Anyone who knows anything about dog rescue organizations knows there is a network of very generous and dedicated people behind the scenes who open up their hearts and homes to dogs that otherwise would have no place to go. You could almost call it an underground railroad for rescued dogs. While these loveable bundles of fur await their forever homes, they get to spend time with a family in a home enjoying some well-deserved love and attention, rather than in a cold, lifeless kennel… or worse yet, a gas chamber. Everyone who fosters deserves an award for the work they do! But we are honoring one foster each month for going above-and-beyond the call of duty.
January’s award goes to Christine Hammond, otherwise known as The Dog Whisperer. Christine is the trainer and behavior specialist at Camp Bow Wow in Bellingham, Mass.
When Elizabeth Zaccarro, Big Fluffy Dog Rescue’s (BFDR) president, sent a group email asking people to talk about why they voted for Christine, the overwhelming response was, “TRACER!” When BFDR took in Tracer, he was a terror of a little corgi. He bounced around from foster home to foster home and was so aggressive that he just couldn’t get along with the cats and other dogs living with the families that tried to help him. So Tracer ended up living in a boarding kennel for five-months where his bad behavior only worsened. Tracer waited in that kennel for his knight in shining armor… someone who could help transform him. He found that someone in 24-year-old Christine Hammond of Providence, R.I.
Pictured with Buddy, who was adopted on Sunday!
Christine took tracer on a trial basis at first, but quickly decided she could take him on as a full-fledged foster dog and their journey began. After one week in Christine’s home, she says Tracer was wonderful with one of her dogs. After two weeks, he was totally adjusted to both of Christine’s dogs. And Christine says that after three weeks, she didn’t have to worry about him at all anymore. Christine literally saved Tracer’s life. Her hard work and patience paid off when Tracer was adopted by his new family. The little corgi that some feared might be unadoptable had finally found his forever home thanks to Christine Hammond!
But Christine isn’t stopping with Tracer. While she already has fostered six BFDR dogs since last October, this professional dog trainer has agreed to take on more complicated cases like Tracer in the future. She says, “I enjoy every moment I have with the dogs. Dogs are kind of my calling … Each one of them made our lives better.” She also decided to offer free telephone and email consultations for current BFDR fosters, as well as discounted training after her experience with Tracer. And if you are one of the lucky people who shares your life with a BFDR dog permanently, Christine will offer you a discounted rate for telephone consultations and a discounted spot in her basic obedience class.
After all of this, Christine still says she hasn’t done as much as she’d like to and was surprised to win the Foster of the Month award. “I was really flattered… I feel very humble. At first I was speechless and I still don’t really know exactly what to say because I don’t feel like I’ve really done anything spectacular… and I feel I can offer more.”
Christine says BFDR fans should try fostering a dog at least once. She says fostering isn’t always easy, but it’s the best shot the rescued dogs have at a good life. “It’s a wonderful experience. It’s great to be able to remember each dog and the people that you sent them home with… it does wonders for you emotionally, as long as you can handle the disconnect at the end. I enjoy providing a home for these dogs.”
Wine Label Contest Voting is OPEN! The contest will run through 1/16/13 at 11:59 EST. The top TWO Chipins ($ amount) by this date will win and get their picture on every bottle of a single variety of Big Fluffy Dog Wine and you can choose your variety! You can vote with as little as $1 and the link for the ChipIn is UNDER the picture.
The wine will be available for purchase starting in February.
Vote for Major: http://bigfluffydogs.chipin.com/wine-label-major
Vote for Pringles: http://bigfluffydogs.chipin.com/wine-label-pringles
Vote for The Perkins Family: http://bigfluffydogs.chipin.com/wine-label-perkins-family
Vote for The Blackburn Family: http://bigfluffydogs.chipin.com/wine-label-blackburn-family
Vote for Daisy Mae: http://bigfluffydogs.chipin.com/wine-label-daisy-mae
Vote for Jack: http://bigfluffydogs.chipin.com/wine-label-jack
We must warn you!
The puppies pictured below can cause signs of cuteness overload illness. Here are some of the signs: You might gasp, you might scream, you will most certainly say “Aaaawwww…”. Your heart might even melt with this much fluffy goodness.
