Author: Paul Handover

The spirit in my dog!

Another guest post from Holli Burch.

The first guest post from Holli Why dogs are so good for us was during a period where I had quite a few guest authors and I ended up losing track. Thus I didn’t attribute the guest post to Holli. Something that I can correct in today’s post.


What is a spirit animal? How to tell if yours is a dog!

By Holli, February 2nd, 2019.

Many cultures believe there are spirit animals that guide and protect us during this physical journey we are on as humans. It is also said that we embody their characteristics and vice versa. The Shamen call it a power animal.

When a dog chooses to act as your spirit guide you will always have trust, courage, loyalty, protection, familiarity, a best friend and unconditional love. Just don’t abuse them or treat them badly…they may bite.

Here are the signs pointing to the dog as your spirit animal.  Does it sound like you?

  • You feel like your dog saved you. Your dog came at a time where you were calling out for aid.
  • You give unconditional love
  • You may be a protector that will go above and beyond to take care of the people you care about
  • You like to help those in need and seem to sense what they need
  • You are easy to devote and also forgive
  • You are happy hanging back and letting others you care about take the spotlight
  • You are perceptive and can sense negative energy people
  • You have an infectious energy that people like to be around, and you bring it out in others
  • You may feel like you get burnt out because you put forth a lot of energy; therefore needing to be lazy for a while

Did a dog come into  your life at just the right time?   Do you always have dogs around?

Human spiritual connection with dogs is nothing new and not many people can argue with that because you can feel and see it! Through the years the dog has evolved to be so much closer with the human. They are therapy dogs, dogs in schools, service dogs, dogs are becoming more popular to have at work, there are police dogs, the list goes on.

They sleep in our beds, follow us around the house and come for car rides with us. The closer they get to us, the more human like they become.


In reply to my question about sending me a short bio, this is what Holli sent:

My name is Holli Burch, and I live in Wisconsin.  I have had dogs all my life and love everything about them.
Currently I have 4 labs, a yellow, black, chocolate and most recently a silver!
I started a dog blog because of my passion for dogs and wanting to be my own boss!  Along with my dogs I have 4 children, horses, goats and 2 cats!
My typical dream day would include taking my kids to school, blogging and walking my dogs bare feet on the beach!

Tied to a fence

Cruelty to animals

I know hundreds, if not tens of thousands, share my lack of understanding of those who are cruel to dogs, or any other animal come to that! I cannot get into the head of someone who does cruel acts towards dogs.

Now read this about Joe. Taken from here.


A New York cop found a shivering dog tied to a fence and became his new best friend

‘He was just looking up at me … sitting in this puddle of water.’

By CHRISTIAN COTRONEO   January 30, 2019

If Joe had shed any tears over his fate — tied to a fence in a New York City park — it would have been hard to notice for the puddle of water he sat shivering in.

In fact, it was hard to notice the 11-month-old pit-bull mix at all on that cold December day in Betsy Head Park. The rush of people hurrying to get to where they were going must have seemed endless, all the while oblivious to the tragedy unfolding at their feet.

Joe was emaciated and nearly frozen when he was found abandoned in a park. (Photo: New York City Police Department)

But while on a routine patrol in the area, NYPD officer Michael Pascale caught a glimpse of the abandoned dog.

“Just out of the corner of my eye I saw him,” he told the New York Post. “I jumped out of the car before the car even stopped.”

He found him scarcely moving, but still managing a whimper.

The officer wrapped the near-frozen dog in a towel.

“He was just looking up at me with these eyes … sitting in this puddle of water,” Pascale added. “I knew I had to get him out of there.”

Pascale and his partner wasted no time in ushering Joe to a local shelter. A triumphant photo of the pair was taken and later tweeted by NYPD Special Ops.

Officers Pascale and Levin pose with Joe at the shelter on the day they found him. (Photo: Animal Care Centers of New York City)

And that’s where you might think the chance encounter between Pascale and Joe would end.

But three weeks would pass and Joe was still at the shelter looking for a family. So Pascale, who had been keeping tabs on the dog, came to his rescue once again.

And this rescue would last a lifetime. Last week, after filling out the adoption papers, Pascale took Joe home for good.

