River Black Labrador Retriever Mix Male 4 Years Old ID #2884

black Labrador Retriever Mix River is an approximately 4 year old lab mix.  He is a very easy dog to have around. He came to our home in January and we saw him through his heartworm treatment.  He was a very cooperative patient and is now ready for his forever home. His favorite things are snuggling on the sofa and laying with his head on your lap.  He would do best in a home with a resident dog that can show him the ropes and help him negotiate outside.  We walk him on a leash but he would do well with a fenced yard as well.  He does not do well unleashed in a dog park because he cannot see the dogs that run up to him and he gets apprehensive.  River has free rein of the house and has been a perfect gentleman the whole time he has been here. He can negotiate around the inside of the house on both floors without any problems.  River would do best in a household with older children or just adults. He would prefer to live with Phillies fans but would be ok with the Yankees or Baltimore. Not sure about the Mets.


November 10, 2021

Today we tried something different with River. Every day Rosie, River and FD take a long walk.  We generally go almost 2 miles. Traditionally we take the same route and it is very familiar to all. There are certain parts of the walk for sniffing, for pooping and for marking.   This familiarity is very comfortable for River and Rosie.  I’ve noticed that without fail Rosie acts as a guardian for River.  For example, when we leave the deck there was a mum plant on the right side of the stairway.  Rosie will without fail position herself so that she guides River around the obstacle.  No less than 15 feet later we generally walk past a car in the driveway.  Rosie will re-position herself to Rivers left to guide him away from the car.  All of this happens in an instant as starting our walk is always an exciting time and the dogs are pulling like draft horses.  River has also taken to leaping off the bottom step of the deck like super dog. When we get to the upper part of the driveway there is a stone border. Rosie will reposition to River’s right side and guide him around the rocks. On one part of our normal walk we pass wooden guide rails that have protruding bolts.  Once again Rosie will position herself on Rivers exposed side and keep him from walking into the bolts.

Not to have you think Rosie is an angel there are also times that she pushes River especially if she is jealous or being competitive. Anyway to continue with the story, today we took a right instead of a left and walked on an abandoned and rutted road and through the woods.  River was initially hesitant and reluctant.  I was going to abandon the trip when he started to seem more confident.  I let him follow Rosie closely instead of me and he was able to pick up on her clues and go over trees and gullies like he could see them. The further we went the more he enjoyed the walk.  There must have been a million new smells because both he and Rosie were very stimulated by the new surroundings.  As we finished the hike, entering our driveway, Rivers body language was particularly evident.  His head was high and his tail the same as he pranced his way back to his house. I think they both enjoyed the new challenge and experience and It never would have been possible without the bond between these two Brookline dogs.

Here are a couple You Tube links to videos of our walks.

September 26, 2021

black labrador retriever mixSorry I’ve missed updating my blog but I’ve been very busy traveling. One place that FM & FD took us didn’t even have cell service so I’m still catching up on emails. Rosie and I kept busy taking selfie’s and sniffing at all of the wonderful smells.black labrador retriever mix yellow labrador retrieverI’ll write more later when I get unpacked.

All the best,

“The Riv”

September 4, 2021

Hi all, River here.  I’ve been here in my foster home since the beginning of the year.  I did have a few rough months getting rid of those nasty heart worms but I’m feeling great now.  I’ve had a few forever homes interested in me but for various reasons it has not worked out.  Secretly I hope it never works out because I really like it here.  I love routine and we have one that is very predictable here.  Every morning I get to go for a long walk.  We go a little further every morning as I build up my stamina.  We are up to a mile and I just love the walk with FD and Rosie. I am usually the first one up in the morning and I check with FD to see if it is time to go.  If he tells me “it’s too early go back to bed”  I immediately do that until I hear him get up.  For some reason he thinks it needs to be daylight to walk, I don’t think it really matters.  We come back from our walk and wait patiently on the family room rug for FM to get our breakfast.  After breakfast it’s  time for a sofa nap or play time with my bud Rosie.  Sometimes we get a little rough and FM makes us stop. That’s all for now, I’ll tell you about the rest of my day on the next blog. I gotta go, It’s time for breakfast.black labrador retriever mix

