Grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine – I suspect you’ll be here for a while. 

Even though it was a long time ago, I can still remember how it felt to walk into a dog obedience class for the very first time; how blown away I was with all that there was to see and do at the very first AKC dog event that I went to; how, like a sponge, I soaked up EVERYTHING I could get my hands on that related to dog behavior.

Back in those days, almost every conversation I had was with another serious dog lover.  My friends who were breeders, or who were partnering with their dogs to compete in obedience or agility.  Or, who were actively volunteering in dog rescue.  Like me.

It wasn’t until I’d transitioned from my volunteer obligations with animal rescue into direct sales and working with small business owners that I began to understand that what I’d learned about dog behavior had applications for my own self-development. 

And some truly life-changing things started to happen to me as I looked deeper into the connections between how dogs had changed my life and the principles of personal development.  What would happen, I asked myself, if I started to write about all of this?

This page is for brand new and experienced dog lovers. It’s also for those of you who are “students of self-development.”  There’s something for all of us here.  And, it’s a “work in progress” as I’m always on the look out for great material.

All of that said, take a look at what I have put together here.  And, check back often to see what’s been added.

On The Cusp:  Connections Between Animals And Special Needs Kids – On my blog, I’ve maintained a deliberate silence about the relationship that I have with my son out of respect for his (and some of my) privacy.  He’s 26 years old and he lives “on the cusp” of Asperger syndrome. Back in the day, the official diagnosis was ADHD with an anxiety disorder. Parenting has been back-breaking sometimes, and rewarding at others. And, I’m still doing it. Some of you are too. What I thought might be helpful on this page, are a few authentic resources that take on the special connections that dogs and special needs kids have. As a family, we didn’t seek out certified therapy dogs for our son. I’m not sure that these types of therapy dogs were available when our son was a child.  But, what my husband and I have always understood, is that something positive and wonderfully healing happens when kids and dogs are friends. We gave our son a lifetime of living with dogs … which I believe has been one of the saving graces for him.

All of that said, I can’t personally recommend any of the sites listed here. However, by providing these links, I can shorten your online search if you’re interested in finding out more information on service dogs. (Please note: I’ve used the link to their Facebook page for Blessings Unleashed because I couldn’t pull up their web site. Not sure what this means. That’s something you’ll want to find out.)

Autism Service Dogs of America

Blessings Unleashed Facebook page

Canine Companions for Independence

Guiding Eyes for the Blind – Heeling Autism program

North Star Foundation

Wilderwood Service Dogs

All of the above web sites were listed at the end of an article that was published in the Feb/March 2012 issue of Autism File – Hope and Help for Autism Families. The article, “Beyond Friendship,” by CJ Puotinin may or may not be accessible online.

There was an article in the July 2012 issue of Woman’s Day magazine about Canine Companions for Independence … which a dear friend told me about. I couldn’t find it posted on the magazine’s web site and I’m hoping to be able to pick up a copy of the magazine itself, despite the fact that it’s now the end of August, 2012.

1. Here’s a great online, special interest magazine for those of you who travel with your pets.
Fido Friendly – Dog Travel and Lifestyle Magazine

2. K-9 Healers Dog Obedience and Pet Therapy Training
K-9 Healers is a business owned by Gail Furst, CPDT/KA.  If you have already downloaded my free report, you’ll read about Gail’s exceptional professional dog background. Among her many certifications is the certification she received as an evaluator for Therapy Dog International and the AKC.  If you’re lucky enough to live in the Rochester, NY area and you’re about to adopt a dog or have a dog already, check out the obedience training schedule on Gail’s web site.  Check her online schedule for up-coming Canine Good Citizen (CGC) and Therapy Dog evaluations.

If you’re interested in Boxer rescue and you live in the Buffalo, Rochester,  Syracuse area, Gail can put you in touch with the rescue group nearest you.

PS Scroll down this list until you come to the entry for Pet Connections.  This is an exciting new program offered by the Ontario ARC that Gail manages.

3.  If you liked the Boxer Rescue video I posted on my web site, you got just a taste of what The Dog Files offers.   It’s a robust and inspirational web site where a lot of cool dogs and their humans hang out.  If you didn’t catch the name of the  Boxer rescue group that was showcased in the video I posted, you can reach them by clicking on this text.

