Monday, October 1, 2012

Hello Friends! So sorry that I haven't updated the blog in so long...but I have a great deal for you! If you aren't on Facebook - join up.If you are on Facebook, you can get daily updates (usually with pictures) of all the Happenings at the Haven just by "liking" our page - Hundenruhe Haven Senior Dog Sanctuary. I may occasionally still update this blog, but the majority of the updates will now be on Facebook. Join us there - and thank you all for your emotional and physical support! ~Jodee and Dan

Friday, July 13, 2012

The sun streams through the sliding glass door, as I wade through the river of pups on my way to open it. Excited snuffling begins to escalate as the pack realizes what is about to happen. I reach out to open the door, and the atmosphere explodes with joyful yips, playful shoving, and excited chasing as 67 little paws go charging out the door to start their day. Just another blessed day at Hundenruhe Haven Senior Dog Sanctuary and TerrierTown. Wait…67 paws? Not 68? That’s right…one of those little pups is our tripawd, Pearl. Pearl is a 10-12 years young toy fox terrier/Chihuahua mix, according to our beloved vet, who has come to be so very skilled at caring for all of our seniors over the years. Pearl was purchased at a slave auction – a “dog swap” – in Iowa, where puppy mill breeders come to exchange their breeding “stock” and old dogs are passed from one hell into another. But not this time, for five lucky little dogs, whose freedom was bought by a kind and brave rescuer. Pearl’s hind leg was horribly twisted – turned nearly backwards – and useless, probably from a former injury. The compassionate rescuer who freed her got her all the veterinary care she needed – vaccinations, spay surgery, dental, blood tests…and the removal of that pesky back leg. After a plea for a home through another mutual friend, we agreed to have Pearl join our pack and live out her retirement here at the Haven. Less than two weeks after her surgery, Pearl was running joyfully in the secure three-acre field with the rest of the pack. Whenever a new soul joins our crew, there is a subtle shift in our day-to-day routines to accommodate the new fur-kid, and the structure of our day evolves to integrate the needs of our newest family member. Pearl is the first tripawd to come to live with us, and she brings her own flavor and character to our group. Because our dogs live in our home with us, confined only for eating and safety when we are away for short periods of time, there is a constant movement through our open-concept house. Pearl has adapted quite easily to our routine. She runs with the pack, plays with stuffies, waits patiently to be lifted into her crate for breakfast and dinner, and navigates quite well even with some jostling and wiggling that happens when a group of happy dogs gets together. The only accommodation that we have had to make is that half of the house has textured vinyl flooring, which is great for Pearl, but the other half has vinyl flooring that is shinier, and a bit more slippery. Pearl resolutely refuses to walk on that floor! So when we go from one area to another, we have had to remember to carry Pearl to one of her “safe zones” – either on the textured floor, or to one of the many dog bed “islands” in the other room that she uses to hop around and not touch the evil slippery floor. If by chance we forget to bring her along, she is quick to give a very loud and vehement reminder! Pearl is a remarkable daily inspiration to us. She is proof incarnate that a disability is nothing more than a chance to become a good problem-solver. Within days of her coming to live at the Haven, she was out greeting children with our Ambassa-Dog Baci at a speaking engagement, inspiring the next generation to see obstacles as opportunities. I feel so blessed to have this wonderful little soul to love and be loved by me. The nice folks at Tripawds asked me to write this for their blog. Check them out at

