Luvin’ Labs is a Labrador Retriever Rescue based in New Mexico.   We are dedicated to finding loving homes for Labrador Retrievers through rescue and rehoming.  We currently do not have dogs on site, rather we rely on donations for boarding and fabulous fosters to keep our labs until they find their forever homes!

Luvin’ Labs works with shelters and rescue organizations throughout the state.  We also work with owners of Labs who for a myriad of reasons need to find a loving home for their Labrador Retriever.

Click through the pages of our site and check back often for updated posts of available dogs as well as Lab related information.

Postings include dogs in our program, as well as Labrador Retrievers in danger in shelters throughout the state.


To visit dogs in immediate danger please click HERE

886 dogs adopted to date!


Together saving one soul at a time.

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Did you know that large black dogs are commonly the last to be adopted?  This phenomenon is referred to by shelters and rescues as black dog syndrome.  Black dogs are often more difficult to find homes for and among the first to be euthanized.  Their fate lies not with their ability to love, their personality or their intelligence, but merely the color of their coat.

We ask you to come meet the awesome black dog Chica currently in the Westside shelter…you’ll quickly see this phenomenon, but you’ll also see what wonderful treasures are there wrapped in black fur.

Thinking of adopting…check out the 10 reasons you might want to consider a black dog…

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My name is CHICA and I am a female ,black Labrador Retriever mix.  The shelter thinks I am about 4 years old.  I have been at the shelter and available for adoption since April 18, 2014.

For more information about me, call:
Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Westside at (505) 768-1975
Ask for information about animal ID number A1042212

I’m a very sweet girl, but I think I my have a bit of arthritis, especially in my right front leg. Even so,  I love to go for walks.  I’m afraid of all the noise in kennel building and grates so the shelter staff moved me from D building because of the noise into Building A where I was given soft bedding.  The reason I ended up at the shelter is that my owner died.  I have always been an outside dog, so in a way the Westside Shelter is a very nice place.  I’m told that I am very people friendly, even though I’m a little shy when new people approach but  I comes around quickly because I enjoy petting.  I take treats but I don’t eat them.  They tell be that my teeth look good for my age.  The shelter thinks I am about 15 years old.  My name is CASEY and I am a spayed female, yellow Labrador Retriever mix.  I have been at the shelter and available for adoption since April 18, 2014.

For more information about me, call:
Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Westside at (505) 768-1975
Ask for information about animal ID number A0805970

Jefferson1

This pair of worried eyes belong to a 3 year old male chocolate lab named Jefferson. Jefferson’s life has been pretty chaotic over the past few weeks. He was picked up by a good Samaritan who found him wandering with an injured back leg and then he was taken to a shelter where they tried unsuccessfully to find his owner. Poor Jefferson waited for days, injured, hoping his person would come take him away from that scary place, but he was never claimed… so we decided to make this sweet, adorable guy part of our family. Through his entire ordeal, Jefferson has been a perfect gentleman, very kind and grateful to everyone for all of the love that has been extended to him. Jefferson’s leg is currently under medical evaluation but from there, he has no place to go. We are hopeful (and Jefferson’s paws are crossed) that you will look into his weary, beautiful eyes and then click here to fill out a foster application so he can recuperate in your loving home.

If you are interested in meeting Jefferson click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days.  Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.

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JillJack

Meet Jack and Jill…Jack is a full-breed 10 year old yellow lab and Jill is a 6 year old black lab…and they desperately need a foster home.  Their owner is moving at the end of the month and they have nowhere to go.  They are both very friendly, enjoy the company of other dogs and love kids.  They are up-to-date with their vaccinations and have been neutered/spayed.  Both Jack and Jill know basic commands and Jack has received formal training.  They are house trained and walk well on a leash…maybe just a little pulling initially but take correction well.  They love people and need a home where they can get the attention they deserve.  As they have been together all their lives we would like to place these two best friends together.

Please help us bring Jack and Jill into the rescue by offering to foster them.  Call (505) 362-0331 and one of our volunteers will contact you.  If you are interested in adopting Jack and Jill click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days.  Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.  Owner Listing

 

 

Don’t you think I’m gorgeous?  The Shelter staff named me Annie and I am a neutered female, black Labrador Retriever mix.  I have been at the shelter since April 10, 2014.  I have been available for adoption since April 15, 2014.  The shelter thinks I am about 1 year old.
For more information about this animal, call:
Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Eastside at (505) 768-1975
Ask for information about animal ID number A1693030

 

I know you will find this hard to believe, but on March 21, 2014 my owner surrendered me to the Westside Shelter.  My name is FRIDA and I am a spayed female, tan and white Labrador Retriever mix.  The shelter thinks I am about 3 years old.  Please take the time to visit me at the Westside Shelter to find out if I’m as sweet as I look in my picture.  I have been here for almost a whole month.  The shelter is very overcrowded and I’m afraid that they won’t be able to keep around much longer if one one adopts me.

For more information about me, call:
Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Westside at (505) 768-1975
Ask for information about animal ID number A1691578


When I showed up  at the shelter on April 14, 2014, they had to come up with a name for me.  I am a female, black and white Labrador Retriever mix, so they named me OREO.  I am available for adoption and just so you’ll know, the shelter thinks I am about 1 year.

For more information about me, call:
Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Westside at (505) 768-1975
Ask for information about animal ID number A1693239

Sable is a classy name for the color Black.  The classy color of a classy puppy.  My name is KALI and I am a spayed female, sable and white Labrador Retriever mix.  I have been at the shelter since April 10, 2014 and  I have been available for adoption since the day I arrived.  The shelter thinks I am about 7 months old.  Think how cool it would be to be able to introduce your friend to your new Sable Labrador Retriever puppy, but you need to hurry because I am one of a kind and I am bound to be in high demand.

For more information about me, call:
Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Westside at (505) 768-1975
Ask for information about animal ID number A1687769

Labrador Retriever found on Dinkle Road in Edgewood on 4/14.  We want to get this dog home…please call Luvin’ Labs Rescue at (505) 362-0331 if you think this might be your dog.

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4/21/2014 UPDATE:  From Lola’s owner:  Thank you Luvin’ Labs for the help bringing Lola home. She was gone for two weeks but we never gave up hope. We knew that with your help lots of people in the ABQ area had an eye out for her! She was being sheltered by a family just a few blocks from home . . . Has already resumed her daily schedule of chasing sticks, kissing the kiddos and sleeping in the sun!

 

If you’ve seen Lola or know where she might be please call or text 505-239-8449; a reward is offered.  Lola was last seen 4/8 in the vicinity of Rio Grande and Indian School.

Lola

When asked why she fosters we got the following reply from our foster Dawn…

“I’m still a newbie when it comes to fostering, but the most asked question I get from people is “how can you give them up?”… my standard answer is – ‘If I kept the puppy/dog…I wouldn’t be able to save another…’

Going in with the mind-set that you bring them in & love them to pieces & help them recover from whatever bad situation they came from & prepare them for their new forever home.. ”

See Dawn’s year of fosters…

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Nora, Blossom, Skye, Willow, Zeus, Mavis, Ruckus, Rudy, Andy, Dandi & Gemini

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Mickey’s “Save” Irish

Today is a sad day. In rescue there are often many sad days punctuated by glorious moments of a life saved, a tail wag, a sloppy kiss, a healthy report after a long illness, a successful surgery …we’ve learned to wear the sadness like a dull old overcoat, shoved away in your closet but still there, hanging, regardless of what you do.

Today we are taking off the coat of sadness to share a bit with you of a rescue tradition that few but those of us in the rescue (behind the scenes) know. Every time we lose one of ours we immediately rescue the next available dog in their name. We’ve done this countless times but we’ve rarely publicized it. It’s a tradition with us borne out of necessity. The need for each of us to be able to shift our sadness into something positive, to truly save a life for a life lost. We’ve been blessed to this point that we’ve been able to keep up our tradition.

Today we want to ask if you’d help us to keep our tradition …

We lost our brave little Mickey who after a few days in a loving foster home, cared for, treasured and loved after surviving a high kill rural shelter succumbed to the deadly, highly contagious and totally preventable disease parvo. We’ve had many many dogs survive parvo, Mickey just couldn’t … he was crying in pain this morning, his 3 month old body unable to cope with the violent cramping and stomach pains. The good folks at Good Shepherd Animal Clinic kissed him goodbye for us and set him free. Mickey … we love you little buddy … run pain free, play happily, on the other side.

Moments after we lost Mickey I heard that a beautiful one year old black lab owner surrender we’d been in contact about with a local shelter had not been euthanized, and was tagged for our rescue! Mickey’s girl, his save, his life for her life, is on her way this afternoon to join the Luvin’ Labs pack. We’ve named her Irish, a perfect name for today’s perfect spring day and her freedom ride!

Even tho we’ve lost Mickey, we’ve still his bills to pay, and now, his girl Irish’s …will you help us to honor Mickey, to help us save and care for his girl?

