Dog trains man

Saturday, February 7, 2015

A Breadcrumb For Tulle's New Family

The day I visited Tulle in the shelter last week somebody else was there too, looking for a dog, although we never met.

She was an energetic middle-aged woman who was missing a dog in her life. After studying a picture and short description of a dog that spoke to her on the shelter's website, she paid the dog a visit. We just missed each other, as I had left for home after taking a walk with Tilde and Tulle.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Tilde's Sister Tulle

Tulle is Tilde's sister, and unfortunately up for adoption again. We visited her earlier today in the shelter from "Dyrenes Beskyttelse" in Roskilde to say hello. She is a kind and beautiful young Hovawart lady, full of life and very affectionate. Next month she will be two years old.

Tilde was a little too overwhelming for Tulle in the beginning. But after a long walk together, it was Tulle's turn to invite Tilde for some rough play, like I like to think only Hovawarts can. Tilde was ecstatic about our visit, not only did she meet Tulle again, but also the shelter people who had cared so well for her in the past. Especially when she saw Mie, Tilde went through the roof.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Patiently Earning A Very Important New Best Friend

Meet Dok-Dek.

He is that handsome gentleman standing beside Kenzo. A rescue from Thailand who came to live in Denmark, with some of our closest family.

Over in Thailand, in the rescue that took him in, Lanta Animal Welfare, he acquired quite the reputation. Through the years, Dok-Dek wore down volunteer after volunteer on his insatiable walks, and he was the welcoming committee for dog after dog that went through the rescue.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tilde's Paradise Shelter Days Caught On Camera

I mentioned it before. The shelter did an excellent job socializing Tilde. My little princess herself is living proof of that.

And now I have got my hands on some video clips to give a small peak into Tilde's shelter life, and what they did to socialize her!

Have a look, and see if you can find Tilde The Puppy between all the dogs:

Friday, August 15, 2014

Tired Dog, Good Dog

You have heard the cliche before, "a tired dog is a good dog", or, "... a happy dog". Although it takes a lot more than that, I like it enough to say, it is one of my favorite motto's.

Tilde clearly never got the memo though, and she challenged us in this department in a way we could never have imagined. From almost day one she was like an energy bomb bouncing around.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Taken By A Storm Called Tilde

Driving down to the shelter of "Dyrenes Beskyttelse" in Roskilde to meet Tilde, I wasn't sure we could have her home with us. Kenzo would be the judge of that, not me.

But at least I was looking forward to meet Tilde. At last. As one of the first to see a picture of her as a week old puppy, and following her journey from the puppy mill to her rescue and into her new home, I finally had the opportunity to meet her in real life. With only 14 months on her age-belt, Tilde was up for adoption again.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Campaign in Remembrance of Viva

If it wasn't for our local shelter "Dyreværnet", here in Copenhagen, I would never have met Viva.

And they didn't rescued her once, but twice, in the first 5 years of her life.

Until Viva came and lived with us, her final and loving home.

Forever thankful I am, for the 3½ years we got together, where Viva's touch changed me into who I am today.

I hope you want to join me in supporting her shelter with a donation as an act to remember Viva by, share her goodness, and help the shelter to take care of dogs like Viva, so they too can find a loving home.

If you decide to do so, we would love to thank you with a personal message, so please mark your donation to the shelter with "Viva". Then we can send you a postcard with Margie King's painting of beautiful Viva as a Thank You.

How to join
You donate directly to the shelter. Their donation page is here:

The page is in Danish, but it shouldn't be too difficult to fill it out with this explanation:
  1. On the top, in the grey box, you can chose an amount in Danish currency- a quick currency converter: 100 Danish kroner is approximately 13,50 Euro.
  2. "Vælg betalingsmetode", chose payment method, her you pick "Dankort/kreditkort", to pay with your credit-card.
  3. "Navn", your full name
  4. "Att", attention, here you fill out "Viva", this is important, to get the postcard.
  5. "Gade", street.
  6. "Husnr.", house number.
  7. "Postnummer & By", postal code and city.
  8. "Land", country.
  9. "Telefonnummer", telephone number.
  10. "E-mailadrese", email.
  11. Check the last checkbox, "Ja, jeg accepter betingelserne", meaning you accept the conditions.
  12. Press "Send", and the payment dialog starts.
Alternatively, you can also transfer money directly to the shelter's bank account, account number 5329-0242143, "Arbejdernes Landsbank". Remember to pass your address information and "Viva" along in your transfer.

