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Hannah's health and temperament issues unfortunately has put our fostering on hold for now, but we really loved this special service we could provide to dogs in need and hope to do it again in the future. We most recently fostered for Humane Society of Silicon Valley which allowed us to enjoy some non-Labs in our home!

Mac: 5 years old, neutered male, Yellow Labrador Retriever mix
Magnus: 2 years old, neutered male, Siberian Husky mix
Junior/Pinot: 3 years old, neutered male, Border Collie mix

Molly/Bailey and Lady/Gracie were fostered for Golden Gate Labrador Retriever Rescue where Cyndi went on to serve as web/marketing director for 2 years. Cocoa and Jack were our introduction to fostering through Big Dawg rescue of Hollister.

See more pictures of Molly Brown.

8/27/09 - 9/14/09: Molly Brown is a survivor just like the Unsinkable one! She's a female chocolate Labrador who is about 2-3 years old. Molly was spayed after her rescue from the shelter (scheduled for euthanasia the next day) and appears to have been used for breeding in the San Jose 'hood where she was picked up as a stray on 8/15. It's clear to see why someone wanted to breed her since she's an absolutely gorgeous purebred Lab (including otter tail and dewclaws removed) in the English/show style with a very sweet personality. Molly is currently 62 lbs and we're helping her lose a few pounds and get her figure back in shape now that she will no longer be having puppies.

Molly is a dog who is easy to love. She is friendly with everyone she meets enthusiastically wagging her tail and bonding quickly with the rescue and vet workers and her foster parents. She follows us around the house and then lies down quietly at our feet to sleep. This Lab is smart and eager to please, for example she tried jumping on the people bed her first night and then didn't try again after we showed her she was supposed to lay down on the dog bed which she did and then slept quietly through the night (with one potty break). Miss Molly loves belly rubs and returns the favor with lots of kisses. Molly rides well in the car, is housebroken (whines to go out), and doesn't jump on people. She enjoys chewing on bones and other dog toys but doesn't chew on people things. Molly is great with other dogs, though was quick to chase squirrels/birds/cats on our first walks so may take some adjustment to a home with cats. Since she's been recovering from surgery, we haven't been able to let her run and fetch, but she was anxious to play with balls when the rescuers took her out of the shelter before surgery. She also has been splashing in whatever water she finds so we're guessing that she'll be a good swimmer like most Labs. Molly has some basic training and knows "sit", loves to give a paw with a shake/high5, and is pretty good on leash. She's a good eater with no food aggression (can take food away) and takes treats very gently from your hand.

All of her vet work is current including shots (DHPP, Rabies, Bordetella) and is heartworm negative. Molly will be fully recovered from her spaying on 9/5 and her ear infection and left ear laceration should be healed by then as well. This little girl has been through a lot of changes so has a slight bit of hand shyness but seems to be lessening after just a few days in her loving foster home.

Please check back at to find out about Molly's continued progress including more photos/vidoes! Please contact if you or someone you know might be interested in giving this dog the loving home she deserves! We are located in Los Gatos, CA (near San Jose) but would be happy to bring her for a home evaluation within an hour's driving radius. Molly was rescued by Golden Gate Labrador Rescue -- thanks to them for helping save the life of this great Lab who is looking for her forever home!

See more pictures of Lady.

8/1/09-8/22/09: Lady is a very sweet and lovable spayed female chocolate Labrador who is about 6-7 years old. Don't let the early grey hair fool you -- she has plenty of youthful energy and attitude. She is a classic-looking English/British/show style of Lab who is a well-mannered and purebred little lady. She has typical Lab personality and looks with an otter tail and dewclaws removed. Lady is shorter and more compact than many Labs making her a nice sized pet who should reach an ideal weight of ~60 lbs with continued diet and exercise. She is 66 lbs currently and has lost 4 lbs in 3 weeks, so shouldn't have any problems getting to a healthier weight.

