Saturday, August 30, 2008

Jasper, our newest arrival!

We received the following plea from a kind soul working tirelessly to save the life of one more black dog:

"My name is Jasper. I was picked up on a rural road and brought to a scary place where black dogs are routinely put down just because they are black. My foster mom saw me there and her heart sank. She knew there was no way ANYONE would give me a chance.

***She knew as soon as my holding days were up I would be yet another DEAD BLACK dog.***

She stopped to talk to me, to try and tell me it wouldn't be so bad because soon I would be chasing rabbits in heaven, but she started to cry.

She just couldn't let me be another black dog in the pile in the back shed. She also knew that her house was full. But maybe, at least for a few days she could have me stay, she could send out my story and some wonderful person would hear it and want me for their own. She tells me I am the absolute SWEETEST dog she has ever fostered. She tells anyone that will listen that I am QUIET/GENTLE/ and LOYAL.
Many, many thanks to a new doggie daycare partner, Pampered Pooch, where Jasper is now being fostered and pampered! Jasper is without a doubt one of the sweetest dogs. He is around 2 years old, and only 38 lbs - a perfect size!! He rides well in a car and will look intently into your eyes in hopes that you may let him sit on your lap :) He also loves giving kisses!
Jasper did awesome in his first day at Pampered Pooch and lit up when he realized he could just play, play, play! He did great with all dogs, from tiny yorkies to great danes! He did, however, seem smitten by a pointer and a black standard poodle.

If you are interested in meeting Jasper email us at

If you would like to learn more about "Black Dog Syndrome" (black dogs are generally the last to be adopted and are euthanized at high rates in shelters across the country!) visit Start Seeing Black Dogs.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Holloway - update!

Holloway arrived this past weekend. This sweet boy is another rescue who has come to us from Red Lake Rosie's. Holloway was most likely hit by a car according to the vet's assessment. Fortunately, a majority of the injury is to his dew claw which is non weight bearing. Even though the wound looks horrendous, the vet has indicated skin will grow back, and he will be just fine! :)

Courtney and Jon (two of Pet Haven's new volunteers, and great volunteers I might add!) stepped forward to foster and care for this sweet guy. Here's an update from them after day 1: "Holloway is wonderful! His biggest quality is his never-ending sweetness! The first thing Holloway and I did when we got home today was take a nap-
and he is SUCH a cuddler! I laid on the floor to watch TV, and he laid his whole body right next to mine with his head on my arm. All you have to do is talk to him and he'll start wagging his tail, and if you are on the floor, he is always laying his head on you.....

Halloway was introduced to stairs today. He must have never seen them before. He saw them, sniffed the first step, started whimpering, ran backwards, and repeated that process a few dozen times. No matter how much I coaxed him, he wouldn't walk up with me. Eventually he would put a paw up on the first step, get scared, run backwards, and lay down. It took about 20 minutes before he conquered the skill! TV was another one, I turned it on, and he looked pretty confused by what that was. However, it didn't take long! He'll run up and down the steps now, and ignore the TV...

Holloway is in good physical condition except for his leg needing healing (the vet said at least a month or two), and a positive hookworm result. He was de-wormed yesterday, but we will need to be cautious of that of course. He is on two pain medications in the AM and PM, one is like a very potent ibuprofen, another is like a mild dog form of morphine. He eats all of his food, and drinks plenty of water. He seems to HATE the crate, but we're working on that as well."

then on day 2 we got the following:
"Holloway is doing WONDERFUL and started playing today for the first time with his toy frog! He LOVES nylabones, and chews them like crazy! We are doing so much better with the housetraining, he hasn't had an accident since yesterday-his first day! What a wonderful boy, I can't say enough great things about him!"

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dakota Needs You!

Dakota would like you to know that she is looking for a foster home. She is currently being boarded at one of our doggie daycare partners, and while the people are nice the stress of having so many unruly dogs nearby is making Dakota a little bit unhappy.