Thank you so much for your donation, and we are looking forward to send you the postcard with Viva's painting. Bless you!


"Dyreværnet" relies solely on donations from the public. They are the only no-kill shelter in Denmark and re-home all animals, either furred or feathered.

Graphic artwork by MissyRedBoots.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Meet-up With The Former Puppy Mill Hovawarts

Not just your average Hovawart meet-up happened yesterday. It was the dogs rescued from the former Danish puppy mill !

The event was hosted by the "Dyrenes Beskyttelse" shelter, in an attempt to keep in touch with the families and help where they can. Not all could make it, as there was a snow-storm obstructing traffic. I think in all there were still around 15 dogs and 40 people, a great turn-up.

The dogs, now ranging from 4 months and up, were first allowed to burn off some energy and play with each other, and mingle with all the people. It surprised me how easy they initiated contact and I don't think there wasn't a pup that didn't rushed up to me to say hello. Not something I would have expected from former puppy mill dogs, and an impressive example of a dog's resilience and how great these dogs are actually already doing.

As the group swelled, I noticed the late-comer - blond Bob - was slightly impressed by the sight of such a large group of dogs and people clustered together, before he jumped head first into the melee of arms, legs and paws. I think that took him a whole second to think about, brave little fellow, just 4 months old now.

And you could already see all their different personalities shine, and yes, they were all rumping and playing and gave everybody a little prelude of some rough play to come, when they get older. Once they all burned some energy, we went inside - yes, the dogs too -, where I was given the opportunity to tell the Hovawart tale.

We talked about the breed's characteristics, behavior, socializing, training, meeting other dogs, every day care, and more. The new dog parents were very curious and asked many questions. Some about the practical things they deal with now, but also what lays ahead, being an owner of a Hovawart and a former puppy mill dog at the same time.

My impression was that "Dyrenes Beskyttelse" has found some awesome families for the dogs. Each one of them displayed a lot of committment. A couple of them were actually former Hovawart owners, that had a puppy from the puppy mill before - although they didn't know at that time it was a puppy mill -, how awesome is that and what a leap of faith.

During the inside session the dogs still behaved nicely, and that made today a great socialization event for them as well. And they were a great help for me too. When we reached to the subject of "bullying", a pup decided to start humping the house-labrador of the shelter. I could rest my case. Next subject.

Meeting all those wonderful people with their wonderful dogs today, was without a doubt, exhilarating to be a part of. I still wish I could be a fly on the wall with them all. I furiously wish them all the best going forward.


For the latest and how you can help, visit the page Stop Danish Hovawart Puppy Mill.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hovie Hugs For a V.I.P

Photo: Kim Rasmussen,
The Hovawarts in the shelter welcomed an unexpected V.I.P. visitor, the Danish Minister of Agriculture & Animal Welfare. Mette Gjerskov paid them a visit to learn more first-hand about the "puppy mill case" and the efforts from "Dyrenes Beskyttelse" to re-home the survivors.

On the photo you see Mette Gjerskov - on the right - probably getting her first ever Hovie Hug in life. The puppy in the photo is Barney - the staff nicknamed him "Barney Police Officer" - a 2 months old Hovawart pup. How appropriate, it was "Barney Police Officer" to be the spokesman for "our" Hovawarts. And before you get your hopes up, Barney is adopted, and is moving to his new forever home soon.

Would the puppy mill meltdown have attracted massive attention from national media, I probably wouldn't have given the visit a lot of thought. But as it didn't, and coverage of the events so far was restricted to local papers, radio and TV, this visit was not meant as yet another attempt of a politician doing some window-dressing in front of flashing camera's.