MICKEY’S STORY – Little Mickey, only 3 months old ended up in a local rural shelter in danger of being put to sleep. Saved in the nick of time by an angel named Marie, fostered by another angel named Jackie, Mickey made it out of the shelter alive. He spent a few glorious days in his loving foster home before his health started declining. Foster mom Jackie had given him round the clock care but Mickey continued to decline. The loving folks of Good Shepherd Animal Clinic treated our Mickey for the deadly disease parvo. Our sweet little Irish lad escaped with his life from the shelter, now he fought to continue living. We named him for St. Patrick’s Day, hoping a good bit of our Irish tenacity and strength would help this sweet boy to heal and eventually to find his perfect loving home.

 

All funds raised are used solely to treat the medical expenses of the intended animals.  Lodestar Dog Ranch (www.luvinlabs.com) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization registered with the state of New Mexico and all donations are tax-deductible.

Zoe1

This is Zoe. Zoe is a female lab,  around 2 years of age. She is a very pretty girl and her coat just shines. She is described as “an incredible dog with a calm disposition and she knows all of her commands.”  Zoe is very good around other dogs and she is described by a LL volunteer as just an all around great dog. We could go on and on about her, but you get the idea… A great dog, deserves a great forever home.

If you are interested in meeting Zoe click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days.  Should you have additional questions or be interested in fostering Zoe call (505) 362-0331.

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Bergera is a handsome, 4 month old, purebred male Labrador Retriever puppy. Bergera is a tough little guy: he was recently declared healthy after fighting off the deadly canine parvovirus. Parvo recently took the life of another L.L. puppy so we are elated (and very relieved) that this boy was able to win his battle. Now that he is feeling better he is ready for action! Bergera  is oh-so-cute and wiggly and needs to find a forever home where his people can keep up with his endless curiosity and energy.  He is a delightful boy and he is going to make someone a wonderful friend.

This update from his foster 4/20/2014:

He is a fine pup.  Very loving and sweet.  He is socializing very well with my 3 dogs and seems very comfortable here.  He has learned how to use the doggie door and is making a lot of progress with potty training.  I think he will have a good grasp within a few days. Judging by his size and the size of his feet, he is going to be a big dog.  He is built very similar to my male lab who as an adult weighs about 90-95 lbs. Hopefully we will find a special home for him.  He sure is sweet.  

While Labrador puppies are adorable they are not right for everyone.  We are extremely careful in our placement of puppies as each  has special needs that includes the time commitment for training, bonding, and supervising in order to make them the best canine citizens they can become.

If you are interested in meeting Bergera click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days.  Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.

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Littleman1

This is Little Man, a male dog, breed unknown (possibly chihuahua mix). We think he looks like a very tiny Labrador with funny ears. L.M was taken in by a Luvin’ Labs foster family when they found him wandering along the ditch bank, emaciated and with what appeared to be bite marks from another animal. They have nursed this adorable guy back to health and he is now ready to find a forever home. L.M. is a lapdog and a snuggler who likes to sleep curled up on the pillow next to his people at night. He gets along great with other dogs and cats and adjusted to his new foster home very quickly. L.M.’s foster mom says he’s a keeper and if she didn’t already have a full house she would love for him to stay and be part of her family. Do you have a little bit of extra room on your pillow? If so, Little Man would love to occupy that spot. Oh, and we encourage his future family to tell everyone that this guy came from Luvin’ Labs and that you believe him to be mostly lab… It’ll be funny to see who pretends to believe you.

If you are interested in meeting Little Man click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days.  Should you have additional questions or be interested in fostering Flower call (505) 362-0331.

Littleman2

Beau3

Beau is a 5 year old purebred chocolate male Labrador Retriever. Beau is a big ‘ol teddy bear… who LOVES teddy bears and other soft, fluffy play things. He takes excellent care of his stuffed friends and never hurts or destroys them. Beau was an outside dog in his former life who really didn’t get the kind of attention he deserves. He is in heaven now with the Luvin’ Labs volunteers who smother him hugs, kisses and pats. He requests a home where he will be spoiled rotten to make up for the first five years of his life where he was mostly an outside dog. Beau is good with other dogs and kids but, since he lived outside, he may need some work on his house manners and basic obedience training so that he can reach his full potential as a wonderful family member.

If you are interested in meeting Beau click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days.  Should you have additional questions or be interested in fostering Flower call (505) 362-0331.

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Neda1

Meet Luvin’ Lab’s new beauty, Neda. Neda is a 1 year old purebred Labrador Retriever female. This smiley girl was living a happy, carefree life in Socorro until she suddenly found herself alone and afraid in the local shelter (something about ‘rules’ and ‘the landlord’). She was able to breathe a sigh of relief when she heard that L.L. couldn’t wait to make her part of our family. Neda is a young, energetic girl who loves toys and is not destructive. She has a lab’s appetite and finds food to be oh-so-delicious (no “off” button between the mouth and the stomach). Neda adores car rides, attention and play time. She can hardly wait to unpack her stuffed animals and balls and settle into her new forever home. Neda politely requests that she be the only female dog in her home.

Since Neda is new to us,  we will update her bio when we learn more about her. Maybe you could be her foster and help us fill in the blanks so we can find the perfect forever home for her?

If you are interested in meeting Neda click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days.  Should you have additional questions or be interested in fostering Neda call (505) 362-0331.

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Flower1

Flower needs a foster or forever home after being rescued from her living situation- a situation that had this 9 month old girl chained up outside.  Some wonderful people from another rescue encountered her while doing community outreach- in search of forgotten dogs- and they were able to educate Flower’s owner that this is not a humane way to treat a family member. The owner agreed to give her up and we jumped at the opportunity to make her a Luvin’ Labs dog.  We know from the other rescue that she is a sweetheart that loves people and relishes human contact. This baby deserves to know what it means to be a family dog- loved and treasured and connected to her people- not left alone outside for days on end by herself.

Flower NEEDS A FOSTER or forever home to change her life and makes it a wonderful, joyful adventure going forward. She is a sweet, special dog and Luvin’ Labs desperately wants her to be part of a family. We can’t do that without a volunteer who steps up to love Flower and work with her so that she can find a terrific forever home.

UPDATE 4/22/2014: This from a LL volunteer who has spent time with Flower:

Flower is a sweet, young and active Lab. You would never have guessed she had been chained. She’s affectionate and playful. She sits, she is learning down. Her favorite toy is a red squeaky rubber toy that she chases and retrieves. She likes the pool. She needs a little more experience with other dogs but we are working on that. I think she is a great dog.

If you are interested in meeting Flower click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days.  Should you have additional questions or be interested in fostering Flower call (505) 362-0331.

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Sherlock and Watson

Sherlock and Watson

Meet Sherlock and Watson, both male labs and best buddies. These two handsome boys clearly have some history together and, while we would love to hear the stories, they’re not talking. They were surrendered together by their owner and are believed to both be about 5-6 years old. It’s possible that they are brothers,  maybe a father and son, or just two compatible souls that became inseparable. Regardless of how Sherlock and Watson came together, they are a bonded pair and we would like to keep them together… best friends don’t come along every day, you know. These two need a stable and loving, forever home where they can share many more adventures.

We don’t know much about them yet, but as their foster gets to know them we will update.

If you are interested in meeting Sherlock and Watson click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com.  Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days.  Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.

Sherlock

Watson

Watson

 

I’m a Lab puppy full of fun, energy, and love that I really need to share with you.  The Shelter staff named me JETSON and I am a neutered male, black Labrador Retriever mix.  I have been at the shelter since March 26, 2014 and I have been available for adoption since March 30, 2014.  The shelter thinks I am about 11 months old.  Come see me and let’s get to know each other.  Please?

For more information about this animal, call:
Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Westside at (505) 768-1975
Ask for information about animal ID number A1692066

Kelly4

Please don’t scroll past me without reading my story. My name is Kelly and I am posted here for a reason. The Luvin’ Labs people said they don’t take in non-labs unless they are a truly special exception. They say I am more than just special, I am a hero and they weren’t going to let me end up in a shelter. My human had a terrible disease called Alzheimer’s but I didn’t care about any of that- I loved her. She was still able to care for me and my two Labrador siblings until she took a terrible fall- I was the one who went to get help and, thanks to me, she is OK. Her living arrangements have changed so that she will be safe and, as a result, she is no longer able to care for me.

My two Lab siblings were able to find new homes several months ago when they were taken in by the lab rescue. I am obviously not a lab so that has put me at a bit of a disadvantage. Maybe I have some Border Collie genes, but that isn’t really all that important. What I am for sure is a healthy, big, incredibly affectionate, loving 9 year old male dog. I want to follow you from room to room, and maybe go for some walks and car rides with you. I have excellent house manners as I’ve spent the majority of my life indoors. If you let me, I would love to curl up next to you on the couch because I love to snuggle and get belly rubs. I get along well with other dogs but cats and young children are an unknown because they haven’t been part of my life. Mostly, I just want someone who will love me as much as my previous owner did. Maybe you are alone too and need some company- I am a wonderful companion dog.

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Please share me with your friends and family because I deserve an excellent home. If you are interested in meeting Kelly click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com.  Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days.  Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.

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Blair1

This beautiful 5 month old black female is Blair, and she has clearly refined her taste for delicious things at an early age. Blair is all things puppy: energetic, playful and excited to learn about all of the wonderful things that life has to offer. She is looking for a forever home where her people will love her and help her grow up to be an excellent Labrador citizen.

