A Place to Bark and Meow Blog by Bernie Berlin

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I am sooo ready for bed..
WOW!!! Today was non stop, running all day trying to get ready for this transport.
The vet was here early this morning doing the health certificates, then I ran to my other vet, the pound and Vanderbuilt hospital in Nashville for an appointment.
Tomorrow pick up the van, dogs at various vet offices, sanitize the crates, load, configure van and pack my stuff.

I just wanted to pop in and post a little video in case anyone was on the wall about adopting one of my cuties.

Most will be leaving for the humane society this trip.
So contact me, if you see someone you can't live without and we'll work on the details.
After this transport, I will be down to about 15-20 animals. I'm trying to slow down a bit, wish me luck:)
I truly need to catch up and do paperwork, write for grants, do some fund raising, get the auctions up and finish two books I'm in the midst of writing.
We have been overwhelmed with vet bills this month. We always have bills, but for some reason there have been more special needs cases than usual.
Several leg surgeries, two tail amputations, heart issues and heart worm treatments, not to mention all the other testing and vet care we do on a daily basis.

What I have decided, since every time I say I'm going to stop, I never do and it seems to only make me take in more animals is..
I am going to help out several of our local vets and rescues who have many dogs for adoption, but are ending up with the dogs being there several months to a year. I know of one that has almost 50 dogs. This way I still help get the animals to places they can be more readily adopted, but can also take a little more time to work and try to rest a bit.
I don't think I can ever stop, it just truly breaks my heart and makes me mad that the animals are in such situation, where they are not cared for. They truly deserve better than that.

I had a chance to get together with my friend Ruth yesterday.
She started the"The Fix Foundation" and has worked very, very hard over the past few years to get a spay/neuter clinic going.
She is making it happen next year!!! I'm so proud of her and the best news yet, it is pretty close to me and will also be available to residents of Sumner County. I will do everything in my power to work with her and support her efforts.
That is the only way that the needless killing will end...
So hopefully every responsible pet owner will take advantage of the programs that will be offered next year.

Last week and today, I did take in2 Shihtzu, 2 Jack Russel/mix pups, 3 Cocker Spaniels, 4 cats, a Chihuahua, a little Rat Terrier, 2 German Shepherd puppies and a small terrier that someone had shot in it's back leg. Poor sweetheart is only about 25 pounds. I tell you the animals never cease to amaze me.. She was covered in blood, they thought she was hit by a car, turns out someone shot her, but thru it all she kept wagging her tail as the techs took care of her, just burrowing her face into their chests.
Full of pellet, the blast broke the leg in several spots.
The vet is trying to save the leg, but there is always a chance she may lose it.
I'll post pictures of her cute face when I get back.

Ohhh and I have a few things to share, before I forget.. I'm so sleepy:)

"A Place To Bark" will be in next months issue of "Animal Fair". The article will be featured in their AF cares about our sweet "Noel".
Al, "Noel's" new dad, says she is doing great!!!
Hopefully I'll get to see her this trip when I go up north.

"Animal Fair", if you aren't familiar with it, is a Premier Lifestyle Magazine and website for Animal Lovers.
Founded in 1999 In support of fairness to animals.
So be sure to check it out!!!
Did I mention that Wendy Diamond's fabulous little dog "Lucky" has her own blog:)

Also, a very talented and generous artist "Karen Derrico" is selling prints of a beautiful cat painting done of "Claudine's cat Mabel.
She will be donating 20% of the proceeds to "A Place To Bark". Thank you sooooo much!!!
I wonder if she will do a painting of "Stan":)
Claudine adopted Stan from us over a year ago.
Check out Karen's other "Artwork", she is a special lady very active in donating to animal rescues.

Time for me to hit the hay.. Sorry if I rambled in this post..
I have to be up at 5:30 a.m. to get everything I need done before I leave Thursday..
Nitey nite..

P.S. Here is some of our cuties looking for forever homes..

"Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances which we know to be desperate"
G.K. Chesterton
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Adoption in Nashville.. Bow WOW!!

Just thought I would share one of our adoption stories with you..
Our little darlin "Angel" has been adopted by a very sweet young lady who is also a singer.
I met her one day, when I wandered into a salon looking for a hairdresser. I am still having my hair cut and colored in Wisconsin and thought it was time to find someone closer. I started to talk with one of the girls that worked there and she told me she was looking for a dog, did I have any Shihtzus? Why yes, we have 4:) After talking, she decided she needed to meet our little darlin, Angel.

