A Place to Bark and Meow Blog by Bernie Berlin

Friday, June 27, 2008
Today.. Day 3
Can't post very much, I am running out the door.
I have been onsite volunteering at the"puppymill seizure" here in Tennessee.
700 animals rescued, it is the largest bust in the history of the state.
If you have never seen "Humane Society of the United States" in action, the term blood, sweat and tears is the best way I can describe the people and dedication to the cause.  
I have seen first hand where the donation dollars are spent and am in awe of the total operation to save and someday abolish all puppymills.
You can follow the rescue "here"..
Help spread awareness about puppymills and help join "HSUS"in their crusade, that no dog be left behind!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Give Away Gifts... Thank you for reading!!!

"Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by doubling our joy and dividing our grief."
-Joseph Addison

As I am getting ready to leave for my trip to New Jersey, I couldn't help but do this post..
It has been on my mind for sometime, to do some art give aways.
My appreciation for all the wonderful support, both financially and emotionally over these past years has left me feeling very grateful everyday.  

I feel very blessed, to be able to keep continuing to rescue animals and I could not do it without you.  I wish I could know each and every one of you, that visits this blog and according to my statcounter, there are ALOT of you!!!  
So please take a moment to post a comment, it can be as simple as I am a lurker, I love my dog, cat or just a simple hello..   No need to get real lengthy if you don't want to:)

Just know your comments left mean so much to me..  
I know it sounds sappy, but I mean this from the bottom of my heart!!!
You have no idea of what the day to day happenings here are, as far as the hundreds of e-mails daily, from lists all over about dogs being put to sleep, rescuers franic to save animals in kill shelters, the daily phone calls everyday, from people having to surrender their dogs due to foreclosures, changes of circumstances or people finding strays that they have no place to go with them, other than the pound and that is almost always sure death.  
My voicemail is usually full by noon..
I wish I could take them all in, but I can't and it is such a hopeless feeling, I hope you never have to experience.  It is a constant roller coaster of emotions so to speak.  
We are at a time, that the economy is so bad that rescues & charities everywhere are cutting back, shutting down and even worse, I have been getting e-mails that some rescues will have to euthanize their own dogs, because they cannot care for them any longer.  
I just reached out to one of these rescues, offering food and whatever else I could help with.
The animals have no choice, but to depend on and look to us for help to hear stories like that just destroys me...

Enough sad talk..
I appreciate you and want you to know it!!  What I am giving away isn't fancy, just a little token.
Sooooo, just comment and make sure to leave your email or blog URL so I can contact you if you win!  I'll draw two winners on Thursday July 27th.
The contest will end midnight July 26th.  Winners will be posted on the 27th.
I will use a random number generator to pull the winners for these art related things.
I know it's not much, but I really wanted to do a little something to show my appreciation.
So this is what I am giving away!!!

1 whimsical doggie 4 x 4 painting done by me.  Yes, silly, but fun!!!

2 Artist Trading Card books, signed by the author (me).

3 individual collage sheet packs, each containing themed: 1 cat collage sheet and 2 dog collage sheets.  
Perfect for Artist Trading cards or for creating small or mini collages!!

Again "Thanks A Million" for being my friend and friends to the animals!!!
Blessings & Light to you all...


Updates on Chase and where I am off to next..

"Although the world is full of suffering, it's also full of the overcoming of it."
-Helen Keller

"Maija", you wanted an update on Chase, so here it is...
I am pleased to tell you "Chase", a.k.a. Drippy, no longer bites, is walking and gives lots of tail wags and kisses:)
He had me very worried, as well as the staff at my vets office, for he did bite on several occasions.
There is nothing more heartbreaking than an unsocialized animal who is terrified by everything.  Did you know that fear is the very root of an aggressive dog.  
It is true, a dog who is not confident will bite out of fear.  But with time and training, these issues can be overcome in most cases.
Chase's name was originally Drippy.  The vet techs at my vet's office named him, after he came in.  He was soaking wet and drippy, when he was brought in, after a car had hit him. 
His name was changed for fear people would be reluctant to adopt him because they might think he had a drippy condition, for example having a potty issue. But after much thought, he will regain his Drippy name, just because he truly responds to it more, than Chase.
Our little guy is doing fantastic!!! A picture tells a thousand words and you can see from the pictures below, his progression has been miraculous:)

Tomorrow I am headed out to Ranger U, in New Jersey for product usage certification.
Really excited, for I will get to see & learn about all the wonderful new art products they have. 
I personally use Ranger products, as a staple in my artistic endeavors, and now I will be a certified instructor as well!!!
Not only do I not have to teach, I will get to be a student for a change and will learn, what is new and exciting in the industry. 
The instructors teaching are also friends of mine, so that makes it just that much more fun!!! 
Claudine and I will get to spend some girl time together, brainstorm about A Place To Bark's future events, like the art auction slotted for November, the Cafe Press store and other things to benefit the animals and keep us running.  I'm sure we'll be headed out for some Thai & Japanese food too:)

On the horizon, I have also been asked to teach at these upcoming events later this year & next year.  This is my version of cutting back my schedule:)  

"CHA Chicago", will be book signing and demoing for my publisher "F+W Publications",
"ZNE ConvenZioNE" in California, 
"Raevns Nest Art Retreat" in Wisconsin, "Expo Art" in California,
& I have been asked to teach at the "Creative Soul Retreat" in Melbourne, Australia next year!!!

