Friday, February 27, 2009

Dakota: Looking for a monogamous relationship

Dakota is looking for a family that is willing to exclusive with her. She doesn't want to share her people with other dogs (or cats). Other dogs, frankly, scare the heck out of her and she's learned that if she barks and lunges and carries on that she can scare them too and they leave her alone. This is a big success in Dakota's mind! Dakota and her fosters are attending a dog-dog socialization class at The Canine Coach where Dakota is learning that not all dogs are scary.

The dog park is not going to be Dakota's idea of a good time, but playing fetch -- and catch -- in the backyard definitely is. Check out her moves from her photo shoot with Sarah. She was leaping all over the place catching frisbee. Saying that a dog "doesn't like other dogs" can throw up a lot of red flags for potential adopters, but there are a lot of families out there who just don't "do" the dog park and doggy playdates -- not because their dog wouldn't enjoy it, but because it just doesn't work in their schedule for whatever reason. The dog park is too far away, it's easier to talk a walk out the front door than get in the car and drive to the dog park, you love your own dog, but several dogs racing around you is not your idea of a good time, you don't know anyone else with a friendly dog to play with, etc. Whatever the reason -- just keep in mind that there are a lot of dogs that live full, happy lives without other dog friends. Dakota would prefer to be a loner when it comes to dogs, and that's OK.

Dakota doesn't attend our adoption events, but she would love to meet you one-on-one where she can really show off her sweet personality. If you're interested in meeting Dakota, please email

Photos courtesy of Sarah Beth Photography.


Pet Haven has declared February as Black Dog and Cat Month. All month long we will be featuring our adoptable black dogs on the dog blog. We will also be working to educate people about "Black Dog Syndrome" and encourage everyone to take a 2nd look at black dogs when they are considering adoption.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Daisy: Looking for love and acceptance

Daisy is a 2.5 year old black beauty who is looking for the right family to call her own. Daisy is a little particular about her friends - we prefer to call it "discerning." She doesn't open her heart up to just anyone at the beginning, but once she gets to know you, you will have a friend for life. All you have to do is see Daisy interact with her foster mom to understand what a great partner she will be for a person or couple willing to take the time to get to know her. Daisy would especially love to find a single woman or female couple to settle down with.

Being honest about Daisy is not very flattering (sorry, girl!), but we will never withhold information about a foster dog. Daisy has some aggression issues with strange dogs and strange people. Her adoptive home needs to have a fence and be a relatively quiet place without a lot of strange people coming and going. She also needs a home where she won't have to spend time with kids as they make her nervous. I know there are people out there who want to adopt a dog that "truly needs to be rescued" because they have a checkered past and will not easily find a forever home. Daisy is that dog.

Daisy has completed two levels of obedience training with her foster at The Canine Coach and she was the star of the class. She knows all of her basic commands, but repeating class with a new owner would be a great bonding experience.

Because of her wariness, these photos don't do her justice. She just is not 100% sure that she should smile at the strange woman with the big black camera (thanks, Sara!).

If you are willing to give Daisy a 2nd chance (and maybe a 3rd or 4th) to make a first impression, please email and we would love to put you in touch with her foster mom to arrange a private meet-n-greet.

Photos courtesy of Sarah Beth Photography.


Pet Haven has declared February as Black Dog and Cat Month. All month long we will be featuring our adoptable black dogs on the dog blog. We will also be working to educate people about "Black Dog Syndrome" and encourage everyone to take a 2nd look at black dogs when they are considering adoption.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Adopted Dog Update: Shadow knows the good life

Here's an update from a fabulous Pet Haven alum who had several strikes against her and has really thrived. Shadow has only one eye, she's very high energy and she's a big black dog -- yet this girl has found a home where she is adored.