I brought Angel down to Nashville and we decided to meet at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams showroom.
It is a FABULOUS, upscale, pet friendly, furnishing store I just recently read about.
Their entire philosophy, is based on mixing unexpected pieces together, living in an elegant comfortable way and just enjoying life in your home, along with your pets.
I was very impressed by the warmth extended to us in the store.
We did the adoption right there, as you can see, it was like being at home:)

If you click on their website above, they also have a section called "Lulu's friends" adorable pictures!!

Hannah loved Angel at first sight and promises to keep in touch.
We also offered, as we do with all our animals, if someone goes out of town and if we have room, we'll dogsit.
It is always sooo wonderful to see our rescues again.

"Baker" the store mascot came to greet us and the dogs. An extremely stylish, handsome and playful French Bulldog.
Angel and Otter had a good time meeting Baker. Needless to say, a good time was had by all.

I am a person that leads my life, believing that there are no accidents. Every event happens for a reason and that if you pay attention life leads you.. My life has been one of synchronicity and the years I have been doing rescue, have proved this true, by the meetings with the people who adopt my dogs, the artists and animal lovers I have met along the way...
So if you are ever in the market for new furniture, please consider businesses that support rescue and are animal friendly.
By networking and supporting animal lovers, it just adds to a positive collective of everyone working together.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Giving Thanks..

I know I am a day late with this post, but if you know me, being late isn't anything new:)
I'm always trying to catch up.
Life has been so busy lately that I even had to order Thanksgiving Dinner this year.
Our friend "Charlie" who is also an avid animal lover has a fabulous little gourmet restraunt and he made our dinner.
Couldn't have done better myself!!

I just want to say "Thank You" again to everyone who reads this blog..
I have a lot to be thankful for and do count my blessings daily.
This blog has had over 85,000 hits since the begining of the year from all over the world. Pretty cool!!
I have an invisible stat counter which tracks the blog activity.
The power of the internet is amazing!!! If I don't know you personally I am glad you found me..

My reflections yesterday were of my family, those who have passed and left their mark on my life. My grandpa "Clyde" is a huge part of who I grew up to be and my love of the animals. The words he left me, that stay in my heart every day, is that "Hope leads you" and "Faith gets you there". I live my life by these words.

I've gotta run but will post more soon. I just received a wonderful donation from a group of teenagers from Minnesota and will tell that story with pictures in the next post. Amazing young people who make me hopeful for the future.

I hope you all had a Fabulous Holiday with your family and your furry friends..
A little note in case you haven't learned this already..
Turkey is fine to share with the pets, but stay away from giving them gravy:)
I learned the hard way many years ago...
Light and Love to you all!!!

Friday, November 16, 2007
"Otter & Bubbles"

"We should not forget to entertain strangers, lest we entertain angels unaware." Bible - Hebrews 13:2

I just got back from my transport to Chicago late last nite, it will take me a few days to recover from driving. I'm not complaining, just talking outloud:)
It does take it's toll on you body, not to mention can get a bit boring, after so many hours..
But I will say it does give your mind time to think. To ponder many things that I probably wouldn't at home, because I'm always on the move. Today is a full day, returning the van back to the rental office, picking up the animals from my vet that have been boarded and checking in at the pound.

So many of you have become avid readers of this blog and have come to know many of the animals that have been rescued.
Thank you for caring about the animals saved and for being a very personal part of this journey with me.
These two little dogs are dogs you should know!!
Looking for a soft place to lay their heads and call home.
Just because they are old, doesn't mean they don't have value.
We will all cross that bridge someday and I truly hope that I will be cherished and loved and not thrown away, because of age or illness.
It really upsets me that these sweet dogs have ended up at the pound.
They are here now and will be cared for, until their forever homes come along.