Books CAN Change Your Life!

4. Outstanding book to have in your library if you want a wealth of information on holistic alternatives for your pets! The Pet Lover’s Guide To Natural Healing For Dogs & Cats, by Barbara Fougere, BVSc. 

Other amazing, or funny, or thought-provoking or inspirational books.  Start with your public library …I can guarantee you that I’ve read every single one and have reveiwed almost all of them.

Animals As Guides For The Soul, by Susan Chernak McElroy

Beyond Obedience – Training With Awareness for You & Your Dog, by April Frost.  I don’t know how you “grew into your best self” using energy connection (chakras), and other mind-body connections.  We all get to that place when we’re supposed to, so there are no right or wrong answers here. I didn’t come to “this party” until I was in my mid-forties …. and I spent a number of years playing catch-up to what some of my friends had been aware of for a long time.

It’s rare – I think – to find a book on dog behavior that celebrates this mind-body connection and takes you to that deeper understanding of how to tap into yours and your dog’s energies.  Frost’s book does this.  And does it very well.

30 Days To A Well-Mannered Dog, by Tamar Geller

The Canine Good Citizen – Every Dog Can Be One, by Jack & Wendy Volhard

Dog Sense – How The New Science  Of Dog Behavior Can Make You a Better Friend To Your Pet, by John Bradshaw 

My Nest Isn’t Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space, The Amazing Adventures of an Ordinary Woman,  by Lisa Scottoline and her daughter, Francesca Scottoline Serritella – Lisa Scottoline has been writing crime fiction since the 90’s.  This book is a hilarious compilation of short essays on all of the things she holds dear:  her family, her dogs and her girlfriends,  and just a bit more.  I promise you will laugh out-loud a lot.

Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog, by Lisa Scottoline.  See above.

The Dog Walker, by Leslie Schnur.  Reading this book is like quenching your thirst with a canine cocktail of Sex In The City with dog lovers.  Set in NYC with an enchanting supporting case of characters as clever foils for Nina Shepard, who, when the story opens,  is a professional dog walker.

Dog On It,  by Spencer Quinn.  The first in what I hope will be an on-going series of the Chet and Bernie mysteries.  Chet is the canine narrator and his human side-kick is a guy names Bernie.  Together,  they solve the case of the missing 15 year old girl.   Said the late Robert B Parker about it:  “A detective,  a dog and major-league prose.  Dog On It is a genuine joy.”

The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer – Lessons on Living and Dying from My Canine Brothers, by Doug Koktavy.  It’s rare that we hear from a former, hard-nosed ice hockey player,  now professional commercial lawyer, who wears his heart on his sleeve because he was humble enough to listen and learn from his dogs.  I did review this one on my blog and,  you can check out the author’s web site too.  It’s a great book!

Dog Talk – Lessons Learned from a Life with Dogs,  by Harrison Forbes with Beth Adelman.   Absolutely loved this book!  When I’ve calmed down from all of my excitement about it,  I’m going to write up a book review.

The Soul Of A Horse – Life Lessons from the Herd, by Joe Camp.  This is a lovely, sensitive book about how Joe Camp and his wife learn the true language of horse. (Camp  is the movie producer for the famous Benji movies.)

Salvage the Bones, by Jesmyn Ward.  There’s a reason why this book was the 2011 National Book award winner for fiction.  Read the review in the NY Times and then buy this book!

Animal Sanctuaries and Dog Rescue/Adoption Organizations located in the part of New York state where I live.  And, one very special Whippet breeder.  Please note that the first site’s physical location is not in New York. But.  The work they does have a positive influence on pet adoptions here.
This is a link to North America’s largest, nonprofit, pet-adoption web service.  Sponsored by Purina and Bayer, Adopt a Pet has over 11,000 animal shelters and rescue groups who use their free service.  More than 1.7 unique million visitors a month come to this web site, so you KNOW they’re doing something right.

Animal Farm Foundation –  Securing Equal Treatment and opportunity for “pit bull” dogs.  Dutchess Cty.,  NY.