Meet our newest baby Big Fluffies. These 6 sisters are five weeks old and are Great Pyrenees/Border Collie mixes and these little ladies need names.
If you want to be part of the fun, make a 5$ donation to Big Fluffy Dog Rescue.
In space where you can fill in the company, write down the puppy name and number. A five dollar donation allows you to submit ONE name for ONE puppy. If you make a $20 donation, you can submit names for all six of them. On Sunday evening we will have a random drawing of submitted names and let you all know the winners. If you are having trouble submitting all 6 names on the company line, you can email Jessica@bigfluffydogs.com once your donation is made.
Proceeds from this contest will go toward the puppies vet care.
If you have questions on the contest, email Elizabeth@bigfluffydogs.com
Petunia the Great Pyrenees is looking for a special foster or forever home.
Petunia came to BFDR in rough shape after spending her entire life in a kennel. She is a sweet and wonderful girl, who is a taking a little while to acclimate to life in a home. She will take a little while to warm up in the house and will bark if she is nervous.
Petunia needs a person who can be patient while she settles in. She needs someone who is both confident and kind. Petunia has fabulous manners, loves children, gets along great with dogs, and is fine with cats. She has a great time at the dog park, and enjoys going for walks. Petunia is now searching for that special family who will teach her that she is now safe.
Petunia is a sweet and gentle soul who is very much worth, any effort you have to put in. If you think you might be the special person she has been waiting for, email Elizabeth@bigfluffydogs.com today.
Fergie is VERY lonely. She has been in boarding all summer waiting for someone to foster or adopt her.
Fergie is a 2 year old Great Pyrenees/ Brittany Spaniel mix. She is a little plump at 60 lbs, and would love a family who would take her on walks and hikes to regain her girlish figure. Fergie is a sweet girl who loves to lean on you while you pet her. She is wonderful with children and dogs. She ended up in boarding for the crime of kitty chasing, so a home with no cats is a must. The staff that takes care of her call her “The princess” and thinks Fergie would love a home with a little girl to love her.
Fergie is ready to experience all a New England Autumn has to offer with you. She wants to see the foliage, and snuggle on cool nights. Please BFDR fans, lets get Fergie into a home of her own and out of the Lonely Hearts Club.
If you can foster or adopt Fergie, email Elizabeth@bigfluffydogs.com
How come no one wants Noah and Moses??
For the life of us, we are baffled as to why we can’t find Noah and Moses a foster or forever home.
They are great with kids, good on a leash, house trained, have excellent house manners, love to ride in the car, medium energy, sweet, affectionate, and overall just totally awesome boys. They mastiff/lab mixes who are 4 years old and will be amazing in just about any home. (Just one with no kitties)
If we don’t find them somewhere to go by Tuesday, they will have to go to boarding and we do not want to do that.
As a bonus: we had a volunteer donate food, leashes, collars, and bedding for these boys, so the adopter or foster won’t have to cover any of these costs.
New England folks: Please contact Elizabeth@bigfluffydogs.com if you can help. Let’s not allow Noah and Moses to be the next members of the Lonely Hearts Club.
We promise each and every dog that comes to rescue that we will find them a family to love them. Some lucky dogs find their home immediately, but there are others who sadly don’t even have a foster home. With no one willing to foster, the only alternative is boarding. We have some very special dogs in boarding who are wasting away here in New England.
Many of these dogs are there because they need to be the only dog in the home. We don’t think this makes them any less lovable, or deserving of a family. These lonely hearts need your help.
Lilah Kate is a lovely 2 year old Lab/Great Pyrenees mix. She is sweet, loving, and has wonderful house manners. Since she can be picky about her canine companions we think she would be happiest as an only dog. Poor Lilah Kate has been in boarding now for 6 weeks!! Six weeks of loneliness, and we think that is enough. Lilah Kate NEEDS someone to get her out of there. This is a spectacular dog for an adult home who wants a dog to snuggle with them and go for walks and adventures.
If you can foster or adopt Lilah Kate, email Elizabeth@bigfluffydogs.com. Lilah Kate is waiting!!
