foster care/rescue

UPDATE April 2019 - Holly aged 14 gained her angel wings - we miss her special spunky little self a lot and learned a lot through having her in our lives - such a special one that she was, may she RIP dear little Holly xx

Burton also now 14 is going ultra well and remains true to his gentlemanly nature at all times.


Update 24th July - Holly and Burtie's surgeries have been entirely successful and both are romping and playing

like two year olds~!  Thanks to Dr Kelly Caruso and Dr Gladys Boo of Animal Eye Care, Sydney...


update 9th April, Holly has come through her cataract removal surgery as well as could be hoped for.  She had new lenses inserted and her vision has improved daily over the last 5 days. 

 She will soon be running around chasing things again, although for a couple of weeks the dreaded E collar must be worn 24/7.... Great job Dr Kelly Caruso -  

We've now had 5 griffons cataracts removed, new lenses inserted and these dogs do go on to

enjoy their lives for years - cataracts are no reason to euthanase any dog if all else is going ok. 



We ended up adopting Holly & Burton aged 11 at the time.

Since their arrival, Burton  had cataract removal and new lenses inserted by

Dr Kelly Caruso (thank you Kelly!!) he now sees perfectly!  Both were diagnosed with 'dry eye', and get

 Tacrolimus treatment in both eyes am & pm.  Both have been

desexed.  Here's a pic of them curled up on multi layers of dry bed, staying well

away from the torrential rain outside. Both learned to use the doggy door easily.

   Holly is the tiny one at the far right, and Burton

is on the right towards the camera.  Holly has some vision in one eye only due to cataract, her other

eye has a bad cataract and no vision, she's just had her first electro retinograph and it shows

she is a 'good candidate' for cataract removal, which is promising news.

this is Burton getting a cuddle post eye surgery - showing 'old' dogs are delightful indeed!

 he's now 12, so is Holly - they are both very sweet and affectionate and give us their

unconditional love - such little blessings into our lives!


UPDATE April 2019 - Holly aged 14 gained her angel wings - we miss her special spunky little self a lot and learned a lot through having her in our lives - such a special one that she was, may she RIP dear little Holly xx

Burton also now 14 is going ultra well and remains true to his gentlemanly nature at all times.


RSPCA called us, they had a Griffon girl in, with 'issues' - they'd been working with her a while and had her fostered withone of their nurses.  "Would we be interested" - so off we went to meet Chicka - and home Chicka came.

Her issues were mainly separation anxiety, apparently she'd been left with RSPCA as her owner had numerous neighbour complaints that Chicka would bark and howl all day, left to her own devices while owner was at work.

We weaned her off the medication, actively worked on her separation anxiety and she improved so much and so quickly we were able to re house her in a loving family home, with another dog for company too.

Another happy ending for what was a very unhappy little Griffon.

Another Griffon needing a home, without it's owner re contacting the original breeder, who after I found out who bred her, we contacted and that breeder would HAPPILY have taken Chicka back herself.  


a phone call, report of an old griffon in a bad way found wandering the streets and collected by the pound.  Yes he

was chipped, the owner was located but said "oh when he didn't come home I thought he'd died"

 and "if you have anyone to take him they can have him, he was my fathers' dog but he's in a home now"

We agreed to help rescue him, upon arrival here and during grooming this is how he looked 


his eyes were matted over with hair and glued shut with infection and his gums and teeth inflamed and rotten

some of his toenails were so long they curled right round and were embedded into his foot pads

see the hole in his pad?  this was AFTER the toenail was cut off and we stopped the bleeding, showing how deep the hole was

and all his coat was knotted and he smelled very bad with severe skin inflammation.

He accepted being cleaned, bathed and blow dried like a little trooper -

even let us cut his toenails and clean out his ear mite infected ears,

and slowly wet/soak/ shampoo/prise the solid caked on poo off his blocked bottom,

which was preventing him from even toileting.


Here he is below after we finished - tired but able to relax and be cuddled in relative comfort. 

Later that week our wonderful vet Geoff Tyre bravely anaesthetized this 16 year old and gave him

a thorough dental, pulled many teeth and cleaned up his whole mouth.

He went home with his co rescuer, but only lasted another 2 months before he had to be PTS due

to a neurological disorder.



We get a call from a fellow wanting to surrender a griffon, various circumstances prevented him from

 keeping this 9 1/2 yr old, No, owner doesn't drive, wanted us to collect him ~~  Within minutes of arrival we notice

 the little guy cannot pee much...immediately we think 'bladder stones' - again our vet Geoff Tyre does

 the surgery and the little guy rallies wonderfully

Here he is, accepting having to be crated to get over his surgery.

