A Place to Bark and Meow Blog by Bernie Berlin

Thursday, November 27, 2008
Giving Thanks!!!
"We each have the power in our own hands,
 to create the miracle of becoming the person we were meant to be."
-Joe Tye

Thanksgiving is a day, that we take time and reflect on what we are Thankful for:
I have been blessed in so many ways & just feel that it proper I say it out loud:)

I am Thankful for: YOU!!!
My friends, animal loving people & artists, so many I know & so many I don't personally know, but who support and believe in my visions.   
I value each & everyone of you, more than you'll ever know!!!
Below is a photo taken at Ranger U with my animal loving friends:
Terri Ventura, Claudine Hellmuth, Suze Weinberg, Me and Tim Holtz.

I am Thankful to be as Tim says:  "Living the Life you Imagine.."  
By paying forward the gifts life has given us, we in turn can give life back. 

I am Thankful, you helped me save over 400 dogs this year and approximately 67 cats.
I am Thankful to all my friends, who go above and beyond, you helped me build a shelter:

While it is what I love, at times it can be very challenging.  
Seeing bad things that happen to the animals, 
who can't defend or care for themselves gets to me.
So the struggle is constant, to stay focused on what we can do, rather than not.
The contrast make me most appreciative of life at every level!!
It inspires me to continue on, learn more, do more & develop a program that will become a standard sometime in the future, that will teach others, how to do what I do & save more lives.
Yes, a book in the works:)

I am very Thankful for Jeff!!  
He is the BEST dog/puppy socializer in the world.  He does wonders for the shy, scared & terrified.

Due to his medical conditions he is very limited to how much he can do, so time is on his side.
Thru it all he battles his conditions & does all he can do for the critters.  
He gives them love... As the saying goes Love Conquers all!!
Truly he has one of the most important jobs in rescue.  

ALL of us here are Thankful for Terry!!   
He is a very humble and quiet man who loves the animals...  
While he doesn't like me snapping pictures, I think it's important to honor those who help us.
He is the manpower & muscle behind A Place To Bark.  Here everyday, rain or shine.
Without his help, I could not care for as many as we do.  
We value his friendship, dedication and love for all the dogs.

I am Thankful for this year & the many past years of saving the lives & finding homes for the animals that come into my rescue..
I have learned so much, it has changed me to be a better person and my hope is to inspire others to join in our fight to save lives.
More times than not, it gets very scary financially, but I believe in the greater good!!  
Hope leads me, Faith guides me & I Believe we can make a difference....

I am Thankful for my family, both human & furry..
And most of all I am Thankful to be ALIVE today & everyday!!!
& again I am Thankful for YOU!!!
God's Blessings be with you all...

P.S. Don't forget about our ongoing Linked By Love Auction
4 items ending in just a few hours!!! New items being listed daily till Christmas:)
Tell Santa you want some art!!!

Also, more links to artist donating to us this Holiday season, they have auctions up too!!
Barbe Saint John
Maria Lamb
Monday, November 24, 2008
"Linked By Love Auction" Artists Saving The Lives of Animals
"Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become.  
Your vision is the promise of what you shall at last unveil."
-John Ruskin

Cha-Cha above is sporting her Christmas attire as the mascot to our new art auction.
She is available for adoption: A female Chihuahua who is soft spoken sweet, loving and not the typical Chihuahua.  Approximately 5-7 years of age, she is a bit plump, but hey so am I!!!  
She only has few teeth left, but who needs teeth, when you are this cute!!!

We have started our "Linked by Love Auction" 
Artist Friends of A Place to Bark, Dedicated to Saving The Lives Of Animals in Need. 
This auction continues till December 25th in hopes of raising the funds needed to finish our shelter and help us catch up on some Mega HUGE vet bills.  New items will be listed daily!!!
Many of the art pieces are published and won't be offered anywhere else, but in our auctions.
Really FABULOUS Art!!  Please bookmark the link, check back often & help spread the word!!!!
Christmas is coming, so now is the time to treat yourself or someone you love to a very special artful present and in turn help us continue on...

