It is with Heavy Heart and many tears, that my Sweet Boy Quent has gone to the Rainbow Bridge. Life teaches us some Harsh Lessons...

If we never felt Sadness, we wouldn't know Happiness,
If we didn't feel Anger, we may never know Forgiveness,
If we never shed a Tear, we may never hear Laughter
If we never faced Defeat, we wouldn't know Victory

Unfortunately I am feeling all the sadness, anger, tears and defeat. Rescue is "usually" about the Victories, the undoing of the injustices these animals endure. Today we have to experience the other side of Rescue. I question why Quent had to make the Long Journey, why such a Beautiful, Confident, Proud pup was dealt this awful hand.  In the midst of all his pain and all he had gone through, he convinced me that he had the Will to Live, unfortunately his Body just was not strong enough.  Through all this, he was a Fighter, a True Champion.  He gave more to me than I could ever give to him.  Always with Brightened Eyes when he saw me and a wag of his tail he looked passed his own pain just to feel the comfort of a hug, a warm hold. There was a reason he was sent, not sure why he was taken. I pray he passed knowing how much I loved him, how important he was to me and this world. He journeyed to his FOREVER HOME where he knew Love......He found his Forever Mom and his Forever Dad, Chris 

Hopefully soon my heart will soften the sadness, forget the anger, stop the tears, and be able accept the challenges of defeat. Rest in Peace my sweet Quent, Guard the Gates for Big Dogs, Big Hearts.... 
until we meet again, You will Never Be Forgotten

Love Always,
Your Forever Mom Rose

The BDBH Volunteers and Board of Directors would like express their heartfelt thanks to the following people who gave so generously to Quent and BDBH:
Christopher Rodler - Quent's Forever Foster Dad and BDBH Volunteer
Christine Holmes - Forever Friend to Rose and her Hannah Banana (surviving well with Mega-E)
David and Kathy Mallory - BDBH Volunteers
Price Jones - Quent's temporary foster mom
The Hunt Family - Forever Family of BDBH's Gracie
Heather Allen, D.V.M and the entire staff of All Creatures Animal Hospital, E. Amherst, NY
and City Creatures Animal Hospital, Buffalo, NY
We lost Miranda 05/13/09 during emergency exploratory surgery for complications from her spay earlier this week. At this point, we do not know for certain what occurred, we do know her bloodwork did not show anything of concern.
It had been almost two months, since a local AC officer in TN called Price and he was trying to catch a GSD, so she ran up to help. After an hour plus of trying, Price was able to get a slip lead on a thin 2-3 year old sable girl. Price thinks she wanted to get caught.  Price believed she had had pups that she recently weaned and she thought she had an umbilical hernia. She was held at the shelter for 5 days, no one came looking for her and she was released to Price and Price asked BDBH to commit to her.

Price named her Miranda!

Miranda was beautiful, sweet, shy girl who was just starting to enjoy her life.
Our hearts ache for Miranda and for Price, who saved her and helped her know love and security from a human.  Please keep them both in your thoughts. 

Rest in peace sweet Miranda. 

Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears,  but laugh And talk of me as if I were beside you.   I loved You so— ‘twas heaven here with you.

Isla Paschal Richardson

Give A Dog A Home

Life is never easy, and sometimes it’s never fair. 
Decisions are hard, decisions are followed by what ifs, 
And sometimes the answer is always up in the air.   
Rescue is all about going in blind, giving a chance and taking a risk to save a life. 
You pray and you hope all will go well, and a happy ending will result.  
Unfortunately, rescue is also reality and sometimes reality is tough.  
Understanding and accepting not all can be saved and not all can be rehabilitated.  
Sometimes the scars are just too deep to overcome, the damage is too far done.  
Safety becomes a factor, liability becomes a factor, fairness becomes a factor.  
And when all options have been expressed, letting go is the fairest option of all. 

BDBH’s made the difficult decision to let our  BlackJack (BJ) go to the bridge on 10/16/2009.  BJ left us in the arms of his loving foster parents.   When we okayed our commitment to BJ almost 4 months ago, none of us knew we’d be facing such a decision.  But over time, BJ showed he had some issues that we needed to address.  His foster mom was concerned and reached out for help.  BJ saw two different qualified trainers whom have both dealt with their share of dogs with aggression issues and he moved to one of our experienced foster homes.   Our concern for BJ continued to grow when BJ continued to show aggression to those he knew and trusted.  We didn’t understand why BJ reacted in such ways, with sudden outbursts of aggression that weren’t predictable and his triggers weren’t anything obvious.   We had to ask ourselves how we could adopt out a dog in time that continued to show aggression to those he loved and trusted with no rhythm or reason.   After much discussion and professional evaluation, we felt the fairest and safest answer was to humanely euthanize BJ.  All of us at BDBH’s are saddened by this decision and it is never a decision any of us in rescue want to make be it a behavior or health reason.  BJ was a sweet older man at heart, he loved attention, loved to play and had his way of worming himself into the hearts of those who knew him.   He did a happy dance when his foster mom came home from work and so wanted to be a good dog.  And he was.  Somewhere down the road, something went wrong, but BJ couldn't talk and BJ can’t tell us why he felt the need to remain on defense and explode at times the way he did.   BJ is now free from whatever held him back.   RIP BlackJack, you touched many and will not be forgotten.  
RIP Fyurie October 27, 2009

A life cut short, 
no time to live and learn, 
barely a chance to see the world, 
but held tight to a caring heart, 
during those last hours, 
makes a memory forever,
and a peaceful goodbye, 
that's what love is and you were loved. 

