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LRRoC at Bark Park a Huge Success

Bark Park
LRRoC at Bark Park, 6/17
First, I want to thank each and every one of you for your time (a precious commodity these days), your very hard work, efforts and dedication to these wonderful companions that we have in our rescue.

You baked delicious human treats, created awesome doggie treats (complete w/creative packaging!!), donated beautiful handcrafted gifts, spent time assembling spectacular gift baskets, displayed a very professional and time consuming Silent Auction, spent countless hours on e-mailing our adopters and volunteers and effecting a workable schedule of assignments and ownership of the tasks at hand. You went to Bark Park in advance to observe to benefit our rescue as well as volunteer for Harlequin Haven to help make their day successful, you went to stores and shopped for items to include as donations, and you made signs and an educational posterboard so others would understand why we do what we do.

And again, you took time out of your busy schedules to arrange car pools, get up at dark thirty, drive 2 hours or across town, and spend your time scrubbing doglets till they sparkled (all for the reward of doggie kisses), cooked over hot grills in 90 degree weather (with a smile and all the while light heartedly entertaining those that visited the concessions while they waited), invited attendees to bid on the silent auction, encouraged them to buy raffle tickets and play the cornhole game toss!

You graciously sat in the hot sun and greeted the members and guests of Bark Park and guarded the gate with the integrity and caring that you would do for your own dog(s) to be sure no one escaped into unsafe territory. You laughed as you watched dogs (who were obviously regular visitors) bolt thru the gate to dive into the pond, and you thanked each of them wholeheartedly for their attendance and support while handing them an unexpected "thank you" token of our appreciation as they left. And all the while, you explained to those that inquired why we do what we do.

And, you deserved the compliments we heard throughout the day from the Bark Park membership...ones such as "It is refreshing to have a first time rescue to be such an upscale rescue" ... and... "You have great items at your silent auction"... and "You are doing a great job at serving food and not having a long wait" and "Thank you for washing my dog...she seems to really like you...she isn't this good most of the time".....and "Wow look at these great treats you have for sale" .....and "Your volunteers are so nice and they are so courteous".....as well as repeatedly.... "We get a free gift? Thank you! " as they left the park with their doggie treat bag and we thanked THEM.

Without each and every one of you, we could not realize fund raisers such as Bark Park. This event was an opportunity and privilege for our rescue. It was also a privilege to work with each of you yesterday and I feel honored to have the support and loyalty that you give to our dogs.

Our rescue could not accomplish the feats put forth to us without you. Obstacles such as orthopedic surgeries, heartworm treatment, radiographs and surgical corrections plague some of our companions. Our mission is to simply put them back together physically and emotionally so that we can help them along to their deserved future homes to live out the rest of their lives in a safe and loving home. Your hard work also pays for the routine veterinary care, feeding and housing necessary for our homeless companions.

As we all spent this day exhausted, yet exhilarated, pat yourselves on the back, give your own doggie a kiss, for you deserve it!

Please accept a heartfelt Thank You and Woofs and Licks from our Homeless Canines. Gratefully,

Roncy D. Roehm
Labrador Retriever Rescue of Cincinnati, Inc.

Balloon Glow 2006 at Coney Island: HUGE SUCCESS! More Awareness Events This Weekend!

Balloon Glow
LRRoC at Coney Balloon Glow, 7/3
LRRoC participated in Balloon Glow 2006 at Coney Island. It was a HUGE SUCCESS as an awareness event. Additionally, we were lucky enough to raise some additional funds to help the labs!

Thanks to all who took time out of their busy schedules to come down to Coney Island Balloon Glow 2006 to stop by to say hello and support us and/or help with our booth by talking to the many inquisitors, telling them about our "guest doggies" & allowing everyone to pet them, handing out brochures and explaining what we do! And special thanks to Kristen for running the LolliPup Pull upon her arrival to the booth! It was a great time for all!

We have a very big w/end of Awareness Events that we need to ask your help! Please let us know if you can assist with the following:

1) Immaculate Heart of Mary Festival - Beechmont Ave [across from Asbury Road and next to Arby's]
Friday, July 14th 2006: 5pm until close (11ish)
Saturday, July 15th 2006: 5pm until close
Sunday, July 16th 2006: 3pm until close

IHM has donated a booth/table/chairs for our dogs in the grass and with plenty of ice and water for the dogs! They are very excited about us being at their festival and look forward to us bringing our dogs. This is not a fund raiser for our rescue as the monies earned at the festival go directly to the church. This is an awareness event for us at a very large area festival. We are honored to be a part of it and it will be lots of fun! We will have brochures and information about our dogs and have several of our Labradorables, Golden Kids and friends of both at the event. We will be walking them around the festival.

We have a need for volunteers for the above festival to man the booth and walk dogs. We are not required to stay the entire evening and we will probably leave earlier than closing, as most families are not there into the late hours. In addition, our dogs will probably not fair well for long hours in the heat.

2) Dog Days of Summer Dog Fair - CareSpring -EastgateSpring of Cincinnati Nursing Care Facility location: 4400 Glen Este Withamsville Rd Cinti OH 45244
Sunday, July 16th 2006: 1-4 PM

EastgateSpring of Cincinnati Nursing Care Facility invited our rescue and has generously donated a booth/table/chairs/tablecover to our rescue for this Awareness Event. Door Prizes/Dog Show Contests/Refreshments/Food by EastgateSpring. This event has gotten a lot of media attention in the newspapers and radio interviews. We are honored to be guests at this event and it will be loads of fun! You can attend with your furry friend!

We need volunteers to man the booth and to help walk our dogs around the event area. The purpose and goal of this event is to promote Senior Pets for Seniors Project. The entire event is focused around promoting companion pets for Senior Citizens as it is well known that pets help reduce blood pressure, help humans live longer by giving many single seniors a focus and purpose. We will be focusing on bringing some of our elderly and low key middle aged pets to this event.

If you can assist our dogs for either of these upcoming events, please e-mail us and let us know which event, and when you can be there. We thank you in advance for any time you can offer to help our dogs! They send you all Woofs and Licks!


Roncy D. Roehm
Labrador Retriever Rescue of Cincinnati, Inc.

May, 2006

The dust and hairballs are finally settling after this year's fundraising event at Benken's. We thank all of you who worked this event, helped to spread the word, passed out flyers, transported dogs, handed out gift bags and just plain worked your paws to the bone. We also thank the Benken's for once again playing the role of our gracious host, as well as all of the wonderful businesses that donated over $700 worth of merchandise that we raffled in the crate. The folks at Anderson Family Pet Center, Dog about Town, Eastgate Animal Hospital, Gary's Dog Grooming, Heavenly Stitches, Nancy Hutchinson, Ivy Leash Bed and Biscuit, Kyle Vet Clinic, Pet Stop Pet Fencing Systems, and Novartis Drugs all deserve a special bark for their kindness and generosity (and when we remember who we inadvertently forgot to mention, we will add to that list. There are just so many people who helped out and who jumped in at the last minute...) And then to all our fans...so many of you dropped by to say hello, took a vacation day from work and stuck around all day to help make this event the success it was. Many of you drove from Cleveland, Columbus, Indiana, and Kentucky; our volunteers, adopters and supporters continue to amaze us with their endless support and camaraderie. It puts a spring in our step and a wag in our tail when we hear all of your wonderful stories, see all of the smiling faces and wagging tails, and listen proudly as you tell us about the best dog ever...yours. To each and every one of you, we give our sincerest, most heart-felt appreciation for all of your hard work. We are nothing without your support. Yasmin shows off her singing voice
("Moooooon Riiiiverrrr...wider than a mile...")
Speaking of your support... In our never-ending effort to get more organized, we got this crazy idea that we should reach out to all of our adopters and ask them to update their records. Have you moved since you adopted from us? Have you changed your dog's name? Do you have a new email address? Please take a few moments and fill out our form so that we can update your profile. It will only take a minute or two, which leaves plenty of time to get back into the kitchen before your Lab gets your dinner off the table. On second thought, maybe you'd better put your dinner back in the oven for a minute first...

And that wraps things up from our end of the yard. As always, we've buried a hundred bones in the dirt and now it's just a matter of finding them all. Stay tuned for more exciting adventures and events, including the raffle for a luxury suite during a Reds game at Great American Ballpark on June 17th, and look for us at the 9th Annual College Hill Pet Expo on May 21st, as well as the LaRosa's Balloon Glow event on July 3rd. But never fear - we always have time for a chat around the water bowl and we look forward to seeing you at one of our next awareness events. Take care, stay well and be good dogs.