The physical building is finished, septic, electrical, plumbing, all the hard stuff done.
We still need about 15k to fully finish the inside.
I hate advertising how much money we need, but unfortunately, it's the nature of the beast. 
Being a growing charity, these will be our hardest years financially, growing & building. 
Our hope is to raise enough funds, so that we can at least get a heating/cooling unit in so that we can start to use the building this winter.  
A more detailed post coming soon.. 
Once we complete the shelter, grants will be easier to apply for.  
We are a long way from where we were 8 years ago, over 400 animals will have been rescued this year alone, that's alot to smile about!!
I have one more transport scheduled for December, just in time for my pups find a home for Christmas!!!
Please, please if you are buying a puppy for Christmas do not buy a puppy from a pet store!!!
CLICK HERE to find out why.
Please adopt from a humane society or research and find a reputable breeder.
I'll be on the road, hoping no snow storms get in my way, but if they do, we've done that before:)

Let's face it money is tight for everyone.. 
The economy is down and many have less to donate, this is just a fabulous free way to help us generate the funding needed for the animals!!!
If you search the Internet daily, GoodSearch is a great way to donate without having cash.  
Just use it as your search engine and it will donate a penny every time you search.
Over time it really add up!!!  I have mine as my homepage when I start up my computer:)
If you shop the Internet anyway, please go thru GoodShop & list us as your designated charity.  
They will donate anywhere from 1% to 30% of your total purchases back to "A Place To Bark".  
There are 700+ top name retailers listed, E-bay, Target, Best Buy, Gap, Zappos, Macy's, PetSmart & Vista Print are just a few of the many named places to shop.  
Your buying price is the same, but a donation goes to our cause.  How GREAT is that!!


MISSION FISH:  Giving is easy & safe thru Mission Fish.  
If you have art or anything for that matter, just sitting around that you want to sell on E-bay,
you can help us, help the animals by donating a small percentage of proceeds or 100%. 
The choice is yours to make:)
If you don't see the Mission Fish logo on an auction that is to benefit us here at "A Place To Bark", make sure you ask alot of questions or check with me.
This link will show you all current auctions on MISSION FISH right now!!!  
This is where you can make a one time DIRECT DONATION
or you can schedule a recurring monthly donation so that we receive ongoing support.  
Any amount helps, it all adds up!!!

To be applied to our ongoing vet bills, checks can be made to:
The Critter Clinic Clinic, 522 W. Main Street, Gallatin, TN 37066 615-452-1477
Please put a note in the reference/memo line:  Apply to A Place To Bark bills.

If we don't raise what we need this holiday season, we will have to slow down and possibly stop intake for awhile.  Money is depleted, the animals are coming in at record numbers everywhere, not just here, due to the financial situations everywhere.   
I will have to pump up my teaching schedule, hit the road more often and raise the needed funding.   Either way, I am fine with it:) 
Never expected this to be easy and I'm not afraid to bust my butt!! 
Starting this, I knew that so much of it would depend on how hard I was willing to work, never did I ever think, we would save as many animals as we do. 
No matter what, I am very proud of what we have been able to achieve so far and will continue on, no matter what!!!  I don't give up easily...
My life has gone to the dogs so to speak:)

Truly I want to also say, that there are many, many wonderful charities out there and we are all struggling for funding with the economy the way it is, so feel free to donate to someone else in need, it's the helping other that counts!!!  
Don't get me wrong, I welcome the help, but also know there are others who do amazing work and we all have personal charities that are near & dear to our hearts.  
The holidays should be about the love that surround us, the blessings in our lives and what we can do everyday to honor and appreciate life!!!
Gosh, my head is about to pop off, I have so much to do and catch up on..  
Have 2 books I still need to send out, I know they are long overdue:(
So sorry girls, I will get these out this week.
I am also working on a Contributors & FAQs Page to be on the main website here, so much to do!!!...
Book, teaching proposal & magazine deadlines are all looming  so I'm working round the clock, between the animals and actual real life work.   Enough of my chatter about what I'm doing..