Shadow is healthy and happy and as rambunctious as ever.Her physical was fine and her shots were updated last month. She clawed me and knocked over my coffee this morning so she still gets over excited sometimes, but she is almost always in her happy place now. We are crazy about her, yes, Matt too. Her and Minky race up and down the driveway on there "walks" neck and neck. I think Shadow paces herself so she can have the joy of being next to a buddy running because she is so much younger and faster. They don't fight anymore but will have irritable words together once in a while, usually about who gets to go out of the door first. She is so puppy-ish and joyful she cheers you up just watching her. Because we had to do pretty serious training with her she is better behaved in some areas than Minky. They are sleeping together on the bed in my office as I type this. She is definitely one of the best gifts in our lives. Matt will shoot some pictures this weekend and we will send them. You can see black dogs really well in the snow.

Congratulations, Shadow!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fred: New kid on the blog

Well there is a new little big man in town and his name is Fred. Fred is a 3 year old spaniel mix from the Red Lake reservation. Since hitting the big city Fred has had quite the social life. He met up with Junior now Cookie a former foster dog of his current foster mom. Actually Fred ould be Cookie's daddy-both being from the same hood and all. There are similarities. Fred and Cookie had a fine time romping in the snow and sharing some treats.

Fred attended his first adoption event where he showed he is a go with the flow kind of guy. He sat patiently during the event. And then helped his mom hand out supplies.

Last night Fred had a sleepover with Suzy-soon to be officially adopted-and PH alum Mister. It was a houseful of black dogs for sure. Everyone played and played till it was time to sack out. Fred would make a perfect addition to an active family.

If you are interested in learning more about Fred, please email

Photos: Top - Fred sacked out. Right - Fred and Cookie. Bottom - Suzy, Fred and Mister (top to bottom) at their slumber party.

Monday, February 23, 2009

We have a few adoptions to celebrate this week!
Sophie is a senior Schnauzer girl who found a great home. Her new family finalized her adoption at our adoption event on Saturday. Before coming in to Pet Haven, Sophie spent some time at shelter in southern Minnesota where they could not get anyone to express any interest in this sweet senior girl. Hard to believe that this love bug was ever passed up. Congratulations, Sophie!

Sadie is a young husky/basset hound mix who went home with a new family this weekend. She has a stay-at-home mom who is looking forward to taking her to the dog park and scheduling doggy playdates for her with the other dogs in the neighborhood. Congratulations, Sadie!

Garth's adoption was finalized this week. You can read about it here.
Ode's adoption was finalized this week. You can read about it here.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Adoption event tomorrow - Saturday, February 21st

The Pet Haven dogs will be meeting and greeting tomorrow morning, Saturday, February 21st, from 10am to noon at the Burnsville Petco. Fred (at left) and his fellow foster friends look forward to meeting you!

Burnsville Petco
14051 Aldrich Avenue South
Burnsville, MN 55337

Can't make it? If there's a Pet Haven dog who's catching your eye, please email and we can chat about them!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Savannah: A girl who knows what she wants

Savannah is a 1 year old black lab mix who knows what she wants...she wants attention, petting, love and more attention. Savvy, as she is known in her foster home, is a huge cuddler who cannot get enough attention from her favorite people. She loves to snuggle on the couch and will share the bed and keep you warm if you let her! She is also an excellent walker when she's wearing her Gentle Leader. She's still young, so she would benefit from a basic obedience class and she is still brushing up on her housetraining skills, but that should come along quickly.

Savvy is GREAT with kids. She loves to hang out with the 4 and 7 year olds in her foster home. She shares her home with several other dogs and a cat and all of the activity is a bit too much for her. She would probably be happiest in a home with a lower pets-to-hands ratio so that she can get more attention.

If Savannah sounds like the dog for you, please email

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Chic and Alfie: Heartworm

Heartworms are parasites that are transmitted to dogs via mosquitoes. Giving your dog monthly heartworm preventative during the summer months can protect them from these nasty parasites. In Minnesota, it's generally recommended that you give your dog heartworm preventative from May - November (in warmer climates additional months or even year-round treatment may be recommended).