Dog Adoption organizations & animal shelters listed below are located in the Buffalo, Rochester, NY areas of New York unless otherwise specified:

Big Dogs Big Hearts

Blue Moon Meadows – A Caring Place for Orphaned Pets,  Avon, NY

Bright Star German Shepherd Rescue

Cracker Box Palace

Glen Highland Farm

Greece Residents Assisting Stray Pets  (GRASP)

Lollypop Farm Humane Society of Rochester, NY

Another Chance Pet Rescue

Paws and Purrs Rescue Organization,   Scottsville, NY

Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary,  located in Middletown, NY.  in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains.

Pitty Love Rescue  –  Rochester, NY

Rudy’s Rescue   –  Pittsford, NY  (focus is on but not limited to, Labrador Retrievers)

Scottsville (NY) Veterinary Adoptions  –
no kill animal shelter

Shelter 2 Rescue  –  is an organization dedicated to saving dogs on death row in rural Texas shelters. When one of my girlfriend’s decided to adopt a 2 year old lab from this rescue group, I blogged about it here.

Stubby Dog –  Rediscover the pit bull

Smilin’ Pitbull Rescue –  East Aurora, New York

Whippet breeder – Hi Tor Sighthounds

Verona Street Animal Society,  Rochester, NY

Wild Wings – Bird Sanctuary located in Mendon, NY

No Kill Animal Shelters in New York state:

1.  Pets Alive Westchester


Got the dog? Here’s a wealth of information about dog behavior & training and other pet-related material

1.   Rewarding Behaviors Dog Training

2. Dog Tipper’s Pet Blog Directory – this is one of the most comprehensive online directories for pet related blogs.


Breed Specific Legislation – (BSL)  What is it and why you should care

Here are some informative web sites on BSL:

1.   ASPCA Breed Specific Legislation

2.   Pit Bull Rescue Central  – Where Education Meets Rescue

3.   Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation – Saving One Breed at a Time From BSL

4.  Stop BSL   Your Community.  Safe.  Smart.  Humane.


The Black Dog Research Studio – Combating Big Black Dog Syndrome through scholarly research and advocacy.  – There really are unfounded discriminatory practices about dogs with black fur/coats.  Find out what you can do to eliminate this stupid and alarming misconception … in our lifetimes.

Michael Brian Photographer – with a concentration on dogs, this is a web site that will visually take your breath away.

The Sage Foundation for Dogs Who Serve     If you’re interested in reaching out to non-profit organizations that support military service dogs,  this is a worthy cause.   Sage, a border collie who served in Iraq,  Hurricane Katrina (in New Orleans) and at 9/11 – the World Trade Center,  is now waging a different kind of battle … and you can help.

Pets2Vets  –  a group that pairs veterans with homeless pets by arranging adoptions of shelter animals.  (P2V)

Adoption Programs for retired Military Working Dogs  (MWD)  –  the Department of Defense maintains a list of available dogs on their web site.  In addition,  there are several, other web sites where you can find information & help if you want to adopt a MWD.




Beagle Freedom Project  –  a mission to rescue beagles used in animal experimentation in research laboratories and to place them in loving homes.

Sometimes, it’s about horses:  Saving America’s Mustangs 

In And Around the Finger Lakes – this next section is a compilation of the best this region of New York offers with a dog-related theme …

Places to go and have fun (and maybe train) with your dog:

Boom Town Canine Campus,  Farmington, NY.  Really.  This looks to be an all-inclusive place to hang out with your canine bud.  My friend, Gail Furst, knows the owner and that’s a very cool endorsement.  I’ll be checking out some of the training offered here, so be watching for a blog post!

Fido’s Canine Boutique – Fido’s Salon And Spa, Pittsford, NY.  I really like Fido’s.  Peter, the owner, is great with my Tessa, who is still not sure if she trusts guys.  The groomers are also fantastic with my dogs – nail trims are easy and quick … and fun.

I liked Fido’s so much that I blogged about it.  Twice.  If you live in the Rochester, NY area, and are looking for an upscale, full service dog groomers, this is the place!

Local organizations you may want to support: links and information published in this section will list and describe organizations in and around Rochester, NY – places that have a connection to animals helping people – that are seeking volunteers.