“I felt a connection,” he told News 12. “I felt responsibility to make sure that he was going to have a good home, especially after what he experienced that day.”


 Officer Michael Pascale, you are a very good person. And I know Joe will be very happy with you.

Picture Parade Two Hundred and Seventy-Five

A remarkable set of images.

All the more important as for us it was a cloudy night.

These images are taken from here. I sincerely hope I am not infringing copyright by republishing them.

The lunar eclipse on January 21, 2019 before the moon is fully cast in shadow, hovering over the dome of the church St. Elisabeth in Nuremberg, Germany. ( Daniel Karmann / Picture Alliance / Getty Images)


The moon during the January 21, 2019 total lunar eclipse over the skyline of Frankfurt. (Frank Rumpenhorst / Picture Alliance / Getty Images)


A composite photo shows all the phases of the so-called Super Blood Wolf Moon total lunar eclipse on Sunday January 20, 2019 in Panama City. (Luis Acosta / AFP / Getty Images)


The moon slips into Earth’s dark umbral shadow during a total lunar eclipse over Angel de la Independencia in Mexico City on January 20, 2019. (Alfredo Estrella / AFP / Getty Images))


The January 21, 2019 total lunar eclipse as seen over Laatzen, Germany. (Julian Stratenschulte / Picture Alliance / Getty Images)


A picture taken on January 21, 2019 the Super Blood Moon seen behind the equestrian statue of the Saxon king Johann during a lunar eclipse in Dresden, Germany. ( Sebastian Kahnert / AFP / Getty Images)


The Super Blood Wolf Moon lunar eclipse passes over One World Trade Center on January 20, 2019 in New York City. (Gary Hershorn / Getty Image)


A picture taken on January 21, 2019 in Cologne, Germany, shows the Super Blood Moon lunar eclipse above the landmark Dome.


The January 21, 2019 total lunar eclipse beside Naumburg Cathedral in Germany. (Hendrik Schmidt / Picture Alliance / Getty Images)


The lunar eclipse on January 21, 2019 before the moon is fully cast in shadow, hovering over the dome of the church St. Elisabeth in Nuremberg, Germany (Daniel Karmann/Picture Alliance/Getty Images)

These are really spectacular and very, very clever!


Yet another dog food recall.

This is important!

Hill’s Prescription Diet and Science Diet Dog Food Recall

January 31, 2019 — Hill’s Pet Nutrition is voluntarily recalling select canned dog food products due to potentially elevated levels of vitamin D.

Vitamin D, when consumed at very high levels, can lead to serious health issues in dogs including kidney dysfunction.

What’s Recalled?

The following products and lot numbers are affected by the recall.

Difficulty reading the image below? Click here to view the actual FDA statement.

About Excessive Levels of Vitamin D

While vitamin D is an essential nutrient for dogs, ingestion of elevated levels can lead to potential health issues depending on the level of vitamin D and the length of exposure.

Dogs may exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, excessive drooling, and weight loss.

Pet parents with dogs who have consumed any of the products listed and are exhibiting any of these signs should contact their veterinarian.

In most cases, complete recovery is expected after discontinuation of feeding.

Where Were the Products Sold?

In the United States, the affected canned dog foods were distributed through retail pet stores and veterinary clinics nationwide.

No dry foods, cat foods, or treats are affected.

Message from the Company

Hill’s Pet Nutrition learned of the potential for elevated vitamin D levels in some of our canned dog foods after receiving a complaint in the United States about a dog exhibiting signs of elevated vitamin D levels.

Our investigation confirmed elevated levels of vitamin D due to a supplier error.

We care deeply about all pets and are committed to providing pet parents with safe and high quality products.

Hill’s has identified and isolated the error and, to prevent this from happening again, we have required our supplier to implement additional quality testing prior to their release of ingredients.

In addition to our existing safety processes, we are adding our own further testing of incoming ingredients.

This voluntary recall only impacts canned dog food and primarily in the United States.

It is being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

What to Do?

Pet parents who purchased the product with the specific lot/date codes listed should discontinue feeding and dispose those products immediately.