These two very special little dogs that have stolen my heart & you'll see why...
"Otter" is a male Shihtzu. Approximately 13 years old. A tad bit warty. Blind in one eye and can only see shadows in the other. He gets around great and can sniff out a turkey sandwich from across the room. Ultra potty trained, he hasn't had an accident yet. Loves to sleep in bed with you, be by you and if I have car keys he is right behind me trying to go for a car ride.
Perfect with cats or dogs. I am totally in love with him, his personality is outstanding, truly charming.
I really think he needs to have his own t.v. show:)

He reminds me of that Hallmark cards character "Maxine", looks, kinda old and grumpy, but full of personality!!
Can you believe he is giving me the rasberry!!??!! ((giggles))

"Bubbles" is a Yorkie/Poo probably. Female, approximately 9 years of age. She was in bad shape when she got here.
Three of her vertabra in her back are fused, most likely due to some sort of trauma. Her heart is enlarged, has pneumonia and skin infections. Currently taking a heart medication, diuretic and antibiotics, her recovery is coming along. She will have to, most probably be on heart medication the rest of her life, but truly she is a little dog, doesn't take up much space and is worth all the trouble.
Total lap sitter and moves pretty fast if you have car keys.. She loves to go with you everywhere.

Here's a little You Tube video to see these little darlings in person..

Gotta Go, Gotta Go!!!
Have a Fantastic DAY!!!!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Furry Friends..

Just a quick post of some of the new furry friends here.
The faces posted are usually here only 3 weeks and then go to rescues and humane societies in different states.
For my friends in Massachusetts, I will be in Boston December 6-13th and will be driving.
So if you see a furry friend that speaks to you let me know:)

I get so many sweet e-mails from people who tell me they enjoy the photos I post and ask how do I get the dogs to smile..
Well.... Most times it is just there and I'm lucky enough to capture the moment. Other days, I have to sing and dance with them. Yes, I'm silly, but I do have fun!! Well, today was a challenge, I think they all barked at each other to make me work for the pictures:) I just couldn't get them to smile for me on camera. Oh, well..
You can see, with or without smiles how great these dogs are!!

"Lil Darlin Angel" is a female Shihtzu. Approximately 1 and a half years old. Super sweet, shy & reserved. Loves to go for car rides, sleep on your pillow and is just the perfect little girl. Gets along with other dogs, but is very, very shy of them. Would be best in a one dog household.

"Luigi" is my lil charmer.. He's sooooo cute, better in person!! A scruffy Pug. Probably a Pug/Cairn Terrier Mix. Male, approximately 5-7 years old. Loves to go for car rides, never leaves your side, good with other dogs, does like to bark at cats.
As you can see, he gave me a little smile after several pleas of please and a promise of some cheese:)

"Buster" is a male Dalmation/mix. Approximately 6 months old. Great big dog!! Busy guy who loves a good belly rub!!

"Cissy" is a female Terrier mix. Approximately 2-3 years of age. About 5 pounds. She is a busy girl, but constant companion. Another one who won't leave your side.

Now these 4 are litter mates, approximately 4 months old and really gave me a run for my money..
They are so loving, jump like crazy when you get in their run with them and pretty much shred my clothes:) Gave me a hard time, kinda like nah-nah boo-boo you can't get us to smile:)

"Lucky" says: Smile, did you say smile?? Hee-hee.. Catch me if you can!!

"Louie" says: I'm the strong silent type..

"Lulu-Belle" says: I'm beautiful and you should just be in awe of my beauty and admire me..

"Larry" says: Quit bugging me, crazy camera lady.. I'm too busy eating to smile for you:)

Got caught in the rain all day yesterday, needless to say we didn't do the interview for the paper.
I think I'm getting a sore throat and can't remember the name of the throat lozengers my grandfather use to give me, they were some type of herbal tasting drops but worked great... If you have any suggestions, I'm open.. Hate having a sore throat:(

Hope you enjoy the pictures, I'm off and running...
Have a GREAT day!!!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
All is good...

Sometimes days are not so good and it brings us down. I've learned to embrace how I feel and let it go.
My last post was one of those days.. But those days pass and everyday is a new beginning...
Like today!!!

The good news is, the county has resumed our program!!!
I have been super busy getting ready for my transport Thursday.
Today I have a reporter coming up to take pictures and do a story if it doesn't rain and my vet is coming to do the health certificates.
Tomorrow I rent the van, clean and sanitize all the crates, pick up 8 pups I have at foster care, drop off 3 litters of pups & kittens to board at the vets office while I'm gone and make sure to brief Jeff & Terry as to, who gets what, medication, food, etc., while I'm gone.

