Friday, December 31, 2010

Because of you...

...416 dogs found new homes in 2010

...BDHPI was able to pay for 12 Eye Surgeries

...BDHPI was able to treat 6 cases of Pneumonia

...BDHPI was able to save 4 dogs that needed emergency surgery

...BDHPI was able to offer a new lease on life to 2 dogs who underwent Wobbler's Surgery

...BDHPI was able to pay for 4 amputation surgeries

...BDHPI was able to treat 8 very painful cases of mange

...BDHPI was able to save the lives of 45 dogs suffering from heartworm

Without you, our Volunteers & Supporters, we couldn't have done any of this. We are forever thankful that you are part of the BDHPI team. No effort is too small.

We thank you for your dedication in 2010 and can't wait to see what we accomplish in 2011.

Happy New Year's! Be safe out there!

Your Officer Team,

Lindsay, Bree, Dr Winton & Cindy

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Lily is a 5 yr old OEM, turned into rescue when she was unable to walk and her family could not afford her pain meds.

She was smelly, dirty and very fearful. When she was growling at her own family, we suspected abuse.

Lily has been in rescue for 3 weeks and we are happy to report that with pain meds and a little TLC, she can now walk and seems quite happy. We were all saddened last week though, to learn that her pain is caused be severe spondlyosis. The vet is unsure of how long she will have quality of life. When we received this news, the Officers of BDHPI decided to make her a permanent foster with BDHPI until her time comes.

Enter Bree & Brian Dew. Bree, an Officer at BDHPI, had been admiring Lily form afar for the last few weeks. When she heard the news that Lily needed a place to live out her days she emailed her husband every sad looking picture of Lily she could find in an attempt to sway him. It wasn't long before she received an email from her husband that said, " Lily is adorable. I think it's a good idea if she becomes a Dew!".

So, Lily arrived in Colorado two nights ago. She is super fearful and gaining her trust might take a while. She is becoming very attached to Bree and is accepting of Brian and not doing any of the growling we heard she might do.

Dr Winton has already tweeked her med protocol a bit and will be sure to keep a close eye on Lily to make sure she is as comfortable as she can be.

Welcome Home, Lily Dew!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

From our BDHPI Family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holiday Etiquette for Dogs

Be especially patient with your humans during this time. They may appear to be more stressed out than usual and they will appreciate long comforting dog leans.

They may come home with large bags of things they call gifts. Do not assume that all the gifts are yours.

Be tolerant if your humans put decorations on you. They seem to get some special kind of pleasure out of seeing how you look with fake antlers.

They may bring a large tree into the house and set it up in a prominent place and cover it with lights and decorations. Bizarre as this may seem to you, it is an important ritual for your humans, so there are some things you need to know; don't pee on the tree - don't drink water in the container that holds the tree.

Mind your tail when you are near the tree - if there are packages under the tree, even ones that smell interesting or that have your name on them, don't rip them open - don't chew on the cord that runs from the funny-looking hole in the wall to the tree.

Your humans may occasionally invite lots of strangers to come visit during this season. These parties can be lots of fun, but they also call for some discretion on your part; not all strangers appreciate kisses and leans - don't eat off the buffet table - beg for goodies subtly - be pleasant, even if unknowing strangers sit on your sofa - don't drink out of glasses that are left within your reach.

Likewise, your humans may take you visiting. Here your manners will also be important. Respect the territory of other animals that may live in the house - tolerate children - turn on your charm big time.

A big man with a white beard and a very loud laugh may emerge from your fireplace in the middle of the night. DON'T BITE HIM!

2010 BDHPI Video

We played this video at our Colorado Holiday Party but wanted to be sure all of our Volunteers had a chance to watch it.

We are so thankful for our Volunteers!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

We need 57 more of you to join our pledge

So far 43 kind souls have joined our Paw it Forward Pledge Campaign. As a group, you will be donating over $500 each month to BDHPI! THAT IS AWESOME!

We are still hoping to find another 57 people to join our pledge by 1.1.11!

Will you consider a $5, $10 or $20 reoccuring donation each month? If so, please visit

We can't thank you enough!


