A Place to Bark and Meow Blog by Bernie Berlin

Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Merry Christmas to ALL of YOU!!!

As I reflect on this year past, I am grateful for the friendships made..
YOU, those that read my blog and travel this journey with me.

This Holiday..
I wish you all the LOVE that can fill your heart..
I wish you the BEST that life has to give...
I wish that all your days be filled with JOY..
May you know your friendships are cherished, even though I am not the best at keeping in touch, due to my animal schedules:)

I hope that you may be a part of my journey with the animals, for many years to come..
I will say it again, it is because of you that I continue on..
You give me strength, both financially and emotionally.
Without the help given, I could not do as much as I do.
Thank you a MILLION times over, from the bottom of my heart...
I count my blessings daily and I am blessed because of YOU, those that touch my life!!

Please leave me a note on my blog, so that I know you, that read and are a part of my internet friends..
That is my Christmas wish:)

((Yes, I know I'm a day late.. What else is new:) Blogger wasn't posting for me yesterday..))
Monday, December 25, 2006
My Christmas Gift.. "NOEL"

This is a serious tissue warning..
This is an emotional post, but a very heartfelt and WILL be a very happy ending...
Please keep this in mind and read on..
This past week has been one of non stop, every minute of my days, has been filled with animals and emotions.
I have been to the pound many days this past week. They were filled to capacity, like I've never seen it before.
As I passed the kennels, looking into each animal's eyes, nothing could prepare my heart, for the little red dog I was about to see..
She meekishly looked at me, her tail thumping the ground and her eyes pleading for a home to love her..
I could not move, I lowered myself to my knees and started to sob..
((I've been crying for days))
She had no ears..
Scars of new and old, all over her body and she is just a baby..
In more pain than I could ever imagine, she still could wag her tail.
Well, she has become my Christmas Gift.
Her name is "Noel" and has become a lesson in love, a memory that will never be forgotten.

Our best guess, judging by the extent of her injuries is that she was used as a bait dog.
If you are not familiar with the term, it's a dog that is use to train other dogs to fight.
Whatever the case this poor baby has had a hard life of pain..
She has old injuries, months old all over her body that have healed and new ones, open and full of infection.
She spent the nite at the vet, her first nite and is home with me now.
We're giving her lots of love and she's being medicated with lots of antibiotics.
It will take her time to heal but she is more than willing to love everyone she comes in contact with!!!
Very afraid of other dogs, that may be something she may not get over, but only time will tell.
She Loves to go for car rides and is very well behaved in the car.
If anyone would like to make her a hat with ears, I'm sure it will help boost her self confidence.
I think she is beautiful with or without ears!!!

I'm learning many things as I travel this journey with the animals..
They teach me so much about life and unconditional love.
As much as I want to blame, point fingers, get angry at the world, I've learned it's all wasted energy.
I let it go and live in the moment.
Blame is so easy, forgiveness is hard..
What I've learned is. to focus my energies on what I can do..
How I can make the future of these animals better.
The stories read here on this blog, prove that we all can make a difference together, each one of us doing our part.
You who read, who care, who love are all a part of this journey and with the intention of love that we all share and send out to the world, change will happen.. I believe this with all my heart.
Not fast enough, but we cannot ever give up hope.. Someday, things will be different and the world will be a better place..

So with this thought, I send out to all of you,
Blessings of Love and Light this Holiday Season..


More new at the Zoo...
More new faces here!!
I couldn't get past the feelings that these guys needed a Christmas Miracle, a place to call home.
Such great dogs, I couldn't let them be put to sleep...
We are full to capacity, (what else is new:)
The great news is that, they will all be leaving for Humane Societies in Chicago and Wisconsin on January 4th.
So till then I will be going non stop day and nite caring for everyone.
If you are waiting on e-mail from me, please accept my apology for being tardy but these guys come first..

