Friday, 29 June 2012

Why I Foster? To Get my "Puppy Fix"

By Kim Melnyk

Azure - One of Kim's Current Fosters
My husband and I have always loved dogs, and since he has always had a dog growing up we both knew immediately that we wanted a dog of our own. However, with our additional commitments outside our jobs we knew that right now was not the time. We were thrilled when we learned about the opportunity to help out a volunteer organization and get our “puppy fix” through Manitoba Mutts Dog Rescue. We would like to "foster fail" in good time, but there are times of the year we are too busy to properly care for a dog – which is why fostering works out so well for us! In less than three months we have successfully had four of our foster puppies adopted to wonderful families…we currently have two waiting for their forever families to adopt them.
Cobalt - One of Kim's Current Fosters

Fostering requires a great deal of patience and love; it has been a fun and rewarding experience for us. Yes, it's very hard to see a foster dog be adopted because you have come to see them as a part of your own family, and it's great to see them grow and learn and play, but to see how happy your foster makes their new family is also an amazing experience. Without fosters and all the volunteers, many of these dogs would not survive, that would be absolutely heartbreaking! We love being able to provide these dogs with a loving home until they are able to happily join their families in which they will be with forever. 

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

My Hobby - Vaccine Coordinator for MMDR

By Diana Sawchuk

During the day I work as a fulltime Nurse in the Neurosurgery Outpatient Clinic. My evening and weekend life I am the Vaccine Coordinator for Manitoba Mutts Dog Rescue. This is 100% a volunteer position and keeps me busy organizing and coordinating up to fifty visits a week to vaccinate our rescue puppies and adult dogs coming into our care from all over Manitoba. At least one evening per week I am joined by my husband and my friend (who is a Nurse Manager at SBGH) and host up to 40 dogs in my home and administer vaccinations to fostered pups as well as already adopted dogs from our rescue. It brings a wonderful sense of calm to know you are helping give these neglected and often abused, but always innocent animals a second chance. The difference they have made in our lives and the lives of those who care for them and befriend them is profound. I have never been artistically inclined, nor do I have a ‘green-thumb’, but the joy I get in seeing these happy, (… and dare I say appreciative) animals and seeing them romp around my living room carefree, then getting a warm ‘kiss’ on the face or a cuddle after distracting them, vaccinating them and gaining their trust and unconditional affection, makes it all a worthwhile ‘hobby’ for me. I recommend this to all other ‘artistically challenged’ people out there who are looking for a worthwhile and rewarding ‘hobby’.

Interested in a “hobby” helping our rescue dogs and puppies in need? We are currently looking for individuals that share our passion for giving dogs a second chance at life. We are currently accepting resumes for the following positions:
-          Event Coordinator (organizing MMDR upcoming events)
-          Spay & Neuter Coordinator (scheduling veterinarian visits)
-          Executive Assistant (help with paperwork, phone calls, organization, public communications etc.)
-          Poster Distribution Team (help plaster the city with posters/email our contact lists for our events)
-          Birthday Party Hosts (help organize and bring puppies to birthday parties)
-          Sponsorship Team Members (to solicit donations from Manitoba businesses)

For more information or to apply please email
Want to get involved but cannot commit to a regular position? Why not volunteer? We are always looking for extra volunteers to:
-          Picking up dogs from the airport 
-          Driving dogs from foster houses to the vet
-          Bringing dogs to adoption fairs that their fosters cannot attend
-          Helping at adoption fairs - watching puppies, taking dogs out for   bathroom breaks, selling merchandise, answering questions, etc.
-          Helping out at our of town adoption fairs, transporting dogs, etc.
-          Being a "temp foster home" - holding a dog or puppies for a few days until a suitable foster is found
Contact us for more information at  

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Happy Ending for Rambo - He Adopted his Forever Family

By Colleen H. 