Monday, December 20, 2010

BDHPI Colorado Volunteer Holiday Party

Many thanks to Diana Sutherland for planning our 3rd annual holiday party at the Denver Zoo! We had a great room, delicious food & drinks, and wonderful company to celebrate an amazing year in 2010 for Big Dogs Huge Paws!

Here are some statistics to demonstrate just a few of our many accomplishments:

**618 Volunteers spread out across our 8+ state region (as of 12/18/10)
**410 Dogs Successfully Placed (as of 12/18/10) in 2010
**96 Total Medical Cases including: 12 Eye Surgeries, 6 Cases of Pneumonia, 4 Miscellaneous Emergency Surgeries, 2 Wobbler's Surgeries, 4 Amputation Surgeries, 8 Cases of Mange, & 45 Cases of Heartworm in 2010

As we reflect back on our successes, we are overwhelmed with gratitude for our amazing team of volunteers who made it all happen! Thank you for all you have done---whether you foster, transport, process applications, help with fundraisers, check the hotline/email, or more---you are a critical piece of the puzzle and we couldn't have helped as many gentle giants as we did this year without you!
This is also a nice opportunity for us as a leadership team to recognize those volunteers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their efforts! The following volunteers are the chosen recipients of our special Certificate of Appreciation:

Lori Vermillion
- Lori is a foster volunteer in Omaha, NE who has a huge heart and often has not one but sometimes 3 foster dogs at a time, in addition to her own dogs! She is also a regular at local events and willing to help any dog who needs her!

Laura McIntosh - Laura deserves special recognition for having the longest foster (1 year) and biggest transformation of a single foster dog! Juliette the St Bernard came into rescue highly unsocialized and pregnant. Laura & her family helped raise her entire litter and then focused their efforts on socialization and Juliette was able to attend doggie daycare by the end and has since gone to her forever home!

Judy Mead - Judy is a member of our Medical Team who mails out all foster medications to fosters throughout our 8 state region, runs bloodwork to the vet, and also fosters and attends events regularly!

Karena Broman-Ballas - Karena is our Appreciation Coordinator and is responsible for sending out Thank You Cards to everyone who hosts an event for us or who deserves a special thank you for their support! This is one of the many behind the scenes efforts that makes a big difference.

Eugenia Jaeger - Eugenia helps behind the scenes as well with dog food and is responsible for posting our dog food fundraiser on the Forum as well as emailing all new and old adopting families to help us build participants and raise more money through dog food sales each month!

Kirsten Butler - Kirsten graciously served as our host storing dog food and foster supplies all year! She not only had to put up with us coming over every month to dish out food but almost daily she had to put out something whether it was food, crates, or supplies for volunteers in need. She also fosters for us and helps microchip.

Kati Harken - Kati Harken hit the ground running and has become our transport extraordinaire! She makes almost weekly trips to Hays or wherever we need her to go to pick up dogs in need. She has also become a new foster and is there to help with whatever we need! She has some great fundraising ideas she hopes to implement in 2011.

Lisa Lajimodiere - Lisa is our Event Coordinator and has taken the lead on making sure all of our events from meet and greets to fundraisers go off without a hitch! She oversees the coordination efforts, works closely with Renee, and also attends almost all of our events herself as a wonderful, professional representative for our organization.

Sandy Count - Sandy Count has been a tremendous help with long distance transports as well as bringing foster dogs from daycares to events to increase their exposure to the public. She is always willing to help with last minute emergencies or whatever we need her for!

Dawn Mackenzie - Dawn is our Medical Director and makes all vet appointments for foster dogs, takes calls at all hours for medical emergencies, negotiates new vet relationships, and makes sure that all of our foster dogs and foster families have everything they need to provide only the best of vet care. Considering she didn't have much medical background she has shown a true desire to learn and has become a pro in no time!

Marissa Knight - Marissa fosters regularly and has even taken on litters of puppies as well as many special needs fosters. She helps keep our storage unit well-organized, meets transports to microchip dogs and take photos, and pretty much takes care of whatever the need of the moment is with a smile on her face at all times!

Nadia Hrovat - Nadia is our very top application processor! She spends her entire day off every Friday processing apps all day long for BDHPI and plays a key role in making sure that applications are processed in a timely manner and applicants are screened thoroughly so that all of our foster dogs only go to the best of homes.