While Labrador puppies are adorable they are not right for everyone.  We are extremely careful in our placement of puppies as each  has special needs that includes the time commitment for training, bonding, and supervising in order to make them the best canine citizens they can become.

If you are interested in meeting Blair click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days.  Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.

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Sweet young Mercedes was found by animal control, starving and with a gaping, infected injury to her left front paw. She had life saving surgery on March 21st and she is getting stronger every day.

Our beautiful girl Mercedes has endured so much hardship in her first year of life: she was homeless, starving and, to make matters worse, her left front paw was severely injured. We can only guess it was caught in a horrific snap trap. Little trooper that this chocolate covered girl was, she somehow managed to pull her leg out and survive for quite some time, with an extremely severe injury that would have leveled any of us human folks.

Amazingly, despite how injured and emaciated Mercedes was, she responded well enough to preliminary care that she was able to undergo a life saving surgery to remove her mangled limb and alleviate the rampant infection spreading through her body. Despite all she has been through she is an absolutely amazing girl with a nonstop tail that wags with such joy. She loves to give kisses and hang out with the other labs at the clinic where she is currently recovering.

Mercedes has so many angels to thank: the Bernalillo veterinary clinic where she was initially cared for, the volunteer who transported her, and the wonderful folks at Good Shepherd Animal Clinic who, without hesitation, committed to taking her in for Luvin’ Labs. Thanks to them, Mercedes’ journey to health, security and safety, and to find a loving forever home began! Will you please help Luvin’ Labs raise the $650 to pay for Mercedes life saving surgery? We committed to her knowing that we’d have high medical bills, but honestly, with her foot gaping open and infected, sweet Mercedes kissed everyone she met, grateful for any affection and care. How could we not help a girl so very sweet?

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In addition to donations, Mercedes is currently looking for a recovery foster or forever home. The vet estimates she is between 10 months and 1 year old and she is a doll. We think she deserves the best and look forward to her having a loving home where she can enjoy the puppyhood she’s never had.

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Mercedes deserves to have folks understand what a beautiful and incredible tenacious spirit she has and we also want the terrible ordeal that she endured to be something we all learn from to keep our beloved dogs safe.

Please click on Mercedes picture below and go to the gallery on the right side of the page to see the damage a trap can do. The photos are graphic, please be advised!!

 

An angel with a special connection to Mercedes together with several generous supporters paid the balance due for Mercedes surgery…a huge thank you to all of you!  However, we still have dogs in need and appreciate any additional donations in support of our mission.

All funds raised are used solely to treat the medical expenses of the intended animals.  Lodestar Dog Ranch (www.luvinlabs.com) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization registered with the state of New Mexico and all donations are tax-deductible.

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Meet Missy, a 13 year old female Yellow Lab. Missy is a deserving senior looking for a forever foster or forever home. She is blind and nearly deaf, however, she is intuitive and gets around well. She is able to use a doggy door and able to feel the warmth of the sun finding a spot to nap for bit when outside. Missy has a lifetime of experience specializing in love and loyalty and she can nap with the best of them. Her desire is to have a retired person navigate life’s journey with her. 

Please take a close look at this deserving gem. Missy is UTD on vaccinations, chipped and spayed.

Please contact Don Helfrich (dondoberman@gmail.com) for additional information.

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Hi there! My name is Sam and I am a neutered male, yellow Labrador Retriever mix. When I was at the shelter they estimated me to be about 7 years old. I am new to Luvin’ Labs and they are just now getting to know me but I make an excellent first impression!  I am a fun loving, goofy big boy that is good with other dogs. I am told I am a very handsome dog with a kind face that lights up the room. As you can see in my profile picture, I am very eager to find my new forever home as the past few weeks in the shelter have been so very stressful. Are you looking for a dog that has some life experience? If so, I’m your guy and I can’t wait to meet you so I can show you what a good boy I am.  

As the folks at the rescue learn more about me they will post an update to my profile. For now, if you think I might be a good fit, I would love it if you would arrange to meet me so we can get to know one another.

XOXO- Sam

UPDATE 4/20/2014: This from a LL volunteer:

Sam is a love. Playing ball is his game and he loves the water like a true Lab. He is affectionate and will make a great companion. He is very easy to fall in love with.

If you are interested in meeting Sam click here for information on the adoption process. There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days. Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.

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I know how to sit and shake!

I know how to sit and shake!

This handsome neutered male chocolate lab is Buddy and he’s 8 years old.  Buddy is at the perfect lab age, no longer puppy-like in his behavior but still ready for a good game of fetch or a nice walk.  Buddy’s foster mom has this to say about him:  “Buddy is a very nice BIG boy.   He is house trained, has nice house mannners, is crate trained and minds well.   He seeks attention and likes nothing better than to be loved on.   Buddy is a quiet dog….. not much barking from him.  He is currently overweight but LOVES to go on a nice walk and is good on the leash, so we are working on getting his weight down.    He may have some arthritis, but it isn’t slowing him down much.  He is also good riding in the car.  Buddy will make someone a WONDERFUL companion.  He is very pleasant and good natured.  Not a jumper or digger that I have seen.   This big sweet boy is a gem!”  He’s good with older kids, elderly people, other dogs with the proper introduction, but no cats or little puppies.

If you are interested in meeting Buddy click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com.  Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days.  Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.

 

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Shyla7This pup is Shyla, an 8 month old female lab. She is a cuddly, fun loving, happy little girl with a loving personality who is finally ready for a forever home. We say finally because Shyla had a lot to overcome before she could be adopted. On March 6th Shyla’s right front leg was amputated to resolve a painful injury that wouldn’t heal, and was robbing Shyla of a proper puppihood. She hardly missed a beat after the surgery and promptly resumed playing and entertaining her foster family.

Shyla came to Luvin’ Labs by way of a rural animal shelter where she was abandoned after her owners decided they didn’t want her. It is unknown how her leg was injured, but what we do know is that she received no veterinary care for several weeks. Instead, her previous owners duct taped a homemade splint onto her leg, causing the injury to heal incorrectly, and then decided they didn’t want her. Her fosters and Shyla’s wonderful vets have made a valiant attempt to try to recuperate her leg but, unfortunately, the damage was too severe.In order for Shyla to have the best quality of life, the decision was made to amputate her leg.

Shyla is now pain free and loving life. She is as tough as she is sweet and funny, and she is very excited to finally begin a normal life with a loving family to play with and cuddle up to. If you are looking for a great dog this girl most certainly checks all the boxes.

If you are interested in meeting Shyla click here for information on the adoption process. There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days. Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.

 

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Just check this guy out…it’s handsome Cody and he’s an 8 year old black purebred Labrador retriever.  Cody’s a shy guy, but loves attention and quickly warms up to a friendly pat on the head.  Cody enjoys the company of other dogs and just relaxing.  If you are interested in meeting Cody click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com.  Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days.  Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.

 

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I am the grandmother your other dog has always wished for. My name is Annabel and I am 12 years young. To be fair, I am very fond of less mature pups (I get along well with other dogs) but I’m darn sure not going to sit back and watch while they hog the spotlight (I plan to be around for awhile and I am a spunky girl). I am good with children and cats and I love to be affectionate with people. I am spayed, house trained and I can use a dog door. I don’t jump or dig either. I really enjoy walks and my foster mom says that with some careful conditioning I will be the one whipping you into shape. It’s clear she has already fallen for my charm and spirit and she says that the family who ends up with me will be lucky because I am an awesome dog. Basically, I’m perfect… So what are you waiting for?

If you are interested in meeting Annabel click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com.  Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days.  Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.

 

 

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Petey, a 4-5 month old male yellow lab pup, is the most adorable puppy ever born. Well, maybe not ever… but he is undeniably cute! He is also all things puppy which means he is a busy, curious guy who needs lots of a supervision and patient guidance to help him grow up to be a responsible Labrador.  His foster mom tells us:

“Petey has been with us almost a week now and he is turning out to be such a sweet, busy boy.  He loves all people and has brought laughter and busyness  to our house like only a puppy can.  He is super affectionate with the whole family and when he finally wears out, he loves to cuddle in someone’s lap.  He follows me around all day “helping” and will sleep in my office while I work.  Now that he has figured out his place in our pack of four dogs including him (hint: it is not top dog), he is getting along famously with them.  The golden retriever has spent the week dangling an octopus toy out of her mouth until Petey finally figured out how to play tug of war. She even let him win, but only for a minute. He loves to play fetch and run with the big dogs, normally while chasing them.  He is smart and learned how to use the dog door  the first day he was here.  I daresay I think he is also housebroken.  He had an accident the first day, but has used the dog door since then with no prompting from me. He is crate trained and sleeps through the night.  We have been busy working on manners and haven’t started formal training yet but he is so smart and food motivated, I believe he will be easy to train.  He gets neutered Tuesday so soon will be ready for his forever home.  In the meantime, we will continue to try to put some weight on him as he is very thin and continue loving him and working on training.  He is a joyful, fun dog and is going to be a super boy for some lucky family.”

While Labrador puppies are adorable they are not right for everyone.  We are extremely careful in our placement of puppies as each  has special needs that includes the time commitment for training, bonding, and supervising in order to make them the best canine citizens they can become.