Lots of Love for Rambo!
I wanted to share The Story of Rambo. My husband and I are dog lovers and we have always had a dog or two in our lives. We have chosen to adopt rescue dogs in the past and this has always worked out well for us. Our most recent rescue was a Dalmatian that we adopted as a 12 week old puppy in l998.   Despite, or maybe because of, her insane energy we came to love this dog dearly.  She was a big part of our family. Unfortunately 13 and a half years flew by and we had to put her humanely down in December.   We were heartbroken, missed her desperately and were not even able to talk about getting another dog for months.

But time tends to heal, or at least soften, our pains and as the spring came I found myself searching the web for a furry addition to our lives. Our circumstances had changed, however, as we now had a 16 month old daughter to consider.  Obviously we now needed a gentle dog that would not frighten our daughter. A dog that was young enough that she could grow up with it, but who was not as demanding of our time as a puppy would be.   Eventually we found a dog that we wanted to go and meet through Manitoba Mutts. We made application on line and were approved to go and meet her at her foster home.  

She was a beautiful, happy and very energetic dog. In fact, she was too energetic for our new family situation.   We played with her along with the two other dogs that were at the same foster home.   One of the dogs had just had a front leg amputation 3 weeks earlier. That would, of course, be Rambo.  As the two other dogs were running around playing with each other, Rambo stayed back and was chewing on his bone, observing us. I now believe he was surveying the situation and trying to decide if he should put the moves on us, so to speak.   Eventually he must have decided we were worthy of his attention because he came up to my husband and leaned all over him, pawed him and even gave out a few kisses. There was a photographer in the foster house taking pictures of some of the other dogs for the Manitoba Mutts website, and she commented how Rambo seemed to have chosen us! In hindsight, I think she was right!

When we left the foster home, we drove home in silence, each in our own thoughts. Eventually my husband commented that the dog we had gone to meet was probably too high energy for us and for our daughter.   I agreed. But Rambo has a way of worming into your thoughts and your heart and later on in the evening my husband commented that he really liked that Rambo! I laughed - I really liked him too! So we thought about adopting Rambo and tried to do some research so we could make a rational decision with our heads and not just our hearts.   Would a dog with three legs require special care?  Could we take him for regular walks?   What if he hurt one of his other legs? Would his past life experiences have a detrimental effect on his personality?  And of course, how would he be with our daughter? In the end, it was futile. The photographer was right.  Rambo chose us.

So on Friday, June 1st, we went to pick up Rambo and bring him home. Here is this dog, who likely never had a home of his own, that just had his front leg amputated, and who has turned out to be one of the sweetest, most gentle dogs you could meet. He is wonderful with our daughter, patiently accepting the smallest food morsel she offers in her chubby little hands, sometimes deciding not to even hand it over after all!  Despite his brand new dog bed, Rambo loves the couch, especially the chaise lounge part where he can really stretch out. He loves the comfy red armchair that he somehow squeezes into and ends up leaving his fur all over. He loves playing in the backyard with all of us around, throwing the frisbee or the football or chewing on a bone. When he runs, he has such momentum you would never know he is missing a leg. Most of all Rambo is a snuggler. He leans all of his his 72 pounds against you, trapping you, and wants hugging, loving, belly-rubs and kisses. As much as you can give him. I think he is making up for lost time. You cannot make eye contact with him if you are not willing to share some lovin' with him!

We love Rambo and will do our best to ensure the rest of his life is peaceful, happy, fun and without any further tragedy. We feel very fortunate to have found him and we recognize how special he is. I must say, he really did choose well!

Having a Beer with Dad! 

Hanging out! 

Survivor Rambo got his Second Chance! 

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Manitoba Mutts Spring Auction


Rambo is Recovering with his Forever Family 
Manitoba Mutts Dog Rescue is constantly bringing dogs into our care from all around Manitoba. Many of our dogs come into care hurt, sick and in need of extra care. Whether it heartworm, an injure leg causing pain or any other aliment, we believe that every dog deserves a chance at a happy life. These veterinarian bills are quite costly, and we are always in need of funds to help our mutts in need.

Since Manitoba Mutts is a 100% non-profit organization, every cent raised goes directly back into our dogs in care. Most recently, we have put together an online auction to help raise funds. With the help of our generous donators we have compiled an exciting list of package that will be up for auction starting Sunday, June 24th at 12:00pm ending Sunday, July 1st at 12:00pm.  