Positive change is coming and our working relationships with our county commissioners is growing stronger.
So better things to come for the animals for the future..
It will take time and change won't happen overnite, but the future can be positive, we just have to work hard and believe..
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
In the News today..

I'm ready for bed, just totally mentally and physically exhausted...
Long emotional day...
The transport can't go till next week.
The vet who did my health certificates is no longer working for the county, which is fine, but we can't move the dogs without the proper paperwork and exams.
By law I cannot transport across state lines without the health certificates, so I'm stuck for the moment.
I'm worried for the dogs, it's getting pretty cold here at nite. I was hoping to be on the road this Thursday, but it is what it is.
We'll do the best we can. Each dog house was filled with lots of straw and there are several dogs and pups to each run to keep each other warm.
I feel terrible that they have to be outside, when it's cold, but I can't have all of them in the house.
The really little guys are sheltered here in the house.

Lately there has been some dialog that some are not happy with rescues that transport out of state. I want to clarify that I know this is not the answer, but that until spay and neuter programs are established and running, I can't stand by and just watch such amazing animals put to sleep, when there are places that healthy, adoptable animals are wanted.
Life is to be honored and not disregarded.
Trust me, it is no fun driving 10 hours with 20 to 40 dogs/puppies in a van. The cleaning in between is no picnic, not to mention the aroma:)

Next year the foundation that sponsors much of what I do, has promised a matching grant, so that we may be able to build our shelter. Say a prayer for me and the animals, that this happens. We need it.
For the meanwhile, I will have to pay one of the local vets for the health certificates and that will run 10 to 15 dollars per dog. That really adds up when you do 40 to 60 dogs..
But hey, we'll figure it out, no one said doing rescue would be easy..
The upside is that they are all alive and will be on their way to new lives and homes next week!!

I did an interview today with FOX 17 here today, you can view the transcript & video here

These are pics of dogs that have passed thru our rescue...
Many times I just don't have enough time to post all the pics but aren't these guys great:)
Makes you smile just looking at them!!
They are all living somewhere in Chicago.

Off to bed, tomorrow is a new day...
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Happy Faces...

This week has just started and it has been a very hectic day to say the least...
I wanted to show you the happy faces here, since the last post was so heavy.
I have been on the phone with commissioners and our executives last Friday and today, working with them, providing some suggestions for positive changes for our animal control.
The situation with our animal control has been all over the news and everything is chaotic.
People picketing on behalf of the animals. You can view today's story here

The pound has received death threats and so it was pretty scary for me to go there today, just fearful that someone would by mistake do something bad to me. But never the less, I still went and took out 5 animals today.
I am getting ready to transport on Thursday, but because of the situation at the pound I may be unable to do so.
The vet who euthanizes also does my health certificates. So I am at a standstill for the moment. Which is bad for the animals, it means they may have to stay here a few more weeks, until this all gets sorted out. I am scheduled for two transports this month and if this is pushed back, the animals could be here into December. I have to go to Boston the first week in December to teach and organize an art show that we are planning for May, so I would have to board a bunch of animals, ohhhh, worry, worry:(
Worst case scenario I will have to pay for the health certificates, that will be close to five hundred dollars and boarding, which I haven't an idea since I haven't crossed that bridge yet. Enough talk for now, lets see some happy pups!!

Here are some of the sweet faces here:

"Goober" & "Gertrude" 12 week old Beagle mixes. Happy as can be and super busy!!

Litter of 8 week old hound mix pups:

"Gracie" 12 week old Shepherd/mix. She will steal your heart.

8 week old Lab/mix pups. I have holes in my pants from them tugging so hard:)

"Bubba" 12 week old Cattledog/mix. It's true what they say, let sleeping dogs lie... Because if you wake him, he will run off with what ever he can find!! Super smart and super busy!!

This is "Nellie" or otherwise known as "Momma Dog".
One of the many momma dogs we have taken in.
I have a huge soft spot for mother dogs with pups. It just bothers me terribly to see whole families of dogs at the pound. Knowing that this didn't have to be... That someone somewhere is responsible, because they didn't fix their pet.
"Nellie" reminds me so much in personality of our Sophie
"Sophie" was here last year, has found a forever home with one of my magazine editors. She was very shy, but now lives a life of privilege just outside of Boston,Massachusetts and goes to work everyday at Quilting Arts Headquarters.
Here is a link to a youtube of "Sophie" in her new home.
"Nellie" only had two pups with her at the pound. They are shown below, "Brown Bear" and "Black Bear"

Last but not least is "Furbee" She is approximately 10 weeks old. Cute as can be, lots of fur!!! Best we can figure, Shepherd/mix, maybe Chow or Keeshond mix. If you guys in Denver want her, you have to let me know A.S.A.P.