Kristen Kimball
- Kristen handles our homecheck assignments and is our second top application processor! She also fosters some of our more difficult behavioral and medical cases and does a ton of transports. She is always eager and willing to get involved in any way she can make a difference.

Tina Ward - Tina is a key player every year in our 5K fundraiser. This year, she handled several key elements including walking the course with Bree, handling the registration table, and much more. We are so grateful for her expertise in helping it all come together and raise a lot of money for the dogs!

Pat Blocker - Pat is one of our amazing Animal Behaviorists who donates her time to help us with treatment plans for some of our challenging behavior cases to aid in their rehabilitation. She also consults with the Officer team when we are forced to make difficult decisions on whether or not a dog is adoptable or too much of a liability. We are so appreciative of her expertise to guide us in the right direction!

Adrienne Burdette - Adrienne hosts many of our Big Dogs Meetup Group get-togethers to help raise awareness, attends almost all of our events and always goes out of her way to make visitors feel comfortable while sharing what we do as a rescue. She also fosters for us and is willing to do whatever we ask!

Shannon O'Brien - Shannon fosters some of our difficult cases and is very devoted to doing whatever she can to help them succeed. She also transports for us regularly whether near or far and will go wherever there is a dog in need, often with short notice. She has a huge heart and is very committed to our cause!

Regan Rising - Regan is our Medical Coordinator who oversees the distribution of heartworm prevention every month, tracks spay/neuters for puppies adopted out on special contracts due to their age, and makes sure that all of our heartworm positive dogs receive all the proper meds, x-rays, and bloodwork prior to treatment. She also meets transports to microchip dogs and take photos on intake.

Tim Irwin - Tim is our Kansas State Co-Coordinator and has helped tremendously with recruitment in the Wichita area through organizing Big Dogs Meetup Groups at the new dog park and attending almost all events. He also fosters not one but sometimes 2-3 fosters at a time in addition to his own dogs. His enthusiasm alone has helped our group grow!

Christina DePriest - Christina is our Kansas State Co-Coordinator and has helped send weekly updates to the volunteer group about upcoming events and current needs. She also fosters for us and attends events regularly. Her organization skills have helped keep the volunteer group both informed and cohesive.

Alana Devries - Alana is our Nebraska State Coordinator and is very devoted to growing our local volunteer group in her area. She has helped organize local events to spread the word and recruit new supporters and volunteers, found local businesses to support our cause, and serves as a resource to all new volunteers. She fosters most of our special needs behavioral cases in the area and is a big believer that every dog deserves a chance!

Crystal O'Neal - Crystal is our Texas State Coordinator and Transport Coordinator. She has grown our TX volunteer group to 43 people to date! She has organized local events and been critical in the rescue of a number of dogs in local shelters by evaluating them and arranging to get them safely transported to new homes.

Thank you to ALL OF OUR VOLUNTEERS for all you do every day to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of giant breed dogs every year!!!
Attached are some photos from our party for all to enjoy.
Happy Holidays from your BDHPI Officer Team,
Lindsay, Bree, Rand, & Cindy

Meet Mabel

Meet Mabel, a true testament of how love combined with structure and consistency can change the direction of a dog's life. When Mabel came to us she was emaciated, neglected and terribly unsocialized with both humans and other pets. She had no manners, and coupled with the fact that she is deaf, noone had given this dog any of the extra attention she needed.

Enter Shannon, her foster mom. Shannon has never given up on Mabel and has worked wonders with her. Mabel has come so far, and via sign language now knows come, sit, go, down, wait, door, shower, car, hungry, all done, free, look, and bye-bye. She is house trained, crate trained, is trustworthy with free roam and knows how to use a dog door. She gets along well with cats and some dogs, but would benefit from continued socialization and would probably do best as the only dog.

While Shannon adores Mabel, she hopes everyday that someone will come along and offer a forever home to Miss Mabel. Mabel deserves the perfect life, but until than, she is safe with Shannon and BDHPI!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Stella and Dot BDHPI Fundraiser

If you're still looking for holiday gifts, check out our Stella and Dot December shopping event! Our wonderful Volunteer, Kristy in Wichita, KS is hosting this great event!