Yes, I have busy schedule and a medical condition that has been  tiring me out a bit more than usual, but have to earn a living just like everyone else and doggies to feed:)
If you wonder who cares for them while I am gone, we will soon have a page up on the website that introduces you, to those who help me care for the animals. 
I have Terry here full time and Chris helps when he can & several fabulous fosters who will be featured, so you can get to know them too:)

Gotta run, but not until I introduce you to our newest shy girl...
Her name is "Skittles" and she is soooo shy.
Sweet as can be, but truly scared to death of anything that is new or moves quickly.  
Once she warms up she doesn't leave your side.
About 1 to 2 years of age she would be a wonderful companion for anyone who is looking for a co-dependent small dog.

That's it for now, will post more next week...
P.S. Just to let  you know, we have already rescued just a little over 300 animals this year so far!!!  

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Monday, June 16, 2008
How BIG is your heart???

"What the Lion is to the Cat, the Mastiff is to the Dog.
The noblest of the family, he stands alone and all others sink before him.
His courage does not exceed, his temper and generosity,
In attachment he equals the kindest of his race."
Cynographia Britannica - 1800

This post is about a week old, but if you know me I am always trying to catch up on my life:)
So much to say, but posting takes time as most of you know that keep blogs and websites.

Do you have room in your heart and home for some BIG girls?
These sweet darlings are looking for homes. 
I have been in contact with "Friends of Rescued Mastiff"
and hopefully together we can find forever homes, for these girls.
These Mastiffs are, roughly between the ages of 2-4 and 110-166 pounds. 
That's a whole lot of dog!!!
They are wonderful, but be ready to pick up large piles and keep a towel around for lots of drooley kisses.  Not to mention, to please really think long term on, is this breed right for me.
The Sumner County Sheriff’s detectives seized 44 dogs, during visits to several dog breeding operations in Sumner County, following complaints received concerning the treatment of animals.  
That is where these girls came from.
I took these pictures early last week, but couldn't bring them here right away since I was getting everyone ready for transport & would be on the road gone. 
The sheriff's department & "The Hairy Moose" had been housing all the seized dogs for several weeks.  These were the last 4 that weren't adopted out.

I have two of the four here now and they are sooooo sweet.
I won't kid you, they will need homes that will understand the breed and the circumstances they came from.  The two girls I have here are kept separate, but love, love, love, people. 
Loud noises scare them, but I believe we can build their confidence and eventually socialize them to each other.  It takes time and work, but nothing is impossible, with love, understanding and the proper training.
Please do your research and be completely honest with your self about your true expectations and time constraints when adopting a dog.
If you have any questions or would like to more about the breed, this Mastiff rescue website has a fantastic F.A.Q. page.
Or this website which talks about the good, the bad & concerns you may have about the breed.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Alive and running..
"Dear God, May the stars which fill the sky, fill me."
-Marianne Williamson

Yes, I am alive:)
Thanks so much for all the e-mail inquiries!!!
Crazy busy these past few weeks, with caring for the animals, transporting, then to Wisconsin for the Bead & Button Show, then home and again on the road to Chicago transporting again yesterday.
Tonite I am overnighting in a hotel in Indiana due to weather and accidents. 
In the past 6 weeks I have brought 98 dogs & puppies up north along with 7 cats & kittens.
In addition to caring for everyone and getting all ready, to go forth on their journeys to new homes, we have been planning and getting ready to build our new shelter. 
It has been a learning experience and the cost of building is much more than we had anticipated, but the physical building will go up this summer and we will have to add thing on as we go.
But you have to start somewhere!!!!   So we are:)
A cat house will also be built this summer, more to come on that...

Here are some pics I would like to share with you, of some of the pups, that were on this last transport and are at the humane society up for adoption this week.

This group was very hard for me to say goodbye to and I am sure you can see why:)
These guys were just full of personality!!!

I will try to post a bit more this week, have so much to tell and lots of fun stuff to share.
But for right now I'm pretty tired and ready to take a hot shower and just try to relax a bit, before I hit the road early tomorrow morning.

This little girl "Gophie" loves "Pokey".  
He will miss her..  But there will always be more little ones for him to care for and be a guardian to.

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A Place to Bark is a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit, tax-exempt charitable organization. Donations are tax deductible.

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