 Caitlyn Jones offered to take him on, and has now taken him home

and is working on his other health complications... namely Syringomyelia and breathing issues due to

 a trachea problem.  But it was a very happy outcome for one little old dog!


a call in from AWL - heavily pregnant surrendered cross maltese - could we take her? -

surrendered due to her pregnancy, no due date available.  She was pretty thin and confused, but settled in quickly, ate well and delivered her babies without fuss.  Abby is the neatest of dogs, she raised her pups and mothered them beautifully, even gained weight while feeding SIX babies, and now is living here in amongst the griffons and pretending to be one....

day 1, not happy Jan..         6 brand new babies!                         at 6 weeks.                                      all settled in

Abby arrived a charming little girl,  smart and easy to train - obedient, lead trained,  social with dogs and kids (loves kids) and loves cuddles and rolling on her back for tummy rubs - ultra hard to imagine why she 'had to go'........

 Abby below - May 2013 - all beautiful after maternal duties and settled into her new home

where she is loved and appreciated!



 October, we got a call from Sandy Lack at AWL, "can you take three puppy farm rescues now, today?"

2 poodles and a chihuahua cross... 

Fi Fi the white miniature poodle was scared and quite fearful to be touched, she ducked, growled and cowered, but after only a few weeks she decided people are ok, as long as she is introduced and given a little time to meet them.  After 6 weeks, she is now so outgoing and so smart - Fi Fi is being adopted now by Loreen and husband, previous poodle owners - after being desexed, vaccinated and adjusting to kindness.

Emily the silver miniature poodle, was scared too, and jumped at any slight movement we made, but true to her breed, she quickly accepted us and became a fun lover.  She was desexed, vaccinated and had her ear infections cleaned up and now sports a very fashionable poodle hair cut.  She has now made the move to her 'forever home' with Treeny.

Thank you to the Poodle Club Rescue Co ordinator Roslyn Thomas for the assistance in adopting each poodle we've had!

Above we show Emily, now known as "Dumpling" and her wonderful caring owner Treeny....

such a great life ahead now for Dumpling and Treeny.

Dora the Chihuahua cross is however a very different story.

Dora was terrified of everything.  She hid in the corner of the kennel, didn't know how to use a bed, (nice wicker basket with soft bedding just the edge showing in the photo below) she just cringed every time we came near her, shivering and shaking.  I couldn't catch her, or touch her. If I even talked to her, she would growl, and empty herself, and sit there in the mess.  I have no idea how a dog gets to be like this, and have never seen a dog this terrified of all things. 

it took weeks to get her to venture into the front section of her kennel, and I had to corner her to attempt to stroke her.


 Every time I tried to touch her, she would jump, snap, and run away sometimes even scream.  First contact with her was made by touching her with a rolled up towel.  After more than a couple of goes, she would sit shivering, and permit me to continue.

Another week, and she allowed me to touch her with my hand.  She would still take fright and jump, which in turn made me jump as I was worried she might still bite me (which now she never does) and she never bit hard, just mouthed me really, as if to say "I'm scared, don't do that"

 after many weeks - me sitting in the pen with her, with her new 'friends' milling all around getting cuddles, getting her used to my voice and me moving my hands or feet,  (I'm learning waiting and sitting around is a big part of rehabilitating scared dogs)  finally ...  a breakthrough.. she came and sat, then lay down only about half a meter away from me, with a relaxed look in her eyes, just wanting to share herself with me. 

yes, we have a very long way to go, but now I can see it in her eyes, she WANTS to interact.  It's taken 2 months of learning curve for us both.  I will continue to update with photos and video clips on Dora's Story.

next milestone for Dora - she is coming over for a chest tickle on her own~!

BEST NEWS:  Dora has gone to her new home -  see the photo of her sitting on the COUCH being civilised, and looking happy!


Such a relief to know she is saved permanently from her previous hellish existence....

thank you Amelia of AWL!!

newest photo in of Dora and her 'adopted sister" Sirella - just look at the soft look of happiness in Dora's face - she has learned to enjoy humans - despite her horrible 'first life' here she is showing the amazing capacity dogs have for forgiving.....

latest and most wonderful photo in of Dora - just look at how happy she is!

great job Amelia!


Mocha & Chloe


Mocha & Chloe's owner sadly passed away, leaving them in need of fostering while the Poodle Club finds just the right home for them.  They are sweet, smart, clean and intelligent, and very loving.  They have lived spoiled and loved lives, but have adjusted well enough to life here, a downgrading from being full time house dogs, to being part time house dogs and part time kennel dogs.  Mocha is about 4, and Chloe is about 6, sadly she is blind, but this doesn't stop her from enjoying life fully - in fact sometimes she is so smart at finding her way around, I wonder if she can see a bit.. 

