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 2,030 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!

Rocky (formerly known as Chester)

RockyRoger and Barbara added a large helping of Lab love to their family when they adopted 7ish-year-old Chester (nka Rocky). This big, gorgeous, very light yellow Lab boy was very scared when he first arrived at Safe Harbor, but those days are in the past and he is now comfortably settled in and is living large and loving life in his new forever home.

Rocky's new parents write:

We were fortunate to find and adopt Rocky shortly after we lost our dear Duke unexpectedly from FCE. Rocky has been a joy to us and our Golden Retriever, Jack, who was heartbroken after the loss of Duke. The boys love each other and sleep and play together all of the time. Rocky loves the open space behind our house and hasn't met a dog he hasn't liked. We can't wait to take him camping this summer.

Thank you, Safe Harbor for Rocky!

Tobey (formerly known as Dusty)

David and Nancy, adopted handsome 1 1/2-year-old Dusty, nka Tobey, who is settling in beautifully and quickly making himself right at home. Here are some excerpts from the update we received from Tobey's new doting dad:

TobeyTobey has quickly grown accustomed to living at our house and has done wonderful. We keep waiting for the shoe to drop but he continues to amaze us with his great behavior. The attached picture is of Tobey bringing a ball back to me after I have tossed it a distance from him. He will chase the ball and leap up in the air to try to catch it in his mouth. He is an extremely well behaved dog, has learned the boundaries of our yard very quickly and the boundaries within the house. When we were on a walk the other day, he caught a scent of a young rabbit. He smelled around and chased the young bunny back and forth a few times. When the bunny stopped, Tobey stopped and they were looking at each other nose to nose. Neither moved for a few seconds, then the rabbit took off. Tobey gave chase and they both stopped again nose to nose. Tobey seems to be very friendly with other dogs who he goes by and with people who come by. He wants to greet all who come his way. He responds when called and aims to please.

Tobey has brought us many smiles and laughs. We laugh a lot at him when he seems so relaxed, in the yard all spread out, in the house under the dining room table, on the kitchen rug as we eat or on the living room rug. He has truly become a much loved member of our family. He loves to be petted and lay his nose on your leg when you are sitting on a chair or come right up to your face when you are trying to put on your shoes and socks with a big lick for you. We are thrilled to have him here and look forward to many more adventures with him.

Bella (formerly known as Henna)

Bella, fka Henna, is a beautiful and petite one-year-old chocolate Lab, and this lovely young lady is now home to stay with her new parents, Jennifer and John, and her new sister and BFF, Bailey.

Bella's parents sent us an update on their new girl:

NAMEBella joined us April 7, 2016. Her sister Bailey, a black lab that we've had for seven years, is happy to have a 24/7 friend now. They play together each morning and nap together each afternoon. They are constant companions - even sunbathing together in the afternoon. They are both snuggle on the couch with us, which has us contemplating bigger furniture.

Bella is a very happy and energetic puppy. We spend a lot of our time fattening her up with training treats and trying to wear her out. It takes her sister, my husband and I all taking turns to get a full day of energy out of her. She's also the first one up in the morning, often using her nose to encourage us to get up as well. We couldn't be happier to have this new personality a part of our family.

We are so lucky to have such a wonderful adoption process with Safe Harbor Lab Rescue! We found Henna/Bella fast, adopted her in a timely manner, and have felt supported the entire way. I am still in touch with her foster mom, as I can see how this wonderful dog has an impact on everyone she meets. Thank you Safe Harbor Lab Rescue for making this possible!


Four-year-old Lilly was a lovely lady Lab who had not been paying much attention to the "calories in, calories out" rule and was perhaps a tad bit plump when she arrived at Safe Harbor to begin her search for a forever home. Maren and Ryan met Lilly and fell in love with her beautiful smile and Labtastic joie de vivre, and they knew that a little good living along with diet and exercise would melt away the extra pounds and allow Lilly to be her healthy, happy best. Lilly has joined their family and is now enjoying a life filled with walks, hikes, cuddles, and playtime with her new eight-year-old Lab brother, Cody; and this lively lass has even been spotted spending a little time on the party circuit lately.

