Posts tagged ‘shelters’

Do You Know These Tips?

Charlie Bear here.

logo best friends

In the Best Friends magazine there was a sidebar on:

Tips for Adopting Your Own Best Family Dog

I thought they were pretty cool, so I’m going to put them in here for you to read.

1. Take your time, meet several dogs and keep an open mind. Great dogs come in all shapes, sizes and ages, and from all walks of life. (Like me! I was a rescue…found in Los Angeles roaming the streets…surely a “walk of life” dog, huh?)

2 While there’s nothing wrong with making a quick “go with your gut” decision, sometimes it’s a good idea to meet several dogs, then go home and think about it before choosing one. (I would agree, but I’m thankful my Dad Peep feel in love with me the first time we met and kept me in spite of my issues — of which I had many!)

logo cool to be kind
3. A shelter environment is overwhelming to most dogs, and they’re likely to be distracted when you meet them. Watch them interact with a staff person they know to see what they’re like when they have a relationship with someone. (Good advice. I can’t imagine being among all those other dogs, vying for attention. That could bring out not such good behavior in some doggies who just want love.)

4. Expect an adjustment period when your new dog comes home, and get help from a trainer if needed. For more information, read “Welcome Home: Preventing Dog Problems from Day One” at (I had a trainer work with me when I was trying to get adopted. It helped immensely to give me a leg up on adjusting to life in a new home and to get over my food guarding, not wanting to be touched, and my spinning in a whirling dervishness. Is that even a word?)

For more tips on choosing a great dog, visit the Best Friends Pet Care Library:

There you have it. Tips for the upcoming season if you are planning to rescue or adopt a dog. They need us. They need you. Thank you for considering a dog in need.

logo best friends save them all

Wiggles and Woofs,
Charlie Bear

December 2, 2014 at 9:35 am 4 comments

FREE Stocking to a Big Dog

Rex Stocking 004

Charlie Bear here with a giveaway of something precious. When Mom Peep unpacked the Christmas stuff, she pulled out a red stocking with my name on it and a huge one with Rex’s name embroidered in emerald green right into the soft white top. Mom jokes that she could almost fit me inside of it! Well, not quite.

Anyway, Mom wants to find a new home for this beautiful stocking. Do you have a big dog named Rex? He was a Golden Lab with part Ridgeback and he’s over the Rainbow Bridge now, frolicking with all the other loved dogs up there.

new pics 007

He was also a little terror when he was a young buck like me. They tell me stories and I laugh inside, because us pups are all a little rambunctious as youngsters. Agree?

Anyway, send an email with a photo of your Rex to by midnight December 6. She’ll put every entry into a drawing and award the stocking to a lucky doggie.

Remember that all the activity taking place around your home (a tree in the living room, what’s up with that?), the ornaments and trimmings and blinking lights all send us furry friends into a bit of a tizzy so be gentle with us if we show a little misbehavior (like plucking one of those ornaments off the tree). And we’ll be gentle with you and give you time to get over this crazy decked-out season. Deal?

Don’t forget to send in a picture of your Rex, or forward this to a friend who has a Rex!

Wiggles and Woofs,
Charlie Bear

December 1, 2012 at 10:07 am 4 comments

What Do I Get to Eat Tomorrow?

Charlie Bear here. If I had that big ‘ole turkey in front of me I’d chomp right into one of those yummy legs. I’d leave the yellow squash (if that’s what that is) and the green stuff like beans, and even the red jelly fish (okay, I think they call it cranberry sauce), all on the platter and in the bowls.

Oh, and after I stuff my snout with all that turkey, maybe a lick of pumpkin pie with cool whip? Or banana cream? I like bananas, but I like peanut butter more. Anybody make peanut butter cake?

All around me, people are looking forward to eating a big meal. Me, I’m looking forward to the pats on the head, the snuggles from Mom and Dad, the scraps they let me have, and most of all, the love.

I’m super dooper grateful for having a family, for the lady who found me and the foster mom who nurtured me. If I can say one thing for my gratefulness, it would be to consider adopting a pet when you get ready to add one to your household. Rescue Dogs Make Great Family Pets and the shelters/adoption sites/rescue foundations are full of them.

I wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving and to all my furry friends out there…go for the drumstick first!