Undoubtedly, the many mails and signed petitions you send to Mette Gjerskov voicing your concerns, have played their part in making this happen. And Mette's interest therefore seems genuine to me. I am confident that "our" Hovawarts and "Dyrenes Beskyttelse" planted a little seed for the longer term aspects of this case - to make sure this never can happen again - and send Mette Gjerskov back to Copenhagen with some food for thought.

Aapo, almost 6 yrs, oldest of the "ready" dogs
so far, seeking a foster home
Back to the dogs. All the puppies are adopted, which is fantastic news. Three of the older dogs are in foster families for additional individual care. The remaining eighteen dogs are doing well, and more and more are ready for adoption. It is very hopeful, the dogs are so resilient, and already seem to recuperate in such a short time. Rikke Christensen-Lee - to the left in photo on top - commented today to
"Their spirit is not damaged beyond repair. They are seeking human contact already, and want to hug and play, as soon as somebody enters the kennel."
The dogs spend a lot of time outdoors, and are outside the whole morning on the large seven-hectare ground that surrounds the shelter. They also spend time out in the afternoon and evening. 

Rikke Christensen-Lee informed me concerning possible adoptions abroad, that the shelter prefers families from Denmark. They think travel could stress the dogs more than they can handle at the moment, and they will have to be held an additional 4 weeks in the shelter due to the required rabbis vaccinations for travel. But the shelter welcomes everybody to apply. Note that they will require you to meet with them face to face, in Denmark, as well.


For the latest and how you can help, visit the page Stop Danish Hovawart Puppy Mill.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

First Dogs Adopted: Now What?

Bella - first of the "grown up" Hovies up for adoption
Earlier than expected the first dogs from the former puppy mill already went up for adoption, and ... were also adopted. So far 8 dogs are adopted. Earlier during the week the first of the puppies started appearing on the adoption site, and yesterday the first grown-up Hovawart, Bella, almost 4 years old, was put up for adoption; a milestone.

Bella is still shy, but the shelter noticed she already made big steps forward on a daily basis, so they were confident Bella was ready to make the next step. Amazing, as it is only a week after they were seized. Dogs are so resilient.

They are all carefully evaluated by the shelter's behavioral expert, and of course some requirements are put forward to the future families. In shy Bella's case that was: a family experienced with dogs, a calm environment, and no small kids. Of course, the future family is briefed in more detail, but...

What does that mean? Can you summarize instructions for the rest of Bella's life in one or two short sentences? What does it require to take care of a shy, anxious or fearful dog which had a life so far confined to the inside of a cage in dark stables, deprived of daylight and social interaction with humans?

I asked Debbie Jacobs, CPDT-KA, and author of the book "A Guide To Living With & Training A Fearful Dog", what would be her main piece of advice to the people that are about to adopt a dog from the former puppy mill:
"The most important point at this time for these dogs is that they feel safe, have their choices for distance respected and receive LOTS of good food treats and if they want, playtime with the people or other dogs in the house."
When I adopted fearful Viva some years ago I felt a lot like how some of you might feel today, when you are about to adopt one of the puppy mill dogs. It was mostly a leap of faith from my side. Debbie's book and blog was a tremendous help in understanding Viva better, and helping her to be the happy and not so fearful dog she is today. According to Debbie that is very well possible for the puppy mill dogs as well:
"If these dogs are going to be successful it's going to be because their owners are able to respond appropriately to behaviors they are seeing. Thankfully even many of these dogs who have suffered so much or been deprived, can become successful pets."
When you are not a natural like me, and you consider to adopt one of the dogs, you might find Debbie's blog very helpfull. A great place to start exploring all the resources available is Getting Started, and just take it from there. Or if you like it better, consider the book.

You are on a mission. It will not happen overnight. Some of the things you do today and cherish, you might have to find alternatives for. But the reward of success for you and your dog will be a bond that goes so deep, you not have thought possible. It will have its ups and downs, but it will definitely be worth it. At least, that is how I feel now, looking back at the journey of Viva and me so far.

Back to the dogs. The shelter mentioned the interest for the Hovawarts is a lot less than for the Golden's. Maybe understandable, as the Golden's are a lot more well-know to most families. On the other hand you will read with most Hovawarts in the accompanying requirements-text that a family with Hovawart experience would be preferable. That makes me wonder. There are not that many Hovawart families in Denmark. Most of them are torn beforehand by the 20 year's existence of this puppy mill and having advocated not to buy from the puppy mill.