For a full list of packages and register visit: 

Want to help out?

  • Spread the word about Manitoba Mutts and the auction by sharing the event on your Facebook page:
  • Email your friends and colleagues about our rescue and the auction 
  • Let your friends know about our great auction and how they can help our mutts in need!
  • Take part in our auction and win some great packages
  • Follow us on Twitter and Retweet us @ManitobaMutts
Hydro had his Amputation and is Recovering with his Foster Family

Leo is having his heart worm treated 
For a full list of our Mutts in Need and to Sponsor a Mutt yourself visit 

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Why Adopt a Mutt? Part 2


A week ago we discussed the benefits of adopting a mutt instead of shopping for a purebred or designer breed dog. Sadly, we do hear many reasons why individuals are against adopting rescue dogs and puppies. Whether it is personal preference or being uneducated on the matter, these are attitudes that are present in the world. Here is a list of the top five myths that we hear most of the time and the truth behind the objections.  

Myth 1. You don't know what type of personality you're getting when adopting a rescue dog. 

Truth: You foster the correct behaviors in a dog through proper training, and honestly you never know what you're getting with a purebred either...there will be some set personality traits and some complete opposite traits. In addition to that, if you're concerned you can adopt an adult, and know exactly what you are getting. 

Myth 2. Rescue dogs have tons of health problems.

Truth: Actually mixed breeds tend to have less health problems because they're not prone to genetic traits of certain breeds. There is also less inbreeding in mutts that purebreds. On top of that, ALL dogs purebred or not have a risk of having health problems, just like people. 

Myth 3. Rescue dogs are aggressive because many have been abused.

Truth: Dogs are the most forgiving creatures, not like people. The dogs that I have seen come from the worst cases are the first one's to learn to trust again and become great companions. They are so happy to be loved.

Myth 4. I grew up with a certain breed so I need to have this certain breed again.

Truth: You should never try to completely replace a beloved pet that has passed, you will just end up unhappy as it won't be exactly like your last pet. Find a dog that has a trait that warms your heart and perhaps reminds you of your last dog. 

Whether you chose to adopt a puppy or an adult dog, we have staff that will work with you to ensure you make the right decision and adopt that is the right fit for your family. Not sure what you are looking for in a new best friend? Why not try fostering? By fostering you will be exposed to many types of breeds and personalities - and who knows, you may meet the dog that was meant to be adopted by you (We refer to that as "Foster Failing"). 

Some Reason why Manitoba Mutts Alumni decided to Adopt a Mutt: 

1. I always thought I wanted a Border Collie, but was worried about the energy level. Adopting a mutt, I was able to get a balanced dog of a few breeds! Oh and also, when I first saw Mia, she stole my heart, and I just knew she was supposed to be mine. - Deanne P.

2. Our last dog was a Golden Retriever. She was our everything; but tragically she passed away this past September of Cancer. It tore us apart: but after a bit, we started thinking about getting another one in the near future. Friends of mine have always had rescue dogs, and they kind of put the bug in my ear. I started looking at rescues. I started praying about it, and realized that I needed to stop being selfish and reach out to those in crisis. We made our decision, and were blessed with a beautiful baby last month! We couldn't be happier. And human baby is adopted too! - Erin H.

3. Shadow was my 2011 Christmas gift that i bought for myself. I have wanted a dog for a long time but my ex-wife would not hear of it. Shadow is actually the first dog that i have ever adopted/owned. Shadow and all my foster dogs bring me much happiness and companionship. I am so glad i contacted MMDR on that quiet December night and asked to see the runt of Honey's litter. - Dan A. 

4. The northern dog myth is so based on ignorance. The only dogs that survive in the north are the ones that learn to ingratiate themselves with people. It is a self-selecting trait because dogs that are unfriendly die of neglect or get shot. Northern dogs are amazingly solid, resilient, strong, and sociable. Anyone who says differently is going to be licked to death by Edward and Basil or any of the 160 dogs I've rescued from the north. - Jennie D. 

