Mark your Calendar for June 25th!

Three years ago, we created Step Up for the Pups when all of our regular events were cancelled due to the pandemic. Even though COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, we’ve decided to hold this successful event again, to raise funds for the medical care of the dogs in our foster programs!

Step Up for the Pups will take place on Sunday June 25th. You can participate by walking on the day by yourself or with others, with or without dogs, or pledge your support for one of our participants. This year you can also create teams!

Sponsoring participants through our Canada Helps page is easy, and the site will immediately issue a tax receipt.

Want to really Step Up for the Pups? It’s easy to set up a fundraising page on the Canada Helps site by clicking on “Join a Team”, “Create a Team” or “Join as an Individual” and following the instructions. Then it’s simply a matter of sharing far and wide to help raise funds between now and June 25th!

For more information about Step Up for the Pups and how you can help, please visit the Speaking of Dogs website!

Meet Some of the Pups Our Rescue Has Helped!

By participating in our Step Up for the Pups walk, you’ll be enabling us to treat dogs like Alek, a shepherd mix who came to us heartworm positive, and Lucky, a young poodle, who had a genetic spinal disorder called AA luxation and needed delicate surgery on his neck and spine. Ginger Snap, a lovely Shepherd/Hound mix, had a heart defect and needed PDA surgery to close the leaking blood vessel so she could live a long, happy life with a loving family.

Sparrow, Snoop, Stanley, and Violet are just a few of the many dogs we, along with our partner rescues, took from Northern Manitoba last year.

We continue to help Mennonite puppy mill survivors and were a part of a large-scale backyard breeder closure last year; dogs like Lucy, Nora, Lana, Pippa, Alvin, Alfie, and Paddy (and many more) are all living their best life now that they are no longer being used to line the pockets of puppy mill and backyard breeders!

Last year, Speaking of Dogs Rescue took 15 of the 29 dogs in a hoarding case in the Brantford area; most of the dogs were seniors and had a plethora of ongoing medical challenges including heartworm, severe dental disease, arthritis, skin allergies and internal parasite infestations.

We approved 65 dental surgeries last year for our senior friends who came to us with rotting and abscessed teeth.

Over the last 18 months, we have seen more owner surrenders than ever before, and shelter requests come to us almost daily. In March alone, we took on a number of serious medical cases, including emergency surgery for a puppy mill dog with a broken jaw (due to severe dental disease), another puppy mill dog who needs PDA heart surgery and one of our Manitoba puppies who came down with parvovirus in early April!

So, you can understand why medical care consumes almost all the donations we receive!

In the first three months of 2023 alone, we found homes for almost 40 dogs! – but sadly more dogs need us each and every day.

Please help us be there for these dear dogs by walking in or sponsoring our Step up for the Pups – our coffers need replenishing. Visit our Canada Helps page and Step Up for the Pups!

There are many reasons a dog and their family may need to “downsize” from a home into a condo, from a suburb into an urban area or from the country to a city. Lives change, needs change.

While many would be making lists of the things they will sell, the things they will need and what to pack, their pets are often at the bottom of the list when thinking about anything other than how to transport them to the new place.

Unfortunately, this can set up the dog and their people for some very stressful times. Separation anxiety from being in a new place. Reactivity to noises in the hall. Elevators. Traffic noise. Reactivity to dogs they don’t know because they are not accustomed to being leashed.

There are, of course, things you can start before you leave your old place – like teach a solid mat behaviour, work on crate training and conditioning to noise and leash, but again, most people will instead be dealing with the post-move things, so here are some tips.

Get a noise machine (brown noise is apparently very soothing) to play in your new home to help minimize noise from the hallways or other apartments/condos.

Put the dog’s crate or pen as far from the front door of the unit as possible and or away from shared walls, to reduce noise. If necessary, create a bunker with blankets or crate covers.

If your dog has a history of separation anxiety, you will likely have to get some medications on board and possibly do some more work, before the dog will settle into the new place and feel safe. You should also introduce yourself to your immediate neighbours with a note saying you have a dog, their name, that it may take some time for them to settle in the new place and to contact you if they have any concerns.

Look into dog-walking or daycare companies before your move. Check references.