August 10, 2021

River had a whirlwind tour what we thought could have been a forever home this week.  Unfortunately, the match was not to be and River is back with FM and FD.  It was really tough on FM and FD not to have this sweet boy around but they were holding up well.  Now that he is back it’s been a happy reunion.  Wish we had video of Rosie and River greeting each other in the front yard they were so happy to “see” each other.   Well, one day at a time and River will be posted again soon.  In the meantime back to watching the Phillies.black labrador retriever mix

July 22, 2021

River here with my latest blog update.  Sorry I’ve been negligent in letting you all know what is going on but I’ve been very busy.  FD and FM took me to a place called Bethany Beach.  We stayed there for a long time and I really loved it.  We walked on a thing called the beach every morning, afternoon and evening. black labrador retriever mixWhat great smells.  Some days our morning walk would take a long time because we (Rosie) and I had to sniff everything that happened from the day before.  There were lots of other dog smells and special fish smells. Rosie especially liked the fish smells and would sometimes eat things that FD had to take from her mid walk. I am much too dignified for that type of scavenging.  I went into the ocean but the waves were a little loud and it took me a while to get used to the sound.  The water felt good though and I did spend some time getting my paws wet.  Eventually it was time to go home. When we got home,  I hardly recognized the place.  The grass was so tall it tickled my belly. It is good to be home and I quickly settled into my normal routine. I mostly snooze in the sunshine patch near the back door unless someone sits on the sofa then I wander over to cuddle.

June 9, 2021

We are waiting to get the “all clear” from Main Street Vet, which should happen very soon, and then River will be ready to go up for adoption.  What a patient boy he is, except when he is waiting for his dinner.  He does the cutest little dance as he is getting ready for breakfast and dinner.  We know that River will do best in a home with another dog because he really takes cues from his foster fur sister Rosie.  They are starting to play together more which is a wonderful benefit for Rosie because when she came to us just over a year ago, Rosie had no idea how to play.  Rosie does not even mind that he nibbles at her ears. Playing fetch is not an easy game as River cannot see what he is supposed to retrieve, but he loves being part of the action. River has recently started howling if Rosie gets to go out and he is left behind (even if FM is home).

We are still working on him getting along with the cat, which has taken him longer than all our other fosters, again because he can’t see his different smelling cat foster brother.  We still have hope that River will adapt to cats because he is less reactive than he used to be. River loves to follow a routine for taking his walks and going to the same spot each night at bedtime.  He is absolutely remarkable in his ability to maneuver around obstacles.  He remembers where steps are and when he should turn a certain direction.  River is an easy fellow to have around.black labrador retriever mixRiver is a great traveler and he seems to enjoy our “camping” trips.  Here is a picture of River relaxing on his own personal camping pillow.  His Phillies scarf is from the Brookline booth at Crafts in the Barn!

May 18, 2021

River continues to be a great house guest, as he also acquires some additional nick-names.  He’s just so cute we can’t help it. (The latest is Mr. T). He definitely knows that his real name is River and uses his sense of hearing and smell in amazing ways.  Much of the time we forget that he is blind.  He had his final injection for heartworm treatment on April 6th and has been doing a good job remaining relatively quiet.  We were given a sedative for him in case he needed it, but we didn’t need to use it as River remains calm most of the time. So the end of his 8 week rest time is at the beginning of June and he has had to have some additional medication for intestinal parasites in the meantime, but he should be given the “all clear” by that time.

black labrador retriever mixWhile recuperating, River got to go on a lovely vacation in the motor home with us.  He lays down and goes to sleep as soon as we start to drive.  He got to enjoy sofa time and lots of short walks during the trip. He learned the steps up into the motor home on one try.  River’s biggest challenge in life is to try not to get smacked in the face by Rosie’s tail wagging vigorously.  He follows her around quite closely and he will even howl if she gets to go out and he doesn’t.  River will do best in a home with another dog that he can take cues from. He’s still quite uncertain about cats, and does get a little nervous around young children and strange dogs because he just can’t judge their intentions. River will make a wonderful companion and deserves to be treated royally.  Here’s a picture of River and Rosie on their trip.  So much for keeping a cover on the sofa!