Melisande is a 4 year old Great Pyrenees mix who came into rescue several months ago with her sisters. Melisande sadly escaped her foster people before the Fourth of July and we had diligently worked to capture her as she was very frightened and lost in a rural area. We saw her over the many weeks and food and water were left out for her. Today we were finally rewarded for our diligence when she was caught in a live trap. We were extremely relieved to see her.
Melisande has lost twenty pounds during her odyssey and she has a limp that was not there before. We took her to the vet to have her checked out and were shocked to learn she is now riddled with bullet fragments all over her body. Someone shot this sweet dog and more than once. We are checking her elbow thoroughly for fragments as she seems to be limping the most at that joint. We are obviously horrified and this week is going to be a very, very expensive one as we have two orthopedic surgeries scheduled as it is. We are fundraising for her initial care which we expect will run around $600. If you would like to donate to her care, you can do so here: http://bigfluffydogs.com/pay-online.php. If you use a credit card, be sure to put the word ‘Melisande’ in the company name line and if you use paypal, leave us a message with her name in the message to sender box so we can thank you all properly.
Melisande also needs a foster home desperately. She gets along well with others but she is a serious flight risk, meaning that she will have to be carefully leashed at all times or kept within the confines of a secure fence. She is currently in Nashville but can travel this weekend if the vet gives the OK. If you can foster this girl please email email@example.com. Thanks as always from the big fluffies of the world.
For our fans who have asked how our young three-legged wonder is doing, here is his report from his foster Mom Sheila, who is by the way, totally awesome. A huge thank you Sheila from all 20,000 of us!
August 8-12th, 2012
I met my foster mom and dad today. One of the first things foster mom told me was “It’s better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.” She said some of her friends had come up with that. And she called me a tripawd. I liked the way that sounded!
I’m Lionel from Big Fluffy Dog Rescue. They saved my life and took care of me for a few weeks. I came to stay with my foster family on Wednesday, August 8th after having amputation surgery on August 7th. My left leg & hip were shattered when I was hit by a car and my rescue group and vet decided it would be in my best interest to spare me possible repeated surgeries attempting to repair the hip by amputating the leg. Amputation is a major surgery, but I feel so much better now— the pain of a shattered hip is gone, and I’m able to balance better with the leg out of my way. Dogs don’t worry about 4 or 3 legs like humans do. We’re just happy to be alive and loved.
My foster mom was so happy when I arrived bright-eyed, alert and very mobile for 24 hours post-surgery. I have no problem with the 3 steps off of her porch, but I do not like the hardwood floors inside. They are scary. But I figured it out—I can jump from rug to rug to avoid the slick floor. A friend of my foster mom’s who has a tripawd has said that her pyr eventually learned how to safely navigate slick surfaces. Until that happens area rugs or pet-specific gripper socks can be used to prevent falls and further injuries.
My foster family is cool. They treat me just like a dog. They do not pity me, nor do they allow anyone else to. They understand that yes, a bad thing happened to me, but I will be just fine. They are being careful that I do not fall or over do it, but the only “babying” that is going on is me getting petted all the time!
It’s important that my forever family be confident in my ability to live life as a “normal” dog.
I spent the first day and evening quietly in my crate, which I enjoy, or resting on the living room rug. I kept my walks to just the front yard for potty breaks, which were normal. I did whine just a little off and on, but I settled down quickly each time. Foster mom said it was important to take it easy, rest and she made sure I had my medicine when I needed it. I slept through the night like I usually do. The first night was so much fun—foster dad “camped” in the living room with me. He & foster mom did not want me to be alone. That was fun! He still sleeps with me in the living room just in case I need him at night.
Foster mom says I’m being a very good boy. I love my crate and after we go for walkies, I always lie down to rest in my crate. I’m housebroken, too.
I am on 100mg of Tramadol every 8 hours for pain for the next 7 days. Foster mom keeps the dosage very consistent, but I do not appear to be in any pain and the whining from the first day has stopped. Foster mom has not seen any signs of phantom pain or symptoms.