To have discarded products replaced at no cost or for further information…

Please contact Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. at 800-445-5777 Monday-Friday 9 AM to 5 PM (CST) or at

Information can also be found at:

Impacted products outside of the United States will be subject to separate notices on the country-specific website.

If you are outside of the United States, please check your own country’s Hill’s website for more information.

U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to

Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.


Please share with all the other dog owners you know!

Woody’s Pet Food recall

Woody’s Pet Food Deli Raw Food Recall

January 28, 2019 — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is notifying consumers of a recall of raw turkey pet food from Woody’s Pet Food Deli due to Salmonella contamination.

This recall was issued after product samples collected by the MDA tested positive for Salmonella.



What’s Being Recalled?

The recalled product was sold in 5-pound plastic containers labeled “Woody’s Pet Food Deli Raw Free Range Turkey” and can be identified by the white date sticker on the cover of the pet food container.

The product was sold at Woody’s Pet Food Deli locations in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Woodbury.

The following three lots of product are being recalled:

  • Woody’s Pet Food Deli Raw Free Range Turkey
    Use by date: 01/10/20
  • Woody’s Pet Food Deli Raw Free Range Turkey
    Use by date: 01/12/20
  • Woody’s Pet Food Deli Raw Free Range Turkey
    Use by date: 01/15/20

No other lots of Woody’s Pet Food Deli products are affected by the recall.

What Caused the Recall?

Sampling was begun after the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) identified a human case of Salmonella linked to the pet food.

The person with Salmonella infection was identified as part of an ongoing, multistate investigation of Salmonella Reading infections coordinated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

MDH’s interview of the person revealed that Woody’s Pet Deli raw ground turkey pet food was regularly fed to a pet in the household.

The pet also tested positive for Salmonella, but not the outbreak strain.

In February 2018, MDA and MDH investigated two other cases of Salmonella Reading that matched the outbreak strain and were linked to raw ground turkey pet food from a different manufacturer.

About Salmonella

Symptoms of Salmonella infection include diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever.

Symptoms usually begin within 12 to 96 hours after exposure, but they can begin up to two weeks after exposure.

Infections usually resolve in five to seven days, but about 28 percent of laboratory-confirmed cases require hospitalization.

If you’ve handled these products or had contact with an animal that has eaten these products, become ill and are concerned about your health, please consult your health care provider for more information.

After eating or coming into contact with Salmonella-containing food, pets can spread the bacteria from their mouths, saliva, fur and feces, even if they’re not showing signs of illness, to humans and other animals in the household.

Pet dishes, floors and the environment around the feeding station should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

Pets with a Salmonella infection may be lethargic and have decreased appetite, diarrhea, fever and vomiting.

Pets exposed to contaminated food can also be infected without showing symptoms.

If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, contact your veterinarian.

Salmonella bacteria can survive for weeks in the household environment, which can serve as a continuing source of infection.

CDC does not recommend feeding a raw meat diet to pets because it can make animals and people sick.

If you choose to use pet food containing raw meat, follow CDC’s tips for healthy feeding.

What to Do?

If you have recalled product in your home, you should throw it out or return it to a Woody’s Pet Food Deli for a full refund.

Do not feed the contaminated product to pets.

Consumers with questions can contact the Woody’s Pet Food Deli stores directly at the following phone numbers:

  • Minneapolis: 612-208-0335
  • St. Paul: 651-493-7269
  • Woodbury: 651-340-8678

Or by email at

U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to

Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.


As per usual, feel free to share this as far and wide as possible.

Cutting your dog’s nails

Another guest post.

There’s been a flurry of requests to share a guest post with you all.

To be honest, I love it. So long as the author is not trying to sell something.

Anyway, here’s David Huner with a very useful guest article.


10 Tips to Clip Dog Nails When Dog is Scared of It

Why are Long Dog Nails a Problem?

