By Judie Cutting
Sometimes New Year’s Resolutions are easier to keep when you have a partner, and what better partner than your Brittany. Make this year one in which both of you will become happier and healthier.

Your dog will never turn down a chance for a longer walk or even an extra one. Not only is walking great for your dog, but studies have shown there is a link between pet ownership and heart health. Pet owners with a dog walk more minutes and in some cases have significantly lower blood pressure than non-pet owners. Walks lower stress, build muscle, and strengthen your relationship with your dog. Our high energy Brittanys need at least an hour a day of exercise. Let’s help them get what they need, while also helping ourselves.

Mental Stimulation
Our dogs are bright and therefore need a workout for their brains along with their bodies. You can buy busy boxes that stimulate and encourage your dog to figure out how to unlock treats. Or you may use things found around your home, such as empty boxes and plastic containers, to hide treats for your dog to find. Nosework can be done through a class or with purchased target odors and proper boxes. A low cost way to do nosework is to hide treats in your home or in a small area outside and have your dog find them. Don’t discount a good old-fashioned game of hide and seek to get your Brittany very excited to find you, especially if you have a treat to reward them.

If it has been a while since your dog has had formal training, refresh their sit and stay in novel areas. Some owners and dogs thrive on taking classes and adding new titles. Others find the time required is not in the cards right now. Even if your time is limited, you can still find new and simple training tricks to do at home to stimulate your dog’s mind and strengthen your bond. Check out the ABR May, 2018 e-newsletter for a detailed description of Agility, Rally-O, Flyball, Barn Hunt, and Nosework.
Healthy Eating
As dogs get older they gain weight easier. Work with your vet to help your dog maintain a healthy weight or lose pounds in a healthy way.  Be mindful of the extra treat here and there and the weight it can add.  If your dog has not discovered how tasty fruits and veggies can be, this might be the year to introduce them into their diet. Try carrots, green beans, sweet potato, broccoli, watermelon, bananas, strawberries, and cantaloupe. As with everything, moderation is the key.

Teeth Brushing
As crucial as daily brushing is to a dog’s health, many of us are not very good at hitting this daily mark. Some dogs do not like fingers in their mouths or when we come near them with a finger brush or toothbrush, and it can take some time to get used to. Use only a small amount of toothpaste formulated for dogs. Hold the brush at a 45 degree angle and aim for 30 seconds on each side of the mouth, working in a circular pattern. Some synthetic bones and chew toys are designed for gum health and stimulation of the gums. Be careful of cow hooves, pig’s ears, and bones that can cause harm and/or broken teeth.

That special down time when you can be in each other’s presence does wonders in helping with stress (theirs and ours). It is very calming to be in the moment and not worry about the future. Our dogs have a way of helping us slow down and do this. Enjoy the feel of their fur, the love in their eyes, and the warmth of their bodies. Some of our rescues had a hard life before they came to ABR and many of our dogs have a huge hole that needs to be filled. Let’s both enjoy some extra “special bonding” time this year.
By Autumn Fenton
Cooper was found tied to a barrel on a frigid and snowy day last winter. Covered in fecal matter, he suffered from an infection in both ears and was afraid of everyone and everything. He didn’t have a name. 

When he arrived at the home of his foster family, it was obvious he had never been inside any type of building. Normal household sounds, such as the furnace igniting, terrorized him. Cooper was so afraid of being indoors that when he got loose in Hal Herbert’s large fenced-in yard it took two hours to get him back into the house. 

When Hal started his leash training, Cooper cowered on the sidewalk. He didn’t even notice the squirrels or cats they encountered during the walks. Gradually, however, he became accustomed to Hal and relaxed enough to tolerate his surroundings. 

Hal believed the perfect home for Cooper would include a laid-back fur sibling who “could teach him how to be a family dog.” Cooper found that home with Steve and Carole Steneken and their two Britts, Hope and Kaycee.

Upon bringing Cooper home, Steve noticed immediately that Cooper had been badly mistreated. For the first four months, he remained skittish with the human members of the family. As in his foster home, he felt insecure outside, but remained reluctant to come into the house. Plenty of love and positive reinforcement from Steve and Carole changed all of that. Cooper discovered that exploring and running around in the fenced-in yard afforded him freedom. More importantly, he discovered the house provided a place of security. This allowed him to joyfully run to them when called.  
“He is such a sweet, smart and loving boy who now comes through the doggie door and wags his tail all the time,” says Steve. “His adjustment to our home was helped by his two sister-Britts who love him and show him what it’s like to be happy.” 