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


For the past several years, I have been really struggling to develop an attitude of gratitude. On this journey, I have become so much more attuned to the blessings that surround me, though I am often derailed by what doesn't surround me. It is easy to worry about the bills and how they will get paid, the repairs and improvements that I'd like to make here but can't, and wish that I could spend less time working and more time with Dan and the dogs. But the blessings are so very abundant, and sometimes I get a nudge to remind me that I am very fortunate. This weekend, Dan and I were guided into accepting a little three-legged senior girl into our pack. Dan named her Pearl, precious and rare. Pearl came from a breeder who never treated a painful and serious injury to her rear leg, and when she reached rescue and freedom it was determined that she would be better without that leg. And, they were right! Pearl came into our lives less than two weeks after her amputation, and less than a month after a kind rescuer bought her freedom. She has every right to be frightened, suspicious, and cranky. But she's none of those things. Our Pearl is loving and happy, wagging her tail and moving about as if she never lost her leg. She greets each day and person with soft eyes and ears, a bowed but not frightened head, and a gentle pose that begs for a scritch under the chin or a stroke down her velvety back. Today, on a whim (or so I thought), I brought Pearl along with Baci and me to a speaking engagement for two groups of young children. Pearl acted like she had been an Ambassa-dog for her whole life, working the room and greeting each child like an old pro. Her whole carriage changed when we got home, and she spent the rest of the day prancing around with her tail held high. She had found her purpose for being. Olive had always been my Ambassa-dog, and when Baci came along, she taught him to accompany her. Without her by my side, it has been difficult to keep up our enthusiastic presentations and lobbying on behalf of senior dog adoption and the Haven. But now, I believe that Olive played matchmaker from her side of the Rainbow Bridge. She knew that Pearl needed a purpose, and that Baci needed a partner, so she nudged me with her tiny cold little nose and told me to ignore my better judgement in bringing a newly rescued, recently amputated, undersocialized senior puppy mill survivor to meet a group of children just days after joining our pack. As I smiled and tucked the dogs back into their carseats after our engagement, a single yellow butterfly flew around us and up into the sky. Yes, Olive, I listened to you. Thank you, my baby girl. Your life and love was an undeserved and precious gift, and you continue to gift me even beyond this life.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


I am so blessed to work with some wonderful colleagues. One of the very best is the person that I work most closely with, my partner in the gifted and talented program. Coincidentally, her name is also Jody (though spelled with a "y")and both she and her husband, Chad, are kind and generous people who give of themselves without reservation to their friends and family. Chad and Jody have passed on their compassion to their two daughters, Madison and Katherine. These delightful young ladies have birthdays in the early summer, and upon hearing what Dan and I do here at the Haven, promptly told their parents that they would like to do something different at their respective birthday parties. Instead of presents for themselves, they wanted to ask their friends to bring something from the Hundenruhe Haven wish list to give to the puppies. Isn't that amazing?! I was so delighted to convey a load of cleaning supplies, blankets, towels, and paper products to the Haven on behalf of the dogs from Katie's friends. These little things add up so quickly to our expenses, and the donations from the Girl Scouts coupled with the new supplies from Katie's birthday party really help. Maddie the animal lover is next... I really hope the girls and their parents will be able to come out to visit the recipients of their generosity and goodwill this summer, so the oldies can thank them in person (or dog-son)! Many, many thanks dear ladies. The dogs and I are so grateful!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Ah...Ruhe (Peace)

I haven't had much time to write lately - the demands of three jobs plus running the Haven have kept me from all but the briefest comments on FaceBook lately. But this weekend, I found some time to just Be Still, instead of constantly wrestling with my thoughts. And what I discovered was... birds singing. the first fireflies of the season. a campfire crackling and mesmerizing me with its dancing flames. the rush of wind in the trees. a hawk circling overhead...and being chased away by the blackbirds. flowers (and weeds!) blooming in my garden, and all over the property. a yellow butterfly (certainly Olive!), playing with Bella - and Bella playing with her. the caress of a soft breeze on my cheeks. the tinkling of the wind chime made of the tags of dogs gone on the the Bridge. (see photo above) marshmallow stuck to the bottom of my flip-flop. the soft sighing snore of an elderly pup on my lap. the hypnotic comfort of sitting on a yard swing with pups on either side of me. Truvy the pekingese dragging the soiled towels out into the yard - helping with the housework that is going undone whilst I sit on the swing. As I encounter the many firsts without my little heartdog Olive, I am reminded again and again of the blessings that are mine if I just listen. And just Be Still.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Kuranda Cots

Our dogs love the Kuranda dog beds that have been donated to us! They sleep on them all year around - indoors during the winter months, and snoozing on the patio during the summer. We'd love to have a few more, so that we could leave them outside during the spring, summer, and fall and not have to move the indoor cots in and out. If you'd like to send the dogs something they will really use for a long, long time, see the link at the bottom of the page to order from Kuranda. They will give a discount price and ship the beds directly to us! Thank you in advance for your consideration!