Therefore I hope that the shelter will soon accept adoption requests from experienced Hovawart parents from surrounding countries as well. Or maybe even, overseas, although the shelter rightfully worries the long travel might be too stressful for the dogs.

And to keep the best news to the end: I just learned that the first Hovawart puppy was adopted by a family. Her name is Stella, only 5 months old. She is a careful little girl and her new family will provide her with a calm environment just to her liking. Wishing Stella and her family all the best. I am delighted.

I almost can't believe this is happening now. Stella will soon make her first new steps in life, into the light and with her freedom regained. More will follow. I wish I could be a fly on the wall with them all.


You can find the adoption page here. Inquiries can be send to internat (at) mail (dot) dk.

For the latest and how you can help, visit the page Stop Danish Hovawart Puppy Mill.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Bloggers Join Together To Campaign For Dog Rescue

Viva in the local shelter
It is hard to imagine that Viva once was unwanted and not loved. She was returned to a shelter, not once, but twice in her short life. Now she is living with us, and we find it hard to imagine how life would be without Viva. And how much we would have missed out on, if we hadn't found her.

There are many more dogs like Viva. To help, more then 10,000 bloggers around the world join forces on July 23, to raise awareness for dog rescue and the rights of dogs.

Please join this global event if you have a blog. Or share blogs you read on that day about dog rescue on your Twitter streams, Facebook timelines, etc.

On July 23 this blog will raise the case for dogs in Europe. Many in Europe see the rescue shows on Animal Planet, National Geographic Channel and others and think puppy mills and abuse of dogs is mainly an American problem. But if you look a little harder, you will see the issues in Europe are very much alike. Stay tuned.

For more information about the event and how to join, visit Blog Catalog, Dog Rescue Success or Be The Change For Animals.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Shiloh adopted after 2 years

Maybe you remember Shiloh the Hovawart? She featured on this blog during Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week and before that, we raised the funds for her second FHO hip surgery.

I am so thrilled for Shiloh. An elderly couple from Idaho adopted her. They owned a Hovawart before and found Shiloh on Petfinder. They flew to Charlotte (NC) together with their Yorkie and met with Shiloh. Fell in love, and rented a car for the trip back home. With Shiloh on the back seat.

Sometimes there seemed to be no hope. More than 125 people tweeted about Shiloh, some daily in more than a year. Bloggers wrote about her. She featured as Pet-of-the-Week on NC's local TV station. As it seemed, to no avail. But finally, after more than two years, Shiloh has a family.

In all that time Shiloh was in the care of the no-kill rescue project HALO, and in particular Shiloh's foster dad, Tim Roney. They are the real heroes in this story. Please pay a visit to their website of like/leave a note on their FB page. I am sure they will appreciate.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Dog and a Rescue

The story of Shiloh is about the spirit of a dog and the love of a rescue.

Whoever it was that named her Shiloh - the place where Mozes took the Ark - couldn't have picked a better name. Already diagnosed with hip dysplasia at the young age of 1½ year, her chances for a fulfilling life seemed non-existing. Not for Shiloh. She defied all odds and made an unbelievable come-back. Fighting her way through the surgeries and rehabilitation programs without loosing her spirit and sweet character. Her special affectionate personality left intact. Today Shiloh is fully recovered from her ordeal and waiting for adoption.

The rescue that took her in, project HALO, fought the battle together with Shiloh. Understaffed and under-financed, they did everything in their power to help Shiloh. It took them more than a year. They cared for her in foster, spreading the word and organizing fund raisers for the necessary surgeries and treatment. When the funds finally came available they helped her through two FHO surgeries, one for each hip, and the following long rehabilitation back to a life with proper use of both legs.

Lets write a happy end to this story together. Spread the word. Retweet, like, and share Shiloh's story. And she will find a home.

Update January 2012: Shiloh adopted after 2 years


If you are interested in adopting Shiloh please visit to fill out an application or contact Rhonda at for more information


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Might be coming soon in a theater near you

A brand new dog show aired on Danish TV recently. It has a refreshing concept building on dogs, kids, adoption, and positive reinforcement.