A good life: Believe in what you do...and do it.


April, 2006

We're tearing up the dance floor now... We got the moves going on...
(Wells and Gatsby perform Shredded Bed Ballet)
Let's just be blunt: it's Spring and our Labradors are going bonkers! This evening brought a gorgeous sunset and a cool breeze from the north, which was more than enough to awaken our herd from their winter-induced slumber. First, it was a stick; the greatest and most glorious stick these dogs have ever seen and the object of all their undivided attention. Next, it was an exposed root in the yard; the most spectacular and captivating exposed root these dogs have ever seen and the new object of all their undivided attention. Suddenly, there appeared another stick; behold the majestic and most magnificent stick these dogs have ever seen...ergonomically perfect for carrying in ones Labradorian mouth while locking a target on their owner's exposed kneecap. Ah, Spring...how I've missed thee.
But speaking of Spring and dogs, it's time for the 3rd Annual "Benken’s is Going to the Dogs" Plant and Gift Sale Day! We look forward to this event every year and are always touched by the generosity of the wonderful folks at Benken's. For those who are not familiar with the event, it's pretty simple: you go to Benken's, you shop for plants, flowers, dirt, mulch, lawn ornaments, Mother's Day gifts, and whatever else you might find in a Greenhouse and/or Florist, then you mention you are shopping for Labrador Retriever Rescue of Cincinnati while you are checking out. That's it! In return, Benken's will donate 20% of your total purchase to the care and feeding of our Labs. And this year, we've even added some new perks for our loyal supporters:
  • Bring your dog while you shop and we’ll dog sit for you!
  • Say you’re shopping for the dogs and receive a free goodie bag!
  • Enter the raffle to win a GIANT CRATE full of everything a dog needs, including a dog bed, bowls, a leash, collar, toys, food, and gift certificates for grooming and boarding. This prize is valued at over $500, but you can enter to win by just purchasing a $5.00 raffle ticket (or $20.00 for five raffle tickets).
  • You can also enter the raffle to win a large, flowering, hanging basket.
If you can not join us on Friday, April 28th, we are accepting orders for gift certificates. Just send us email with the important information (name, address, phone number, the number of gift certificates, and in what dollar amount) and we'll mail them to you after the event. For additional information, a map to Benken's, or to download the official event flyer (perfect for distribution to all of your friends, family and co-workers), visit the Events section. This event is an easy way to help us raise money just by doing your regular Springtime shopping!

Speaking of shopping... Over the past few weeks, we've been test-driving an online charity site by the name of iGive.com. Since launching in 1997, iGive.com shoppers have raised almost two million dollars ($2,000,000) for their favorite causes just by shopping via the iGive.com storefront. Labrador Retriever Rescue of Cincinnati is now enrolled in the program, which means a portion of your online purchase can now be donated to our rescue automatically. All you need to do is visit iGive.com, create your free, private iGive.com account, then designate Labrador Retriever Rescue of Cincinnati as your charity of choice. Just be sure to start your online shopping in the Mall at iGive.com, or download their iGive.com shopping window. That is the only trick: if you do not first log in to iGive, no proceeds are donated. But if you do create an account and log in before you shop, at no additional cost to you, up to 30% of your online purchase is donated to our rescue. For more information, visit our "How You Can Help" section, or iGive.com.

As you can see, things around here are busy and we are jealous at the boundless energy displayed by our Labradors. (Of course, if we had the ability to sleep for 20 hours a day...) Stay well and we hope to see you at Benken's on Friday, April 28th! Until then, "GOOD DOG!!!"

March, 2006

Top o'the Spring to you and greetings from the Lads and Lassies of LRRoC! This month's update is a wee bit late, as our biscuits are burning because we've been so busy answering your inquiries and processing your applications. Plus, our Labradorian Paddy Wagons have been on the road transporting our dogs to some of the local awareness events. But fear not, fair Irish maidens and...um...non-maidens, we wouldn't think about letting an entire month go by without an update. It was only a matter of time before our trusty Webmaster poured a pint and pulled up a blarney stone before taking this opportunity to publicly answer some of your most commonly-asked questions. Sláinte! There had better be a giant box of biscuits at the end of this rainbow!
("Oh, when the Labs...go marching in...")
Q. It's Springtime. When is the next Plant sale day at Benken's?
A. We just confirmed the date! Mark your calendar for April 28th and watch the events section over the next few weeks for more information.

Q. I'm interested in one of your Labradoodles. How often do they come into your rescue? Do they shed?
A. We do, on occassion, take in Lab/Poodle mixes. Each time we do, they attract an enormous amount of attention because of the misconception they do not shed. Without engaging in a debate with the Labradoodle community, we will simply state that in our experience, the majority shed and it is by pure coincidence that some do not. If you are primarily interested in a dog with minimal to no shedding, we suggest you invest your time and care in a full-blooded standard poodle, or one of the hairless breeds. To our knowledge, there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog. Any dog that goes outside will pick up common allergens, such as pollen, ragweed, molds, and dust. Further, allergies associated with pet dander have nothing to do with the dog or the dog hair, as dander is the dry skin that flakes off, floats through the air and induces the classic signs of allergy. So, instead of looking for a specific breed, spend some time around dogs to see if/how it affects your allergies.

Q. Why do you suddenly have golden retrievers in your rescue?
A. A few months ago, we joined forces with a long-time friend who works rescuing Golden Retrievers. We are pleased to be a safe haven for these wonderful dogs and they are a perfect accompaniment for our Labradors.

Q. Did I see you in the St. Patrick's Day parade in downtown Cincinnati?
A. Yep - you sure did. And a special thank you to to all of our volunteers who braved the weather and wrangled in the Labradors, as well as all of the wonderful spectators who made our dogs feel so welcome! We also thank the Cincinnati Enquirer for mentioning us in their March 13th article about animal shelters.

Q. How are Drake, André and Bruno?
A. Drake is a kind, gentle and wonderful soul. He is currently enjoying all the perks of foster care, including good food, companion dogs and a spot on the couch. Hopefully, he has a short-term memory and will live his remaining years forgetting about his previous life. As for André, he is very endearing and a major attention hog. Extremely eager to please, he will happily accept any and all affection you wish to pass along. André's cruciate ligament surgery is complete, though our orthopedic surgeon is not convinced he will need hip replacement, as many large breed dogs do very well with his level of hip dysplasia. Once André's knee is completely healed in a few months, he will be re-evaluated. In the meantime, André is no longer on pain medication and can often be found lounging behind the receptionist desk at the hospital. Bruno is simply amazing. After suffering through an amputation, this happy, bouncing youngster tears around on three legs like he never had a fourth. While he still faces many months of rehab, his temperament and disposition are nothing less than inspiring. In the meantime, you can help us recover some of the costs of their treatment by making a tax-deductable donation via PayPal. Simply click the "Make a Donation" button above and we will send you a receipt, along with our most heartfelt thanks!

Q. How can I foster a dog?
A. We love getting our dogs out of the kennel and into foster homes! If you are interested in fostering, please visit the "How to Foster" section, then fill out and submit an application. With over 40 dogs in our rescue and very limited kennel space, we are always in desperate need of foster families.

Q. We sent email last week, but haven't heard back from you yet.
A. Ummm....yeah - sorry about that. Once you submit your application, a volunteer will call or email to let you know the status. This may take up to 7-10 days, as we receive a number of applications each day and it takes time to thoroughly review each one. Plus, please remember that we are 100% an all-volunteer organization, which means everyone at the rescue has a full-time career that sometimes interferes with our volunteer efforts.

That about wraps it up for now. Tune in next month for another exciting episode of "As the Biscuit Turns". In the meantime:

      May the Irish hills caress you.
      May her lakes and rivers bless you.
      May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
      May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.


February, 2006

Oh, Magic Portal of Delicious Table Scraps...
(But you promised I could lick the bowl!)
To our dogs, the dishwasher is a magical portal to another world; one of a veritable overabundance of smells and tastes they are simply powerless to resist. No matter how many times they are told no, squirted with water, or simply allowed to have their heads in the line of fire when the door is closed, they just can't get enough of that dishwashing stuff! This got me to wondering how toxic our particular brand of dishwashing detergent is to our herd of Labradors. We are well aware that even a small dose of antifreeze/coolant is lethal to animals. Mothballs, potpourri oils, coffee grounds, homemade play dough, fabric softener sheets, chocolate, raisins, batteries, cigarettes, alcoholic drinks, pennies, and hand and foot warmers are also hazardous to your pet's health. Same goes for most painkillers, cold medicines, antidepressants, vitamins and diet pills. But what about dishwasher detergent?
Some simple internet searches revealed a number of folks who recommend using dish detergent to remove paint, tar, pine sap or other sticky substances caught in the pet's fur. This is usually done as a "pre-treating" measure before a bath. Frequent use, however, will dry out the skin, depleting healthy oils from the coat and leading to scratching and irritation. Other people have better luck with trying to soften and remove the stickiness with petroleum jelly, or by soaking the area with vegetable oil or mineral oil for 24 hours. But again, nothing about what happens when your dog is attracted to the lemon fresh scent of the dishwasher detergent and decides to lap up a mouthful.

