It is common knowledge that a pearl is a pearl because of the path it has to take to become such a beauty.  Its formation begins in the shell of an oyster.  When the oyster has an "irritant" invade its tender being it sets to motion an adjustment to secrete a substance that not only stops the pain but makes something beautiful around it.  The beauty we have come to know as the pearl.

The dogs featured in "Gems of the Heart" are much like the oyster and the pearl.  They, too, have taken the pain in their lives (unwanted, neglected, stereotyped, abused, forgotten, inconvenient or just no longer loved or needed)  and are looking to make a pearl.  To quote Peter Mayle from the  introduction of the book "Found Dogs" ( by Elise Lufkin) "when you adopt a dog, the whole experience is fraught with delightful unpredictability.  Very little is certain~except, of course, that you will be giving him a better life.  And he will be doing the same for you."  If you would like to meet such a gem please see our adoption pages below: listings on these pages does not constitute either an endorsement or recommendation but merely an opportunity to meet a patiently waiting pearl. Our spotlight adoption pages, Petfinder.com or your local shelter or rescue groups all have dogs that have been patiently waiting to meet you.  There are many ways to find a wonderous match.

If you have decided to pursue the idea of adding a contrary to ordinary black dog into your life ( as a seasoned dog person or for the first time) we sincerely applaude you.  We would encourage you to consider all the resources available to make such a heart decision.   

Adopting a rescue dog is a family decision and should be approached with the committment of being a forever family .  The two scenarios listed below are as candles, figuratively speaking.  A favorite saying of mine from Margaret Fuller states: "If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it."  It is my hope that by gently sharing these thoughts a "side-light" leading to optimal circumstances for all involved is the end result.

Many parents, relatives, boyfriends or girlfriends like to give "dogs" as a gift for a festive occasion (ie birthday, Christmas, Hanukah, Valentines Day).  It is not kind nor is it  practical to put a brand new puppy or newly adopted dog into a celebration situation filled with decorations that could potentially be harmful if swallowed or chewed, a house schedule that is out of its routine and pre-occupied with activities other than helping the transition of the newest family member. This already "anxiety filled moment" for the adopted animal can be and usually is very overwhelming in the mere act of adjusting to you and your household.  Looking at it from the dogs point of view: it has either just been pulled from its mother (and littermates) or has spent some time in a foster, shelter or rescue situation and there is some stress involved in the process in leaving what they have come to know as familiar.  You and your house (for this moment) is "unfamiliar territory" that can be mindboggling for the dog.  Add in party balloons, food  left unattended on tables only to be topped off with happy shouts of "surprise", "Merry Christmas", "I Love You"  well,  you can only imagine what the dog must be going through at that particular moment.  Thinking of it in human terms it is the equivalent of a person having to go to a foreign land all by themselves (pulled from family and friends without explanation) not knowing the language or the rules.  Additionally you would be expected to walk into a room filled with adoring but never-the-less unfamiliar customs and strangers as the center of attention.  These strangers of all shapes, sizes, smells are  jumping up and down and shouting words you don't understand while you are being shuffled around and put places to sleep, eat and toilet. Naturally, you would lack any innuendo as to why they are doing this on your behalf and would react and behave accordingly. 

A wonderful and simple remedy for this is to create a "gift ticket" for the experience. Wrap a box that could potentially "bark" when it is shook and inside is a picture of a dog, a golden ticket for an adoption, a stuffed animal......you get the idea, be creative.  This will still have the same "gift element" for the recipent and the dog will have a chance to meet you and enter your household under time alloted circumstances that will allow for bonding and understanding.  Not foreboding anxiety coupled with fear and failure.   If a child can't "wait" to have this pet then maybe adding an animal right now isn't the best time.  Patience is a key in all our animal relationships, starting with the adoption process. Take the time to research and make your best match for this current spot in life: for the gift-receiver and the family.

Additionally it is also not fair to any dog to be used as a pawn in family dynamics.  To tell a child, or any family member "you can pick out a dog as long as you care for it, but if you don't, we will get rid of it" it not fair to all that are involved: dog, family, rescue groups.  The lesson learned by a child is "you don't have to commit when things become bothersome or inconvenient" or "living, breathing animals are easily disposed of and you don't need to worry about follow-through." Adopting a dog is for life. Truly we recognize that there are times and situations that warrant alternative care for the dog with this being the exception, not the rule. The best interest for the dog and child should be strongly considered and the many avenues for resolution exhausted.  If alternative care does need to be in place - please seek out a reputable rescue or shelter that provides quality care and has a thorough screening process and comprehensive adoption policy.  An internet search and the yellow pages will supply you with rescue contacts (i.e. Labrador Rescue) as well as other rescue organizations (all breed and mixed breed) .  www.petfinder.com has lists, divided by states, of rescue organizations listed at the top of their homepage under the title of "Shelter and Rescue Groups."

