Update on Bailey

From the moment we brought Bailey home (we kept her name) she has been such an asset to our lil family. After loosing our oldest Tippy,only a week before, our youngest Lucy was not quite right… We brought Bailey home and right away Lucy and her started being the best of friends. Bailey has taught Lucy, who is only 3, how to be a puppy – our oldest was too old to play so Lucy wasn’t quite sure about this new member and all her energy.
Bailey’s quirky personality makes people just fall in love with her, she is so sweet and cuddly, her favorites are to lay on the bay window and watch all the goings on outside & to lay on the couch beside us with her head in our laps.

those big ears of hers and the fact that her tongue is constantly hanging out make us giggle all the time! She is no longer a picky eater, we were able to find a food that she loves, so much so that she does donuts in the kitchen at every feeding :) she is a casual eater which can prove interesting when Lucy is done and looking for more. We do have to coax her once and awhile but for the most part she eats well. I think she is slowly gaining a lil weight.

when we first brought her home she really hated having me out of her sight, following me everywhere including the shower…. Which she LOVES!!! She loves the sprinkler and any water source she can find to stick her snout into… Including her water bowl.

She loves going for car rides and walks, she even tries to walk Lucy by grabbing her leash and towing her around the house haha she has adjusted well to her kennel and stays in it only when we are not at home. Her sleeping quarters are either at the bottom of the bed or on the floor right beside it but she always comes up for night time snuggles. She sleeps well thru the night only giving morning kisses when the alarm goes off. Her training has been slow as she is very food motivated but listens to basic commands very well.

We have a huge backyard that allows both our girls to play and run non stop…   We have a had a few issues of her digging holes but are doing our best to find outlets for her to distract from that.
We take our girls to a local daycare once and awhile and she loves playing with all the other dogs, we have taken her to a local small dog park that is not very busy bc we are still in training with ‘come’ when she is called.

She is a very energetic and lovable lil girl and we could not be more blessed to have her in our lives. She reminds us of our Tippy in many ways. We love her so so much and we are truly grateful to Kim for allowing us to bring Bailey home and be a part of our family!!!

Update on Krystal

Seeing updates on a number of our fosters reminded me that I’ve been remiss on my own update and it’s so cool to see how they’ve grown up!  Krystal was foster #7 for us, and fosters 8 & 9 had already come and gone with her still waiting for her forever home.  After her third meeting and people picking one of our other foster puppies, we decided it must be fate and she belonged with us.  It seemed like a good fit as we really wanted our next dog to be super mellow — a great example for all the fosters we hope to have over the years.  But Krystal didn’t get the memo!

Super mellow puppy, turned into super high-energy adolescent….and we absolutely LOVE her!  While she may not always be the most calming influence for our other fosters, she’s accepted every new dog that’s come into the house.  She loves to go wherever we do and would run and play all day if she could.  She goes to daycare a few days a week to burn off extra energy and we try to get her out into the country where she has lots of space to explore on the weekends.  However, when its cuddle time, she’s right there taking up her  ”share” of the couch or the bed while we squeeze in around her!

We had her in some beginner training classes during the summer and have her in another training program this fall and she is so eager to learn.  She is easily distracted but we’re working on it and her focus improves day by day.  We just couldn’t imagine our home without our super sweet and often zoomy beauty around to keep us on our toes and to snuggle up at night.  There was a huge hole in our hearts when we lost our last dog to cancer over the summer…so as the saying goes, it was really her who rescued us!  Thank you AARCS for all you do and for giving us the chance to bring Krystal into our hearts and our home!

~ Vlooswyk/Steele Family

Photos courtesy of www.thousandwoofs.com and www.fureverreflections.ca


This is a portrait done of Penny. Here is her story. I was surrendered by my previous owner and lived outside with lot’s of brothers and sisters was tied up most of my life. I did not have much interaction with people during this time so I am very shy but I have made huge progress. The first few weeks of my foster care, I was afraid of venturing out of my kennel but now I quite enjoy the company of other dogs and people. I’m now very curious and love to follow the other dogs and people around the house and yard. My favorite spot in the house is lying on my bed and watching everything that’s going on around me. You are more than welcome to talk to me I have a good temperament but still shy of people that come close into my space. I will take gently a treat from your hand, and come to you when my name is called. I am house trained indoors and love being outside, good on my leash however need my distance. Be patient with me I’m still a little nervous and untrusting but believe me I have come a long way I have been told!