That's all the photos I have had time to download and clean up for today..
More to come my friends...
Whew, I'm off to bed...
Blessings and Light to you..

Edit: I just received an e-mail this morning that my friend Tawnya's friend Daniel, who has a new business and fun website :
Dogs Love Peanutbutter.com check it out!!
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Heavy Post: Tissue Alert

The photo above is a rose bush that is outside the door at animal control.
It is very symbolic to me and caught my eye the very first time I went there..
It always has one rose blooming..
Even in the winter. To me it is a reminder even in the saddest of places there is always hope..
That is what I cling to, each and every time I walk thru that door.

You never know what the day will bring...
Today brought news about the shelter, that I pull most of my animal from.
There was an investigative report. The video is graphic and gut wrenching.
If you are interested in the story, click HERE

There is not much I can say, the story speaks for itself. I had nothing to do with the story, but it was a story that had to be told. The sad truth is that euthanasia happens all over the country.
In counties close to where we are, many don't even have an animal control, the animals are collected, shot or killed in other unspeakable ways..
The bottom line is animals deserve better and it's up to us to help make it better..
When you do rescue, it is easy to lose your mind, breakdown and burnout, if you think about it all.
If you are a rescuer, you know exactly what I am talking about.
Also, I cannot stress enough to never buy a dog from a pet store..
I have been on puppy mill raids and it is something I don't ever wish on anyone ever to see..
The animals deserve better..
This video was just taken from a puppy mill situation in Virginia, the video is very touching, not graphic, but you will get the whole feeling of why not to buy from a pet store..
Puppy Mill Rescue Video

When I lived up north, I had heard stories about the animal situations in the south, but nothing could have prepared my heart for what I have come to see and know here..

I try to stay focused on my task, trying to do what I can, as much as I can for the animals of my county in a positive manner.
Working with my local politicians, vets and networking with animal welfare agencies that can help the animals I take in and find them life. I miss the days when I did all private placements, but those days are gone. These days I place hundreds yearly, not sure how long I can do this with the resources I have, but will stay, as positive as I can for the future.
I truly hope that the unfavorable media our pound is receiving doesn't affect all the good we have done, for I would like to keep moving forward with our programs.. The county has been paying for the health certificates, for the animals taken from the pound to help with our expenses and hence save their lives.
The way I presented it to them was that yes, I understand they are an animal control facility.
The county is there to control the animals, so they could pay to euthanize or pay to buy them life with a health certificate and I would take care of the rest. They agreed to help.

What makes "A Place To Bark" unique is that we a full time foster facility, between animal control and the humane society.
We quarantine and fully treat all the animals that come thru our doors.
Most shelters just don't have the time and man power to do this, not to mention it is very expensive.
My belief is that life should not have a dollar sign attached to it.
We always seem to find a way and fully commit to caring for the animals that I take in.

Yesterday I spent the day training and interviewing pound dogs with my friend "David".
He is a professional dog trainer and trains dogs for federal law enforcement agencies. "Hank" was hired and is on his way to a new job & life.
I can't tell you how happy he was going thru the training session with David. You can see it in his eyes!!

I also took in 12 new animals yesterday..
I'm hoping I can transport next week, but it will all depend if I have a vet to do the health certificates, for I'm not sure what is going to happen with current vet from the shelter.

We are fully loaded and some of these guys have been here 6 weeks.
They are ready to go, not to mention the weather is changing and I worry that they will be cold.
Until we have a building I will have to close up for the winter.

Since this is a heavier post than what I normally do, I will also add this link, which truly makes real what I am telling you about the never ending needless killing that goes on every day in every part of the country. If you want to save a dog in a shelter near you, click on the icon below.

I have also been asked to see the article about the shortage of puppies and kittens in different parts of the country.
Click HERE if you would like to read it.

I hope that there will come a day, when each and every person takes full responsibility for the animals they take into their lives. By spaying and neutering the animals there will not need to be a place like mine...

Till that day, we'll keep doing what we're doing..

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