Dog Rescue Heaven

painting of a dog dressed in an orange robe in a buddha pose, holding two little puppies on his meditation pose lap, text reads big dog rescue, offering sanctuary to homeless houndsLately, with all the political mess going on at the city animal shelter, I have been disinclined to continue volunteering there. The training volunteers that I worked so closely with for the past several months have had to stop coming, due to verbal threats made by some of the shelter staff. While I feel badly for the other dogs there, Francie was the one that I had the most connection with, and now that she's out of the shelter system, I decided to check out another local rescue. Big Dog Rescue is not far from our house, so my husband and I went for a volunteer orientation there yesterday.

scenic shot of a large cream colored horse, kind of like a clydesdale but I don't know my horse breeds, in a large fenced enclosure with beautiful view of trees and town in distanceEven though the name is Big Dog Rescue, this sanctuary houses much more than just big dogs. There are little dogs, too, along with horses, emus, goats and birds.

three dogs standing on a little hill, the dog at the top is a medium brown hairless dog with crest of hair shooting out of his headHere are some of the resident dogs. It's not clear to me whether these dogs are for adoption or if they just live here permanently. There doesn't seem to be much distinction between the two. Among them were two Mexican hairless dogs. The brown one at the top of this rise is Elvis.

a black mexican hairless dog with crest of hair on head, you can see creases on the skin on her backAnd appropriately, this one is Priscilla. I was curious about how it felt to pet them, and boy, do they feel strange! It feels like you're petting someone's knee...that's the best way I can think of to describe the texture.

large fenced area of maybe 20 feet by 20 feet, with picnic table, two large metal troughs for swimming I guess, dogloo, and a white and tan greyhound type dog standing in the centerMost of the adoptable dogs live in large pens with 2-3 other dogs, depending on their size and temperament. I got to walk this sight hound mix, Jag, who shares his pen with two other dogs and has plenty of room to run.

my husband stopping on trail to kneel and pet lucas, a tan dog of about 35 pounds with a white muzzle and chestMy husband walked lab/shepherd mix Lucas. Isn't he adorable? Cabana would love this little guy--he's the perfect size and so playful. But no, we're not shopping for dogs to bring home! Need to refocus and stay on task here....

the sight hound jag in the middle of large fenced arenaAfter walking the trails for a while, we let the dogs run in this huge arena. The ground looks like it's covered in gravel, but it's actually made of recycled shredded rubber for shock absorption.

my husband in the arena kneeling down and surrounded by 4 dogsMy husband reminds me of a taller version of the Dog Whisperer here.

scenic view of the horse pasture with a beautiful dirt path in front, walked on by another volunteer with a chocolate lab, it looks idyllic and tranquil, shaded by treesWe were blown away by the beauty of this place! Dogs must feel like they are already rescued and entered heaven here. But as the owner of this rescue says, beautiful grounds and lots of space are great, but they're not a substitute for a home and a family. Maybe not, but I can think of worse ways to spend a few months while waiting for the right person to come along.

Martha G  – (August 1, 2011 at 9:23 AM)  

What a great place! Did you know that Mexican Hairless dogs generate so much body heat that people with fibromyalgia and other chronic pain syndromes adopt these dogs to help with pain? I learned this when researching fibromyalgia for a class report a few years back.

Erin and Co.  – (August 1, 2011 at 10:15 AM)  

That's a shelter? That place is amazing!!

Becky  – (August 1, 2011 at 7:53 PM)  

Wow. That place sounds lovely. Your volunteerism inspires me.

Anonymous –   – (August 3, 2011 at 8:32 AM)  

This place is beautiful. What a lovely variety of dogs they have!!

Susan Campisi  – (August 3, 2011 at 10:33 PM)  

Wow, that place looks amazing. Lucky dogs!

Tessa99999  – (August 4, 2011 at 8:55 AM)  

Do they accept human rescues? It looks amazing, and I'm sure I'd love to spend time there! I seems like you have an even better alternative to volunteering at the shelter. Great work Mimi! Who knows what you might be able to learn from this place.

The Thundering Herd  – (August 7, 2011 at 6:29 PM)  

What a terrific place. They are right - nothing replaces a loving home - but that is far better than many places to wait until that home comes along.

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