Foster mom & dad are feeding me well. She says I should gain about 10 pounds and gain some muscle. I am eating 2 cups of Purina One Salmon Kibble twice a day and she is giving me 1 can of tuna fish with my kibble for breakfast. She is concerned that the Tramadol is affecting my appetite. She is also starting me on 1500mg of glucosamine and 1000mg of salmon oil every night at dinner. It’s to help my joints, especially now that they have a bigger job to do. The salmon oil is for my skin and coat. It will help my incision heal quicker and all the Omega 3/6 are so good for me.
I do seem to have a possible grass or seasonal allergy. While on walks I love to sniff the grass maybe too much and I begin to reverse sneeze, sneeze and shake my head. Benadryl may be enough to manage the allergy, but foster mom wants to start slowly so we don’t impact the pain medication. Once I’m off of it I can take a larger dose.
I went to work with my foster dad on my second day post surgery. It gives my foster brothers time to spend with foster mom. I was able to maintain my balance in the back of the Envoy with ease—it’s a lot like surfing! And I can jump into my foster dad’s truck easily. On my second day I was able to walk around a small block and then later that evening I walked/jogged about ¼ mile with foster dad. I have great balance and mobility for a recent tripawd. My gait is very natural and strong, even when running.
I enjoy several short walks daily. I’m up to about ¾ of a mile daily (5 days post surgery)! I do have a little bit of a pull on walks. I walk on both sides of the leash holder. Foster mom is starting to work with me teaching me to walk on the left side & not pull (although I think she is secretly pleased that I am that strong!). With a proper exercise plan and core strengthening with balance ball work, I will have no trouble with endurance.
I am very quiet. So far no barking, but I am a pyr so that behavior may present itself once I feel better. I have seen my 2 foster cats through the baby gate and they seem cool – 1 is even a tripawd like me! Foster mom says that I can meet them this week, but I have to wear my leash. I’m going to go for a walk with my foster brother, Zeus, too. He seems nice and friendly. Foster mom says I have to wear my leash then, too.
Foster mom knows that I may decide that I don’t like cats and other dogs, but she wants me to try to be friendly. She says friends can be fun. I may decide that I want to live in a “one dog” family, but I can learn to be polite when I see other dogs in public.
I’m learning what a clicker is. I get hot dogs if I do what foster mom asks me to do. She says she insists that my forever family continue positive reinforcement training. I agree. I listen very well and I understand well, too. If someone was mean or forceful, I would not like that much and I would be afraid. I’m smart and eager to please!
I love attention! I do not mind strangers and children meeting me and petting me. I do prefer to be petted instead of not when people are with me. I do not exhibit the famous “paw pat” of most pyrs, but I will nudge your hand or arm, at times quiet determinedly, for attention! Don’t tell anyone, but I also enjoy a good ear rub!
I have a short coat without the thick undercoat that pyrs are famous for, but I do shed just as much as my furrier friends. A furminator and sturdy vacuum will be required for my forever home! I had a lot of fleas at some point (foster mom put Frontline on me Thursday) because foster mom says I have flea dirt on me. She is doing her best to brush it all off. Since I can’t have a bath until my incision heals completely. I even got furminated yesterday—that felt good!
My incision is healing right on schedule too and once my fur grows back I’ll be even more handsome!
I think I would do best in a home with older children who can handle my size and understand what being a tripawd pet means. I am happy lounging while you watch TV, but with proper training I could enjoy hikes and maybe even runs. I am a sweet boy with lots of love to give.
I should have no problems navigating life as a tripawd. Since I am a pyr mix and pyrs bark, I would not like an apartment. I will also need a securely fenced yard. I will love my forever family with all my heart. I will protect them, snuggle with them and play with them, well, forever. I can’t wait to meet them!
For more information on tripawd health, nutrition and gear visit the awesome site Tripawds.com.
Woofs & Licks!
Say Hello to Sweet Honey, who is beginning to wonder if anyone is ever going to adopt her.
She has been in foster care if New England for almost 8 months without anyone being interested in her. Sweet Honey came from a very disturbing hoarding case, and was frightened and scared when she got here. With the love of her foster family, she has learned to see that people can be kind and gentle with her. Sweet Honey is never going to be a life of the party kinda gal, but she is soulful and sweet and has so much to offer.
