Sunday, 29 April 2012

Zepp - What's not to Love?

Zepp - he's so handsome 


I just wanted to take a minute and talk about one of our special boys that we have in care, Zepp. Zepp is a four year old Labrador Retriever Newfie cross and has been in MMDR’s care for almost a year. Coming into rescue, Zepp needed a little bit of guidance and help learning his manners. You see, Zepp is a big, goofy boy that sometimes does not understand his own strength. He is good with calmer dogs as he does not like to be bossed around. Zepp also gets along with cats and even farm animals such as cows!

Since coming into rescue Zepp has come a long way. Zepp’s foster mom is so proud of his progress. When Zepp first came into his foster home he ran everywhere and did not care who was in his way. He also licked and jumped on everything and everyone. However, over the last few months no one has received an suspecting “Zepp Lick”, he now waits until play time begins. Rather than jumping on everyone, he now is only allowed to jump on his foster mom to say good morning or get his “night night” hugs.  He is comfortable in his environment and walks nicely on a leash. Cuddles are one of Zepp’s favourite things! He loves to cuddle, show his love and please his person. Tricks include sit, stay, shake a paw (if he feels like listening) and fetch, he may even bring the ball back to you if you’re lucky.

Just recently Zepp and his foster sister were in the garage for their dinner. About five minutes later Zepp was scratching on the door to come in. Zepp went running right past his foster mom straight to his “naughty mat”. In the garage was a destroyed teddy bear and Zepp’s food dish, untouched. He was so disappointed in himself that he refused dinner and gave himself a time out. He is such a goofy boy.

Zepp has created quite to attention around himself. He has his very own Facebook page with people who adore him and want to help him find the perfect forever home He will be attending an upcoming Adoption Fair on May 13th at Sprockett's Doggie Day Camp. Please join Zepp’s page and share his information with your friends and family. He is an amazing dog and deserves the best home. The family that takes a chance on this fun loving monkey will not be disappointed. 
Cuddle Monster, Zepp!

Friday, 27 April 2012

Protecting Your Dog Against Heartworm Disease


With the summer months quickly approaching it is more important than ever to ensure that your dog is protected again heartworm disease. Ensure you speak to your veterinarian regarding your dog’s heartworm prevention plan.

What is Heartworm?
Heartworm is an extremely severe disease which can make your pet incredibly ill and can eventually become fatal. Heartworms are essentially parasites that live inside infected dog’s heart and the blood vessels supplying blood to the dog’s lungs. These worms take over the dog’s internal organs (heart, lungs and liver) causing death to many dogs and cats each year.

How does a Dog become Infected with Heartworms? 
Infected mosquitoes transfer the immature worms into the dogs’ tissues through their saliva when they bite into the dog’s skin. The immature worms then make their way to the dog’s lungs and then into the heart. The worms then mature 15 – 30 cm long and reproduce while living inside the dog’s heart. The worms are then able to create thousands of larvas and infect more mosquitoes which in cycle will infect other dogs.

What are the Signs of Heartworm?
Without testing heartworm disease usually goes unnoticed until it is too late. Sign of heartworms can include: chronic or strenuous cough, sluggishness and fatigue as well as weight loss.

How can I Protect my Dog?
Heartworm disease is easily preventable by working with your veterinarian. The veterinarian will test your dog’s blood for signs of the parasite and prescribe a lotion, injection or pill for your dog. The testing frequency and medication is determined by your veterinarian and it is important to follow this schedule. At times, dogs that are on heartworm prevention medication do contract the disease. Usually this is because the dog’s owners forgot to, or was late giving their dog their medication. Annual testing is recommended.

What happens if my Dog Tests Positive for Heartworm?
Heartworm is treatable by giving a series of treatments first destroying the adult worms in the heart and lungs, and then killing the immature worms and larva in the blood stream. These treatments are extremely costly and can be hazardous to your pet. Prevention is highly recommended.

