Monday, November 19, 2012

The Bernhardt Zoo!

Over the weekend the Bernhardt Zoo took on another pup, Tojo, a handsome two-year-old yellow lab male rescued from a high kill shelter down south. We decided to drop the o's in his name and call him TJ, which I jokingly say refers to "Tanner, jr." since they both share that adorable "block head" lab face I love! He is such a lovable dog with the sweetest disposition, he knows basic commands such as "sit", "shake" and "down." He did arrive to us rather thin, his winter coat makes him look bigger than he is but we've been feeding him a kibble/chicken and rice mixture four times a day...and with Thanksgiving just days away, we'll fatten him up in no time! If anyone is interested in TJ or would like more information on him please let us know, he is looking for his furever home!

Look at that adorable face!
We picked up TJ Saturday morning in Pikesville, Maryland which is where all of the dogs going to fosters in Maryland and Pennsylvania are dropped off {there is another location in the Northern Virgina area, as well.} It was really awesome to see how much coordination goes into transporting these dogs, it is truly remarkable considering this is organized solely by volunteers. The dogs are transported by vans and it's roughly a ten hour trip each way, this is really no easy task transporting so many dogs yet each time it is done flawlessly. Every foster is given a dog specific foster bag which contains a collar, a variety of medications, dog treats and any other information that is needed to help the dog.

We were greeted by handsome TJ and I immediately proclaimed my instant attachment to him, to which the other fosters were jokingly calling me a "foster failure", a term coined for those who end up adopting their foster dog. I couldn't help it, anyone that knows me knows I have a soft spot for labs and this guy was no exception!
It's as if he's saying "thanks for rescuing me from that horrible place!"

I was a little worried about our 40 mile drive back to Annapolis since TJ had already been in the car for ten hours but he was a champ, he just rested in the back seat patiently awaiting to go home. Once we were home all three dogs greeted him and they immediately ran out back to play! It was really wonderful watching the dogs interact, words cannot accurately describe the feeling you get knowing you helped save these wonderful dogs' lives! 

It is no easy feat getting all four dogs in the same picture! This is as good as it gets...

Once all of the excitement wore down with welcoming a fourth dog in we found out even more exciting news! Friends of ours had seen Bailey's pictures on the blog and wanted to come over for a meet and greet with their dog! We were thrilled that there was a chance Bailey's "furever" home would be with friends of ours, it doesn't get much better than that!  Bailey and their dog, Torre, got along really well and later on we found on they were going to adopt Bailey! 

Bailey's last night with us was bittersweet.

Matthew and I experienced a wide variety of emotions realizing our time with Bailey was coming to an end. Luckily for us Bailey found her "furever" with friends of ours which made saying good bye to her a little easier, in fact we've already had a little Bailey update this morning by her new family! She's doing great and adjusting really well, she is such a sweetheart and we're so happy that she has been adopted by such a wonderful family! It is definitely difficult, if not impossible, trying not to get too attached to these dogs but Matthew and I are trying really hard not to so we can continue to help more and more dogs. 

A tuckered out Bailey from playing at The Bernhardt Zoo waits for her family to arrive!

All and all fostering has been a wonderful experience so far and we truly hope to continue this for a long time. I realize I'm sounding like a broken record but I cannot say it enough, the feeling you get when you see all of the rescued dogs arrive on transport day is absolutely incredible and makes it all worth while. It's so wonderful to be apart of an organization like Operation Paws for Homes and I encourage all who are interested to seriously consider being apart of OPH's family, or any recue!

A few more pictures to share because they're just too cute...

Two tired mutts.
Sweet Bailey!

Exploring the yard while I rake the leaves...
Bailey loves snoozing in her crate!
Crazy eyes.

"Hey, any room for me?"
Guess not.

Don't forget, TJ is still looking for his furever home, could it be with you?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Meet Our Foster Dog, Bailey!

Matthew and I joined Operation Paws for Home's family over the weekend and we're so thrilled to be apart of this incredible organization that operates in Maryland, Northern Virginia and Southeastern Pennsylvania. OPH is committed to rescuing dogs from high kill shelters in the southern rural areas of the United States and finding them their "furever" homes they deserve. Sadly, these shelters do not have the resources to accommodate the large number of homeless dogs and they give the dogs three, YES THREE, days to be adopted before they are killed. Luckily, organizations like OPH do everything they can to give these animals a second chance through the help of their volunteers. Matthew and I are huge dog lovers and we decided to become foster parents so we too could help make a difference in these animals' lives. If anyone would like more information on how they can be apart of this incredible organization then you can visit their website by clicking here or by liking their Operations Paws for Homes Facebook page. We are currently fostering the sweetest female lab/hound mix dog named Bailey (on their website she is listed as Bugsy) Bailey is having a blast playing with Tanner and Gresham but she is still looking for her "furever" home and is available for adoption. She weighs 49 pounds, is somewhere between 12-18 months old, house broken, wonderful with children of all ages, dogs, cats and knows basic commands! She has the sweetest disposition and we know we're going to be able to find Bailey an incredibly loving home that she truly deserves!

Here is sweet Bailey!

If you're interested in adopting Bailey please let us know!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Happy Year!

 Last month the hubs and I celebrated our one year anniversary {technically, it was one year and a day thanks to the leap year but who's counting?!} It's hard to believe a year has already gone by and we've definitely manged to squeeze a lot in on those 365 366 days! Just to name a few of the things:
  • We traveled to Aruba
  • We bought our first home
  • We renovated our first home
  • We starred on HGTV's My First Place television show
  • I started a new job with the Sergeant at Arms Office of House Security
  • Matthew started his LAST semester of law school at University of Baltimore (only four weeks until graduation!)
 Phew, no wonder the year flew by, we really stayed busy! To document our one year of marriage {and to give me more pictures to hang on the walls} we had a photo shoot with the very talented, Marisa, of Misa Me Photography, because you know, we didn't just take a thousand pictures a year ago, oh wait!
Below are a few of my favorite pictures, we even included the dogs in some of them! Although, as you can tell by the picture below they weren't the easiest subjects to shoot, they thought they were at the dog park and wanted to play! Marisa did manage to get a great picture of all four of us looking at the camera, if that isn't Christmas card material then I don't know what is!

This post  made me realize we're no longer considered "newlyweds", I guess I'll have to update my blog's title sometime soon, huh?