Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Windy the day she went to her new home.

Windy is truly an amazing creature. She has absolutely beautiful big shining eyes, a huggable fluffy body, and at 30 lbs is the perfect size. No dog I have met has had the amazing impact of Windy. It is impossible to meet her and not love her.

Windy enjoying the outdoors.

Windy lived in my bathtub for 2 weeks when she first came from 'Camp Reno'. Slowly she moved into the bedroom. After 3 years she is a happy, energetic social dog who loves to talk and loves agility tunnels. When I brought Windy home I had no intentions of keeping her. I was going to foster her until she was ready for her new home. I adopted her out 6 months later. She ran away from her new home 3 times. By the third time I decided to bring her home with me. Windy truly is my soul mate, and I thank God for her every day.

Windy looking pretty.

So glad to hear from Windy.
You look fabulous!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mindy (a.k.a. Elsie)

Mindy has been with us for a little over three years. She is such a sweet little dog with pretty silky-soft fur. She is very shy and likes her blanket in the corner where she feels very safe. She fears thunder storms more than anything. Other dogs are her best friends. Every morning mom takes Mindy and Lucky (11 year-old wolfhound mix) for an off the leash run through the sage brush. Mindy is always excited to go and she performs her little doggy dance around the house before we leave. On the trail, Mindy chases rabbits and birds, when she sees them. Sadly, she once succeeded in catching a quail. We meet other friends and their dogs on the trail. We hope Mindy is enjoying life in our home. That's all the news for now.

So great to hear from you Mindy!!
Glad you are enjoying the new digs!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Message From KATIE

A Great Message from Katie:

Merry Christmas to ALL our Gabbs friends (four-legged and two-legged alike). Cheers to all our friends that have found forever homes, and BIG Christmas wishes for those still waiting. We love you all.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

BUFFY Update

Sadly, Buffy's Mom, Mary Ann passed away unexpectedly in March 2010. Mary Ann and I met while volunteering for Dog Town Canine Rescue and became good friends. It seemed natural that I would take Buffy to my home to foster, and as it turned out we adopted her.

Since Buffy became part of our family we have discovered what a sweet, wonderful dog she is. She is very quiet and fits well with our family. We have two other dogs: Lucky, a ten year male shepherd mix and Sara a twelve year old female, a probable McNab mix; both are Rescued dogs.

Buffy with her new siblings

It did not take Buffy long to get accustomed to our routine. She prefers to stay in the house, but on nice days will stay outside with Lucky. They love to run around the yard and to get groomed. Buffy loves to go for walks in the desert and loves her car rides. She likes to chase rabbits and Quail. We have a fenced yard, so until I could trust her off leash and to come to me on Recall, she was on leash or in the fenced yard. She has learned perfect Recall and will stop chasing rabbits and come back to me.

Miss Buffy in her new home

Buffy is doing well in training class. She is meeting different people and dogs. She is still somewhat cautious, but I feel she has grown so much. Buffy enjoys seeing my 7 and 10 year old Grandsons. She does not play with them, but loves to be petted by them.
Buffy says "hi" to all her Gabbs Buddies.

A Big Hello to You too, Buffy!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Rest in Peace WINNIE

Winnie died early Sunday morning, November 28th from complications following a bout with the dog flu. She is survived by her sister, Turtle, who is very lonesome without her. She died at home, in her own bed, warm and loved. I knew the time would come that Dama would start calling her dogs home. I just didn’t think she would start here, or so soon. You will be missed Winnie, but I will cherish the memory of you always.

RIP Baby Girl... We love you and miss you!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A shout-out from ARNIE

We were browsing the site and thought I'd update you on Arnie's situation. Arnie was the camp Casanova, king of the hay bale hill. I'll let him tell you about his life now.....

Hi, this is Arnie. I've been in my forever home for 9 1/2 months now, and I love the routine here. I live with my owner and his roommate and her dog Kai, who's my best friend and helps teach me how to be a happy well-adjusted dog.Every morning after breakfast we drive to the beach for a long walk - I always know when it's time to go and bark my silly head off with excitement, racing to see who can get in the car first. I love to wade in the quiet harbor waves and dip my nose in and splash myself.

On the beach with Kai

Crab is my favorite snack! During the day I cruise around the big garden and sleep in the sun. Sometimes we take a long drive and a long hike through the cool woods, with loads of new smells and time to dig.