After watching the first couple of shows I am so positive about it as it conveys some great messages on adoption and getting professional help when adopting. I hope production companies in other countries get inspired by the concept.

Dog trainer Jan Vestergaard in new Danish TV-show
The show

Each show is about a family. The children's greatest wish is to have their very own dog, while the parents do not think their children can take on the responsibility to care for a dog. They say No.

Together with Jan Vestergaard - the newbie TV host and a dog trainer/behaviorist in normal life - the children meet with three dogs. Each dog has been preselected from the local shelter by Jan Vestergaard. He helps them to choose one of the dogs, and the kids are allowed to take the dog home with them for a couple of days.

Jan Vestergaard visits the family and teaches the kids how to walk with a leash and other basic routines using positive reinforcement. You can almost hear the kids think "that's easy we are home-free!" Of course, during the days the dog stays at the family, issues turn up. Jumping on guests, barking at the door bell, not being house-broken, etc.

Unfortunately for the kids the parents discover this also and point it out to be not acceptable. "Bummer! not so easy after all!". Jan Vestergaard shows the family what they can do and works with the kids to chance the behavior, of course with success. He succeeds very well in explaining it as not being something bad about the dog, and turns disappointment into success. Positive reinforcement for the whole family.

The show closes with the "moment supreme", asking the parents for permission to keep the dog. You know how that turns out, as we are still watching television.

Popularity driving change

I would say nice things about any TV-show that is not about the usual pack leader blabla. But I especially like this show because it promotes not only adoption, but also getting professional help when adopting. When the show increased in popularity, you could see dog trainers in Denmark doing more to promote their services to help families adopt a dog. And clearly the show has contributed to people's interest in this service.

Why is that a good idea? Kevin Myers wrote a very good post on his DogLoversDigest blog: Keeping It Real When Adopting a Dog – Step Two: Find a Trainer. I say no more.

Excuse my Danish

The name of the show itself is "Så er der hund", which is impossible to translate to English. What it tries to convey would be something like "And now we have a dog / are a dog family / gone to the dogs". All at once.

Unfortunately I have not much else to show for because all is in Danish, but for the not-so-faint-hearted here is a link to episode 10 from the show: Clara from Østerbro, Copenhagen


Saturday, October 16, 2010

We are rockin' !

We joined the R.O.A.R. (Rescue Owners Are Rockin') squad and as of today it is official: We are rockin' !

Only half a year ago we took a leap of faith and adopted Viva. If only I would have known then, what I know today, one question comes to mind. What kept me so long! We have such a special and deep bond together, it is like we were meant to be.

Adoption is the coolest thing around. It just is. When you have adopted, join the ranks of the R.O.A.R. squad and help promoting adoption. If you don't, adopt, and then join the ranks :)

The R.O.A.R. squad is founded by Shauna Stewart and her rescue, Miss Kayloo (picture on right). She is seeking rescue owners from every US state and all other countries to help her prove that rescue has nothing to do with stories about "broken" animals, but instead are fabulous stories about love, joy and fulfilment. Join the R.O.A.R. squad !


Monday, September 20, 2010

Shiloh is ready for you

This week is Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week, raising awareness of the wonderful pets who too often get overlooked. Pets like Shiloh. Spending over a year in foster, she has more then earned our attention.

Shiloh is a sweet 2-year old girl and has spend most of her life in a rescue and in foster. She is a real family dog and just gets along well with everybody. The people of the rescue where she resides say she is one of the most affectionate dogs they ever had. Her favorite past time is to give hugs and kisses. She has no issues with other dogs and is very playful.

Harry Potter

So why on earth is she not getting adopted? Well, first of all, she is from the Hovawart breed, a very unknown breed in the US. Which makes people reluctant. "A Hova...what? Is that from a Harry Potter movie?". But Hovawarts are absolutely great dogs. I have two of them. They are devoted to their family. They make excellent watchdogs. And unlike other watchdog breeds they will accept someone when you say the person is fine. They are from origin working dogs and they excel at anything in training or sport you would like to do with them. They will love it. And so will you.