Dakota, who is a seven year old Shepherd/Husky, loves people. She likes to please them and she likes to sit for them so they give her tasty treats. While not exactly a loner, she is happiest when other dogs keep their distance.
She asked me to list some of the things that she would like to have in her foster home:

*A person (or persons!) who like to walk. Despite her age, Dakota doesn’t appear to have an abundance of experience walking nicely on a leash. She likes to sniff all the wonderful things that live in the grass and weeds. Her person should at least be prepared for a wee bit of leash-pulling. A fenced yard would be a huge plus, but Dakota says she can live with out that if it means more walks.
*Dakota came to us from a home where she lived with a Jack Russell Terrier and a human family. When the humans were not home, she and the JRT spent time together in a spare bedroom. After seven years of this, Dakota was not prepared for being crated for long periods of time. “If you please, would you find me a home where the people are around a lot?” she asked. If you work from home, are a student with a light class load, are retired or a stay-at-home mom or dad, Dakota would like to talk to you.
*Dakota would be happiest in a home without other dogs, although if you have a mellow, obedient dog in your life and you have some experience working with dogs, we’d be willing to talk to you on Dakota’s behalf, as she has delegated that duty to us. (Dakota likes long introductory periods with other dogs. She does not like them to run up to her and try to play with her. This can make her crabby. As far as we have seen, she may snap and growl to make the other dog back off, but she is not aggressive towards other dogs.)

If you can meet Dakota’s exacting specifications, please contact her at She is waiting to hear from you.

Monday, August 25, 2008

In Memory of LadyBug, 12/4/98 - 8/11/08

I got lucky the day I asked about fostering a dog for Pet Haven. After answering a lot of questions about what kind of dog I was looking for (large, older okay, housetrained a huge plus), what my household was like (it included me, a bunch of cats and a bossy German Shepherd Dog), how much time I would be able to spend with the dog (a lot – I work from home), a couple of weeks passed.

One afternoon, I got a call from one of the volunteers. They had a dog in mind for me. Would I take a seven year old Collie/Samoyed mix who was being surrendered because her family was moving to a place that did not allow dogs? “She’s a 90 pound female” and "a very nice dog". Big dog? Good dog. We needed a dog big enough not to be pushed around by Daisy, the crabby Shepherd.

A few days later, a Pet Haven volunteer delivered my foster dog. I opened the door to that December night and in walked a pure white dog who was not fazed by the hysterical German Shepherd. The volunteer didn’t stay long, as Daisy can be quite loud and unpleasant when someone comes to the door. And, she’d never had a new D.O.G. come to the door before.

My foster dog, named Lady, was polite and quiet. After Daisy barked her head off for an hour while poor Lady stayed in the kennel, I let the new girl out. Daisy seemed so proud – she had a new friend, someone to follow around, someone to herd! After that relatively easy introduction, Lady fit companionably into the routine of our household. She tolerated being second in command, was grateful for her meals and showed almost no interest in the resident cats.

I truly was planning to foster. I thought perhaps I would have several dogs come through my house and eventually one would stay. This big white dog was so easy to have around, though, and being seven years old and overweight did not make her a sought-after adoptee. We went to a couple of adoption events together and I was inching towards adopting her.

The clincher was when I brought her home from a vet appointment. Daisy greeted us at the door and for the first time in her two years paid no attention to me. She was so excited to see Lady that there was no way I was letting that dog leave my household.

Once the papers were signed and Lady was in her forever home, things changed. Like her name. It became LadyBug or simply Bug. And she did chase cats and she barked. She and Daisy had a pattern to their barking. They would alternate barks. Rather than a hysterical, out-of-control dog barking, it was a controlled, almost musical, barking.

At my vet’s insistence, and against LadyBug's better judgment, she went on a diet and lost weight. A lot of weight. Thirty five pounds. From a sedentary dog who had trouble getting up on her feet to a lively girl who leapt with all four feet off the ground when encouraging me to get her food ready more quickly, LadyBug seemed to have taken years off her life.

