Success Stories of Rescued Dogs

Adoptions organized by Leo Rescue Canada


Porter is a 7 year old purebred Leonberger whose family made the difficult decision to surrender him for personal reasons. When the husband found himself working long hours and being away from home, it became increasingly difficult for his wife to look after two young toddlers and Porter, especially in the evening when the kids were sleeping and a dog walker wasn't available to take him out to potty. As a result, the family felt it best to surrender Porter for rehoming with someone who could devote the proper attention to him.

Porter's story touched a lot of hearts and he soon came to the attention of a lovely couple from Rhode Island. After contacting Leo Rescue Canada they decided they wanted to meet this sweet boy. Together with Rosie, their female Leonberger, they made the trip up to Canada to meet Porter in the late fall of 2014. The family, both two-legged and four-legged, took an immediate shine to Porter and decided to adopt him on the spot. It has been a couple of months since then and we are thrilled to report that Porter has settled right into his new life and is enjoying his golden years with his new family.

Dace K. and Bill B. family, December 2014 in Rhode Island, USA


One drizzly day in October 2012 I was out grocery shopping and pulled into a parking spot alongside a vehicle that had its windows down significantly and the radio playing. Curious about what would be in that vehicle I peaked and three magnificent heads rose to greet me. I was staring into the faces of lions! I did something totally uncharacteristic for me. I gasped and threw my arms up to my shoulders into the vehicle with these incredible animals. I was met with calm affection, wagging tails and gentle nudges. Well, needless to say I stalked the owner of the vehicle to find out what breed these dogs were and that is how I first heard of Leonbergers.

I went home that night and journaled that God had shown me my dream dog and that I believed I would own one in the near future. I had recently been deemed dog-less for the first time in 25 years due to sad and drastic changes in my life circumstances but felt confident that in God's timing I would again have a loving four-legged companion to share my life with.

Well, after meeting these three ambassadors for Leonbergers in the No Frills parking lot I went home on a mission to find out more about these dogs and to confirm that one would be compatible with my lifestyle.

My research took me to many breeder websites and very quickly to the Leonberger Rescue Canada website. I was hesitant to consider an older dog as I have pet birds, pet chickens and intimate relationships with squirrels, wild birds, chipmunks, deer etc. I was not sure that it would be wise to bring an adult dog into this type of environment potentially putting at risk the safety of my other feathered and furred friends.

Well, after many wonderful conversations with patient Leonberger owners and breeders I finally contacted the representative for Leo Rescue Canada to find out what was involved in their adoption process. I was quickly impressed with their professionalism and loving concern. I eventually made the decision to apply and after a stringent evaluation process involving written applications, providing references and home visits I was approved and found myself waiting for a Leonberger to become available through surrender.

My girl, renamed Shalom, comes from a loving family as evidenced by her sweet nature and good manners. Not all rescue dogs are mistreated, sometimes life circumstances just change and it is in the best interest of and most loving thing to do to surrender ones beloved family pet.

Well, the big day came and Shalom was turned over to me. After a few days of getting acquainted it soon became apparent that God had orchestrated our union in a miraculous way. Within three days Shalom was off leash with my chickens walking under her belly while she nurtured baby chicks! Incredible! We couldn't be more compatible.

Our life is pretty amazing....we have our routines and Shalom is a loving, kind dog who has been a tremendous blessing to me. Her presence is a healing gift and I treasure her.

Thank you to the Leonberger Canada Rescue and to Shalom's past owner for putting Shalom's needs first and for their part in bringing us together. God has truly blessed me with my girl, Shalom, who is bringing me much joy and peace.

Kelly D. - The Kawarthas, ON


Connie is a three year old, registered purebred Leonberger who came into Leo Rescue in the summer of 2012. As a result of her background and early life experiences, Connie was in need of a very special home. We do not know exactly why or what the circumstances were, but we were informed that Connie had some unfortunate experiences with small children when she was a puppy, and that she was not good around them as a result. She was surrendered to Leo Rescue when her owners moved into a townhouse where there were many young children in the area. Connie is highly intelligent and willing to please, but was not given consistent training while growing up. For this reason she needed to be in the right home atmosphere with a family that would provide a gentle and consistent hand at training to help her blossom. Luckily all the stars lined up for Connie and she found just that. Her new owner fell in love with her the moment he met her and is totally committed to ensuring she has a great life. He loves working with Connie in obedience and she is a very happy and confident dog today as a result.

Wayne H. and Connie, December 2012 in Oro Medonte, Ontario


William came to us from a commercial breeding facility in Quebec in late November 2012. Although we were not given his age, the vet who examined William when he first came into rescue estimated him to be somewhere between two and three years old. When he first arrived, he was severely matted and had a very serious ear infection, requiring him to be shaved down and put on antibiotics. Even though William had never known what it felt like to be part of a family, it became readily apparent to everyone who met him that he was a very sweet and friendly boy who loved being around people. It was while William was recuperating at the vet that he caught the attention of a young family who were so taken with his sweet nature that they contacted Leo Rescue to ask about adopting him. The rest, as they say, is history. William's new family are amazed at how well he has adjusted to living in a house, considering he has never lived in one before. According to his new owner, he wouldn't eat out of her hand at first, but now he happily takes treats and even pokes her with his nose to ask for another! He also gets along wonderfully well with the resident dog. William truly is a remarkable boy, so much so that his new family decided that since they don't know when his birthday is, that they would celebrate it on Christmas Day so it is always special!