Next, I came across a number of sites that provide a recipe for keeping your pets away from your plants. Apparently, mixing one blenderized hot pepper, one teaspoon of dishwashing detergent and one quart of water, then straining and spraying this concoction on the plant leaves is an effective deterrent. My guess is this mixture will prevent them from eating said plants because of the smell and taste (unless your dog loves Mexican food, in which case you undoubtedly have bigger problems to clean up). I will also guess this recipe will not be effective against our particular pack of pesky Labradors, as they much prefer digging the plants up to actually eating them. Once again, nothing that discusses the relative toxicity of dishwashing detergent.

Finally, I looked up the individual ingredients of Cascade with Sheeting Action: fragrance/perfume, Sodium Sulfate Anhydrous, Sodium Silicates, Complex Sodium Phosphates/Sodium Carbonate... And while that basically sounds like it's nothing more than an awful lot of salt, there has to be something in this stuff that is not good to eat, otherwise we would see detergent show up in the proverbial Food Pyramid - right?

Of course, all I really need to know is on the warning label: If swallowed, give a glassful of water or milk. Call a physician. In case of eye contact, flush with water. Ingestion: May cause transient, moderate gastrointestinal irritation and may result in vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.

Bottom Line: The best course of action is to continue trying to keep their noses out of the dishwasher, even though the leftover food bits are just too enticing for their lack of self-restraint. If they do happen to discover the citrus-scented wonderfulness of the detergent compartment, however, don't panic. Call your vet. Heck, one of our dogs eats the poop in the back yard, which can't be any worse (not her own poop, of course, because that would be gross)...

January, 2006

As most of you know, a very generous benefactor offered to match any and all funds we received at the rescue through the month of December. This included adoption fees, as well as any additional donations from individuals or company matches. You may also recall us mentioning the astronomical vet bill we racked up in 2005. At this time, we are positively thrilled to announce that with your thoughtfulness, generosity and unwavering support, we paid our entire vet bill and began 2006 with a zero balance! Yes, that is correct - in less than one month, we went from having a five-figure veterinary bill to a zero balance...and we owe it to all of those kind-hearted folks who answered our plea and made a donation last month. Your contributions ensure that we are able to keep our doors open for yet another year of uniting our Labradors with their new forever homes. And once again, we assure you that your donations are tax-deductable and that 100% of the money goes only towards the care and feeding of our Labradors in the shelter (even the cost of the thank you note you will receive in the mail and its corresponding postage was donated separately). We take what we do very seriously and want everyone to know their donations are used only for the Labradors. With teeth like these, who needs opposable thumbs?
(Our resident Webmaster opens one of the
countless numbers of letters we received in December)
Once again, we surpassed our previous year's adoption total by finding homes for over 200 Labradors in 2005. This means we have placed over 600 dogs since the rescue's inception in 2002. And while there is still much work to be done, there is at least some comfort to be had in knowing we've given that many dogs a second chance in life.

We are hopeful of doing great things in 2006! There are several events in the works, including a dog wash and a fundraising event at a dog spa, another booth at the Pet Expo in Washington Court House, our annual plant sale day at Benken's, another "Love Your Lab" night, the annual Hot Dog Parade, and a host of other informational social gatherings around Cincinnati. Plus, more shirts and bumper stickers are on the way...and we have a few other surprises under our collars. There is much to be done this year, but we are embracing our challenges with a renewed vigor, a sense of accomplishment, and a bit more wag in our tails.

Speaking of which, it's time to feed the herd. Then again, if it were up to them, it would always be time to feed the herd (...and for the record, anyone who thinks dogs can't count should try putting three biscuits in a pocket, and then give the dog only two). That also means it is time to say adios for this month. But don't think you will escape without another round of thank yous to all of our adopters, volunteers, foster families, and friends that provide the ideas, inspiration and support that keep us going day after day. Some people ask why we do what we do. Some people wonder why we spend so much time and energy helping Labradors when there are so many people in need of aid. Some people eat those orange, peanut-shaped marshmallows on their ice cream and wash it down with Tab cola...but who are we to judge? We are not in the "business" of Rescue; there is no such thing. We are not in this for the money or the recognition. We are in the business of saving lives. We are in the business of helping to create families. We are in the business of showing people how much love, affection and happiness a rescued dog can bring into your life. As Roger Caras once said, "Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."

We wish you and yours all of the best in this coming year. You are all good dogs!


December, 2005

Wolfgang says, 'I need 
more roasted chestnuts...STAT!'
(Feliz Navidog!)
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
No creatures were stirring, the Labs asleep on the couch;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
Yet still they attracted the Labrador hair.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While a handful of puppies slept right on their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my mocs,
Searched endlessly through the house for my missing socks;
When out on the lawn I saw by the fence,
A pile of socks with fresh teeth marks in them!

Forgive us if we get a little sentimental around the holiday season, but as 2005 comes to a close, we tend to reflect on the year that was and all of the wonderful people that help us keep our doors open.

We just hosted our second annual Pictures with Santa event and the turn-out was well beyond what we ever imagined! Once again, over 50 people stopped by to say hello and have their pet's picture taken with some big guy in a red suit. There simply aren't enough words to thank you all for your participation and support. We hope you like your photos and we've posted them for all to see.

Last season, we shared Ruth Ginzberg's article entitled "No Christmas Puppies, Please!", compliments of the kind folks at PetRescue.com. If you are short on time, we also recommend this brief article from the December 6th, 2004 issue of Newsweek, which makes some important points in about six lines. 'Tis the time of year wherein we receive countless inquiries from folks who want to surprise their loved ones with a puppy for Christmas. And while we do not mean to sound harsh or preachy about this particular issue, our busiest time of the year is in the late Spring/early Summer when we start taking in all of the discarded Christmas puppies that are turning into adolescent dogs...and are therefore no longer wanted. Sadly and despite best efforts and intentions, it happens every year. Puppies just require an inordinate amount of attention and care, which most people do not realize until they experience it first-hand.

Plus, so much of what we do is about finding the right match. It isn't about "getting you a dog", but rather matching one of our Labradors to your personality and lifestyle so that you have a new member of your family. Instead of surprising someone with a new puppy for Christmas, we suggest wrapping a collar, leash, and a food bowl, and then venturing to pick up your new pet as a family. If everybody chooses the pet together, you dramatically increase your chances of finding a dog that fits your temperament. And that, of course, is what we're all about!

While there is always a demand for puppies, that is unfortuantely not the case for many of our older residents. We currently have a handful of very kind and gentle senior Labradors that are in desperate need of a retirement home. These ready-made pets still have plenty of good, lively years ahead of them and do not deserve to live them in a kennel. If you are interested in adopting one of these friendly, loving, elder statesmen, simply complete an application under the "How to Adopt" section.

And for those of you not ready to adopt, we are in desperate need of foster families for over the holidays. Fostering a Labrador is a great way for you to get that "dog fix", plus it does wonders for the temperament of the Labrador by simply getting it out of the kennel for a few days. If you are interested in fostering one of our Labs, simply complete an application under the "How to Foster" section. While it may not seem like much to foster one of our Labradors for even just a few days, it is a wonderful experience for the Labbies and a tremendous help to us.

That's going to wrap things up for now, as we have applications to process and appointments to schedule. A few months ago, we were on pace to adopt 168 Labradors into new homes this year. With our next few adoptions, however, we will actually surpass 200. Yes, you read that correctly: 200. We look at that number and just shake our heads with bittersweet amazement. From one perspective, over 200 Labradors were displaced from their homes and brought through our doors at the Rescue. From another, more positive perspective, we saved over 200 lives and created countless numbers of families along the way. We prefer to focus on the optimistic and benevolent aspects of Rescue because that is what makes the rest of it tolerable...especially at the end of each month when we receive our unbelievably high vet bills.