Depending on the level of infestation, heartworm treatment can be painful and dangerous (not to mention expensive) for dogs who do contract the nasty little buggers. Monthly heartworm preventative is not cheap, but it is inexpensive compared to the cost of treatment and the risk of pain (physical for the dog and emotional for the owner!) if your dog does contract heartworms. To learn more about heartworm in dogs, please click here. And please call your vet to schedule an appointment for a heartworm test & heartworm preventative prescription this spring.

Pet Haven currently has a couple of dogs in foster care who are being treated for heartworm infestation. Both are female shepherd mixes from Red Lake Rosie's Rescue (Chic, top, and Alfie, bottom). Both are hoping for donations to cover the cost of their care as well as foster homes to rest in while they finish out their treatment (if interested, please email

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lacy: Making new friends

Lacy's foster has been out of town for a few days, so Lacy hung out with another foster family. I couldn't resist sharing this photo of Lacy chilling out with the resident dogs, including Gunnar - a Pet Haven alum! Check out the link for Gunnar's before photos. He looks so much happier now!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Adopted Dog Monday

Suzy Q's fosters have decided that she is already home and they are adopting her! Just look at her face and those cute hound ears, it is easy to see how she has wormed her way into their hearts. She joins Penny Lane, another Pet Haven alum, as a permanent member of the family. Congratulations to the entire P Family on another happy ending!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Fostering . It's rewarding and fun.

Fostering a dog is rewarding. It's fun. It helps a dog who would otherwise have nowhere to go.

As a foster home based rescue, we rely on the kindness of our foster families to provide a home for our dogs while they await that perfect forever home. If you choose to open your heart and your home to one of our deserving dogs, we provide the food, the medical care, the toys, other supplies as needed (food and water bowls, a crate, Gentle Leader or walking harness). All you need to contribute is the time and the love.

If you crave some canine companionship but are not ready to make the long-term commitment of adoption, fostering is the perfect way to have a dog in your life. Pet Haven screens carefully to make sure the dog you have loved and cared for goes into an excellent forever home.

We have started a new blog devoted just to dogs in need of a foster home, either dogs we would like to bring into our program, or Pet Haven dogs who are being boarded or otherwise need to find a different foster home. Each day will bring a story of a dog that just might be the dog you have been waiting to bring into your life! Click here to visit our fostering blog.

Pictured above is Missy, a year old Black Lab mix; at right is Punkin. She is a 14-16 week old puppy who just arrived from Red Lake Rosie's Rescue yesterday. Both girls need a foster home. If you are interested in learning more about them, or any of our other dogs, email us at

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines to all!

A couple months ago, Pet Haven started partnering with The Lab - a program of the St. Paul Public schools where youth are inspired, encouraged and empowered to discover, understand and share their voices and the truth of their lives. Ahnung, a dog originally rescued by Karen Good of Red Lake Rosie's Rescue has become a "regular" visitor at the school, spending time one-on-one with the kids, or participating in group presentations. Ahnung has become an active volunteer (and ambassador for Pet Haven) as she works with youth, sharing her story, and helping heal wounded spirits.

The week before Valentines, Ahnung brought a couple Pet Haven volunteers with her to assist in an art project where kids made Valentine's cards for Karen to let her know how much they appreciated the work she does on behalf of the animals. That morning, Ahnung also pushed her "mom" aside, got on the computer, and wrote a poem for the kids and gave everyone their own special copy. One of the young boys in the group said, "we should send Ahnung's poem to Karen too" -- so we did.

Ahnung hung out (and took a couple naps ;-) as the kids collaged and had fun making Valentine cards for a woman who has dedicated her life to helping abandoned, abused and neglected dogs and cats up at Red Lake.

At the end of the class period, each kid proudly turned in their work of art, smiled and on their way out of the room, got down on the floor to give Ahnung a hug and went off to eat lunch!