Afternoons mean a walk on the bluffs, with lots of other dogs to meet and good smells. After watching my friend Kai I'm learning to be a lap dog, even though I'm kinda heavy.

Lap dog

I sleep in my owner's room, he doesn't mind my snoring! I still have a few fears, like stairs, but I'm so much better than I was, and have almost completely forgotten my life at Gabbs.

Sending loads of love to all my old Gabbs buddies, and all the people who helped get me where I am today.

Great to hear from you Arnie!!! Keep up at the great attitude!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Byron (a.k.a. Bryan)

Hi Everyone! A Gabbs Dog needs our help...

Norma writes:

"You may remember Byron, sometimes called Bryan, who was in the kennel with Charles on the upper right side. He was fostered, and then adopted by a lady by the name of Kellie. Just recently he was diagnosed with acute hypothyroidism and is undergoing treatment to save his life. Kellie is self-employed, and with this economy being what it is, business is very slow. I have donated a small amount to the vet bill and hope some others will as well. Please send any contributions to:

Mt. Madonna Vets
1961 Main St., # 232
Watsonville, CA 95076

In the “memo” section of my check I wrote “Kellie’s account for Byron.” Hope some of you Camp Reno “campers” can help."

Lots of love and prayers go out to Byron. Dinky and the rest of the Gang know you can pull through this... all our Gabbs Dogs are tough!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Gabbs was Adopted!!!

Remember Gabbs??

On October 4th, Gabbs was officially adopted. He had been on a home visit for two weeks and his new Mom just fell in love with him. She is even quilting him his own blanket. Gabbs you hit the jackpot! We can't wait for updates!!

Way to Go Gabbs!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Updates Needed

Hello Dog World...

We are missing our Gabbs Dogs. If you have an update, a story, a lesson learned or photos to share, please send them to We haven't heard from any of our friends lately and we miss them all.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

In Memory of Socks

Miss Socks has gone to live with Dama. Miss Socks became ill in March and was refusing most food. Her behavior towards other dogs, even her best friend Cowboy, became aggressive. Socks was still pretty wild and could not be transported by crate. (Socks was the last dog to leave Camp Reno, and deemed un-adoptable, but her “foster” mom Deb took on the challenge). The vet came to the house on March 29th and under his guidance, Deb was able to get Sock sedated. The vet discovered a large tumor, the size of half a grapefruit on Socks’ stomach, just below her sternum. After much discussion, it was decided that even if the tumor was not cancerous, Socks was not in the physical or mental condition to deal with the surgery and necessary post op confinement. Socks was euthanized and died quietly in Deb’s arms. She was buried with honor the following day in the yard at the only home she had ever known.

Rest in Peace Socks.

Thank you Deb for giving Socks a chance, and a second one, and loving her until the end of days.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A note from RUBY's Diary

Sat. Feb 13th. 2010

My name is Ruby Delillah and I am a dog. I have spent the last 6 years in kennels, runs and pens. I have almost been part of a family twice. I have never been so happy at any other point in my life as I was those times! And I have never been so hurt at any other point in my life when those times were taken from me. A dog like me doesn't get chances though, so I should just be happy that a family wanted me. You see, when I was a baby, they say that my Momma chewed my ear. I guess maybe it was a bit infected or something cause she had to chew all of it off. I can hear just fine though. I do have a little trouble seeing out of the eye on that side. I was still a baby when the ear healed so I grew but the scar didn't so my skin is pulled up a bit and it kinda covers my eye. But only a little. I used to feel sad when people looked at me funny, but Kris said that I am a good girl and that I'm pretty, so I know that I must be. I love Kris and Theresa and all of the people that walk me and play with me! I love them all SO much! They tell me "be patient Ruby" and "theres a family for you Ruby" and I know its true because they are really smart and they know everything. So every morning when I wake up I think "maybe it will happen today!" Oh, I do hope so.

