Assistance at Work

Recipients of The B.A.A.R.K Foundation Inc.

The assistance we have granted is listed below. With your support we were able to help those in need. We will provide an update on assistance as they are granted so you know where your donation dollars are being spent. We are very grateful for the generosity of everyone who has supported us! It is always so nice to know we are appreciated. We are happy to able able to help and be there when needed.


Lager is a retired Contracted Working Dog under the State Department (War Zone
name: Nayt), having served 18 months in Iraq as an Explosives Detection Canine at the
U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. We adopted Lager at the age of three in 2015 when he
returned to the United States.
At the time of the situation, Lager had been competing in DockDogs for about 7 years.
We were driving in our camper on the way home from a World Championship qualifier
Labor Day weekend 2022. It was then that I noticed a rather large mass in Lager’s
mouth, located behind his lower left canine tooth. Upon our return home, Lager had
surgery to remove the mass and obtain a biopsy. Pathology reports showed not only
was the mass malignant, but the type of cancer that was detected tends to be extremely
locally invasive.
Lager saw an oncologist and went through a day of testing including an abdominal
ultrasound, x-rays, needle biopsies, and bloodwork to be sure that the cancer had not
spread to other areas his body. Luckily, there had been no sign of metastasis. He then
saw an oral surgeon who informed us that Lager would need a rostral mandibulectomy
(a large portion of his lower jaw had to be removed to obtain clean margins from this
locally invasive mass).
Although Lager was 10 years old at the time of his diagnosis, he surely does not act like
a senior-aged dog. We joke that he is the real-life Tigger as he bounces around and is
happy and excited about every little thing. He had so much life left to live and is one of
the most motivated dogs we have known. Although the thought of a mandibulectomy
was terrifying, we knew in our hearts that he would not let anything hold him back from
enjoying life, so getting him healthy again was a must.
Even though our 5 competitors had received multiple World Championship Invitations
that we had already accepted and paid for, we canceled our trip to the World
Championship knowing we would need the extra time and finances to appropriately care
for Lager. We canceled any upcoming camping trips we had planned and opted out of
Holiday gift exchanges with friends and family…but unfortunately that wasn’t enough to
get us through.
We have been members of the DockDog community for about 9 years. We have
donated to the B.A.A.R.K. Foundation and were very familiar with the assistance the
foundation has provided to fellow competitors. However, considering we have always
carried insurance for our dogs and consistently had positive experiences with
reimbursements, we never imagined having the need to reach out to  B.A.A.R.K. for
help. 2022 turned out to be a very tough year for us financially. When Lager’s medical
bills totaled over $12,000 we were shocked, but at the same time confident, thinking we
could rely on our insurance to provide an 80-90% reimbursement as we have received
in the past. However, Lager’s insurance only covered a miniscule amount of the total.
We were not financially prepared to be responsible for such a large bill and were
completely distraught.
We began researching other insurance companies and reluctantly reached out to Tina
from the B.A.A.R.K Foundation and explained our situation. I say reluctantly because
we had never been in this type of situation before, and even knowing it was our last
resort, we felt embarrassed to ask for help. In the past we had been fortunate to have
been the ones donating and providing help to others in charity organizations. I am so
thankful that we decided to contact B.A.A.R.K. Brian and I were brought to tears by how
kind, compassionate, and understanding Tina was during our conversation, as the call
was not an easy thing for us to do.
Brian and I are forever grateful to The B.A.A.R.K. Foundation and the DockDogs
community for their support during such a difficult time in our lives. We plan to pay it
forward through spreading the word about the foundation, offering donations in the
future when we are able and encouraging all members of the DockDogs community to
give to B.A.A.R.K. in whatever capacity you can. If you cannot donate to the foundation,
please consider volunteering in other ways or helping to collect donations at
competitions. You just never know when you or a fellow community member will need
assistance with medical expenses.
Thank you B.A.A.R.K. and our DockDogs family – this is truly THE best community.
We are proud to be members and grateful that our dogs have connected us to the most
amazing group of people anyone could ever wish to have in their lives.