Happy Valentines Day to all from Ahnung and the youth of The Lab!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Suzy: A 3 Heart Night

On Wednesday night, Suzy was part of her future dad's surprise proposal to the woman who has been in love with her since last summer. Suzy sat quietly next to Adam's side as he popped the question. Sarah said "YES!" and Adam slipped the most gorgeous ring on Sarah's finger. He also slipped a leash into her hand. Along with promising to marry Sarah, Adam also promised to provide a loving home for Suzy - another surprise for Sarah. Suzy gave Sarah a Valentine to seal the deal. I am not sure which surprise Sarah was most excited about - a husband to be or a new dog? One thing is for certain, Sarah could not be more excited to move forward in life with both of them by her side.

Sarah and Adam are now vacationing on a warm beach until the end of the month. But on their return, Suzy will be going to her forever home with her favorite girl, and her favorite girl's favorite guy. There's a wedding to plan after all and Suzy has to put her paw print on all the decisions. Wouldn't she make the best flower girl? Dreams do come true.

Here's a note to Suzy's foster from Sarah the morning after the big moment:

I can not even begin to express my excitement and outstanding joy to be officially adopting Suzy. I have wanted to do this since the first time I brought her home with me and she is SO loved by us. She made for a perfect engagement and I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful (and extremely well-planned) proposal. Thank you so much for helping Adam make an incredible memory. We have a wonderful story to share for years and we are really looking forward to having Suzy be the first member of our family. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! Can't wait to see her when we get back!!! I just can't get over how everything has come together....I can't stop smiling! Thank you again, for making it so special! ALSO - the VALENTINE from Suzy is so sweet and brought tears to my eyes.

I think anyone can see the Sarah-Suzy bond in their New Year's Eve photo. :)

Congratulations to Sarah, Adam and Suzy! Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!


Disclaimer: Pet Haven does not allow dogs to be given as surprise gifts. Suzy was not a surprise - the only surprise was the timing and her inclusion in the proposal. Sarah has been co-fostering Suzy for several months and was planning to adopt her this spring. All family members must meet a foster dog or cat before an adoption can be finalized.


Pet Haven has declared February as Black Dog and Cat Month. All month long we will be featuring our adoptable black dogs on the dog blog. We will also be working to educate people about "Black Dog Syndrome" and encourage everyone to take a 2nd look at black dogs when they are considering adoption.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Midnight: On the mend!

Midnight, a 5 year old black lab, came to us with a torn ACL and in need of surgery. His fabulous foster family has been nursing him through his recovery from surgery since the end of 2008. He has not been able to attend our adoption event yet because slipping on the smooth store floor could compromise his recovery. So he is hanging out with his foster fam, soaking up the love. He enjoys the other dogs, cats and kids in his foster home. He's an easy dog and is very well-behaved.

Here's an update from his foster mom:

Midnight is happy go lucky and more content every day. He is adapting to the "pack" and falls right in line with them. He is walking about 50% better than when I first got him. He thinks he is cat sized and it's so funny to watch him trying to be a lap dog. Loves to get and give plenty of attention. He gets along with all 3 dogs and both cats. His sweet personality has won over the whole family! :)

Sarah, of Sarah Beth Photography, took a special trip out to Midnight's foster home to include him in our black dog photo shoots. Thanks for making a special trip, Sarah!

Since Midnight can't attend the adoption events, this post has some extra bonus footage in terms of the number of photos. Plus, I was having a hard time narrowing it down!

Midnight is ready to move to a forever home at any time. If you're interested in learning more about him, please email

Photos courtesy of Sarah Beth Photography.


Pet Haven has declared February as Black Dog and Cat Month. All month long we will be featuring our adoptable black dogs on the dog blog. We will also be working to educate people about "Black Dog Syndrome" and encourage everyone to take a 2nd look at black dogs when they are considering adoption.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

So what's the deal with the black dog bias anyway?

At our adoption event this weekend I was talking to a couple who just happened to be in the store shopping. While they were petting one of our sweet black labs, Missy, the husband mentioned that they have a lab at home and if they were to adopt another dog they would definitely get a black lab. I told him that I thought this was great and mentioned that we were focusing on black dog adoptions this month. He was surprised to learn that black dogs have a hard time getting adopted, they just wanted a black lab in particular because they think are gorgeous dogs.