If you are interested in meeting Petey click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days.  Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.

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This handsome young guy is Chester, a 2 year old black male lab.  Chester was patiently sitting in a high-kill local shelter just pleading with those beautiful brown eyes for someone to get him out of there…how could we resist!  Chester is now a Luvin’ Labs pup looking for his forever companion/family.  We don’t’ know much about him except he is so happy to be enjoying life outside of those metal bars.

UPDATE 4/22/2014: A LL volunteer has this to say about Chester:

Chester is just a big goof. Not a mean bone in his body. He gets along with all other dogs,  loves to play and chase. He likes toys but loves other dogs. He’s a young, affectionate, fun dog. He also loves the pool.

If you are interested in meeting Chester click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com.  Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days.  Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.

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Hi, my name is Sugar and I’m a Luvin’ Labs dog looking for a forever home.  I think they named me Sugar because I’m so sweet.

I love children.  They can mob me, touch me all over and I just love it.  I get along with other dogs with slow careful introductions.  I am helpful around the house, pre-cleaning dishes in the dishwasher.  I love being petted, walked, and playing Frisbee and ball.  I sleep on my bed in the bedroom all night.  I love to ride in cars.  I’ve been helpful with kids in need at my foster mom’s school.  She thinks I’d make a great therapy dog.  I’m kind and gentle.  You could get addicted to my kind of sugar very quickly.

If you are interested in meeting me click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com.  Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days.  Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.  

For:  luvinlabs.comBy Rich and Candy Sanchez  

 

 

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 What a great way to express what you’re about or what’s important to you while benefiting Luvin’ Labs.  Orgami Owl custom jewelry is a system of chains, lockets, charms, plates and dangles that you put together to express what you’re all about.  Whether it’s family, pets, hobbies, celebrations, travel or other of life’s events, each necklace or bracelet made is designed by you and a unique piece.  Design something for yourself or a family member or friend.  Don’t forget, Mother’s Day is rapidly approaching.  And there are lots of dog oriented charms.

From now until March 31st, when you order using the link below, you will be helping Luvin’ Labs Rescue as 30% of ALL purchases will be donated to Luvin’ Labs to support the rescue of Labrador Retreivers and Labrador mixes!

Direct link to the store and online catalog which supports Luvin’ Labs: http://www.MichelleKincaid.origamiowl.com/parties/LuvinLabs213603/how-to-build.ashx

 

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Did you know that large black dogs are commonly the last to be adopted?  This phenomenon is referred to by shelters and rescues as black dog syndrome.  Black dogs are often more difficult to find homes for and among the first to be euthanized.  Their fate lies not with their ability to love, their personality or their intelligence, but merely the color of their coat.

We ask you to come meet our awesome black dogs currently in the rescue…Cody, Jayda, Jett, Nan, Sasha, Baiden, Hope and Bandit, Danae, Britney, Vader, Calvin…all have their own story to tell and all are looking for that loving forever home.  Or visit your local shelter…you’ll quickly see this phenomenon, but you’ll also see what wonderful treasures are there wrapped in black fur.

Thinking of adopting…check out the 10 reasons you might want to consider a black dog…

 

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Danae was pulled from a high kill gassing shelter in Oklahoma.  She was only there a short time before she gave birth to 3 puppies.  Luvin Labs was able to get Danae and her pups released to rescue and into a foster home, but unfortunately, only one pup survived.   We named the pup Marvin and he has found his forever home .

Danae has proven to be a very special girl during her stay in foster care.  She will need a loving family that can devote time to helping her trust people.  She loves toys, treats, and water just like any good lab does.  She is good with other dogs in her foster home and loves to give her foster mom hugs when she is busy trying to get ready for work.

This sweet sensitive girl is looking to find her forever home, and the family willing to commit their time and love to her and she’ll repay them with loyalty and devotion.

If you are interested in meeting Danae click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com.  Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days.  Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.

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Photo Courtesy of Michelle Oglesbee

What’s better than a Hershey Kiss?  A kiss from Lab Hershey with no added calories!  Hershey is a gorgeous deep rich chocolate colored eight year old Lab.  Hershey is house broken, good with other dogs and cats, and has never met a stranger.  Sounds like a great older girl for the right family.”

If you’re a lover of gentle, affectionate Chocolate Labs, 9 year old Hersey is someone you will definitely want to meet!

If you are interested in meeting Hershey click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com.  Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days.  Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331. 

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Photo Courtesy of Michelle Oglesbee

Sonya is a 2 year old female black lab rottie mix who was last seen 2/20 near a church in NM-344 in Edgewood.  She slipped her collar after being frightened by a loud voice in the area of NM-344 and NM-472 (an extension of Frost Rd) aka Kings Hwy. E of 344.  She has a spot on her hind left thigh at the joint without hair.  Sonya weighs about 100 pounds.  If you see Sonya or know her whereabouts please call Vanessa at 505-702-6462 or 505-281-9554.

KoriePhoto Courtesy of Benjamin Chan

Korie is an 8 year old gorgeous chocolate lab with the softest shiniest coat.  She is in great physical shape and loves walking, running, and hiking.  She’ll even help her new family to get in shape!  She gets along great with dogs and cats and even chickens.  She must have experienced some bad moments with humans at some point in her life and she can be timid and shy around new people, but she always remains gentle.  She very much wants to be part of a family with other dog siblings.  If you can give her time to check you out and make sure you are OK you will be rewarded with an incredibly loyal friend who gives the sweetest most gentle kisses.

If you are interested in meeting Korie click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com.  Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days.  Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331. 

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Sasha  is a 11 year old beautiful silky black mellow Labrador looking for a new home.   Happy and easy going, Sasha is a real sweetheart of a Lab.  She loves other dogs, soft beds, and good food.  She is house trained and is mostly a couch potato looking for a warm place to live out her remaining years.  Her foster mom tells us:  “Sasha is so happy to be in a home again.  She has very nice manners, someone spoiled her and it’s so hard to believe they gave her up.  She’s in good physical shape for a senior.  She knows basic commands such as sit and stay.”

If you are interested in meeting Sasha click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com.  Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days.  Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.

 

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Did you know that without our fosters Luvin’ Labs is helpless in our mission…to rescue labs and lab mixes from shelters throughout New Mexico and find them forever loving homes? Did you know that without our fosters we cannot continue to save lives? Thanks to our dedicated fosters in 2013 we were able to save 199 labs and lab mixes.

Please look at the faces in the video below…Jett, Madison, Calvin, Sugar, Cody, Emily, Cameron, Moonbeam, Nora, Snow White. Each of these pups already rescued by Luvin‘ Labs is looking for a loving foster home to help them transition from life in a shelter to life in a new forever home. There are so many more like them, just waiting… The lab you foster opens a space for one who wouldn’t have had a chance before.

Please consider opening your home and your heart to one of these pups. Call us at (505) 362-0331…a lab is waiting just for you!

 

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Scentsy Electric Candles are ceramic candle warmers that use a low-wattage light bulb to heat and melt our highly-scented long-lasting Scentsy Wax. Simply plug in your candle warmer, turn it on, and place a cube of your favorite Scentsy wax scent inside the warmer dish top. In minutes you will be enjoying one of over 80 scentsational scents. With over 70 full-size warmers, 17 mid-size warmers, and 20 plug-ins (night light style), there is surely a Scentsy Candle Warmer design to fit all your home decorating styles and preferences. These beautiful candle warmers are sure to inspire home decorating inspiration. Scentsy Wickless Candles are the best selling candles you will love.

When you order here, you will be helping Luvin’ Labs Rescue as 20% of ALL purchases will be donated to Luvin’ Labs to support their tireless work of rescue for all Labrador Retreivers and all Labrador mixes!

Direct link to the store which supports Luvin’ Labs: https://tracysdelightfulscents.scentsy.us/Scentsy/Home?partyId=218131197

For more information see this Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/777377895622386/

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Meet Elvis, a 4 year old black male Labrador. Like so many folks, Elvis’s mom has fallen on hard times recently and, sadly, is losing her home. Unfortunately, all too often when humans lose their homes, so do their beloved pets. Elvis is a good dog in desperate need of a new home and a family to bond with. He is a kind and happy sort of dog who seems to be very affable. If you live in a home with other dogs or children, Elvis might just be your guy because he is a good with any combination of the two. Cats are an unknown because he has never been around them. Elvis would love nothing more than some consistency and stability in his life – things that have been missing recently and are so important.  Do you think you are the person to offer Elvis these things? Oh, and don’t worry- he comes complete with the sweet face, adoring eyes and wet nose.

If you are interested in meeting Elvis click here for information on the adoption process. There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days. Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.

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This beautiful yellow female purebred Labrador retriever is Durango.  She’s 10 years old and just a little shy at first meeting.  She gets along great with other dogs and needs another dog in the family.  She is so anxious to find that person or family that she can love and that will return that love.  Durango is the perfect dog for that person looking for a gentle senior.  If you are interested in meeting Durango click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com.  Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days.  Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.

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Meet Cinder, an 9 year old spayed female, chocolate Labrador retriever. From her foster dad: Cinder has become a wonderful companion. She likes to talk to you when she wants her food or to be walked. Cinder is in terrific shape as she runs with her foster dad daily.  She loves people and with the right introduction, she gets along with other dogs.  Cinder has some damage to her larynx so it’s best that she walks wearing a harness and she will need to go to a home that is smoke-free.