Safari-Ari has been battling cruciate injury and illiopsoas strain since 2018.  In December 2021 she fully tore her cruciate and on January 31 she underwent a TPLO surgery to repair.  Her recovery was slow for the first 6 weeks but it was steady.  I was hopeful, so much so that I even pre-registered her to compete in our normal kick off to the season in May.  After about 6 weeks the iliopsoas strain really kicked in and she struggled.  Despite visits to her rehab vet 2 – 3 times a week for laser and underwater treadmill, on April 27, 12 weeks and 2 days after the first surgery, she tore the other cruciate.  12 weeks is a target date with TPLO as that’s when the bone should be healed and you could resume normal activity but now unfortunately we had to do it all over again and she  went for her second TPLO on May 18th followed by continued extensive rehab.
I’m a big believer in pet insurance but even with coverage things were really starting to add up. As a single woman on a modest income, high inflation was really hitting me hard as well.  Thank you so much to the BAARK Foundation for stepping in with assistance when I really needed it.  It’s not easy to ask for help but thank you to my DockDogs community for lightening my load.   


Brooklyn started her dock diving career in 2010 at 9 months old when we went to Long Beach, California and signed up for a DockDogs competition that was set up at the Fishing and Boat show. Brooklyn was a natural and won the amateur finals. It was so much fun and we were hooked. We traveled the country over the years and went to so many events including many DockDogs World Championships. She has won so many ribbons, metals and trophies that I can’t name them all but the most special award that she received was being inducted into the DockDogs Hall of Fame.
She is my best friend and when the veterinary doctors said she had a tumor in her liver that was most likely cancer I knew I had to do whatever I could to help her. Including asking for help. I’m so thankful for the B.A.A.R.K foundation we appreciate the check you sent. Brooklyn is doing great and the tumor that they took out was not Cancer. We don’t travel much anymore but she still loves the game and is living her best life!


Our dog Ziggy was the dog that got us started in DockDogs. I’m sure a lot of us have a similar story. We end up with a dog that NEEDS a job and have a friend who invited us to watch their dog compete. And we were hooked.

December 2016 and January 2017 we were hit with some unexpected bills and juggling things to make ends meet. I had been laid off for 3 years and have devoted that time to the non-profit dog rescue I started in 2011; which means we have been living on 1 salary. Things were tight, but we had it figured out. Then on January 31, things ended up getting even worse. Ziggy had to be rushed to the vet, and after testing, was diagnosed with Hemorraghic Gastroenteritis (HGE). Our vet immediately started him on fluids but advised us to transfer Ziggy to the e-vet as soon as their clinic closed, which we did. Ziggy ended up staying 18 hours at the e-vet, which of course had to be paid for up front. Another large unexpected bill.

A friend reminded me of the the B.A.A.R.K. Foundation, and I immediately put in for assistance.  Two weeks later, Ziggy had a relapse. Thankfully, he didn’t end up at the e-vet again, but did run up another substantial bill with our regular vet.

We want to thank B.A.A.R.K. for their timely assistance. If not for the help of our DockDogs friends and the B.A.A.R.K. Foundation, we would still be trying to make ends meet. Thank you for helping us get back on track. Ziggy is doing much better and we hope to get him back on the dock again soon.

Maria, Byron and Ziggy Schiefer


Phoenix came home with me the 1st night weighing 14 oz.  I work in a Veterinary Hospital and a box of puppies were left at the door of the local shelter.  My Husband and I were both Firefighters so we named the 3 fosters Phoenix, Lucas, and Hurst after the Rescue Tools on the Fire Truck.  Phoenix had such a personality that she became our Baby “Our First Child together”.  She never realized she was 80 lbs or that she was a Rottweiler Mix – she thought she was small enough to sit on your lap. She loved supporting her little sister Denali at the Dock but was not a huge fan of the water

We have been around the Dock Dog Community and have fundraised for B.A.A.R.K. over the years to help those in need. Unfortunately, this past June while at a Dock Diving event Phoenix our 11 ½ year old Rotti had a Seizure and needed to be taken to the Emergency Clinic near the Woofstock event.  Just hours before she had participated in the Blessing of the Animals. The Northway Animal Emergency Clinic was amazing they were able to stabilize her.  We returned home to more testing and found that she most likely had a rrain tumor.  We had to say goodbye to our Love Bug.