Fear of nail trims is a quite common issue dog guardian’s face and therefore the concern will vary from a mild dislike to outright terror, depending on the dog. For a few pet parents, the only way to trim a dog’s nails is under anesthesia that is certainly not a choice that works each week. Several give up making an attempt and simply permit the dog’s nails to stay long. Whereas the frustration is comprehensible, this selection will result in health drawbacks for dogs. Overgrown nails have an effect on a dog’s posture, eventually resulting in joint issues and inflammatory disease. They’re also a lot of vulnerable to splitting and breaking in painful ways. Long nails are a problem for humans likewise. Dogs with longer nails are more likely to destroy furniture and alternative objects, unwittingly, further as break human skin once jumping up to mention hello or when playing.

The most common reasons for avoiding nail trims are that the owner is frightened of “quicking” the dog, or that the dog fusses and creates unhealthy feelings round the procedure. Nail cutting becomes a happening encircled by angst and drama. For very active dogs who run all day long on varied surfaces, cutting nails might not be necessary. High mileage wears them down naturally.

But among town or community dogs who are lucky to induce a mile or 2 walk daily, excessively long toenails are more common than not.

Reducing stress once trimming your dog’s nails

If your dog is fearful of having nails cut, what are you able to do? Here are some ideas:

Some dogs’ nails can reside a healthy length if they’re exercised frequently on a rougher surface like concrete or pavement.

Another innovative plan is to make a filing “board” that consists of a sheet of wood lined with sandpaper. You teach your dog a paw target behavior so apply that behavior to the board, therefore the dog effectively is filing down his own nails as he paws the board.

Nail trim mats are essentially doormats with a rough surface that files the dog’s nails each time he walks on the mat.

While these concepts are often useful, a desirable choice is to be ready to trim your dog’s nails whenever you need to. A good set up is to do away with your nail clippers all at once and switch to a nail grinder.

Here are 8 Best Tips to Clip Dog Nails When Dog is Scared of It


First, be ready. It’s essential that you simply recognize specifically however your tools work, this includes where and how the blade slides and moves. Without this knowledge, you will not be able to totally make sure that you’re cutting the nail properly and within the correct place. In addition, if you’ve got any queries or uncertainties with the tool, take care to look up the answers before using the product on your dog’s nails. Cutting nails are some things that ought to never be a ‘learn as you go’ task.

2. Don’t Pressure Him

If you do not dare to cut your nails and take your dog to the vet to try and do it, attempt to be as delicate as potential with your pet. A trick? Choose an extended walk together with your furry friend before going, thus your pet is going to be tired and cannot be thus stressed before this dreaded moment.

3. Observe It With A Prize:

After that ‘tragic’ moment provide a prize to your pet as a ‘snack or a chuche’, during this approach you’ll build a process that may be ‘traumatic’ a pleasant moment for your dog. There’s nothing higher than the relationship of ideas and experiences to form it less tedious.

Whether you head to the vet to cut your dog’s nails or if you opt to do it at home, discuss with your dog during a loving way, this fashion you’ll feel more secure and calm.

4. Safety First

If you’re not a professional, never cut your dog’s nails, you may get to the hyponychial and cause injuries. If you’re feeling more secure, you’ll be able to prefer to file your pet’s nails rather than cutting them. There’s presently a series of very effective electric files on the market. But beware, the sound they emit scares many dogs, thus before you buy one make sure you’ll not be afraid of your furry friend.

5. Get your Time

While each you and your dog might want to finish the nail trimming as shortly as doable, it’s necessary to take your time. Dog nail clipping is tough even for the specialists. To stop accidents, go slowly and cautiously.

6. Firm Grip

The next step in nail trimming has a firm grip on their paw and pushing back any hair that’s within the way of the nail. You will need to make sure that you are able to see specifically wherever you’ll be cutting.

It is necessary for pet homeowners to understand that if the dog’s nails are overgrown, their paw can likely be sore and tender. Stay alert and responsive to your dog’s behavior after you take their paw in your hand. If they yelp, be gentler. However, your grip ought to be firm enough that their paw doesn’t accidentally slip one direction or the other during the cutting method.

7. Dogs Nails are Totally Different than Our Nails

Next, it’s necessary for dog homeowners to acknowledge that our nails are very different from our dog’s nails and should be cut consequently. Most significantly, you must never place the dog’s entire nail within the clipper or cut the whole nail. The nail ought to be cut from beneath and at a 45-degree angle.