April 20, 2021

River completed his final heartworm treatment at Main St. Vet two weeks ago and it is obvious that he is feeling much better.  His normal demeanor is very laid back, so it has not been that difficult to keep him quiet during his recovery. As the weather gets nicer, he is not as quick to want to come inside after his walks. He is happy to go out and would prefer to stroll and sniff.   Yesterday on one of our walks a duck flew by low and landed.  River was extremely excited to meet that duck. I think a couple of weeks ago he would not have cared if the whole flock flew by.  Other than the occasional duck River walks extremely well and calmly on the leash.  He does like to follow Rosie but being behind her is better than getting run over by her.black labrador retriever mixAs time has gone on, we have also noticed River can get into some mischief.  After he is caught, he puts on his innocent face.  Most of our pets have multiple names depending on the circumstances. River has also picked up some extras.  The one used frequently is Eddie to honor Eddie Haskill for those of you who remember him on vintage TV.  The other is worm boy thanks to Jane Henderson. That one is used mostly by Rosie.

We still have 4 weeks until this sweet boy is completely done with his heartworm treatment.  Once he has that clean bill of health, he will become available for adoption so stay tuned.

April 7, 2021

River has had a tough couple of days.  He went to the Vet for his second and third round of heart worm treatment.

black labrador retriever mixUnlike the first treatment he had to stay overnight for these doses.  He was also put on tramadol to tolerate the treatment and keep him quiet. When we picked him up last night, he was groggy but very happy to be coming back home.  From the back of the jeep, he nuzzled FM’s shoulder for pets and was happy to be close to people that he knows.  He was able to take his evening walk and eat his dinner although at less than his normal warp speed. He also preferred to sleep downstairs which is better anyway as he must remain sedentary during his recovery.

This morning River was back to his old self.  He was happy to go out to do his business and waited patiently but insistently for his breakfast.  After breakfast he and Rosie were happy to hang out in the family room on this rainy morning.

Keeping River quiet has not been that difficult as he is a mellow guy anyway. He doesn’t have to go back to the vet for 9 months and will be completing his convalesce here for the next 6 weeks.  After that time, he will be ready to find his forever home. So mark your calendars if you want to consider this happy guy.  I have no doubt he will make some family a great companion.

March 17, 2021

River continues to be a sweet house guest.  He went to Main Street Animal Hospital on March 5th for his first heart worm injection.  He is hesitant getting in and out of the car, which is to be expected because he can’t see where he is going or judge distances to jump in or out.  He must have been very well behaved because they seemed to love him and thought he was very cute (of course).  Other than being a bit groggy when we got home, he seemed none the worse for wear.  He needs to be quite sedentary as part of the treatment, which for the most part is pretty easy for River. He loves being a couch potato or stretching out on the carpet.  We have the crate set up in the kitchen for him, but when he is in it, he does a lot of panting and doesn’t seem to relax. So we are restricting his access in the house with gates.  River weighs 72 pounds.

River can get into a little mischief now and then, such as licking the dishes in the dishwasher, but he always has an innocent look on his face.  He takes his cues from resident dog Rosie but luckily hasn’t taken on her robust personality.  The verdict is still out on whether or not he will ever adjust to living in a house with a cat-River still gets very excited if he thinks (or smells) that the cat is in the vicinity.  River had a nice surprise last week when former FM Sharyn came to visit. He loved that attention.  He is learning some commands such as sit which he does before meals.  River is a great eater and takes his medicine just by putting it in his food.  His next injection will be on April 5th and he will have to stay overnight for that one.

February 24, 2021

black labrador retriever mixFD is here updating my blog while I supervise. He is in one of my favorite spots on the sofa in the family room. Whenever he or FM are here, I delight in resting my head in their lap and relaxing. I follow them around everywhere because you never know when they will be doing something fun. They do a lot of reading. I don’t know what that is but it’s a great time for some lap time.

I had a blast in the snow even if FM and FD were not as enthusiastic. I don’t like it much when it is icy and crusty on top but soft snow is the best for running with your nose down making lines.