Maren and Ryan tell us:

LillyLilly has quickly adapted to her new home. She spends her days playing with her new brother Cody (pictured birthday companion) and chasing tennis balls around the yard. From day one, her endless tail wagging has become the norm as she always brings joy to anyone who crosses her path. Her genuine excitement for each day has brought welcome light to the entire family and we look forward to having Lilly in our lives for years to come.

The party pups pictured are Lilly, left, and her new brother, Cody, on the right.

Kershaw (formerly known as Cruiser)

Kershaw Cruiser is now known as Kershaw, and this fun loving, tail wagging, two-year-old boy has found doggy heaven on earth in his new home with Tara and Chris. Tara tells their story…My husband Chris and I have wanted a dog for a very long time, but we told ourselves that we would not get one unless we had a big, beautiful back yard for them to play in. This past year we finally found the perfect house and knew that it was time to start putting the wheels in motion. I made a deal with my husband that when we did get a dog that his name would have to be Kershaw, for short Kersh, after my favorite baseball player Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers (luckily he loved it!).

KershawWe were initially interested in another dog on the website who at that point was already set to meet a family and Sherri with SHLR suggested we meet with Kersh (who wasn't even up on the site yet!). Before we met him we were told that he just was neutered and might be a little groggy from the drugs...then he came barreling around the corner. This handsome man has not slowed down since. Our main concern when we brought him home was how he and our cat would get along together. He has been a model citizen when it comes to giving her space when she needs it and never chasing her! She definitely loves to sneak up on him when he is sleeping for a closer look and they even do treats in the morning and evening together! Kersh loves to run around the backyard, going on hikes (is in the process of getting his voice and sight tag!), lounging in his bed, and making the trip to the local dog friendly brewery! He has been such a welcome addition to our home and we couldn't be happier with the way SHLR helped us find our boy!

Abbie (formerly known as Shelli and Ellie)

Abbie Shelli aka Ellie went home with Maureen and her family as a foster dog, and without even having to pack up and move again, she is now a forever dog named Abbie! This lovely five-year-old platinum blonde beauty charmed her foster family, including new big Lab brother, Koda, and was invited to stay forever. Of course, she accepted the invitation with the sincerest of wags and a ladylike wiggle. Some may call this a foster failure, but Abbie calls it a complete success.

Maureen tells us about her new girl:

AbbieAbbie has made herself at home. She is very sweet, and is very excited to greet you any time you walk in the door. Abbie and Koda (our other SHLR dog) are getting along quite splendidly! Abbie likes to cuddle with Koda, and he is not quite sure what to do. The two sleep next to each other on their own beds, but trade off many times each night. Abbie likes to suckle on plush toys, so I have gotten her many Kong rubber toys so she does not destroy them. Koda is very interested in toys, and Abbie seems to want to play with whatever Koda has. Abbie is quite the opportunist, and likes to counter surf, but is learning that is not allowed in this house. She has made herself quite comfortable, and likes to curl up on the furniture. Abbie and Koda like to "tag team" you anytime there is food around; anything and everything is very interesting.

We are very happy we decided to adopt her, as she is such a great companion for Koda.

Caddie (formerly known as Nala)

Barb and Dave adopted lovely eight-month-old Nala and they are giving this lively young Lab the home of her dreams and an active lifestyle filled with playtime, family walks, car rides, rousing games of fetch, as well as camping and fishing expeditions.

Barb and Dave sent us an update on Nala, now renamed Caddie:

CaddieWe decided to search for a new member of our family right after Thanksgiving. We started searching through the Safe Harbor Lab Rescue website and connected with the adoption team. They put us in contact with Nala's foster a couple weeks after we started looking after we saw Nala still on the site. As soon the foster sent us a photo of Nala that night in her bed with those sad eyes, we knew we had to go see her right away and made the appointment for that next night.

Once we took her home, she was very happy investigating her new surroundings, enjoyed the play time with her new parents and finally pooped herself out. Caddie is smarter than average and were very amazed at how she knew some commands already at 8 months and was great on leash. From the first night, she watches TV with us and she gets more attentive when she hears other dogs on TV and we have to constantly remind her that they are on TV not at the house. She's loving the snow, sticks, her toys, rides in the car, and walks. Caddie has already been up and down the state on numerous camping trips and loves it. She’s right at home in the RV. She is such a blessing to have come to be a part of our family and we have been very busy with her!