Fyurie was one of BDBH's youngest rescues at only 3 weeks old.  He had just arrived from North Carolina with his 5 other siblings (our F litter) after their mom had died and they were going to be euthanized.  Fyurie was not in good shape and his foster mom who has much experience with orphaned puppies worked very hard that night to bring him back but he was too far gone.  Fyurie died at 11pm the night he arrived in NY from aspiration pneumonia.  Fyurie was with us for less than 5 hours but will remain in our hearts, we all wish he had a happier ending to a life that hadn't even started yet.  RIP sweet Fyurie.  
Fenway left us very suddenly early morning of December 30, 2009.  Our sweet girl was up and doing what puppies do best, running around, playing and being super cute.  She suddenly stopped, laid down and didn't wake up.  Her loving foster parents did puppy CPR to try and revive her but she was gone.  Fenway was a young healthy puppy, necropsy done by one of our rescue veterinarians showed no reason that would explain what happened.  Sometimes bad things that have no reason or explanation happen and we can't stop them.  With heavy hearts and sadness, we have to accept that it was Fenways time, for whatever reason.  She joins her brother Fyurie whom we lost just hours after arriving at BDBH's with his siblings and their mom whom we never met.  Their small family is now together at Rainbow Bridge.  RIP Fenway, many hearts were touched by her in the rescue as well as her loving family that was ready to take her home and give her a loving home for life.  Our deepest sympathies go out to them as well as her caring foster family. 
It is with great sadness and a heavy heart(s) that we write another email like this again and so soon.

    Lexus started showing signs of bloat late New Years Eve.  We rushed her to the emergency vet, where they took her right back for radiographs which showed she had indeed bloated and even worse torisoned. BDBH's sweet Lexus went to the bridge last night around 10:45 PM on New Years Eve.  Lexus would have been 8 years old in February.

    Lexus came to us last year as an owner surrender because her elderly owner was going into assisted living.  She fostered with Kathy Boone, had KCS repair surgery (dry eye) and adopted out a bit later.   Lexus was unfortunately returned in August 2009 and fostered with Darcy and Michael for almost a month before she joined Brett and myself. We had some ups and downs while we got into routine and got to know each other. Her KCS caused her to need eye meds multiple times a day. She was a real trooper through having her eyes medicated up to 4 times a day and rarely complained.  She had severe arthritis in both knees with possible ACL tears.  She was quite an anxious dog for some time as well.  Once we got her pain under control with medication and put her on Clomicalm to help her anxiety, she really blossomed.  She was able to truly relax like we 
hadn't seen before, would go out and enjoy a nice romp with the rest of our dogs and not come in lame.  She was quite the spunky girl and she  grew on us very fast.  Knowing Lexus was most likely a forever foster, she became one of our own dogs to us.  We will miss her greatly.  She was a sweetheart and had a lot of love to give.  My most 
recent happy memory of her is after Christmas, we went and bought the dogs some new
 toys, one being a yellow rubber chicken.   Lexus adored it.  Most waking moments in the 
house, she had it.  In the mornings when we woke up and came downstairs, she'd be waiting 
with the chicken in her mouth.  

RIP Lexus, you touched many hearts and will be missed. 

We thought that fostering a litter of five German Shepherd puppies would be a fun adventure.  While there were happy times with the "C" litter, Tim and I knew from the start that there was just something that was not quite right with Carmen.  Carmen made the long trip with her mom and four other siblings from Greenville, Kentucky.  This poor litter had a hard start to life and it was a constant up hill battle for all of them.

Carmen was the smallest of the litter and from the start we had been told that she was potentially blind.  Carmen always kept to herself, and was not very active.  Within a few days, we knew that there was far more going on heath wise with Carmen.  On Wednesday morning Carmen began having what we thought to be seizures.  By the afternoon we had her in our vets office and we heard the horrible word...Distemper.  While we were not positive at that time if Carmen had Distemper we knew that this sweet little soul was suffering horrible seizures every 45 minuets.  It was with a heavy heart that we knew it was best to let Carmen go to the Rainbow Bridge.  While our Wednesday afternoon was terrible, Tim spent some special time with Carmen Wednesday morning and that is the memory that we will always keep of sweet little Carmen. 

Fragile Circle 
We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached.     

Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way. 

We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan. 