These days, Cooper looks forward to long walks with his fur-siblings. He especially loves hanging out with Hope, who was adopted through ABR in 2014. Now he revels in all the petting he receives from his humans. Cooper plays with toys and creates his own fun by chasing his tail in circles. During the summer months, he lounges by the pool and slurps ice cream. He recently enjoyed an adventure to a Delaware beach that included a ferry ride across the bay. 

“We are so grateful to his foster family for taking such good care of him, and we thank ABR for rescuing him, and the other Britts, from that terrible situation,” says Steve. “Cooper has been a great addition to our family; we will love and spoil him forever!”
Rio is a beautiful 6-year-old boy living in Oklahoma. He is a wonderful dog who started out with a sad tale; he lived in an outside kennel with two other dogs. They were given food and water daily, but not much attention from the owner. The owner moved, leaving the dogs behind without provisions. The weather turned cold, and one of the three dogs died before someone investigated and rescued the remaining two. The rescuer called ABR for assistance, which landed Rio in a loving foster home. Rio never knew a dog’s life could be this good! He lives inside, sleeps on a soft doggie bed, and has his own crate as a safe space. Rio is working on basic commands and house training. Best of all, he’s learning to play with toys and to enjoy his new life. Rio craves human contact. Rio arrived at his foster home at the same time as another male dog and they had a little adjustment period. The other rescue was switched out for a female, and all is now good. In time, Rio will come to understand that there is enough love and food to go around, but the idea is still new for him.
Rio is now looking for his next big adventure in a forever home. So, if you’re looking to add a Brittany to your family and have a little extra love to share, Rio’s ready for you!  
Meet Gage , a very sweet, active and intelligent 2-year-old boy from Nebraska who loves every person and dog he meets! Gage was purchased as a hunting dog, but he is very afraid of gunfire. His owner worked with him to no avail, so Gage came to ABR so that he could find a family where he can be the fun and loving family dog that he is. Gage is looking for a home where he can be included in the daily activities, play and run plenty, and continue to work on his training (he’s doing great so far!). Gage has a lot of love to give in return!
Paska and Zeryk
By Foster Dad James DeKnight

Seniors are the best, and here are two great examples. Paska and Zeryk are a bonded pair. They are not litter mates, but they have been together for most of their lives. Paska is 11 and Zeryk is 10. We have been fostering them for about three months and they have been an absolute delight from the start. They are well mannered and easy to care for. They have had no potty accidents, and they are fine left alone in the house. They have never destroyed anything other than a squeaky toy (the count is six so far). And they are very loving. Paska always seems to be close to you or touching you, and Zeryk loves pets and praises. They are very playful, and while they do tend to tire easily, one thing they never tire of is being cuddled.

The history of Paska and Zeryk is nothing but pure joy. They were both adopted at an early age and loved all of their lives. They were treated like royalty in the family and had the best of everything for a decade. Unfortunately, due to health problems, the owner had to surrender Paska and Zeryk. It was a heartbreaking situation, but as always, the well-being of Paska and Zeryk came first. When we first received the boys, I thought, "Wow, these two are so well behaved and good mannered." And every day I count my blessings as to how good Paska and Zeryk are and how much they were loved by their former owner.

Seniors rule, and these two definitely rule. Easy going, house trained, good manners, loving, oh the list goes on and on. Fostering Paska and Zeryk is just too easy. They are truly great old timers that need a loving low-key family to spend the rest of their lives with, and lots of cuddling and hugs.
You could be a winner while helping to raise funds for ABR Brittanys in need!

Click on the button on the left, and then it only take three easy steps:

1. Buy any amount of $5 tickets to support American Brittany Rescue.

2. If the score at the end of any quarter in the Super Bowl matches your card, YOU WIN!

3. Win anywhere from $10 to $5,000 per card.

Have Questions? Email Julie:
Join us at this year’s Pheasant Fest! We will be located in a corner booth, #1446 which is located in Bird Dog Alley.
Our coloring book was a Christmas morning favorite for Logan and Hayley Graham, along with their 4-year-old sidekick, Jazmine.

Stay Healthy in Winter Weather
By Kristin Davis
Snow, sleet, ice, wind… there’s a lot to prepare for when it comes to winter weather. Just like we’re affected by the cold, our dogs are, too. Here are a few simple measures you can take to make sure your dog stays happy and healthy throughout the winter.