Please contact your vet if you have any questions! Have a safe and heartworm free summer! 
** Garage Sale for Griffin on April 28th, 2012! Our Gentle Giant is going through costly heartworm treatments, come by to support him! 41 Arden Ave 8am - 4pm Find some hidden treasure and enjoy some BBQ! **

Help Donate to Cure Griffin's Heartworms

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Garage Sale in Honour of our Gentle Giant - Griffin

Help Support a Mutt in Need 


Griff came in from Brokenhead, MB in mid-March, 2012 and has had quite the ride so far.  Him and his best friend, Juno were living at a gas station in the area.  No one was taking care of them, so they took care of each other.  If you meet Griffin, you will quickly realize this big black dog is the most gentle boy you’ll meet. 

Griffin’s first night in Winnipeg was an adventure.  During foster pickup, he managed to slip out of his collar and leash, frightened to get into his foster’s car.  In a panic, he ran.  We searched for him until 2am that night, along with about 20 volunteers and Winnipeg Lost Dog Alert who came to help.  No luck.  Poor Griff didn’t realize he was running away from the best thing that had ever happened to him.  We prayed he found a warm place to sleep that night.

The following morning, a few sightings came in and we were back out searching for him – with no such luck.  Just before heading into work, one last tip came in, a big black dog was at a school not too far from where he ran away.  In one last desperate plea, we hurried over.  And sure enough, there’s our gentle giant, curled up at the front of the school.  The staff had wrapped him in a blanket, and brought him food and water.  Clearly, he was exhausted from his night. 

Back in care, safe and sound, Griff spent his first week with one of our board members, Deanne.  He visited her office – where of course everyone awed over his gentle nature and laid back personality.  As great a dog Griff was, would not save him from the disappointing news at the vet.  Griffin tested positive for heartworm.  For anyone unfamiliar with this condition – it is worms living in the heart and feeding off the animal’s nutrients.  Heartworm is easily transferred through infected mosquitos, prevalent in Manitoba.  This must be cared for slowly to prevent further issues to the dog’s health.  It was a sad day for MMDR, getting the news about our boy.  It reminds you why annual heartworm testing and prevention is so important for the health and safety of your dog. 

Despite Griffin’s condition, he was in such good spirits.  We started his treatment immediately.  Griffin is in good hands recovering right now, and is looking for a loving forever home to see him through the rest of his treatment. 

As you can imagine, heartworm is extremely difficult to treat and very costly too – running at approximately $1600.00.  We are fundraising to help pay for his treatment.  In honour of Griffin, there will be a garage sale this Saturday, April 28th at 41 Arden Ave in St. Vital.  Please come by to show your support – snag some great garage sale finds, or even just pop by for a burger and drink!  Griffin will be stopping in for a special appearance too!  Visit our Facebook Events page for all the details, or contact We also have a Pennies for Pooches change drive, as well as many other ways to help Griffin and our other dogs in need.

Hope to see you out this Saturday!

Griffin wants to see you on Saturday!!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Grandma's New Baby - Louie!

By Cheryl Franklin 

Thank you for bringing Louie into our lives. We adopted Jean Paul (who we now call Louie) on April 14th, 2012.  My mom (Grandma) said that she knew immediately when she walked into Pet Valu that he was the one.  He was sitting there just looking at her! Once he was in Grandma's arms there was no question, she was bringing him home that day. My nephew Chad came into the store after he parked the car and when he saw Louie and Grandma together he knew there was an instant connection and that Louie would be perfect for the family. Morgan, Chad’s year old lab mix came inside to meet Louie and they became fast friends – it was meant to be! 

Louie has adjusted very well to his new family.  He likes his crate, we have it in the kitchen with us and we leave the door open during the day so he can go in and have a nap when he gets tired.  Potty training is coming along very well, he will either go to the front or back door and sit, or will come and sit in front of us to let us know that it is time to go outside.  Louie is such a quick learner and we are very proud of him. Morgan and Louie quickly became best friends. The other night Morgan was in the living room sleeping on his bed and Louie was in the kitchen with us, sleeping on the floor.  Louie was having a bad dream and whimpered a few times.  Morgan jumped off is bed and came into the kitchen.  We watched as he nudged Louie with his nose, Louie kept sleeping so then Morgan took his paw and nudged Louie's tummy so that he woke up. When Louie woke up and Morgan saw he was fine, he lied down on the floor beside him. 

We have emailed Cheryl Johnson, Louie's foster mom.  We sent her some pictures and told her that we would keep in touch so she can see what a handsome boy Louie is growing up to be. She emailed us back with pictures of Dior, Louie’s mom - is she ever beautiful. Cheryl did a wonderful job fostering and we can tell that she gave them a lot of love and attention.  It must have been so hard for her when they went to their forever homes.