Sending you all my BEST WISHES & hope you all have a WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING!!!
I am thankful everyday for the friendships made, the support given and the awareness created. 
I hope we will all be together for a very long time to come, in hopes to see positive changes for animals in need everywhere!!!

Even though the miles separate us, the Internet bridges the distance...
And I am not ashamed to say so... :)

P.S. Ben LOVES you Too!!!

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Friday, November 21, 2008
A Special Situation: Rescue Confiscation
"I expect to pass thru this life but once. 
Therefore, if there be any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now, for I shall not pass this way again."
-William Penn

I just want to say "THANK YOU!!!"
To the artists that helped create the "Dogs Rule Fatbook"!!!
We raised $355.00 dollars from the auction of it.  That is AMAZING!!!
I have wonderful friends that help me to continue on... 
Because of you, stories like this have a happy ending!!

These photos, this story, is from a cruelty confiscation that never should have been.  
It happened a couple months ago and we are finally moving some of the dogs out for adoption!!!
We took 31 dogs out of this place.
It was a situation that a person who loved animals, went down a very dark path & what started out as good intentions, put the lives of animals in harms way.  
Most of these animals were picked up as strays, but never fixed.  
So they continued to procreate.. 
Too many dogs, not enough food, no money, the care became overwhelming, mental illness crept in, abuse, starvation and neglect.   The photo above was the yard they were kept in.
Below are the photos, some before & afters.  So many of these poor babies were never touched.
Unsocialized they are terrified of people.
For some of these animals we have a long road or rehabilitation.   
Others have done well and I took up several to Chicago last Tuesday for adoption.

"Charlie" below is heart worm positive, approximately 5-7 years old, we have to wait till he gains more weight before treatment.  He was pretty beat up, trying to fight for food.
 Sweet loving guy, he will make someone a great pet!!  Man he will talk your ear off:)
"Buster" is the picture beside him and he is ready to go!!!  FANTASTIC guy, approximately 2-3 years of age, he gets along with everyone!!  Loves people most of all:)  

This old guy is "Woofie" he is 7-9 years of age, blind in one eye.  Probably a Husky/Shepherd mix.  He just wants and needs a home to hang his hat to live out his days.
Not a high maintenance dog, he just hangs out, lays around & thumps his tail as you walk by.

"Coyote boy" is just the cutest guy!!!  In great need of being socialized.  He is approximately 1-2 years of age and terrified of people.  Catching him is like trying to catch a Jackalope:)  It will take time, but he is coming around.

This mom dog, smiley as she is, we cannot touch her..
We keep working with her, she will now take treats from us, but that is the extent of how close she will come.  When we caught her & here babies, that was a bit scary.  
But all are safe and sound!!!
The puppies were so very sick, full of infection and had abscessed feet and tails from wounds.  
Lots of medication and time, but all are healed nicely now!!  Did I mention she had 10 pups?

"BIG EARL" is a fuzzy guy!!!  Amazingly sweet, it's like being at a rodeo leash training him, but he almost has it:)

This other Shepherd, she also had puppies, but thank goodness only 2. She is even more unsocialized than the last:(
There are 3 of these dogs that look identical.. 2 females and a male. All within 1-3 years of age.

This little doll is "Holly" and she has already gone to Chicago, so hopefully I will hear from her adoptive people soon:)

These three amigos also headed north!!!  They are sweet babies, but very, very shy..
That is until they warm up to their new people:)  
So I'm just waiting to hear from their new parents!!