If you are interested in meeting Cinder click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com.  Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days.  Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331. 

Cinder with Foster Family

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Amazon.com has teamed up with Luvin’ Labs Rescue through AmazonSmile to help raise funds for the rescue and rehoming of Labrador Retrievers and lab mixes throughout the state of New Mexico.  When purchased through their AmazonSmile site, Amazon will donate 0.5% of eligible purchases to Lodestar Dog Ranch (that’s us!) benefiting all the amazing pups you see on the Luvin’ Labs site!.  While shopping at Amazon (prices, services and guarantees), you’ll be donating to the amazing labs in our program and waiting to come in to our program…how simple is that!  With the holidays just around the corner what better way to make a difference in the life of a lab!  Click on the “Learn more” button below and start shopping.

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Luvin’ Labs is looking for that special person to foster or adopt Baiden, a lab who despite his challenging beginnings, is a dog who wants a chance to be part of a family who will love, cherish, and care for him.  In return, Baiden, will be your best buddy, trusty confidant, and exercise companion.

From Baiden’s best friends:

Jayme & Tommy - We fell in love with Baiden the first time we met him!  He is a big, beautiful, love sponge….or in my husbands words- “He’s awesome!”  We wanted nothing more than to take him home and make him part of our family forever.  Unfortunately, but understandably given what he endured as a puppy, Baiden is fearful of other dogs and we have three.  So we had to decide to love him enough to let him go to a home where he can be the only dog and best friend of the very special person who is lucky enough to adopt him.  Baiden is shiny black, with beautiful amber eyes.  He is loyal and SO sweet and he loves attention so much that he leans into you to hug you when you pet him.  He’s only two, so he has some energy and would love to have a yard to run around in.   And he LOVES his toys!  If you think you might be that very special person, please set up an appointment to meet this wonderful boy who deserves a lifetime of love and kindness in his forever home.  You’ll fall in love too!

Fran - Baiden is a very special boy. Due to his experiences during his first year of life (explained in his bio) he came to Luvin’Labs with a fair amount of distrust of humans and other dogs. As one of his walkers,  I have to admit, he pretty much languished in our kennel for the first six months, no doubt related to the fact that he is a pretty large and somewhat intimidating Lab – but oh so handsome!  With the help of a consultant and a trainer much progress has been made. We have come to love this boy so much as does everyone who meets him. When introduced the right way – treats first – he has pretty much (I would say almost completely) gotten over his fear of people. Unfortunately, most of the people who come to see him have other dogs or cats, which are still a challenge for him. We know the right person is out there waiting for Baiden to enter their life and bring all his love.

Sarah - Key Ingredients for a Best Friend:  loyalty, playfulness, companionship, energetic, promotes laughter, and likes long walks.  Not all people are created equal, and neither are dogs.  Some dogs are dealt with hardship and just need someone to take a chance with them, but also be willing to devote time, energy and love to help them become the best dog and best friend they can be. Baiden is that kind of dog; he’s not a good match for every family, he needs and deserves a forever home. Once the right person/right family takes that chance, they will have an extremely handsome black lab, who loves toys, loves to run and at the core is an oversized lap dog.  My name is Sarah, and I am one of the volunteers who spends time with Baiden weekly to get him some exercise and improve his social skills.  Once he gets to know you, he’s a big bundle of love and loyalty.  He may not particularly care for other dogs – but then who does get along with everybody?  Luvin’ Labs is willing to work with and support the right forever home for Baiden – won’t you give him a chance?  And give yourself the chance to fall in love with a great dog?

To read Baiden’s story, learn more about him, and find out how you can meet him click here.

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Photo Courtesy of Joyce Fay at www.joycefay.com

 

Luvin’ Labs is looking for that special person to foster or adopt Baiden, a lab who despite his challenging beginnings, is a dog who wants a chance to be part of a family who will love, cherish, and care for him.  In return, Baiden, will be your best buddy, trusty confidant, and exercise companion.

Baiden’s story:

When my owner surrendered four purebred lab puppies to Luvin’ Labs, the rescue had no idea they were leaving a fifth behind, otherwise they wouldn’t have left me.  At three months old, I was left with an uncaring family in a dirt yard and with a very alpha Lab father.  I grew and grew and as I grew my Lab father began beating me up more and more.  The human man, who I do not care to remember, hurt me as well.  Because of the “disruption” I caused, I was chained, so now not only was I beaten up regularly by my Lab father and the man, but  I had no where to run and no where to go.  Thankfully a wonderful rescue advocate heard of my life–of how I was constantly being hurt and abused.  She called Luvin’ Labs and asked if they would rescue the fifth pup from the litter.  Luvin’ Labs said, “Of course!”  They came and whisked me to safety, but by then I was a year old.

I’ve been relearning trust and how to play, boundaries, touch, caring, gentleness, consistently and most importantly:  love.  I’m hoping someone believes in me enough to know how much I can love, how much I can learn, and what a good boy I am.

Baiden is looking for an owner who has the time, calm leadership, and understanding to work with him to ensure he becomes the best dog he can be.  He has a lot of energy which just can’t be addressed in a boarding environment where he is now.  Baiden and his menagerie of stuffed friends need a loving home where they can feel safe and secure.  Since Baiden needs a lot of individual attention, he needs to be an only dog please.

If you are interested in meeting Baiden click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com.  Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days.  Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.
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Photo Courtesy of Joyce Fay at www.joycefay.com

 

This video shows the harsh reality of owner surrenders to our shelter system in this country. Please think long and hard before surrendering your family member to a shelter. And if you choose to do it, don’t kid yourself into believing the shelter is going to find them a good home. It just doesn’t happen.

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Want to help make a difference to the Labrador Retrievers in our program? We’ve two easy ways below … 
  
Sign up for a one time donation at the Paypal (paypal link at the bottom of the page).

Or sign up to be a monthly donor through our monthly donor Paypal program (monthly donor link below, select the amount from the drop down then click on the large “monthly donation” button).

Either program will help you to literally help us save the life of a Labrador Retriever waiting to come in to our program. All donations assist us in continuing our mission of rescuing, rehoming and rehabilitating Labrador Retrievers.
 
100% of funds are used to cover costs incurred from intaking, medically treating and boarding dogs in our program. As a 501 (c)(3) non profit all donations are tax deductible.
We are deeply grateful for your help.

Monthly Donation


 

Together we can save one soul at a time.
 

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Papa Murphy’s Take and Bake Fundraising Cards are now for sale with Luvin’ Labs! For $5.00 you’ll receive 8 specials including a FREE large Pizza, free cookie dough, free cinammon wheel plus discount coupons … an easy sell!

To purchase please stop by Good Shepherd Animal Clinic or visit us at any of our events.

If you are able to help us sell the cards please email colleen@luvinlabs.com
All proceeds benefit Luvin’ Labs dogs in the program and coming in to our program.

 

This handsome senior guy is Travis, a 12 year old male yellow Labrador retriever.  Don’t let the age fool you, this guy’s got lots of life and energy in him and would make some family a great companion.   7/2012 update from his foster mom:  “Travis has a little trouble seeing due to a cataract in one eye but that doesn’t slow him down any when it comes to loving!  His favorite activity is to lay by the couch and to get some lovin’.  He is fully house trained and can be trusted to stay inside the house on his own or enjoys being outside without digging or jumping.  He gets excited and runs around when we get home or when he knows he’s getting a treat but never jumps.  He’s very good about riding in the car, just he may need a boost to get in a taller vehicle since his legs are a little short for a lab.  He is very good with other dogs and loves everybody he meets, especially if they’ll give him a scratch behind the ears!”

If you are interested in Travis Jett click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com.  Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days.  Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.

 

 

This handsome guy is Jude, an 11 year old neutered male yellow Labrador retriever.  Jude is such a happy dog with a tail that wags and a huge labby smile.  He will make a wonderful companion to a family that wants a dog with a little more experience.

If you are interested in meeting Jude click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com.  Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days.  Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.

 

Meet Ellie, a senior female chocolate lab about 11 years old.  Ellie came to us from the Albuquerque Animal Control where she impressed the staff with her sweet personality. Ellie lives with 2 other labs and a cat. She loves to take short walks, have her belly rubbed and play with a tennis ball. She is also just as content to lounge around and watch TV with you. Please consider adopting Ellie and giving her a permanent forever home.  Ellie will make somebody a wonderful loyal companion; might that be you?

If you are interested in meeting Ellie click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com.  Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 3 days.  Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.

Owner Listings are posted as a courtesy with Luvin Labs acting as a facilitator in this process.  We will received applications, send them to the owner, and work with both parties to find a suitable home.  However, Luvin Labs has not evaluated these dogs and has only provided information supplied by the owner. We make no representations of, either expressed or implied, as to the health and/or temperament of courtesy listing dogs.