Sweet Honey is looking for a quiet home with a family who would love to take her for long walks. We promised Sweet Honey that we would find her a home and a family who will love her forever. Email Elizabeth@bigfluffydogs.com if you are who Sweet Honey has been waiting for.
Aiden is a six month old male Great Pyrenees who was found lying behind a liquor store in a small town in Tennessee, injured and dazed. Aiden was matted to the skin, emaciated, crawling with ticks and unable to stand. This is a town without an animal control facility (the sheriff just shoots them if he has to), and fortunately, a Good Samaritan was able to reach us and we found a vet to get him into immediately.
Aiden’s x-rays don’t look so good:
Aiden has a fractured pelvis and has to have surgery to make him well. Currently, he is underweight at 50 pounds and cannot stand on his own. He is in a tremendous amount of pain and the surgery will help heal the break. The estimate for his care is around $1200 which is a deal. We are fundraising to cover this so we don’t have to pass up other dogs because we blew our budget with this sweet boy. If you would like to donate, you can do so here:
For credit card, just type the name “Aiden” in the company name line so we know it’s for him and if by paypal, just write us a note in the comments box that says “Aiden”. We as always appreciate everyone’s generosity.
Aiden is also going to need a foster in the Nashville TN area for follow-up care. He will have to have cage rest and medicine for a few weeks and we need a foster home without more than a stair or two where he can stay. He is otherwise quite healthy and very sweet. If you can help foster him, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Harley has a heart of gold.
We first got word of Harley, the Pyrenees mix was going to be euthanized at a shelter because he was too shy. When Big Fluffy heard his story, we knew we had to save him.
Harley has clearly been on his own for most of his life. He and his companion, another dog, had been fending for themselves and were very bonded to each other. Once sad day, Harley’s buddy was hit and killed by a car. Harley was so distraught and would not leave his friend. He sat there for two days keeping vigil for his lost friend. Harley was actually injured by a car during this time because he would not leave this busy traffic area. A good Samaritan finally lured Harley into a car, and brought him to a shelter.
The shelter fixed up his eye, cut out his mats, but emotionally Harley was terrified. He had no interest in going near people and the shelter workers thought he would not be adoptable due to is extreme shyness. Harley also is heartworm positive. They thought it might be kinder to put him to sleep.
BFDR firmly believes in the power of healing and love, and wanted to give this boy a chance. Harley is now in a temporary foster home and doing well. While this sweet boy is shy, he adores their resident pyr. He is beginning to learn that people are ok, and is beginning to accept attention and love.
We are now looking for a long term foster home for Harley to finish his treatment and continue his socialization. We think he will do best in a home with another calm, stable dog who he can learn from. He will need people that are willing to be patient with him as he learns to trust.
Harley is a truly gentle soul and we think he deserves to live a long happy life where he adored.
If you have room in your home and heart, email Elizabeth@bigfluffydogs.com for more details.
Fred is old.
Fred is sweet.
Fred is slow.
Fred is looking for a couch to snooze on.
Fred is a 9 year old Boxer/Great Pyrenees looking for a home. He would like someone who understands the joys of naps, snacking and maintaining a generally calm environment. Fred is the perfect companion for an adult household who can see the value in a older dog.
If you think Fred might be the senior of your dreams, email email@example.com
Hi Everyone. Meet Siarra.
She and her family have been fostering with Big Fluffy Dog Rescue for about 2 years now. They are a wonderful family who have taken in many dogs in need.
Recently Siarra had decided to help us raise money for some of our dogs who needed some extra care. Siarra started collecting cans (which we can say is NOT at all glamorous) so she could put the money towards Ellas ACL surgery. She would sift through the sticky mess after people had parties and spend her Saturdays cashing then in. She had quite a bit of money saved up, when she discovered someone had STOLEN her donation money.
This did not deter Miss Siarra!! She kept up with her can collections and when people heard of what happened, they donated as well.
Siarra, you have a heart of gold!! You have been able to make a huge difference in Ella’s life. You remind us that there are amazing people out there. Let’s all take a minute to recognize Siarra Harrington!!
