Success Stories
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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 1,830 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!

Bernie (formerly Buckley)

BernieBuckley is a beautiful, big brown bear of a Lab who won the doggy lottery when he found his home with Marri, and her other Lab, Ollie. At about 2 1/2-years-old, Buckley is brimming with love, enthusiasm and energy, but he was a little short on schooling when he arrived at his new home. Luckily, his sweet nature has completely won his new mom over, and she has the patience and sense of humor needed to help this wonderful, overgrown pup catch up on his lessons and learn to be a fine, upstanding Lab citizen. With a little more practice and perhaps some practical advice from his savvy canine brother, Ollie, this big boy is sure to make his new momma very proud!

Marri tells us:

Buckley is now, 'Bernie.' ( He wasn't responding to any of the names that were given him)

I LOVE him. However, it has been quite the long and challenging road. With that said, I refuse to give up on him and he has definitely found his forever home. He is a huge and powerful boy that had zero manners. So, he is learning the basics (and I am learning how to be patient again). After many escapes, I finally figured out a way to keep Bernie from escaping his crate (that was a feat in itself). He is learning to swim, walk nicely on the leash, sit-stay, etc. He had a nasty habit of 'counter surfing' and that has been resolved. I have a horse and Bernie is learning to run with us as we run through the trails and across streams. He has clearly 'adopted me' as no matter where I take him, he refuses to leave my side. It's so, so sweet and basically 'seals-the-deal'. He is learning to play nice with my 4 1/2 year old lab and Ollie is beginning to accept Bernie into the family. Bernie is still a "work-in-progress" and since he has made so much progress in a little over 2 weeks, I know he will have so much more success as time moves on. Despite all the struggles and frustrations of teaching a big boy the basics, Bernie has found a way into my heart and will forever be with me.

Love, love, love him!!


LarkLife's a lark around Valerie's house these days, now that a beautiful, raven-haired little Lab girl named Lark has joined the family! Lark is loving her new home in the mountains and soaking up all the love from her new mom as they begin their lifetime of adventures together.

Valerie writes:

I have the perfect dog for me! In my house she is perfect and is attaching to me. I brought her to work today for 2 hours and she did really well. We have gone on a few hikes and she definitely has the energy I hoped she would. I am taking it slow with her so she doesn't get to overwhelmed. Lark gets scared when new things happen around her and we will just keep working on her confidence building. The one bad thing that happened is that I was putting in my car after a hike and I unhooked her leash and held her by the collar while she was jumping in the passenger seat in back. She got away from me and would not come, long story short she came back on her own and jumped into my car. It gave me a total heart attack and taught me a good lesson. She will not have another opportunity to run away from me!!! I hold the leash with both hands because if she sees a squirrel, she is off and running, surprisingly strong for a little dog.

Thanks for all your help! and I will keep you posted on our progress.


MillieThe gorgeous Miss Millie is a very sweet two-year-old youngster who just wants to have fun, but she can be a little shy and unsure of herself in new situations. Her greatest wish was to find a home where she would truly fit in and be loved unconditionally, just for being Millie. When she met Jennifer and Brad and they asked her to join their family, Millie realized that puppy dreams can come true.

We received this wonderful update from Millie's new parents:

Miss Millie is doing so well. She is enjoying the puppy hood that she probably missed. She loves playing with her toys as you will see in the attached, notice how she crosses her front paws. Playing in the hose water is a great favorite. She's still timid, especially with new men but for the most part is pretty mellow. We are so happy with her. Thanks for all that you do!

Jennifer and Brad

P.S. The goal is for "silly billy Millie" to morph into "Magnificent Millicent."


CoralCoral is a very pretty three-year-old Lab with a lovely yellow coat and a sunny disposition to match.

She is thrilled to have found her forever home with April, Mark, and Cobi, and has been busy enjoying all of the summertime fun with her new family.