Wiggles and Woofs,
Charlie Bear (and B.J. too)

November 21, 2012 at 10:37 am 10 comments

Amazon Plays Tricks…I Get Treats

This is one special lady. Her name is Anastasia Fontaines and she’s my friend. This whole month Mom Peep and I have been working on getting to 30 reviews on Amazon for the CHARLIE BEAR book. Amazon is where everyone goes to shop so they’re kind of a big thing in the world. In fact, just their name is intimidating!

Anyway, my sweet friend Anastasia tried to post a review. Amazon wouldn’t let her. Said something about her not purchasing at all through them, but she has (who hasn’t?). Anyway, then Mom Peep tried to get her review posted and it went up on the site…Hooray! And then they took it down. What’s up with that? Anyway, this is not a bash-fest on Amazon, even though they did pull a trick on us, it’s a LOVE FEST on Anastasia.

She’s my treat, just like the rest of you wonderful people out there who have bought and read CHARLIE BEAR and who have also written a review. THANK YOU!

So in honor of all of you who have taken the time to write a review, a goodie bag of treats is going out in the next week. Watch for it. And here is beautiful Anastasia’s review. You won’t find it on Amazon, but you can read it here:

5.0 out of 5 stars Saving Lives One Pet at a Time, October 28, 2012

By Anastasia Fontaines
Actress/Singer CEO Angel Era Productions

I’m very devoted to protecting & finding our furry friends loving homes, so it was with joy that I read the story about this adorable rescue dog full of character & growing pains. CHARLIE BEAR reminded me that some shelter/adoption/rescue dogs come with issues, and this dog had his share though that did not deter B.J. and Roger from loving him. It wasn’t always easy for all of them in the beginning, including Charlie Bear in trying to adjust to a new lifestyle in his new home. We can only imagine what CB went through before B.J. and Roger took him in as family. Even though B.J. and Roger could have given up on him after he attacked their resident dog Rex, they worked with him to get over his issues. Most dogs who have been in a shelter or who have been rescued from the streets (or worse) just need time, patience, love, and training to make great family pets. Charlie Bear settled in to the tender touch of Roger and proved himself to be the cuddly teddy bear B.J. & Roger knew he could be with proper care and understanding. It’s a dream of mine to one day have a Rescue Ranch to help Cats and Dogs in need of a safe haven they can call home like in Charlie Bear’s case. They are pure love and deserve proper love, care and understanding. In the meantime, let’s save lives, one pet at a time in any way that we can. P.S. A reminder that it is Halloween and Black Cats in particular are targeted. Let’s keep them protected.

Wiggles and Woofs  to all!
Charlie Bear

October 31, 2012 at 12:36 pm 6 comments

What are the 7 Steps to a Happier Pet?

Charlie Bear here. Guess what my Mom Peep got? A free t-shirt from HSUS Humane Society of the United States. And she got it just for making a donation!

Look closely. It has cats on it. Made her sad, actually, and had her missing Diamond and Red. Anyway, the purpose of my post today is to share with you what HSUS says and to offer my snarky little comments along with them. Ready?


#1 Make sure your pet wears an identification tag to enable him to be returned to you if lost. I wear my little dangly tags on my collar whenever we go out. Mom insists.

#2 To prevent animal behavioral problems, make sure you enroll your new puppy or dog in behavioral training classes, and visit www.petsforlife.orgI had training before I came to live here and by golly, I think it was a saving grace for me. If you read my book or my early blog posts, then you know I was a brat for a while, even with training!

#3 Animal behavioral problems can be health related. Make sure your pet has a complete medical exam by a veterinarian at least once a year. I know–if you’re a dog reading this, you don’t like those exams, especially the thermometer part. But they are necessary. I do mine, do you?

#4 Prepare for disasters. Make sure you have a plan for your pet in the event of a hurricane, tornado, fire or flood. We’d have to add earthquake to that list cause here in CA that’s what happens the most.

#5 Plan for your pet’s future in case something happens to you and visit for more information. Mom and Dad Peep put a few paragraphs in their wills or something to be sure I go to a home with family peeps, or friends who love me. Do you know where you would go?