--Irving Townsend 

Our sweet big boy Ranger went to the bridge yesterday 2/20/2010 around 11:30 am.  Ranger was sick Friday sometime during the day with very acute vomiting that we discovered when we came home at 5pm and just feeling blah but it was not bloat.  We talked with the vet over the phone and got instructions to give medications, withhold food/water and let his stomach settle down.  Around 10 Friday night he seemed a bit better, resting and vomitting had stopped. I checked him on and off all night and he was always resting in his crate.  He was still very off- lethargic and painful at 6 when we got up Saturday morning, so we called the vet as soon as they opened and got him in.  Right before we left, he had bloody diarrhea in his crate.  We rushed off to the vet and in 30 minutes to get there he went into shock.  The vets immediately got fluids going and got on the phone with the emergency vet to get him transferred over there, we just needed to try and bring him out of shock before we got him back in the car.  
Once we got to the emergency vet they took him right back and got to work and ran multiple tests.  Nothing was really adding up at all.  Xrays and ultrasound showed possible mass in abdomen but they wouldn't know for sure without opening him up and they could not stabilize him- they tried for 4 hours while running tests.  He continued to go downhill and was dying despite efforts to stabilize him and knowing he would not survive the surgery, we made the decision to let him go.  
    A lot of hearts were broken yesterday, not just mine as his foster mom or everyone in the rescue as caring people but also his potential adoptive family whom was waiting for him to come out yesterday afternoon for their home visit and to meet their dogs.  The two young kids were so beyond excited and I know they are heartbroken and can't understand why.  I myself can't even understand why.  This was so extremely acute and sudden onset, there was no warning.  I saved this boy from euthanasia 5 weeks back as I felt he wasn't the dog people were making him out to seem and having a soft spot for the big black male dogs, I wanted to give him a chance.  And I'm so happy I did, he was an amazing dog, so easy and laid back yet very loving and playful. 
Our precious will be given the name Avari which means "of the heavens".
Rest in peace little were loved greatly, by many, if only for a short time
In memory of Blitzen, a BDBH puppy who was found in a field in DeKalb, GA as a stray, with his mom and siblings. Blitzen became an innocent victim of Parvovirus, a deadly disease to puppies, and just couldn't pull through treatment. He left for the rainbow bridge on 12/22/10

"You came to me in your time of need
Starved bitten and beaten
You ate the offered food with grace
Drinking deep of the cool clear water
Barking under a gentle caress
Then slept upon a soft warm bed
How sad the news that you were too ill
To live without harsh suffering
Or the ability to enjoy all that a puppy might do
So I held you close, washing you with tears
And told you of a place called Heaven
Where you will once again be whole and well
I’m only mortal and the decision hit hard
To let you suffer or send you to God
He cares for you now, this I know for sure
Then when the day comes when I too face God
I'll look for you at his side
So I may stroke your fur once more
And see you whole and well. "
- author unknown

Rest In Peace Sweet Baby Blitzen. 
May you have a forever home here and be considered a forever member of our pack where you will be forever loved and never forgotten. Life is too short sometimes....

Love your forever family- Sharon, Ashley & the pack

This is in memory of baby Vixen. Poor Vixen, at only 8 weeks old, after being found in a field and pulled from a shelter in GA with his family, lost his battle to parvo, as did his brother Blitzen. He was a fighter but just couldn't hold on. We made the decision to send baby Vixen to the rainbow bridge on 12/26/10 (the day after Christmas), to relieve him from his suffering. Run Free Vixen.

"A pet is such a special friend,
A friend in many ways.
Sharing love and companionship,
Just looking for your praise.

The clever things they often do
Bring a smile to your face;
And so to them I dedicate,
This small but special place... "

Baby Vixen will have a forever resting place in our home with our pack. He is loved and will never be forgotten. Thank you to all who helped us to try to get him through this. It means a lot to us all.

Love Sharon, Ashley & the pack

Bogie was picked up as a young to be out there all alone.  Taken 
to a local shelter and rescue stepped in.

Bogie came to me, a happy, bouncing 3 month old puppy with his whole life 
ahead of him.  Too Cute, Beyond Words, loveable and just a sweet furball.  Unfortunately a 
sad lesson, we see so often in rescue, is that his previous owners neglected to vaccinate their pup against Parvo and his life taken by this.  Though Bogie was only with us for a short time, he made a Lasting Impression in our Hearts and he was able to know how much he was loved.
Keep your face always towards the sunshine- and the shadows will fall behind 

Rest in Peace, Sweet Bogie

Meeka was with us for a short time but will have an ever lasting place in our hearts.  Meeka was just five years old and had spent all of her life outside.  Since she was with us for just a short period of time not many people were able to get the opportunity to meet the most wonderful, tolerant, sweet, and goofy dog ever.  For those that did not get to meet Meeka she was an absolute gem in our home.  She was curious but happy to be in a home.  She had an opportunity to know what it felt like to be a real dog.  Meeka joined into our pack as if she had been with them forever, she wanted to play, loved to make sure the backyard was squirrel free and even par-took in some hole digging activities.  There is one trait of Meekas' that we will never forget: Meeka LOVED to rub on any and every bit of clothing (clean or dirty), pillow, or blanket.  She loved to carry her item to a spot and make it her own.  She never ripped or tore anything just loved to roll around and be a total goof with whatever she had.

