DREAM Dog Friday: Pam, Cam, Salty and Dakota

For the first time in her 13 years, Pam and Cam Gilroy-Rajotte’s dog Salty had to stay at home alone when they went out. Her sister Pepper died of cancer in Dec. 2012 leaving her the only canine in the family. As an older dog Salty would not put up with a pup bouncing about and barking in her home, so Pam and Cam had to be careful in choosing a new friend for her.

They first saw Button online. She was described as being a calm, good natured, and well-mannered dog, so, knowing black dogs like her had a more difficult time finding homes, Pam and Cam decided to meet her.

Pam said Button was even more beautiful in person than in photographs. While Salty was a little leery of her during the first meeting, the second went much better! Only one problem–Button had heartworms and the couple really wasn’t sure what that would mean for the dog’s long-term health.

Button’s vet guessed she was three years old when Manitoba Mutts rescued her from somewhere near Lake Manitoba. Although Button had heartworms causing her to be unable to take care of her puppies, Pam was assured that the Bernese Mountain Dog cross was otherwise healthy and the prognosis was good.

Pam said that while the dog is cute as a button, the name just wasn’t fitting to such a powerful animal. Button has become Dakota when she became apart of the Gilroy-Rajotte family.

The family’s only trouble now is dealing with the heartworms. Pam said it’s hard because they have to keep Dakota calm. She cannot go for walks in the heat because she pants, or travel to the country because car rides excite her.

But soon the nightmare of heartworms will be over and Dakota will really be able to live the DREAM with her new furever-family.



Living with a 4-Pack


We have four dogs of our own now … not entirely sure how that happened, but we love ‘em all! Mia, our 8 year old from Pembina Valley Humane Society, Shodan, 4 years, Funds for Furry Friends, Lexxie, 3 years, Winnipeg Animals Services and Paisley, 7 months, Manitoba Mutts Dog Rescue.

Living with multiple dogs can be rewarding and a lot of fun. It does come with it’s fair share of training and cooperation amongst the family. Three tips to live harmoniously with multiple dogs:

  1. Be sure to spend individual time with each dog to maintain a strong bond with them. It is important to give each dog the opportunity to connect individually with you and your family to improve their listening skills and overall behaviour while with the full pack.

  2. Provide plenty of resources for your dogs – bones, food bowls, beds, etc – to avoid the need to take turns or fight over things.

  3. Teach your dogs respect and manners for one another. Do not give your dogs attention for barking at, jumping on or nudging you. While giving attention to one dog, if another dog intrudes, ignore it by turning your back, looking away and standing up with your arms crossed. Once the dog realizes its behaviour did not work or loses interest, return to the dog who you were giving your attention to.

If you’re looking to add a second (or third or fourth!) dog to your family, be patient, choose wisely and put in the time training each of your dogs. Your dogs reap the benefits of extra socialization and mental stimulation!


Wow, Kabang certainly deserves to live the dream after her heroic actions to save the lives of two children!

First Light Productions

Kabang, the hero dog from the Philippines, was released from the veterinary medical teaching hospital at the University of California, Davis, U.S., last week and cleared to return to her family.

The diminutive dog saved two young girls from an oncoming motorcycle in December 2011. The crash with the motorcycle literally ripped her face off, leaving her with a horrendous gaping wound.

Her heroism and miraculous survival captured the attention of the news media in the Philippines and hundreds of people around the world, who provided funds through the private organization Care for Kabang for her nearly eight months of treatments.

The dog was brought to University of California-Davis in October last year, but university veterinarians discovered she also had heartworm disease and an infectious cancer.

A team of specialized UC Davis veterinarians was formed to coordinate Kabang’s care. Treatment for the cancer and heartworm each had to be successfully…

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DREAM Dog Friday: Katie and Dooley

“Everyday he amazes me,” said Katie Powell about Dooley, or Straight Leg Sally, as he is sometimes called. When Dooley gets excited he gets a goofy smile on his face, throws back his head and runs wildly with his three legs kept straight.