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This adorable doll is Sandy. She  is a 6 year old female yellow Labrador Retriever in search of a new home. Sandy is a big dog, weighing in at 96lbs. She doesn’t jump to greet, is eager to please and can sit on command. Her new owner needs to practice with her on a leash as she gets very excited and she may need some work on her house manners since she has been primarily an outside dog. Sandy is a bit timid around people she has never met, but once she gets used to them she is very sweet to people of all ages. Her current owner describes her as protective over her home and her yard and says she is pretty relaxed in the house once she gets over her initial excitements. She also tends to be protective over her toys and treats. Sandy’s owner describes her as the queen of her backyard and wants the very best home for her where she will be loved and get lots of attention. She is not spayed (so she will need to be) and needs to be screened for heartworm but she is current on all other vaccines.

This girl deserves a wonderful home where she will be loved and cherished. She might make a wonderful pet for a single person who wants a loving companion who also offers a sense of protection over her home and her people.

If you are interested in meeting Sandy please complete the online application found by clicking here and email to applications@luvinlabs.com.  Should you have questions on the process or the application call (505) 362-0331.  Owner Listing

Marlo

This beautiful senior is Marlo, a 10 year old black female lab.  Her owner describes her as “loving, kind and patient.  She is comfortable around other dogs and wonderful with children.  She has a sweet and calm demeanor.  Marlo is a very happy dog and loves to show excitement by wiggling.  She is not showing any signs of aging, still very mobile and flexible.  She is at her happiest around people and just wants to be loved.”  Marlo is used to being in the house, is up-to-date with all shots, spayed and microchipped.

If you are interested in meeting Marlo please complete the online application found by clicking here and email to applications@luvinlabs.com.  Should you have questions on the process or the application call (505) 362-0331.  Owner Listing

 

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Misty2

This beautiful 9 year old black female lab is Misty.  She’s described by her owner as friendly, gentle, sweet, good with other dogs, kids and even cats.  She loves to take daily walks wearing her own harness, she does not jump to greet, is used to staying in the house and has excellent house manners.  Misty loves her people, but if left alone in the yard is able to jump a 5′ fence.  Misty’s owner no longer has a place for her and has less than a month to find her a new home.

If you are interested in meeting Misty please complete the online application found by clicking here and email to applications@luvinlabs.com.  Should you have questions on our process or the application call (505) 362-0331.  Owner Listing

 

Misty1

Rythim copy

 

This one year old black female lab mix is Rhythm, currently in foster.  She’s described by her foster as a very friendly pup, gets along with every person, child and adult she meets.  When she is not playing, she wants to be right beside you and will, without fail, roll over for a belly rub.  She is very smart and well-manner.  She knows “sit” and is very respectful to both the foster’s cats.  Rhythm is working on leash training and is already house trained.  If you are interest in meeting Rhythm contact bridgestohome@gmail.com.  Courtesy Listing

Ty


Ty1

 

This handsome guy is Ty, a golden/lab mix.  He’s one year old, neutered, microchipped, and current on vaccinations.  His owner describes him as very calm, easy going, great with kids, adults and other dogs.  He is very loyal and loves affection.  He enjoys walks and is good on a leash.  Ty may need some training in good house manners, but wants to please and will learn fast.  He’s not a jumper, either fences or to greet.  If you are interested in meeting Ty please complete the online application found by clicking here and email to applications@luvinlabs.com.  Should you have questions on the process or the application call (505) 362-0331.  Owner Listing

 

Following are postings for dogs in immediate danger in shelters throughout New Mexico, and Texas, as well as courtesy listings for other shelters and owners looking for homes for their labs. The postings contain contact information on the shelter, as well as the dogs identification.  For more information on specific animals please contact the shelter directly.

Luvin’ Labs works with other rescue organizations throughout the states, and has resources that may be able to help with transport via the puppy express … a network of fabulous volunteers who donate a bit of their time to move dogs across the country pony express style.  For more information on transport assistance please call 505/362-0331.

One of the Luvin’ Labs Volunteers tells me that I look like a sweetheart dog.  If you agree, I would sure like to be your Sweetheart Dog.  The Shelter staff named me ALEXANDRIA and I am a spayed female, tan and cream Labrador Retriever mix.  I have been at the shelter since April 02, 2014 and I have been available for adoption since April 06, 2014.  The shelter thinks I am only about 4 years old, so there is a lot of love left in my sweet heart.

For more information about me, call:
Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Westside at (505) 768-1975
Ask for information about animal ID number A1692524

Everyone loves a good Cookie.  I have it on good authority that My name is COOKIE.  I am a spayed female, sable Labrador Retriever mix, and I am looking for a new home.  I have been at the shelter since April 09, 2014 and I have been available for adoption from the moment I arrived.  The shelter thinks I am about 1 year and 8 months old.

For more information about me, call:
Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Eastside at (505) 768-1975
Ask for information about animal ID number A1677332

The Luvin’ Labs volunteers worked long and hard to figure out a way to get my picture for you to be able to see what a handsome fellow I am, but even my picture doesn’t let you know about my personality.  The only way to find out what a special guy I am is to come on over to the Westside Shelter and visit me.  The Shelter staff named me RAKKYO and I am a neutered male, brown and white Labrador Retriever mix.  I have been at the shelter since March 29, 2014.  I have been available for adoption since April 03, 2014.  The shelter thinks I am about 3 years old.

For more information about me, call:
Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Westside at (505) 768-1975
Ask for information about animal ID number A1692254

 

When my owners surrendered me, they told the Shelter that my name is LEVI and that I am a neutered male, tan Labrador Retriever.  I have been at the shelter since February 28, 2014 an I have been available for adoption since the day I arrived.  The shelter thinks I am about 3 years old.  Everyone who sees me says the same thing, “I’m Cute!”  Come see for yourself just how cute I am, then take me home with you.

For more information about me, call:
Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Eastside at (505) 768-1975
Ask for information about animal ID number A1614339

 

If I look familiar it is probably because this is the second time I have been put on the Luvin’ Labs “Dogs in Danger” page.  On March 7th the Shelter notified Luvin’ Labs that I was no longer available.
My name was CHACA but it has been changed to Shakira and I am a spayed female, black and white Labrador Retriever mix.  I have been at the shelter since February 24, 2014.  I have been available for adoption, again, since March 17, 2014.  The shelter thinks I am about 1 year and 2 months old.  I hope you will call the shelter and ask about how it happened that I was on and off and the back on again.  Even better, I would like to be taken off the Luvin’ Labs site for the last time because I have been taken home by you.

For more information about me, call:
Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Eastside at (505) 768-1975
Ask for information about animal ID number A1687447

 

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Shelter staff named me TESLON and I am a neutered male, black Labrador Retriever mix. I have been available for adoption since Feb 21, 2014. The shelter thinks I am about 2 years. I have been at the shelter since Feb 17, 2014. For more information about this animal, call: Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Westside at (505) 768-1975. Ask for information about animal ID number A1689698.

 

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Shelter staff named me LINGUINE and I am a neutered male, brindle and white Labrador Retriever mix. I have been available for adoption since Feb 02, 2014. The shelter thinks I am about 2 years old. I have been at the shelter since Jan 29, 2014. For more information about this animal, call: Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Westside at (505) 768-1975. Ask for information about animal ID number A1688775.

GQ


 

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Shelter staff named me GQ and I am a neutered male, black Labrador Retriever mix. I have been available for adoption since Feb 26, 2014. The shelter thinks I am about 1 year. I have been at the shelter since Feb 21, 2014. For more information about this animal, call: Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Westside at (505) 768-1975. Ask for information about animal ID number A1689976.

 

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My name is CLAY and I am a neutered male, black Labrador Retriever mix. I have been available for adoption since Jan 26, 2014.
The shelter thinks I am about 1 year and 6 months old. I have been at the shelter since Jan 26, 2014. For more information about this animal, call: Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Eastside at (505) 768-1975. Ask for information about animal ID number A1673848.

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Shelter staff named me PESTO and I am a neutered male, black and white  Labrador Retriever mix.  I have been at the shelter since January 17, 2014 and I have been available for adoption since January 23, 2014.    I was very shy in the barkery and I had to be carried out, but then I got better and better on a leash, but I still not very happy.  I got a little scared around a rambunctious pup.    Basically, I don’t like it here at the shelter.  I enjoy petting and I’m really cute.  The shelter thinks I am about 10 months old so I’m still just a puppy.  I can be yours.  I want to be yours.  Please come check me out.

For more information about Pesto, call:
Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Westside at (505) 768-1975
Ask for information about animal ID number A1688197

 

My name is PENGUIN and I am a neutered male, black and white Labrador Retriever mix. I have been available for adoption since December 18, 2013. The shelter thinks I am about 9 years old. I have been at the shelter since December 7, 2013.  I’m all dressed up and ready come live with you.  Come visit me and give me a chance to WOW you.
For more information about me, call:
Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Westside at (505) 768-1975
Ask for information about animal ID number A0868481

 

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My name is PEPPER and I am a neutered male, black Labrador Retriever mix. I have been available for adoption since December 018, 2013.  The shelter thinks I am about 4 years old.  I have been at the shelter since December 13, 2013.  The shelter staff describes me as sweetie, outgoing, energetic, playful, loves everyone, knows sit and a bunch of other commands, and seems Dog Friendly.  With descriptions like that, you just have to come meet me and take me home.  Please?  See you soon :-) For more information about me, call: Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Westside at (505) 768-1975. Ask for information about animal ID number A1686468.

