Monday, December 8, 2014

Labor Of Love

What does rescued mean to you?  It can mean "saved", "helped", and even "sheltered".  It can also include working through issues, past traumas, re-adjustments and healing.  It involves change.

Rescue is becoming more and more popular.  Great Plains Pointer Rescue loves that. While many who rescue have good intentions, some don't see the whole picture.  Are rescue animals always broken? Of course not. However they may come with baggage, or a hidden history if you will.  They may have experienced a past mishap, harsh training, no training or a lack of love overall.  Luckily animals are forgiving creatures.  While they cannot tell us what has or has not happened, they can show us what they know or don't know. 

Yes, there are folks that have adopted and in turn been disappointed.  "This is not the pet you described, you didn't tell us about this behavior, and this is what they do".  But first things first....rescue saves the animal. With the use of volunteer foster homes, animals are evaluated, aided, healed and placed in forever homes. All of this is part of the labor of love.

Too many times people live with false expectations.  If the newly adopted animal veers away from what they were told, or begins to change within the new environment, anxiety and disappointment unfold.  While most people treat their pets as family members, they can also forget they are still animals, not humans.  Animals cannot read minds. They require guidance, structure, training and security.  They need to know what humans expect from them.  This too, is part of the labor of love and where some people give up.

Have you ever heard the story where someone had a nightmare pet?  They struggled, cried and were generally ready to give up...but in the end it turned out to be the best pet of their lives.  This is because they let go of expectations and worked with the animal.  A bond was created, trust was earned and an understanding developed.  

This is not a perfect world.  Animals, like people, are not perfect.  It's not always sunshine and rainbows (or dog treats raining from the sky). Environments change, people change, families change, and yes, animals can change.  When you bring a new rescue into your home, let go of expectations. Enter with open arms and an open mind.  Be prepared for an imperfect member to join your family. With time and love they may become the most perfect companion you have ever known.  You will love your pet, and yourself for this investment, this labor of love. Then the meaning of rescue will become personal and you will have been changed because of it.  

Sunday, October 5, 2014


You could say we are cut ups over Great Plains Pointer Rescue.  Scrappy, crazy, talented, silly, fun loving...and totally dedicated to the pointers.

What does Scrap booking have to do with dogs?  With rescue?  Well, it is one of our yearly fund raisers that benefit the dogs that grace our program. Our 3rd annual scrap booking event is coming up October 10th & 11th, 2014 at Scrapping Studio. Scrapping, food, fun, shared creativity and some pointer loving! Sound like fun?  Ask us for more details!! 


You may also find us in parades, at rescue events, and at the dog park. See us in our GPPR t-shirts at the store?  Ask us about those shirts and watch our faces light up.  We love rescue and love to share our stories. Plus, we're not shy at all about talking dogs!

For us, every day is a Pointer-paw-looza.  A day to save dogs and help them find a forever home.  If that journey takes us scrap booking, so be it. Sharing our talents and loving the dogs.  It's what we do.  

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Moving on After Losing A Beloved Pet

We've all been in those shoes.  Our beloved pet crossed the bridge and we're devastated.  Looking at their bed hurts, you want to pick up their bowls and you just can't do it.  Tears flow freely and your heart feels numb. You didn't have enough time with them. You think you can never love another one again. It's impossible to replace that special pet.  And that's true.

Losing a pet is part of loving a pet. Though that loss is keen, you have the satisfaction of knowing you loved and cared for a precious life.  If you are grieving the loss of a pet please know we understand.  If you think that nothing good can come of it please think again.

Think about adopting a rescue dog in honor of the pet you have lost.  It is a pure and simple way to share your love, and the love your pet enjoyed over the years.  I have no doubt, as they cross the bridge, that they would say "please love again" if they could.  They know us inside and out.  Know when we are joyful and when we are sad.  They know the comfort of a gentle hand just as we know the comfort of soft fur and a cold nose.  