After the New Year I am going to try to take a break.
We are financially tapped and I'll need to work on our fund raising.
It's been a great year and we've saved almost 400 lives!!
So Thank you all again from the bottom of my heart:)

"Astro" is a male Husky/Briard mix. Approximately 1-2 years of age, he is very loving, energetic and gets along with other dogs. High energy and active, he does not like being alone and would do best in an active household!!

"Ellie" is a female, 4 year old Bassett Hound. Loving and sweet, she is looking for a home that would pamper & spoil her.
Loves kids and sleeping in bed with you...

"Bongo" is a male, chocolate lab, approximately 8 years old. He is sweet, loving and just looking for a place to call home the rest of his days.. He is housebroken and knows basic commands.

"Zoey" & 2 pups. She is a female, Australian Shepherd. Approximately 1-2 years of age.
Timid at first, but once warmed up she doesn't leave your side. Starved for affection, she is looking for that household that will give her lots of one on one loving!!
I haven't had a chance to take some nice pics of her, this one was taken at the pound.
She is out of there and here now with her two babies. I'll take some better pics in a day or so..
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
The little darlings..

I wish I could slow my days down..
I'm a bit worried about the pups I brought in, they are so scared and don't seem quite right.
Very sleepy and not as rowdy as most puppies are.
I'm hoping a few days of good food, lots of love and medical treatment will be the remedy.
Loaded with lots of parasites.. Eeeww:( They've been dewormed and we'll keep deworming for a total of 3 days.
They had fleas so bad that they have big scabs from scratching so much.
We'll take good care of them and then when they are healthy, they will be going to the Humane Society in Chicago and be put up for adoption.
Here are some cute pics..

Here are more of our furry friends looking for a home this Holiday Season..

"Woofie's Lady" is a very special, cute, playful, stubborn chunk of a girl. She is the ultimate playmate for any dog.
Since she spent her formative years raising litter after litter, she has all the traits of a good mother, she is spirited, she is sweet, she is determined and she is playful. We have not found a dog that has not really liked Lady. She is a babysitter for little ones, a rambunctious roustabout with the rowdy crowd and a kindly sitter with the old and infirm. She can wear many hats, but she cannot live with cats. She is house trained, but should be crated when unsupervised and would probably be happiest in a home with another dog.

Jeffrey is an adorable long legged beagle hound mix. He is very, very sweet. He is affectionate and like most beagles, he loves food, so he should be easy to train. He is about 7 months old and should mature to about 40 lbs. Since he is a hound, he will probably be very laid back but prone to roaming, so he will have to go to a home with a fenced yard or an underground fence. If you are a roamer yourself, well, he would love to accompany you on any journey that you wish to make..

Kearrah is a female Labradoodle, approximately 8 months to 1 year of age. She is a bouncey, super busy, hyper dog with LOTS of energy. Loving and looking for a special someone to spend time with her and train her to be the best dog she can be.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Puppy overload

I could just cry..
I went to the pound today to check on two little dogs that I was worried would be put to sleep.
They were both adopted:) That was the good news!!
As I looked around, there were 5 little pups I decided to take, and then 13 more came in..

Guess who came home with me??? These are them, all of them.. No Christmas break for me:)
I've already called all my humane society contacts and they have agreed to take them all in a few weeks.
How could they not, these little guys are so precious..
I truly am blessed that I have surrounded myself with organizations that believe in me and support my efforts.

All thirteen came from two moms that were farm dogs, the two moms and the dad also were brought in.
All surrendered. The parents I couldn't take, I'm over extended for space and am not too sure on their temperment.
They have killed some dogs, but most probably because they were protecting the pups.
Not their fault..
Every time I leave dogs behind a little something in me dies, I feel so sick inside..
It is so sad and again, because someone, didn't spay/neuter their animals life ends for many.
I've been busy, worming, vaccinating, defleaing and washing these little guys tonite..
I'll take some Happy pics of them tomorrow!!
Nitey Nite..
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Art Auction Update

These past few weeks have been crazy busy with the animals, no surprise there:)
But also I have had some challenges in my personal life and a family emergency while I was in Chicago.
Spent some time in the hospital and then was off to Wisconsin to finish the final closing and moving of my old home.