Lady loves to play with toys! She'll bring a smile to your face as you watch her exuberantly bound after a fetch toy and then happily bring it back to you again and again. Lady is a great swimmer and will water-retrieve all day long -- she even joined in a dock-diving event with our other Labs on 8/15-16. She often is found with a doggie chew toy in her mouth -- though never has tried to chew on people items. Lady will make a wonderful companion for either a couple or family. She is a very friendly dog who quickly bonds with people and adapts to new routines including her foster home and all the places we've taken her. At home, Lady follows us around happily wagging her tail and then lies peacefully at our feet wherever we are. We had no trouble letting her off-leash since she stayed by our side or came quickly when we called her. Lady is very good with dogs and children she has met. She plays, eats, cuddles with our Labs, and nicely greeted many other dogs in the park and dock diving event. She is very willing to please and has delightful manners. Lady is housebroken, good in car/travel, doesn't jump on people, can touch/handle her easily including for vet work or baths, sleeps all night, and is quiet (other than expected barks for passers-by). She appears to have some training and quickly learned "sit" and "drop" and is OK on leash.

The San Jose shelter picked up Lady as a stray on 7/25 but was clearly an indoor dog before she was abandoned who even knew how to use a dog door. Poor diet/exercise and time on the streets left her with some infections and medical issues that we've cleared up with the TLC of foster care (came to our foster home on 8/1/09). Vet work done: shots, xrays, blood/heartworm test, and de-wormed.

Please check back at to find out about Lady's continued progress including more photos/vidoes! Please contact if you or someone you know might be interested in giving this dog the loving home she deserves! We are located in Los Gatos, CA (near San Jose) but would be happy to bring her for a home evaluation within an hour's driving radius. Lady was rescued by Golden Gate Labrador Rescue -- thanks to them for helping save the life of this little lady who is looking for her forever home!

More pictures of Cocoa including with her new family! Download printable flyer for Cocoa.

11/30/08 - 1/29/09: We are fostering this female mostly Chocolate Lab who is about 11 months old. Cocoa has a couple of non-lab markings but looks almost like a purebred. Her unknown "mix" gives her softer fur and more substantial legs (probably won't have typical Lab issues of joint displasia). Now at 50 lbs, Cocoa is a smaller Labrador and should mature to ~55 lbs. Someone left her at the Hollister shelter in the night "drop-box" kennel in mid-November and unfortunately, the rescue team found that she had been abused. Her physical wounds have healed; her emotional ones are on the mend and should recover with a loving new owner (you could be the one to win this little girl's affection!). Cocoa was terrified being at the shelter, so was brought into a foster situation to re-balance her so she can gain confidence and learn good behaviors.

This cute young dog is very timid and shys away from quick movements and noises, but is a very sweet, loving, soft and cuddly companion who is trying hard to trust people again. After just a week in our home, Cocoa had bonded with us as a happy "lap" dog who gave us lots of kisses and wags and readily came to us even on offleash hikes when we called her name. She still avoids strangers and runs away from things that scare her, but shows no signs of fear aggression even if cornered. Cocoa does better when other dogs are around to bolster her confidence, and is very friendly/submissive with other dogs. She has been around many other dogs in parks and doggie daycare, and Cocoa has displayed excellent socialization skills with all of them licking their chins, encouraging play with bows, running around, and even sharing toys/bones/beds with our Black and Yellow Labs (see photos). Cocoa is not hyper like many young Labs, but does love to play when given the chance. She enjoys chewing on toys/bones but has never chewed on any "people things" that she shouldn't (she has free run in our house and not a single chewing incident). Cocoa is starting to retrieve but is more interested in playing tug-o-war with the fetching toys with other dogs. Like most Labs, she loves the water and knows how to swim. It will take some time and patience to have her comfortable with more people, but dogs are amazingly forgiving so should come around even further with love/kindness and be very loyal to the people who treat her well.

After only about a month in our dog-friendly home, Cocoa has come a long way and is a delightful dog in so many aspects. She is now crate trained and often chooses an open crate to lay down since she seems to feel most safe there. Cocoa is also doing fine with housebreaking (only a few accidents when first arrived) and is not too bad with daily leash walks. We've just started working with her on basic obedience commands such as sit and down, and she is enjoying this "game" with treats. Cocoa is a delightful dog with food and will eat/drink anything offered -- gently taking treats from your hand and backing off if you approach the food bowl (no food aggression though was underweight when we started fostering her). She's also a delightfully quiet dog only barking a few times when someone approaches our house, but otherwise not making a sound. Cocoa goes along with whatever our routine for the day is and rides well in the car to wherever we go (she's had many 10 min to 3 hr trips) and sleeps quietly all night by our bed with our other dogs. Cocoa is extremely eager to please the people she loves. Because of her abuse, one must be very careful with any corrections -- a slightly raised voice is all that's needed to get her to stop doing anything you don't want her to do (like not jumping on you), then she's quick to learn and doesn't repeat it.