Meeka, we are so sorry that we were not with you during your last minutes here.  We can only hope that with the short time you spent with us you knew what if felt like to be loved, to have a full belly, a comfy and clean space to sleep and a family who truly loved you. 

We would like to give a special thank you to all of the BDBH volunteers who helped Meeka to be as comfortable as possible, tried as hard as they could to help Meeka, and made sure that she was never alone.

We would also like to thank all of the staff at Lollypop Farm who went above and beyond to help Meeka in her time of need.
Also, a special thank you to Dr. G. at Mendon Village Animal Hospital who helped in any way possible. 
I can strongly say that I will never have another Dakota ;and she can not be replaced.  She just knew what I wanted from her, no obedience training and she passed the Canine Good Citizens with no problem!!  My nursing home folks are so sad at her loss and she is missed by so many people.  She made more of an impression and impact in the 2 years we had her then many people make in a life time!!   She was so special to each member of our family and made us feel like "we" each one was her special owner, she would roller blade with one, run with another, sit up when another was reading,  and be my husband's AM walking partner and my "nursing home" working partner.  My Ivana, (eskimo) is also upset and not eating or behaving as usual; as is our cat Snickers.  Our whole house is distraught.  She was truly one of a kind.  Now that I am sobbing uncontrollable I better end this...

Mom, Dad & the boys
RIP 7/2011 Loved very much by her adoptive family

Roxy was such a special, sweet girl who will forever be missed.  She was diagnosed with a condition called Mega-Esophagus, and her mom was working two jobs, and couldn’t give her the time she needed to help stabilize her condition.  She asked Big Dogs Big Hearts to help find Roxy her forever home.  I took her in as her foster dad, and together we figured out a feeding schedule to cope with her condition. Roxy was forever determined to prove to everyone that her condition would not slow her down, and she did just that.  They only time Rox slowed down was when she was sleeping.  She was full of life, and truly changed me as a person forever.  Roxy did find her forever home and spread her joy to another family, but unfortunately for only a few short months. It is with a heavy heart that we had to say goodbye to our baby Roxy at such a young age, after she was tragically hit by a car.  Roxy, you were loved by so many, and will never, ever be forgotten.  We all love you so much, and can’t wait to see you again.

We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle; easily and often breached.  Unable to accept its awful gaps, we would still live no other way.  We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan....

Dear Buckley - we do not know the lesson that you were sent to teach us. Maybe 
it was different for each of us. You were loved and you will be remembered. We 
will think of you often. 

   I give you this one thought to keep --             
   I am with you still – 
   I do not sleep.  I am a thousand winds that blow,          
   I am the diamond glints on snow,  I am the sunlight on ripened grain,             
   I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning’s hush,  
   I am the swift, uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight. 
   I am the soft stars that shine at night.           
   Do not think of me as gone 
   I am with you still – in each new dawn

"He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.) When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me... whenever... wherever - in case I need him. And I expect I will - as I always have. He is just my dog."
- Gene Hill

RIP Lance 11/2012, Loved very much by his adoptive dad Steve

The Messenger 
Copyright Jim Willis 2001 
I dreamed I came upon a meadowsunlit and fragrant, a small dog at my side.  As we walked on in silence I saw across the blue ribbon of a river, a field, where animal spirits licked the morning dew from brilliant poppies...basked in sunshine...batted at butterflies.

"Is this Heaven?" I asked.  He nodded yes and as we rounded a bend in the path, I saw ahead a wondrous garden surrounded by a halo of mist, where animals and children lay among the flowers.
Cool breezes rustled leaves and over all hung an aura of beauty and peace.

"Is this Heaven, too?" I asked.  "An honored place," he said, "for those who lived a Hell on Earth - who died of neglect, torture, unloved, unwanted and abandoned."

We walked on until we came to a precipice that overlooked a dark canyon.  Lightning crashed above the horizon and illuminated iron prisons on the desert floor.  I heard the wails of captive men, the screams of women imploring for water, railing against the absence of Light amidst an acrid smoke.

Before I could ask he answered, "These were their tormentors."

We continued solemnly until the sound of laughter and music greeted us, and we came upon a village square,  where carefree women, children and men played at games, or walked arm in arm.
"They are happy," I said.  He agreed and replied, "These were their rescuers.  They are blessed above all."

I spent time among them until I awoke, bathed in a new peace.  For whatever this Earthly day may bring,  I knew that no wrongful deed goes unpunished, nor is any saving grace without its reward.

I hugged my small dog closer to my chest and blessed him as a messenger of truth and love.

