Safe Harbor Lab Rescue successfully places about a dozen labs a month into loving homes. Adoptive families love to share their joyful experiences with us. Over 1,770 of those success stories are listed on the following pages. We'd like to thank these very special people for sharing their stories with us!
Sweet, little Ms. Stella is home forever with Michael and Tammy, and her new parents have had so many great things to tell about their lucky new pup. Stella is about 1 1/2-years-old and was very timid and unsure of her new surroundings when she first arrived at her new home, but with the love and encouragement of her new parents that soon changed, as Tammy reports in these excerpts from her wonderful updates on Stella's progress:
"Stella has just absolutely blossomed in these two weeks. She absolutely is relaxed about food and is eating out of a food bowl and she devours what we give her now and it's real dog food. I want to call her Ferris Bueller because when she knows it's time to eat, she comes running from wherever she is and slides towards her food bowl and it's the kinda' sideways slide that Ferris Bueller did. It's hysterical.
She stays perfectly next to us outside and comes when she is called and she is getting to know all her doggie friends in the neighborhood.We were the bad parents, I am afraid, and let her break the rules about jumping on stuff - we want our dog to live like a dog - so she now whole-hardheartedly claims our King Bed as her own…We have also started leaving her for short periods at a time and although she lets us know that she is happy, happy, happy, for us to be back, she is wonderful around the house - absolutely no issues at all while we have been gone. And if you even look cross-eyed at her to tell her "no" as she tests her new boundaries here, she lets you know in a heartbeat that she is sorry and man, does she give you a guilt trip w/ those eyes of hers. She remembers everything you tell her just once and we don't have to worry about it again. And, half an hour after we patiently carried her up and down the basement stairs and walked beside her and showed her what to do as she fearfully "seal-crawled" back up them, she was flying up and down the stairs all by herself. The first time that she came flying up on her own, she barked at the top and wagged her tail as if to say "Look at me!"
We are so lucky to have met Stella and to have her as our forever girl. She has brought so much fun and laughter to our house - she came to us on our 17th wedding anniversary and it was the best present ever... She is the most mellow, easy-going, compliant little girl who just gives us such unconditional love.
Stella is pictured relaxing on "her" new bed with one of her favorite toys."
When two-year-old Ben made his way to Safe Harbor and found his home with Kate and Jim, a whole new world opened up to him. Ben soon began to realize that there is nothing better than being a forever part of a family, and nothing more fun than having his own parents, and a great, new canine big brother, who are always there for him, helping him learn how to be a very good doggy citizen, and how to laugh and play and cuddle and live the good Lab life every day.
Ben's new parents tell us:
"Doppler (formerly Ben) arrived right before Thanksgiving, and since then we have been very thankful for the energy, humor and sweetness he brings to our family every day. Doppler was a blank slate when we met him, having had little attention and no training from humans. With a little patience and a lot of love and training, Doppler learned quickly how to be man’s best friend. He is now a happy, tail-wagging, and well-mannered pup who is loving life with his older brother Roscoe (also a SHLR alum). His favorite activities are catching frisbees, going on trail-jogs, wrestling with Roscoe, and snuggling with all of us! We love him very much thank you once again SHLR for helping us find such a one-of-a-kind lab.”
Ken and Annette adopted a beautiful Lab pup named Mick, and it sounds as if it was a match made in doggie heaven. Mick's proud new parents sent us this great update on life with Mick:
"Where do we start with Mick. For one, we feel so lucky and fortunate to have been able to adopt Mick. He is a total joy to have around with his high energy and interest in learning new things. We are so surprised at how fast he takes to new things in our training routine and love the way he has taken to his new home, especially the couch after his exercise.
We work with Mick daily both inside and outside on his new 5 acre playground. He loves the outdoors and the new surroundings. He loves to visit with the horses every morning during their feeding time and gets nose to nose with them with tail wagging. He has lots of neighborhood dog friends which we bring them together often to play. The local deer even watch Mick in his pasture running and with Mick showing no harm to the deer they watch his every move as well as Mick watches them, often showing signs he would like to play with them like the other neighborhood friends he has.
Fetching items seems to be high on Mick's list of things to do, from tennis balls, daily paper and every stick on the property he can find. I think he's getting ready for a large barn fire someday with the amount of sticks he has gathered.
The things he has mastering to date. Sit, stay and come on demand. He knows how to offer his paw to shake and will lie down on command. In the field he fetches the ball and returns and heals to our side and drops the ball. We're still working on him dropping the ball into our hand and to stay until given the command to fetch.
