2015-04 Blind Dog Rescue News Letter

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April 2015 Newsletter

Blind Dog Rescue Alliance is a not for profit 501 (c) (3) group of volunteers spread throughout the United States and Canada dedicated to helping blind and visually impaired dogs by: rescuing dogs in shelters, assisting blind dog owners, and educating the public about these wonderful dogs.


Reading your dogs body language
by Andrea Smith, Freelance writer and BDRA volunteer

8 Significant Messages Your Dog is Sending

Is your beloved dog trying to tell you something? The fact is dogs have a language that expresses their emotions and intentions to people in their company. Most of this communication is through body language other than sounds and movements. This is their facial expression and body posture. Once you know the basics of what your canine is saying, you can determine when your pet is scared and anxious or moody and ready to snap at someone. Watching the face and body is the key.



Keeping this in mind; here is a list of 8 significant messages your dog is sending.

Relaxed– The dog is comfortable and satisfied. This dog is carefree and without fear by anything that is happening in this setting.

Alert– Something has peaked the dog’s interest or an unfamiliar object. This points to him being on alert and remaining vigilant to any danger and if he should act

Dominant/Aggressive– Here is a dominant and confident animal. This means he is establishing his dominance and warning that he will strike if provoked.

Fearful/ Aggressive– He is spooked but not willing to relent and will attack if cornered. A dog is doing this gesture when he is facing the person who is troubling him

Stressed and Distressed– The dog is experiencing social or environment anxiety. This is an indication of his general emotions and not towards any particular person.

Fearful and worried– The canine is a bit frightened and willing to submit. This gesture is to appease the person of a higher status the dog consider a threat and wants to avoid confrontation

Extreme Fear-At this point, the animal will demonstrate submission and surrender. He is telling the individual he accepts the position before an intimidating person and begging to prevent conflict

Playfulness– This one is a signal for play time. Also associated with this, there may be enthusiastic barking or playful assaults and retreats. There is an emphasis to keep in mind that any earlier rough behavior was harmless.



Happy Spring!!!


How to train your dog to walk on a leash:

By: Charlie Mozitis
I started in rescue 5 years ago when my wife and I adopted our Daisy, a long haired dachshund who survived living in a puppy mill for 4 1/2 years. We got into rescue to give back and pay forward to everyone who helped get Daisy to us. Because I have about 30 years experience in human healthcare with 20 years working as a paramedic, I like to help those dogs that really need the most help. When we fostered failed with our first Sr Duchess, she taught us the joys of Sr’s and to live each day to its fullest and never let anything stand in your way! I joined the BDRA to help blind dogs. I host a web site dedicated to helping humans help dogs, it’s an informational site to provides tips and tricks on dog care and rescue.
Because all dogs, not just blind dogs can be a challenge to train to walk on a leash we thought it might be a good idea to offer a bit of a primer in taking a walk…instead of being taken for a drag….with your blind dog. One thing we want to remind you is that if your dog is blind,deaf or otherwise challenged it is important to be sure that YOU are as prepared to take him or her out as they are to BE taken out. Progress slowly, start with short walks in areas you know are safe and progress as you grow to trust your dog and they learn to trust you.

It’s important to establish a few new commands to help blind dogs be safe. Some of the new commands are “stop”, this is used to have your dog stop before he bumps into things. You can use whatever word you wish really, but the intention has to be clear to the dog, freeze where you are and do no continue to go forward. This will help keep your dog from hurting itself on common things you will run into on walks outside your own yard, sticks, wires, fences, poles etc…. Another important command to teach is “up”. “UP” is used to tell the dog that there is a step in front of them and that they may need to step up. Another equally import command is “step”, this is used to help the dog know that he is going to need to step down or walk down steps. You can also simply teach up or down for these actions. Another important command is “over here”, this is used to let the dog know where you are and allows them to follow your voice. Another way for them to find you is to place bells on your shoe laces- this gives the dog a constant sound to follow that they are familiar with and can calm them when they are unsure of where you are. All of these commands need to be in place before you ever take your pup out…. imagine tryingto negotiate a whole new world without knowing when there is danger in front of you, or when your about to step off or onto something. You can start to teach these commands inside the house and around your yard, introduce the dogs to a set of stairs in your house or even set up some stairs with stable bricks and wood for the dog to practice on. All dogs like repetition and so it is important to always use the same command and teach the same action with that command. Use your hands to help the dog understand and be patient…these are new and can be frightening…your pup will learn them in time.
Once we have these commands established it is time to, try a test walk. Remember to go slowly,particularly if their blindness is new to you or to your dog. Please remember that your dog picks up on your emotions and can tell if you are stressed, you need to be the pack leader, you need to be calm and assertive, which in turn will give your dog the confidence he or she needs to walk comfortably with you.