#6 Learn how to avoid dog bites, and how to prevent your dog from biting, by going to Wow, this one hits home. I bit Mom Peep on the finger, even drawing blood, when I first came here. It was her fault…she tried to take something away from me. Okay, it was really my fault, and I’ve changed my ways. Have you ever done something like that (without meaning to)?

#7 Have a heart, be smart, and make sure your pet is spayed or neutered. Before I was adopted I was neutered and it’s a good thing, too, because adopting rescue and shelter dogs helps control the pet population.

So those are the 7 Steps to a Happier Pet from the Humane Society of the United States. Big dog Rex would agree–these are important things to know. Do you think so?

Wiggles & Woofs to you,
Charlie Bear

P.S. Can I ask a favor of you? Mom Peep is going for 30 reviews on for the CHARLIE BEAR book. If you’ve read it, will you write one? She, and me, would be ever so thankful. Woofs!

October 9, 2012 at 10:21 am 6 comments

It’s my Birthday!

It was doubtful whether I’d make it to 2012. I was such a feisty, headstrong, rambunctious critter. Just ask my rescuer, foster mom, or my new Mom and Dad. They’ll tell you.

But I did it! Guess how old I am…

Yup, 3!

Mom placed all these things around me, and I sat real still for a long time (she was feeding me little bits of chicken while she was snapping pictures)….

and then…I couldn’t take it anymore, so I gave Mom the raspberries…

But thanks for the birthday celebration for me, Mom! Are you celebrating a rescue dog’s birthday soon? Share! (And I’ll promise not to raspberry you.)

* * *

Oh, and don’t forget! We’re ………..

…..sliding into the end of my DOG DAYS OF SUMMER SUPER SPECIAL GIVEAWAY

Only THREE DAYS left to enter.

I’m awarding four lucky winners a $25 PetSmart gift certificate at the end of this week. Just go to and look on the right where it says CONTEST INFO. Follow the instructions and you can SLIDE into a winning spot!

Want more chances in the drawing? Do this (as many times as you like) from now through the end of August…(just copy and paste)…

  • Tweet this: Calling all dog lovers! Win a $25 PetSmart Gift Card. Go to www.bjtayloronline.comfor details on how to enter. @charliebearY2K 
  • Facebook this: Enter the Dog Days of Summer PetSmart Gift Card Giveaway. Post a picture of your adorable pet for a chance to win. Go to for details.

That’s it! It’s easy and fun and it could be YOU and YOUR dog having fun in the sun with fabulous items from PetSmart!  

@bjtaylortweets / @charliebearY2K

Don’t forget to enter lots of times. Just go to!

Woofs & Wiggles,
Charlie Bear

* * *

Watch for upcoming posts Mom and I are cooking up: Top 5 Things to Remember When you Get a New Dog, our Rescue Dog Album, and much more!

August 28, 2012 at 8:59 am 17 comments

Adopt a Rescue or Shelter Dog or ….


Charlie Bear here. (That’s my photo that Mom Peep fell in love with when she found me online at’m here to talk about a controversial subject. Adopt a dog or buy? Mom Peep didn’t want to do this post and here’s why:

1. She’s never had a pedigree anything, always a muttigree (like me!).

2. All of the dogs and cats she has had in her lifetime have been found abandoned or have come from shelters or rescues.

3. She likes to save lives.

But I told Mom that there are two sides to everything. So here’s what she’s allowing me to do: she said I can write about adoption versus buying and lay out the pros and cons to each as Dr. Jon from PetPlace so nicely did in his newsletter. Then you can see what YOU think, and offer us some comments when you are done reading.

Here’s what Dr. Jon of PetPlace has to say:

There are pros and cons to both adopting and buying. Which one is right for you depends on several factors. With some of the information in this newsletter you’ll be ready to find the best solution for your family.

First, let’s talk about adoption. I am a huge fan of rescue pets. Adopting a shelter dog can be a wonderful experience both for you and your dog. Shelter dogs are not “bad” dogs or the ones that no one wanted. Rather, most of them are loving and well-behaved animals who were simply given up by their owners for circumstances outside of their control. The biggest reason that many people cite for adopting is that it literally saves a life. Adopting a dog means that they do not have to be euthanized, or will not remain in a kennel if your local shelter is a no-kill facility.