5. We adopted because we were ready for another dog and will never support breeders, puppy mills, back yard breeding etc. ever again. we adopted so there was space for another dog to be rescued, and found our fluffy soul mate in the process. - Julia F.

Big and Cuddly Farley - 100% Mutt

Baby Camry - Lab and Husky - we think! 

100% Purebred Mutt Cuteness

Friday, 8 June 2012

The New Sunshine in my Life!

Marley, Sam & Haily

By Kim McDiarmid

Let me just preface this by saying I never intended to get another dog at this time…

My history with dogs began as a child. My Gran always had dogs, both parents grew up with dogs, most of my aunts and uncles had dogs and we had dogs growing up. Usually they were cocker spaniels. So when I finally moved into a house of my own naturally having a dog was one of my top priorities! And since I had grown up surrounded by cocker spaniels, that was my dog of choice. I found Bailey in an ad in the local paper, went to see her and brought home this sweet little eight week old pup that day! She was a lovely dog, a little on the neurotic side, but very smart! She only lived eight years and due to a heart condition I had to make the heartbreaking decision to end her life humanely.

Chloe was my second dog and she came home with me on Bailey’s first birthday! She was a little terrier cross that I rescued through a work colleague. She was a feisty little girl! Chloe lived to be 13 and sadly died of cancer almost three years ago.

Next Hailey came into my life. Hailey is my nine year old golden retriever. I am embarrassed to say that Hailey came from a pet store and I’m sure part of the reason she came home with me was that I was still mourning over Bailey and wanted my next dog to be a golden retriever. So naturally I brought home the first one I found! None the less, Hailey is a wonderful gentle girl who I can’t imagine living without!

And then came Sam. Sam ‘the man’ I found in an ad on Kijiji while stressed at work and looking at pictures of puppies to try and reduce my stress. And there was this ad for six week old half golden retriever, Irish setter cross puppies. Irish setters were another breed I had always been interested in, however had stayed away from due to their reputation for being high strung. I figured I should get the best of both worlds here- the gentle nature often attributed to goldens and the beautiful red coat and looks of the setter. Wrong!!! Although he definitely looks like a setter he’s nuts! He was a very active high maintenance puppy, who now at almost four still thinks he’s a puppy at times!

And that brings me to the present. About six weeks ago I took in my first foster, a little black 12 week old puppy named Trix. This sweet little one was adopted after she had been with us for two weeks. A couple days later, MMDR dropped off a mother and daughter, Sunshine and Lollipop. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to have such lovely dogs coming into my home to stay until they found somewhere to live forever! Within a couple weeks a nice young couple came to meet Lollipop, fell in love with her and took her home. That gave me the chance to see what Sunshine was like without having to still be a Mom to her puppy. Uh, oh, I thought… I am in trouble!

And now back to my preface… Sunshine is now Marley (would have liked to have kept her name, however Sunny and Sammy were too similar) and I have done what is known in the foster world as ‘foster failing’! She was just too wonderful to let go! Even though we have some rough months coming up as she is treated for heartworm, I just could not imagine not being there for her as she gets well and seeing her evolve into a beautiful, happy, healthy girl. She is a wonderful addition to our family, a very respectful, loving dog who gets along so well with Hailey and Sam. And we are very excited for the day that she is healthy and can play when she wants and come to the lake with us and swim and run around to her heart’s content!

Through all this experience I have learned a few lessons. One is that I will never again look for a specific breed of dog or purebred and I will always encourage anyone I know who is looking for a dog to do the same. It’s the personality of the dog that is most important not what their papers say they are or what they look like. I will also never again buy a dog from a pet store or ad in the paper or on the internet and will also encourage all others to do the same. ‘Adopt don’t shop’ is my new mantra! Of course I love all my dogs equally, however there will always be something extra special about Marley knowing that she was once homeless and hungry and now living in a warm loving home with Hailey, Sam and I. A HUGE thank you to MMDR for bringing this lovely girl into our lives and for opening my eyes to the world of dog rescue, fostering and adopting!