And I wish I were exaggerating about the size of those bills, but I'm not. They're big. As in five figures big. As in you could buy over 500 sets of Ginsu Knives with what we owe in vet bills. So, instead of buying someone that fruitcake for Christmas (which, for the record, nobody wants), why not make a tax-deductible donation the the Rescue? Just click the "Make a Donation" button above and follow the instructions from PayPal. It's fast, easy, and always the right size, so you won't have to stand in line to return anything!

That's all for this month. From everybody here at Labrador Retriever Rescue of Cincinnati, we wish you and yours all the very best for a safe and happy howliday season.

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!

November, 2005

Studies have shown that people with pets have lower stress levels and are better able to cope with loneliness. In the "Ten Ways to Live Longer" article from Forbes.com (March, 2005), "Get a pet" was listed at number four. According to Forbes:
People who own pets, especially dogs, have been shown to be less stressed and require fewer visits to their physicians than non-owners. Survival rates for heart attack victims who had a pet have been shown to be 12% longer than for those who did not have one, according to one of the first studies dealing with the impact pets can have on our health, led by researcher Erica Friedmann. Pet owners have also been shown to have lower blood pressure. The reasons for these findings are most likely related to an array of psychological factors, such as the facts that owning a pet decreases loneliness and depression, encourages laughter and nurturing, and stimulates exercise.
Watch Wren and Wembley wrestle in the wild!
("Hay! We're supposed to be rolling in hay!"
"Um, no way man...but hold still while I engulf you
in this fortune of freshly-fallen foliage!")
In related studies, people who own Labradors consistently have fewer crumbs on their kitchen floors and are able to sleep in extremely contorted positions in order to give their Labs more room on the bed. Not all of these studies are overly scientific, of course, and many of the Labradors involved declined to comment on the grounds they would have to remove themselves from the couch to participate, but let's just say the "five second rule" does not apply in our house. In fact, most of the time the food never actually reaches the floor... Anyway, there you have it: dogs are good for you! Plus, they have a relatively low Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), especially when compared to -- say -- vegetables, of which you're supposed to eat 3-5 servings every day. And no, the pickle on a Big Mac doesn't count!

As you may know, Petfinder.com celebrates November as Adopt-a-Senior-Pet Month and reminds adopters that mature animals are calm, well-behaved, and often already trained. They are ready-made family members just waiting for a home to call their own. Please consider an older animal for your next companion! Additionally, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) commemorates November 6–12 as "National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week 2005". For one week out of the year, community members, animal lovers, and grateful pet guardians come together to celebrate their local shelter. National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week is the perfect time to recognize the organization dedicated to animals in your community. Here are ten ways to show shelters you care this week...and throughout the year.

With that in mind, the holiday season is almost upon us...and this is when we really need volunteers to help by fostering our Labradors. The kennels fill up quickly as travelers board their dogs and many of our Labs end up crated in the Doggie Day Care facility. While this is certainly better than roaming the streets, the ideal situation is to get the Labs into temporary homes for the holidays. If you have ever considered adopting or fostering, this is the perfect opportunity! Simply fill out and return an application from the How to Foster section, then one of our volunteers will get back with you within a few days. Just keeping a Lab for a weekend is a wonderful experience for the Labbies and a tremendous help to us.

Also, as 2005 turns into the home stretch, many people are looking for opportunities to make tax deductions. Labrador Retriever Rescue of Cincinnati is an non-profit, all-volunteer, 501(c)3 organization and your tax-deductible gift is what allows us to continue our rescue work. In addition to the daily care and feeding of the Labradors in rescue, our donors and sponsors have allowed us to:

  • Perform a complete hip replacement for Daisy B.
  • Undertake reconstructive/orthapedic surguries for BooBoo, Indy and Meadow.
  • Send volunteers and supplies on four different trips to New Orleans for hurricane relief.
  • Rescue over 125 dogs from shelters across the country, including over 35 dogs from two puppy mills in Missouri.
...and that's just what we came up with off the top of our heads. But all of that work comes with a price tag and we are, as usual- well, let's just say it will take a fairly significant miracle to even come close to covering this year's operating costs. If you wish to help us pursue that miracle, however, please click the "Make a Donation" button above and pass along your tax-deductible contribution.

From the "My How We've Grown" department... On October 30th, 2004, there were 15 Labradors in our resuce. As of this writing, there are almost 50. Last year, we rescued and adopted 164 Labradors. This year, we are on pace to break the 200 mark. That means in less than five years, Labrador Retriever Rescue of Cincinnati will have rescued and placed over 600 Labs. And oddly enough, we're not exhausted yet! We are lucky enough to have a wonderful group of volunteers and past adopters that always amaze us with their commitment, persistence and generosity. We certainly could not do this without you, nor can we ever thank you enough for your help.

Finally, it's time to start gearing up for our annual Pictures with Santa. While the exact date has not yet been decided, keep checking the Events section for additional information and updates. You can also view pictures and the flyer from last year's event. Stay tuned!

And with that, we must tend to the Labradorian herd staring rather impatiently at the magical closet door. You see, behind the magical closet door resides the Kingdom of Iams; the Bringers of Nourishment and (Temporary) Satisfactors of Appetites. So, from all of us here at the Rescue, we bid you "Good dog!"


October, 2005

(In like a lion, out like a Lab?)
For the first time since April, there is a pot of tea brewing on the stove. There are leaves in the gutters. Our beautiful flowers are beginning to fade and wither. We've had to put on sweatshirts when taking the girls outside in the late evening. There seem to be more sticks in the yard...which are inevitably carried onto the deck for us to trip over. The man on television is predicting when the first flakes of snow will descend upon the Ohio Valley and storefronts are already littered with Christmas displays. Yes, it's true: the Summer winds are shifting and Fall is upon us. Of course, we knew this was coming a few weeks ago when the piles of dog hair in our house began growing and multiplying more rapidly. Fall hath no better barometer than the blowing coat of the Labrador.
We are finally getting caught up with our backlog of applications. If you submitted yours and have not yet heard from anyone at the rescue, please send an email to rescuealab@fuse.net and ask for an update. While we do our best to respond to you within 7-10 days, we are a little short-handed at the moment with our volunteers heading back and forth to New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana with 140mph winds on August 28th, 2005. Almost two full months later, we are still finding survivors and working with the National Guard to rescue them. A tremendously heartfelt thank you goes out to everyone that supported our efforts by way of donations, supplies, clothing, and endless moral support. Rest well knowing that you've given many animals a second chance at life.

It is easy to get swept away by the currents in life. Too often we lose our perspective on what is important, and instead exhaust ourselves by swimming in the details. Each time we receive email from somebody that objects to our policies and procedures, they act as if this is the first time anyone has ever made that particular complaint. But for every scolding, there are many more songs of praise from people that do not try to understand what we do, but rather just thank us for trying to accomplish what we all know is impossible. As the saying goes: if we do not try, we have already failed.

Stepping down from the soapbox, we are thrilled to announce the winner of our first-ever iPod Mini raffle...Paul V. of Illinois! The generous folks at Midwest Promotional Group bought many of the tickets and we send a very special tail wag out to John, our tireless volunteer in Chicago, who pretty much ran the raffle himself. We also want to thank Keith, Jackie, Jill, Thadd, and everyone else who sold tickets to their friends and family. All told, we raised over $400 for the care and feeding of our Labradors...and now it's time to start planning our next fundraiser. Pulling the name out of the hat
But for now, we can tell by the waning sunlight that it's time to pack things up and head into the evening. Or, maybe it's the four sets of eyes that are intently staring at us with the oh-so-subtle reminder that their food bowls must be filled. And since we learned long ago that you do not come between a Labrador and their favorite pastime (eating), we bid you good evening, good summer, and good dog. Stay well and we hope to see you soon.

September, 2005

Sorrow and scarlet leaf,
Sad thoughts and sunny weather.
Ah me, this glory and this grief
Agree not well together!
    - Thomas Parsons, 1880, A Song For September

For the past few weeks, our phones rattled and our mailboxes filled with folks wondering if we are helping with the hurricane Katrina relief efforts. The answer is yes. In fact, several of our wonderful volunteers are already in the thick of it. While we try not to mention our volunteers by name, as someone's efforts are invariably not recognized appropriately, we have to send a special thanks to Don for his work with organizations to bring 30 dogs into the Cincinnati area. Don met a transport that delivered over 150 animals from Louisiana to Indiana and, thanks to the selfless efforts of Don and these other rescues, all of those dogs were adopted.