It has been a wild several months, record numbers of dogs coming in and going out..
One more transport left for the year.. Can you believe the year is almost gone!!!
Good grief, I think I feel another wrinkle beginning to form:)
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
"A dream becomes a goal when action is taken toward its achievement"
-Bo Bennett

The Dogs Rule Fatbook is ENDING VERY SOON!!!
Please spread the word, tell all your friends, neighbors and perfect strangers with pets about it:)
As of this post we have: 12 hours 36 mins 10 secs

"CLICK HERE" To Bid!!!!

Please stay tuned, more auctions & fabulous art to follow thru this Holiday season:)  
Next blog post tomorrow nite!!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Did you hear?? The DOGS RULE Auction is LIVE!!!!
"There is no such thing as a self made man. You reach your goals only with the help of others."
-George Shinn

YoWzA, WOW!!!  Tell ALL your friends!!!!  Our art auction is beginning and LIVE!!!

A VERY Special THANKS to Jill Beninato & ALL the artists that made this happen!!!

Where has all the time gone??? 
As you can tell from the slow down of blog posts, I have been busy beyond words...
But we are saving lots of lives and that is counts:)
My life has been blessed in many ways..
The love & friendships truly make "A Place To Bark" what it is today..
For that, I am FOREVER grateful!!! 
Yes, I know I have said this many times before, I do, I am and I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!
Every story, Every animal saved is because people cared enough to do something, just a little something to help... 
The collaborative efforts add up, equal change & hope for our furry friends. 
From spreading the words of rescue, spay/neuter, donating art, helping with our contests, creating & updating our website, to shamelessly asking for money during contests to help us win and the young people who give so selflessly, you are the hope for the future of these animals in so many ways!!! It all counts, every little good deed and action:) THANK YOU!!!

Our "Dogs Rule Fatbook" is on auction and LIVE right now, for only a few more days, so please "CLICK HERE" to go straight to the auction... 
The book is a FABULOUS compilation of art done by 13 artists. 
This Link takes you to a previous blog post about this wonderful book:)

The following video was done by the very talented Rebecca Collins for the auction. 
She compiled footage that was taken about a year and a half ago from a few YouTube videos I've done. 
We have changed and grown since then. Then 2700 square feet of kenneling to just over 4000 & we now have a new 30x60 building.
She gives you a look into our rescue, the artists behind the book and some thoughtful audio on why Dogs Rule.

Just a little something to smile about!!!
These are just a few of our many rescues, currently here, waiting for their forever homes... 

"Sam" A male Springer Spaniel approximately 3-5 years of age.  Housebroken, crate trained, loving, laid back & just the perfect companion!!

"Jake" A male lab mix approximately 1-3 years of age.  Super loving!!!  Great guy, but whoa!!! 
Lots of energy!!! Got any runners out there:)

"Bootie" who loves to have his bootie in the water bucket:)  Male Boston Terrier approximately 2-4 years of age.  Funny guy who absolutely LOVES people, not so keen on other dogs.  
He thinks he is a person..  NOT housebroken, was an outside dog.  
((Don't these people know, that Bostons are not meant to live outdoors, but in people houses & beds:))

"Rocko" is a male pug mix.  Approximately 12 weeks old.  
He is Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!!!! 
You can tell by the look on his face he will get into all kinds of trouble, but will kiss your whole face to make you forgive him:)

"King" is a male White Doberman with blue eyes.  Approximately 1-2 years of age.  Previously heartworm positive he is on the road to recovery thanks to my friend Shirley who not only rescued him, but paid for his treatment.  He will be available for adoption in 2 weeks. 
LOVING, good with other dogs, he is a huge puppy!!! Non stop energy, it has been a huge challenge keeping him quiet during his ongoing treatment.

"Lola & Liza" are pug mixes.  They 2 are part of a litter of 7 pups.
I had to hold them back for a bit, but now are ready to go!!!  SUPER kissey these girls are sure to win your heart:)

It's because of you that we can do, what we do!!!
Will be posting an updated YouTube of the current dogs here, the inside of the shelter and an update on where we are, with finishing the shelter..  
In the meanwhile visit our YouTube channel and see all the past videos:)

Stay Tuned!!!  MORE updates coming...