Mocha & Chloe have FOUND their forever home with Nicki, who is a long time poodle lover/owner in the Blue Mountains.

see below for some previous AWL fosters we've had for a little while, when they needed 'extra' hands on care.

"Lily" and her 2 pups


Lily was a puppy farm brood bitch, prior to AWL rescuing her.  She lived in a small pen, with no shelter, no flooring (just mud and faeces) and appeared to have had many litters by the state of her nipples.  She was again pregnant when rescued.  Lily raised her puppies beautifully.  Poor Lily was terrified of everything except her puppies.  After a few months of just plain kennel life here, with normal attention morning and night, she came out of her shell to some extent.  Lily went on to be adopted, and lives life as a much loved housepet.  She is still scared of things sometimes, but we are told she is coping better all the time.

Thank you to the Beagle Club Rescue Co ordinator Gwenda Golding for sending us Lily's adopter.



  Gidget had a terrible life as a  puppy farm brood.  AWL found her and others in a shed where the temperatures went over 40 degrees.  All in a terrible mess, with no clean facilities or water.  She was so matted all over, that her mouth was partly shut due to the hair matting.  She was very scared, although clearly wanted to make friends from the very start.  After a few weeks of just ordinary kennel life here, normal cuddles in the morning & evening, a run or two each day, and general care Gidget started being braver.  A lovely couple with one silver Toy poodle came to visit her and fell for her.  They keep us updated with Gidget's struggle to be braver all the time, and have sent photos of her sitting in the car for trips, and going to the beach.  It has taken over 6 months for her new owners Dennis & Anna to persuade Gidget that she is not going to be hurt.

Fonz -  - a beautiful black miniature poodle - was from the same puppy farm as Gidget.  He was quite brave, and only took a month to be ready for his new home.  He too, was matted solid with grime when AWL rescued him, as were Gidget, JellyBean and all the others. 

 AWL groomers clipped all the mats and grime off all these dogs, and from there they all grew beautiful new coats.

Fonz went to some long time poodle lovers and is getting the life he has always deserved.

 JellyBean below left, enjoying her new forever home, at left, with her griffon companion Maizee.


a beautiful golden lhasa apso - from the same puppy farm as Gidget above.  JellyBean had also had many litters, she was matted all over, and both eyes were affected with infections and dry eye.  She had to have drops in her eyes 5 times a day.  After over a month of care here, and having to corner to catch this poor scared little dog just to 'treat' her eyes, it was decided by AWL vet that one eye was not saveable.  She was totally blind in it, and all it was doing was causing her constant pain, so it had to come out.  After months of living here, and her slowly becoming braver and deciding all people aren't too bad (sometimes) Jelly Bean was adopted by dear friends Jo & Nick.  She still is improving a year later, again showing how remarkable these little abused dogs are, that they can forgive us what has happened to them.

See AWL video clip on puppy farms  this is where Jelly Bean came from

Plum Plum aka Schnarkle

our first AWL dog, came to us at 13 years, as her owner had passed away and at 13, she had not much chance of someone taking her on, so home she came.  She earned her name Schnarkle as day 1, she bit me twice - she had a bladder infection and a skin infection, but both were quickly resolved.  She is now doing splendidly, plays with the young griffons, teaches them manners and is a complete delight. (and has never bitten me again)  

update on "Schnarkle"  - Scharkle passed away late October 2016.  She was almost 18 years old.  RIP little girl.


 (Red's owner had passed away) and Red had been living alone in the house, fed by the neighbours.  Kellie first told us about Red, they wanted to take him in, but were about to go overseas so could we take him for the duration of their trip?  So Red came to stay.  He was already very old and had some neurological issues, his feet bothered him and his legs didn't always do what he wanted. His mouth and teeth were a mess.  He had bad ear and skin infections, and was nearly deaf and nearly blind.  Our wonderful vet Geoff Tyre fixed up all his issues as far as possible..Thanks Geoff & Judy, and Red settled in to life amongst a gaggle of Griffons.  So with all his problems we all decided he should stay with us, due to him then not having to change homes again.  He only lived a little more than a year, before his time came to an end, but he was so special, that he started us off on the road to realising that rescue dogs give you much more, than you give them.



Finn was our first 'rescue' dog - although he had actually been rescued some years earlier by a Pug Rescue lady, Phillipa Hurst.  He was originally purchased by someone who was unable to give him a good life due to their human child chasing and hurting him.  He was living a nice life for years with the pugs,  but it occurred to all of us that he may enjoy life with his own kind, so home he came.  He settled in instantly - a true gentleman.  He was later adopted by a Griffon loving couple who also took in a little girl at the same time where he lived the life of riley.  This is now years ago, and Finn has now passed away, aged 15 - but he was a very treasured fellow for the rest of his life.




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