Resident dog, Rosie has been a big help showing me the ropes.  She even lets me take her spot on the sofa with FM and FD with no grumbling. It may be because I brought those awesome bones from my prior foster home. She spends a lot of time working on those.  FM and FD are happy that she has been so helpful and kind to me.

FM and FD have fostered and adopted blind dogs before so they knew I would do well, but they had no idea how well.  If someone that did not know I am blind came to visit they would probably have no idea.  I travel around the house upstairs downstairs and everywhere in between with no problems.  FD even wondered if I was really blind or just faking.

I am a total cuddle bug. I just want to be with my humans all the time.

FM and FD don’t think that I am 4 years old.  They think that I am younger. Perhaps only 2.  They think I act like a puppy and my teeth are exceptionally clean white and sharp.

I get my first shot next week for my heart worms.  I will be taking it easy for a couple of months with FD and FM until the little buggers are gone.  After that I will be ready for adoption so keep your eyes open for my posting.  I would be a wonderful dog for anyone who wants a mellow cuddle bug.  Don’t worry about me being blind it doesn’t matter to me so it shouldn’t matter to you.

January 27, 2021

River was recently moved to a temporary foster as his current foster was going to be traveling for work both locally and regionally, and River would need some stability as he began his heart worm treatments.  River has settled in nicely with his new temporary fosters, and so his new fosters are now going to see him through his heart worm treatment which lasts about three months.  Look for more updates as River settles in with his new fosters and begins his treatments.

January 25, 2021

We have had the privilege of a temporary foster arrangement with River since Saturday. I can’t say enough good things about River.  He is the gentlest loving foster we have ever met.  For anyone who is considering adopting this wonderful boy he is such a sweetheart.  After 24 hours, he found his way around the house with almost no guidance.  He does enjoy following the resident dog around, but is even more happy to cuddle or just hang out with the humans for head scratches.  His blindness Is not a disability, just an inconvenience. He likes to follow our resident dog and motors around the house with ease.  He walks calmly on the leash and is about as easy as they come.  He did meet Rudy the cat today and we will be working on that. Rudy has trained many labs in his time here.  Getting him through heartworm treatment should be easy as he is so mellow anyway. We just hope that he doesn’t learn any bad habits from our resident Rosie who has spent the day barking at tree trimmers outside.

January 16, 2021

River has been doing great and it’s such a blessing to see him grow and flourish under great care. His confidence is building every day and he’s a pro at getting around the house and the nearby area where we take walks. He is still a little skittish and insecure in new places but I love opening up new experiences for him to further build his confidence.black Labrador Retriever Mix

He is a great sleeper and still a Gold Star Snuggler, he loves sleeping in bed with me and often comes over to me during the day just for cuddles. He’s eating really well and his coat has gotten so glossy with all the wonderful foods he’s been eating.

He is housetrained now but I do take him out often, usually every 2 to 3 hours and he’s doing well. We went to the vet where they told us that he has heartworm positive so he is going to be staying in foster care for three more months while we complete the treatment. They also told us that he is younger than the 6 years the shelter had thought, they believe he’s 3 to 4 years so we made him turning 4 on December 25th!

River, I know you can’t see me but I’m always looking at you with love, I know you can feel it.

What I see is such an incredibly forgiving and loving being that deserves so much more than what life has shown you in your four years. I love to see you experience new things that you have never known before. Today I saw you with sand under your paws for the very first time and it gives me so much happiness to be able to encourage you to take one step in front of the other even though you’re scared and you don’t know what the next step will bring.

You have such heavy baggage, but you can put it down now, somebody is here to help you. River will be available in early spring; he is the purest of souls and will do best in a patient home where someone is with him often. He will also need another dog in which to learn the ropes of doggy life, his fur sibling must be calm.

December 28, 2020

I’m a little over two weeks into my foster home and my life has changed dramatically from my life on the streets and in the shelter.

Foster mom received one positive and one negative heartworm test for me so I have an appointment at House Paws to get me all straightened out. Should the determination be that I am heartworm negative I’ll be available for adoption soon, should the test be positive I’ll stay with my foster family until I am well.