Rest in Peace, my "Great White," Kingston.  Kingston came to me the end of March 2011, from Tennessee.  Sadly, he was taken from my on April 2, 2012, as a result of a cancer called hemangiosarcoma.  It was in his abdomen, near or wrapped around his spleen and was seeping into the abdomen.    My "Sweetie Boy" always stayed so close to me, and I was close to him in his final hours trying to comfort him.  Our bond was strong and forever.  He was so happy and gave unconditional love and always watched over his family.  Life was not always easy for my beloved Kingston.  When he came to me in 2011, he had knee surgery and was sore and quite weak, but he was a fighter and determined to become strong again.  He was definitely a survivor, and had a strong will and a big heart.  My heart was so heavy and sad to have to let him go, however, he is whole now, and running free at the Rainbow Bridge.  My year was so happy having taken care of this extra special boy in my home.  He is sadly missed and will be in my heart forever.  What was also hard was that Kingston was to go to his forever home with a wonderful lady, Nancy, in the Adirondacks.  She is heartbroken.

I would like to thank All Creatures Animal Hospital for making Kingston as comfortable as possible, and for all of their kindness.  A special thank you to Rose for staying with us and helping me cope with this tragic time as Kingston went to the Rainbow Bridge.   Thank you Big Dogs Big Hearts for all your kindness.  

Rest in Peace my Kingston,


A Brilliant Rainbow 
(by Terri Onorato) 

High on whispered wings I fly
a radiant star, I light the sky.
Toward the sun I soar so free,
a brilliant rainbow follows me.
I pulsate through your very soul
and in my paws your heart I hold.
The day will come when you'll fly too,
I'll be here then to welcome you.
Until the time we meet again
I won't journey far my friend.
For in your love I live so free,
a brilliant rainbow guiding me.

Your Canine Guardian Angel 

I know that you must miss me,
 By the tears rolling down your face.
 But believe me when I tell you that,
 I'm in a very good place. 

There are meadows here to run in,
 And plenty of rabbits to chase.
 There are other dogs to play with,
 To frolick with and race. 

So please don't worry about me,
 My spirit feels light as can be.
 There's no more pain to plague me,
 I'm young again and free. 

And I'll be watching over you still,
 of that you can be sure.
 I'm your canine guardian angel,
 And my love for you remains pure.

Author Unknown


Look not where I was
For I am not there
My spirit is free
I am everywhere

In the air that you breathe
In the sounds that you hear
Don't cry for me Dad
My spirit is near

I'll watch for you
From the other side
I'll be the one running
New friends by my side

Smile at my memory
Remember in your heart
This isn't the end
It's a brand new start

By: Carol Kufner
Rest in Peace Booker T., you will never be forgotten

"Everyone that new him loved him instantly. He saved me just as much as I saved him"
How do we even start to describe our 3 years with Precious.  She came to us on a cold fall night in November.  We drove to Buffalo with our other dog, Muggy, to pick her up from Shary, her foster mom.  She came with a bright pink tennis ball and a bag of treats and fish oil.  From the day that girl stepped into our home, we knew why her name was Precious.
In the time that we had with her, we went for many walks and hikes.  We played a lot of ball in the backyard.  We shared many snuggle moments.  She had a certain way of "singing" when she was excited, and it would make us laugh.  Not one day went by when we did not tell her that she was the most beautiful girl in all the land, and we loved her so very much.
I want to thank each and every person who had a part in getting that wonderful creature to us!!  She was the best dog ever, and we're wondering how we will get along without our girl. We know she's in a good place, and she is well, happy and loved.  Precious passed away unexpectedly and peacefully in her sleep, in her bed, on December, 18, 2013.  Our hearts will never be the same.

Jean and Bill Boyle
We were thrilled to bring our boy home on July 1, 2011 and he quickly assimilated into our family.  He became so attached, he hated to be away from us for any length of time, and that's ok because we hated to be away from him as well.  So spring vacations flying off to Florida or beyond became road trips to the beaches of South Carolina, and oh, how he traveled like a champ, and loved the beautiful beach walks, drawing many admirers of his great beauty and perfect manners.  He also went with his dad to the office almost every day where he was loved by all and knew who to hit up for the best treats;) 

Though he did well with his "handicap" and the makeshift soft boot we had made, we wanted more for him so had a custom prosthesis made by the great folks at OrthoPets.   Along with the fitting and adjusting help of Dr. Browne and Dana at TherVet, it opened a whole new world for him.  He could run, walk and play with the best of them!  No surface was off limits and I think we put on more miles in our neighborhood than anyone and we probably visited every park in WNY.  But mostly he loved patrolling for squirrels and playing with his favorite "ball-y" in his own yard. 

I know everyone thinks their dogs are the best, as they should, but he truly was the best dog ever. So trusting, smart, eager to please and well behaved.....I can count on two hands the number of times he barked, he didn't whine or cry.  He never chewed up one thing,  he came when called, never begged for food, was oh-so gentle taking treats.  He was the perfect dog in every way and his sweet, peaceful, quiet presence filled our home and our hearts with such love and has left a huge emptiness behind.