She chased squirrels, caught a mouse, a rabbit, a squirrel. My big white girl a large hole in my garden so she could lay comfortably in the summer heat. Her heavy coat made her a winter dog, who loved to be outside in nearly any snowy or cold weather.

The best times were late in the evenings when everyone was tired from a long, happy day. Bug would be on the couch next to me, content with her place in the world. And I was delighted to have such a pretty, sweet dog in my life.

It wasn’t all perfect. There were problems, some annoying, for example a six-month period where she decided that the basement was as good a place as the backyard to eliminate; and some frightening, when she and Daisy had a couple of confrontations over wild animals who foolishly came into our fenced yard.

Sometimes it was just plain silly, like when I decided that my nine year old dog was a good candidate for obedience training. LadyBug’s interest in heeling, coming when called and sitting on command were minimal. She did a great ‘down’, though, and probably would have been happy to maintain that ‘down’ through the whole class….until she smelled treats.

A couple of weeks ago, LadyBug got sick very suddenly. We had spent a couple of fun hours at my friend’s lake home, Daisy, LadyBug, Rusty and me. Bug coughed up some blood. In the next couple of hours, it got worse. At the U of M’s emergency room, I learned that she had cancer and her prognosis was poor. I made the decision to euthanize my Pretty Bug to spare her any further agony. It was a matter of hours, literally, from thinking we had all the time in the world to realizing that the good times were over for good.

Life goes on. Daisy and Rusty have adjusted. Daisy no longer looks around expectantly when I open the door to the backyard, wondering where her friend is, but I still think LadyBug should be laying on the couch when I come in, or barking at me for a treat.

I miss the big white dog who came to me by chance. I miss her dance when she wanted her dinner. I miss her barking at nothing. I even miss the big white dust bunnies that I used to find all over the house.

Life goes on. There will be other dogs in my life, maybe even a big, gentle, stubborn white dog with long, coarse fur, but there will never be another LadyBug.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Stray Dog Arts - 2008 Fundraising Promotion

In honor of Ode (to read her entire story visit our website) Stray Dog Arts will be donating 20% of all commissioned portraits and a substantial portion of greeting card sales to Pet Haven until December 31st, 2008. Click here to learn more about the promotion. Help us get the word out and consider a commissioned painting (you won't regret it!).

Ode has now been in Pet Haven's foster program for a little over a month. I have put together a video to share with you photos taken over the past month. Creating the video was a very emotional experience for me as I know where she came from, the abuse and pain she endured, and I have witnessed how she has flourished in the loving care of her fosters, Mary and Tino. Thank you Mary and Tino for loving this girl and giving her the chance to have the life she deserves. Ode is continuing to recover and heal and will be up for adoption in about a month.

Click here to view her video. Her open heart and brave spirit is truly an inspiration to so many of us.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Reward for Animal Cruelty at Red Lake

Many of you have been following Ode's story - a puppy we took in from Red Lake whose ears were intentionally burned. You can read more about Ode on her original post. This morning, we received an email from Karen Good of Red Lake Rosie's Rescue:

"Dear Friends: This is a first time we have had a reward for animal cruelty at Red Lake, and it is definitely progress!! We will keep you updated. Thank you to all who helped get this in motion especially Sarah and Alice in Red Lake at courts and Safe Neighborhoods Program.
Sincerely, Karen Good"

Ode was rescued by Red Lake Rosie's rescue - a victim of animal cruelty. Visit the Red Lake blog for the press release and information on the reward. This is great progress!

Photos of Ode from the Renaissance festival this past weekend :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Holloway - foster needed!

Pet Haven will be taking in a dog from Red Lake with a severe injury to his right foot (unfortunately a case of abuse). Holloway will be arriving into the Twin Cities this Sunday, 8/24 and will most likely have to spend the week at the vet getting checked out, vetted, etc. We are hoping to get him into a foster home by the following week.

He appears to be some kind of a hound mix (more photos will be taken after he arrives!) and have been told he is a very nice dog and a youngster.