 

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My name is SMOKEY and I am a neutered male, red Labrador Retriever mix. I have been available for adoption since Jun 30, 2013. The shelter thinks I am about 10 years old. I have been at the shelter since Jun 30, 2013. For more information about this animal, call: Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Eastside at (505) 768-1975 and ask for information about animal ID number A1674405.

 

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My name is NATALIA and I am a spayed female, black and white Labrador Retriever mix. I have been available for adoption since Oct 05, 2013. The shelter thinks I am about 11 months old. I have been at the shelter since Oct 05, 2013. For more information about this animal, call:
Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Westside at (505) 768-1975 and ask for information about animal ID number A1668385.

Did You Know:    Black dogs are particularly doomed when they are brought to a pound because they are passed by for lighter colored dogs.  This is especially true of  black labs or lab mixes.  They are euthanized at a horrifying rate at many pounds & shelters. If you are thinking about adopting a dog , please don’t overlook black dogs because they are just as loving & wonderful as lighter colored dogs!   Martin County Animal Shelter, Fairmont,MN

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This pretty 5 year old female yellow lab is Lacie and she’s missing.  She was last seen in Rio Rancho on October 1st and her family is so anxious to get her back.  She’s about 85 pounds, microchipped (0006ABAC36), and has what looks like a smiley face on her stomach.  If you see her or know where she might be please call 1-800-252-7894.

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Have you been wanting to volunteer with Luvin’ Labs, but only have a couple of hours a month to volunteer?

Luvin’ Labs is looking for people who are willing to volunteer to help with our home visits. This is the final step in our process before our dogs go to their forever homes. Every home visit volunteer will be trained and given a form with specifics to look for.

Our goal is to have volunteers in all areas of Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

What better way to help a lab find their forever home!

Please, call (505) 362-0331 or email us at applications@luvinlabs.com if you are interested in helping with our home visits.

 

 

Reprinted with permission from Debbie at thankdogphotography.com

I recently read an article by a woman complaining about her difficulty in adopting a dog from a rescue organization.  Several commenters agreed and relayed similar experiences.  It got me thinking…

First, I don’t know the author.   Nor do I know anything about the rescue organization she was trying to adopt from (I think everyone was from New York).

Second – I’m far from an old hand at this.  I’ve fostered 1 adult dog and 7 puppies, including Jet.  And these are only my own thoughts and opinions – I’m not speaking for any rescue organization or volunteer.

So… do I think it’s “harder” to adopt from a rescue organization than from your local shelter?  In a word, yes.  But there are a number of good reasons why…

We have the time to be more selective.  The dogs in the rescue organizations are no longer on death row.  The threat of euthanasia is gone.  They aren’t going to die if they aren’t adopted in just a few days. Once a dog is within the rescue organization, he or she is safe.  We can take the time to do home visits, check vet references, etc.  We can care for them through all their vetting, illnesses or whatever.  The urgency is gone.

We become attached.  Most rescue organizations are all volunteer, and the dogs are in foster care.  This means they live in our homes and share our lives – sometimes for months.  Jet has been with me for almost 3 months now.  The little stinker sleeps in my bed.  Belle, the Queen of Disdain, has fallen for him.  So do I want him going somewhere that’s “fine” or “okay”?  No, not really.  I want him to go to the perfect home for him.  Even if/when that home comes along, will I cry?  Almost certainly.  Do we all seriously consider keeping (one or more) of our fosters? Of course.  Am I considering keeping Jet?  You bet.  The attachment we have to our fosters makes us really want to find great homes for them – homes where they’ll thrive and be happy.

We know the dogs.  I know Jet.  I know he’s a high energy puppy who loves other dogs.  I also know he’s noisy (I hear him from the driveway – coming and going), he can be destructive (so far, the tally is one shoe and a bathroom cabinet), he’s smart but stubborn, he has sweet moments, and he has a well-documented tendency to eat inappropriate things. Because I know him, I know what type of home he needs – and what type of home would not be a good fit.  We have turned down an application on Jet – very nice and well meaning people, but everything about the circumstances spelled disaster and future behavioral issues.

We’ve had dogs returned.  You might be surprised by how often this happens – sometimes a few days or weeks later, sometimes months later. Frequently the issue is a mismatch of energy between an existing pet and the new dog (or a clash of personality).  Sometimes it’s a new boyfriend or girlfriend who doesn’t like the dog or the dog doesn’t like him/her (though I would guess it’s always the former).  Other times it’s a realization that they don’t have the time needed for the dog they adopted (some are high maintenance, no doubt about it!).  By being more particular with the original adoption, we hope to avoid this.  We can’t always.  Don’t get me wrong – we want them returned to us versus the shelter.. but we also obviously would prefer neither.

We’re all volunteers.  Most of us have other jobs.  So if it takes a little while to respond – or if the whole process is slower than you hoped, please have patience.

Basically, yes, it probably is more of a process to adopt from a rescue organization.  But it’s because we truly want to match the dogs up with the best homes — and vice versa.  If you let us know about you, your lifestyle, your family, etc., we’ll do our best to pair you up with a dog that will be a good match for you.  We’re not trying to be difficult, we just honestly want what’s best for everyone involved (especially the dogs, as that’s where our attachment lies).
So what if you’ve found a dog you’d like to adopt?  Here’s a few tips to help the process along:

  • Show your excitement.  Ooh and aah over the dog and how wonderful and adorable  s/he is.  It shouldn’t really matter, but it does.  We want the dogs to be loved and adored.
  • Think about it.  Sure that dog’s adorable, but do you have the time to housebreak him? To train him? What if he pulls a Jet and runs up $1000 worth of vet bills by eating a still-unknown something?   Let us know you have given the idea of adding a new dog to your family some thought.
  • Complete the application.  Yes, sometimes they’re a little long.  They ask for stuff like your vet’s name.  Trust me when I say we look at them.  If you have pets but don’t have a vet – a red flag is raised.
  • Work on any behavioral problems your current pets have.  Some are fine (Belle countersurfs when I’m not home – not good behavior, but I know now not to leave anything on the counters).  But if your dog doesn’t like your son or snaps at your husband or is repeatedly getting in fights, it’s not cute.  It’s a sign that there’s an issue and you’re not doing anything to resolve it.  We figure the same will happen to your next dog.
  • Demonstrate you have some basic knowledge about dogs.  Don’t let your kids grab at unfamiliar dogs.  Learn some of the basic signs dogs give you when they are uncomfortable, anxious or unhappy.  It’s not hard, it only takes a minute, but it shows us you are serious about being a good and responsible owner.
  • Listen to us.  Dogs often act differently at adoption events than how they do at home.  If we say a dog is very high energy, but he doesn’t really appear to be… listen to us.  Adoption events are stressful for some of the dogs – a necessary evil, I suppose.  The dogs don’t always act like themselves.  Likewise, if we say the dog would do better as an only dog, don’t assume that because your dog gets along with everyone, he’ll get along with the new one too.

Yes, our dogs are rescues, sometimes from awful circumstances, other times not.  But just because they made it to a shelter does not mean they do not deserve a good home.  Indeed, many of them have gone through enough already – they deserve us spending a little time and effort to make sure the next chapter in their lives is a happy one. That’s all we’re trying to do.  So please be patient and understanding – it’ll be worth it.

to volunteer with Luvin’ Labs please email colleen@luvinlabs.com or call 505/362-0331

A few years ago, Julien Roohani of Portland, Oregon, was at work when her roommates spontaneously decided to go on a hike. Not wanting to exclude Julien’s six-month-old Shepherd/Border Collie mix, Niña, they threw her into the back of their pickup truck and set off for an adventure.
Niña had never been in a truck bed before. Whether she was scared or just spotted something of interest, she managed to jump out during the drive. Panicking, the roommates called Julien, who rushed Niña to an emergency veterinary clinic where she was diagnosed with a broken spine and other severe injuries. Julien had no choice but to allow her young pup to be humanely euthanized.
Unfortunately, stories like Niña’s are all too common. It is never safe to drive with an unrestrained pet—especially with that pet in an open truck bed.
“When you drive with a loose dog in the back of your truck, you’re taking a huge risk and placing your dog and other motorists in danger,” says Chuck Mai, a vice president with AAA Oklahoma. “Even if a dog is trained, we’re talking about an animal who responds to stimuli on impulse. This irresponsible decision can start a deadly chain reaction on the road.”
Is It Legal?
Transporting unrestrained dogs in low-sided truck beds has been banned in a handful of states, including California and New Hampshire, and municipalities including Indianapolis, Cheyenne and Miami-Dade. However, in the vast majority of jurisdictions, it’s not even illegal to transport children in this manner, so we must rely on common sense and education to protect children and pets alike.
How You Can Help
One can feel terribly helpless witnessing a loose dog in a pickup truck. The best course of action is to try to get the vehicle’s license number (if you can do so while remaining safe) and call the local police. Rather than dialing 911, Jill Buckley, ASPCA Senior Director of Government Relations, suggests storing your police precinct’s phone number in your cell phone.

