~ Making a difference: one black dog at a time through education, awareness and action~
Thank you for making the decision to take the time and wander through these pages. Black Pearl Dogs is a website specifically designed *"to promote the appreciation—and adoption—of black dogs" (thank you *Marti for your thoughts) and it comes passionately from my heart. To quote Joyce Fay "every dog deserves to love and be loved and a chance to be a great dog". One of our goals at Contrary to Ordinary is to help make that happen for these special dogs we call Black Pearls.
In the past 15 years I have participated in a variety of "causes" in the dog world with the help of my husband and those who also share in this remarkable world. Rescue, limited foster care, fundraising, helping people keep their pets in times of stress, assisting in finding the right dog for someone, providing hands-on training and problem solving so puppy stays as part of the family vs. being dumped, leaving behind compulsion-based methods of training (i.e. harsh correction based) for positive hands-off training, namely: "clicker training " back in a time when it was thought to be a fad. Equally there has been diverse interests in canine sports and competition at the recreational level: tracking ,flyball , agility , obedience and conformation.
Yet, when I painfully realized how *"adoption disadvantaged" black coated dogs were in shelters and rescues, during the adoption process of our rescued black dog Jake, I made a firm decision to hold a torch for them publicly and the "www" for Black Pearl Dogs became reality.
If just one person walks away from this web site with a new awareness and they in turn share with just one other person (and so on).... mission accomplished. If a black dog comes to live in your home and into the part of your heart that you never knew was empty.....the dream for Black Pearl Dogs will be alive. Just like in the movie "Pay It Forward" it is my dream that Black Pearl Dogs is a premise with promise. A challenge met to change the world of the black dogs fate. An altruistic domino effect if you will. Technically, the dominos have already been pushed forward by the mere act taken by those of you who have taken the time to read, ponder and share the website. Your ideas, suggestions and encouragement are also very important. We especially love to hear from those of you who have adopted a black dog because of this website. We have no other way to know about our successes otherwise. Each success story truly encourages us to keep working on behalf of those that need this help the most.
Again, thank you for your act of good will on behalf of all the waiting "black pearls". May we challenge you to go the next level by doing what you can to help a black-dog-in-waiting, a "pearly dog" if you will, after leaving Black Pearl? We truly believe that each effort by an individual becomes like a ripple in the water: it grows and grows and affects everything in its path eventually reaching the destined shoreline. May we cause a tidal wave together!
1) Spay and neuter your pets. Urge those around you to do the same.
2) If you can adopt, please consider adopting a black dog who is waiting just for you. *"Many beautiful black dogs are overlooked—and, sadly, euthanized in disproportionate numbers".
3) Sponsor a black dog or open your heart and home to foster care for a black dog (if you can't adopt), in a rescue or shelter so they can open their doors to another black dog on death row without worry of finances.
4) If you can't sponsor or foster, make posters for a black dog you find in a shelter or rescue to **advertise** their need of a home on community bulletin boards, vet offices, pet stores, your work office board, the company newsletter, the school paper. Gain permission from the sponsoring rescue or shelter first. Include the Blackpearldogs webpage address as part of the advertisement so interested people can understand more fully the plight this waiting BlackPearl faces. See one womans brilliant work
5) Go past your apprehensions and stretch yourself: walk a black-dog-in-waiting in a park and advertise to all that s/he needs a home. They will appreciate that you left your comfort zone so they could (hopefully) enter into one.
6) Volunteer to take them to obedience classes to attain skills that will make them more adoptable to the average family or teach them an endearing human greeting (like sit and shake).
7) Share this webpage address to let all dog lovers know how wonderful and in need a black dog is in today's' canine adoption community. We at Contrary to Ordinary are not a rescue facility. We know there are many cogs to make the wheel turn and we are fullfilling our niche of being an educational platform to get the word out so those gifted with other talents (ie foster care, transportation, fund raising, placement and adoption matching) can fulfill their niches to help the waiting black dogs out there.