Again thank you for the wonderful work you do at Manitoba Mutts Dog Rescue.  Because of all your time and dedication we have Louie, and we could not be happier!   

Louie's Forever Family, 
Fran, Cheryl, Chad, Jeremy and Morgan

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Fostering... The Heart of MMDR

By Deanne Peterson

Aldean - One of Dolly Parton's Pup
As most people know already, fostering is the heart of our organization.  The more fosters we have, the more dogs we can save.  We wouldn’t be where we are without the warm souls of our foster homes.  I’ve been fostering for over a year now, and have seen countless dogs come and go through my home.  This story is about one specific type of fostering – litters. 

It takes a special kind to foster a litter.  Sara, our co-director, always said to me, “don’t ever let me convince you to do a litter!”  But when there were moms in need, and we were short on foster homes, that statement changed to “well, everyone should try it at least once.”  To this point, I had fostered everything from puppies with severe health issues to adults with behavioural problems – everything BUT a litter.  So I should at least try it once, right? 

January 10th rolled around and in came Dolly Parton with her six 5-day old puppies from Sagkeeng First Nation.  Dolly Parton was extremely thin and uncared for.  She had lost two babies in the cold.  The surviving six had frostbitten toes and dry, flaky skin.  Despite their rough condition, they were in high spirits, and Dolly was an incredible mom.  Seven weeks and many fat balls later, I was seeing all of my pups and mom off to their forever homes – now fat, playful and loving dogs.  Dolly made a very special place in my heart.  I’ll never forget her friendly tail wag and our snuggle sessions.  More importantly, she taught me the unconditional love these mom dogs have to offer.  It’s incredible how much they give to their puppies, but still have enough to love you too. 

Personally, I loved fostering the litter.  I got to pick the theme for pups, named after Country Stars (of course) –  Urban, Aldean, Shelton, Dunn, Lambert and Brooks.  Mom did all the heavy lifting for the first four weeks.  I just had to take care of her and make sure everyone was loved and clean.  Around week three or four, the pups start eating “mush” (i.e. blended dog food and water), which is when things got interesting.  It’s hilarious to watch and a complete mess!  Around that same time, mom stops cleaning up, so each day I’d clean up their pen and lay fresh bedding.  Sometimes the pups are split into foster homes at six weeks.  I chose to keep my litter until eight weeks and sent everyone off to their forever homes.  A lot of people worry that you need to be home all the time to dedicate to your litter.  I can attest that isn’t the case!  I work a full-time job, volunteer my time with MMDR (outside of fostering) and participate and run a couple rec sports team too.  You’d be surprised how easily a litter can slip into your day-to-day life.  It’s more about making space in your home and your heart, than in your day. 

The experience was worth every clean up, puppy snuggle and mush mess.  I got to see Brooks (now “Luna”) a couple weeks back, and she ran up to me so excited – she still remembers who I am!  Right now, I’m fostering my second litter, Chickadee, and her 10 puppies born in early March, 2012.  Chickadee and her puppies came in from Norway House, unwanted and uncared for.  This litter has a bird theme and I love them dearly.  You’ll never believe how rewarding it is until you experience it. 

Many fosters don’t think they could handle a litter.  When the babies are born in care, it’s a 6-8 week commitment.  Often the first few weeks are a breeze, then things get harder for a few weeks before the pups leave mom.  I’ll say to everyone now – you should try a litter, at least once.  I never thought I’d enjoy it, but it’s now one of my favourite fostering experiences!  For more information on fostering, or what it takes to foster a litter, email  You won’t regret it.  

Chickadee's Litter

Chicky's New Family! Happy Girl

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Why I Foster - And will Always Foster

By Nikki Jung
Fostering, all I can say is what an experience! I am not sure how to put into words how it feels to have these puppies and dogs come and go in your life. The best word that I can come up with is amazing. When you have a rescue dog in your home you go through a cycle. You teach them that not all people are bad. When your foster puppy dumps their dish and prefer eating their food off the floor – you need patience, love and the will to learn and accept their strange attributes. You have the dog that plows through your home taking down everything on their path and the dog that won’t leave you alone for a minute because the attention is so exciting for them. The new mom with her sweet babies that you cuddle and love so much, you pray that they go to great homes. The love you feel towards these sweethearts is truly unbelievable. You know you need to let them go, and watching the love their new family feels towards them already is so touching.