Please email if you are interested in fostering Holloway. Holloway is coming to us from Red Lake reservation (the same place where Ode came! Scroll through our blog and go to Ode's original post to learn more about her story. In the one months she has been with us Ode has touched so many hearts and made such tremendous progress!). I would love to be able to share the same great progress about Holloway a month after she's been in Pet Haven's foster program!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Banjo the beagle

My name is Banjo Brown and I am a 7-year old beagle. Summer is my favorite season and I LOVE to spend the summer months in my backyard sniffing around for scents from squirrels, rabbits or chipmunks. If I get on the scent of something good, I just forget about everything else around me. Because I have a tendency to get so carried away, I have to always be on a leash when I’m outside. My biggest achievement was catching my own chipmunk (the first time ever!!) and I was quite proud of myself. I carried it around in my mouth for a few minutes and I was really sad when it wouldn't play with me anymore. I was tricked into dropping the chipmunk in exchange of for a piece of frozen bread – when I went back to pick up the chipmunk it had run away! bummer, but what a fun time that was though!

After a good time sniffing around, I either take a nice
nap in the sun on my deck or else in the sun in the house somewhere.
I really like to find an air conditioning vent to lay in front of,
particularly if that's in the sun.

I really am a nice dog and I get along with adults very well and would like to be in a home with only adults (sorry kids… I just get nervous around kids).

Do you have room in your life and your heart for me? I really am
quite a sweet dog.

Banjo Brown

For more info you can read more about me here.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Ode's open heart and brave spirit touches the hearts of many

On 7/19/08 Ode, a young puppy whose ears had been intentionally burned and who suffered horrific abuse, was welcomed into Pet Haven's foster program. Read more about her in my original post. Since then she has touched the hearts and souls of so many, including her foster mom and dad, Mary and Tino (who have done a tremendous job of loving and caring for this injured soul, and helping her heal).... and also a local artist, Jessie of Stray Dog Arts. Jessie has donated her time and creative talent to paint a portrait of Ode from a photo taken at our recent Common Good Books outreach event. She is donating this portrait to the silent auction of Pet Haven's Fall Benefit.

Ode will be at our Fall Benefit on November 1st, and will be walked in our pet fashion show by Dana, Director of Operations, of Chuck and Don's who is sponsoring sweet Ode and paying for the special food she needs and providing for all of Ode's supplies.

Not only has Ode taught so many of us about loving, living, forgiving and hope, but she is bringing a community together. Ode ('oday' which means heart) is truly an open-heart and brave spirit. Somehow, in my heart, when i took photos of this brave spirit the first day i met her, i knew that she would be giving more back to all of us, than we could ever give to her.

Both Pet Haven and Stray Dog Arts will be at the Renaissance festival this weekend. Come see Ode's portrait at the Stray Dog Arts booth, and catch Ode who will be making rounds with foster mom on Saturday and freely giving out lots of puppy kisses!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dog Adoption event this Saturday, 8/16

Be sure to stop by our adoption event this coming Saturday, 8/16. We will be at the Plymouth Chuck and Don's from 10 - Noon. Mollie (pictured) is just one of many who will be there. She is a loving, energetic dog and loves playing frisbee with her foster sister Libby.

For a listing of all of our dogs available for adoption visit our website.

If you have any questions about adoptable dogs email

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hector the love bug is still waiting!

Hector is a 7 year old great dane/grey hound mix - a gentle giant and as foster mom says, a "love bug."

"Hector is just a love bug. He is always trying to stick his head under your hand or through your bended arm for a pet. If you just hold one finger on his head he will be happy.

He is getting along with his foster sisters very often times being the referee if they are playing too rough. He has such a presence he just has to step towards them and they quiet down. A guy needs his beauty rest after all.

We were told Hector is around 7 but you would never guess that if you saw him running around in the backyard with his housemates. And he is fast, guess that is the greyhound in him.

Hector is not particular about what kind of home he lives in. It could be with an active family; he’s ready to go anytime. It could be with a retired couple with lots of time for movie watching and head petting. It could be a single working person; Hector loves his crate and will patiently wait for you to get home from work. Of course all homes must come with lots of love and pets."