  • Avoid ice. Winter weather often brings ice and ice can be hazardous to dogs, just as it is for us. Slipping on ice, especially for an elderly dog, can lead to muscle strains, scratches, and other injuries. Also, never let your dog walk on a frozen body of water. We have all heard stories of dogs having to be rescued from a frozen pond or lake. Don’t let this be your dog.

  • Protect your dog’s paws from the elements with boots, a paw ointment, or by washing his feet after he has been outside. Winter weather leads to salt and other deicers on sidewalks, roads and walkways, all of which are harmful (and painful) to a dog’s feet. Click here for a homemade paw balm if you’d like to make your own this winter.

  • Be mindful of your dog’s age. Where climate is concerned, age is more than a number. Like humans, very young and very old dogs have a hard time regulating body temperature, so they have more extreme reactions to changes in weather. Also, when a dog’s fur gets wet it loses its insulating ability, therefore an older dog or young pup can quickly develop hypothermia. Keep the seniors and the puppies indoors as much as possible on very cold days. If you must take a senior or young puppy out in severe weather, make sure he is wearing a warm and weatherproof coat, as well as boots or foot protection.

  • Prevent dry skin. Repeatedly coming out of the cold into the dry heat of your home can cause itchy, flaking skin. Keep your home humidified and towel dry your pet as soon as he comes inside, paying special attention to his feet and in-between the toes. Remove any snowballs from between his foot pads. A hair dryer works well to quickly melt snowballs on a dog’s feet. Making sure he has plenty of water to drink will help keep him well-hydrated and his skin less dry.

  • Fuel your dog’s energy. Pets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in wintertime. Feeding your pet a little bit more during the cold weather months can provide much-needed calories. For a dog who’s very active in cold weather, extra protein is needed to help keep her warm. In addition to possibly feeding her a little more, you may want to consider a high protein snack in cold weather. Click here for a homemade high protein dog treat recipe from canine chef Kiki Kane.

  • Make sure your dog has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy bed with a soft blanket or pillow helps your dog stay warm and maintain his body temperature. (I have one bed and my dog has eight.)

  • Antifreeze is deadly. Antifreeze is thick, very sweet, and can be irresistible to some pets. Most vets report that during the winter, the most common toxicity they see is from antifreeze. And it doesn't take lapping up much antifreeze to kill an animal. Antifreeze can be deadly to a pet if the pet is not treated aggressively soon after ingesting it.

  • Remember, if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your dog, so keep them inside. If left outdoors, dogs can freeze, become disoriented, lost, stolen, injured or killed. In addition, don’t leave your dog alone in a car during very cold weather, as cars can act as refrigerators that hold in the cold and cause animals to freeze to death.
Keep up-to-date on dog food and treat recalls on You can also sign up to have recall alerts delivered to your inbox!

Many of you have made donations and contributed time, miles, and medical bills as part of your donations to our rescue. Your kindness and support mean the world to us and we are forever grateful. In the past, the Secretary/Treasurer sent out the donation/tax letters monthly. Due to the rising cost of postage, we have opted to send out your tax/donation letters once per year, in accordance with IRS guidelines, which require that they postmarked by January 31st.

American Brittany Rescue, Inc. is an organization that was formed in 1991 as a cooperative effort of Brittany owners, breeders, trainers, and fanciers who ABR believes have a responsibility not only for their own dogs and the dogs they produce, but for the breed as a whole.


ABR's mission is to provide the leadership and expertise via a network of trained volunteers to take in stray, abandoned, surrendered and/or impounded purebred Brittanys, provide them with foster care, health and temperament screening, an opportunity for any necessary rehabilitation and to assure their health and placement into new homes. In order to fulfill this mission, ABR's volunteers remain flexible and adaptable to current and future business environments and they remain dedicated to the organization.  

Terry Mixdorf, President
Terrie Johnson, Vice President
Michelle Falkinburg, Secretary
Diana Doiron, Treasurer
Tiffany Dexter
Nancy Hensley
Sandra Oelschlegel
Brittany Boler
Christine Brennan
Jeannine Connors
Judie Cutting
Kristin Davis
Autumn Fenton
Lori Gartenhaus
Patricia Gillogly
Melissa Tapply DiLello
Debra White

American Brittany Rescue, Inc. | 866.274.8911 |  Visit Our Website