In the meantime, I’ve been having lots of fun and learning lots of new things! I don’t recall ever having experienced Christmas before, I was a little nervous because there was a lot of paper tearing and toys squeaking. I like things kind of quiet and foster brother got so excited; I sort of didn’t know what to do. I really like the treats a lot though, toys are OK but treats are my thing.

I also have been meeting lots of other dogs at the park and I’m doing great with all of them. Today I went to camp for the first time and since camp is slow right now, I was able to be put in an indoor yard with a few other low-key fellows including my foster brother! It was really nice and the camp counselors cuddled me and made me feel safe. Foster mom brought my favorite toy with some relaxing essential oil on it but I didn’t even need that thing! I had fun romping around and now I am just so tired.

I’m into my second week of potty training and it’s going pretty well. In my two weeks here, I have had a few accidents but I’m really catching on! I don’t even wear diapers in the house anymore, the last few days I’ve been without them and it’s just so freeing!

So far, I am really enjoying my new life, foster mom said I’ll never have to worry again since I’m now a Brookline dog. It feels great to be loved!

December 21, 2020

I’ve been in my foster home for nine days now and wow has it been terrific! Life has changed so much I can hardly believe this is happening. I am learning new cues and I stop right away when my foster parents say Watch It as I know it means I’m about to bump into something.  I am also able to go up and down stairs by myself now, they let me know where they are by saying Step. I’m really getting a lot of confidence in walking around by myself unless I am someplace new. I also learned how to get in and out of the car, the biggest step I’ve seen so far!

Potty training is going great, it’s been two days and I haven’t had an accident inside the house! Now I understand why they make such a big deal when I go outside, I’ve learned they really like that!

The snow has been a little confusing. I thought I knew the landscape around here but all of a sudden there are snow drifts and ice and some puddles so I am a little insecure about where I’m stepping. I look to my foster brother for cues, when I hear his tags jingle, I know where he is and I can smell his scent. I follow him around and when he starts to run, I know it’s safe to run and romp too.

I eat like a champ; I just can’t get enough food. I get two big bowls a day and then snacks in between and sometimes my foster parents give me tidbits of their food. Boy do I love it!

I am a real snuggle bunny on top of being a snow bunny.black Labrador Retriever Mix I love to cuddle and I look to my foster parents all the time for pets, cuddles, and I even sit in their laps. If they stop petting, I’ll use my paw to nudge them a little bit to let them know that I am not finished with Cuddle Time.

I really like bones a lot but I don’t play with toys very much. Foster mom got some squeaky toys since I can’t see but I don’t really like the squeaking. I do like soft toys that crackle inside but that squeaking really freaks me out.

This new life is much better than being out on the streets where I was found wandering alone. Even though I can’t see, I see my foster family in my heart.

December 15, 2020

River is coming along so beautifully I just love seeing this transformation. He is quickly learning his new cues and he hasn’t had a housebreaking incident since yesterday!

He has learned to go up and down the steps with confidence, has begun running and hopping around at the park, and I think he’s learning his name.

He’s very inquisitive and curious and here he is with a pair of bunny ears that he “found”.black Labrador Retriever Mix

He “finds” a lot of things including the remote control, a bag of pretzels, whatever he can get and he has no problem with climbing up on furniture to get his findings. We are working on our human skills of keeping things off tables that are low where he can nab them.

He has not made a peep since we’ve had him and he is pretty low maintenance. He loves going outside and sniffing around, he loves every kind of food, and he has been giving us lots of affection and snuggles. This kid is a real love!

His blindness is caused by SARD, it’s very sudden blindness onset in dogs. I don’t think he has been blind very long because he doesn’t seem very comfortable with it. He has learned the cue Watch It when there is an obstacle in his way and we are now working on This Way.

I snap, clap my hands, or pat my hip so he knows where I am when we are outside. He also follows the clicking nails of my resident dog on the sidewalk and follows where he goes. This dog is just amazing to watch and I can’t believe how fast he’s learned.

December 14, 2020

I can hardly believe this great new life I have so I’m showing foster mom and dad lots of love. I love to give snuggles and I even hug. Today was another wonderful day and I’m learning new cues and doing much better. I’m doing very well with learning Watch It so I don’t bump into things and I am becoming a champion on the steps and learning the cue Step.