Though the Rottweiler-cross was rescued from a dog pack near a Kenora-area First Nation with many injuries, he is affectionate and loving who loves his toys, balls, and new mama. Katie said Dooley is obsessed with her and so appreciative of the love he gets. He has never peed in her house or chewed anything he shouldn’t.

Katie heard about a severely injured dog running with a pack who would likely die soon and decided to have him rescued. She went out herself and helped catch the dog then drove him home. Katie intended to be a foster mom for Dooley, but as the vet bills piled up the rescue supporting Dooley said they would have to put him down.

Katie said she had promised Dooley she would save his life and that’s what she intended to do. Instead of letting him be euthanized Katie adopted the lucky dog and took on responsibility of his vet bills. She did some fundraising to get money for the medical care he needed.

The morning of Friday March 15 one of Dooley’s hind legs was amputated. By the night of Saturday March 16 Dooley was walking up and down the stairs by himself.

Last week while playing at Kilcona Park Dooley went running and jumped into the water. Katie was immediately very upset and worried her pal would drown. But as it turns out Dooley is a great swimmer! He was having so much fun he just wouldn’t get out.

Katie and Dooley are absolutely in love now. Katie wants to make sure people know that adopting older dogs can be as rewarding as bringing home puppies, breeds with bad reputations probably don’t deserve them, and dogs rescued from packs can make great pets. Just look at Dooley.

DREAM Dog Friday: Sammy

Sammy has been in foster care through Manitoba German Shepherd Rescue, Inc. for over a year. But her foster mom Tracey said there isn’t any real reason why it’s taking so long to find this beautiful German Shepherd/Husky cross a new family.

Sammy came into her foster home with severe dog aggression, but now she’s best buds with the other German Shepherd living in the home. Despite this, Tracey said she’d avoid taking Sammy to the dog park or letting her be around any dog she hasn’t been properly introduced to. She has a poor relationship with the small dog in her foster home, although Tracey admits the little dog teases Sammy and is partially the cause of the hostility between them.

Sometimes Sammy cringes when people hold shoes and shows other signs that she was abused and was chained. She came to her foster home with a high prey drive but now is just fine around the cat, birds and rabbits in her foster home.

Sammy lies on the floor quietly through DREAM’s interview with her foster mom, enjoying the occasional tummy rub from the young girl in the home. When Tracey puts a treat on her nose she sits still waiting to be told she can munch it. She gallops outside when the door opens, hoping to go for a nice car ride but goes right back inside when called, despite there being no fence stopping her from running off into the country. Tracey said she gets scared at night, likely because of the coyotes, and is a big baby staying close to the house.

Tracey warns Sammy’s new family not to put a carrot on any snowman Sammy will have access to. Sammy will probably pull it off for a little snack.

Dream Dog Friday: Mama V

When Sagkeeng Spay/Neuter Initiative Program brought two very young, very pregnant Border Collie girls into rescue, we immediately offered to foster one; pregnant moms are our “fostering niche” and we are pretty experienced with timid Rez dogs as well. Fiona, the tri-coloured sister, went on to a foster in Winnipeg while Vianne (named for the lead character in the movie ‘Chocolat’) came here to settle in and have her pups. Basket Man and Mush Lady were ready for our next adventure!

The Waiting Game

Pregnancy didn’t treat poor V too well; we did absolutely everything we could to make her comfortable, including daily prenatal massages and lacing her food with tempting morsels of treats (hamburger and boiled eggs were her favourites). By the end, her waistline had more than tripled in size and she walked everywhere with a shuffling gait with her head lowered. We had earned her trust and were able to give her comfort, but the poor love was as big as a house and clearly felt awful. Finally, she began to show signs of early labour!