Coral's new mom tells us:

Coral is doing well, it took a little bit for her to adjust to our schedule and to us. She has now acclimated to us and our other dog Cobi. Her and Cobi get along well, they play every time they are outside in the backyard. She loves going on walks with us or just lounging around the house. She gets so excited when we come home and spend quality time with her.

It has been a joy having her and working with her to understand that we love her and will treat her the best that we can.

Coral is pictured during naptime with her mom and playtime with her brother, Cobi.

Shrek (formerly Shep)

ShrekBill met five-year-old Shep at his foster home and decided that this good-natured, classically handsome yellow Lab boy would be a great addition to his family. Shep will have a feline sibling to help keep him amused at home, and looks forward to joining his new dad for hikes and playtime in the open space near their house. When it was time to head home after the adoption, Shep jumped right into the back seat of Bill's SUV, and before Bill could get in Shep had moved to the driver's seat! He was very excited to get to his new home which is newly stocked with squeaky toys and dog beds and was ready to go, even if he had to do the driving himself.

After Shep settled into his new home, Bill sent an update: He's doing very well. He goes by "Shrek" now and doesn't seem to mind. He gets me up every morning at 5:30 no matter what time I got to bed. But, after all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. :) He nearly always has a toy in his mouth. He likes the really plush ones with a squeaker as he rolls on his back and makes the toy squeak as much as he can. He loves his walks and playing in the yard.

Riley (formerly Bear)

RileyMeet one lucky Bear who is now living the life of Riley in his new home with Jenny and Eric. The former Mr. Bear is a gorgeous, joyful, two-year-old Lab whose shiny black coat is beautifully complemented by his pearly white smile and his gentle soul. He is now home forever and is making sure he lets his new parents know every day how happy he is to have been chosen to be a part of their wonderful, loving family.

Jenny sent us an update on their new boy:

Riley, formerly Bear, has been a great addition to our family! He is a very loving, playful and gentle dog. His favorite part of the day is going for a walk. As soon as he hears the closet open where we keep his leash, he is ready to go!

He loves to play fetch and his favorite toy is his squeaky ball bone. We bought it for him during his first week with us when we discovered a typical tennis ball was not tough enough for him! As soon as either of us return home, that is the first thing he grabs, despite having many other toys to choose from!

I'm in a wheelchair and Riley is extra gentle with me. As soon as Eric gets up, he is all over him! When I get up, he softly puts his front paws on my lap and gives me my morning kiss. That is definitely my favorite part of the day!

We feel very blessed to have found him and we are very thankful to Safe Harbor!


JessieDebbie and Dustin, their two daughters, and their dog, Ranger, all came to meet seven-month-old Jessie at her foster home. They were looking for another canine buddy to add to the family, and wanted a dog who would enjoy frequent family outings on the trails near their home. When sweet Jessie first saw this wonderful family she knew she was almost home. She just had to convince them that they couldn't possibly leave without her. Jessie turned on all of her puppy charms to win over Debbie and Dustin, gave sweet Lab kisses to both of the girls, and engaged in a lively play session with Ranger, just to let him know what a great playmate she would be. Soon, Jessie was trotting off for home with her new family in tow.

Debbie tells us that Jessie has fit right in and is hard at work catching up on her schooling:

Jessie has adjusted beautifully to our family. She has the sweetest spirit and is super affectionate. She is excelling in practicing her sit, stay and come commands and picked up "lay down" in a matter of minutes! She loves going on family hikes and exploring our acreage. We are in love with her "springboard" jump. I'll try to capture it on video to send soon. It's priceless!

Ms. Jessie is tail-wagging proud as she shows off her new family for the adoption photo.