Now, fastidiously place the gap of the nail clippers over the tip of the white nail. It’s imperative that you only cut within the white nail area. Again, if you’ve got any question concerning this it’s crucial that you get an accurate answer before cutting the dog’s nails. Cutting past the white nail area means you’re cutting within the pink area of the nail (also referred to as the “quick”). The pink area of the nail is wherever blood vessels are live. Cutting into this space are unbelievably painful and might cause a considerable quantity of bleeding. Trust us, you’ll be wanting to avoid this at all costs.

8. Creating a Clean Cut

Finally, hold the paw steady and create a clean, swish cut by gently squeezing on the handle of the nail trimmer. It’s necessary to have an educated idea of however tightly you’ll need to squeeze so as to urge a clean cut, however not unknowingly hurt your pup’s tender paw.

Precautions of Dog Nail Trimming

There are some necessary precautions that pet homeowners should remember of before cutting their dog’s nails.


First, as we previously mentioned, the “quick” is that the living a part of the nail. It’s the area of the nail that contains blood vessels and nerve endings. Unknowingly cutting the quick can usually lead to a bleeding toenail and a substantial quantity of pain.


Additionally, the color of your dog will have an effect on the color of their nails which may increase the problem of determining where the “white nail” ends. For example, several black and dark brown dogs can have black nails. Black dog nails will prove to be unbelievably difficult and sometimes lead to the owner accidentally cutting the nail too short.


Finally, pet homeowners will make sure that they’re cutting the nails appropriately just by paying attention to the shape of the nail. The bottom of the nail should form a triangle area. Above all, go slowly. You’ll be able to invariably cut additional nail, however there’s no going back if too much is cut off.

What to try and do if you cut Nails Too Short

The main factor that the majority pet homeowners worry once cutting their dog’s nails is what happens if you narrow too deep. First, we urge our readers to actually try to avoid this. Always cut the minimum off and go from there depending if you wish to cut more. However, we all know that accidents happen. Here’s what to own reachable just in case you narrow your dog’s nails too short.


Professional groomers and veterinarians ordinarily use a substance referred to as styptic powder to help stop bleeding from cutting nails, minor cuts, and scratches. Styptic powder not only stops bleeding but also serves as an antiseptic, serving to stop infections and creating it safe to use.


If you do not have styptic powder in your home, you’ll be able to use a fragrance-free bar of soap. Merely hold the bar against the toenail for some minutes and permit the blood to clot.


Finally, if you’ve got nothing else reachable you’ll be able to use a Band-Aid to help control the bleeding. However, please recognize that this is often simply a temporary solution. If the bleeding continues it’ll be necessary to get one of the aforementioned tools so as to clot the blood. In severe cases, veterinary treatment may be necessary.

The Final Decision

Your ability to clip your dog nails without inflicting a lot of pain assure him and create him more at home another time you need to try and do a similar.

Author Bio:

David Huner is the founder of the pettrainingtip, where he and his team provides all necessary information related to pet care, supplies, health and even more. His team also always doing research on new pet related article topics to cover information from all bases including training tips.


I don’t know about you but I found this article extremely useful.

Why dogs are so good for us.

A delightful share.

I only recently came across this blog and loved it.

There is more and more great stuff about dogs it seems to me.

Anyway, I have permission to share it with you.


Why you are better off with a Dog…

I have always had dogs around me. I remember my first dog, Sugar, from when I was a baby. She was always by my side. I am very grateful to be raised that way and in fact it made me a healthier person! Here are proven facts and studies that show dogs are very beneficial for humans!