Hey, here comes Kris with the leash, its walk time! I like walks! "Hi Kris hi, hi, so where are we walking huh, huh, where? I'm excited! why are we going around the buildings? this is fun, somewhere different to smell, I'm soo excited to walk wi... Who's that lady? Hey, theres a lady and a dog over there and I wanna go see! Lets go PLEASE lets go see them, can we, now? What a handsome dog. He's big! And he's...familiar? He smells familiar too. I know you! You're Coney. We were in Gabbs together! You got a family and you look sooo very happy. So are you just visiting? Oh, I wish I could be like you. I like your lady. She's very friendly. She smells like happiness, and so do you. I want to go with you. I can be a good girl, I really can. I don't want to feel hurt again, though, and I would hurt if you guys didn't like me after all. I'm not excited anymore. Well, I have to go back to my kennel now, I'm glad for you Coney. You have a nice lady there. Goodbye.

Sunday Feb. 14 2010

I heard somebody say Happy Valentines Day! I wonder what that means? Hmmm. Well two of the others got to go home with new families today. I guess today was their lucky day. When will mine come? I'm trying to be patient like I should but I wanted to go with Coney soooo bad yesterday. I want to be part of a real family too. I want what all dogs want. My OWN people. -sighs- "If you are out there, please come soon. I need you." Hey Kris is coming with the leash! I get to go for a walk! This is my favorite thing! Here we go!Lets go! over this way, can we, please, can we. -Wait- Whats that smell? I smelled that before. Yesterday. Thats Coneys lady over there. She looks happy and she's smiling. She's smiling ME! She's petting me too. "I like your smell lady and the way you pet me. I just like you." Kris is taking our picture. Thats nice. "Does this mean that you like me too? Does it mean that I can be your friend for a while?" I can't be too excited. I can't do anything that makes her not like me. I MUST be a good girl. YES! She's taking me! "Does this mean you want me? What did you say? I am your valentine? If that means I get to love you and be loved by you, then I AM your valentine!" Goodbye BARK ladies! goodbye kennels. I think I have found my family. I'm going HOME!

Wednesday Feb. 24 2010

Its mid-day. I know what that means! That means my MOM will be home soon. My Mom. I LOVE her sooo much. I love my Dad too. I love the little girls that play with me and give me their chicken nuggets when they don't want them anymore. I love Coney, or Finnegan as he's now named, and my new BIG sister Isabel. I love my big yard and the cozy warm house. I get to come in to the house when my family is home. In fact I am in the house more than I am out of it. Mom told me that I am a member of the family. She said that I will be a member of the family for always. I believe her, because she's smart and she knows everything. I do miss Kris and the friends I had at the kennel, but this is what they wanted for me and what they told me would happen. They were, as always, right!

THANK YOU Kris, Theresa and all you BARK folks, for saving my life! For giving me shelter and support. For teaching me manners. For not giving up on me. and for giving me hope. You can relax now, I'm all set. I LOVE YOU! Ruby D.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

ARNIE Update

Arnie is in his forever home and already playing at the beach. Here's the latest report from his new guardian:

"Well, it's been a week. We're learning more about each other every day. This is quite obviously a long-term issue, there's so much to learn about a poorly socialized fearful dog, and I begin to see why the shelters can't cope with the care and attention needed. Yet I'm still very game, because every so often I'll see glimpses of the normal, balanced, happy dog that's hiding way down deep, and I want to give him every possible opportunity to come out, and feel safe to do so.

"Today at Maverick's was spectacular. There's a path that runs between the cliffs and the harbor on the way out to the ocean, with a nice flat beach and tiny harbor wavelets that aren't as scary as the ocean. This was our 3rd time there. It's easy to control the whole width so he can't escape. So I dropped the 30 foot leash, and he walked along eagerly sniffing as usual with the leash trailing. He looked back at me and then took off, leaping and bounding thru the grass below the cliff, tail up and waving, down thru the dunes and onto the beach. Then he stopped and looked back, about 80 yards away. I crouched, opened my arms and called once, and he ran full speed, circling right into my embrace. Just awesome.

"Then we met a little dog, full of beans and ready to play chase. And Arnie did, full speed, round and round and up on the rocks, then followed her back to me. He loves splashing thru the tide pools and sniffing everything.

"Comfortable in the garden by himself, not barking or whining per the neighbors. But still a bit of fear of the tailgate of the car, the TV, etc. It's time, love, comfort and patience."

Arnie at the beach


Friday, February 5, 2010

Finnegan (aka Coney)

The Gabbs Dogs site is just wonderful! It's good to know that most of these dogs have been adopted into loving homes.