Patricia C. and Frederic V. family with William, December 2012 in Pierrefonds, Quebec


Harry is a beautiful three year old male Leo who was rescued together with William from a Quebec breeding facility (see William's story above). Despite the conditions he lived in during his short life, he is a very sweet, calm and friendly boy. When Harry arrived in rescue, he had open wounds, a horrible ear infection and was severely matted. He was also severely overweight and, based on the vet's assessment, had had his elbow broken at some point. Because the break was never medically seen to, Harry has permanent orthopedic issues. After being shaved down, put on antibiotics, and undergoing neuter surgery, Harry was finally ready to leave the vet after a couple of weeks. Since it was so close to Christmas we actively looked for a foster home so Harry could finish recuperating, as we didn't think he would be as lucky as William and have a new family to love and spend the holidays with. Enter Juli. Juli read Harry's story and contacted Leo Rescue the week before Christmas. On December 22nd she and her daughter drove to Quebec to meet Harry. They fell in love and decided to adopt him on the spot!

Harry's new family has kindly provided Leo Rescue with this update:

"Well, it's been two weeks and Harry is doing wonderfully. There have been no accidents in the house and he's come so far. When we first got Sir Harry, he had to get in the truck, I believe it was only the 2nd time he had been in a vehicle. He did wonderfully, although it took him 45 minutes to "settle" on our drive from Montreal to Cornwall. It was a little better on the drive the next day from Cornwall to home; it only took about 30 minutes. The other day on his visit to our vet, only 10 minutes to settle. He likes the ride and prefers to be able to see where he's going. He's respectful in the truck and never challenges where he is to be (my one Pyr always tries to ride shotgun).

Once we got him home, he settled right in. Between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day he met approximately 20 people and thrived, always laying in the middle of the action. At one point, my 11 year old nephew had him on one side sleeping and my Pyr on the other, giving both nothing but love. He's met by 2 year old Great Niece has was spectacular with her (I didn't doubt that he would be for a minute). He's met a few of the neighbourhood dogs on walks and has been quite happy to meet them. He's a bit unsure currently of my neighbour's dog as she barks at him through the chain link fence (when she first moved in it took her about 6 weeks to stop barking at my girls and to start running the fence line in play). He loves his new feline brother, even allowing Gordie to groom his muzzle on occasion.

He has mastered the 6 stairs from the back deck to the backyard and alerts us to his need to go outside when necessary. He has yet to master or attempt the inside set of stairs that leads to the bedrooms, he will stretch his front paws up the stairs as far as he can go but the back feet never leave the ground. He'll come around to that when's he's ready I'm sure.

He is now comfortable enough in his new home that he sleeps on the main floor by himself with no crying or barking (the last 2-3 nights). Up until that point my daughter and I took turns sleeping on the couch on the main floor to be with him.

We've discovered that he thrives on love and affection. When we're giving attention to one of our girls, he gets up and comes over to be included as well. Doesn't matter where he is in the house, he always makes the effort to come and be loved and we of course, are more than happy to oblige.

Harry goes on a 20 minute walk each day (recommendation from our vet) and enjoys the new sights and smells. He's walking wonderfully on a leash almost always staying on my left. We've noticed that when he becomes a bit insecure he tends to duck in behind us on the walk and we're working on showing him that it's OK to be proud of who he is and let the world see him shine. Again, it's something he'll come in to as his confidence grows.

At the recent vet visit, his vaccinations were updated and he received one additional de-worming treatment. He weighed in at a wonderful 152 pounds. The vet has said that as Harry is a big boy with big bones and thick skin, she feels he only needs to lose perhaps another 5-10 pounds which of course would help his elbows and knees even more. He currently walks on his back toes to take the stress of his knees due to the lack of muscle in his hind legs and hopefully with the exercise and reduced weight, we'll see that muscle and strength increase to where there is a little less stress.

Our biggest milestone is that Harry is now not only eating in the same room as his "sisters" (in his own spot) but gladly sits side by side with them for treats. On occasion he has even eaten (his choice) less than 5 feet away from them. He has even been curious enough to check out what they are eating while they're eating (we did discourage this behaviour as we believe that each dog needs to have their own safe space during feeding but neither of the girls cared). He's checked it out and when he realized that there was no reaction from them and that his was waiting for him in his "spot" in the kitchen, he went to his spot and promptly finished his meal. Harry now eats all of his meals in his designated area in the kitchen. We will be getting Harry a raised feeding station to assist him as well.

I've attached some photos for you with more to come and will certainly keep you posted on his progress. Harry has taken a bit of a shine to my oldest Pyr (also a rescue) and she to him. It seems that whenever we are together they are touching whether paw to paw or back to back as they sleep.

On a side note I just want to thank you for what you do and for blessing us with the wonderful boy! He has truly been our Christmas miracle and we are so grateful that you trusted us enough to allow us the privilege of making him our family member."

Juli B.

Harry with his new family, December 2012 in East Gwillimbury, Ontario

Do you want to become one of our Success Stories?

Please read through the various pages on this website to ensure that a rescued Leonberger is the right dog for you. And, if you have the right environment to handle a rescued Leo, please fill out our Adoption Application Form.