One can't replace a beloved pet, but one can move on and love again. Find a way to honor your pet.  Make a donation in his/her name to your favorite shelter or rescue. Foster in their honor. There are always dogs needing foster homes. Or, better yet, adopt in their honor.  Honoring the loss, and the love you shared, helps the healing process. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Buddy's Story - How You Can Help

Buddy joined the GPPR family in March.  He was vetted, had some lumps removed and was moved to a foster home.  Okay, he was moved to our home. His lumps were mast cell tumors and while at first we thought his prognosis was good, now we are finding his status has changed. He is having an additional lump removed next week.  We''ll know more about his status then.

This will sound funny, but we feel pretty darned lucky to love this guy. Sometimes our fosters find their forever homes, sometimes we are that forever home. While our dream is placing them with a loving family, sometimes we are blessed to be that family.  We feel bad for him. We wanted him to find a fabulous home and live happily ever after.  We always have high hopes for our fosters, and fall in love with them in the process. Seriously, isn't making a commitment to love, honor and cherish what pet ownership is all about? Why would fostering be any different.

The decision has been made to change Buddy's status from adoption ready, to sponsorship only.  What this means is Buddy will live out his days with us. Rest assured he'll be loved, pampered, kept comfy, and we pray it will be for many, many days.  He'll get his romps in the country, naps in the sun, and we'll work closely with our vet to make sure comfort is his first priority.  If you'd like, you can sponsor Buddy, or dogs in situations like Buddy's.  Your donation will go directly to the medical needs of that dog.  Sponsorship donations are every bit as important as adoption fee's.  Your contribution makes a difference.  Your donation will help us keep Buddy a happy guy. 

We love this old boy.  We know you would to if you could meet Buddy.  Help us care for him.  Loving them to a new home, or until they cross the bridge, is part of what we do at GPPR.  Please share this journey with us. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Why Dogs Come Into Rescue Programs....the Good, the Bad and the Just Plain Ugly Excuses.

Don't get me wrong, we are tickled pink to have dogs come into our program. And while we'd love not having dogs to adopt, and others waiting to come in to the program, we love giving them a second chance in life.  We live for that. We understand that second chances are the best possible outcome for dogs in unfortunate situations.  

People often ask why people surrender their dogs.  Many of these answers will infuriate you, sadden you, will make you shake your head and roll your eyes. Believe me, that's our response too.  Here are the ones we see most frequently.

 1.  We had a baby, or are expecting a baby and we just don't have time.

 2.  Tank got too big for us, too active for us, and he sheds!

 3.  Wesson won't hunt.  He gun shy and worthless.

 4.  Buster is too old and we need space for a new puppy.

 5.  Spot has accidents in the house, separation anxiety.

 6.  Champ goes crazy when it storms.

 7.  Fido ate a bird and freaked the kids out.  

 8.  Sidney's owner died.

 9.  Moving, divorcing, relocating, deployed and can't keep him/her.
10. She is to old to breed anymore.

11. Fence jumping.

12. Health the dog.  Health the owner.

13. Rufus is completely untrainable.

14. My girlfriend/boyfriend doesn't like dogs.

15. He barks.  Or, he doesn't bark and I wanted a guard dog.  

16. Daisy killed the chickens, or the cat.  

17. She/he is aggressive when the kids pull, push, crowd and tease.

18. I didn't expect them to be so energetic.  

19. King doesn't get along with the new puppy.

20. Dog chews on the furniture, the crate, shoes.

21. They are too needy.

22. Sarge gets loose and won't come when called.

23. They howl, bark, dig holes when left outside all day and night.

24. We can't afford the dog's food and medical needs.

25. We wanted a lower maintenance dog.

26. He kept biting the testicles of the other dogs in the house.  

So...these are just some of the reasons/excuses we hear.  Honestly, you can't make this stuff up.  It is what it is, and why the world has rescue programs.