To get ready for your walk, put a comfortable harness on your dog and use a short leash. Some dogs like haltis or gentle leaders as well, practice with a few types of collars and styles of harness to see which one makes you and your dog most comfprtable. Start with taking your dog for a short walk inside your house on familiar ground. Please praise your dog often and give him treats. When you are comfortable with the walk in a room, expand the walk to the whole house. Make sure the walk is a positive experience and when you are both feeling comfortable go outside and continue to have a positive experience walking on the leash and praising your dog generously with good treats. Try to choose paths that can become familiar to your dog for the first few weeks, and then you can change up your routes, allow them to become confident before you ask them to continue to challenge themselves.

Soon you will find the both of you will be looking forward to going on walks.

GOOD LUCK! HAVE FUN and always make safety your priority!

While I read many articles on blind dogs to come up with this article,I did not quote any particular one, but here is the list of websites I used. http://www.ehow.com/how_7694837_teach-blind-dog-walk-leash.html

Available Dogs

Check out some of our amazing dogs still looking for forever homes



Shelby is a bright eyed and bushy tailed blind and diabetic senior Border collie girl rescued by Blind Dog Rescue Alliance. Shelby was found as a stray in NC. Shelby’s hobbies include tap dancing on the hardwood floor and digging. Shelby’s beauty secret is sleeping a lot! We have no information on Shelby’s life before BDRA. Our best guess is that Shelby was an outdoor dog with little socialization. It is suspected that Shelby may have also been abused. Shelby is blind but can hear, so she does scare easily. Shelby would do best in a quiet home as an only dog or with older dogs. Shelby does like to go for walks, but sometimes her fear of strange sounds can be overwhelming for her. With Shelby’s medical needs and personality quirks, Shelby will require a local (NJ or PA) and very experienced dog adopter with no children. Please read more about sweet Shelby http://www.blinddogrescue.com/availabledogs/shelby.html



If you are looking for a Siberian Husky who thinks she is a lap dog –
you found your girl. Bella is a huge snuggle bug. She will not only lay
right next to you, but she will lay right on you if there is no room on
the couch. Bella loves going for car rides and walking in the park – she
has become a huge Civil War fan and has taken many walks in the
Gettysburg National Park. Bella actually has some of the best recall of
any husky that I have seen – although she can never be trusted off
leash, she is still a Sibe and will decide to explore on her own (and
boy is she a fast one!). Bella loves to play, especially with BDRA
alumni KoKo – they can run around the yard for hours non-stop, come in
for a drink of water and go right out again to run some more!

Do you have room in your heart for beautiful petite Siberian Husky?
If so fill out your application today! http://blinddogrescue.com/availabledogs/bella.html



And here is Niki one of our other stunning Siberian husky’s! This beautiful Husky girl has been with her foster family since June 2014. She was pulled from a shelter with a bulging eye, having suffered an unknown injury. Her eye was subsequently removed and Niki has adapted well to being sighted in only one eye. She is an active dog who is 3-4 years young and has a lifetime of love to give her forever family.

Niki is described by her foster mom as a goofy, sweet girl who loves to give kisses. She is generally quiet in the home but will sometimes make noise if she believes mom is giving her attention to dogs in another part of the house. Niki is crate trained and likes to spend quiet time in her crate. She sometimes has accidents in the crate, however, if she’s not let out in a timely manner. Niki has a positive response to treats and will do best in a home that is experienced with huskies and can provide structure for her. Niki also has been known to ingest items she finds on the floor. For this reason, she is not recommended for a home with small children who may drop things on the floor.

Niki knows commands and enjoys spending time outdoors. She will make a loving companion to the right human. To apply to adopt Niki through BDRA, please click here… http://blinddogrescue.com/availabledogs/niki.html
Click here to go to our website and see more available dogs

Happy Tails
Recently adopted dogs and updates on some of our alumni
Congratulations to our sweet babies Mike

,Bit O honey,

Bit O Honey



And beautiful Delilah


all who got adopted this month!

Mike actually got adopted the last day of last month so we figured we would continue the celebration for him a little longer!!!
And a few happy tails for some alumni who are happily living in their new homes!
Blizzard is doing great. He is an awesome dog and has filled out nicely. He has a blast with his golden brother Yogi and even foster Sammie joins in the play. Blizzard is happy and healthy and I think his vision must be a little better because he has seen the deer in our yard a few times.


Loki is adored by his new parents who cant imagine their home without him!