For more information on Adopting and Not Shopping please visit

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Why Adopt a Mutt - Part 1

Gus - A Purebred Mutt! 


There are several reasons to adopt your next dog from a rescue verses purchasing from pet store and back yard breeders. Every dog whether young or old, mixed breeds or purebreds should all deserve a happy and healthy life. However, many mixed breed dogs are over looked, and purebreds or designer breeds are often chosen. To clarify, a mixed breed dog, often referred to as a “mutt” is a dog with two or more breeds in its genetic make up. A purebred is a cultivated variety of genetics that have been selectively chosen to create a certain type of dog (these dogs come with a pedigree which symbolizes that they are in fact only one breed of dog). A designer breed refers to two purebred breeds that have been selectively bred together to create a new breed of dog, hoping to derive the superior attributes of both breeds.

Although any dog can become ill, there are many health issues related to purebred and designer breed dogs. Since there are limited amounts of the same breed dogs to mate, inbreeding between purebreds occurs quite often. Allergies are a common side aliment of a purebred dog. Medications, special food, vet visits and treatments can be very costly – and nothing is worse than watching your dog suffer through it all. Other health concerns include increased chances of cancer, heart disease, bone disease, eye disease, epilepsy, neurological disease and poor immune system. Different types of purebreds suffer from different types of disorders depending on their breed.

By adopting a mutt from a rescue you will be doing your part to help shut down puppy mills and backyard breeders. Puppy mills focus on force breeding dogs in unhealthy and filthy conditions; resulting in the puppies being unhealthy and miserable. Backyard breeders are uneducated puppy producers that often inbreed and create unhealthy purebred puppies. Both contribute to dog over population.

By adopting a mutt, you are making a difference in that dog’s life. You will be providing him or her a loving home. In addition, you will be allowing another dog to take their spot in the rescue that you adopted from.

Mutts make great pets! By having a mix breed dog he or she will have many of the attributes of their entire genetic make up. As far as cuteness and physical attributes go, nothing is cuter than a mutt puppy or as rewarding as looking into the eyes of a mutt rescued from a less than ideal life.

Look for part two of Why Adopt a Mutt Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

For more information in Adopting and not Shopping visit

Sunday, 3 June 2012

My Dream Dog - Sheesh

By Rea 

Sheesh is LOVING her Forever Family
Today a friend of mine told me her and her husband had adopted a puppy from Manitoba Mutts.  She was aware my husband and I done nearly the same thing two weeks before when we adopted Winnie (now Sheesh) from MB Mutts -and adult dog rescued from Norway House who had just weaned her pups.  My heart skipped a beat….had she adopted one of Sheesh’s puppies?!  I emailed my friend but enjoyed no immediate reply.  So I went onto the MB Mutts website to find out.  And what I discovered made me want to whimper.  There were all of Sheesh’s pups on the site…still up for adoption.  Up until that moment I had thought several of them had found homes.  And they should…if they are even half as awesome as their mom.
Sometimes good character does pass down - and other than a classic husky stubborn streak which emerges rarely (but strongly), she really does seem to be one of the best dogs ever - we are not dog whisperers by any mean.

Let me tell you about Sheesh (formerly Winnie) - the new light of our life - the mother of Gimli, Ashern, Morris & Channing. Like many soon to be new dog owners I was a bit unsure how our new found friend would settle into our home and lifestyle.  We wanted a fun dog, but one that really knew how to relax too.  This is partly why we chose an adult dog - we really were hoping for fully housetrained pooch with established social skills.  But you still don’t know what to expect…you must be prepared for surprises.

And so we were.  We were prepared for howling or whining (bit of that) or barking, or accidents.  Perhaps we would need to hide all leather shoes…who knows?  But it turns out that Sheesh is the easiest going gal - loves her walks, but like our last husky X dogs, has a serious chill out mode.  One of her nicknames is Iron Bladder…I think that speaks for itself.  Not a single accident…and with her refusal to go in the yard, even the landscaping is intact….Kind of weird.  On Saturdays she enjoys sleeping in.
In 2 short weeks Sheesh has more than fit into home life, she has also fit into my work life, coming with me to my office in the Exchange District and taking noon hour walks along the river.  I discovered an office neighbor across the hall that fosters for Manitoba Mutts Dog Rescue and we’ve visited the Artspace, taking an elevator ride.