You can certainly find puppies in rescue and at shelters but expect to see many more adults. That means that your future dog has had lots of experiences, and might have some bad memories or personality quirks that you will need to work through together. On the other hand, that might mean that they will come to you with some training as well. 

The dog’s parents, and their history, are almost always unknown so you don’t have an idea of what they might be facing as they grow older. You will have less of an idea of any potential health problems, any behavioral issues, or even their size as your puppy matures.

Now, what about getting a dog from a breeder? The biggest issue is making sure that the breeder you visit is a responsible one. The needs of the dog should be the highest priority and your puppy should be happy, healthy, and come from a loving home. You will almost certainly pay much more for a responsibly bred puppy than for one from a shelter. The breeders might also require puppy classes, several trips to visit them and the dogs, and might ask you questions about your own preparedness for the new family member. Choosing a dog from a breeder also doesn’t have the benefit of directly saving a life or making room in the shelter for another dog, as adopting does.

When you decide to adopt or buy a puppy, take all these things into consideration. Remember that both adoption and buying a dog involve a lot of research and preparation. But it’s worth it – make the right decision and your dog is sure to become your good friend and companion for many years to come.

Until next time,
Dr. Jon

P.S. – Before your decision be sure to read up about how to properly care for your puppy once you bring him home. You can get educated at our guide to puppy adoption where you will find breed guides, a crash course in puppy care, and much more.

Charlie Bear here again. Check out the great articles. Educate yourself and then make a decision. And please, support the closure of puppy mills, where dogs are not treated well at all and disease runs rampant.

My vote, as you probably know, would be to ADOPT from a rescue or shelter. I wouldn’t be here today if a rescuer hadn’t found me, given me a chance in a foster home, and then helped me to find my forever home with my peeps. I am so thankful to Ryo and Sara for loving me.

Woofs & Wiggles to you all,
Charlie Bear

August 16, 2012 at 9:51 am 8 comments

The end of a long chase…

Charlie Bear here with another big fellow, this one named Chase. His story is told by Brittany:

It all started when my dad got his German Shepherd. He claims that Jett is “everyone’s” dog, but we all know better. I wanted a German Shepherd of my own, and I wanted to adopt in order to save a life. And, in my opinion, they make the best dogs because they are so appreciative.

I kept checking the pound near my house for shepherds but I had no luck. I also checked Petfinder regularly. Then one day it finally happened! I was scrolling through all the dog’s photos when I saw him. He didn’t even look like a full-blooded shepherd. His coat was creamy white and I couldn’t see the typical black markings on him except for his face. His hair was a mess, with little puffs of it sticking out all over him. His description said he was a mix, but somehow I wasn’t fooled.

In his pictures it looked as if he knew he was getting photographed for his possible big day of adoption. He was sitting down in front of his cage with a sweet, smiley face. I glanced at the information about him. It said he was caught “running at large,” which made me laugh. It also said that he was scheduled for euthanasia soon. I wasn’t having any of that.

I immediately called my mom into the room to come look at him. I could possibly save this sweet soul. So me, my mom, and my sister, drove to Winder, Georgia where he was located.

Once we got to the shelter, I knew immediately he was full-blooded. He was a complete mess but he was so beautiful. I could just imagine what he would look like on some good food and some TLC. His poor hair was so dry from lack of nutrition, and it needed brushing. He was very thin, with missing hair on his hip bones from where he was so skinny it rubbed against the concrete until there was none to rub off. 

I put my hand up to the cage and knelt down. He was very sweet, but when the girl who worked there came in he jumped up on the side of his prison cell. He paced back and forth in his narrow cage and every time he came to my side he would put his ears back and make that sweet Chase face. I asked the girl if she could get him out for me. He was so happy to get out of that place. We stayed with him for about twenty minutes before we had to leave. The girl who worked there told us he had been there over a month.

The very next day the shelter sent him to their vet for vaccines that the adoption fee covered and when I came to get him they told me he was already micro chipped and neutered. When they brought him out he was all fluffy from his bath and he looked plum wild, like a lion. He then saw a cat and he suddenly went berserk.  The vet handed him over to me and I struggled to get his new collar and leash on him. He wouldn’t be still. Doubts raced through my mind. Had I done the right thing? Is he going to hurt our elderly cat? Will he fight with our other dogs? 