I was fortunate enough to adopt "my son" from Bevs kennel in Yerington back in 2008. Finnegan (formerly Coney) took to our family life and the kids with gleeful ease. He has a playmate in Isabel our wolfhound mix and my lap is his favorite place to sprawl. He's unaware that his size precludes him from being a lap dog so I just grin and bear it. He's a gentle giant with the patience of Job when it comes to the kids. Molly and Tess love him dearly and don't mind showing him LOTS of affection. This includes attempted horse back rides and leading him around by his tail. Tess, who is 16 months old also likes to show off her drum playing skills using his tummy. He will respond to this by rolling over onto his back and wagging his tail. To begin with, though, we were careful to monitor any interaction between him and (then 4 year old) Molly, as we didn't know enough yet about his temperment. We did find out that he liked to wander and explore right away. He shot through our open front door one evening when we were bringing in groceries and we finally caught up with him playing with a teenage girl in her front yard 3 blocks away. That was within a span of less than 10 minutes. Needless to say we are very mindful of open doors and gates at ALL times around him. The majority of his time is spent with me. I hadn't planned on adopting a dog, but the loss of my beloved sheperd mix "son" Angus, was the catalyst. I felt the need to save another dogs life since I was unable to save him. I found the shelter online and there saw a photo of "Coney" a Gabbs refugee. His appearance was somewhat similar to Angus in some ways so we visited him and were delighted by his outgoing personality. My husband needed no convincing. He was the one. We love the big guy dearly, and I can't imagine anyone wouldn't! I will send some photos as soon as I learn how to get them from my digital camera to the computer. Thank-You!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Turtle and Winnie

Turtle and Winnie at Gabbs

Turtle and Winnie are sisters. At the ranch they were known as Teenie and Weenie, which worked okay, until they were separated. Turtle got her nick name because she would climb under half of a plastic snap together dog house and carry it around on her back.
Turtle left the ranch before the big rescue. As conditions at the ranch became worse, her run mates became aggressive about food and wouldn’t let her eat. There was concern that she might not survive, so I brought her out to Safe Haven. She stayed there a few weeks before I brought her home.

The first day she arrived at my house, she came in from the run through the dog door and crawled into the bath tub. She slept there for several hours. After that, she moved outside and stayed in the run. My other dogs went to visit her, but she really wanted nothing to do with them. And so, Turtle had a pretty lonely existence for several months. When I went out to see her, she would pace and circle or run into her house and hide.

Turtle in the bathtub

Then in May 2008, I got a call about sister Winnie. Winnie had been through the big roundup and spent time at Camp Reno. She was eventually released to a shelter, but wasn’t doing well. Like many of the Gabbs dogs, Winnie couldn’t cope with the shelter environment. Shelter workers would often find her burrowed under her blankets and bed in the corner of her kennel. An animal behavior expert was consulted who recommended she be put to sleep to “put her out of her misery”. Connie Nolan of Wylie Animal Rescue Foundation arranged for Winnie to be released to me.

So after many months of separation, the sisters were reunited. From a training standpoint, it may not have been the best case scenario. They had each other to rely on again. But for their emotional wellbeing it worked out. They had each other to rely on again. Winnie came out of her blue funk and was delighted that she hadn’t been put out of her misery. So I had two pretty much feral dogs living in my dog run and not much clue what to do about it. If you look on the internet for advice, most of the articles begin with “start with a puppy under four months of age”. Well that ship had sailed.

Within a few months, more shelter rejects began coming back to Nevada: Polly, Oscar, Dinky and Harold. Robin Wenham was kind enough to bring them to us. He also offered up tons of advice on helping Turtle and Winnie. I went out into the dog run and read to them, napped with them, sat and groomed and played with my dogs in their presence. It took time, but Turtle and Winnie became more comfortable in my presence rather than pacing or hiding. They would take an occasional treat, but not often.

Then came the next big experiment, turn Turtle and Winnie loose in the backyard (maybe an acre) and see if they would hook up with the other dogs like Nelda (Gabbs dog) had. That didn’t work so well. First they tunneled under the fence and went on their “walk about” around the neighborhood. They would come back though, and I was able to block their tunnel once they were inside the yard. But I’m sure the neighbors thought I had lost my mind when they saw me sitting on the haystack with binoculars.