Cocoa has had her vet work done: spay, microchip, shots, heartworm tested and de-wormed. She willingly lets us and vets/rescue people handle her feet, look in her mouth, pick her up, pull on her skin, apply medication, etc. She is not aggressive in any way. Cocoa will be a sweet, quiet, loving companion to someone who gives her time to gain her trust. If you want to make a difference in a dog's life, this little girl would undoubtedly be grateful and melt your heart with her willingness to forgive people. She would be best in a home with other animals (she gains confidence following other dogs and has been fine around cats) and without young children (she's not aggressive towards children but gets more fearful around fast people movement).

Please check back at to find out about Cocoa's continued progress including more photos/vidoes! Please contact if you or someone you know might be interested in giving this dog the loving home she deserves! We are located in Los Gatos, CA (near San Jose) but would be happy to bring her for a home evaluation within an hour's driving radius. Cocoa was rescued by Bad Dawg Rescue -- thanks to them for helping save the life of this timid little girl with a long and happier life ahead of her!

11/17/08 - 11/22/08: We are currently fostering this ~1 yr old male Black Labrador Retriever (looks purebred in the American/field-style with long legs and lean athletic body instead of the short/squat/blocky British style) left abandoned and very hungry at the Hollister shelter. The shelter folks called him "Jack" but his new owners can name him whatever you want.

Jack was neutered while at the shelter and got all his shots/de-worming and microchipping. He's a really friendly, sweet, quiet and special young Lab -- it's hard to imagine why someone would neglect such a great dog. Jack's a good-looking guy and has very soft fur and a fondness for cuddling. He's very gentle and sits calmly while neighborhood children pet him. Jack is quite a happy guy and his tail is usually wagging -- especially when he's getting food. Though he and the other Lab left with him were boney and starving, they were not aggressive about food and you could hand feed or take food away from them. Jack is so gentle when he takes a treat from our hands and he certainly isn't a picky eater! He gained about 7-10 lbs during his weeks at the shelter to his current weight of 46 lbs and needs another 10-15 lb gain to reach ideal weight (60 lbs which is a smaller male Lab). While at the shelter, Jack would jump exuberantly in the kennel with typical youthful Lab energy and reach the top so looks like an athletic jumper that could be a winner in dock diving (maybe expand his name to Jumping Jack Flash)! He's still recovering from neutering but we've done a few easy fetches and he's a natural retriever with plenty of toy drive.

We have 2 female Labs and Jack has shown good dog socialization skills meeting and playing with them. He's fairly submissive so hasn't shown any bad habits like mounting nor jumping on people. Jack appears to have some potty training since he left his kennel clean and seems to know to go outside to do his business, and he's going willingly into the crate. We had about an hour drive from Hollister to our rescue home and Jack was an angel in the car -- he sniffed around the SUV cargo area then lay down quietly for the rest of the trip and even fell asleep. Jack looks like he's a quick learner -- he figured out the dog door in just a few hours by watching our other dogs, and has demonstrated pretty good leash skills using just a slip leash (ala Dog Whisperer training style) though doesn't seem to know many obedience skills very well (sit, down, etc) but we're working on that. He's been through a lot so has been a bit anxious and paces around searching for food, but we don't see any reason he won't overcome this with routine feeding schedule and settle into a new home quickly. Jack would be great in a home with another dog as he's use to that and seems to be more confident with other dogs around. He's been briefly exposed to cats and ignored them so probably would adjust to homes with cats.

Come back to find out more as we get to know him better and continue his training (more videos/photos always being added). Please contact if you or someone you know might be interested in giving this dog the loving home he deserves! We are located in Los Gatos, CA (near San Jose) but would be happy to bring him for a home evaluation within an hour's driving radius. Jack was rescued by Bad Dawg Rescue (in Hollister) and Auburn Area Animal Rescue Foundation -- thanks to them for helping save the life of this great young dog with a long and happier life ahead of him!

Labrador Rescue Links in San Jose, CA and surrounding areas
  • Golden Gate Labrador Retriever Rescue
  • Central California Labrador Retriever Rescue
  • South Bay Purebred Rescue
  • PetFinder (searchable list of dogs in most rescue organizations)
  • PetHarbor (searchable list of dogs in shelters)

  • Copyright 2013
    Photos owned by Cyndi Harrell. Do not use without permission.