We encourage you to know the breed you are adopting and recognize that owning a pet is a life long commitment.  It is not jumping blindly into pet ownership.  It's not about seeing a puppy and impulsively buying it. It's a big deal and a big decision.  After all, the dog you choose depends on you. Don't let them down.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

How Can I Help?

You've seen us at events.  We have our booth, our posters, our dogs, our GPPR shirts.  We will talk your leg off about our dogs.  Who needs a foster, who got adopted, which dog might be the best fit for you.  We talk about puppies, seniors and all the ones in between.  

Right now, as the phrase goes in rescue, it's raining dogs.  We have 8 dogs waiting for foster homes to open up.  We have dogs we have to turn away because of this.  We have dogs waiting for that forever home to find them. So many in need that you might wonder how you can help.

That is easy!  Here you go:

 1)  Adopt!  Each adoption opens up space for a new dog to come into the program.  You have a best friend and make space for another to get lucky too!

 2)  Foster.  We have a great support system for our foster homes.  Ask us how!  

 3)  Share/Network.    Share the pictures and stories of our fosters on your Facebook page, in your emails, over the water cooler at work.  We brag about our kids, so what not brag about your favorite rescue.

 4)  Transport.  How do you think we get dogs from point A to point B? Volunteers drive them.  It might be just across town, or clear across the state.  We divide up the miles and take a leg.  Easy peasy when a team works together for the benefit of the dogs.

 5)  Sponsor a dog on our website. If you can sponsor one of our pointers, we apply the donations to all of their medical and food needs.  100% of any money that comes into our program goes directly to the dogs in our care.

 6)  Make a purchase from the GPPR store - see our website for details!

 7)  Wear your GPPR shirt or sweatshirt proudly!  Give one as a gift, buy an extra for yourself.

 8)  Shop at AmazonSmile and Amazon will make a donation to GPPR.

 9)  Have an extra crate you are not using, blankets, leashes?  Donate them to us, or your favorite shelter.  We do accept toys, food, leashes and treats. 

10) Have some time to help us screen applications?  We always need volunteers for special projects and applications.  

11)  Cash, did I mention cash?  Yup, we are always grateful for cash donations.  All our dogs are fully vetted prior to adoption.  Every little bit helps.  Don't be shy!

12)  Remember GPPR in your will.  Have a garage sale and donate the proceeds.  Make an "in memory of" donation when you lose a loved one. 

Everyone has gifts to share...time, talents, treasure...please consider sending a little our way to help the dogs.  

P.S. We welcome good thoughts, karma and prayers...  We're working with some pretty special dogs here, our volunteers are amazing people and we want the best for them.  We couldn't do what we do without YOU!  We (that's you and me, me and you, and you and me) save dogs.  

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

How Do We Do It?

As a foster home I get asked all the time how I do it?  How do you let them into your home not knowing what baggage they bring?  How to you put up with the challenges?  How do you let them go to their forever home?

Let me tell you.  It's simple.  And sometimes it's a little difficult.  It's just little acts of love towards the dogs done day-after-day.  Think about that, little acts of love X as many days as necessary.

I say that with my feet still wet from giving our foster a medicated bath.  A small inconvenience for me and hopefully a huge comfort for Buddy. We take them to vet appointments.  Sometimes to work with us.  Just to keep an extra eye on them.  It's not mandatory to do that when fostering, but nice when a work situation allows that. We try as many cones as necessary to keep them from licking their booboo's.  If they need special food, we get it. It's easy to provide acts of love when you dedicate your time to their needs.

Many of the dogs have never experienced "the good life".  What a kick to be the first to lavish that on them.  We do this knowing the goal is for them to leave us. To find their forever home. It's easy, it's sometimes difficult.  

But if we don't do this who will? Someone has to step up to the loving plate. Foster homes do just this.  