I appreciate everyone being so understanding with my delays in the art auction schedules due to my time constraints and just wanted to let you know where we're at.
The first phase of the art auction raised: $1,198.93 for 28 items.
We have many more beautiful pieces of art to come.
I'm a bit hesitant to post the rest of the auction till after the holiday, since we are all so very busy.
What I have decided to do is open a Flicker account and post all the art to it, so that you all can see the art.
I just started but here is the link:


I will then post all my e-bay auctions to start on January 4-11.
I am currently working on a Thank you page for my website, so that everyone will be posted, who has supported me and donated art.
I want you all to know how much I appreciate you, even though I'm just so swamped and not the best at communications.
I promise to be better, but for now, the animals come first and everything else follows after..
Another thing I'm planning is to put up a happy faces page of all the animals that have passed thru our doors.

I'm off and running today, I have a Holiday party I'm attending today and giving a presentation of my Christmas ornaments. For those attending who want to order for next year.. I'm pretty excited it's for some pretty famous people:)
More later!!
Blessings and Light to you..
Saturday, December 16, 2006
New Faces..

So many new faces looking for homes.
It gets to me, especially over the holiday season...
I was at the pound the other day to see some dogs that I was called on.
As I passed the pens, there was one group that spoke to my heart and I couldn't sleep that nite.
They were scheduled to be put down the next morning.
I thought about them all nite and called first thing in the morning to keep them from being put down.
Here they are. The pictures are at the pound and then at my house.
I haven't thought of names yet, (suggestions are welcome!!)
the mom is the Brown one.
She isn't much older than a year and a half with some hard miles.
Her pups, the three with her are about 5 months old.
They are my Christmas gifts that I hope to share with some loving family.

Life is so precious and so taken for granted.
It gets to me almost every day that I look into the eyes of these animals. It is people that have failed them.
We are their care takers. If people don't fix their animals, properly train and care for them, they end up in places where they are put to sleep. The needless killing I pray will stop someday..
My heart cries every time I see a mothers with their puppies at the pound or the pregnant moms that I know with one injection many lives end at that very moment.
The old ones, the abused, I guess every single one that I pass, speak to and make eye contact will forever live on in my memory.
I continue on because of the successes, but truly sometimes it gets to me and eats me up, especially on days that I have to leave so many good dogs behind.
I am only one person and can only do so much, even though most times I'm extending myself, both physically, emotionally and financially. I don't mind ever.. I just wonder sometimes about how we can make change happen faster.
It feels like a sinking ship that you try to bail with a teaspoon.
There are so many of us doing rescue and yet it never seems as if we are enough..

I try to focus on the good..
Because of you my friends and animals lovers I have done more than I could have ever dreamed of!!
Thank You from the bottom of my heart.. It's because of you I succeed and that the animals live on:)

We have many cats and kittens available for adoption so if you are looking let me know and I'll get some pictures up.
Here are some more of the sweet faces looking for homes!!
This is "Frankie" a male Daschund who needs to go to a seasoned Doxie home.
No children and someone that will help bring him out of his shy self.

This is sweet and handsome "Morris" Approximately a 6 months old, male and going to be a nice, fluffy big guy.
We're guessing Great Pyrenees/Australian Shepherd mix.

And of course our darling "Ruby" approximately 2 years of age, female and loves kids.
She will need a little training, she likes to jump up, but is very loving!!

This is a new little guy who came in. Unsocialized, living on a farm, he is scared of everything. We're guessing he is a Catahoula/mix. Male and about 10-12 weeks of age. He will be a big guy when he grows up. It will take some time but we're sure with some much needed exposure to people and other dog, he'll be fine!!

Have a Great Day!!!
Finally back to Tennessee...