Lastly, if you have any doubts about your ability to properly care, love, commit or afford a new dog.....please don't get one.  Waiting and making a decision based on integrity, well-thought out plans and dedication is the preferred way.  More times than not, rescues and shelters will (in any combination) require you to have a home visit done, answer a questionnaire, have references  available (possibly including one from a veterinarian) and give you an interview.  These are in place to protect the dog and to help you think out your decision.  Don't let it put you off. No one will think less of you if you decide before you adopt  that now might not be the best time.  It will demonstrate your strong desire to be the best home in the future for an adopted/rescued dog.

If you would like to understand the process a little better before you inquire about a dog-in-waiting, seek out the section entitled "Adopting A Dog" on page 175 of Second Chance Dogs by Elise Lufkin (by the way...this is not a paid advertisement just us really enjoying the book and all it has to offer).  The local library may also have some resources but be careful about the age of material being viewed.  The dog world has been turned upside down in the last 15 or more years with its approach of care and training.  Ian Dunbar, Dr. Patricia McConnell, William E. Campbell, Karen Pryror and Gary Wilkes are all good places to start and each of these authors have webpages, books, DVD's among other resources.


~The Meaning of Rescue~

Now that I'm home, bathed, settled and fed, all nicely tucked in my warm new bed.  I'd like to open my baggage, lest I forget, there is so much to carry - so much to regret.

Hmmm...Yes, there it is, right on the top, let's unpack loneliness, heartache and loss.
And there by my perch hides fear and shame. As I look on these things I tried so hard to leave - I still have to unpack my baggage called pain.

I loved them, the others, the ones who left me, but I wasn't good enough - for they didn't want me.  Will you add to my baggage? Will you help me unpack? Or will you just look at my things - and take me right back.

Do you have the time to help me unpack? To help put away my baggage, to never repack?  I pray that you do - I'm so tired you see, but I do come with baggage - Will you still want me?


~ Author Unknown ~

"Contrary to Ordinary"
The Black Pearls of the Dog World
~Making a difference: one black dog at a time through education, awareness and action~

To meet dogs needing a home, go to the bottom of this page
Gems of the Heart
(Click on Jake!! He will take you home)
Back by popular demand! 

The rescues below are listed with Petfinder and are friends of Blackpearldogs: the dogs who are contrary to ordinary.  We invite you to browse their pictures to see a waiting pearly dog who might be your personality match!!  As always, be sure to check with your local shelters and rescues as well.  Sometimes the perfect dog is right in your own backyard and sometimes that "special- one" is just a roadtrip away.  It is our sincerest hope and desire that you find your waiting match soon.  SPECIAL NOTE: Many folks have a single dog they would like to find a home for and we would encourage you to go to petfinder.com and dogster.com as they both have opportunities for individuals not in rescue or shelter work to post a waiting animal friend.
Gemini All Breed Rescue
Madison, MN (this is where Jake was adopted from)
Ohio County Animal Shelter
Rising Sun, IN (dogs have limited time)
Vernon County Humane Society
Viroqua, WI (where dogs can pick their people!)
Best Friends Dog Rescue
Cairo, GA
Highway of Hope (animal sanctuary)
Baraboo, WI
Clay County Humane Society
Brazil, IN
Happily Ever After Animal Sanctuary
Marion, WI
Labs 4 Rescue, Inc
Killingworth, CT

Labrador Retriever Rescue-CT, Inc
Bridgewater, CT
Peeps: the dog who has waited for forever
Kansas, near Missouri border.
Royal Oak Animal Shelter: Scout is waiting
Royal Oak, MI
Homeward Bound
*This is a breed specific rescue: Golden Retriever but they have some patiently waiting BBD's there as well. We commend them for opening their hearts and doors and hope this listing helps find forever homes for their waiting pearly dogs*
Blake and other waiting BBD's
Asheboro, NC
L.O.L.A.  4Dogs: Doggie Matchmaker
West Los Angeles, CA
Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League
The seven state Mid-Atlantic regions
Yonkers Animal Shelter
Yonkers, NY
Black Dog Animal Rescue
Cheyenne, WY