Thank you B.A.A.R.K. for your assistance.



“Libby the Lab” changed my life in ways I could never have imagined when she arrived at my home the fall after 9/11! Her registered name was Dancer’s Statue of Liberty as she was part of a litter born on 9/10 and 9/11, 2001, a day America will never forget.

She introduced me to DockDogs and literally hundreds of new friends all over North America. Days before DockDogs Worlds in 2013 I was out walking with her and I noticed one hip looked larger than the other. I had a feeling it would not be good news as she was 12, but I knew I wanted her to go to DockDogs Worlds, enjoy her time on the dock and deal with whatever when we got home.

My generous friends had made it possible for Libby & me to attend Worlds in November 2014 and get back up on the dock one last time with the other Hero Dogs!

In early December she was diagnosed with cancer and had a very enlarged spleen. I opted for no treatment as it had probably already advanced and she deserved quality time with the days she had left. My vet could not tell me how long, but I expected her to be gone by Christmas. NOT LIBBY THE ENERGIZER BUNNY! She had several incidents in the coming months but made it over 1 year from her diagnosis and was eating up until the day she died. Libby passed away at home peacefully on December 22, 2014.

Close Up

I really wanted to have Libby’s ashes returned to me to be scattered at our MO*KAN DockDog practice pond, placed in a locket for me to wear on the dock and someday be buried with me. Her death came at a bad time for me financially.Hero Dogs

I had had a very slow quarter selling Real Estate and knew my 1 quarter this year was looking to be better. The B.A.A.R.K. Foundation provided the funds for me to have a private cremation for Libby and receive her ashes back in a timely fashion, rather than having them sit at the vet’s office for months. I told the B.A.A.R.K. Board that I would consider their assistance as a loan, but they made sure I understood I was under no obligation to pay back their assistance.

I intend to pay if forward to B.A.A.R.K. some day. I have always supported B.A.A.R.K. in small ways at DockDog Worlds, but not to the degree they helped me bring Libby home this January.

Thank you very much!
Cindy Cowherd


We have been around the DockDog community for about 6 years and were familiar with the B.A.A.R.K. Foundation and the assistance it has provided to friends of ours and others within the community. Unfortunately, this past January we were faced with a situation with one of our dogs that came out of nowhere but B.A.A.R.K. was there to offer assistance and we couldn’t be more thankful.

In January 2015, Behr, our 4.5 yr old Brittany, was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease. Addison’s disease is the opposite of cushings disease in dogs and is more rare. Symptoms may persist for awhile and, because symptoms of Addison’s are often generic, may be attributed to another cause or disease before a diagnosis of Addison’s is reached.  Addison’s disease is caused by an underproduction of cortisol in the body causing the dog’s systems to begin to shut down.

In January, Behr’s energy levels significantly dropped to the point where he no longer wanted to play and would just lay around the house. Additionally, while he has always been a somewhat slow eater, he has always eaten everything given to him. In January, he started to leave food after each meal and then stopped eating all together. No amount of offering other food could entice him to eat and he lost a significant amount of weight very quickly. He also began to have severe whole body tremors.

When our vet saw him, she could not find any physical reason for his condition but ran a complete blood panel. The results came back the next day and showed abnormal values for his kidney, phosphorus, and potassium levels. We are very lucky that our vet is familiar with Addison’s disease and she immediately recognized this as a possible case of Addison’s. The only definitive test for diagnosing Addison’s is to perform an ACTH stimulation or response test. This tests the ability of the adrenal glands to produce the hormone cortisol. We performed this secondary test immediately and within 24 hours, we had a confirmed diagnosis of Addison’s disease.

Behr is now on daily medication and receives shots of synthetic hormones every 25 days for the rest of his life. He will also undergo periodic blood tests to measure his kidney, phosphorus, and potassium levels to ensure the medication is still working and he is receiving an appropriate amount. Addison’s is not curable and we must be diligent in his medication and monitoring his stress levels. Good and bad stresses, such as hunting, visiting family, DockDogs events, or something more drastic has the potential cause a relapse. However, now that Behr is receiving the necessary medications, he will continue to live a full, happy life.