1)  Pet Connections – a program offered through Ontario County ARC:  Pet Connections is a brand new program that a good friend of mine manages. I blogged about it here.  Program details are posted on their blog and if you want more information about how you can help and/or volunteer, you’ll find contact information in one two places: the Ontario ARC Speaks blog or on the Ontario County ARC web site.


GREAT RESTAURANT IN THE FINGER LAKES – Brown Hound Bistro; open May-October  

Finger Lakes Winery – wine and dogs too! – Hunt Country Vineyards

COOL PRODUCTS & FUN STUFF! – my raving fan endorsements for which I receive NO financial reward …

1.  Calming Collars – they work naturally 

Online communities for bloggers and dog lovers:

1.  Blog Paws

2. Blog Her

Magazines – both off and online publications:

1.  BARK – Dog is my co-pilot;    Not just another pretty face.  The Bark is the magazine for literate, dog-lover aficionados who enjoy insightful articles,  canine poetry w/out the “cute factor,” timely book reviews and gorgeous photos.  Find it at your favorite news stand or Barnes & Noble or wherever magazines are sold.  Find it online at

If you want the back-story of how Bark magazine came to be,  read the book,  Dog Is My Co-Pilot – Great Writers On The World’s Oldest Friendship,  from the editors of The Bark.

2.  modern dog – the lifestyle magazine for modern dogs and their companions;   a quarterly publication that tips its hat to charitable organizations that work to help dogs in need (ie – homeless,  abused and/or dogs that have been abused.  Find it online at .

Pet Microchip for Dogs and Cats:   Tessa came with a Home Again microchip and it’s a great peace of mind for us.

Rescue Dog Photography
–  with Teresa Berg.  Photographer creates photos of homeless animals and shows you how to do the same.

DeLapa Photography -a little closer to home and you can let Honey do all of the work! Studio Gallery located at 30 East Street, Honeoye Falls, New York

Out Sourcing Support

1.  For sheer genius and for the fact that she will honest-to-God,  PICK UP the phone and call you,  there’s no better IT support than  Julie Salgado.   She’s been online for a long time and there’s not too much that she can’t do.   And, for the things that she can’t, she’s got her own referral network to plug you into.   Make sure to tell Julie that you heard about her from Healing Rescue Dogs.

2.  Graphic DesignerJan Marie Gallagher.   After carrying an image of my “internet persona”  around in my head for 5 years,  Jan Marie brought her to life over at Mrs BizWhiz.   When I came up with the concept for Healing Rescue Dogs,  Jan Marie created the header after a short conversation with me.  She’s talented and fun to work with!

You can reach Jan Marie at:

And, you can see her online portfolio here.

The look and emotional appeal of this blog was the direct result of my vision and the combined efforts of Julie and Jan Marie to execute it.   If you like what they’ve accomplished for me, please don’t hesitate to contact these women.  They can partner with you to help you make  your own vision
a compelling reality online. 

3.  The Easiest Way to Make Sure Your Web Site/Blog Is Legal  – 2009 was a pivotal year for anyone who had a web site/blog because that was the year that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) started to regulate business on the internet.  Privacy policies and Terms of Service are just two of the legal disclaimers you may need to have.

I did a lot of research about this which is how I was introduced to a Chip Cooper, a lawyer whose specialty is internet law.  He offers an online digital contract service  that is the best I’ve come across. I’m one of his customers and a raving fan of what he provides. So much so, that I decided to join his affiliate program.  Which means, if you purchase any of the products the Chip Cooper sell, after you’ve clicked either of the links in this section, I’ll receive a commission from your sale.

You can check this out by requesting a free video — which is accessible when you click on either of the links.  Which is what I did.  The rest is up to you.

PS Here’s the other thing I like about Chip Cooper. He doesn’t hesitate to pick up the phone! I emailed Chip because I  had questions about the information that I needed to provide for the creation of my legal documents. He promptly emailed back and suggested we schedule a (live) phone call so that he could assure himself that I was on the right path. 

4.  Photo credits:  without exception,  all of the photographs in my blog posts are taken by my husband,  ABP.  He is pleased when he hears that his photos receive favorable comments.  However, he is not presently taking on new clients.  <smile>