Turtle trying to meet other dogs

Turtle and Winnie never really hooked up with the other dogs, but formed their own little “pack”. There were some turf wars. My dogs Twist and Nelda were able to cross into their territory and tried to teach “play”. It was fun to see Nelda out there with her butt in the air and Turtle and Winnie dancing around her. Turtle and Winnie also learned to come up for “treat time”. With all that space to avoid me in, they were now very happy to come up and get chicken jerky strips.

As winter set in, I worried about their sleeping arrangements. They had their plastic, snap together dog houses, but that didn’t seem warm enough. So I bought them a cedar doggie duplex and put in a dog house heater. At first they wouldn’t go near it. Then they would go close enough to pull out the blankets where I had put the chicken jerky strips. They never slept in it . For the coldest time, they dug a burrow, maybe six feet deep and two feet in diameter . Old habits die hard. But they did it perfect. The opening faced away from the prevailing wind and it stayed dry during rain, snow and thaw . Teach that to a purebred!

Winter turned into spring and Turtle and Winnie found their voices. ( A weird thing about Gabbs dogs, they are silent for so long, and then they start barking---the voice of the Turtle was heard in the land). I would take my other dogs out for their walk and Turtle and Winnie would bark. I bribed them with rib bones. That worked for a while. Then not so much.

I came home one morning to find a message on my answering machine about the “f-ing dogs barking at five o’clock in the morning on a Sunday morning” and “I know you have five dogs over there” (eight, but who’s counting) “and if you don’t do something about it I will”. This was the same morning my dogs had decided to chase a skunk and had drug me down a gravel road in hot pursuit. No direct hits, but even if you are in the general vicinity, the odor clings. I had just gotten out of the shower when there was a knock at the door. So there I am in my robe, oozing blood from the road rash on my leg, reeking of skunk face to face with a deputy who sheepishly said “Your neighbor complained about your dogs barking.” “Oh?” All eight of them were blessedly silent. White car with lights on top = hide. “That’s what he said, ma’m.”


I spent the next week trying to trap Turtle and Winnie in the live trap, up every few hours to check the trap. Winnie finally decided roast pork was too good to resist. Turtle followed a few night later. Safely back in the run. Where do we go from here?

I had previously focused on trying to get leashes on them. Turtle would gnash on the leash and glare at me. Winnie just became immobile. A lump of doggie on the floor. I had tried drag leads, but they would be gone the next day and Turtle would poop leash for a week. (Catching the dogs at Gabbs was not easy. Many, like Turtle had to be lassoed. Turtle gnashed at the plastic coated cable until her mouth bled. She made noises I have never heard come from any dog. She bit both Linda (Dama’s niece) and I).

Turtle and Winnie, back in the run began to pace and circle again. One day the border collies had enough of it and herded Turtle into a corner and made her lay down. So began the summer of love. With Turtle quiet in her corner, I began moving in to pet and massage her. A little T –touch and she soon began to actually relax. Winnie would run in the house through the dog door. I had a six by six kennel in the living room set up by then and could lock her in once she was inside. She also learned to enjoy her rubs.

The one goal I had for the winter was that they would sleep inside. Winnie was easy, she would run inside when I went out. I gave her a crate inside the kennel and she would run into it. Turtle would run to her corner, near the dog door. I would bring a crate out, she would eventually go in , then I would drag it inside. Little by little she learned to seek out the crate and finally would run through the dog door to find it. Eventually, the crates were taken apart so they weren’t hiding, but exposed to the inside world.

With Gabbs dogs, sometimes it’s baby steps. I haven’t pushed them this winter. But now when I come in from doing evening horse chores, they usually come inside and hop into their beds. I don’t have to go out and herd them. I used to have to keep the kennel shut. They wouldn’t eat until I had gone to bed, so I had to keep my other dogs away from their food. Now they eat in my presence. Turtle takes treats by hand during morning treat time. Winnie still wants them laid in front of her, but will then eat them. Instead of huddling down in their beds, they lay at night, with their chins on the edges of the bed and watch me.

They have white on their muzzles. I call them foster dogs. At this pace, they will probably grow old and die here. That’s okay. I consider the Gabbs dogs the gift of a lifetime. These dogs, many of whom had no socialization as puppies, were salvageable, weird, but salvageable. Seeing them safe and managing, learning and thriving is in your face to conventional thought on what these dogs would have been capable of. And I love in your face stuff! Whooo Hooo, Gabbs Dogs!

Turtle and Winnie INDOORS

Lots of Love Turtle and Winnie