We are very thankful that we received a diagnosis so quickly for Behr and that his disease is treatable, however, his medical expenses quickly began to add up over the course of only a few days. And, once we had a diagnosis, we learned that not only will the medication continue for the rest of Behr’s life, it is not cheap. We are very thankful to B.A.A.R.K. and the help they provided. B.A.A.R.K. was there to offer us assistance to help with the initial expenses and kind words during this tough time. It is such a relief knowing we have an organization that can offer assistance to us and our human and canine family members when we may need just a little extra help.

Thank you B.A.A.R.K. for the work you do. We will definitely continue to donate and help raise funds so that others may also continue to receive the additional help during trying times.
Thank you!
Behr enjoying life!
Joel and Theresa Rakocy

Another heart felt thank you was received at the B.A.A.R.K. Foundation office. You don’t know how happy this makes us and it sure does make the work we do well worth it. Glad we could be there when you needed us the most!


On the way from our home in Sugar Land, TX to the DockDog World Championship in Dubuque, Iowa, our Honda Odyssey minivan was rammed by a buck near Nevada, Missouri. It went right into the passenger window, shattering it and the entire right side of the van.  Amazingly, all persons and pups were fine, only surface scratches to Ellie due to the shattered glass. She was the passenger at the time. The side curtain and seat airbags saved her life.

This was the first leg of our adventure and it was our first trip to the DockDog World Championship. We had been preparing and saving for this event for a very long time. Ellie is a dog groomer, I am retired on disability and Maddie was an unwanted, hyper, out-of-control Welsh Terrier that her previous owners were unable to handle.  Maddie needed an outlet for her energy and we found DockDogs.  A perfect match.

nexus 5 2014 830

We were able to get our van, and us, up to Kansas City, Missouri, where it was eventually deemed a total loss as the center pillar was bent as well.  We had to rent a minivan in Kansas City to take us to Dubuque. The rented minivan would also have to take us back to Texas. We were just so happy and excited to have finally gotten to Dubuque, and to compete.

While visiting with fellow Heart of Texas (HOT) team members and sharing the details of our ordeal as well as the extra expenses we were incurring, Betsy Taylor, President of HOT suggested we ask B.A.A.R.K. for assistance. We are so glad we did. They helped defer a huge part of the rental van. Though it is much more than a monetary gift, Tina McLaughlin, B.A.A.R.K, HOT, and our entire DockDog family gave us friendship, prayers, blessings, caring, comfort, kindness and a shoulder when we needed it most.  Thank you all so very much.

Lori Miller

Thank You Dawn2

A genuine heart felt thank you from someone we helped sure brightens up the office! We are glad we can help and the community’s support makes this happen.



Lucy OutfitLucy came into my life about 1.5 years before my retirement as an undisciplined 2 year old pit bull.  She was found running loose in Kentucky.  I had always had little dogs around 10 pound so for me a 40 pound wild girl was quite a challenge but we went to classes and I finally learned to be the boss.  After retirement, I found DockDogs, lure coursing, costume contests, fostering for a rescue and taking every opportunity I could be do some advocacy for this very special breed of dogs.  My life revolved around her in the 1.5 years since retirement and it couldn’t have been better.  She became known in the DD world as the dog in the Supergirl costume or the one that always wore a flower or bow even in practice.

About the middle of July 2014, I started to notice that Lucy was drooling at odd times.  Didn’t think too much about it until she started coughing.  The vet initially thought she had kennel cough despite the fact that she had been immunized for it.  Antibiotics were not working, so we went back to the vet during the third week of August.  On Saturday, I took her in again because she just kept getting worse and we decided to take an x-ray to make sure that she didn’t have pneumonia.  The lungs were clear but I told them that she was collapsing at times and I had to carry back to the house from the back yard.  She would rest then be able to walk again.

