Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Howl-o-Ween Safety Tips from HOTLR!!

Put your seatbelts on, folks....it's that time of year again, the start of the holiday season....Halloween is this weekend, Thanksgiving is just around the corner and before you know it, Christmas bells will be ringing and Santa's bells will be jingling. Along with the chaos, excitement, joy and frenzy of the holidays, this time of year also presents unique opportunities for our pets to get injured and sick that we may not face during other times of the year.

There are lots of wonderful on-line resources posting information helping to remind us of the dangers to look out for during the holiday season. Below are a few links to some useful information and helpful reminders:

From rat poison, to poison mushrooms to snakes, find out what hidden dangers are more likely in the fall than during other seasons of the year in the ASPCA's article Autumn Safety Tips. Also, check out the Top Ten Pet Poisons of 2009 and know how to protect your pet.

The ASPCA even has a 24 hour, 365 days a year veterinarian staffed poison control hotline. Should you have a pet that has eaten something you may think poisonous and you cannot get your pet to his/her regular veterinarian, call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline to find out your best line of defense. There is a $65 fee charged, but if you are in a life or death situation, the money is well spent. The fees charged allow the ASPCA to run the hotline and to keep a veterinarian on staff 24-7, 365 days a year. I recently used the hotline myself when my foster dog ate 40 antibiotic pills while we were on vacation. The ASPCA answered my questions, quickly and efficiently and let me know that my dog would suffer no long term health issues. What a great relief and wonderful resource!!

The Humane Society of the United States is another great resource offering lots of tips and info on good pet care. Check out their article on Halloween safety recommendations: Spare Your Pet the Spooks this Halloween.

So, remember, while it's a wonderful time of year to spend with family and friends including our four-legged furry ones, keep in mind the special considerations that come with the holiday season. We at HOTLR wish you a happy and healthy holiday season and ask you to look us up at your local Barnes & Noble starting in December. Come visit, chat, and get some Labrador love!!! We'll even wrap some gifts for you for free!!! Check out the HOTLR Events page to find out when we'll be at which B&N locations!! See you there!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

HOTLR Alum Dahlia (now Della) is a Rave Retriever

We are a rescue group. Our dogs come from all over central Texas. Ninety-nine percent of our dogs come from animal shelters that practice euthanasia due to overpopulation. Sometimes we know a little of the history of our dogs. For instance, we might know that they were surrendered because their family was forced to move to a new place that didn't allow pets, or maybe the family that had them prior deemed them too "unruly" in the behavior department. Maybe they grew too big, too fast.

Lots of times our dogs are strays. We don't know anything except what the shelter can tell us based on the few minutes their volunteers spend with them each day. Lots of times we learn things about them when we visit with them at the shelter before bringing them into the program. Of course, even then, it's hard to tell. That's why our fosters are so important. In foster homes, these shelter dogs thrive in clean, stable, safe environments very much like the ones in which they will ultimately be placed. This is where their true personalities come out, where they really start to shine....

Sometimes I am amazed that some people think that rescue dogs can't do the things that other purebred dogs can do. That they are somehow a lesser representative of the breed. True, they may not all be "show ring ready", but they have the same ability and desire to live up to their "name". They can become drug dogs, or therapy dogs, or agility dogs, or hunting dogs. They can do what any other Lab can do with the proper care, love and training.

Most of you know this already. You've been following us a long time. And this blog is really about a success story. This is "the thing" that keeps volunteers and donors coming back...time after time...for more. This is the story of Dahlia. She was a one year old pup when she came to us. She did spend some time receiving formal training, but she was a dog that needed her puppy energy channeled in the right direction. She was known as a fence jumper if she was left alone too long. She got bored...and lonely. Dahlia needed a "job", like lots of Labs do.

Enter the LeLaurin family of San Antonio. They adopted Dahlia and renamed her Della and she found her perfect match. But her story doesn't end there. She has been attending training classes at RAVE Retrievers. RAVE Retrievers established in 1981 and serving the San Antonio/New Braunfels area, has been training retrievers as gun dogs and in obedience as well as providing boarding services ever since. Della is learning to be a hunting dog. She's got her puppy paws full of retrieving, sitting, waiting, listening, watching, and running. What more could a Labrador want? Della is even the star of her own short movie. Check her out: Della's Movie . Go Della!!!

To see her learn...to see her joy...to watch her be all she was meant to be...that is why we do what we do. That's why we keep coming back for more. Thanks to the LeLaurin Family for giving Della a chance and sharing Della's story. If you are interested in fostering, volunteering or donating to Heart of Texas Lab Rescue, visit our website: Heart of Texas Lab or email us at: hotlr@hotlabrescue.org . There are always other "Dellas" waiting in the wings...just for the chance...another chance to be all they were meant to be...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wine, Food, Labs & Fun!! Come on Out to HOTLR's Evening of Giving

If you are an avid HOTLR fan, I hope by now you know about the Evening of Giving Silent Auction and Wine Tasting Event in San Antonio on October 16th. If you don't....then's here's the scoop....

Where: The Fairmount Hotel, San Antonio, TX
When: October 16, 2010 from 6pm - 9pm
Why: Silent Auction and Wine Tasting Event to raise money for HOTLR
Tickets: $25 each, pay via PayPal or at the door

After the success of our first event last year, we are even more excited about the this year's event. We'll have a wide variety of silent auction items at all price levels including a stay at a dog friendly bed and breakfast, a stay in a Texas coast home and a Colorado mountain home. We'll have a beautiful hybrid bike donated by Mellow Johnny's, original works of art, wine tasting gift certificate at several local Texas wineries, restaurant gift certificates and nearly 100lbs of Wellness dog food. Raffle items include an IPOD shuffle and an Amazon Kindle.

Then of course there is the wine....we'll have a large variety of wines available for tasting, something tasty for everyone's palette. And don't worry, if wine is not your thing, you'll not go thirsty as we'll have beer and home brewed root beer from Blue Star Brewery of San Antonio. Nibbles will also be provided including, cheese, crackers, hummus, sandwiches, veggies and desserts. So no worries about going hungry.

Worried about driving in from Austin? Don't be. The Fairmount has graciously offered a reduced room rate for Saturday at $169. Across the street from the Riverwalk and within walking distance of the King William historic district, this is a hotel you don't want to miss. The largest building in the world ever moved from one location to another, the Fairmount was relocated to its current location in April 1985 when the city of San Antonio at a cost of $1 million opted to save the building rather than demolish it.

Resident Labrador, Luke (a rescue dog himself) continues his work as the official hotel greeter and is still waiting to meet a guest he doesn't like. So, stay Saturday night and make a weekend of it. Play on the Riverwalk and check out the King Williams historic district on Sunday before you head home. Don't delay, purchase your ticket now via Paypal on the HOTLR website. Make sure you indicate the $25 is for the Evening of Giving in the description line of the Paypal payment form. You can also purchase tickets on the night of the event at the hotel. So, what're ya waiting for? Tickets are on sale now...get 'em while their hot!!! Luke's waiting for you!!