Our time with our pets is never long enough and three years was definitely too short, but we squeezed a lot of love, adventure and wonderful memories into those three short years and we treasure each and every day we had and wouldn't trade a moment of it for anything. We’re especially grateful right now for our last family vacation in April all together at the beach in Hilton Head. Our human kids Justin and Katie adored him as well and loved coming home to visit their "brother Sam" and seeing him transform from a shy boy into a vibrant, playful, healthy and happy part of our family. 
 Our wonderful Jenny crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on Friday the 13th of June, 2014.  

This day started out just like any other, but we felt Jenny should go for a quick checkup due to her becoming a  fussy eater.  She had just had a well visit to the vet two weeks before.  It was unusual for her to be picky about eating in the morning.   We simply wanted her to be 100% and thought she "needed a pill" or perhaps a food change. 

The end result of this visit was an inoperable case of hemangiosarcoma which had devastated her internal organs.  After x-rays, ultrasounds, and much prodding and poking, she was humanely euthanized that afternoon, and never returned to her forever home again. She courageously made the trip across Rainbow Bridge.

Jenny was the sweetest, most loving, gently animal imaginable.  She filled our every day with joy for the ten months we had her.  If you were upstairs she was there.  Downstairs, Jenny would follow.  A ride in the car; you bet. She was  sweet with the Grandkids who loved her, a best companion to her two newly found masters who were lucky enough to have been chosen to care for her in her final years.

Jenny was only approaching 8 years old when she left this earth.  We have had German Shepherd dogs all our lives, over 28 years total.  But this German Shepherd was truly special.  A beautiful dog both outside and especially inside.  Her foster mother, JoBeth , in her original write-up on the BDBH website wrote that "Jenny is the perfect dog".   Were these words to just get an older dog adopted?  No, they couldn't have been more true! 

We will never forget you Jenny.  You were the absolute BEST.  

David and Linda Maty 

When I first saw Abby’s picture on Petfinder, I knew she was “the one”-her pretty eyes looked right into my soul. She was Momma’s girl right from the start. Abby was a sweet & gentle girl who loved people-incredible after all she’d been through as a puppy mill breeder & then being left at a shelter in the South. Fortunately she had a guardian angel who found a rescue who could help her. We’re certain she was a very good Momma-any time Abby heard a puppy whimper on tv, she’d immediately turn her attention to the screen & look around for the puppy. 

When we saw Baron’s picture on the BDBH website, we knew we had to meet him also-his solemn good looks made him stand out-he also had a guardian angel who found a rescue to save him. On the ride home from meeting both dogs, we decided that adopting both of them would complete our family.

Abby & Baron were brought together by chance & truly became brother & sister-they loved to play outside & only once did Abby have to nip Baron on the ear when she had enough of his teasing. They both loved eating apples from the tree in our backyard. They loved rides in the car & going for walks & meeting new people. If Baron was in “time out” in his crate, Abby went out to the kitchen to sit with him until time out was over, then they’d both join us on their futons in the living room. They both loved lying by the fireplace-they each had their own preferred spot. They loved their toys & Nylabones & enjoyed stealing them from each other, they especially loved their treats & doggie ice cream.

Abby had dealt with a number of medical issues over the years but was doing very well before suddenly becoming ill. We brought her to the vet because she just wasn’t acting like herself, & she was ultimately diagnosed with lymphoma-nine days later our sweet little girl was gone. 

Baron came to us with heartworm but recovered from that only to be cut down by kidney disease 9 months after we lost Abby. He was such a strong, brave boy that he never showed any symptoms until he was very ill. He was a fighter until the end.  

Abby & Baron were the best companions anyone could imagine-they loved us unconditionally & asked for very little in return. They taught us to live each day to the fullest because we never know how many days there will be. 

“It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them & every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough all the components of my heart will be dog & I will become as generous & loving as they are” –Anonymous

Rest easy, friends-we’ll see you at the Bridge
May 26, 2009 - November 17, 2014

I’ll Never Understand when some people say “It’s Just a Dog”. 

Truly, those who open their hearts to a dog,  clearly understand that it is NOT just a dog.  These animals that don’t have a voice, who can’t defend themselves, who rely on their person to feed, care and provide for them, give back so much unconditional love.  Harley came to me from North Carolina, when owner decided that he wasn’t worth keeping and callously instructed to vet to euthanize him.  Luckily the vet in North Carolina didn’t see Harley as ‘just a dog’.  Yes, he had a medical condition,  that takes a lot of time, love and devotion.  Harley traveled a long way to New York carrying his past.  BDBH committed to Harley knowing he had Mega Esophagus.  We were unaware that he had other baggage he was carrying.  Despite the Mega E, he was heartworm positive which was successfully treated, he had allergies to just about everything, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, a very sensitive digestive system and some fear issues.                                                                  

Harley took on life with a lot of spirit, determined to live a happy life that he so deserved to live.  Some would say Harley was  “quite the character that only a mother could love” and YES, I loved him with all my Heart.  He walked into my life destined to catch my heart and he did just that.  Through the years, we fought quite some scary battles, but did it together.  This last battle was too much for Harley to overcome.  Harley came to me in November of 2010.  I was BLESSED to have him a part of my family and life for 4 years.  Thou I feel cheated for only having Harley for 4 years, it is my hope that in those years Harley learned what it was to be loved and cherished and to have a family who loved him beyond words.  Clearly, to me and anyone that was honored to know him, Harley was not "just a dog."

