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?

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