Tag Archives: Newfoundland rescue

#howigotmyname

There’s a challenge floating around social media to tell your naming story.  Since each girl joined us in the midst of family changes, I’d like to share their stories.

NewfGirlsWeb-85Maisie: My daughter had just gone off to college, and we had our two senior dogs Bailey (10 1/2- year-old Newfoundland) and Charlie (13-year-old Newfoundland Labrador mix). Charlie had been diagnosed with a large abdominal tumor and we knew he had limited time but Bailey was still in very good health.  I thought Bailey would be a great big sister to a new puppy, however the week before we picked up our new puppy Bailey took a turn and suddenly passed away.  We brought home this little bundle and poor Charlie wasn’t feeling well.  He passed away 1 week later.  Suddenly we went from 2 senior dogs to 1 young puppy.  We were starting over again and I kept thinking back to when Bailey was a puppy and my kids were little.  My daughter is an avid reader and we both shared our love of books and read together a lot, especially at bedtime.  One of our favorites was Daisy Head Maisie and it seemed like a perfect name for our little brown girl.

NewfGirlsWeb-14Annie: My son had just gone off to college and I was feeling the quietness of the empty nest.  I looked into Newfoundland Rescue and found Annie, who was still in foster care one year after her rescue. Annie was one of 44 Newfoundlands surrendered from a puppy mill in December of 2014.  The paperwork and records were spotty and all that we received for Annie was her 2014 Rabies certificate.  Her name was listed as Paris but Annie was handwritten across it.  I don’t know why she had two names or even how it was known that this was her name but she has always responded to Annie not Paris.  Assuming this is correct, I found a listing for Paris on a Newfoundland registry with a birthdate of June 7 2006 so that is when we celebrate her birthday.  We call her Annie Bear, Sweet Annie and Annie McFanny.

NewfGirlsWeb-31Winn:  On January 2nd of this year my very healthy Dad was diagnosed with a large tumor on his liver.  I was with him in February for his radiation therapy that was supposed to give him 2-3 years.  I hoped at that time that there would be a puppy available for me once they were born, and that I would bring her with me when I returned for his 3 month follow-up appt.  I rushed back to his side on March 24th.  The litter had been born and I shared my news with him and any new pictures as I got them from her breeder.  As my family and I sat around him in the hospital, we shared lots of stories and memories and by far our favorite place was our lake house on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire.  Dad loved his boat and my spot was always on the left side of the bow.  Whenever he felt like going for a spin, I eagerly joined him and we would tour around the lake.  I told him I would be naming her Winn and that made him smile.  Unfortunately, he didn’t live long enough to meet her but to honor him and those happy memories I decided her registered name should be Bearfoot in the Bow.

I know this post ends on a bit of a sad note, but Winn exudes so much joy and her antics bring me laughter when I need it most. It’s impossible to be sad when she is around.

I would love to hear from all of you with your naming stories, human or 4 legged!

The oldest and the youngest

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how everybody is getting along and I can easily say that they are all getting along very well.

I never really thought about or wished for a 3 dog household. Last October, we were visiting friends with a new litter and I was clear with everyone around me that we are a 2 dog family and didn’t have room for another.  So what changed? In the back of my mind I know Annie is a senior and won’t be with us for a long, long time but I don’t want to predict when that might happen so I just thought seize the day, go with what feels right.

I considered all of the changes that I could think of but my biggest worry wasn’t about logistics (3 crates in one room is A LOT), increased food and care costs or the extra hair and muddy footprints. I was most worried about Annie and how she would respond.  I don’t want her to think we are replacing her or that it’s OK for her to start to slow down.  I have always felt that Charlie stopped fighting once he saw that we would be taken care of by Maisie. I’m still shocked that he curled up by my feet and then took his last breath. He was so quiet about it but seemed to be at peace.

Annie has changed so much over the past year and a half.  She is much more confident, very affectionate and is so devoted to my husband and me.  She and Maisie are good friends but Annie still doesn’t play with her.  Annie will chase me in the yard and give me a little body slam which will get Maisie very excited.  When Maisie tries to join us, on very rare occasions (usually when it’s very cold outside which makes them both more frisky) Annie might give her 20-30 seconds of play but then it always ends with Annie walking away and giving Maisie a scolding if she doesn’t back off.

When we arrived home with Winn, we stayed outside in the yard for introductions. Annie and Maisie were both curious and so, so gentle.  Winn was a bit overwhelmed and stayed between my feet as she took in her new surroundings and these two girls.  They both gave her some sniffs and then Annie strolled away, keeping a good distance for the rest of the day.  Maisie was more persistent and Winn was very clear with her about appropriate boundaries. It was pretty much what I expected from all of them but it didn’t take very long for them to adjust, settle down and accept each other.IMG_0814

It has been so fun watching Winn explore our house and yard and find her favorite spots.  She has discovered the tiny bathroom and likes the feel of the cool tile on her belly and the cast iron tub on her back.  She loves toys and will rummage through the toy basket when she’s ready for a new one.  She’s a crate hopper, she rolls around in all the crates but seems to like Annie’s best.  Once she has pulled out a toy, she will frequently drag it into Annie’s crate. Annie doesn’t play with toys but once Winn leaves her crate Annie will quickly go in and flop down without regard to any toy that may have been left behind. Winn enjoys being outside, both in our back yard and on our front porch and like every Newfie I know, she LOVES the water bowl.