When we adopted Mick our first and foremost objective was to have a good companion. He shows so many signs that he could exceed just being a house pet. We truly believe he could be a good field dog as well. He uses all his senses even to retrieve the simplest of things he fetch's. Having raised and trained field dogs in the past we see a lot of the same in Mick.
And of course we do experience the puppy in him every day as well, which just adds to the fun and humor a 8 month old provides.
Thank you all at Safe Harbor Rescue for your patience in our selection process and for helping us find just the right dog for us."
Baxter (formerly Po)
Charlie and Beth now have even more handsome Labness around their home with the addition of their second SHLR Lab, Po. Two-year-old Po is a beautiful, jet-black youngster who is fitting in nicely with his new chocolate brother, Murray, and these two active boys are sure to keep both each other and their parents well entertained for many years to come.
Charlie tells us:
"Po (now Baxter) is settling well. He and our other lab Murray (Indy was his name when we got him from Safe Harbor last year) are having many opportunities for wrestling matches and tug of war battles. They are getting along better and better each day. Baxter is meeting the neighbors and their dogs and is getting along well. He is a great addition to our family."
Frank (formerly Gunner)
Hi, my name's Gunner, (well frankly, my new name is Frank), and here are a few things you might like to know about me: I am two years old and have two ears, two eyes, one nose, one tail, and three legs, and I am extremely handsome but I don't let that go to my head. Some of my favorite things are sleeping on the sofa, dinner time, and stuffed animals, but my real favorites are my new parents, Michael and Deb. I plan to take very good care of them and keep them around forever.
Frank's new dad writes:
"Frank is doing awesome! He’s such a sweetheart and has fit right into our lives (he’s currently laying on the couch in front of me now). He’s hopping around the house just fine (only has three legs) and we’ve added a number of carpets throughout the house to help him with traction but when he’s outside chasing a ball it’s hard to tell he only has 3 wheels. He’s just so fast!"
"At first we doubted that he was only 2 years old since he was so calm and a bit shy when we got him home but on day three we think he started to feel at home because when we came home he had pulled out all the toys and was carrying them around the house with him. He continues to do this."
"He’s super happy when we come home and it’s wonderful to have a loving lab in our house. We are so happy we adopted him!"
Kayla (formerly Layla)
Layla, a gorgeous 1 1/2-year-old blond bombshell, has found her forever home with Evelyn and Bob and her new canine sister, Isys. Layla, now known as Kayla, is a very smart youngster and she's been studying hard to become the perfect family Lab and is benefiting greatly from the regular training classes she now attends. With the love and help of her new parents, Kayla is quickly learning that the world is a wonderful place with the right people by your side.
Here are some excerpts from the update we received from Kayla's new mom:
"Kayla (formerly Layla) has been an incredible addition to our family. Our ten year old husky/lab dog Isys sure established her ground the second day Kayla was here. With very little resistence by the third day they seemed to understand each other. it was a very serious concern for me partly because Isys has cushings disease and probable liver cancer. We wanted her to have a companion that she was comfortable with. So, I'm very happy to report that they coexist very well together. I think Kayla likes Isys better than the other way around. They lay on the couch bottom to bottom together and have a mutual respect for each other's food bowls."
"She is wonderful in the house. I trust her COMPLETELY as far being able to pet and touch her. She has absolutely no food aggression with us or Isys. I felt comfortable as soon as she came home to us to bathe her and mess with her nails and paws.She isn't bothered by any of us, handling her."
"So, with some hard work on doggie manners and car riding , we feel she will be even more perfect than she already is. I shared with a couple of your volunteers how I prayed for months for the right dog at the right time. I'm so happy I was patient and waited until Kayla came along!"
Jolie (formerly Birdie)
When an adorable Birdie told us that she was ready to start a new chapter in her life and would really love to find a wonderful couple who she could look after forever, we couldn't resist lending a paw. We introduced the lovely Ms. Birdie to Randy and Sally, and all agreed that they should become a family of three. Birdie is about seven years old and full of life and love and she now has a bright future ahead of her, but she tells us that the very best part of her new life is when she wakes every morning, looks around, and knows that she is home.
Randy and Sally sent us an update on their new girl:
"Jolie, (formerly Birdie) has adapted well to her new name and home. She seems to love her new backyard chasing squirrels and walks around block drawing lots of attention from the neighbors asking about the cute new dog! One week into some Basic training and Jolie is taking commands like a champion. We couldn't be happier with the addition to our family and look forward to many years of joy with Jolie! Many thanks to SHLR and all involved."
Peter and Virginia have a new four-legged kid at home and she's such a charming girl that even her new feline sisters have welcomed her with open paws. Four-year-old Ginger is a beautiful Lab girl with a sunny personality to match her lovely yellow coat, and she has quickly become a cherished member of her new family.
