Anyone who knows me knows that I’m an animal lover and further proof comes from the fact that we share our home with two dogs and two cats. We have Baxter our boxer who we got from a breeder five years, our two cats who both came from the Edmonton SPCA as kittens and then Bree who we got from a local rescue organization. The rest of our critters grew up in the lap of luxury, but Bree had a pretty rough start to life, and I thought I would share her story with you and maybe (hopefully) inspire you to adopt, foster or donate to local rescues. We’ve obviously gone both ways with rescuing a pup and buying one from a breeder and let me tell you, I’m a convert. Don’t get me wrong, Baxter is fantastic but he does have some health issues that often come with a purebred dog and adopting a rescue can just be so rewarding.

Almost four years ago I was set on getting a second dog and was browsing the websites of some local rescues when I stumbled upon this picture:

I was instantly sold (those ears though!) and knew she was the one. The bf, however, was less than convinced. He was not into the idea of adding a second dog, but I was determined. I actually tricked him into going to an adoption event that Bree was at, hoping he would change his mind. It was love at first sight for me, and I knew the moment I met her that she would mine…and let’s just say that I tend to get my way if I’m determined enough ūüėČ

Anyways, after a bit of a battle I won out, and Bree’s foster mom brought her to our place to see how she got along with Baxter and our cat. Everything went smoothly, and she’s been living with us ever since.

When we got Bree, she was only about 1.5 years old (best guess) and she had grown up on a reserve just outside of Edmonton. She had to spend the first chunk of her life outside and fending for herself. When she was taken in by the rescue, she was painfully skinny, shy, losing her fur and worst of all she was VERY pregnant. After only a few days in care, Bree had a litter of 11 (!!!) puppies. Even in her weakened state, she did her job as the mom and still acts like the momma bear, especially with our cats…always the babysitter. Flash forward about 8 weeks, and many of Bree’s pups were getting adopted, and that was when she came to us.

Very pregnant but still showing ribs.
Looking TIred with 11 Pups
Sweet Momma
Way to skinny after giving birth.

Bree has come along way since those early pictures, but it wasn’t always the easiest road. Rescue dogs are amazing, but they often come with some quirks. Bree was not used to living in a house, we were lucky that she came to us house trained but she had a case of separation anxiety and was just not comfortable in enclosed spaces. We wanted to try and crate train her but that was a no go, she was able to break out of any kennel within seconds! There was also one scary experience where she escaped from our house…from the second floor! We had both dogs in our upstairs bedroom, and one day I came home, and Bree was gone…she had broken out of her crate, pushed out the window and jumped a full two stories down to the ground. I was freaking out and thought she must have for sure broken her leg. I ran out the front, around the corner and there was Bree, happily sniffing around the¬†neighbour’s¬†yard! She even came running up to me when she saw me after a thorough check-up I confirmed that she was no worse for wear. After that, she got free roam in the house, and there was only minimal destruction…dogs are why we can’t have nice things!

Almost four years later and Bree is much more relaxed and absolute sweetheart and more than a few pounds heavier.

Looking healthier this past Fall
Her spot on the couch.
Out for a hike.
Posing for the camera.

If you’re considering adding a critter to the family, I really recommend checking out local rescues to find your new addition. The rescue we got Bree from is no longer running but here are some other great places to look at.

Edmonton Humane Society

Second Chance Animal Rescue

WHARF Rescue

Zoe’s Animal Rescue

Infinite Woofs

Humane Animal Rescue Team (HART)

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