I can't believe two weeks has gone by..
The transport went well. We arrived safe and sound and all the dogs were adopted!!!
Mr. Magoo (Mugsy) went to my friend Jill who has a Ten year old pug. It was the cutest meeting I've ever seen. They looked at each other and seemed to say.. Hey!! You're a pug!!! So am I!!
I have received reports they are doing GREAT and Mr. Magoo has new winter clothes and a new Christmas outfit.
Pictures coming soon..

Not only was it a road trip but it was a trip down memory lane..
A year in retrospection. My thoughts of all the animals that have come thru our doors and touched our lives...
348 dogs and about 60+ cats. More than I ever thought we could do.
It's been exhausting but also rewarding.
Many of our adopters keep in touch with us, especially during the Christmas season, when the cards, notes and updates come.
Here are a few to share that will make you smile:)
This is Foxy and Bosco. They were adopted both from us about a year apart. Their mom and dad spoil them rotten but they so deserve it. Bosco was found stray in Milwaukee, emaciated,matted to the skin and was an older dog. Foxy came out of a puppy mill/hoarding situation 60+ dogs in a house, none housebroken, ick.. You can only imagine.
They look fabulous now.. A true rags to riches story...

My next story is about an outstanding child who is wise beyond her years and could teach a few adults lessons in love..
If you go back in my blog archives you'll see a story about "Pinky" a little Chihuahua/mix who was left in a yard with 3 other dogs for a month with no food or water. The neighbors were giving them a little here and there, before animal control came to get them. All four ended up here and we were waiting for them to gain some weight before we had them fixed and the two females had puppies. Pinky was very codependent, looking for any little bit of love she could get from anyone. She had six healthy pups. Her puppies are now ready for adoption. The little girl's name in this story is Mykayla. She is 5. Her and her mom volunteer time at their local shelter. The family was looking for a puppy of their own this Christmas. They came to look at the pups we had. Pinky was shown first and then she went to look at the puppies. Their were 12 different ones, from different litters that we had. She played with them and then looked at her mom and asked to see Pinky again. Pinky crawled up in her lap and just nuzzled her neck as if this was her person.
Well.. It was!! Mykayla looked at her mom and said momma..
I want the momma, the pups will find homes but this mom may not.
I applaud the parents for teaching her to love and respect the animals at such a young age.
Her mom keeps asking her what she would like for Christmas.. and she just wants some treats and clothes for Pinky:)
No toys or anything else for herself. Angels do walk among us, even as children..

More Christmas stories to come..
News on the auction and updates tomorrow.
Till then..
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Transport almost completed..
We've almost completed our last transport for the year..
It's been a very busy, busy year and our total dogs transported and adopted to date for this year is 348.
I'm currently in Chicago visiting my family and staying with my close friends Monica & George Ceffalio.
George is a fabulous painter and neon sign artist!!
Here is a link to his e-bay sales
And a sample of his artwork. His passion is for the Southwest.
Vivid colors and an attention to details is what he is known for.

He has also donated a watercolor piece to our auction titled "Mystery Man" that we will be putting up as soon as I get back. The picture looks a bit different in person, but just to give you an idea till I can re-photograph when I get home.

They recently adopted a little pup from me a few months ago, if you look at the archives you'll see him. His name is "Reilly".
He has grown so much in just a few months, 6 pounds to his current 20.
It makes my heart smile to see him happy, healthy and so loved!!

Off to Wisconsin tomorrow with the remaining dogs..
Nitey nite:)
Monday, December 04, 2006
Art Auction News..

Looks like I've run out of time again:(
Too many incoming dog, getting dogs on transports to the east coast and an unexpected family emergency..
I have to leave tomorrow morning at 5 a.m. to do my last transport of the year to Chicago. So I'll be 10-12 hours on the road. The van we usually rent was crashed into a wall and at the last minute, so only thing the rental place could do was give us 2 mini vans. They are so small compared to the large cargo van and not to mention I needed another driver, but beggars can't be choosers. We need to get the dogs to the Humane societys in Chicago and Wisconsin so they can spend a Merry Christmas with new families!! So off we go!!
Luckily enough our friend Barb will be driving the second van and then coming back. Thanks Barb!!!
My husband gets to enjoy the peace and quiet of the house for a few days.