A Walk Along the River...
(Garrett is a LRROC graduate and a certified therapy Lab)
Additionally, Eastgate Animal Hospital and Labrador Retriever Rescue of Cincinnati sent a shipment of medicine, food and other items to the Gulf Cost area to help with the ongoing relief effort. We also have two volunteers travelling to Mississippi with the League for Animal Welfare with needed supplies and to transport dogs back to the Ohio Valley. While our rescue is just one grain in a tremendous outpouring of support, we are doing everything we can to help.

As for whether or not Labrador Retriever Rescue of Cincinnati will have any of these animals available for adoption, we can not say at this point. In fact, we are experiencing a very interesting development as a result of the hurricane. Numerous rescues are declining to take in any dogs in need from our area because they are waiting for dogs coming from the South. Also, many people are writing to us wanting to adopt a "Katrina dog" and won't consider any other animal. As a result, we are taking in 17 perfectly happy, healthy Labradors from other shelters this week alone because these animals will be destroyed to make room for "Katrina Dogs". Yes, you read the number correctly...17. If someone you know is looking to add a Labrador to their family, please urge to consider adopting or fostering a dog even if it isn't a "Katrina Dog". Any dog that is adopted from a shelter or rescue makes room for another; does it really matter where the dog came from? We are doing our best to help with this horrible situation as well as care for the animals we already have. Dogs that are adopted from our rescue make room for others to come in, which ultimately saves another life. Whether they come from the South, North, East, or West, all of these animals need homes.

The shelters we are working with are most in need of financial support. While it is not as "glamorous", please consider making a financial donation. You can make a PayPal donation to Labrador Retriever Rescue of Cincinnati by clicking the "Make a Donation" link above, or send a check payable to The League for Animal Welfare, PO Box 30229, Cincinnati OH, 45230. As always, 100% of your donation is tax-deductable and goes only towards the care and feeding of our animals.

And I went and did it after telling myself I wasn't going to...used the entire September update to soapbox about Hurricane Katrina and the importance of helping these animals displaced by the disaster. Everywhere you look, someone is organizing a relief effort. Just today, six different people approached me from six different organizations collecting money and supplies. These efforts are all-encompassing. These efforts are non-discriminate. These efforts are exhausting and can feel oppressive. But resist the urge to turn away. You can and will make a difference in someone's life... and that reaches far beyond any number of dollar signs.


August, 2005

Lab Shark
(Have we ever mentioned that Labs love water?)
Hello, everyone! Sorry I'm a little late with the August update. Too many places to go, things to see, tails to wag, butts to sniff...strictly speaking about our Labradors, of course. As Francis Bacon, the great English Renaissance man of letters, aptly observed, "Every wind has its weather", and we're hoping this relentless heat of late brings some much-needed rain to the Ohio Valley. In the meantime, try to limit how much time your pets stay outdoors and make sure to provide plenty of cool, fresh water. Most Labradors also enjoy ice cubes in their water dish, which makes for cheap entertainment. Labradors are also susceptible to heat stroke and generally will not show any signs of fatigue until it is too late, so keep an eye on their activity levels when they are outside.
During the first week in August, we set a few new records at the Rescue. First of all, we adopted eight dogs in a single day and fifteen over a two-week span. Secondly, we celebrated our 500th adoption since 2002; that's an average of 167 dogs a year with five months left to go in 2005. And how did we celebrate, you ask? No, we did not receive a set of steak knives that will cut through a can of dog food (which everyone needs), nor did we receive a special Presidential invitation to the White House garden for any of our Labradors. Instead, we celebrated in typical fashion: rescued five more dogs. The Dictionary defines "obsessive" as a "Compulsive preoccupation with a fixed idea", though we prefer the term "passionate".

In other news, we are selling raffle tickets to win the must have item of the Summer...an iPod Mini! That's right, folks! For just $5.00 a ticket, you can enter to win your very own iPod - the perfect companion for those early morning and late evening walks around the neighborhood with your faithful Labrador companion! pretty Minis!
To enter, simply click on the "Make a Donation" icon and follow the instructions. During the checkout process, let us know how many tickets you wish to purchase by entering the number in the "Additional Comments?" field. You do not need a PayPal account for this transaction, as you can simply use your credit card. For those of you who prefer the old fashioned way, feel free to put a check in the mail and let us know how many tickets you desire. (This is our first crack at an online raffle, so please be patient with us as we work out some of the kinks.) As always, 100% of your donation is tax-deductible and goes ONLY to the care and feeding of our Labradors.

That's all for now, as I have to head out back and water the dogs. Take care, stay cool and we hope to see you soon!

July, 2005

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Labradors are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Labrador Rescues are instituted among People, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Life Standard becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new Standard of Living, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

What is 'four score and seven years ago' in dog years?
("Oh say can you see, a box of biscuits for me...")
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that Labradors are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Labradors; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Standards of Sanctuarial Comfort.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the Labrador Retriever Rescue of Cincinnati, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good Labradors in our Rescue, solemnly publish and declare, That these Labradors are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent animals; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the their Previous Owners, and that all ill-treated connections between them and their Prior Owners, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent Labradors, they have full Power to levy Food, conclude Peace, contract Toys, establish nestation on assorted varieties of furniture, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent Labradors may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


June, 2005

Labs need water to grow, too!
(In Germany, they call this "Labrahosen")
Sorry, folks - the June update is a bit late. The Gods and Monsters of modern technology refused to cooperate and demanded reverence, but contentment ensued and all is now quiet throughout the land...except, of course, in the backyard where three Labradors are attempting to re-enact the Trojan War. Since the actual Helen, daughter of Zeus and Leda, is obviously not available, her role in the battle has been replaced by a tennis ball. After all, even though there are four other tennis balls in the yard, whichever one is in a Labrador's mouth is the tennis ball, and therefore the one everyone must have.

And while the fencing is not nearly as tall as the walls of Troy, it is tall enough to keep the rampaging Labradors out of the flower beds. Makes you wonder if the Greeks had built a Trojan Labrador...never mind...moving on...

Fast forwarding from the earliest days of civilization to May of 2005, everything at the rescue is in full swing. So many of you opened your hearts and homes over Memorial Day weekend to foster a Labrador, which helped us reduce the number in rescue to only 13! Others could not foster, but instead made a donation to help care for those Labs who stayed in the kennel. The outpouring of passion and assistance we receive from our past adopters and volunteers never ceases to amaze us. Each day, we are surprised at how many of you are willing to share in the madness that is Lab rescue.

Speaking of which, while we try not to mention our volunteers by name, as somebody is invariably and inadvertently left out, we need to once again send a special bark out to John. He is one of our previous adopters and our absolutely wonderful "secret partner" in Chicago, who endured an entire weekend of sore hands after putting together a care package full of buttons, magnets and key rings. These items will be available for purchase at the rescue, along with our t-shirts, sweatshirts, bandanas, and other assorted goodies from the LabraStore. Wristbands and jewelry are on the way and we have some other fundraising items in the works. And remember - anything you purchase from the rescue is a tax-deductible donation, as we are a 501(c)3 organization and 100% of any money raised goes to the care-and-feeding of the Labradors.

And that about wraps things up for now. There is a bed full of Labradors that must be displaced in order to make room for us humans, and one in particular whose face is preparing to lunch on a thousand chips. Behold! The great, black, Labradorian Dorito Hunter is ready to strike. We must make haste and spare the fair Lady of Lay's. After all, she is the nacho cheesiest in all the land.

Stay well and we hope to see you soon!

May, 2005

Some folks say that life is like a roller coaster: sometimes it goes up and sometimes you are upside down, but if you hang on tight, it eventually brings you home. Even with the less-than-ideal weather, our 2nd Annual sales day at H.J. Benkens was a success. We topped last year's numbers and generated a ton of interest for both Benkens and our rescue. Our sincerest thanks go out to all of our volunteers who spent their day manning the booth and transporting dogs back and forth (and special props to John for the piles of roast beef sandwiches), and to the wonderful staff at Benkens who graciously gave us a place to set up shop and merely smiled at us when one of the notoriously destructive Labrador tails knocked over a rather expensive birdbath (once again, Pollyana offers her humblest apologies on behalf of her tail). A thousand thank yous to everyone who helped make the day such a success! Don't let the frown fool you -  Motti really is an extremely happy Lab
(So, this Labrador walks into a bar and the
bartender says, "Hey, why the long face?")
But with every peak there is a valley and, as most of you know, we are slowly crawling up the next hill after helping rescue all of those dogs in Anderson Township. Our only solace is that we at least gave these dogs more of a chance than they had in their previous living conditions. No dog should spend its life living under a rusting semi. As for everything else...everything is under control and we will not comment any further because the investigation is still open. This has been an extremely difficult and emotionally draining experience for everyone involved, especially for those volunteers who crawled through incomprehensible debris in order to catch these dogs. Our comfort comes from from the outpouring of support and compassion from all of you that have sent email and donations. Thank you so much for your reassurance that we did the right thing. Your words of encouragement are truly touching and help to keep our spirits up. And for that, we thank you from the points of our ears to the tips of our tails.