Details on this and other holiday gift ideas on our website at

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Reasons to give to our 100 Pledges by 1.1.11

Need a reason to join our 1.1.11 Pledge? Here are a few...BDHPI alumns enjoying their new lives with their new families.

Remember HoneyBear, the very scared OEM? Her new name is Katie and she has found the most wonderful family who is willing to do whatever they to help build her confidence. Here she is during one of our "Trail Manners" Obedience classes!

Remember Carillion, the 9 yr old Great Dane found in a snowbank? This is Rilla now, living the wonder life in Golden, CO

Remember Monty, the 10 yr old Irish Wolfhound? Here he is checking out the Donkeys that live next door!

Remember the 4 Neo babies we had? Here is Holly & Jenna, in their favorite room of the house...the kitchen!

What about Romeo, the 3 legged Cane Corso? Here is he is with his amazing new mom and brother. I bet Romeo never imagined a life so good!

If you join our pledge campaign, it will only help us help more dogs in need. BDHPI hasn't even begun to scratch the surface!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pending Adoption for Jake

When I got this news, a huge smile spread across my face! Jake the blind Pyr mix has a home!

Jake has been in rescue for almost 6 months, with very little interest in him.

A little birdie told me he is being adopted by a family who has already adopted once before from us. God Bless the people in this world who aren't afraid of a little imperfection!

What is a permanent foster?

Every one in a while a dog will come into rescue and upon evaluation, we find a serious medical condition. If you follow our site, you know we will do anything to help a dog. That said, some things are not "fixable"-in these rare situations, The Officers of BDHPI evaluate the dog for adaptability. In very few instances do we ever find an adopting family that will knowingly adopt a dog that they know does not have a lot of time. But we also realize that while the dog may be not be an candidate for adoption, it also doesn't mean their time is immediately up.

This is where our incredible foster families come into play. We have a few foster families who will take on these dogs. They will welcome these dogs into their home, show them love, treat them as their own..all the time knowing that the end is near. It is a very selfless act.

Speaking from personal experience, it isn't easy. It is always sad. But more than anything, it will fill your heart and soul with love. Knowing that you are giving the gift of family and love to an ill dog is incredibly fulfilling.

Over the last 6 years, my husband and I have taken in 5 permanent fosters. We have shed tears for each one, but they always ended up giving us more than we gave them. Their collars still hang in our laundry room, and as we hung our ornaments with their pictures on our tree last weekend, smiled and laughed at the memories they gave us. There was a lot of...

"Remember how Ozzie's tongue would fall out of his mouth when he slept?"
"Remember Blue's old man raspy bark that always made us laugh?"

I smiled all day (and maybe choked back a tear or two!). I was so thankful we were given the opportunity to make such great memories.

We are always looking for foster families who might be willing to be part of our permanent foster program. Maybe you don't have the time or resources to be part of our regular foster program, but could open your home up once in a while? We like to have families who can be called upon in times of need, knowing that they will be taking on a dog for how ever long they have could be could be months.

If you are interested in learning more about our permanent foster program, please email

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

100 Pledges by 1.1.11 Update

So far, we have had 25 supporters join our pledge! We still need 75 more to hit our goal! If you can spare $5,$10 or even $20 a month, you can join our pledge drive!

We realize the economy is tough right now. We see the effects of it in the fact so many people are asking us to take their dogs due to their own personal financial situation. But without your support, we will be unable to help these dogs in need. Please consider joining our Pledge Drive!

As always, we are incredibly thankful for your support.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Update on Bogart (formerly Bruce)

Hi Lindsay and BDHP Team!

It's hard to believe it's been a year since Bogart (formerly Bruce) has joined our family. In our move to Minnesota this summer I came across his evaluation from his foster home and smiled at how, in some ways, he has changed and, in some, he has stayed the same. He is still as gentle and kind as he was the day we brought him home. He continues to have a high tolerance for everyone (animals included) and everything and still, to this day, has never met a stranger. People cross the street to meet Bogart - he is truly an advocate for English Mastiffs and Big Dogs everywhere.