Maybe you have thought of fostering. Perhaps it seemed like an overwhelming task. Trust me, it's not. It is just little acts of love, food, shelter, basic training, lots of gentle touch.  A sense of humor comes in darned handy too! And a willingness to love them enough to let them go when the time is right. We have a great support system for our foster homes. We have great dogs needing fosters. Maybe you'd like join the team. Ask us how!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Fostering...An Open Door and Open Heart Process

Fostering is committing to allow an animal in a rescue program to live with you until his/her forever home is found.  That's it in a nutshell.  But there are many layers to that shell.  Much like the fosters who come to live with us. Some are a tough nut to crack. Some are easy, some are short term, some long term.  It is a commitment to take what you get and work with it. No two fosters are the same, ever.  

You put your love on the line with them, and sometimes your possessions. It's not for the meek of heart, but for those with hearts full of love, optimism and a sense of humor. It's for people who believe second chances are worth some puddles, piles, and/or a few teeth marks on the furniture. It's about letting an animal into your life and loving them enough to let them go.  

It is the joy of seeing an animal learn what it is to be safe, loved, socialized, well fed, healthy, able to play and to trust. It is saving a life. It's not all glory. There is plenty of trial and error.  There are accidents and incidents, hints and allegations.  No wait, that's from a Paul Simon song. But it applies! Those of us who have fostered have stories of great escapes, damaged crates, puppies who nibble, fosters in heat, illnesses, spay/neuter procedures, the dreaded cone of horror and surprise puddles in the night. We train them, exercise them, write their bios, run them to vet appointments.  We take them out on lead in the rain, the snow, the cold, the heat.    

But we balance those stories with the magic of an animal coming out of it's shell, feeling safe enough to be silly, getting healthy and eventually finding their forever home.  Some of those golden moments are the result of hundreds of baby steps.  Some come in leaps and bounds.  They learn sometimes that a couch is a terrible thing to waste and a cuddle is a blessing beyond measure.  They learn what a gentle hand feels like, what toys are for and what a treat is.  


Fostering, in a family setting, is a team effort.  A true commitment.  Even the resident pets needs to be on board.  Each day with a foster is a learning opportunity for the foster, and the foster home.

And yes, we struggle with letting go... We are the half-way house to their forever home.  We worry whether their new home will care for them as well as we do.  Will they be safe, will they be loved, did their bios tell exactly how great they are and what special needs they may have.  We wonder if we have done enough to prepare them.  

When the time is right we send them off with their new owners.  And we long for photos, updates and newsy notes telling how much they are loved. We laugh at the memories and begin the process again.  Because there is always another who needs a second chance.  It's who we are, it's why we foster.   

Thursday, March 20, 2014

How We Roll

Great Plains Pointer Rescue has been saving pointers since 2008.  Our mission you might ask?  Rescue and find adoptive homes for pointers in need in the Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota area's. There are as many reasons a dog comes into rescue as there are dogs.  Some are abandoned or lost, in some cases the owner died, divorced, was forced to give up their dog due to job loss. Just because a dog is in rescue it does not mean it has a lot of issues. It is just in need of a home, and we are here to help.

All of our dogs receive medical care including vaccinations, spay/neuter and microchip.  The average cost for medical care is $350.  Adoption fees vary by the dogs age. Adoption fee's are like a revolving door of sorts.  Each fee helps the next dog in line.  In this case what goes around comes around in a great way!

Our dogs are in foster homes with unpaid volunteers. They offer shelter, training and love to animals whose whole world turned upside down. They know their fosters and provide valuable information to prospective adopters about the dog's temperament, needs and personality. Foster homes are saints who sometimes border on insanity.  Just kidding....reality is foster homes make it all possible.  Possible for you to find your forever friend and make an informed adoption decision.   

That's how we roll at GPPR. We take adoptions seriously. We are passionate about pointers and rescue. You might even say we are passionately crazy pointer people. You could say that, and we'd take that as a compliment!