Our next big hurdle is Memorial Day, which is coming up fast. We need to get some of these Labbie butts out of our kennels and into foster care for the weekend of May 29th, so we are sending barks out to anyone interested in fostering over that weekend. All you have to do is visit our How to Foster section and fill out an application, then one of our volunteers will get in touch with you. As many of you know, fostering is a great way to spend some quality time with one of our Labradors without having to adopt, though the charming persona of the Lab is difficult to resist and many of our foster families end up adopting. As the saying goes, "Labs are like potato chips - you can never have just one."

For now, there are a number of short, furry legs that are anxious to be taken for a walk around the neighborhood. And since we are outnumbered by a factor of ten, we need to oblidge. So with that, I'm off - leash and baggies in hand, with a spring in my step, a song in my head, and twelve legs pulling me along for the ride. And eventually, we'll all come home again.


April, 2005

Places to go, things to see, 
butts to sniff...
(It's time to Spring into Lab Rescue!)
It's officially Spring, which means it's time to uncover the grill, dust off the lawn furniture, and watch as all of your grass and flowers begin to bloom. And what goes great with flowers? More flowers, of course! And what goes great with more flowers? Your very own Labrador Retriever! In case you didn't already know, Labradors make wonderful garden companions. They love water. They love dirt. They love to chew on those plastic plant trays and containers. And if you ask them nicely, they may just help you dig a hole or two, provided they can fit it into their busy schedules (after all, there are only so many hours in a day for napping).
With the Spring gardening season upon us, we are thrilled to announce the second annual Benken's event on Friday, April 29th, 2005. For any purchase made on that day, the wonderful people at H.J. Benken will donate a portion each sale to our Rescue. Those of you who joined us last year know that, despite the rainy weather, we had an unbelievable day. In addition to raising awareness for both the Rescue and the extraordinarily generous folks at H.J. Benken Florist and Greenhouse, we enjoyed the highest-grossing fundraising day in over 60 years of Benken's history!

The flyers and handouts are ready for distribution and posted under the Events section. Feel free to download and disburse them to all of your friends, relatives, co-workers, neighbors, church groups, media outlets, roommates, car pool partners, bowling teams, poker buddies, that creepy guy on the streetcorner that waves and smiles at you emphatically every morning even though you have no idea who he is...pass the news along to everybody! And even if you don't garden, but you know somebody who does, Benken's has gift certificates for sale that can be used towards any purchase...and they will still donate a portion of those proceeds to the Rescue.

Above all else, this is a really fun day for us. In addition to being Labrador lovers (they have three of their own), the Benken family is extremely welcoming and knowledgable, and their greenhouse is one of the most beautiful and unique places in the city. There are over 30 acres of plants, flowers, shrubs, trees, and other assorted nursery items. Plus, we will be manning our booth with some Labrador ambassadors that are up for adoption. While we do not allow on-site adoptions, all eight of the dogs we had with us last year were adopted within weeks of the event. This is a great opportunity to stop by, say hello, pat all of us on the head, and experience the joy and beauty that flowers, plants and rescued Labradors can bring to your lives! More information will be posted soon to the Events section. In the meantime, feel free to contact us with any questions or comments you may have, or if you are interested in helping out.

For now, if you will excuse us, we need to remove a few Labradors from our portion of the bed and call it a night. But first, we once again need to thank all of the folks who helped clear some kennel space over Easter by temporarily fostering some Labradors. And we are especially grateful to those who took on multiple fosters (especially the puppies)....and we know your lives may never be the same again. So unto all of our volunteers, sponsors, donors, adopters, and everyone else that goes above and beyond to help us keep our doors open, we salute you with a hearty, heartfelt  WOOF! (Good speak!)

See you on Friday, April 29th!

March, 2005

Give us your poor, your tired, your huddled masses longing to be free, your shedders, your diggers, your biters, your Labradors that are "too affectionate", or who "can not move with you to a new home", or who you "don't have time for" any longer... We've never been able to quite figure out why Spring is our busiest take-in season, but this year is no exception. Just a few weeks ago, we were breathing a sigh of relative relief, as the number of dogs in our Rescue was down below 30. But faster than you can say "litter of chocolate puppies", that number is up to a new record-high and we find ourselves scrambling to find foster homes. If you are thinking about adopting a Labrador, but just aren't sure for whatever reason, fostering is a great opportunity to get one of these wonderful companions out of their cage and into a home. Simply fill out the application available in our new How to Foster section and one of our volunteers will get in touch with you. Yes, Pyxie is fully aware of 
just how adorable she is.
(I am the all-knowing, Sage-like Labrador.
If you seek my infinite wisdom, please insert food.)
Speaking of volunteers, we are ever-amazed that other folks wish to take part in the relative madness that is Labrador Rescue. And while we try not to mention our volunteers by name because somebody is inevitably left out by accident, we do have to send a bark out to Don who sacrificed his time and his truck during a transport, as well as John in Chicago who put together an amazing promotional package for the Rescue, and -- as always -- the kind and patient folks at Eastgate Animal Hospital who allow us to keep parading the endless conga line of Labradors through their doorway. We say it over and over again, but the success of the Rescue depends on the time and support of our volunteers...and we can never thank all of you enough for everything that you do.

We are also excited to announce a new partnership with American K-9 Performance Academy, who specialize in obedience and personal protection training for your dog. This is different than the group training sessions you receive at some other facilities, as the trainers at K-9 work with you 1-on-1 for the lifetime of your dog. The trainers are passionate and extremely knowledgeable, and the training is treat-based and a positive learning experience for both you and your Labrador. But don't just take our word for it - sign up to see one of their FREE weekly Saturday demonstrations and be surprised at what your dog can do. Plus, tell them that Labrador Retriever Rescue of Cincinnati sent you and show them your adoption paperwork, and you will receive a discount on your training package.

Finally, a word about the application process, as a few folks have voiced their disappointment over being declined (which we certainly understand). We do not like declining applications, but it is sometimes necessary in order to ensure a safe and healthy living arrangement for our Labradors. Please do not take a declination personally, as some criteria is specific and non-negotiable. Oftentimes, if your application is declined at first, you may re-apply once the reason for decline is corrected and ultimately receive approval for adoption. We take a great deal of pride and put a great deal of effort into matching a Labrador to your lifestyle, which is why so few of our adoptions are unsuccessful. The application is only a small part of the process.

And that's the latest from Labrador Central. We're off to sort through the pile of incoming Labradors, of which we have far too many. Thankfully, however, we also have a stack of new applications that we are sorting through as well. With a little luck, we'll find some good matches and place one of these wonderful companions in their new forever home! See you soon...


February, 2005

All the cool kids have Lab Rescue t-shirts!
(Even Labradors love Yoga!
Garrett calls this pose "Tadasana Gimme-Bizkit")
Hello, everyone! I think I speak for all of us when I say we need to put a stop to that darn groundhog and his winter predictions. Based on the mud pit that has taken over the back yard and the muddy paw prints all over the floors, perhaps we should have taken a trip to Pennslyvania and bribed that glorified rat into not seeing his shadow. I wonder - do groundhogs eat dog biscuits?!

Anyway, in case you have not heard, the Labrador Retriever is the most popular purebred dog in America for the 15th consecutive year. This, according to registration figures released last month by the American Kennel Club (AKC). With 146,692 Labs registered in 2004, this is nearly three times as many dogs as any other breed. To further put this number in perspective, second place was the Golden Retriever...with 52,550. The AKC’s counterpart in the U.K., the Kennel Club, recently released their national statistics as well, which show that the Labrador Retriever also reigns in England. As in the U.S., there are almost three times as many Labs registered as any other breed. And these are just the dogs registered with the AKC and Kennel Club. These numbers do not account for backyard breeders and/or pet stores. Yikes...

Meanwhile, back at the Lab Ranch, what used to be our slow season is spinning at full speed! The new Adoption Application was posted just a few weeks ago and we have already received twice as many applications as we did this time last year. Luckily, we have a wonderful new group of victims- er, I mean, volunteers that are helping us dog paddle and stay afloat.