“His future’s so bright he’s gotta wear shades”.

Click here to learn more about Hector.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Continuing to get the word out!

Pet Haven collaborated with local author Dr. Justine Lee and participated in an outreach event/book signing at Common Good Books in St. Paul. Dr. Justine discussed her book "It's a Dog's Life" and answered questions from the audience on pets - a great opportunity for some free vet advice!

Several members of the Pet Haven outreach team then had an opportunity to share information on our mission, provide some education on bully breeds and black dogs (to learn more about the difficulty of adopting out black dogs visit Start Seeing Black dogs), and also get visbility for some of our adoptable dogs - Hector, Mollie, Ode and Eve came to the event, as well as Pet Haven alum and bully breed ambassador, Bubba (thanks Dan for bringing him and sharing his story!).

Many thanks to Common Good Books for donating 10% of sales proceeds for the day to Pet Haven. In addition to raising funds, we continue to get the word out about the work we do in animal rescue and the importance of adopting from a rescue or a shelter. We were also able to recruit some new volunteers! Not bad for a Saturday afternoon.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Lessons from Ode and Eve

Friendship. Joy. Love. Hope. Brave Spirit. Playfulness. Open heart. I had the good fortune of visiting Ode and Eve in their foster home last night along with Jessie of Stray Dog Arts who is donating her time and creative talent to paint a portrait of Ode. One would never know from watching the brave spirit of Ode play, that she had been through a horrific experience. Her ears have healed nicely. To read more about Ode you can visit the original blog posting.An hour with these puppies provided us with more pearls of wisdom than we bargained for!

This is, without a doubt, the ideal foster home for a puppy to get lots of socialization, playtime and exposure to a plethora of stimuli and experiences: dogs, cats, kids, bunnies, adults and all sorts of noises!

Ode and Eve (who is up for adoption now) both came from up north in the Red Lake area. They are now best friends. Watching them play will simply warm your heart -- a beautiful reminder of how much we can learn from our four-legged friends about love, forgiveness, joy and friendship.

We are still working with Ode on skin and itching issues and will have her up for adoption once she has a clean bill of health and has been spayed. Eve, on the other hand... well, she's waiting for someone to swoop her off her paws and take her home. We have lots of dogs waiting ... be sure to check out our website.

Story time with Hank

Hank hangs out in a foster home with Annie (another beagle adopted through Pet Haven) and Elanor who is being home-schooled by her mom. He's a lucky boy because he gets to go through "dog school" with Elanor. She picks out a book and then reads it to the dogs. Yesterday Hank had Happy Dog read to him.

Hank is an extremely patient and loving boy and enjoys the simple pleasures of hanging out with you. Of course, the best part of having a story read to him is that he gets a treat when Elanor reads "the end" ;-)

According to Elanor both Hank and Annie have done well enough to move on to third grade - what smart dogs!

As much as Hank enjoys storytime with Elanor, he says he's ready to move onto a new dog school. Now.... wouldn't you just love to have this great guy come live with you and read to him?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hazel Needs A Home!

Hazel, our 37 pound 'pocket pit', has been either at the vet or at a partner doggie daycare since she came to us in the spring. First, she was being treated for heartworm and had to keep still for nearly two months. Once that boring time was over, she moved to Auntie Ruth's where she is loved by the staff and has made friends with other dogs.

Still, Hazel really needs to find a place she can call home. Hazel has boundless energy around other dogs, so if you have them, playtime should be monitored or she will play until she (and the other dog) drops. As much as she loves to play, Hazel is a loving girl who is responsive to people and loves nothing more than a nice snuggle on your lap.

Hazel came to us from a shelter in Louisiana, where she had been for about a year. She's still under two years of age, and hasn't had the chance to experience the good things that a home life provides.

If you are interested in providing a foster or adoptive home for this remarkable dog, please contact us at You will not be sorry.

Hazel is a favorite with our volunteers. She'll be a great addition to someone's home. Is that someone you?

Luna is adopted, and lessons learned!