Kona (formerly Tennessee)

KonaMeet Kona, (formerly known as Tennessee), and her forever mom and dad, Lisha and Tom. Kona is also happy to have a new four-legged brother, 13-year-old Ziggy. Lisha and Tom are dog lovers who met and fell in love at a dog park. For the past several years they lived with four dogs, but three have passed over the last year, leaving Ziggy alone and sad without a canine friend. When they saw five-year-old Kona on our website they immediately knew she would be the one to fill the void in their home. They renamed her Kona because Tom competed in Ironman races in Kona, Hawaii, and they saw how she loves to run (and fetch!!) and swim and thought the name would be perfect for her. The family spends their summers at Red Feather Lakes, which is a perfect place for an active dog. Kona has fit very well into the family and Ziggy is happy to have a new canine friend to walk and play with.

Lisha sent us an update on their new pup:

We renamed her Kona and she is doing very well. I have to say that someone did a very good job training her and she is a very smart dog. She knows sit and come very well. We are working on stay. She is a very good walker and she LOVES to fetch. We spend the weekends volunteering at a visitor center in the mountains so we get to go on long walks. She is a very athletic pup.

She and Ziggy (our other pup) are warming up to each other so that is good. She bonded very quickly to me and Tom and follows us around all the time. We still do have to work on how she greets other dogs on the trail.

Ellie (formerly Schotzie)

EllieLittle Schotzie had a big chair to fill when she was adopted by John, but as you can see from the photo below, she is up to the task with a little help from her new dad. Now renamed Ellie, this labradorable nine-month-old pup is thriving in her new life in the mountains, where she is getting lots of exercise, and of course, lots and lots of love. John tells us that his new girl "couldn't be happier" and that "she's a very good dog!".

Good girl, Ms. Ellie, and enjoy your happy forever after!





Little Bit

Little BitLittle Bit is just a little bit of a chocolate Lab right now, but at just nine months old he still has some growing to do. Little Bit was underweight and very unsure of himself and all the new people around him when he first went home with his new parents, Sandra and Kirk. With the love and patience of his new family, plenty of good food in his bowl, lots of puppy playtime, and the guidance of his beloved new canine brother, Bodie, Little Bit is quickly starting to learn that the world isn't really so scary and life can be doggone fun when you have a great family to show you the way. "I'm feeling a little bit better and getting a little bit bigger every day", Little Bit proudly woofed when we asked him to tell us about his new life.

Here as some excerpts from Sandra's update on Little Bit's first days at home:

Little Bit appears to have had a pretty rough start to life. We are all loving on him and have noticed a huge improvement within 48 hours. Zach brought his dog, Toby, Monday night and Tuesday night and we had all the kids, Toby, Bodie and Little Bit, running in the back yard playing with all their toys and playing fetch. Little Bit was pretty exhausted both nights and slept like a baby last night. We got him a HUGE crate at Petsmart so he could also sleep by Bodie and the rest of the family without feeling isolated.

We approach him very slowly, holding out our hands and gently caressing his little face. This morning he came to both of us to get hugs and kisses. It appears he had never been in grass, been inside a house (the t.v. frightened him), seen his reflection in mirrors and windows, have his own food dish, etc.

Our dog, Bodie, LOVES Little Bit and they have bonded as though they have been together forever. Rest assured, Little Bit will be deeply loved, cared for and will have the very best life we can give him. Precious boy is laying by my side at this very moment.

Thank you for EVERYTHING. Words cannot express how grateful we are for the work you do and the devotion to caring for these wonderful animals and finding a "forever home" for them.

Little Bit is pictured with Kirk and Sandy, and their son Zach.


WiskeyWhiskey has been enjoying all the summer fun with his new dad, Andrew. Whiskey is a handsome 4 1/2-year-old chocolate boy who is always ready for any outdoor activities, whether it's a romping ballgame or just hanging out on his backyard deck, being one of the guys.

Andrew tells us:

Whiskey is doing great. He loves runs, walks, and lots of fetch. Even with a busy schedule he gets at least one of those activities a day. I made sure to invest in a good dog door and he definitely enjoys the freedom of being able to go out or stay in. I sometimes find him just laying outside getting some fresh air. I'm happy I adopted him and I'm very pleased with the Safe Harbor organization. I appreciate all of the work your volunteers do and will be sure to spread the word about Safe Harbor.

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