10 reasons life is beneficial with a dog…

  1. Dogs reduce stress levels. Did you know just the act of petting a dog can lower your heart rate and blood pressure. Petting a dog for just 10 to 15 minutes can release “feel good” hormones to also help cope with depression and other mental illness.
  2. Dogs can smell cancer. It is known that Dogs have the ability to smell cancer on a human body. Many studies state that dogs have pointed out cancer sites to their owners by licking or repeatedly sniffing a mole or lump!
  3. Dogs force you to exercise. All dogs need exercise, although some more than others. Dogs can keep you healthy and at a healthy weight by getting out and getting that fresh air! Don’t forget to take your shoes off for even more grounding benefits!
  4. Dogs are personal security. When you have a dog you never have to be alone. Even though my dogs are sweet, they can sound mean when they hear something or scare the mail man! Studies have shown that potential break ins are put off by barking dogs.
  5. Dogs teach responsibility. Children especially benefit from growing up with a dog. They need to be fed, watered, exercised, potty-time, etc. A dog is like a child and needs around the clock attention.
  6. Dogs can reduce allergies. I know it sounds backwards but it’s true! Studies have shown growing up with a dog in your house reduces your chance to develop allergies over the course of your life.
  7. Dogs can help you be social. People tend to gravitate towards people with dogs. Plus it gives off an impression that you are trust worthy.
  8. Dogs make work more enjoyable. Bringing dogs to work is increasing as it shows to lower work stress and keep staff more energized. They can pet, walk or play with their dog at work which make them more productive and satisfied. That is why I love working from home!!!
  9. Dogs teach compassion. Studies have shown children with dogs show more empathy and show more positive attitude towards animals. Dogs love humans more than themselves so we feel that heart and soul.
  10. Dogs connect with our souls! I wrote another blog about just how connected dogs are to our souls. It is said they can reincarnate and be our pet again and again.


Give your dog/s a hug and remember why they are so special.

The End of Ice – A review


On January 21st this year I republished a post by Tom Engelhardt and called it The song this planet needs to hear. His post was essentially a piece written for Tom by Dahr Jamail. It was called A Planet in Crisis and it included reference to a recently published book The End of Ice.

Subsequently, I decided to order the book by Dahr Jamail, it arrived a week ago and I ended up finishing it last Saturday.

I was minded to publish a review of the book, and here it is:

The End of Ice by Dahr Jamail

This is a book that I wished I had not read.

Yet, this is a book that once started I wanted to finish, and finish quickly.

It’s a brilliant book. Very impressive and very readable.  But I speak of it from a technical point-of-view.

Now that I have finished it life will never be quite the same again. Nor, for that matter, for anyone else who chooses to read it.

Dahr Jamail has a background as a reporter, with some other books under his belt. But his reporting skills really come to the fore with The End Of Ice. For he has travelled the world speaking to experts in their own field and listening to what they say about the future prognosis of the planet that you and I, and everyone else lives on.

Earth has not seen current atmospheric CO2 levels since the Pliocene, some 3 million years ago. Three-quarters of that CO2 will still be here in five hundred years. Given that it takes a decade to experience the full warming effects of CO2 emissions, we are still that far away from experiencing  the impact of all the CO2 that we are currently emitting. (p.5)

And if you are below the age of 60 or thereabouts you are going to experience this changing world head on. To be honest, whatever age you are things are starting to change.

Take this:

We are already facing mass extinction. There is no removing the heat we have introduced into our oceans, nor the 40 billion tons of carbon dioxide we pump into the atmosphere every single year. There may be no changing what is happening, and far worse things are coming. (p.218)

It really is a grim read. A grim but necessary read.

The eight chapters in the book spell out what is already happening. The diminishing glaciers and rising snow levels, the loss of coral, the rise in sea level and the loss of vast tracts of land as a consequence. Then there is the future of forests around the world. As I said, it is a grim read but a necessary one.

Towards the end of the book Dahr Jamail quotes author and storyteller Stephen Jenkinson:

“Grief requires us to know the time we’re in,” Jenkinson continues. “The great enemy of grief is hope. Hope is a four-letter word for people who are willing to know things for what they are. Our time requires us to be hope-free. To burn through the false choice of being hopeful and hopeless. They are the two sides of the same con job. Grief is required to proceed.” (p. 218)

Upon finishing this superb book, that you really do need to read, the one emotion that I was left with was grief. For what we have done to this planet. For what we are doing to this one and only home of ours.


P.S. Dogs would not have done this to our beautiful planet.

A survival story par excellence.

A missing Saint Bernard found after 17 days in frigid temps and snow

This is an amazing story about a dog that went missing at a time when it hadn’t yet learned of its new surroundings.

Luckily it had a great ending.