I love you my sweet boy, you are now free from all your baggage.

Run free knowing you were loved, cherished and will always be in my heart

Your FOREVER Mom    
Alex, constant source of joy,
Our sweet and gentle boy -
So trusting and loyal,
Seeking only to please,
Only to be loved…

A rescue, anxious and frightened when you came,
You conquered your fears, along with the very depth of our love,
And rescued us right back!

Memories of you, patrolling your backyard,
Teasing us, with your prancing, playful bow,
 To make us toss your ball,
And you racing after it with gleeful abandon…
Precious, brown-eyed beauty, 
Our shattered hearts shall yearn for you.
Until we meet again at the Rainbow Bridge
To be together always…

Renee Gumins Knight
February 13, 2015

Since last February 17, our home and hearts resound with the thundering silence of your being gone from our lives. Your photo is on the mantel, but we still see you even with our eyes closed.

Miss you and always will... until we meet again. Please wait for us at the Rainbow Bridge.

Love you and miss you, Sweetheart,

Renee and David
The first four years of Leia’s life were difficult for her. I can’t help but wonder if she had been taken care of properly (good nutrition and a comfortable environment), would she still be here today? Then again, we never would have experienced the blessing of having her.  We provided a warm, loving home and healthy food for her each day; we truly believe she was as grateful for us as we were for her.

Despite the neglect Leia was subjected to in her early years, she was such a loving, affectionate and absolutely beautiful girl. She turned many a head! We miss her dearly. What I miss most is our morning routine hug—the best way to start the day for both of us.

My husband and I were so blessed to have had the opportunity to adopt Leia from BDBH a little over two years ago.  While we were searching for the right dog, I remember mentioning to Rose at BDBH that I had a special fondness for dark faced German shepherds. She gave me a different sort of look and I wasn’t sure if I came across as being too particular about the type of shepherd I wanted. Come to find out . . . Leia (a dark-faced German shepherd) had just been rescued and was recuperating at Rose’s home and was not quite ready to be listed as available. A few days later, Rose told us about Leia and we adopted her shortly thereafter.  She was everything and more that we had hoped for in a dog.
About two weeks ago, we made the very difficult, but humane, decision to put Leia down. She was suffering from severe hip dysplasia and excruciating spinal pain to the point where she would not even get up. 

Although we only had a little over two years with Leia, she brought us so much joy and companionship. She will forever be in our hearts.

Blake came to us in September 2008 from a shelter in OH. Upon arrival, he spent a full day with our vets, who determined his age to be 10-13 years old, diagnosed him with Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), arthritis and confirmed that Blake was Heartworm positive, Stage 4. Blake had not been well taken care of in his earlier life.

The slow kill method for Heartworm was not making it any better and our vets believed he was not a candidate of the injection therapy, along with this and the DM and arthritis, Blake was becoming more uncomfortable as time went on, even though he was on pain killers and supplements. His coughing increased, and he began to tire out more easily than before. He would fall and need help getting back up, and some days, all he wanted to do was sleep all day. Blake did not trust easily, and in the 4 months he was with us, we tried very hard to help him understand that we were not here to hurt him. He clearly did not have the best life before he came here. Through all of his pain and fear though, he did want so much to be loved and give love in return. He wanted to trust, he wanted to be part of a family. As much as his spirit wanted to go on, his body couldn't, and on Feb. 28th, 2009 Blake went on to Rainbow Bridge, and took a piece of our hearts with him. He helped to remind us the power of perseverance, love, patience, and most of all, simple kindness. I learned from him to find the strength against the odds to go on when it is thought impossible and to always listen to my heart. Blake-we love you and you will never be forgotten.
Your forever family,
Danielle, Mike, and Brianna

So this is where we part, my friend, and you'll run on, around the bend, gone from sight, but not from mind,
new pleasures there you'll surely find. I will go on, I'll find the strength, life measures quality, not its length. One long embrace before you leave, share one last look, before I grieve.  There are others, that much is true,
but they be they, and they aren't you. And I, fair, impartial, or so I thought, will remember well all you've taught.  Your place I'll hold, you will be missed, the fur I stroked, the nose I kissed.  And as you journey to your final rest, take with you this...I loved you best.
It is with very heavy hearts that we would like to share this tribute to our beautiful boy, Samson, to whom we had to say goodbye on June 2nd due to a sudden, shocking and terminal diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma. 

