This boy was dumped as their home was having a baby and we gave him a new name for a fresh new beginning….

This home shall then temp foster their 6th foster for us – BHRR’s Rain as of Friday!

I will be repeating blood-work plus having a re-recheck on BHRR’s Rickards and hopefully we get normal results this time around and he can then be neutered!

Since his arrival in our rescue care, he has been de-wormed, put on revolution, had an exam, had pre-op bloodwork and heartworm plus tickborne testing done, was put on antibiotics for his skin and has received tons of love!

Thank you also to his rescue transport angels for sending me this photo of the handsome man! You both were there for us/him in an instant and we are so appreciative!

So looking forward in finally meeting this boy!

BHRR’s Rickards(EM) – NOT Yet Available For Adoption & JL Pickard the kittie!

BHRR’s Rickards lovely emerge temp foster family sent this adorable picture my way yesterday!

They both snuggle and play together!

BHRR’s Rickards will be back into the Vet once his antibiotics are completed for a recheck and to do repeat bloodwork. If all goes well, we can then look towards booking his neuter.

I have been told that BHRR’s Rickards is doing fabu with his recall in their large yard and the ‘no kitchen’ when cooking rule is getting there.

He has gone through a bout of resourcing which is very common and back to boot camp basics! Now that the honeymoon period is ending – different lengths of times for different dogs – he is feeling comfortable.

I am working with his amazing emerge temp foster home on this and also on his minor SA and he is in great hands!

He will be heading to BHRR February 18th and cannot wait to meet him.

Truly, forever grateful to this home for stepping up and offering to emerge temp foster him plus to his transport BHRR angels in offering to help me mobilise fast to get him out of the rural pound he was in….thank you’s also to his first rescue angel, Kim in reaching out to us and asking if we could help him!

Always heartwarming to note how many people come together, and quickly when needed, all with the same goal in mind to help an animal in need….truly blessed as is this wonderful EM to have this amazing kind network as part of our BHRR village!

Happy Friday wishes to all!


BHRR’s Rickards bloodwork came back negative for Heartworm and Tick-Borne Diseases yet he has an elevated WBC and Globulin levels.

His Vet is putting him on Simplicef antibiotics and I learned that he has been rubbing at his face and he has a mark on his face that is healing. The Vet thinks that this could be a possible cause for his elevated WBC.

As he is being de-wormed with Panacur, that will assist with other aspects of his bw that were indicative of possible parasites.

We shall repeat his bloodwork at some point in the future prior to neutering him.

He remains on Revolution – January 7th, then again January 21st and then again February 7th.

Cannot wait to meet him myself! 🙂

I obtained copies from his Vet file of the two pictures taken of BHRR’s Rickards face/muzzle on January 13th apt. at KAH. I can see some ‘goop’ in his eyes also.

BHRR’s Rickards was at the Vet today!

He weighed 54 kgs(118.80 pounds). Per his emerge temp foster home, he was skinny when he arrived to them January 7th yet they are getting the weight on him nice and even/slow. I asked them to feed him 3-4 smaller meals per day.

Thank you to them for bringing him to KAH today for an exam, pre-op bw in preparation for his neuter when he is ready, heartworm/tickborne testing, nails, and if the Vet felt he was healthy enough – vaccines.

He was being de-wormed as of January 7th and also placed on Revolution. We believe in proper proactive/preventative Vet care ensuring that he is happy and healthy plus keeping all members of the home – pets/humans healthy also and not exposed to parasites/fleas and in the warmer weather ticks etc. One never knows what a dog with an unknown vaccine/vetting history may have.

We had been told he was utd on everything yet I took that with a grain of salt and sure enough…he has had zero documented vetting prior to being dumped at this pound as his home was having a child.

I heard he was a big hit with all and looking forward to meeting him around February 18th myself!

Thank you to his wonderful emerge temp foster home in sending this picture and sending updates my way! This home believes him to more around age 2, not even close to age 4.

It has been a wonderfully busy weekend!

This is a photo shared by the lovely generous angels that picked up BHRR’s Rickards(He NOW has a name!), the English Mastiff from a rural pound and have spent the day transporting him to his equally lovely emerge temp foster home!

Safe journey and thank you ALL deeply again!!!

***As I strongly suspected, he was not utd on vaccines etc….it is a rare Owner Surrender that has done the proper proactive/preventative Vetting required for a healthy dog. An appointment is setup for Friday January 13th for him to be thorough vetted. This home lied about taking him to a Vet to the Pound. I checked the Vet information myself and this Vet Hospital does not even have a pet of his former name or the O.’s last name on file.***

He will also begin his de-worming protocol at his emerge temp foster home and shall be placed on Revolution.

His emerge temp foster home after receiving him noted how skinny he was….four ribs clearly seen when only the last two should faintly be seen.

The foster home also strongly suspects him to be a lot younger than 4 years of age. About 2 years max. We also received confirmation that he is not neutered. We shall ensure that he is also neutered plus microchipped per our protocols.

From one of the two kind souls that picked up BHRR’s Rickards from the Pound and drove him all the way to his emerge temp foster home. I also asked them to advise if he was neutered or not when they picked him up so we can plan and prepare for all of his preventative/proactive Vet work.

The picture in the January 10th blog post is from the the same kind souls who picked him up to transport.

“Hi Gwen,

BHRR’S Rickards is safely in our backseat. He’s a gentle boy and seems to be taking it all in stride! He is not neutered.”

BHRR’s ???
*Do not like the name he was being called*
Small Male English Mastiff – Shelter was told ~4 yet bylaw thinks younger as his build is very adolescent.

He was dumped at a very rural shelter as the home is having a baby.

He’s UTD on vaccines, housetrained, good with dogs/cats, playful and is great to handle.

Thank you to Holly/Bruce for offering to emerge temp foster him over the next 4-6 weeks.

Thank you to Kathy/Terry for also offering up their assistance.

We are working out the details of his transport now.

Holiday Miracle in the making……feeling so blessed to know such rescue angels!