Set some time aside when you first move to explore your area with your dog, taking plenty of high value treats and avoiding other dog areas, just to give him the lay of the land and get him used to the neighbourhood.

If you can, don’t overwhelm him with high traffic areas etc. to start.

If you experience any truly problematic issues, like severe separation anxiety or reactivity and fear, contact a reputable and experienced positive trainer in your area as soon as you can.

Taking these tips to heart, both you and your dog should have a relatively smooth transition and enjoy your new digs!

Maggi Burtt

CPDT-KA, owner of Tailspin Petworx

Meet our May Feature Dog: Nella

Nella, an approximately 14 yr. old Shih Tzu, came to the rescue after she was picked up as a stray. She has been fully vetted, had a dental (where she lost 6 teeth) and is on a special low-fat diet due to digestion.

Nella is a very happy pup once she gets to know you, and always has her tail curled over her back. She is a very spunky gal who loves to run and play, not at all like you would expect from a 14 yr old pup but she can be timid if she is uncomfortable. Nella is currently living in a house with a family and another Shih Tzu. She has adjusted well to her new surroundings, jumping up on to the couch and falling sound asleep. She gets along well with other dogs and people she has met, but when introduced to a cat, she wanted to chase her. A home without cats would be best for Nella.

Barking to warn when she hears something outside, and when she wants attention – especially when she wants to go out – are the usual times for her to talk. She will sometimes bark at the beginning of a car ride, but when reassured that all is well, will settle down for a nap. Being with her people is the most important thing to Nella and she will usually follow you around to see what’s happening next. Sleeping on the couch beside you is the best place to be. She will sleep in her bed or on your bed if you offer. Going for walks is Nella’s happy time. She loves to take time to smell the grass and trees, so a walk is more of a meander. She walks well on a leash and does not pay attention to other dogs she meets along the way. Nella will often want to continue walking after everyone else is done, but will stop if you insist. She also loves going out in the backyard. When the weather is nice, she will stay out for a while, but on inclement days she is all business.

If you are interested in giving Nella her forever home, click here to visit our adoption application


Terrier / Mixed (short coat)


Boston Terrier / Pug / Mixed (short coat)


Beagle / Mixed (short coat)


Labrador Retriever / Mixed (medium coat)


Chihuahua / Corgi / Mixed (short coat)


Mastiff / Labrador Retriever / Mixed (short coat)


Catahoula Leopard Dog / Labrador Retriever / Mixed (short coat)


Terrier / Mixed (short coat)

Pippa a.k.a Flicka

Poodle (Miniature) (short coat)


Bull Terrier / Mixed (short coat)


Poodle (Standard) (medium coat)


Poodle (Standard) / Golden Retriever / Mixed (short coat)


Beagle / Mixed (short coat)


Poodle (Miniature) / Retriever / Mixed
(short coat)

Dear Speaking of Dogs Rescue,

Mylo is amazing! It’s like we were meant to find each other. We’ve had no behavior or health issues.

He enjoys two walks a day with our other dog. They get along so well. They’re best friends. He’s been up to the cottage a number of times. He’s not a big swimmer but does wade in to cool down and will swim out to me. He enjoys boat rides and picnics.

Both dogs sleep with our daughter every night. Mylo is a huge cuddler. When he’s not chasing balls, playing with his toys or playing hockey with our son, he’s cuddled in close for rest time.

We couldn’t love him anymore! Here are some pictures of him loving life.

The Hooper Family







About Speaking of Dogs

Speaking of Dogs Rescue Program is a Canadian registered charity established in the Greater Toronto area (with foster homes across Ontario). Launched in 2001, we are a foster-based, all breed rescue with a focus on senior dogs. We are run solely by volunteers with a mission to help homeless dogs in need by providing shelter or sanctuary, necessary medical care, adoption and education.

Newsletter Team

Contributors: Kim Gladding, Lorraine Houston, Linda Knowles & Maggi Burtt

Editor & Design: Sarah Kapp

Contact Speaking of Dogs

P.O. Box 8058,
RPO Hurontario
Collingwood, ON
L9Y 0H1

705-444-SODR (7637)


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