I would love to find my furever home, I’m looking for a small family or single person who has lots of time, patience and understanding as well someone who would be dedicated to my confidence building. Someone who can give me the love to trust all in due time, I know I’m worth every penny of it!

Penny would do very well if there was another dog(s) with a yard or acreage as she has always been among other dogs for company. Not too sure about being in a family with small children as she is very nervous if approached too quickly. Penny is playful outside yet relaxed in the house laying on her bed chewing on a bone.

This piece was provided by Norm Haldeman, a freelance artist who hopes you have an excellent day. You can find his website at The Echo Inside


Featured Volunteer: Niki Vlooswyk-Steele

How can I become a volunteer? | See more volunteers

AARCS introduces Niki Vlooswyk-Steele

What AARCS Has To Say

Over the past year, we have been lucky enough to get to know our December Volunteer of the month very well. Niki has dedicated much of her life to the animals, and for that, we say thank you!

Niki quickly stepped up to take on the role of our Transport Coordinator when it became available due to a maternity leave. Without skipping a beat, Niki seemed to take over this position flawlessly. On any given week, there can be approximately 20 transports, sometime more, which requires lots of planning and organization with volunteers. We have even witnessed her being at the shelter for 7 (sometimes earlier) in the morning, to do transports herself before heading off to work.
In addition to putting in hours every week coordinating transports, Niki and her husband are an amazing foster home. They have handled everything from puppies, to medical cases, and did their first mom and pups this year! They have provided an amazing, loving home for countless dogs this year. Not only does she spend time with AARCS dogs as a foster home, but is also one our Shift Leaders at our shelter! Her leadership and advice has proved to be invaluable to new volunteers she has helped.
Niki has dedicated so much of her time en energy to the homeless animals of Alberta, volunteering time with AARCS as well as the Alberta Spay Neuter Task Force. How she finds the time between her own family and dogs, we are not sure, but we are thankful she does! Thank you Niki for all of your hard work and dedication. You are truly amazing and we are so lucky to have you.

A Few Words From Niki

I started watching various Calgary animal rescue sites and following their activities about two years ago when I was thinking about bringing a second dog into our home.  I had been heavily involved in parrot rescue when my son was young so when I saw all the animal rescue organizations’ pleas for help, I wanted to lend a hand.  As soon as a previous volunteer obligation was fulfilled, I took my first step into this amazing community by showing up to help unload food for Pound Rescue one day after work.  I did a few other one-off things for various rescues including answering a number of transportation requests for AARCS.  Then AARCS Transport Coordinator, Tiffany, was about to head off on maternity leave and she asked if I’d fill in for her.  The rest, as they say, is history!

I feel very lucky to be part of this amazing organization filled with incredibly dedicated and caring people.  Along with organizing transport, I try to do at least one shift a week at the shelter, attend events when I can and have discovered the incredible rewards of fostering – not the least of which is our one (so far!) “foster failure”, Krystal!  (We adopted her!) J

What drew me to AARCS was its growing presence, organization, vision and obvious passion.  What really hooked me was my first visit into one of the communities with which we work and seeing first-hand the conditions and issues being faced there by the animals and people.  It’s not some distant problem.  It’s right here in our own backyard and each animal we help, each family we assist, really does make a difference.

The more involved I get, the more impressed I am by the sense of community and the cooperation that occurs between so many organizations.  I am grateful AARCS led me to the ASNTF and thankful we are so involved in the spay/neuter clinics and our own spay/neuter initiatives.  It is amazing to see any rivalry set aside between rescue organizations when yet another animal needs help and, despite everyone being full, somehow someone finds the space.

I couldn’t do what I do without the help of my husband Marvin, my son Garion and the understanding and forgiveness of friends and family who deal with regular phone interruptions, unscheduled departures and a rotating door of fosters.  Further, I couldn’t accomplish much without the incredible support of our AMAZING transportation volunteers who take countless animals to and from vet appointments; trek across the city or out into the countryside on a busy Saturday so animals can attend events; pick up and distribute supplies or donations around the province, and head out at all sorts of crazy hours to pick up animals in need.  A HUGE thank you to all of you!

Nursing and sometimes losing animals, letting fosters go, and dealing with those few horrible humans out there isn’t always easy and leads to some heartbreak and more than a few tears.  However, remembering that each life saved means the world to that one animal and that each little bit is a part of the big solution pays it all back tenfold.  And of course, there’s the great camaraderie and shared passion of all my fellow volunteers who impress and amaze me every single day!