In his initial evaluation it was mentioned under favorite toys that Bogart didn't "seem to be interested in toys yet." I am happy to report that that has changed! This summer, Bogart started playing with his sister Gracie, chasing balls and pouncing on toys. His favorite is a small stuffed moose that he often plays with until he falls asleep and it's only possible to see it's extremities from his "face puddle" on his dog bed. His temperament and personality have blossomed in this year, and I have no doubt that he is as happy with as we are with him.

I've attached some photos from this past year - he's had some great adventures and made some great friends. Thank you for what you do and providing us the opportunity to bring such a big amount of love and happiness into our home. We'll be thinking of your team and all the dogs still waiting for their new homes this holiday season.

Briley and Mark Gracie and Bogart

PS - We're expecting our first baby this month! Stay tuned for Bogart and baby photos!

Monday, December 6, 2010

What is a Borzoi?

Meet our first Borzoi to rescue: Kaylee

Borzio's are often mistaken for greyhounds. They are said to be from the Saluki lines, brought to the US from Russia. They are super athletic and agile.

They are known for their quietness, rarely barking. They are very sensitive, so please speak easy! They respond to positive training only. As adults, they like to spend their days molding themselves into your couch.

They are sight hounds, so a fenced yard is important. They were bred to chase, so they are extremely fast. They are good with other dogs and can be good with cats if they are raised with them (Their hunting instincts are are triggered by movement so we don't want any of that prey drive kickin' in)

We hope you enjoy Kaylee as much as we do! I am sure she will have a new home before we know it!

Friday, December 3, 2010

100 Pledges by 1.1.11. Reason: NAPOLEAN THE GREAT!

Napoleon the English Mastiff arrived into rescue a complete mess back in July. He could barely walk and needed assistance doing anything more or less. He had so many orthopedic issues that it was hard to know where to start but he was so sweet that we knew he deserved a chance at a brighter future and needed our help to regain quality of life!

The following day, July 27, 2010, he underwent stifle surgery with Dr. Dave Matthiesen to repair his Right ACL. He performed a lateral stifle arthrotomy and all remnants of the torn ACL ligament were resected including any intact fibers. The medial meniscus was inspected and treated by partial mniscal release. The joint capsule was routinely closed. The cruciate deficient stifle joint was stabilized using a conventional technique via an extracapsular technique using lateral fabellar sutures. Heavy nylon sutures were passed uner and around the lateral fabella to a hold drilled in the proximal tibial crest.

He was sent home on antibiotics for a week, pain meds, and suture removal was scheduled for 10-14 days. Recovery included no running or jumping for 4-5 weeks. As part of his Physical Therapy, Napoleon has been going to see Tammy Wolf ( on a regular basis and it has helped him tremendously.

Four months later, on December 2, 2010, he was finally ready for surgery #2 and Dr. Matthiesen performed the same procedure above to repair his LEFT ACL. They surgery was a long, very difficult surgery but he made it through like a champ! We expect that in about 3 months, he should be fully recovered and ready for adoption. It's been a long haul, but Napoleon (aka Borque) is in wonderful hands with Dr. Winton as his foster mom who is closely monitoring his comfort and recovery!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tis the's raining Gentle Giants!

As many of you may not know, the holidays months are by far when most rescues experience the highest influx of incoming dogs in need of foster care and forever homes. The stress of shopping, family, and entertaining tend to bring out the worst in people and the dog is the first to go times get tough meaning an even higher number of homeless dogs than ever. It is also a time of the year when many of our volunteers travel and are unable to help due to everything going on, which leaves BDHPI even more desperate for more foster help than normal!

Is there anyone out there that would consider helping with fostering, even if only for the month of December, to get us through this difficult time of the year? Without your help, many gentle giants will not be given a chance and their time will expire at the shelters that are overflowing...

I have attached photos of just a handful of dogs that are currently on our waitlist and in need of our help! Please email me ( directly for more information on our foster care program if you think you might be able to help temporarily or long-term. BDHPI provides foster food at no cost, pays for all medical care, and all we ask of you is to open your heart and home to a loving gentle giant who needs you and will give back the love you show tenfold!