Three years ago, after the loss of our Scout, we decided it was time to bring a new dog into our home. Being familiar with BDBH from Saturdays at PetSmart, we knew this was where we'd find him or her. Checking the website one Saturday in May, we took a ride out to the "meet and greet" in Rochester. There were a few dogs that caught our eye on the site but when we got there we were both immediately drawn to the quiet, three-footed sable boy saved from a high-kill shelter in West Virginia. We took his leash and he willingly came right with us. When Bob went into the bagel shop for a coffee, Samson didn't take his eyes off the door until he came out. Yep, this was our dog!!

To anyone reading this and thinking of getting a pet, please consider a rescue. Look at the pictures of our beautiful boy and you'll see what a difference you can make to another deserving pet. I promise you that anything you give will come back to you a thousand times over. We are forever grateful to the amazing folks at BDBH for saving our boy and especially Darcy and Michael for choosing and trusting us to be his forever family.

Be free, be strong, be whole, Sam Man, Baby Boy, Best Boy. We love you forever 
Sweet Mya


Because You Loved Me
For all those times you stood by me
For all the truth that you made me see
For all the JOY you brought to my life
For all the wrong that you made right 
For every dream you made come true
For all the love I found in you
I'll be forever thankful baby
Who saw me through, through it all
You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn't speak
You were my eyes when I couldn't see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn't reach
You gave me faith 'cause you believed
I'm everything I am
Because you loved me
You gave me wings and made me fly
You touched m yhand, I could touch the sky
I lost my faith, you gave it back to me
You said no star was out of reach
You stood by me and I stood tall
I had your love, I had it all
I'm grateful for each day you gave me
Maybe I don't know that much
But I know this much is true
I was blessed because I was loved by you
You were always there for me, the tender wind that carried me
The light in the dark shining your love into my ife
You've been my inspiration, through the lies you were the truth
My world is a better place because of you
Loving You Forever and Ever, 
I am truly blessed to have been loved by you !!!



Darby crossed the Rainbow Bridge on September 23, 2015.

It was almost 6 years ago that Darby entered our lives. And it happened in such a way that I can’t help but believe that we were meant to be together. We had been without a dog for a little while when my husband and I decided it was time to get another. And we had agreed on a German Shepherd/Collie mix. I was teaching at the time and one of my students had told me about Big Dogs Big Hearts and so I went the next weekend to investigate. As I walked into the store, so was Darby with his foster mom, Cindy, and he was so friendly that I had to stop and pet him. As it turned out he was that exact mix and he was an adoptable dog. The rest is history… but talk about being at the right place at the right time.

Darby was the perfect dog for us! He was easy going, a bit of a couch potato, liked people more than other dogs and loved to have his tummy rubbed. As an older couple with no kids at home, he filled that void. He was always there to greet us in the morning or when we came home, he was my husband’s walking companion in his many trips around the neighborhood, he was my snuggler when I sat on “his” couch, and he was always in such a good mood that you couldn’t help but feel good whenever he was around. No one could walk by our house without Darby letting us know and he was the best delivery announcer that there could be.  

His presence in the house was something so positive and comfortable and warm and secure and loving. And when I consider the circumstances that brought him to us, I am amazed at how unconditionally dogs love and forgive. We were told he was a stray in Tennessee, found starving, and had had to undergo two treatments for heartworms before I ever met him. When we brought him home, he had been crated for a month because of his treatments and seemed to have forgotten how to play. It was Gordy, our daughter’s recued puppy, who taught Darby what was balls were for.

He was a very discerning personality, choosing to play “catch” over playing “fetch.” I remember the first time I threw a ball for him in our backyard. He went and got it and brought it back and so I took it threw it again. He kind of looked at me and again retrieved the ball. When I threw it a third time, he did go get the ball, but this time he walked around to the front of the house, and I could tell that he was thinking, “If she is going to keep throwing this away, I’m not going to let her have it back.”

His favorite toys were his grunting pigs; he had a collection of them. He would gather his “babies” around him and make sure that they were safe. And he would “check them out” by making sure they could still grunt. For as many squeaky balls that he could “unsqueak” in mere minutes, there was something about those pigs. It took him only two pigs to figure out that he had to be careful with them otherwise they wouldn’t oink for him. Anytime we needed to find Darby, all we had to do was squeeze one of his pigs.

He could do more by nudging you with his nose to communicate his intentions than any other dog I’ve known. And he even had howling contests with my husband… a sight that I never thought I would see. 

He passed this September, on the first day of Fall, a day that will always mean something different to us now. We never really knew how old he was and even in the end his snout never whitened. We just know that for these last 5+ years, we had the best friend that could ever walk on four legs.

The house feels so empty now. And for anyone who has lost a dog, who was truly a family member, you know how that feels. As sad as it is, it is also a testament to the importance and impact that Darby had on our lives. We are so lucky to have had him in our home and our lives. He was loved, and still is. I do believe that all dogs go to heaven, and someday I hope to rub that tummy again…just not sure how bring the pigs home.