Monday, February 21, 2011


Hershel Walker, now Quincy is 10 years young. I met his foster Mom a few weeks ago when I delivered Cousin Eddie (who by the way has also gone to his forever home) to her in a McDonald's parking lot. We talked about Hershel then and she commented that he always seemed to be second on every one's wish list, but never first. She talked about what a wonderful little guy he was and how it was a shame that potential families were afraid of his age.

About three days later, I did a home visit where we talked about many of the dogs on our adoptable dogs page, including Hershel. This family had lost a young dog unexpectedly in December. She had died of a brain hemorrhage and the family, although ready to adopt a dog, still reeled from their loss. It did however, drive home the point that age is no guarantee of how long you get to keep this precious fur baby in your family. Their dog was 4 years old, an age when most of us think there are many more years to come. Hershel was 10 and according to average life span, could be healthy for another 5-8 years. Not long enough, but it never ever is, right?

Well Katlyn decided to take a chance on Quincy and made him her new forever boy. You see, she works at an assisted living care center and it was her plan to take Quincy with her to work where he could interact with the residents and hang out in her office, and that is exactly what she did. Katlyn writes that the residents and staff love him, they go get him from the office and sneak him treats. The nurses even bring him to areas where dogs are not normally allowed. Quincy is a big hit and Katlyn writes us that "this dog was made for her." So now we know that there was a reason why he was in foster care for so long and that he was never the first choice. It was because he was waiting patiently for Katlyn, her Mom and her boyfriend to find him! At his age, he connects with the residents and understands that they sometimes don't feel their best. He patiently reassures them that it is still a good day. He is the perfect dog for his new home.

Here is Quincy on his Mom's lap "helping" her do her charts!

How is that for a feel good happy ending? We are so happy for Quincy, the residents, the nurses, and his new family!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


This is adorable little Elsie. Twelve pounds of spit fire who happens to be deaf. At least that is the way she looks at it, no big deal, she doesn't know what a world with sound is and she is determined to make the best of life just as she is.

Yes, a deaf dog does require special care. She will never be able to hear you when you call her so you teach her to come with a hand signal. The challenge is that she has to be able to see you to see the hand signal. It is very important therefore that Elsie and all deaf dogs always be kept on a leash or in a safely enclosed back yard. If they get loose or bolt, only luck and St. Francis will get them back safely. They don't hear cars, people yelling or other distractions. They follow their nose and what they see. Like humans, when one sense is not there, others become more keen. Elsie can probably smell better and see sharper than her canine siblings in foster care.

On the flip side, Elsie will never suffer phobias from thunder storms, gun fire or back fire. She will never hide from a fireplace because the wood popped or run away from the sound of a vacuum cleaner. She can learn sign language for all the basic commands and even some advance tricks. You bet she can smell that treat in your hand as you take in a circular motion to teach her to twirl. Move your fingers inward toward you for come, fingers pointed up for sit, flat hand moving down for down, fist to shoulder for wait, fist back and forth for stay. The possibilities are endless.

Little Miss Elsie is cute as a button and is so eager to please. She plays well with other dogs and loves to cuddle. She will watch her people intently so they try to avoid using their hands too much when they talk to other members of the family. Hands waving in the air can startle Elsie and cause her to wonder if that is a command for her.

Many Dalmatians are born deaf and many have wonderful homes where they have thrived and mastered basic and advanced obedience. Although not as common in other breeds, just like us, any puppy can be born deaf.

We are so thrilled that Elsie came into this world and into BTRNC foster care. We know that she will thrive in a loving forever home with a family who has just a little more patience and a little more love. She will return it for many years 100 fold. Please check Elsie and Chloe out on our Available Female Dogs page.

Elsie thanks you and so do we!