Shiloh is 2000 years old

If it is not the breed, could it be the name? Shiloh is a beautiful name, but can carry the wrong message for some. Being named after the religious capital of Israel in Biblical times, the place where Mozes took the Ark, might seem like a heavy burden to carry for some. Or more "recently": one of the Civil War battles was fought at Shiloh, Pittsburgh. You might want to give her another name, I am sure Shiloh will like it just as much if not more.

Special care

When it is not the breed or the name, it must be that little extra care she needs. Shiloh has had health issues she is currently recuperating from. At a young age she was diagnosed with hip dysplasia. The people of the rescue project HALO have taken excellent care of her. Shiloh has been operated on both hips and is in the process of recuperating from the surgery on the last hip. Her future shines bright. It will ask from you as a owner to take some special care of her as her muscle build-up still needs to improve. But imagine how this will deepen your relation even more. And the love she will give you. One of my own adopted Hovawarts, Viva, also had health issues. All the love I have given by caring for her, she gave back tenfold.

Meet Shiloh

Could Shiloh and you be meant for each other? Go over and meet her, talk with the people of project HALO. Shiloh is more then ready for you!

If you are interested in adopting Shiloh please visit to fill out an application or contact Rhonda at for more information.

You can also ask me, I can forward any questions you might have, or answer anything you would like to know about Hovawarts.


Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week is organized by Petfinder and the people of Blogpaws. More info you can find here and here.


Shiloh on petfinder
project HALO
More stories about Shiloh:
Meet Shiloh, Hovawart in need of help
Blog the change for Shiloh the Hovawart
Shiloh Is Headed For A Second Hip Surgery And Hopes To Find A Forever Home

Update January 2012: Shiloh adopted after 2 years


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blog the Change for Shiloh the Hovawart

Blog the Change

Today it is Blog the Change day. A wonderful initiative by Be the Change for Animals. So far I have been reading a lot of great and inspiring blogs. In particular the blog by @boulderdog Healing the Planet One Animal at a Time.

Looking in my heart I know what really would be the change for me. It is also healing the planet one animal at a time. And that one animal for me at this moment is Shiloh the Hovawart. For her to get healthy and live without pain. For Shiloh to find her forever home.

Shiloh has been in my sights now for more then half a year. She is only 2 years old. And all that time she has been cared for by the rescue project HALO (Helping Animals Live On). Me and my twitter pals have been tweeting almost daily for her and were able to raise enough donations for her to get a necessary 2nd hip operation.

But Shiloh is still in need of a family. It is now already more then half a year. If we could be the change for Shiloh, wouldn't that be a great change?

Update January 2012: Shiloh adopted after 2 years 


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Meet Shiloh, Hovawart in need of help

Shiloh is a sweet girl in need for a home. She is currently being cared for by project HALO (Helping Animals Live On), a no-kill rescue organization based in Charlotte, N.C.

Only 1½ years old, Shiloh shows severe signs of hip dysplasia and recently had surgery on her left hip. Rehabilitation took several months with water therapy, needed to built up enough muscle mass so Shiloh could bear her full weight on her operated hip. Shiloh has just regained her confidence again and starts using her left leg fully. She now is able to run around for brief periods and loves to play with her toys and doggie friends.

She currently is on anti inflammatory and pain medication. The operation of the right hip is long overdue, but project HALO is in lack of funds to be able to perform this. Donations to help Shiloh receiving her 2nd hip operation are most welcome.

Shiloh has such a great diposition who gets along well with everyone. Her favorite pasttime is to give hugs and kisses. She is one of the most affectionate dogs the people of project HALO have ever met. She really just wants a family to call her own.

If you are interested in adopting Shiloh or donate, please visit the website of project HALO to fill out an application or contact Rhonda at projhalo(at)bellsouth(dot)net for more information.

More info is also available on Petfinder: Shiloh on Petfinder. I will also post updates with more info on this blog when it comes available.


Shiloh is being followed by the Twitter community a lot. A big thanks to these twitter pals for spreading the word of Shiloh on Twitter.

Update January 2012: Shiloh adopted after 2 years
Blogger Template Created by pipdig