A new application for those who want to foster a Labrador is almost finished, as are the new forms for those wishing to surrender their Lab to our rescue. And stay tuned for a new FAQ section on the web site that will hopefully answer many of the questions we receive on a daily basis.

Some of you also noticed that we had to slightly increase our adoption rates in 2005. This is the first time we've had to raise the rates and a decision that we struggled with for months. But the rising costs of veterinary care made this a necessity so that we can keep our doors open. The adoption fees are still a tax-deductible donation and are still much lower than what we spend on the daily care and feeding of each dog. Plus, when you factor in that your Labrador will be up-to-date on all vaccinations and heartworm preventive, you are still getting a heck of a deal. We do not "sell" dogs. We are not in this for the money. We are in the business of saving lives. We are in the business of helping to create families. We are in the business of showing people how much love, affection and happiness a rescue dog can bring into your life.

And with that, we want to hear from you! If you have adopted from us in the past, let us know how your Labrador is doing. Send us photos, send us stories, and we'll post them on the web site. Also, let us know how we are doing. What do we do well? What could use some improvement? What types of fund-raising ideas do you have? Should we sell ball caps and t-shirts? Should we host bake sales or wine tastings? What would you like to see added to the web site? Send along your ideas and feedback to rescuealab@fuse.net.

That's all for now. Be sure to stop in and see us at the Fayette County Pet Expo on February 19th in Washington Courthouse. There will be games for children and adults, microchipping, "pet"icures (nail painting), freestyle dancing and obedience demonstrations, pet pictures, food, and lots of fun! See you there!

January, 2005

Happy New Year everybody! We hope you all had a safe and happy holiday season and that you face the new year with as much hope and optimism as we do. We also hope that you've realized how much joy and happiness a Labrador brings to your life and are anxious to adopt one from our rescue!

All shameless plugs aside, we have much to be thankful for as we begin 2005. Once again, we surpassed our previous year's adoption total by finding homes for over 160 Labradors in 2004. This means we have placed over 400 dogs since the rescue's inception in 2002. And while there is still much work to be done, there is at least some comfort to be had in knowing we've given that many dogs a second chance in life.

Of course, the first weeks of the new year are typically the busiest in terms of drop-offs...and this year is no exception. We already have 10-15 new dogs on

Anyone have the number for a good steam cleaner?
(Why sleep on the floor when
there is a perfectly good couch?)
our doorstep that are in need of shelter, so we are already up to our otter tails in profiles, evaluations and vet care. Why are there so many new dogs already? We stopped asking that question long ago, but we think it has something to do with Lunar something-or-others. Either that, or potted meat food products. After all, is there really a need for a potted meat food product? Have you ever taken a good look at the ingredients? Mechanically-separated chicken, beef tripe, beef hearts, partially de-fatted cooked pork fatty tissue...this stuff makes Spam look like Filet Mignon. Even our Labradors were skeptical when they happened across a can. But that's a story for another time...

Did you know that the state of Ohio now offers a specialty plate that will help raise funds for humane societies, rescue organizations, and veterinary associations? It's true! The plate costs $25 to motorists, then $15 of that fee goes into the Ohio Pet Fund. Once enough money is raised, The Fund will offer grant applications to organizations such as ours. Visit PetsOhio.com for more information.

We are also now an affiliate of Helping Udders. If you are not familiar with these unique products, Udder Tugs and toys are made in Kansas from recycled rubber liners used in machines to milk real cows. Be sure to mention the Labrador Retriever Rescue of Cincinnati during the checkout process and Helping Udders will donate 25% of tug sales and 10% of other sales to our rescue.

And that's just the start of what we have planned for 2005! We had a tremendously successful first-time fundraiser at Benken's back in April of 2004, and we are already gearing up for round two in the Spring. We are also attending the Pet Expo in Washington Court House, which takes place in February. The first round of bumper stickers are in and we are toying around with some new logos. More t-shirts are on the way. We are planning an auction and will start collecting donated items soon. Watch for another "Love Your Lab" night, the annual Hot Dog Parade, and a host of other social and fundraising activities.

What's wrong with working for peanuts? I LOVE peanuts!
(This mouse would be easier to use
if I had opposable thumbs.)
Plus, our resident Webmaster (pictured left) has some exciting new things planned for the web site and is working like a dog (...Haha! Get it?!...) reviewing and revising the applications, forms, annual report, and various other administrative-type things that nobody else really wants to mess with. But don't worry - she is rewarded quite handsomely in affection, toys, furniture to lie on, and a wide variety of delicious, non-potted meat food products.

And finally, we must paws once again to recognize our absolutely incredible group of adopters, volunteers, fosters, sponsors, and donors. December was a phenominal month in terms of our supporting cast and there aren't enough words to express our gratitude. Every time we think we've seen the most generous of acts, somebody comes along and completely overwhelms us with their compassion and unselfishness. We are truly blessed to have such a loyal following.

Thank you for all of your support...and we hope to see you soon!

December, 2004
WE HAVE PUPPIES FOR CHRISTMAS! Well, not really, but we wanted to get your attention so that we can explain why puppies make such lousy Christmas gifts. In fact, puppies are definitely on our top five list of the WORST gifts to give for Christmas... right behind the Do-It-Yourself Home Surgery Kit and the combination coffee maker/diaper washer. While everybody always coos and awws over how cute puppies are, the joy and excitement quickly fades and is replaced with anxiety over accidents in the house, feeding schedules, chewed clothing, high-pitched barking, and all of the other accessories that are included in the puppy package. As a rescue, our busiest time of the year is in the late Spring/early Summer when we start taking in all of the discarded Christmas puppies that are turning into adolescent dogs... and are therefore no longer wanted.

So, if you decide that you want to get a puppy for Christmas, instead of surprising your loved ones with the puppy itself, surprise them with a leash, a collar and a bowl... and then go to pick out your new pet as a family. If everybody chooses the pet together, you can make sure you adopt a dog that fits your personality and lifestyle.

Chewing up all of these little boys can 
sure wear a little puppy out!
(Daphodyl samples Andrew before adopting)
Or, why not consider fostering a dog until you find the right match. You test drive a car and inspect a house before you buy, so if given the opportunity, why would you not do the same with a new family member? Remember that adopting a new pet is a lifelong commitment and does not come with a gift receipt.  

In 1993, Ruth Ginzberg wrote an excellent piece entitled "No Christmas Puppies, Please!" Over ten years later, her message still rings in the gift-giving season loud and clear. We encourage you to read the article online via the kind folks at PetRescue.com. If you are short on time, we also recommend this brief article from the December 6th issue of Newsweek, which makes some important points in about six lines. We hate to sound harsh or preachy about this particular issue, but it is something we go through every year:
  • our phone starts ringing in late November with people inquiring about puppies
  • we suggest instead making an appointment to meet one of the younger labradors in our rescue
  • since some folks are adamant about wanting a puppy, they contact a breeder or -- worse yet -- visit a pet store
  • our phone starts ringing again when the puppy is in its destructive phase and is too much for some folks to handle, so they want to put it up for adoption.

    And no, this does not mean that everybody runs out, gets a puppy, plays with it for a little while, then gives it away. It is a fact, however, that many people do not realize how much work it is to raise a puppy and do not do their homework beforehand. A puppy is essentially a small child, albeit smaller and more fuzzy... and with sharp, pointy teeth...

    But enough of about puppies...
    We have much to be thankful for this holiday season. The turn-out for the Pictures With Santa event on Sunday, December 5th was well beyond what we ever imagined! Over 50 people stopped by to say hello and have their pet's picture taken with the Big Guy in the Red Suit. There simply aren't enough words to thank you all for your participation and support. We hope you like your photos and we've posted them for all to see in the Events section.

    We also have big news on the adoption front. Once again, we surpassed last year's adoption totals and have found homes for over 160 labradors. Since 2002, over 400 labradors and lab mixes have come and gone, each leaving their own special pawprint on our hearts along the way. While it may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, that's still a lot of dogs... and we shake our heads in amazement every time we think about it. If you think in terms of litters, and you figure six puppies per litter, 400 dogs is roughly 67 litters of puppies. Granted, a handful of breeders can surpass that total in just a few years, but we prefer to focus instead on how happy our adopting families are with their new Labradors. We are so thankful to all of you for your support - especially those who have stuck around and volunteered their time and energy at events, as foster families and sponsors, and/or for donating food, supplies and toys.

    We are, however, still in need of foster homes for the holidays. Those interested should contact us for an application and to schedule a consultation with our Labradors. And who knows - with a little luck, one of our Labradors might just decide they want to keep you and you will be rewarded with a loyal lifelong companion. And who couldn't always use another friend?!