No one can say for certain why black dogs have a harder time getting adopted than other dogs, the reasons why someone chooses to adopt one dog over another are too subjective.

One theory is that black-coated dogs are harder to see in kennels and photos than dogs with other coat colors. At left is a photo of 3 puppies from Red Lake Rosie's Rescue, I think that it is a pretty good illustration of how the face of a black dog can get "lost" in a photo more easily than dogs with lighter coats and distinctive markings. This little black pup even has the advantage of a white splash on its chest, all black dogs get "lost" even more easily.

Black coats are also more common than other coat colors and markings, which may lead people to think that it's "just another black dog." The dogs run together and they are not given the opportunity to let their individual personalities shine through.

Another theory is that there's a bias against black dogs as dangerous. Several breeds that have a reputation as being "dangerous", such as Rottweilers and Dobermans, have black coats. Black cats are seen as "bad luck" and this bias may extend to black dogs as well.

Whatever the reason, we at Pet Haven love black dogs. We are committed to showcasing our black dogs, raising their profiles and advocating for people to start seeing black dogs!

Interested in learning more?

Here are some news articles on black dog bias:
Black dog bias?
Black pups face doggie discrimination
Large, black dogs go unwanted
Dog discrimination?

Here are some websites raising awareness about black dog bias:
Start Seeing Black Dogs
Black Pearl Dogs


Pet Haven has declared February as Black Dog and Cat Month. All month long we will be featuring our adoptable black dogs on the dog blog. We will also be working to educate people about "Black Dog Syndrome" and encourage everyone to take a 2nd look at black dogs when they are considering adoption.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Missy: Foster Home Needed

Missy is a sweet black lab who charms everyone she meets. Some of her fans have started a blog for her: Missy's Life.

Missy has had a rough go of it recently. She came into Pet Haven several weeks ago and went to a foster home. She was an angel while they were home, but was very nervous being left alone. She was destructive and for her own safety we needed to move her into a different environment. Missy's foster home didn't have any other dogs and we are hopefully that she will be comfortable being left alone with another dog in the house. Her foster home did have a cat and she is very feline friendly!

Missy was also diagnosed with pneumonia shortly after arriving in Pet Haven care. She is on the mend (and not contagious), but she lost quite a bit of weight on a frame that did not have much to lose, so we are working on putting some weight back on her. Missy is more than happy to inhale any extra treats you throw her way.

Missy is currently hanging out at one of our boarding partners, All Seasons Canine Country Club. They are working on acclimating her to a crate.

If you have room in your heart and home as a foster or forever home, please email

Monday, February 9, 2009

Adopted Dog Monday

We have some wonderful adoptions to celebrate this week -- including a couple of black dogs and Benne, a sweet pitbull, who has been with us for the better part of a year waiting for his forever home!

After 9 and a half months in foster care, and several years of without ever having a place to truly call home, Benne has been adopted! Benne is a ladies man, as he now lives in a house full of girls. Benne's foster mom transcribed Benne's version of events on the day of his adoption:

Judey now has a three-legged canine brother in her new home. Her new mom is also looking forward to getting out and walking with Judey so that she can finish getting back her girly figure after her last (and final!) pregnancy. Congratulations, Judey!

Foster has been adopted by a wonderful couple. Foster's new dad just retired and was looking for a buddy to hang out with during the day while his wife (Foster's new mom!) is at work. What more could a dog ask for than a favorite person to hang out with all day, every day? Congratulations, Foster!

Bungie was adopted out...sort of. :) Bungie has been adopted by his foster mom's mom -- he is staying in the family! He has several canine siblings to play with at his new house and of course he will get to see his foster mom anytime he wants! Congratulations, Bungie!

Bailey has found her forever home! Bailey has 2 lab siblings and very active adoptive parents who walk several miles a day. Bailey will love all of the exercise. Her new dad has a flexible schedule and works from home quite a bit -- on long work days, grandma offers doggy daycare services. Congratulations, Bailey!