Usually, when a mama dog’s temperature drops and her mucous plug has discharged, you have anywhere from 2-24 hours to wait before the real labour begins. V had been in early labour for over 36 hours when, exhausted, we caved and headed to the vet to make sure everything was OK. As this was her first litter, the vet wasn’t too concerned but she took an ultrasound to make sure no one was stuck in the birth canal. She assured me that I likely had at least another day to wait it out, and to go home and get some rest. Twenty minutes later I woke to squalling and squeaking; the first baby had arrived! V had jumped out of her whelping pen, torn some pink fiberglass insulation out of the wall, and whelped baby girl Anouk into a fluffy pink cloud. Lucky, the rest of her labour was uneventful, and V gave birth to 9 stunning babies.

The next 6 weeks went by in an absolute blur: V was a perfect mom and her babies were healthy, happy and smart. She began spending less and less time with them, and more time with our family, and we saw her inner puppy come out to play! V brought out things in our other dogs that we had never seen before; she developed such a special relationship with each and every family member it made it really hard to see her go.


The day the Chocolat Babies were 6 weeks old, the Underdogs gals came to pick up the whole family. While I was sad to see my little munchkins go, nothing prepared me for the sadness I felt at watching V leave. We always allow our mama fosters to move on to another home when their babes are weaned so that we can take in another pregnant dog in need, but V was so special to us all. Fate wasn’t done with us yet! V was back with us a few days later to try nursing some babies from Manitoba Mutts Dog Rescue, and luckily, she fed and cared for the German Babies as though they were her own. A few weeks later, the babies were old enough to survive on soft food, and it was time for V to move into her new adoptive home!


V’s new home ended up being a very poor match. We’re not sure why, but in her brief stay there, V developed severe separation anxiety and destroyed some things in her new home. They decided she had to go! V moved into a new foster home where I knew she would be loved and cared for, but my heart ached daily. We had a chance to visit her in a vacation foster close to us while her regular foster mom was on vacation, and although she was safe and happy, leaving her that day was hard for all of us (she cried while watching us go). Still, we already had 4 dogs and considered our home full!

At Last

When I still had not moved on a few months down the road, Basket Man knew something had to give. I may get a little weepy when a foster leaves us, and even feel down for a few days, but never had I gotten so attached! Finally, we agreed that there was only one choice: V belonged with us! She settled back into our life as though she had never left, and has been giving love in spades to the whole family. She still has moments where I can see her fear of abandonment popping up (during a trip to Winnipeg, when her vacation foster mom visited) but always, we will be there to reinforce her confidence and help her know that this is her home.

A New Name for a New Life

When we finally made the decision to bring our girl home, I decided that I wanted her to have a new name to suit her sweet, resilient temperament. Our “Mama V” needed a name that showed off her delicate beauty and gentle nature, as well as her fortitude and quiet strength. Violets are soft, small, sweetly scented flowers that can pop up and survive in almost any conditions, but they only thrive when given just the right place to bloom. Violet was able to survive in all of the places she’s lived, but she’s only ever truly bloomed for us. We will cherish that gift for all of her days!

Dream Dog Friday: Mabel’s puppies

In Manitoba there are many dog rescue groups that help save the lives of many dogs. Mabel’s puppies are very lucky that Manitoba Underdogs Rescue took their mom, heartworm positive, underweight and pregnant, into care.

On March 20 Mabel naturally gave birth to Noah before having a c-section to remove her other nine pups, including two stillborns. After giving birth, Mabel was only 35 lbs, though she should have been about 50 lbs.

Mabel’s pups Archer, Winston, Dennis, Albert, Harold, Henry, Noah and Beauregard were given to a surrogate mother, a dog named Ruby whose litter had recently been adopted out.

Erin Dyck (D.R.E.A.M.’s Director of Finance and Administration) looked after the group. She said Ruby couldn’t feed the boys long because she soon stopped producing milk.  The puppies had to be bottle fed every two hours, even through the night.

When Archer was 10 days old, Erin noticed he was lethargic early in the day. By the afternoon the poor guy could hardly breath. The vet determined he had pneumonia and he was euthanized.

A few days later Winston was taken to the vet for antibiotics. He spent a week in bed under the covers to keep warm and needed to have fluids injected under his skin. Thankfully, he recovered.

The seven puppies are now healthy, thriving, and dreaming of their furever homes… Maybe you can help them get there?