Sarah left us this afternoon at 4:15. The vet did all he could do to save her and she was in the midst of a multi-organ failure. Sarah came to us in the fall, happy and sassy, and unfortunately, heartworm positive. Sarah is a casualty of heartworm treatment complications and although this is the first time in ten years of rescue we have lost a dog to heartworm treatment, it is a risk.
Sarah had a love of life that made her believe that every day was the greatest day ever. She was a joy to be around and a natural born clown that brought smiles to all who knew her. Some dogs make the world a brighter place to be and Sarah was one of those dogs. Our hearts go out to Chris who fostered her and loved her and who is keenly feeling the loss. We always forget that we only get to keep these dogs on temporary loan and we are ill-prepared to endure the silence and the loss.
We will mourn her passing, but we do not regret the time we had. We will see you on the other side Sarah.
Meet Allison. This ten-year old girl came to rescue in early October as a puppy mill survivor. She arrived very underweight and a little timid, but a vet examination revealed that she had almost no teeth to speak of as someone had pulled most of them out. The vet thought that it was a home-done dental extraction given the look of her teeth. The vet said Allison had also had litter upon litter of puppies and had been bred as recently as six months before. At her age and in her condition, that’s outright cruelty. Despite all this, Allison is a happy and friendly girl. She loves to be petted and brushed and she enjoys her treats. She does fine with the minimal teeth she has. She is great with cats and kids. She is very food protective still which is unsurprising since she has had to compete for food for most of her life. Aside from that, she’s a doll. She is hoping to find a home that will love her and cherish her as she deserves to be. She is perfectly crate-trained and happy to spend her days lounging in front of the fireplace. If you are interested in adopting this doll, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ella is a 3-year-old Great Dane mix. She was adopted out from us in 2010. Recently, her adopter began hemming and hawing about needing to return her. At the end, she called us and said she thought Ella had injured herself and she needed to return her. We got her back. On return, we called the previous owner’s vet and learned that they had seen Ella and wanted to do more including just a basic x-ray, but the owner would not allow it and did not want to pay. Instead, they sent her back to rescue for us to handle. We are not happy.
And so we have. Ella has a badly torn ACL and needs medical care. The estimate of repair is $2100 and we need help. If you would like to donate to her care, you can do so here: http://www.bigfluffydogs.com/pay-online.php. (If you use a credit card – be sure to type Ella into the company name so we know what it’s for and if Paypal, include her name in the message field). We are sad that she was left in pain without proper care, but there’s next to no point in complaining – we just need to fix her. Spread the word and thanks as always.
Meet Yukon. This guy is a husky mix and he needs a home all his own. He came to us from another rescue (small dogs only) and he is a wonderful dog. He is an only dog and does not do well with other dogs or cats, but he is fantastic with kids and people of all ages. He is very well-mannered and just an awesome dog. He is not overly large at 65 pounds. This is a great dog. If you are interested in adopting him, email email@example.com.
Meet Will. This sweet dog was tied to a tree and left to fend for himself in Delaware. With Hurricane Irene beginning to pound the area with wind and rain, Will was rescued in the nick of time and he came in to rescue a wet, muddy and grateful dog. Will had a number of issues that the vet had to deal with, and although they were merciful, this guy has racked up a $500 bill right out of the gate. Will needs sponsors to help cover his vet expenses so our Delmarva wing can get back to their usual tasks of rescuing puppies in need. If you would like to donate to help sponsor Will, you can do so here: http://www.bigfluffydogs.com/pay-online.php. Will will be ready to go home in a few weeks for those who might be interested.
Jason is a very big, very sweet older boy. At 7 years old and 120 pounds (Newfoundland/black lab mix), he is a nearly perfect companion. He is Big Fluffy Dog Rescue’s current longest foster at seven months after he was rescued at the last moment from a New England shelter by one of our volunteers. Why was he there so long? Black dog syndrome. Black dogs are statisically far more likely to die in a shelter and they take much longer to place. If you are looking for a friendly, well-mannered big boy who wants to snuggle, Jason is for you.
We’re cheating a little, because this little girl has already gone to her home, but we could not resist showing a very relaxed Hallie napping. We should all be so carefree.