My children are learning to love our fosters and be gentle with them. These dogs may have came from a past with abuse and neglect, I know that my children are able to understand this. We have loved all our fosters, their individual tendencies and personalities. Victory, a mom with her nine babies taught us about about loss. Two of her babies did not survive and it was really tough on us. She did not want to be in her xpen so we had to try creative ways to get her to stay in there with her puppies. Bonsai was our first foster. He was full of love and craved attention... and had no interest in being house trained. This took some patience. Prancer was full of energy and was constantly on the go. We learned to understand her energy and eventually how to calm her down.

 We have learned immensely from this experience and would not trade it for the world. We will always be fostering with Manitoba Mutts. My youngest son developed such a bond with one of Victory's puppies, Doan, they were inseparable. So we did the only logical thing: Adopted him. Welcome to your forever family, little Doan.

It's Love - Welcome Home Doan

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

A Second Chance for Storm and Tasha - and their Babies!


By Jennie Davies

I live on Berens River reserve, a fly-in community on the eastern shore of Lake Winnipeg. I moved here six years ago to teach school and noticed the stray dog problem immediately. I started building relationships with rescues and WHS and flying dogs out within weeks of arriving. So far I have sent out 159 dogs and hope to get to 200 before I move this summer.

Sparky was the father of the pups. He showed up in the teacherage two years ago with his buddy Chaos. They were owned by an older couple that lived down the road at the time. Life on reserves is hard on dogs and Sparky figured out pretty quickly that in the teacherage he had a well-defined territory, lots of friendly people, and all the food he wanted. (A teaching couple fell in love with Chaos and bought him off the family; he now lives like a king in the Haida Gwaii Islands on the northwest coast of BC with his new family). Sparky would woo all the ladies and chase off other strays. He was also an unapologetic car chaser, which put him at great risk, so I tried to buy him from his family but they wouldn't sell. He was a huge, imposing majestic dog and quite well known and a status symbol, unfortunately. Shortly after the Storm pups were born, Sparky was hit by a car and suffered massive internal injuries. He dragged himself off the road into the teacherage and we got him inside. I made arrangements to have him flown out on the next flight that afternoon but he was just too badly hurt. He died about an hour and a half after being hit. We were with him when he died and he fought to the very end. I called his owner to tell her he had died and she didn't want him anymore. She allowed us to cremate him in the bush and have a spirit-releasing ceremony. I have his collar and an eagle feather hanging on a hook in my house and they are the talismans I touch when I need strength.

Storm turned up in the teacherage in September of this year. She was already limping and wouldn't put that sore leg down very often. She was feisty and friendly and despite her injury, could keep up with the rest of the pack really well. We went for walks often and she was always game.

When dogs show up I have to be careful not to send out dogs that are actually "owned" by someone as this does great harm to rescue efforts. Like anyone, the local people don't like to feel that they are being criticized for the way they treat their animals, so I try to make sure that I am rescuing only dogs that are truly homeless. My test is this: If they show up, have no collar, and stick around for more than two or three weeks with no interest in going anywhere else, they are fair game. Unfortunately, in that waiting period, Storm went into heat. Sparky was extremely dominant and would not allow ANY other dogs near the ladies when they were receptive; he frequently bore serious battle wounds but he always won the wars. It became evident very quickly that Storm was pregnant (as was Tasha, also with Sparky's pups).

I knew I had to get the mamas into rescue before the pups came because by then it was turning winter and I would be gone for holidays in December, leaving no one to care for them. (It is virtually impossible to find someone to care responsibly for animals in our community. From sore experience I have learned to take my dogs with me every time I fly out unless another teacher is available to dog sit). I made arrangements for Tasha first as she was due earlier and Jenn Black from Manitoba Great Pyrenees Rescue lent me a huge kennel to send her out in. It was so big that I called MMDR and said, hey, how about two mamas? They are so great that they said, sure no problem! So I loaded all 18 dogs (2 mamas and 16 unborn pups) into the kennel and flew them down to Winnipeg, where their story was taken over by Manitoba Mutts.