By Monday, 7/28, we were back at the vets again and she actually collapsed when the vet took her into the back.  At that point the vet said it was neurological and I would have to see a specialist. Head on Superman She suspected either meningitis or Myasthenia Gravis.  Never heard of the last one, but the first one scared me to death.  As the vet explained Myasthenia Gravis, she said it almost always comes with megaesophagus which she would have seen on the x-ray she took on Sat. so she was going back to review that x-ray.  When she finally returned, she had already conferred with the Neurologist and they were certain it was Myasthenia Gravis.  She gave us a prescription and information on the disorder, which is a disconnect between the muscles and the nerves.  Since the esophagus is a muscle that moves food from the throat to the stomach, Lucy was gagging it back up and was unable to get any food into her stomach.  Upon researching, I discovered a Bailey’s chair that is built to allow the dog to sit up and eat and look much like a high chair.  It was critical that I get one for her right away so I posted a plea on Facebook and my DockDog friends came through.  Stephanie Cook, President of SunCoast DockDogs built her the chair in one day!  I had it by Thursday that week.  However, by the next day I suspected she was getting worse and went back to the vet who advised putting her in the ICU of Animal Specialty Hospital in Naples where the Neurologist could take care of her.  I spent every minute I could with her over the weekend, but she was deteriorating rapidly and had lost a lot of weight.  On Monday, they did surgery to put in a feeding tube and I was hopeful that on Tuesday she would be getting some food and her strength back.  Tuesday night she aspirated fluids into her lungs and this caused pneumonia.  They had to resuscitate her twice during that night.   As she couldn’t tolerate the medication, the only other option was a medication that would affect her autoimmune system and with pneumonia, we were out of options for her.  So on Wednesday, August 6th, only nine days after she was diagnosed, I had to say goodbye to my heart dog.  I miss her every moment of the day and know she will be waiting for me at the rainbow bridge when I get there with her tale a wagging and her sloppy kisses ready for me.

I am retired on a limited income so I am grateful to the B.A.A.R.K. Foundation for their gift to help pay for some of her medical expenses.


LoveI had never even SEEN a Chessie until I met Bella as a pup and fell in love with her blue eyes. Head-strong dogs didn’t “scare” me … I had after all had the pleasure of owning a Giant Schnauzer that died from cancer at the age of 7 on his 7th birthday – and they are about as head-strong as it gets!  I had never heard about DockDogs until I met Bella’s mom, Jade, who loved competing and had won the Lambeau Leap the first year.

Shortly after Bella was born she had to have two umbilical repair surgeries. Not a big deal according to my vet – some dogs have that. When Bella was 9 months old she had an intestinal blockage that almost killed her. Turns out she had a patent uracus (kind of like a straw from the kidney) that had never been absorbed by the body after Bella was born and she basically had urine leaking into her abdominal cavity for the first nine months of her life. This caused all of her internal organs to be wadded together into one big ball. The vet removed a foot of Bella’s intestines on New Year’s Day 2009 because it was blocked with fermented grass (remember, this was in the middle of the winter in Wisconsin – that grass must have been accumulating for a long time). He was only able to remove a small percentage of the adhesions because most of them were attached to blood supplies and he didn’t want to risk losing her. We dealt with bowel issues her entire life and pretty much controlled it with tylan powder and every now and again some metrodinazole when the cowpies showed up! The vet said that Bella probably lived with a great deal of pain all the time due to these gut issues, but you would never know it ‘cuz she was a Chessie! I can’t help but think that someone else might not have invested so much in “just a young dog” and Bella never would have made it into 2009.

And so it went … until Memorial Day 2013 when she swallowed a piece of plastic tube. I discussed the “what if’s” with my vet as well as the board certified veterinary surgeon that had done Bella’s surgery as a pup. We all decided that we just HAD to give Bella the best chance possible and that we never wanted to wonder if we had truly done all we could for her. There were several times that day when I had to say – keep on going – give her the best shot at life. It took the surgeon almost 3 hours just to get to the area where the blockage was – he had to cut through all the adhesions. We had discussed that a dog typically needs at least 20% of their intestines to be able to absorb enough nutrition to survive. Unfortunately, he was only able to save 15%. But, being a tough Chessie, we thought that Bella could pull it off! And for a while she appeared to be doing so. But … her insides never really got started again and things got blocked up again. An endoscopy removed some more grass and then a week later a second endoscopy showed no more blockage. So we gave her a whole mess of motility drugs to see if we could jump start her insides and get them working again. She needed shots every 8 hrs and I brought Bella and the RV to work with me so I could go out during the day to administer her shots.Bella Thanks