He did calm down in the car, but once home, he was very nervous and paced all the time. I didn’t think he’d ever settle down, and there was one problem. He did NOT like cats.

Chase has been with me almost a year now and I’m happy to say he’s my perfect dog. My sister helped me name him. Since at the time he loved to chase cats and also had a nervous habit of chasing his tail, “Chase” was the perfect name. He no longer chases cats, thankfully, and I’m proud to say that he can now be nose to nose with our elderly cat and doesn’t attempt to chase or hurt her. He still chases his tail every now and then when he gets in a confining place, such as a small room, but not to the degree that he used to.

He loves to ride in my truck, making trips to Tractor Supply and Home Depot with me. He’s also my running buddy, and a good one at that, keeping a really good pace. Chase is an inside dog and my room is his “house.” He has his own giant fluffy bed but he likes to sleep with me and hog the bed at times. Rotten, I know.

I don’t know what I would do without Chase. He makes me laugh every day with his goofiness and he’s always by my side or lying at my feet. He’s so loyal, and I’m so lucky to have found him. I hope everyone will choose to adopt and save a life. They’ll make a new best friend in the process, like I did.


* * *

Charlie Bear here…cool story, Brittany! I’m so happy you ended your “chase” to find a wonderful dog. Good for you, and good for Chase!

Woofs & Wiggles to you both,
Charlie Bear

August 5, 2012 at 11:17 am 6 comments

Weird Facts About Dogs

Charlie Bear here….

I’ve been doing TONS of work promoting my new contest where I’m giving away FOUR PetSmart Gift Cards. You could win one! Just go here for more info on how to enter: and look on the right for CONTEST INFO. It’s easy and fun!

So, okay, back to the blog. I was poking around one day and found this:

I thought it was pretty cool (and Mom Peep did, too, because she put up some info about me on there!), but here’s what I wanted to share with you from the Ultimate Dog Site (my little thoughts are in parentheses):

Weird Facts You Never Knew About Dogs 

  • 70% of people sign their pet’s name on greeting and holiday cards (my mom does that!)
  • 58% put pets in family and holiday portraits (yup) 
  • Dogs have no sense of “time” (I would differ with that statement! I can tell time…like when it’s time to eat, time to get up, time to go to bed. Hmmpph.)
  • The Labrador Retriever is the #1 favorite breed in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. (Yeah, yeah…we all know that. But what about us other mixed breeds?)
  • Obesity is the #1 health problem among dogs (Mom Peep weighs me once a month to be sure I’m not getting to chubby.)
  • An American Animal Hospital Assoc. poll found that 33% of dog owners admit to talking to their dogs on the phone and leaving answering machine messages for them while away (now this is really funny, because Mom and Dad call me when they are away and talk to me. Like I’m supposed to answer the phone!) 
  • Newfoundlands are great swimmers because of their webbed feet (okay, I’ll give them that, but I can swim good, too!)
  • Basset Hounds cannot swim (awww…that’s too bad for them)
  • Greyhounds are the fastest dogs on earth, with speeds of up to 45 miles per hour (yeah, just clock one in the dog park)
  • Three dogs survived the sinking of the Titanic – a Newfoundland, a Pomeranian, and a Pekingese (incredible…)
  • 87% of dog owners say their dog curls up beside them or at their feet while they watch T.V. (got that one spot-on)
  • Dogs can be trained to detect epileptic seizures (I’ve heard of that!)
  • President Lyndon Johnson had two beagles named Him and Her (they didn’t have books with names for dogs back then?) 
  • The U.S. has the highest dog population in the world, France has the 2nd highest (go USA! And if dogs were in the Olympics, just think what medals we could earn!) 
  • If never spayed or neutered, a female dog, her mate, and their puppies could produce over 66,000 dogs in 6 years! (WAY TOO MANY! Spay and neuter, folks!)
  • It is a myth that dogs are color blind. They can actually see in color, just not as vividly as humans. It is akin to our vision at dusk. (well, that clears that up!)

  • Hope you enjoyed these weird facts, brought to you by

  • Wiggles & woofs to you from Charlie Bear
    Don’t forget to enter my contest!  : o )

August 2, 2012 at 7:51 am 12 comments

Very brave indeed…

Charlie Bear here with a big guy this time! Check out what he has to say (his Mom, Hillari, typed it for him):

My new family never knew what my former caretakers called me. I liked the new name Mom gave me to go with my new life: Nathan. She told me she chose it for me because it was a name for someone very brave and bold.