I have always trusted that my rescues are going to good homes but to see the love and investment that these pups are receiving via the MMDR alumni page is just humbling. Dog rescue is its own reward but seeing these puppies so loved, and knowing the life they've escaped, fills my heart with light. There is a lot of darkness in an isolated and poverty-stricken community, so it helps keep me going more than anyone who hasn't lived here could know. When I hear stories like Cyclone and Jagger getting to grow up together with two little best-friend girls, it just doesn't get any better than that.

Tasha - Adopted!
Storm - Waiting for her Furever Home
Two of Storm's Puppies! Chief & Jagger

Amethyst - one of Tasha's Puppies

Monday, 9 April 2012

Love at First Sight - Times Two! Chief & Jagger

By Shannon Branquinho

Our family had two amazing dogs that we loved very much. One was a 17 year old Shih Tzu, the other a 14 year old Jack Russell. On January 9th, 2012, a very depressing day in our lives, our beloved Shih Tzu passed away. I was absolutely devastated; she was my baby since she was only six weeks old. Our entire family was completely heart broken, especially my daughter as they were very close.

I was looking through the Manitoba Mutts website when I saw Chief’s (Tornado’s) picture – I felt my heart being tugged towards him and had to meet him. I am glad I did because it was love at first sight. Chief is a very different dog than my late Shih Tzu, but they both had the same white patch on the back of their necks. I felt it was a sign. My dog was telling me to adopt Chief and to shower him with the same love that we blessed her with for those 17 years. Chief fits into our lives perfectly and we are all head over heals in love with him – even my 13 year old Jack Russell is trying to get used to this puppy trying to play with her. There was one downside to adopting Chief; we felt horrible separating him and his brother, Cyclone, they were so close.

The next day, my daughter’s best friend and her family came over to meet Chief and, of course, they fell in love. We mention his brother, Cyclone, to them and they immediately arranged a meeting with him. They also experienced love at first sight and adopted him, renaming him Jagger. The family brought Jagger straight to our house and the boys were ecstatic to be re-united. Our families live only a few streets away from each other and our daughters are so exciting about raising their puppies together! There will be many shared walks, trips to the park and tons of play dates! I am forever grateful to Manitoba Mutts for bringing these sweet boys into our lives – we are ALL so happy!

Coming soon – how Chief and Jagger mother, Storm came into Manitoba Mutt’s care.  
The girls with their new puppies :)

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

My Planned Foster Fail - Frankie

By Tracy Kirton

I had wanted a second dog for a while. Fate intervened when I came across Manitoba Mutts purely by accident. My kids were exceptionally excited at the prospect of another dog, my husband…not so much. But I had a plan, and it was a simple one.  I told my husband we were going to foster a dog (I just didn’t tell him the part about me never giving the dog back to MMDR). I had met Frankie briefly at one of the adoption fairs for only a few minutes. She gave me a kiss and her blue eyes made me melt. A few weeks later, MMDR had a new pregnant mom coming in so I thought it was a good time to take Frankie home to make room for the mom and the upcoming puppies. The adoption papers were already sent in while my husband was still telling everyone she was our foster dog.

Frankie was a happy go lucky pup from the get go. She was never shy or scared, she made herself at home right away. However, Max, my other dog, was not so impressed with Frankie’s enthusiasm. Max has a pretty low energy level so Frankie was an eye opener to him. Frankie thinks life is a party. Now Frankie is the typical little sister. Max loves her most of the time and they have a blast together. My absolute favourite part of having Frankie and Max is watching them wait by the door for my three kids to come home from school.  As soon as they see my children, their doggy eyes light up. To witness the love between children and their pets is precious and I wish every child could experience this. 

Frankie was brought to MMDR by a pilot that couldn’t bear the thought of leaving her behind because he had heard she was going to be shot. So we are forever grateful to this man and MMDR for saving her. It’s not always easy having two dogs but when you think about what could have been, everything else seems inconsequential.  She is where she belongs. She is extremely loved; spoiled and adored by all of us, yes, even my husband. 

I knew I was a successful “failure” when my hubby said to the kids, “You know the dog is one of your Christmas gifts, right?”