8) Start your own rescue...just for black dogs rescued off euthanasia row. They can be found easily and it can be done just one dog at a time. Be inspired by the Starfish Story and Stop the Killing .
9) Click on "Free To A Good Home" and read Brutus's story. Help a black dog (or any dog for that matter ) avoid this fate. Prepare your own rescue aids using the tools found here at Sun Bears Squad.
10) For those with savvy or flair: coordinate a "Tux and Tails" event for your local shelters or rescues. Gather up all the black coated critters waiting to find their forever heart and "do the bubbles" to make all fresh and clean. Add a tux (red or white) bow tie or a snappy collar (Bison Designs has brillant ones) and provide these waiting pearlies the opportunity to "run way" their stuff and become available for folks to appreciate them out of a dimly lit kennel run. You could even go as elaborate as every hour have a "walk" set to music with cards read that share what they already know: sit, down, off, fetch. I am guessing some of the pearlies would even do a demonstration of what they have to offer. Have a table set up to take applications or to donate financially to support these waiting pearls.
**The image that you make....i.e. the picture that you take..... may be the key to his or her being adopted by the right person. Black dogs are in desperate need of great photos in shelter listings. Practice using tips from "Photographing a Black Dog" to get your technique down before applying to help all the shelter animals have a better photographic chance to meet their future forever person.
~ My Heart Has A Tail ~
"I made a discovery, just today; something so amazing in every way. It was when you bounded towards my face, kissing and wriggling all over the place. And I held you very close to me, experiencing euphoria, endlessly. It seemed all at once, our hearts became one and together we were having so much fun.
When I see you running around, you don't need words to make a sound. I know that you love me very much with a loyalty no human can touch. That's why I believe you've become my heart and no one earthly force can keep us apart.
We understand each other so very well; Surely my heart has a tail, can't you tell?"
(Click on Jake! He will take you home)
Ten ways you can help a waiting Black Pearl Dog:
Jake and his brother Murphy at play
Many of you have asked "can I support you (Contrary to Ordinary: Black Pearl Dogs) financially" ??? Truth be told, we (Black Pearl Dogs) do not have a non-profit status (yet!) as we started out as an educational stop to build awareness through the internet and to inspire action at the "backyard level", wherever that backyard may be. This grass roots cause is building itself over time through the many folks in the village that it takes to rescue a dog and through the families and people who adopt and save one pearly dog at time.
Without the adopters, supporters, the transporters, the rescues, the shelters....we would still be that educational stop. Many great things are happening for Contrary to Ordinary specific and we are seeking to expand our territories (if you will). Hopefully soon these many exciting things... just over the horizon.... can start to unfold on these pages. Time will tell.
For now, we have been challenged to coordinate a list of specific ways to support.....I can say this:
1) Gemini Rescue is a non-profit rescue/animal sanctuary in Madison, MN. This is where Jake found his refuge before he came to live with us. Jen works above and beyond to help all animals who come to her doorstep and often works with some of the hardest to place of all. Please consider visiting Jen and her site. You may be inspired to donate on behalf of a certain waiting dog or maybe even find a face that asks you to come for a visit to say hello.
2) Happily Ever After is a non-profit rescue located in Green Bay,WI and Marion,WI and they have been completly supportive of all black pearly dogs that we can get to their door. They would greatly appreciate gift cards to: Target, Fleet Farm, Gas cards (to get black coated dogs to them) and direct donations to their vet to build a fund for spays and neuters. Mostly if you are willing to foster care for them (you have input on which black pearly dog you would like to help) or become a transporter for them to get dogs out of a shelter and to their open arms....PLEASE contact them. They are willing to work on behalf of the waiting pearls. For each donation (ear marked for a pearl-dog) allows us at Contrary to Ordinary to present needy waiting black coated dogs. It is a direct cause and affect.