Sheesh is smart.  She sits, lies down, and shakes paws and stays (…at least when she’s inside…).  She has made friends with the other tenants in my office building, rarely barks and she responds differently on the leash in the downtown (heals) than in parks… a very subtle nature!!
She also goes by the name El Bandito when she steals our things, such as socks and shoes.  Importantly, she does not destroy these items, she merely totes them around, like comfort blankets (once I noted a two t-shirt day with a smile on my face) - we often find our accessories on her bed.
Sheesh is my dream doggie.  Consider one of her pups…odds for…

* Since this story was written we are happy to say that ALL of Sheesh’s puppies are happy in their forever homes - many of them at our May 6th Adoption Fair.

Friday, 1 June 2012

No More Dogs! Became Just One More…….and she changed my World

Love at First Sight
By Fiona Plumridge Walsworth

I was thrilled when I heard my sister was getting a new puppy through a rescue organization (Although I hadn’t heard of MMDR, I have always had rescues.) I was there with her the day her previous dog had died, and knew the pain from when I lost my beloved Cody, four years ago. As fate had it, instead of one puppy, my sister fell in love with, and adopted, the mother of the litter AND one of the pups!

Of course, I ended up wanting one of more sister’s dog’s pups, too. But my husband was quite adamant that we were not going to adopt one. He gave me all sorts of reasons. Most made sense. I finally let it go, and, actually, was not as sad as I thought I would be. To be honest, I wasn’t happy with much in my life at the time, I was in a depression, so what was one more disappointment?

A few days later, I saw her on the MMDR site. A picture of a little puppy on a pink and white pillow. She was black and white (my favourite dog colors) and it instantly felt like she was mine. I tried to show her to my husband. He told me to stop looking at pictures. No more dogs. But I couldn’t stop. I looked at her every single day.

She went for professional pictures a couple of weeks later. I looked them and sent a text to my sister, saying, “Oh My. Brooklyn is getting bigger. But I still really want her!” Gone was that puppy on the pink pillow. She looked completely different. She was now taller, longer andskinny. And mine. Except I had been told no more dogs. I knew I could never meet this dog. To meet her and leave her behind would have broken me. No volunteering, no adoption fairs, no nothing, until she was adopted. I was aching to become involved with MMDR. But I resolved that I would have to wait until she was adopted.
I will never forget the morning I woke up and read the post from her foster mother that she was sick. Lethargic, throwing up. She needed to go to the vet. I started shaking and reached out immediately to help. I had a car, I would take her to the vet. I had no choice. My puppy needed me.

She threw up five times in my car that day. But it didn’t matter. She was mine. I was terrified the entire time until the vet said she had likely just eaten something wrong and sent her back to her foster home. I drove her there, came home and filled out the application. Fighting it was over, now I just had to figure out how to break it to my husband.

He’s still mad about it. But Brooklyn won’t let him be mad at her. She goes over to him and cuddles. When no one is looking, he cuddles right back. When someone is looking he tells her to go find me. But she insists that he play with her. She bugs him until he does. He may be stubborn. But no one is more stubborn about love than my Brooklyn. She won’t give him a say in the matter. I think he secretly likes her already.

My other dog, Angel, needed her, too. She had not been the same since we lost my previous dog to cancer four years earlier. She seemed older now, mopey, no energy and no play. Maybe she felt like I did. But when Brooklyn came, she seems like a puppy again sometimes. And sometimes, she’s her teacher.

Brooklyn saved me. She has helped me see life in a new way, including myself. I feel something again, a peace I have not known for some time. I feel happiness, needed, loved.

I am fooling myself if I think I rescued Brooklyn. The truth is, she rescued me.

Sleepy Brooklyn

Brooklyn and Angel