Missing Saint Bernard survived 17 days in frigid temps and snow

By MARY JO DILONARDO,  January 24, 2019

The lost dog was found trapped in some branches and still dragging her leash. (Photo: Ruff Start Rescue)

It’s one of an animal rescuer’s worst nightmares. There’s that limbo moment when a rescued dog is being transported to a new foster home and is getting out of the car. He doesn’t know the people or the area and everything is scary. Often, the dog’s natural inclination is to bolt.

That’s what happened in early January when a 10-year-old Saint Bernard was being taken to her new foster home in Zimmerman, Minnesota. The dog, dubbed “Old Lady,” had been rescued from a puppy mill in Wisconsin, where she had likely spent her entire life locked away, so she was timid and afraid of people. As she was being coaxed out of the car by her new foster, she took off.
“It was snowing really hard and the crunching noise from the snow freaked her out,” Ruff Start Rescue Executive Director Azure Davis tells MNN. “She was pulling and she’s very strong and the driveway was all ice. She pulled the foster down and ran.”

The temperatures were in the teens and there was so much snow on the ground, Davis knew there was only so long the dog could survive outside. In addition, Old Lady had recently been shaved, probably because her fur had been so matted. So she would feel even colder than normal in the freezing weather.

The rescue distributed “lost dog” signs and set up feeding stations and organized search parties. But after a week, no one had seen her.

“We were really concerned. She was dragging her leash, so we were worried she was stuck,” Davis says. “We had signs, everyone knew about her, but no one had seen anything. How does no one see a Saint Bernard?”

After a week, they had a sighting and then another, but by the time they got there, she was gone. They set up a camera and a trap, but she never came back to that particular area.

Tangled in the trees

Azure Davis of Ruff Start comforts Old Lady before trying to coax her home. (Photo: Ruff Start Rescue)

Then after 17 days, they got a call from the sheriff’s department. Someone had reported a dog tangled in some trees in the woods. Davis and Julie Lessard, director of programs, raced over there and found Old Lady. Her leash had picked up a branch during her travels and that branch got caught up in some trees, trapping her in the woods.

Calming her with soothing voices and canned dog food, they managed to slowly slip two leashes over her head, untangle her and gently maneuver her to the comfort of a waiting car.

“She eventually started trotting along,” Davis says. “When she felt the warmth of the car, it was crazy, she crawled right in. I think she was ready to be done.”

Old Lady walks with several rescuers including Carolyn Kne, who is now fostering her with plans to hopefully adopt her. Kne is the one whose face you can see in the image above. (Photo: Ruff Start Rescue)

Davis thinks Old Lady probably survived by eating a lot of snow and taking food from the feeding stations that had been set out for her. She may also have scavenged from garbage cans and food people set out for their outdoor pets. She had definitely lost a lot of weight: She was only 88 pounds and she should weigh closer to 120 or 130 pounds when healthy.

The first couple days she was back in the rescue’s care, she stayed in her kennel, just decompressing, Davis says. She was sleeping, eating and working on getting her energy back, just lifting her head when people would stop by, but she was very shut down.

Venturing back out

“Today, she came out of her kennel for the first time,” says Davis, who posted the above video on Facebook of the dog’s stroll. “She was walking very nice, greeting everyone and smelling everyone. It’s really cool to see the progress in just three days.”

So many people have been following Old Lady on the rescue’s Facebook page since her escape and through her rescue, with many people asking if she would be available for foster or adoption. Many have also asked how they can donate toward her care.

Carolyn Kne greets Old Lady as they head for home. Kne is Old Lay’s current foster — and hopefully her permanent adopter. (Photo: Ruff Start Rescue)

One of the volunteers who helped search for the lost dog was also there when she was rescued, helping to untangle her from the branches and get her to safety.

Carolyn Kne is now fostering her with the hopes that the pup will want a permanent spot in her home.

“I think she was out looking for her enough times that she fell in love with her,” Davis says. “She said, ‘If we find her, I’m keeping her.'”


This is a lovely story. One that shows the benefit that comes from dedication and commitment to dogs. Thanks RuffStart Rescue.

She was one very lucky dog!