Virginia tells us:
"Ginger is doing great. She is so sweet. My Husband says she is a sweet pretty girl.Ginger enjoys riding in the car and standing up between the front seats and being my co-pilot. She likes to take me for two walks a day and enjoys going to work with me at night at my church. She is making friends with all the kids who come to youth group on Wednesday nights. She receives lots of hugs and kisses. She sleeps in my bed with me and a couple of her kitty cat sisters at night. Her one kitty sister Elly loves to come up to her and give her a few love rubs. Yesterday Ginger went wading in a creek in the open space near my house. I am looking forward to taking her swimming this summer. She likes to fetch her squeaky toys. I am so blessed to have her in my life. Thank you all at Safe Harbor Lab Rescue for all you do in uniting those of us who need our Lab babies with the sweet Labs who need us to be their forever Moms and Dads."
Lovely Ariel is home to stay with Doug and Norma. Ariel is about a year old and still just a pup with a lot yet to learn, but she's a smart little girl with a big heart and she's quickly learning the house rules and becoming a wonderful family member, and is already making her new parents very proud.
Ariel has really settled in.When Doug brought her in house, he kept her on her leash and she sniffed EVERYTHING. Then when we turned her loose, she never bothered anything. After two nights, she learned she was not to be at the table and went rest in the family room.She has learned to shake hands and can almost sit up! Our neighbors came over and tried door bell and she did pretty well with the greeting.
Squirrels are new to her and she doesn't seem to realize they are not in exactly the same place the next time she goes out. We have tried crate training and she's done well. She sleeps in Doug's bedroom - a couple nights in bed, but now on floor. She let a young child play with her at the vet's and was good with our 3 year old grandson.She is a keeper and will work out well, I am sure!
Penny Lou is now Moo, and she's a happy, happy, girl in her new home, too! Bob and Kathy adopted this 2ish-year-old sweetheart and she's having the time of her life. She loves being part of the family and has been enjoying making new friends, catching up on her lessons, playing in her big backyard, taking walks and playing fun doggy games, and best of all — just being loved on by her new parents.
Bob and Kathy sent us this update on their new girl:
We changed her name back to Moo because it just fit this sweet girl, we go on long walks and car rides, she will chase a ball or Frisbee for ever. Moo gets along good with all that she has met and seems to love our grandkids. Moo can sit and stay and we are working on a few other commands she is very smart.
Moo has lost 5lbs so far and we think she will be ready for swim suit weather, she sleeps in her new bed next to us all night and is ready to go again in the morning, she is such a joy to have in our family. Moo loves the snow she runs in it and crawls across the yard in it and seems to be very happy with her nice big yard and all of the bunnies and squirrels that call this home also. She will be making her first trip in the new RV at the end of march and we know she will love it.
The dog park is on the list of things we will be doing we wanted to make sure she was all healthy after having her tooth pulled, a nice bath will be coming up soon at the wag and wash so we will see how she likes the water.
We want to thank Safe Harbor for picking us to be Moos new mommy and daddy we just love her so much and fell so lucky to have Miss Moo in our family. Oh just one more thing our 6 year old granddaughter asked why moo had 2 new beds and so many new toys and we told her its because she is an only child.
Buddy (formerly Foster)
At about seven years old, Foster found himself without a permanent home. While this sweet little guy tried to put on a brave face and hold his tail high, he was still a little sad and unsure about what the future might hold. Lately he had moved a few times, and he worried that he would always have to pack up and say goodbye just when he was getting comfortable.
When Geret and Rosemarie came to meet him and decided to add this sweet boy to their family, Foster thought they were pretty great folks, but it would take a little while before he believed he was truly going home to stay. These days, Foster finally knows he has found everything he'd ever dreamed of — that special place where he will belong forever and always be loved.
Foster's new dad sent us this update:
Foster ( A.K ) Buddy is doing very well, he has come along way from when we picked him up. He was very unsure of his situation at 1st, seemingly he had been moved around so much, that after the 1st week went by he seemed to be a little down, probably anticipating to be moved once more but once he was assured, that was not the case, he has been so much more confident and has realized now, that he is home. He had his first check-up and he looked as if in great shape, except for his eyes, he doesn’t see as well as he should, vets found that he has beginning stage of cateracts, has great teeth and is generally in very good physical condition.
He seems to be happy with his new sister, (Blue), a Miniature Australian Shepherd. He has lots of back yard to claim and he is slowly learning how to play with his sister - he showed us that he likes tennis balls as his choice in toys. He loves to go for rides and walks, loves just lounging around the living room on his own personal bed with his new parents.