The auction will be ongoing for the next two weeks. Please check back to the auction, there is so much FABULOUS Art I would hate anyone to miss a chance to own one of these pieces.
Many of which have been featured in magazine articles and so many artists that stay quiet to themselves but oh... what Outstanding work they make!!
When I return I will load and post the remaining auction items and there are ALOT!!! Boxes piled up and many I haven't even taken a peek at what treasure await inside.
But this is my life, constantly moving:)
Everything will be loaded by Saturday Nite.
If you have any questions on auction items, I will do my best to try to get to a computer while up north, but truly feel free to give me a call on my cell phone: 414-732-3211
My cats are hams, they were having such a good time checking out the items while I was photographing them I thought I would share!!

News on our dogs:
Mr. Mugsy Magoo is going to his new home this trip to artist & friend Jill Marie Shulse. You can check her bio out here:
She has another older pug named Otis, so she is very familiar with the breed. Mr. Magoo has come a long way in just a few months!! Here are his before and after pics. He's looking a little worried about going to a new home, but I told him he would fine!!! There are more pictures if you back into the archives a few months. This poor guy was missing most of his hair, now it's thick and beautiful!!

"Bear" Now named Tonka is in Maine. He left me on Thursday and arrived safely on Saturday with a prospective family waiting to meet him. He is one I will never forget. In a very short time he stole my heart, I had to fight myself not to keep him. It's so easy to want to keep them all, but truly those of us that rescue want only the best for these animals and for them to have their own people is what is best, as hard as it is to let go sometimes.. These pics are from the pound he was at, he was so afraid he sat in the drain with all the yuck!!! Needless to say he didn't smell too good when I brought him home.
It's amazing the change that occurs in such a short time. Their eyes tell it all..

We have some new Spitz/mix pups, aren't they cute!!
1 male, 1 female, approximately 3 months old.
It's getting cold here, my heart breaks when the weather changes, our pounds are quite cold in the winter, so much so that the water dishes freeze. If the cold doesn't get them they are put to sleep. I always worry for the little ones..

Last but not least: "Ruby" she is a 1-2 year old female Bassett Hound.
Sweet as can be, she was given up because she was jumping on the little kids and knocking them over.
If you're interested in a loving girl let me know!!

Off to bed, I've got a busy day tomorrow..
Thanks so much for reading and again sorry for the delay in the auction..
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Link and auction update..

This is my first time listing on e-bay and of course I made quite the mess of it..
Thank goodness for e-bay's live chat. My rep helped me out and now I just need to reload everything. Eeek!!
By tomorrow nite it should all be up. For some reason the pieces I had thought were to go up automatically have been showing up at strange times. But hey.. I'm looking at the bright side, I'm learning e-bay and so next time it will be easier!!
(I hope:)

Here is the link to the auction!

Please share it with everyone you can, we are struggling with our vet bills and operating expenses.
It's for a good cause, you get to see and read about the lives you are helping to save and you get an awesome piece of art for your donation.

I was scheduled to leave for Chicago to transport last Thursday, but the shelter manager called me to warn me about the snow storm headed that way. I decided it was better to wait till this upcoming week than to take a chance and get stranded with almost 30 dogs. Glad I thought about it, Chicago got hammered with snow.. Brrrrrrr.....
I'm not sure if these dogs will be thankful I saved their lives or growl at me for taking them to the frigid north.. ((giggles))
Friday, December 01, 2006
Auction update..
This is my first time doing e-bay and for some reason the auction items are not starting automatically like I thought they would be..
I'm working on it now, so I hope I can figure it out tonite:(

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