The most heartwarming part of all of this has been watching Annie and Winn.  Annie really loves her!  She actually play bowed to Winn on day 2 and since then I have watched them playing together several times each day and of course she is so incredibly gentle.  Annie plays in very short bursts but to see her initiate play and willingly engage with Winn is wonderful, it’s a new behavior that we really have never seen out of her.  My husband thinks that for Annie, Winn is the puppy that she got to keep.  She gets to love her, play with her and show her the ways of our house and she isn’t a product of Annie’s mothering days which were filled with so much hardship.  I’m just relieved to see Annie so happy.

IMG_0959

Newf National

It’s that time of year again, the Newfoundland Club of America National Specialty. 

I have never registered or shown my dogs, and prior to adopting Annie, my only impressions of the show world were formed by the movie “Best in Show” which I found hilarious.

The NCA (Newfoundland Club of America) and the South Central Newfoundland Club were in charge of Annie’s rescue, and as a result of adopting Annie I have become acquainted with so many people who are passionate about this breed and they have shared their experience with me.

Last year at this time we had only had Annie for a couple of months and I was in frequent contact with her rescuers and fosters.  They were a great support for us as we were all getting used to each other. My Facebook feed started filling up with pictures from National, and all of these gorgeous dogs that looked to be having so much fun with their owners, and I began to appreciate how many people around the country are in love with this breed.  Up until then, I didn’t know many other Newfie owners. I was one of a few owners in my area and we (the dogs and I) would get a lot of attention when we were out and about because they are so big and unique.

As I started to learn more about the NCA (Newfoundland Club of America), what truly ethical breeding means, draft work, obedience, water work and therapy,  I began advanced obediance and therapy classes with Maisie.  Annie, she’s different and special and classes would not be right for her, but there is one activity that I want to do with her–the Rescue Parade.  When I saw that on the agenda last year I immediately set that as a goal for us for this year. Unfortunately, Newf National is in Oregon this year and that is simply too far away for us. The Rescue Parade is today at 3:00 in the main ring and I really wish we were there.  Next year it will be in Michigan, and while I have been very careful to keep my expectations in check because of her age, I am going to put it out there that I want us to be there next year.

Annie deserves to strut her stuff in front of all of those beautifully bred Newfoundlands.  She worked hard, producing hundreds of puppies in terrible conditions for most of her life.  Now it’s her time to enjoy life and I would love nothing more than to enter the “Rescue Ring” with her and shine the spotlight on her for others to see.  Annie turns 11 in June, that’s our next big day on the calendar, and then who knows, hopefully we will be on to Newf National 2018!

Our heart grows with each dog

I’m feeling sad today, I just heard that one of the dogs from Annie’s rescue group has passed away. Like Annie, she was a senior girl who survived many years of breeding abuse and neglect.

I think it’s hitting me especially hard because I am out of town right now, and will be for another week.  I’ve always known my time with Annie is limited because of her age and this is a reminder that we need to make each day count.

Amber was with her owner for 2 years and had a lovely life with him.  He loved her and spoiled her and she learned what a dog’s life should be. Her final meal was a stack of bacon cheeseburgers that she thoroughly enjoyed. Last year she was joined by another, younger Newfie girl from rescue that turned out to be her niece. She was from the same kennel but I think had been one of the many puppies that had been purchased and then later surrendered to rescue.  Several other dogs from this kennel have ended up in rescue, another common trend of disreputable breeding practices.

In his tribute to his special brown girl, her owner posted this poem by Erica Jong.  It beautifully sums up the feelings of many of us dog owners.

Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love,

they depart to teach us about loss.

A new dog never replaces an old dog,

it merely expands the heart.

If you have loved many dogs your heart is very big.

 

Rest in peace sweet Amber.

Amber (Autumn) was one of the dogs featured at the end of this blog post: Adopt or shop, just do it responsibly

 

Happy Gotcha Day Sweet Annie!

One year ago, you came into our lives and so much has changed since that cold, January day.

It was not easy for you, during the previous year you had moved 4 times.  You were rescued from the only home you knew.  It was a terrible place that failed you in so many ways, but the future was scary and unknown.  You were taken to a temporary foster kennel until your foster placement was found.  You were with your foster family for several months before you were adopted but your needs were more than that family could handle so you were returned to your foster pack. On January 31st, we found each other and started down a new path together.

It took a while for you to trust us.  I don’t blame you, you were 9 1/2 and it was really hard for you to shed your fears and memories.  I wasn’t sure that you would ever bond with us, but I was OK with that, I just wanted to show you that you were worthy of the love that every dog should know.

Slowly, very slowly you have let me in.  You search me out and join me in different rooms in our home.  You trust that you are safe with me when we leave the house.  You show your personality which is very silly and you are so affectionate. You love food and treats so much, you seem to never get enough. You talk to me, almost every day.

You have changed our lives, filled our hearts and honored us by choosing us to be your family.

Annie, I promise you this, just as I did with Thomas and Abigail while they were growing up, I say this to you:

When you are nervous, I gotcha.

When you want to change directions because someone is walking towards us, I gotcha.

When you have a belly ache because you ate a whole loaf of bread you found on the counter, I gotcha.

When you howl at me to wish me good morning or are telling me that yes, you want to go for a walk, I gotcha.

When you are feeling unsure at your Dr.’s office, I gotcha.

When you are so hungry for dinner, you start dancing around, I gotcha.

For all those moments we share, fun, scary or otherwise, I gotcha.

Until we say goodbye, I gotcha Annie, I gotcha.img_4487