Tips and Tricks For living with your amazing dog!!!
By: Tamara Miller
Tamara has been involved in rescue for over 15 years and has a special focus on Weimaraner rescue (with tw oof her own rescued weims) and dogs with special needs. She is a foster parent for BDRA.
Spring is in the air, and with that comes the allergies, the bee stings, the constant rolling in, well, who knows what….and so we thought a quick peek at some common household human meds you can use in a pinch if you cant get to a vet right away and you have a dog like mine!!!!!


Grain Free Bad Breath Busting Biscuits for your Dog
Makes about 1 dozen biscuits for large dogs or 2-3 dozen for small dogs.
Preheat the oven to 350 F

2 cups Coconut Flour (or gluten free mix flour works too)
1/2 cup Oats (gluten free)
1/4 tsp Salt (option– will help to preserve the biscuits)
1/4 tsp Cinnamon (do not use pumpkin pie spice because dogs do not tolerate nutmeg)
Substitution: 1 drop cinnamon essential oil
2 Bananas
2 TBSP Peanut/Almond/Sunflower Seed butter
2 TBSP Coconut Oil
3 Eggs
Peppermint Essential Oil
Toy breeds: 3 drops
Small dogs: 4 drops
Medium dogs: 5 drops
Large dogs: 6 drops
X-large dogs: 7 drops
Mix the dry ingredients (flour, oats and cinnamon spice) in a mixing bowl. Set aside. In another bowl mix the bananas, nut butter, coconut oil and eggs until throughly incorporated. Add the essential oil and stir to combine.

Mix the dry ingredients slowly into the wet ingredients until combined. The dough is a bit crumbly– this is fine and to be expected. You can add a bit more banana if you need to get it to hold together better.

Place the dough over floured wax paper and roll out until you get the height you want your dog biscuits to be– roughly 1/4 inch. Use a knife or a cookie cutter to cut the shapes you would like and place them on a cookie sheet.

Put the dog biscuits into the oven for 20-30 minutes (depending on the size of the cutouts). Place them on a cookie rack to cool and they will become even crispier.

These are GREAT! They smell like oatmeal cookies with a twist.

REMEMBER: When ingesting essential oils, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you use high quality brands which are made for ingestion. Essential oil brands meant for aromatherapy or topical use only can damage the health of your dog when ingested. Always read your labels!

These biscuits are perishable so they last about 1 week at room temperature and 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator. If you want to change this a little for fall– you can substitute the 2 bananas for 2/3 cup of pumpkin puree. Yum!!


Taken from www.overthrownmartha.com

Tips and Tricks for Dog Owners
By Heather Maher-Heather currently has two rescue cats.

Many BDRA members are parents to multiple dogs so any tip or trick that makes exercising, feeding, medicating, grooming or training a little easier helps. We gathered some of the best advice from around the Internet geared toward owners of multiple dogs or dogs who might be a little more high maintenance for health reasons or previous (stressful) life experiences.

  1. Lavender Bandana
    If you have a dog with anxiety or high stress, try putting a few drops of calming lavender oil on a bandana and tie it around your dog’s neck.

  2. Tooth Brushing
    Spread doggie toothpaste on a chew toy or nylon rope so he self-brushes.

  3. Fleas
    Make your own flea shampoo with 1 cup Dawn detergent, 1 cup white vinegar and a quart of warm water. Massage into fur and let sit for 5 minutes, rinse.

  4. Hair Removal
    To clean dog hair off carpets or furniture, drag a shower/windshield squeegee across – Ikea sells them for $2.

  5. Lap Time
    Many dogs but only one lap? Fill an old pair of jeans with stuffing and arrange on a chair/couch with “legs” crossed to simulate a human lap that smells like you.

  6. Homemade Pill Pockets
    Mix 1 T peanut butter, 1 T milk 2 T flour. Form into little pockets and store in freezer or fridge

  7. Easier Medicating
    Put a small amount of peanut butter in each section of an ice cube tray. Put the pill(s) into the peanut butter, then put more PB on top. Freeze and pop one out at pill time. Can also be done with no sugar added applesauce.

  8. Upset Stomach Cure
    Add low-sodium chicken broth to your dog’s drinking water, or make a mash of tender cooked chicken and plain rice.

  9. Constipation Cure
    Mix some pumpkin puree into their food.

  10. Ear Care
    Put a few drops of warm olive oil on a cotton ball and use it to gently massage the inside of your dog’s ears. Never use a Q-tip.


How you can help support Blind Dog Rescue Alliance
APRIL 1- 30th
Ready to do some guilt-free shopping for a great cause? Support blind dog rescue and help us reach our fundraising goals this year. To support us, click here to shop Mixed Bag Designs online and we get 40% of the purchase!