For a while she was voraciously eating … and then it slowly started to dwindle. Her last week it was tough getting her to eat anything. On Friday, 9/20/2013, she had a couple of hamburgers and rice and played with me at lunch time, catching her ball and having a blast. When we got home she refused to eat anything and only wanted to drink water. Overnight she threw up … a whole lot … and when we woke up Saturday morning I noticed that she was holding her front right paw folded under and was unable to put any weight on it. This had happened a couple of nights before and I found out online that this could be a sign of a stroke. She laid down and was wimpering – something Bella rarely did, so I knew she was in pain. I massaged her foot and she was able to put weight on it but the entire leg was cold. Her gums were also cold so I knew something was seriously going wrong. We went outside to play ball, which is our typical morning routine, and she dropped her ball and ran over to the pond to drink – completely ignoring the ball, which is something that anyone who knows Bella knows is NOT something she would ever do under normal circumstances!

We spent the next hour or so cuddling on the floor and then drove to the vet. I brought Peach with us so everything appeared “normal” to Bella. Neither of my dogs is afraid of the vet, which is nice – they love all the folks there. So – there was no fear on Bella’s part. When Bella got on the scale (our typical routine) she weighed 42 pounds … a drop of about 10 pounds since Wednesday (just 3 days earlier). Upon examination the vet found her to be severely dehydrated (in spite of the huge amounts of water she was drinking) and we agreed it was time to say goodbye before everything started shutting down and she would be in pain. He said that the foot thing could have been caused because she was “throwing a clot”. They didn’t even have to shave her leg for the IV because both of her legs were still shaved from before. The vet techs wrapped Bella’s leg in purple tape (fitting I thought). While I wanted her to lay in my lap, Bella wanted nothing to do with that! She preferred to lie on the cool floor next to me. I am so glad I was there to comfort her and remind her of what a good, good dog she is. Peach got a little scared when Bella finally let go, but she came over to the vet and he gave her a hug. I thought it would be good for Peach to be there not only for Bella’s sake but to also help her understand what had happened to Bella.

I know that I did everything possible to help Bella thrive and that her body just didn’t do its part … but that doesn’t make it any easier. This is one of the hardest things I’ve had to go through, but one that was my responsibility to do to save Bella any more suffering – and suffer she surely would have done. She was happy up until the end and knew that I was there for her.

1263978_10151740232554652_1065712784_oBella introduced me to a whole bunch of wonderful folks … my DockDog family … near and far … and some that I have never met except in cyberspace. I am thankful for all the support everyone has given me during this trying time – it truly helped to know that there were so many people in Bella’s corner!

I was overwhelmed by the support I received when the DockDog community heard about Bella’s passing.  One competitor from Vermont dedicated his dogs’ jumps the next day to Bella, and all three of his dogs had new personal bests!   A competitor in Ponca, Nebraska did a tribute to Bella the day after she died by bouncing the ball on the dock for her Catahoula.   I got a call from a competitor that had been at that event in Nebraska who said that the news spread like wildfire among the DockDog community at the event and everyone shed a few tears for Bella and shared memories.  The Rocky Mountain DockDogs club sent me a picture of them all on the dock with their hands in the shape of hearts and a few gals from Colorado also sent me a special picture of the three of them with their hands in the shape of a heart.  The original Team FABOlous members and their dogs went to the beach the weekend after Bella died and took a “missing man” picture.

I will always miss Bella but will also be so very happy that I had her in my life … without Bella I would not have my DockDog family!  Peach is starting to show a little toy drive, so I am hopeful to be able to share the next season with my family on the dock! Hopefully the next time someone bounces a ball on the dock everyone will think of Bella and the “Bella Bounce” …but I’ll bet the dog won’t be able to consistently catch the ball like Bella could. Bella was able to compete in two events this summer – one just six weeks after surgery – and she earned her Speed Retrieve Turbo title this summer too.  Thank you B.A.A.R.K. Foundation for your grant that helped to give Bella one last summer on the dock!