Even if I wasn’t feeling bold, I tried to act brave the day I met Mom. You see, I’d been to these ‘adoption events’ before. Nobody ever picked me. The rescue folks at Central California Labrador Retriever Rescue called me ‘unadoptable.’ Oh, not because of my behavior. My foster mother described me as ‘a perfect gentleman.’  But I had a bit of an image problem. My muzzle was more gray than chocolate, I was painfully thin and my coat was dull and dry. People looked right past me to the young guys, the pretty pups. No one seemed to want a grizzled veteran like me.

Then someone convinced Mom to drive over one hundred miles to meet me. We took a walk together in the park. I was polite, on my best behavior but I didn’t act needy. You know, the way a guy’s supposed to act on a first date.  And whaddya know, it worked! The next thing I knew, we were in the car and on the way to what I prayed would be my ‘forever’ home. We even stopped for a hamburger picnic on the way. I was head-over-paws in love. I kept my chin on the armrest between the front seats the whole way home so Mom could rest her hand on my head, just so she would know how very, very sure I was that she was ‘the one.’

That was the beginning of the eighteen months that cast a reflection of joy over my entire life, no matter what it had been before. I had a younger Labrador brother, but best of all, I adopted a kitty grandson. Edward was a rescue kid, too, so we were very special friends. He liked to follow me around or nap between my front paws. We even wrestled, just a little bit, very gently. From the sound of her laughter, Mom enjoyed it as much as Edward and I did. Mom got us dogs a wading pool (I never could convince Edward to try it) and some of my fondest memories are of long summer nights in the backyard, Mom grilling something drool-worthy while I lounged in the pool or rolled myself dry on the wisteria-petaled grass.  

I even got the chance to repay Mom, by protecting her from a scary man. You see, he came up to us while we were working in the garden. Actually, Mom was working, I was supervising. He demanded money from her. Then he took a step too close, and I put myself between them. I didn’t yell or get aggressive, but I did give him a very stern look and just a bit of a growl to tell him I would not allow anyone to frighten or harm my mom. He believed me, smart man, and left in a hurry. Mom hugged me and praised me to the skies. Even the policeman who visited us was impressed. 

Me? I took it all in stride. When you’re called ‘Nathan’ you just act that way, bold and brave.

After a while, the pain and stiffness I’d been ignoring caught up with me. All the heating pads and pills couldn’t help. Mom took me back to the doctor, and when she saw the x-rays she started to cry.

“So that’s why he never wagged his tail.  He couldn’t.  But I know he’s happy,” she told my doctor.  “His eyes sparkle and he’s always smiling.”

“Yes, I can tell he’s a happy dog,” the doctor agreed.  “He’s not letting anything get him down.”

When the end came, I could still be brave and bold because I knew I could trust Mom. As the doctor gave me the injection and the shackles of pain fell away, I felt Mom’s gentle fingers stroking my ears just the way I loved. I filled my nostrils one last time with her beloved scent. I knew she was sending me to be with the only One who could love me more than she did.

I wish I could tell everyone how great a life I had with Mom. Even though it was only eighteen months in human time, it was a lifetime to me. Mom told me she didn’t regret for a moment adopting an older—well, okay, senior—dog. She told me she got more from me than she felt she could give back. I tried to tell her every day how grateful I was for the second chance to love and be loved. 

Thanks again, Mom.
Love, Nathan

Written for Nathan by Hillari Delgado

* * *

Wow. Charlie Bear here with Mom Peep wiping tears from her eyes. A very good friend told Mom something after big dog Rex went over the rainbow bridge, like Nathan did. The friend said there’s a reason why dogs only live a short time. It’s because it gives people a chance to have many, many of them in their lives. Mom Peep thought that was a cool way to look at it and it gave her some comfort.

I think not only was Nathan brave, but Hillari was, too. Taking in an older dog means people won’t have as long with them and they must be ready for that. Hillari was very, very brave.

Wiggles to you up over the rainbow bridge, Nathan,
Charlie Bear

July 29, 2012 at 9:27 am 10 comments

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