Monday, November 03, 2008
Gotta LOTTA LOve!!!
"God gives us dreams a size too big so that we can grow in them" 
~Author Unknown

I know, Halloween was a few days ago...
But I couldn't help but share this picture with you!!!  
Matt is quite smitten with Beulah and we love Matt!!!  
He is an amazing young man, secure in his manhood as we can tell, who is also a very talented artist.  (((Yes, I know I owe you some canvases, Matt)))
I have to board many of my dogs when I am out of town and he is one of the guys who takes care of them while I'm gone.
I'm not sure where the time has gone, but is has flown by.. 
The year is almost over!!!  But also with time, we have saved alot of animals this year:) 

Below are some of our BIG BABIES that have been here for quite a bit..
We move the majority of our dogs out in 3-5 weeks, but in the case of these poor darlings, they have been here 5 months or more..
All of these dogs are really loves and deserve to have their own homes, peoples beds, etc.
Please pass this blog post along to others in hopes that someone may be looking for a fabulous BIG dog:)

"Beulah" & "Cupcake" are female English Mastiffs.  
They were taken by the Sheriff's department as part of a puppymill/cruelty seizure.  
Click Here if you want to read further about their stories, Channel 5 also has video footage.

These girls are magnificent!!!  
"Beulah" above is approximately 4 years of age.  
More on the shy, reserved, quiet side, she loves to spend quality time with her person. 
Cautious with new people, she warms up quickly.

Now "Miss Cupcake" (previously called Brindle) is just the silliest, lighthearted girl!!
Approximately 2 years of age, she loves everyone!!!  If she sees you walking her way, she will throw herself to the ground belly up, waiting for a tummy rub:)

"Roxy" is a Catahoula/mix.  
Yes I know she looks like a Rottweiler, lab mix with a funny blue eye. 
Approximately 4-5 years of age, she has had a very hard life, living on a short chain, too many litters of puppy and malnourishment before she came here.
Great dog with people, fabulous!!!  Just does not like to share her food with other dogs.  
She was starved for so long, that she is very possessive over food, but only with dogs, people are no problem.  So she needs to go to an only dog home.  I love her, she gives me lots of kisses back!!!

And of course the picture below is of  me and my boyfriend "Pokey" he is quite the Casanova:)
This picture was taken earlier this year in the spring.  A Great Pyrenees/ Pointer mix.
He is a strong silent type.  
Loves to give you hugs and kisses and as you can see he is bigger than I.   
I stand 5.1 and he is slouching.   He even loves me when my hair is  messy and I smell like poo:)
Well I did in the picture, I'm pretty sure.  Was cleaning up after the pups and rearranging kennels.
Pokey is pretty close to 2 years of age, but because he is a very HUGE mixed breed, he is still here. Great dog!!!   I hope someone takes the chance to give him a home, you won't be disappointed...

We do have alot of fun around here, but don't think it's not work.  
It is a ton of hard work, many times quite gross and stinky:)  
But with moments that touch my heart, everyday!!!
The pictures speak a thousand words..

I need to go to bed, but have so much computer work to catch up on, I don't know where to begin.  I am overdue with my book deadlines and teaching proposals.... 
But as always, my life has gone to the dogs and they come first, we have a shelter to finish and I'm packing all the art that will be auctioned off later this month on eBay to help raise the needed funds to finish our building.  
Yes, I am already packing it, so that I'm not late with sending it off:)

We still need to buy a heating/air unit/ kennels, stainless steel cages, exam table, washer/dryer, fridge, grooming tub, blower, cabinets & counters.
But we are almost there, so just a bit more fund raising and we'll be fully functional.  
I just can't believe how far we have come in 9 years, from 30 dogs a year to just about 400 this year.  Just goes to show, where a dream & alot of animal loving friends can take you, to help make a difference...
Blessings, Love & Light to you all...

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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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