    Finally, and once again, another thousand tail wags to all of our volunteers, fosters, sponsors, donors, and everyone else who helps us each and every day. We are nothing without your support and wish you only the best for a safe and happy howliday season!

  • November, 2004

    A picture of me makes a perfect stocking stuffer!
    (Deck the halls with balls of dog hair, fa la la la laa...)
    Bring your dog to the rescue on Sunday, December 5th and have a picture taken with Santa! All of the proceeds benefit Labrador Rescue of Cincinnati...which means not only will you receive a wonderful keepsake photo, you will help out other pets who don’t have homes this Christmas. For more information, look in the Events section.

    For the first week of November, the kind folks at Petfinder.com are encouraging community members, animal lovers and grateful pet guardians to come together to celebrate rescues across the nation. The National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week, November 7–13, is designed to recognize your favorite shelter or placement organization in your community. Rebecca Simmons, who is the Outreach Communications Coordinator for the Companion Animals section of The HSUS, contributed an excellent article that lists ten ways to show shelters and rescue groups that you care this week...and throughout the year.

    My name is Charm. Ask about adopting me!
    (Are you REALLY asking me if I want food?)
    October 30th marked a momentous occasion here at the rescue. With six adoptions last week, we had only fifteen Labradors housed in the kennel (the rest are in foster care). FIFTEEN!!! This time last year, we had over 30. Of course, we went out and rescued eight more the very next day, but that's because we are all completely insane.

    On Saturday, November 6th, some folks from the rescue attended the "Cincinnati Mingle w/Our Mutts". This event is sponsored by Cincinnati's newest and only ongoing monthly pet adoption program, CAAP (Cincinnati Animal Adoption Program). We hope to increase local adoptions of spayed/neutered companion animals, raise public awareness of the over 30,000 murdered companion animals just last year in the greater Cincinnati area alone, raise public awareness of the wonderful animals available for adoption through local rescues and shelters, and create a fund for all registered participating rescues that will help with emergency medical situations. For additional information, please visit our Events section.

    Believe it or not, the holiday season is almost upon us...and this is when we really need volunteers to help by fostering our Labradors. The kennels fill up quickly as travelers board their dogs and many of our Labs end up crated in the Doggie Day Care facility. While this is certainly better than roaming the streets, the ideal situation is to get the Labs into temporary homes for the holidays. If you have ever considered adopting or fostering, this is the perfect opportunity! Simply send us an email and we'll be happy to send the application. Just keeping a Lab for a weekend is a wonderful experience for the Labbies and a HUGE help to us.

    And, last but certainly not least, we'd like to take a moment to welcome our new volunteers and offer wiggles and kisses to those who keep giving their time and energy week after week. We also want to show our sincere appreciation for our foster families that have opened their hearts and doors to our Labs, as well as all of the folks who are signed up to sponsor. I know we keep saying it, but the time, effort and support of our volunteers and donors are what keep the doors open to the thousands of Labradors that need our help. A thousand tail wags to you all!

    October, 2004

    As the warm days of Summer wane and the winds of Autumn begin to put a chill in the air, our thoughts turn to school, football, holidays, and -- of course -- taking brisk morning and evening walks with our four-legged, Labrador companions! Now that the proverbial dog days of Summer are behind us, prepare yourselves for a newfound burst of Labradorian energy as the cooler temperatures settle in. Yes, Labs love everything about Fall: rolling in the leaves, chewing up sticks, tracking the abundance of new scents, and above all else, sitting on the couch watching football and sharing that bag of pretzels (in moderation, of course).

    So far, what is traditionally the beginning of our slow season here at the rescue has been anything but, though we've finally gotten around to that big stack of adoption applications that's been sitting next to the printer (somehow, they ended up underneath a giant box of dog biscuits, if you can believe that). It has taken about a month to get through the 4-inch stack, but we are beginning to make the rounds and set up appointments to come and see our Labradors.

    Yar! I be the Pirate Lab! Yar!
    (Labs love dressing up for Halloween...honest!)
    If you have submitted an application and have not yet heard back, don't worry - we have not forgotten about you. We are still working on finishing things up and will be in touch shortly (though you should always feel free to follow up).

    Also, this month, the Ohio SPCA will be sponsoring the third annual Ohio's Week for the Animals during October 3-9, 2004. During this week, adults and children, animal welfare groups, rescue groups, and animal shelters will work together to help Ohio's animals. For more information, visit the Ohio SPCA's website.

    And, as always, thank you to all of our sponsors, volunteers, foster parents, and adopters new and old for all of your kindness and support. All of our Labradors raise a biscuit and say a toast in your honor. Speak! Speak! Good dog!

    September, 2004

    Hi, My Name Is Hoover. Adopt me because I'm so handsome.
    (Why yes, I AM always smiling.)
    For the second year in a row, the rescue has placed over 100 labradors in happy, well-caring homes. Plus, if you tally all of the adoptions since 2002, the rescue has placed over 340 dogs. If we were breeders, that is the equivalent of around 55 litters... or 18 litters per year. This is yet another reminder as to why it is so important to spay or neuter your pet. We are just one rescue in one city, yet hundreds of homeless dogs come through our doors each year.

    In other news, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is holding their annual Light The Night® Walk on September 16th, 2004 at Yeatman's Cove in Cincinnati. Two of our volunteers are participating in the walk and bringing along a few Labbies that are up for adoption. For more information, visit www.lightthenight.org.

    And a special tail wag goes out to all of the folks who are lining up to sponsor our labradors.
    We are nothing without the efforts and support of our donors and volunteers
    ...and we can not possibly thank you enough!

    Stay well,and we hope to see you soon!

    August, 2004

    The "Dog Days of Summer" are officially upon us...and what better way to cool off than in your own personal swimming pool (modeled here by one of our lucky rescue labs). And speaking of hot dogs, don't forget that August 14th is the 2nd Annual Hot Dog Parade at Kellogg Park in Cincinnati. Admission is free to all dogs and their families to come out and enjoy the new Dog Park at Kellogg Park. Plus, your dog can enter the annual Hot Dog parade and come away with one of our great prizes! For more information, check out the official flyer in our Events section, call the park office at (513) 474-0003 x4513, or check out the Anderson Parks web site at www.andersonparks.com. The League for Animal Welfare and other pure-bred rescues will have dogs available for adoption, so we all hope to see you there! Decisions... Decisions...
    (Labrador + Water = Pure Joy)

    July, 2004

    Weee!  We're Running in Circles!
    (Why chase my tail when I can chase yours?)
    Welcome to the new site, everyone! It has certainly been a dizzying past few months at the Rescue! On top of the many adoptions, we are gearing up for our next two events, which are the "Love Your Lab Night" at the BarkPark in Columbus, followed by the annual Hot Dog Parade at Kellogg Park in Cincinnati. Both of these events promise food, fun and a ton of great prizes, and are sure to send you home with tails a-waggin'!

    While so many of our labradors have found wonderful new homes, there are still too many in our kennels awaiting your attention and friendship. Even if you can not adopt, we are in need of kind volunteers who are willing to open their homes and hearts to foster our labradorables. For more information about fostering or adopting, please contact us.

    Thank you all for your support and be sure to come out and make a new labbie friend!

    June, 2004
    If you are interested in adopting a labrador and wish to see which dogs are available, you now have two options. The Available Dogs section is up-to-date with all of the latest information on our labradors, or you may continue to visit our section of Petfinder.com. Simply click the logo below:

    I'm Niles. I just got adopted and have a great new home!
    (Does the camera make my nose look big?)

    May, 2004

    All the cool kids are wearing cicada t-shirts.
    (Click the above image for a larger view)

    We all know that labradors like to eat cicadas like popcorn, so why not help sponsor your favorite lab by wearing your very own 2004 Club Cicada Tour t-shirt! These hand-crafted shirts are available for a limited time only and are yours for each $10 donation you make to the Labrador Rescue of Cincinnati. Available in sizes Large and Extra Large, these shirts are sure to turn heads (and wings), but are guaranteed NOT to attract cicadas, leafhoppers, aphids, or any other members of the suborder Homoptera. That's right - for each tax-deductable, $10 donation you make to the rescue, you will receive this one-of-a-kind memento of this summer's biggest attraction. An offer like this only comes along once every 17 years, so hurry and buy your 2004 Club Cicada Tour t-shirt today!

    It is our prayer
    that pages like this one
    will -- some day -- never be necessary.

    (Last Updated: March, 2006)