A Rescued Dogs Prayer

Thank you for rescuing me … I know you’ve thought long and hard about a new friend
Something about my soulful eyes and soft fur touched a very special part of you.
I wanted to share with you a bit of me,
and what might help me to be the best pup for you.
Up until a few weeks ago I had the perfect dog life,
and then one day, a day like every other,
Ended with me being abandoned.
I’ve been at the shelter, on the end of a chain,
In a field, or sitting on the side of the road
Waiting, scared, moved from place to place
With no idea of who to trust or what is going to happen.
Thankful for the fresh water, food, a warm place to sleep and sometimes kind people.
And then you chose me …
Please give me time to adjust to you and to learn your expectations of me.
All I want is to please you, I just do not know how to yet.
I ask you to please give me patience and understanding.
I don’t yet know what you want of me.
Teach me softly, consistently,
Outside, down, fetch, sit, good dog!
If you don’t understand my behavior,
It may be because I have been abused, abandoned, neglected.
Sometimes I may be afraid of you, of other people, of loud noises or sudden movements.
Time and patience will help me learn to trust again.
Please forgive me if I am protective of my food.
I was so very hungry for a very long time.
Someday I’ll understand that my food bowl will never again be empty.
Adopt me because you want me,
Because under my faults and flaws you see who I really am,
You understand that each of us is not perfect,
That our imperfections actually show our individual beauty.
And last but not least, please give me the precious time
I need to adjust to your house, to your home, to you.
I will bond to you … be it today, or tomorrow … or next week
And I promise with all that I am that I will be
Your most loyal, loving, forever friend.

By Luvin’ Labs


A Rescued Dogs Prayer was written with input from all of us at Luvin’ Labs to try to help new owner’s understand that their newly rescued lab needs some time to adjust.  Thanks to each and every one of you for your input!

Pictures are of Sir Lancelot, a 3 year old yellow Labrador Retriever rescued from the Garland, Texas shelter by many rescues working together.  He was an owner surrender who knows sit, shake, and lie down and was just left there, and rescued hours before being put to sleep.  The “Sad Lab” picture at the top of post circulated all over the internet waiting for a rescue to commit to him.  The “Happy Lab” picture at the bottom was after he was rescued, and safe, in boarding.  We are happy to say that Sir Lancelot is living his happily ever after with his new family in Albuquerque, NM!

Today is a sad day for the rescue community around the world. Every once in a while, a story comes along that seems to unite the world. Lennox, a family pet, the victim of breed specific legislation, was just that sweet soul. Lennox was euthanized today in Belfast, Northern Ireland because he looked like a banned breed, a pit bull. His family fought for 2 years to free him, to no avail. They were not even allowed to see him before he was pts and last they heard, they might get to have some of his ashes. Our hearts go out to his family and we wish Lennox peace and freedom at the rainbow bridge. To read more about Lennox, please visit the link: http://www.lifewithdogs.tv/2011/03/lennox-sentenced-to-death-in-trial-by-tape-measure-appeals-planned/

Luvin’ Labs alumni Rigel his brother Tenner play in the snow!


 

It came to me that every time I lose a dog, they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are.
~ Unknown

 

When God made me, he spelled his name backwards and called me Dog.

I am a dog. I am a living, breathing animal. I feel pain, joy, love, fear and pleasure.

I am not a thing. If I am hit – I will bruise, I will bleed, I will break. I will feel pain. I am not a thing.

I am a dog. I enjoy playtime, walk time, but more than anything, I enjoy time with my pack – my family – my people. I want nothing more than to be by the side of my human. I want to sleep where you sleep and walk where you walk. I am a dog and I feel love…I crave companionship.

I enjoy the touch of a kind hand and the softness of a good bed. I want to be inside of the home with my family, not stuck on the end of a chain or alone in a kennel or fenced yard for hours on end. I was born to be a companion, not to live a life of solitude.

I get too cold and I get too hot. I experience hunger and thirst. I am a living creature, not a thing.

When you leave, I want to go with you. If I stay behind, I will eagerly await your return. I long for the sound of your voice. I will do most anything to please you. I live to be your treasured companion.

I am a dog. My actions are not dictated by money, greed, or hatred. I do not know prejudice. I live in the moment and am ruled by love and loyalty.

Do not mistake me for a mindless object. I can feel and I can think. I can experience more than physical pain, I can feel fear and joy. I can feel love and confusion. I have emotions. I understand perhaps more than you do. I am able to comprehend the words you speak to me, but you are not always able to understand me.

I am a dog. I am not able to care for myself without your help. If you choose to tie me up and refuse to feed me, I will starve. If you abandon me on a rural road, I will experience fear and loneliness. I will search for you and wonder why I have been left behind. I am not a piece of property to be dumped and forgotten.

If you choose to leave me at a shelter, I will be frightened and bewildered. I will watch for your return with every footfall that approaches my kennel run.

I am a dog – a living, breathing creature. If you choose to take me home, please provide me with the things that I need to keep me healthy and happy.

Provide me with good food, clean water, warm shelter and your love. Do not abandon me. Do not kick me. Do not dump me when your life gets too busy. Make a commitment to me for the entirety of my life, or do not take me home in the first place.

If you desert me, I do not have the means to care for myself. I am at the mercy of the kindness of people – if I fall into the wrong hands, my life will be ruined.

I will experience pain, fear and loneliness. If I wind up in an animal shelter, I have only my eyes to implore someone to save me, and my tail to show you that I am a friend. If that is not good enough, I will die.

I am a dog. I want to give and receive love. I want to live. I am not a thing. I am not a piece of property. Please do not discard me. Please treat me with kindness, love and respect. I promise to repay you with unconditional love for as long as I live.

By Jim Willis, 2001

When I was a puppy, I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh. You called me your child, and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend.  Whenever I was”bad,” you’d shake your finger at me and ask “How could you?” — but then you’d relent, and roll me over for a bellyrub. My housebreaking took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together.  I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed and listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect.  We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because “ice cream is bad for dogs,” you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.

Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate.  I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love.  She, now your wife, is not a “dog person” — still I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her.  I was happy because you were happy.  Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement.  I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother  them, too.  Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate.  Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a “prisoner of love.”

As they began to grow, I became their friend.  They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears, and gave me kisses on my nose.  I loved everything about them and their touch — because your touch was now so infrequent — and I would have defended them with my life if need be.  I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams, and together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway.

There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me.  These past few years, you just answered “yes” and changed the subject.  I had gone from being “your dog” to “just a dog,” and you resented every expenditure on my behalf.  Now, you have a new career opportunity in another city, and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets.  You’ve made the right decision  for your “family,” but there was a time when I was your only family.

I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter.  It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness.  You filled out the paperwork and said “I know you will find a good home for her.”  They shrugged and gave you a pained look.  They understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog, even one with “papers.”   You had to pry your son’s fingers loose from my collar as he screamed “No, Daddy!  Please don’t let them take my dog!”  And I worried for him, and what  lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty,  about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life.  You gave me a good-bye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you.  You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too.  After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home.  They shook their heads and asked “How could you?”  They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy  schedules  allow.  They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago.  At first,whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you that you had changed your mind — that this was all a bad dream … or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me. When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited.

I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day, and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room.  A blissfully quiet room. She placed me on the table and rubbed my ears, and told me not to worry.     My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief.  The prisoner of love had run out of days.  As is my nature, I was more concerned about her.  The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her, and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood.  She gently placed a  turniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek.  I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago.  She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein.  As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured “How could you?”

Perhaps because she understood my dogspeak, she said “I’m so sorry.” She hugged me, and  hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn’t be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself — a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place.  And with my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my “How could you?” was not directed at her.  It was you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of.  I will  think of you and wait for you forever.  May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty.

The End

A note from the author:
If “How Could You?” brought tears to your eyes as you read it, as it did to mine as I wrote it, it is because it is the composite story of the millions of formerly owned pets who die each year in American and  Canadian animal shelters.  Anyone is welcome to distribute the essay for a noncommercial purpose, as long as it is properly attributed with the copyright notice.

Please use it to help educate, on your websites, in newsletters, on animal shelter and vet office bulletin boards.  Tell the public that the decision to add a pet to the family is an important one for life, that animals deserve our love and sensible care, that finding another appropriate home for your animal is your responsibility and any local humane society or animal welfare league can offer you good advice, and that all life is precious.  Please do your part to stop the killing, and encourage all spay & neuter campaigns in order to prevent unwanted animals.

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“I looked at all the caged animals in the shelter…the cast-offs of human society. I saw in their eyes love and hope, fear and dread, sadness and betrayal. And I was angry. “God,” I said, “this is terrible! Why don’t You do something?” God was silent for a moment and then He spoke softly. “I have done something,” He replied. “I created YOU.” ~ Jim Willis ~

Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels.  I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her.

I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn’t be afraid. As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn’t want her to know that I hadn’t been walked today. Sometimes the overworked shelter keepers get too busy and I didn’t want her to think poorly of them.

As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn’t feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone’s life.

She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship. A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well.

Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms.

I would promise to keep her safe.
I would promise to always be by her side.
I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes.

I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many more are out there who haven’t walked the corridors. So many more to be saved. At least I could save one.

I rescued a human today.

by Janine Allen