Lilly Belle

Lilly Belle When Patty and Lilly Belle found each other, they each found a new best friend and soul mate. Seven-year-old Lilly Belle now has the life she's always dreamed of, and you'll see her smiling from ear to floppy ear as she takes her new forever mom on walks around the neighborhood each day.

Patty writes:

Lilly Belle came into my life with perfect timing. In early January I lost my Missy. Shortly after welcoming Lilly Belle, I lost my Buoy Flynn. After I came home from the vet, I was lying on my bed crying and Lilly jumped up on the bed and rested her head on my chest loving me. She is a lovely girl who makes me smile every day. When the weather is good we take 3 walks a day. When walking she always looks back at me for approval. She is now my soul guardian. We need to work on 2 areas together- greeting people and dogs, and counter surfing when she believes I have been gone too long. We are both so special to each other!

Lucky (formerly known as Pearl)

Any dog would be lucky to find a forever home with Paul, but it's sweet two-year-old Pearl (nka Lucky) who is the lucky pup that now gets to call him dad.

Paul tells us:

Lucky I changed her name to "Lucky" as I felt that both she and I have been “lucky”. My last dog was also a rescue. My best friend begged me to take his dog as he was dying of leukemia--a Great Dane in black so "Midnight" was appropriate. I had her for three wonderful years, but she was nearly 14 and could no longer walk. Finally, after carrying her nearly a mile (106 lbs.), she could no longer make her rear legs work. I spent her last night on the floor with her in her bed because she was in such pain. I had to take her to the vet to resolve her pain and both the vet and I were crying as we put her down.

So Lucky has filled a huge hole in my heart. She has her own bed but she tries to climb in bed with me! This is a rescue dog that wandered the streets for an unknown time. This wonderful dog now follows me everywhere as she is afraid I will disappear. Right now, she is lying on one foot because she wants to know that I am with her.

Her ribs were showing when I got her, so I confirmed with the vet that she needed a little more food. No table scraps, of course, but a correct food for her weight and breed. However, Miss Lucky will eat ANYTHING. I had a loaf of pumpernickel in the most recent food shopping expedition for my parents and within 5 minutes, on the trip home, she consumed it! Mother was upset, but I was impressed. Lessons learned. She has become a part of the family. My parents adore her. She is cherished.

Your organization has done so much for our friends. Thank you.


Dougie Look at this sweet bundle of love! Six-year-old Dougie, charmed the socks off of Foster Mom Leslie, and she just couldn’t let him go. This little guy spreads sunshine just about everywhere he goes, never too busy to stop for cuddles and kisses. Congratulations Dougie! You are finally home, so cuddle up on the couch and rest assured that you will always be loved.

Leslie told us how she met Dougie:

Leslie saw Dougie’s shelter photo and instantly stepped up to foster this little Lab mix who looked pretty miserable in his run.

“From day one, Dougie has been a wonderful companion.” says Leslie. “He’s just a little guy and so cute. He’s like a little bear cub. I knew within a day that he was going to be a ’foster failure’ and I’m so glad he stayed on. The only one here who’s not so thrilled he’s joined the household is the squirrel in the backyard. I’m so glad Safe Harbor was there for him when he needed a friend. And that I had the opportunity to be his foster mom — it was meant to be!”


Indy Miss Indy, a chocolate covered beauty, found herself alone in the world. Life was just beginning for this one-and-a-half-year-old Lab, and she hoped that someone would come along and take her home. Bill and Becky had previously adopted SHLR alumni Prudence, and sadly, lost her in 2014. After seeing Indy they knew that they were ready to open their hearts and home again. As for Indy, she couldn’t contain her excitement on adoption day. We are happy to report, that she has a whole lot of puppy love for her new family!

Bill wrote us to let us know how things are going:

Indy is adjusting quite well to her new forever home. Coming from the South (Arkansas) she finds that the white fluffy thing called snow is most enjoyable. She is very attentive to "her people" (Becky and I) and she likes to be in the room wherever you are—including underfoot while getting ready for work in the morning! Being a year and a half old, she needs to work on her leash manners. Nothing that an appropriate harness won’t help with, which we purchased very soon after we adopted her. Like many labs before her, she has the genetic disposition to "surf." While this skill is great at the beach, it is not intended for indoor counters. We even caught her trying to get at a bowl that was in the sink—quite the picture for a petite 50lb lab. Greeting manners are fantastic and she keeps her paws on the ground except when we take her walking harness and leash out of the closet and when we look at, or touch her treat jar. She does like "Miss Kitty" and thinks that she would be fun to play with, however, Miss Kitty thinks otherwise and they have reached somewhat of a common ground with respect to their spaces.