Thank you very much for your consideration! Even if you can't help personally, maybe you know if someone who could help and can forward this note along. We appreciate your ongoing support!

Dog Food, Round 2

Our last dog food post got a lot of positive feedback, so here is another from our website:

Dog food is a very important aspect in owning a dog. We understand that many pet owners may not even realize that what they are currently feeding is not in the best interest of their pet. We also recognize that most individuals do not have the time to fully educate themselves, so we have done the research for you!

We have researched for years, had various discussions with animal nutritionists and animal behaviorists, and reviewed many reputable books and online sources in order to fully educate ourselves as to the ingredients to avoid and the ones to look for when considering what to feed our dogs. We thought it might be helpful to share our findings so that you can benefit as well.

What to avoid:
Dog Food brands available in the grocery store or mass retailers are generally based on cheap byproducts of the human food industry, with artificial colorings and flavorings, and contain ingredients our pets were never meant to eat.

Many of the ingredients in even highly advertised "brand-name" dog foods are nothing but "floor sweepings" and the "tail of the ill" from grain processing plants, rendered remains of animals and roadkill and recycled restaurant grease from rendering facilities, all cleverly disguised in non-descriptive phrases like "meat meal", "cereal food fines", "meat andbone meal" or "animal fat".

Menadione in any form (also listed as vitamin K3 or vitamin K supplement)

Most sulfate and oxide based mineral supplements (zinc oxide, iron oxide)

Preservatives: BHA (Butylated Hydroxysanisole), BHT (Butylated Hudroxytoluene), Tethoxyquin, Sodium Metabisulphite

Sweeteners: Cane molasses, corn syrup in any form, sugar, sorbitol, sucrose, fructose, glucose, ammoniated gylcyrrhizin, propylene glycol

Dyes: Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5 and 6, other numbered dyes

Protein: All generic meat ingredients that do not indicate a species (meat, meat byproducts, meat byproduct meal, meat meal, meat and bone meal, blood meal, fish, fish meal, poultry, poultry byproducts, poultry meal. poultry byproduct meal, liver, liver meal, glandular meal etc). Byproduct meals, even if a species is identified (chicken/beef/turkey/lamb byproduct meal etc), since highly questionable ingredients may be used in these rendered products.

Any food that contains corn (ground or otherwise) as a first ingredient, especially if corn gluten meal is also a main ingredient and no concentrated source of identified meat protein (chicken meal, lamb meal etc) is present.

Fats and Oils: Non-specific sources such as animal fat, poultry fat, vegetable oil, generic fish oil, mineral oil.

Carbohydrates: Fragments like potato product, middlings/mids or mill run of any kind. Unspecified grain sources like cereal food fines, distiller's gran fermentation solubles.

Fiber: Corn bran, peanut hulls, rice hulls, soybean hulls, oat hulls.

Fruits and Vegetables: Apple pomace, grape pomace, citrus pulp

Flavorings: Any highly rendered products (digests of any kind), ingredients of unknown origin (meat broth), glandular meal, artificial
favoring. Onion of any form is toxic to dogs!

What to look for:
Dog Food brands available in specialty pet stores and feed stores generally offer all natural, super premium, human grade ingredients that are easily digestible, provide greater nutritional value, and are overall much better for the health and well-being of our pets.

Chelated or sequestered minerals (also labeled as chelates, proteinates, amino acid chelates or complexes, polysaccharide complexes)

Carbohydrates: Whole ground grains such as rice, oats, barley, millet, etc, potatoes, sweet potatoes. Corn often gets an undeserved bad reputation and while it is not acceptable as a main source of protein, as a carbohydrate it is no better and no worse than other grains.

Fiber: Depending on the inclusion of ingredients that are naturally high in fiber (ex brown rice, oats, certain fruits or vegetables), a food may or may not include specific, isolated types of fiber. Beet Pulp is another ingredient that has an undeserved bad reputation and is a gentle, beneficial source of fiber that is well tolerated and suitable as a source of nutrition for the beneficial bacteria that reside in the intestinal tract.

Fruits and Vegetables: Unprocessed, fresh items are preferable to already processed ones, and organic is always the best choice.

These websites will help educate you so that you can make the right choices for your "best friend":