Today was a pretty easy day since it was raining and we went to the park this morning where I was able to romp and play with my fur brother, he really helps me a lot with learning the lay of the land. Then another great breakfast before we watched Call of the Wild! As you can see from the picture, I was enthralled with all the doggie barks and howls. I definitely heard my ancestors in there!

Foster mom made some cookies which we all nibbled while we snuggled.

From foster mom: River has become much more confident in just the two days that he has been here. He will be best placed with another dog as he looks to other dogs for cues and it also helps him to hear their nails click so he knows where to go. We have been taking him to the baseball field at the park where there is little to bump into and he has been starting to run. Potty training is going well, no accidents today! He’s doing much better on the steps and knows the cue Step to use with curbs outside.

December 13, 2020

Hi, my name is River and I am a blind black lab mix about 60lbs who was found wandering on the side of the road in South Carolina. A humane officer picked me up and brought me to a scary shelter and then I was evaluated by Brookline and transferred to my new foster home yesterday!black Labrador Retriever Mix

It’s been good here so far; I was very nervous yesterday upon arrival and wouldn’t really move around very much and just wanted to stay still and sniff the ground. I did manage to eat a big dinner and lots of water and I slept well in my new crate.

I have a new fur brother and I follow him for direction, things have been going well now, he seems to know the ropes around here.

This morning my foster family and I took a walk to the park and we practiced my new cues which are “watch it” when I’m about to bump into something, “this way” so I know the correct route with no obstacles, and “step” when there is a curb or a step I have to navigate.

I have to walk up or down five steps to get in or out of my new house and I am not crazy at all about this. I fully put on the brakes but everyone has been patient with me and using my cue word Step. They hold onto me to coax me up or down, yesterday they even brought out a piece of steak to help me associate good feelings with the steps.

Foster dad learned that if he pats the step I can hear where the next step is and it’s not so scary to be stepping into nothingness. That’s been helping and the steps are easier to navigate today.

After the park I had a big breakfast which was delicious by the way and then we went to another park! I had fun sniffing all the other dogs there and my family stayed close by me to make sure I was safe but encouraged me to interact to build my confidence. I’m starting to feel more secure already knowing they are there. My foster family has learned how to snap, clap their hands, or whistle so I know where they are.

After the park I went to Petco to buy Natures Miracle, foster mommy said I needed because I’m not potty trained yet. When I have an accident in the house, we all shuffle down the stairs together to get outside which is a huge and fun production! No accidents so far today but lots of praise when I was able to pee at the park!

While we were there, we also discovered a very joyful part of me which has been hidden for so long. I started to run and even jumped up on my foster mom and gave her a big goofy smile. She calls it a hug but does know it’s a bad habit so we will work on that eventually. Right now, she seems so happy to see me joyful and playing.

Now I’m resting quietly and enjoying my afternoon. Another walk tonight and then more updates tomorrow! Thank you, Brookline, for giving me the love and care that I need!

From foster mom: River is an absolutely loving and affectionate boy that has not left our side. I don’t believe he has lived in a house before; he knows absolutely no cues so we are working on the ones that keep him safe first. He also is not house trained and is surprised by things like the TV, heater coming on, and toilet flushing. He has not made a peep and we have heard not a single bark out of him. He got along very well at the other dogs at the park and was pet by a couple different people, all of which he enjoyed.

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PLEASE NOTE: While this Lab may not be available for adoption by the time you complete the adoption process, other great Labs are always finding their way into our Rescue.

If you are interested in adopting this Lab or any other Lab from our Rescue, please visit our Web site, www.brooklinelabrescue.org, for more information on our adoption process. If you need additional information about the adoption process or whether you are in our coverage area, please send an e-mail to our Rescue at info@brooklinelabrescue.org

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Brookline Labrador Retriever Rescue is a 501(c)3 non-profit volunteer organization funded entirely by donations. Donations are always needed to help with veterinary costs, transportation, and supplies for our dogs. For information on donating to BLRR please click here. https://brooklinelabrescue.org/get-involved/donate/ Donations are accepted via PayPal or you can mail a check to: Brookline Labrador Retriever Rescue, P.O. Box 638, Warrington, PA 18976-0638