IndyIndy will be enrolling in some "classes" to improve her socialization with her other four legged distant relatives. She seems to be unsure of how she should approach them and her behavior can be unfriendly and unwelcoming to them. Indy was apparently used to quite a bit of heavy "hand play" and we are teaching her this is not an acceptable form or play she will get much more attention without the use of her mouth.

She is a retrieving machine and loves to chase and return the ball (although the "release” or “drop-it" commands need some fine tuning). A few classes and Indy will be a pro in no-time!

Bowie (formerly known as Pal)

Bowie Puppy love is in the air at Paula and Brian's house now that a handsome five-month-old yellow Lab has joined the family. Formerly known as Pal, their new pup is now proudly sporting the name of Bowie, and there's no doubt he's rocking it. With a new life filled with walks, hikes, play time, swim time, snuggles, and love, young Bowie has a very full schedule these days.

Paula and Brian sent us an update on their new boy:

From the moment we met him at his vetting in Aurora, we knew Pal –now Bowie- would be a joyful addition to our family. Safe Harbor had just rescued him from a doggie day care where he had been abandoned for three of his five months of life. So we knew he got along with other dogs but how about people? Although extremely timid at first, he has grown into a lanky, loving, ‘thinks he’s a lap dog’, puppy who can make a game out of any bone, ball, or pull toy and loves any kind of people. He’s met the neighborhood elk and deer and wonders when he will get to play with them, ‘whatever they are.’ He’s sharp as a knife and quite the rockstar, hence his very fitting name Bowie. We are so grateful for all the work and love Safe Harbor staff and volunteers offer these dogs and the families who adopt them. Both staff and the vet’s office have called to see how he is doing, and even took him in for an additional check-up for free. Thanks a million Safe Harbor!


Harmony Congratulations Harmony! We are so proud of you. Harmony sent us this photo after graduating from Obedience school, complete with a graduation cap! This wonderful two-year-old girl is so happy with new Mom Keri, and Sunny, her new Lab brother, that she wanted to write and tell us all about her amazing adventures.

We asked Harmony how she liked her new home:

Hello my name is Harmony. I’m so happy in my forever home. I just graduated from dog school. I walk gently on a leash, sit stay, wait, and know quiet. I’m very smart now. I love to play with others but sometimes they bug me so I just walk away. Keri takes me on errands in the car or truck then we go play at the dog park. Last summer we went camping and rode on the ATV Razor. She bought a custom made place on the ATV so Sunny and I could go with her. I went on the boat fishing, but don’t worry, we wear our life jackets. I sleep on the bed with her too. Sunny sleeps on his bed in the bedroom because he is too old to get on and off the bed. He really likes me. She has this cat named PePe, rubs on me all the time. When I first came here I liked to pull on the leash and chase cars and people. Now I’m a little lady. My dog trainer teaches in a very positive manner. Here is my graduation photo. Thank you Safe Harbor for giving me this nice place to live for the rest of my days!!!

Mosley (formerly known as Cecilia)

Mosley Two-year-old Cecilia (now known as Mosley) was adopted by Jen, Justin, and their Dachshund, Murray. They couldn’t resist this little bundle of sunshine. Being small doesn’t seem to bother her much, she makes up for her size with her adventurous spirit. Usually the first one out the door when it’s time for a walk or hike, she loves exploring her new world. Miss Mosley seems to be the perfect fit for her new family!

Jen and Justin wanted to let us know how Mosley is doing:

Justin, Murray (our six year old dachshund,) and I are thrilled with our new pup, Mosley! She is the perfect addition to our family, as she loves to fetch, hike, or just relax, always being her sweet and playful self. Everyone who meets her cannot get over how cute, friendly, and tiny she is! Murray is so glad to have a younger, bigger sister to play with and help keep him active. We are so excited for warmer weather, and to see what great adventures we will have with Mosley this summer.

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