Adoption Pending: Frankie and Forest, two black lab mix puppies, are being adopted by their foster family. Congratulations, boys!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Meet Black aka Mr. Gorgeous

Today at our dog adoption event, I had the chance to be surrounded by Pet Haven adoptable dogs, of all sizes, breeds, mixes, energy levels and personalities. Today, I also had the opportunity to meet "Black", an 8 month old lab/husky mix, who is being surrendered to Pet Haven because his loving guardian's home is being foreclosed on and they are unable to keep him. As I knelt down on the floor to pet Black and to get doggie kisses I engaged in a conversation with his guardian -- in seconds, it was apparent how much she loves him and spoke of him like a proud mama. Her eyes sparkled as she spoke of how perfect he was ... I was hugging Black and noticing how soft his coat felt and how shiny it was and how it seemed like he had just had a bath (but no, that's how he always smells! ;-) For an 8 month old his energy level was surprisingly calm. He's great with other dogs, adults and kids of all ages.

Pet Haven is definitely feeling the effects of the economy and the increasing numbers of foreclosures as our intake coordinator shares with me today how her inbox is full of pleas for help. I engaged in conversation with Black's mom as we stepped outside to take some photos. My heart goes out to Black and his mom. I am glad Pet Haven can step in and help this sweet boy. I only wish I could make things better for Black's family. If I didn't already have a house filled with 3 beautiful big black dogs I would snag this dog :)

Black has just come into Pet Haven's foster program so he is not yet up on our website. His current mom can only keep him till 2/23 so we are needing a foster for him. He is crate trained, housebroken and has an incredibly sweet disposition -- great with dogs, adults and kids. Please help us give some comfort to Black's current mom as she makes one of the hardest decisions in her life. If you are able to foster Black, or are interested in putting an application in for Black please email

Friday, February 6, 2009

Adoption event tomorrow - Saturday, February 7th

Komo wants to know -- dude, are you coming tomorrow, or what?

Pet Haven Dog Adoption
Saturday, February 7th
10 am - Noon
Eden Prairie Petco

Hope to see you there!

Photo courtesy of Sarah Beth Photography.
Komo is a 1 year old male lab mix who is available for adoption.


Pet Haven has declared February as Black Dog and Cat Month. All month long we will be featuring our adoptable black dogs on the dog blog. We will also be working to educate people about "Black Dog Syndrome" and encourage everyone to take a 2nd look at black dogs when they are considering adoption.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Andy: Guitar Hero!

Andy likes the emo songs best.

Andy, or Andypants (which is his very distinguished nickname), has turned into a rock star! Andy is a music aficionado and prefers to take the bass line. He also has a thing for drummers (since you're sitting, you want his head there on your knee right? And that wooden stick you're waving around is a toy, right?) and enjoys a good jam session on Guitar Hero. However, when not rocking out, Andy is content to take a nap. It's a busy life being a super fan, you know.

On top of being a great roadie, Andy is going to make a wonderful dog for his family. Andy loves everyone - kids and adults. Andy gets along with any other dog, too! He got to stay at one of our doggy daycare partners, Auntie Ruth's, for a couple days last week and had a blast! Big dogs, little dogs, 3 legged dogs, Andy played with them all.

Andy is fully house trained and crate trained. He's used to being crated for a full workday and also doesn't need a super long walk to tire him out. Playing in the back yard with you or another dog is fine for him! He rides well in the car and normally falls asleep. Andy rarely barks and will do anything for a treat.

Andy has been in foster care for over 3 months now, which surprises me since he is such a great dog, and is ready for his new family! Come and meet him at the Eden Prairie Petco this Saturday from 10-noon or email

Photos courtesy of Sarah Beth Photography.


Pet Haven has declared February as Black Dog and Cat Month. All month long we will be featuring our adoptable black dogs on the dog blog. We will also be working to educate people about "Black Dog Syndrome" and encourage everyone to take a 2nd look at black dogs when they are considering adoption.