Mixed Bag Designs has tons of colorful and fun products including totes, kitchenware, travel bags, accessories and more. Forward this email on to your friends and family to spread the word about our fundraiser!

How To Order
Shop the Mixed Bag Designs Website
Pay for your order online with a credit card – your order is shipped directly to you!
At checkout on the Review/Submit Order Page double check that 244006 is in the “School/Fundraiser ID#” field. You can also enter the name of the participant that referred you in the “Referred By” field for them to receive credit.
Happy Shopping,
Blind Dog Rescue

BISSELL’s Partners for Pets (ongoing Partner)
Blind Dog Rescue Alliance is proud to be a Partner for Pets! BISSELL and LostPetUSA.net have teamed up to help organizations like ours raise money, and now you can help too! When you purchase pet products on bissell.com and enter the code ADOPT at checkout, a portion of your purchase will be donated to our organization!
It’s simple.
· Shop pet products on www.bissell.com
· Enter the code ADOPT at checkout
· Then select our organization!
Learn more at www.bissell.com/partnersforpets.

April 28th one day event Three scoops of vanilla.
Beautiful handmade Jewelry, apparel,custom bracelets and original art work.
BDRA will receive 20%

We have another great opportunity to help BDRA get some extra $$
Its HSN 1,000 dollar a day charity give away! Click the link below and put in the info and we have a chance to win!!!

All nominations are due no later than April 7, 2015.
This is the information you will need to fill in about BDRA.

Please tell us a little bit about your favorite charity/organization:
Yes for 501(c)3 Charity.

Name of Charity The Blind Dog Rescue Alliance
Contact Person Tara Shepherd
Charity Web address blinddogrescue.org
Charity phone number 203-246-8576
Physical Address 11 Bungay Terr
Seymour,CT 06483


You can create a custom blend of tea or choose from one of their signature blends! So many delicious options.

The Blind Dog Rescue Alliance is running an on-line FUNDRAISING PROGRAM from March 30th- April 10th What does that mean? This Awesome organization will be getting 25% of all product sales when the code word BDRA is entered in the “Coupon Code” during check out. This will ALSO get you a reduced shipping fee *** If paying via PAYPAL – see the “Details” section for detailed instructions. If ordered below- your canister/packet will come with a BDRA customized label!!! Three sizes to choose from. Don’t stop there- that was 25% of ALL products purchased on this site…so start here and explore Design a Tea for more great holiday gifts!!! 🙂

Thank you to everyone for supporting this fundraiser and raising $$$ for BDRA!!!! 🙂

Click on the link below and start shopping.

Yankee Candles
Blind Dog Rescue Alliance is selling Yankee Candles!!! For each order, BDRA gets 40%!!! Time to think SPRING and SUMMER smells like fruits and flowers, ice cream and walks along the beach!!! You can start your shopping and help blind dogs today!!!
Just go to http://www.yankeecandlefundraising.comand use group number 990053323 in order for BDRA to get credit.

CONGRATULATIONS and many thanks to everyone who participated in our T-shirt photo and calendar contest last month!
Here are the results!

First place goes to: Diello with 1115 votes! Congratulations!

The month pages go to the following dogs in order:

Hero 1113
Gizmo 606
Lincoln & emmett 460
Kimi 290
Hugo 214
China Cat Sunflower 205
Cash 195
Newton 190
Lipton 100
Galileo Schreiber 97
Jasmine 91
Hope 78


Volunteer Spotlight
by Dena Desantis
Dena has owned several dogs throughout her life, including dogs who lost their vision to old age
Meet our special volunteers
With two teenage sons, a husband, a full time job and a gaggle of assorted pets, one would think Linda Sobieski has nary a moment to spare. However, this amazing woman is one of the Illinois/Indiana regional coordinators for IMPS, the Internet Miniature Pinscher Service, and is also the fundraising coordinator for BDRA. Linda takes great pride in being a member of the BDRA family. She recollects finding BDRA in 2010 through a volunteer of IMPS who needed assistance with a home check for a blind dog in her area. Officially joining BDRA as a volunteer in 2011, she was approached to spearhead fundraising efforts for BDRA in 2012. While Linda can’t recall how many fundraisers she has run on behalf of BDRA, she points out that since January 1, BDRA has earned over $1,000 through the efforts of the fundraising team and BDRA supporters!

Daily e-mails, tweets, and Facebook postings help to get the word out about BDRA’s fundraising initiatives while the team investigates new, unique, and innovative ideas to bring in monies to provide the care our dogs desperately need. Linda takes great pride in her involvement with BDRA expressing, “I love this rescue and promote it all over the place.” She does such a great job that her niece was moved to adopt Twizzler from our organization.