Kathy Hennek & Peach

Lodi, Wisconsin


100003840887935_400512Our story starts at our local shelter; you see, our 7 yr. old daughter “Julia” was always playing “rescue” and she would make believe that she was always saving pets and finding good homes for them. So when she turned 7 she knew without a doubt that she wanted to rescue a dog from the shelter for her very own best buddy and DockDog. We explained to the shelter that we wanted a dog that was very loving with kids, loves to play, and is very smart and will train well. Not too much to ask right?! So they bring us out to meet (at that time – Luna) Lucia, a black lab mix, and we fell in love with her.

Well, as soon as we got Lucia home our troubles began, she could not keep anything down. We called the shelter and they said they thought she had giardia.  We immediately took her to our vet and tested her, but the results came back negative. Week after week, month after month our vet kept trying to figure out what was causing this, and Lucia kept getting skinnier and skinnier. She got to a low of 36 pounds! The situation got so bad that we decided that if we didn’t figure it out real soon that we would have to put her to sleep before she starved to death.

Finally, I did my own research online and asked the vet to do another x-ray of her throat, and then we saw that her esophagus was greatly enlarged. Lucia has a condition called mega esophagus.  Her esophagus was so enlarged, her food just sat in her throat until she would regurgitate it back up- nothing could get to her stomach. She was literally starving!

I did more research online and discovered “the bailey chair”.  This is a special chair that a man designed for his dog “Bailey” who had mega esophagus.  It’s kind of like a highchair. The idea is to let gravity do the work of pulling the food down to the stomach.  And it has worked!! We are astatic to let you all know that Lucia is now up to 52 pounds!!!! She has more energy than ever, and my little girls face lights up whenever they are together, esp. at the dock!!!

Well we had a very happy ending – except for the huge vet bill.  Then our club president “Todd” told me about B.A.A.R.K. – I didn’t realize this foundation was for the DockDog family. We were already getting a lot of love and support from our friends at the dock, and now even more support came from B.A.A.R.K. to help with those overwhelming bills. Now Julia and Lucia can enjoy their summer together at the dock.

We will forever be great full to all the love and support from our family at DockDogs and B.A.A.R.K. for helping us through an extremely difficult and frustrating time. Now we can JUMP BIG!!!!!

Thank you,

The Donoso Family

‘Leapin’ Lenny

My “heart dog”, Leapin’ Lenny was struck down in the prime of his life, at just 6 1/2 years old, by cancer. Cancer of the jaw which had metastisized to his lungs by the time he was diagnosed. I did everything I could; all the diagnostic tests in the hope of finding an answer with a good outcome. Sadly, it was not to be . . . . Lenny passed just 2 months after the diagnosis.

If not for Leapin’ Lenny, I would never have met so many wonderful people in the DockDogs and Agility community and travelled to so many amazing places both in Canada and the U.S. Lenny was everything to me – we did so much together – and he taught me a lot during his brief life. I have many good friends now because of this big black dog.

I received so much support from these friends when Lenny became ill. They did fundraising to help with my vet bills and presented me with a beautiful photo album. They also contacted the B.A.A.R.K. Foundation for financial assistance for me, who generously gave me $500.00 towards my vet bills. I was overwhelmed by the generosity and caring of so many people. It was such a gift to not also have to worry about the financial burden of Lenny’s illness.

The silver lining to this horrible situation was finding out just how many wonderful friends Lenny & I have – they were there when we needed them the most – and for that I will be forever grateful. Thank you so much to my dog sport friends and everyone at B.A.A.R.K. You really are the best!

Judy Vodden

Leapin’ Lenny

Apr 13/06 – Dec 7/12

Tim Kline

A fallen competitor whose family could not afford to put a headstone on his grave was given a farewell tribute by his DockDogs family. Clubs that he supported and clubs that never even knew him made contributions to make sure he would be remembered.

Our donors should be proud of their support.

This is what the B.A.A.R.K. Foundation is all about. Making a child happy and helping a furry friend in their time of need. Ashlee you are welcome and we hope to see and Max on the dock soon sharing time together and with your DockDogs family. This is the reason we exist and it fills our hearts with joy when we know that we are appreciated for the good things we have done.