About a month ago we welcomed a new volunteer, Joel, to the Pet Haven community. Not intending to foster, he came to the orientation and saw a photo of Luna (sweet am staff mix) and convinced his family to to try fostering. They soon realized, that Luna was already home.

Yesterday Joel shared the following:

"First of all we would like to say thank you to everyone at Pet Haven. They say dogs are a man's best friend but I think the work you guys do shows that you are a dog's best friend.

Luna was shy and nervous when we got her. She was a little naughty girl but we saw right away that she was very smart and very loyal. She is so intelligent that she picked up on all the things we thought she needed to know to be a great dog for any family.

My son Justin fell in love with Luna and has gotten the most kisses from
Luna than anyone else. He is on pace to set a guinness world record for
kisses. Luna is one of those "bully-breeds" people are scared of. I have to admit that I had a negative preconceived idea myself but thought why not give her a chance...besides we thought it was going to be for a weekend only.
She taught me that any dog can be sweet and that its the person holding the leash that determines how a dog acts.

She is loving and gentle with the kids and all the dogs she has met. Dogs bark around her at the park and she just ignores them and shows her great personality right away. We are proud of her and want to thank you guys for introducing us to her."

Monday, August 4, 2008

A busy weekend for Ode and Eve

An update from Ode's foster family: "We had a very eventful weekend. On Friday Tino and I took Ode and Eve with us to the Uptown Art Fair. We were stopped every few feet by someone asking to pet the puppies. Both dogs loved the attention and did really well with all the kids that approached them. We took the opportunity to tell Ode's story and educate people about animal abuse. Everyone we spoke to was very impressed on how gentle and friendly Ode was. We should all be so forgiving.

After the adoption event on Saturday both puppies went with us to a picnic. They were the stars of the day and really enjoyed playing in the park. Even though both pups will always stay near us, Ode did take off once only to run straight onto the ball field where people were playing kickball. She really wanted to catch the giant ball. Two people at the picnic expressed interest in volunteering for Pet Haven. Good job Ode and Eve!

I will be working with Ode and Eve on leash training and house training. I also plan to take them to the local dog park. I am taking Ode out as much as possible. She generates a lot insightful conversations and gets people thinking about what they can do to help prevent animal abuse. Ode is a great ambassador for Pet Haven."

Many thanks to Auntie Ruth's Animal Care

On behalf of Pet Haven and all the rescued and abandoned animals, Eve (one of our adoptable puppies) would like to say "THANK YOU" to Auntie Ruth's Animal Care and Wellness for hosting a car wash last Saturday to raise donations --- lots of cars got washed!! Auntie Ruth raised $457 for the pups!

Not only does Auntie Ruth raise donations for us, but they also foster a dog for us all year long! Currently, Hazel (our pocket pit) is being fostered at Auntie Ruth's.

So... woofs to Auntie Ruth!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Tin Tin - you'll just want to hug her!

Tin Tin came to us from Red Lake Rosie's Rescue. She traveled the 6+ hour journey with a few others (Juniper, Evangeline and her pup Eve) on 7/23. She is resting and going through the final stages of heartworm treatment in her foster home.

She has been exposed to lots of people and is great with adults and kids. Living in a foster home with 5 cats she is learning to co-habitate with them, where at first she was fearful. As for other dogs .. when they come around, she's "mellow, and just wants to sniff them."

In foster dad's words: "Overall Tin Tin is a great, loving dog that will make a great pet in a ‘forever’ home. She is very gentle. I can see in her eyes how much she wants to be loved and is already loving the fact that she’s got shelter, food and the love of a human."

If you are interested in learning more about Tin Tin email She should be up for adoption in the next week or so!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Dog Adoption event tomorrow - Saturday, 8/2

We will be having a dog adoption event tomorrow from 10 - Noon. Be sure to stop by the Minnetonka Petco to say "hi" and get some doggie/puppy kisses. We have lots of great dogs waiting for that special someone to consider opening up their heart and home.

You can view a video of some of our adoptable dogs at

Hope to see you tomorrow!