Caring for others comes naturally to Linda, a home health and occupational therapist. While her flexible schedule allows her to be at home for her kids and attend their school functions, she also volunteers at a local school one day a week in addition to doing home visits, making follow up phone calls to adoptive families for IMPS, Linda has also been involved with processing volunteer applications and organizing fundraising efforts for BDRA. As a foster mom, Linda takes great pride in spoiling her littlest foster, Ellie, who is just 5 weeks old. Having been weaned from her mother too early, this happy pup lets Linda pick her up and will eat from Linda’s hands. The mother, who was rescued from a puppy mill, also captured Linda’s heart after she was kept from her puppies and fractured her leg trying to get to them. Her own little boy, Gilbert, is losing his eyesight. Linda compensates for this by adapting their living environment including keeping bells by the door and clapping for him to locate her. She caters to him by blending his food with water since he will no longer drink water on his own since losing his sight.

Aside from her involvement with animal rescue, Linda is a ardent supporter of our troops and the Wounded Warrior Foundation, sending care packages to deployed soldiers, crocheting scarves for veterans, and corresponding with soldiers actively on assignment. Her current brood includes three of her own dogs, 4 fosters for IMPS, aquatic turtles, fresh and salt water fish, a gecko, tree frogs, and koi. At one time, her home was the residence of 17 dogs, mostly fosters waiting for their forever home. While Linda credits her ability to juggle the demands on her time to a supportive family, she has a ‘can-do’ attitude that is infectious and inspiring!

Linda looks forward to upcoming opportunities to raise money to ensure that our special dogs can continue to get the care that they need. Current fundraisers include Flower Power and Amazon Smile, where shoppers can donate .5% of their purchase to BDRA at no additional cost to them. She looks forward to hosting a much requested coffee fundraiser as well as Home Shopping Network’s HSN Cares Giveaway where BDRA can win $1,000 to support our mission. Be on the look out for these and other great opportunities to support BDRA!

If you know a BDRA volunteer you’d like to be spotlighted in next month’s newsletter, please contact the newsletter team!
N E W Y O R K E V E N T S!!
EVENT: Syracuse Crunch Pucks for Paws Hockey Game (Syracuse Crunch vs. Rochester Americans)
PLACE: War Memorial at OnCenter, Syracuse, NY
DATE/TIME: Saturday, March 28th, 7:00 pm to ?
SET UP: 6:00 pm
DOGS: None

EVENT: Curtis Lumber’s Pet-a-Palooza
PLACE: Curtis Lumber, Hamilton, NY
DATE/TIME: Saturday, June 20, 10:00 – 3:00
SET UP: 9:00 am
DOGS: Watson most likely
REGISTRATION: registration sent

PA and NJ events!!!!!

EVENT: York Pet & Reptile Expo
PLACE: York Expo Center
334 Carlisle Ave
York, PA 17404
TIME: 9am – 5p

EVENT: Bark For Life
PLACE: Pottstown Memorial Park
King & Manatawny Streets
Pottstown, PA
TIME: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
SET UP: 7:00/7:30 a.m.
CONTACT INFO: Katie Schultz, katieschultz91@gmail.com
VOLUNTEERS: Gladys & Ron, Clara-Jean & John
EVENT: Pet Supply Plus
PLACE: Pet Supply Plus
700 Nutt Road
Phoenixville, PA
TIME: 10am – 2p
CONTACT INFO: Chris or Paul
VOLUNTEERS: Gladys, Kristen

EVENT: Wet Nose Spring Pet Fair
PLACE: Warminster Community Park
300 Veterans Circle
Warminster, PA 18974
TIME: 10am – 4pm
SET UP: 8am
CONTACT INFO: Stephen Leslie, steveleslie25@aol.com
VOLUNTEERS: Gladys & Ron , Rose
Maryland Events

Saturday April 25
4th Annual Pugs for Pinky Event (rain or shine)
Harford Equestrian Center, 608 N Tollgate Rd, Bel Air, MD 21014
Checking on times. This is the first time doing this event.
Sunday April 26
Baltimore March for the Animals
Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD
10-2 (I will be there at 0730 to set up)

The Rainbow Bridge

Honoring those who wait for us

Gizmo passed over the bridge 3-20-2015. Gizmo was a senior who came to us after his owner passed away, He wormed his way so tightly into his foster mommies heart she was in the process of adopting him. Gizmo will be missed by everybody!81185497-bc2e-4ecb-801d-ef5143b10fb3

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