We are glad to be his new family as we are sure he is glad to part of ours. He is very receptive to all the loving he is getting from everyone as well and we look forward to having him here for the rest of his days…Geret, Posie, Blue…and of course “Buddy.”
Sweet Sage has found her forever home with Patty and Chad. This seven-year-old blond beauty is learning all about balls, beds, leash walking, elk and deer, and all of the other wonders of mountain living. Most importantly, Sage is learning that her new parents love her very much and that there's no place like home. Her new mom tell us:
Sage is a true blessing. Over the past three weeks her personality is slowly starting to shine as her comfort and trust levels have grown. She sleeps through the nights very comfortably....usually tummy up. Her snoring keeps us awake from time to time but it is comforting knowing that she is sleeping well.
Sage's foster mom shared the fact that she did not know how to play with toys. She found a baseball soon after arriving and gently picked it up and carried it to her bed in our bedroom (where she now places all of her treasures). She had no idea what to do with it, and seemed quite hurt when it would roll away. It was heartbreaking but so sweet. We bought her 2 tennis balls and after hours and hours of play she will now sit until we say fetch then runs to retrieve it so fast that she crashes quite often. She then runs back as fast as she can to do it all over again. When she tires of the game she will carry her ball to her bed as if to say "I am finished for now."
We are also working on the concept of taking walks on a leash. There are so many wonderful adventures and smells so patience is required from all of us...this week she has had a couple of "B's" so hopefully an A is in her near future! She loves walking along Bear Creek and had her first adventure in Elk Meadow Park this week. She was a very happy tired girl. We walk in our neighborhood each day so she is getting to meet new friends along the way. One of her aunts and uncles came and stayed for a few days shortly after she arrived and she did so well. Our two sons will be flying home from Minneapolis in two weeks to meet her too. She is truly loved by everyone already. The more she is around others the more comfortable she gets. We are trying not to overwhelm her with too many people at once. So far so good!
We have an elk and a deer herd in our neighborhood. She is quite fascinated and runs from window to window trying to determine what they are. We are wondering if her little mind is questioning why they are such big "dogs."
Sage has brought so much happiness and love as our newest family member...and we are going to continue to shower her with happiness and love. Her bear hugs are the best! She literally tries wrapping all four legs around you but ends up in a lovable mess on the floor.
There's a new Chief in Kari and Joe's family. He's just a year old pup, but he already holds the very important positions of Chief Lab, Chief Companion, Chief Greeter, Chief Squirrel Ranger, and Chief Love Bug.
His new family tells us:
Chief is doing really well, he has finally started to eat more, he still is pretty skinny, but he is eating.
He's been great with our 4 kids, and they have gotten into taking him for walks and loving on him, playing fetch, trying to teach him tricks etc. I think Chief has finally adopted us as his humans. He is protective, if someone new comes to the house, he has to see that we know they are friendly, and he likes to growl at the squirrels in our yard.
So far so good, he is a joy and loves to play. He gets excited when we come home too. WE love him.
Our beautiful chocolate Bella has found her forever home with Nicole and her family. This two-year-old youngster has settled right in and is loving her new role as head household Lab. Bella also supervises when Nicole is working in her home office, but she is always ready to take her mom on a nice brisk walk whenever she needs a break. What a great new beginning and wonderful life ahead for this bellissima girl!
Nicole tells us: "Bella is doing so well. We love her and she has adjusted very quickly to her new family. She seems so much happier and smiles a lot. She sleeps with my son at night, takes long walks daily and has lost a few pounds as she is getting ready for swimsuit weather."
Bella is pictured sitting outside of the home office, just making sure her mom is hard at work.
Abbey (formerly Midnight)
Midnight, a gorgeous two-year-old black Lab girl, is very excited to have found her forever parents, Andrew and Cory. It didn't take long for her to settle right in, make friends with the next-door neighbors, arrange her new toys in the yard, help herself to anything she found on the counters, and make herself right at home.
Andrew tells us:
We actually changed Midnight's name to Abbey, although Midnight might be more appropriate since she likes to wake us up every night around that time.
She's adapted well to our home and enjoys spending time outside playing in the yard or looking out from the deck at the passers by and other dogs within site. She has very good outdoor manners and only barks for a moment when she sees people of interest. She met the neighbor dogs early on and likes to run alongside them up and down the fence line - it's a split rail with pet fence so she can interact with her new friends. She takes every toy we give her outside but we haven't figured out why. So she has lots of toys scattered around the yard that she plays with. She really likes fetch and has lots of energy to run around the yard. The only negative thing to report is that she enjoys counter surfing when we're not looking, so we have removed food items and everything else from within her reach.
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