Kristina’s Story

The B.A.A.R.K. Foundation was so much help to me.  My husband was diagnosed with cancer and needed to quit his job which left us with one income.  The extra expenses were horrible and without B.A.A.R.K. I don’t know what I would have done. I can’t thank B.A.A.R.K. enough for their support and generosity.

My husband lost his battle with cancer on March 24, 2012; he fought so hard for 16 months, such a horrible disease.  I thank B.A.A.R.K. so much.

Thanks again,



I will never forget that awful week of my life. My heart dog, my special in so many ways dog … bloated. The first few days after the incident were worst few days of my life, not knowing if he was going to make it minute to minute, having to say good-bye to him “just in case”… just thinking back on this week as I type this, makes me tear up.

Luckily today I can say with so much gratitude that Tractor is just fine. A little out of shape from me keeping him basically in bubble wrap and on the couch (haha, just kidding), but he is alive, healthy and HAPPY. It took several days in the hospital, multiple vets, a transfer to a critical care/emergency clinic, but he is here, and that is all that matters.

Through-out the stress, tears, anxiety of this entire mess, I received a call from DockDogs CEO, Grant Reeves, assuring me to focus on getting Tractor healthy and that I should not worry about the (very high, I might add) amounts of bills that were piling up. Even though that was the furthest thing from my mind, I knew eventually it would come up and be a pretty big burden, as his bills ended up totaling over $8,000.

$8,000 might of well have been pennies as far as I was concerned… I would have paid double that to keep him alive. This dog has changed my life in so many ways. He has been here through some pretty major live events, he is the dog that got me involved with dog sports like DockDogs, expanded my friends from coast-to-coast and most importantly, the reason I met the man I was meant to be with forever and in turn have my amazing son.

This dog is not just my ‘heart’ dog, he has been THE pivotal point in my life – and I could not imagine my life without him. When I talk about the friends I have because of this very special dog, I can’t even begin to express the quality of friends they are. I had two different friends, Lianne and Whitney, begin “fundraisers” for Tractor while this mess was going on and the amount of support we received was… overwhelming, is the best word to describe it. I could NOT believe what was unfolding and after only a couple weeks, they had managed to fundraise over $5000 for his bills! This was all from friends that I had met because of Tractor! These friends were from CA, all the way to Maine and everywhere in between. As if that was not enough… a few weeks following the surgery, I also received a check for $500 from BAARK and it helped pay off the remainder of his bill at the critical care clinic.

It is true that after going through something traumatic, you will know who is there for you and who cares…. and the only good that came from that awful situation, was just that. Thank you to Lianne, Whitney, ALL of our supporters and friends, as well as BAARK for helping make an absolutely awful situation slightly less awful with your generosity.



The B.A.A.R.K foundation helped me and my wife out when my daughter Ciana was 2 years old and going through chemo with a specialized radiation.

That meant that her and my wife Colleen had to relocate out to Oklahoma. The way the foundation helped is the treatment was for six weeks and we needed to switch up who was out there with Ciana. The B.A.A.R.K. Foundation provided money to us so that we could buy airline tickets for both of us so I could fly to Oklahoma and my wife could fly back. It was great because it gave my wife a break from being out there and gave me time to spend with my little girl who I was missing tremendously.

Right now Ciana is cancer free and has scans done every month to ensure nothing has come back. She has been done with her treatment for a little over a year now and going to school now, her hair is back and she acts like nothing was ever wrong. She will have to go through some surgeries when she gets a little older to reconstruct some things that had to be removed when they removed the tumors but we are going to worry about that when it comes. I am no longer in Dockdogs but I still remember what they did for me and still appreciate it very much and I am thankful for their help.



Spencer “The Flying Sponge” began his dock diving career in 2009 at the age of seven.  He instantly fell in love with the sport and especially the attention from everyone.

Starting late 2011, Spencer began his fight to overcome multiple major illnesses.  This was when The B.A.A.R.K. Foundation along with our DockDogs friends stepped in and provided their support.  The B.A.A.R.K. Foundation’s assistance enabled us to focus our attention on Spencer’s recovery and less on financial worries.  Although Spencer lost his fight we are forever grateful to The B.A.A.R.K. Foundation and the Dock Dogs community for their support during such a difficult time in our lives.

Nicole Wayland & Ann Buel