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Bark N Rest: Showing Love to Forgotten Dogs

A puppy named “Chance” is stealing the hearts of thousands. Have you heard of him yet? A shepherd mix that was pulled from the shelter in Ft. Worth, Texas, just hours before he was scheduled for euthanasia, Chance suffers from severe neurological issues. He has no coordination, can’t walk, can’t even stand, and bobbles his head like a newborn baby. He gets around by crawling and rolling and requires 24-hour supervision, feeding and watering every few hours. Despite his struggles, Chance is a very happy, destructive little pup!

Chance Wheelchair

Chance is learning to walk with the help of this specially made wheelchair.

And, with the care he’s receiving by the selfless caregivers at Bark-N-Rest Retirement Center, Chance is improving!

Bark N Rest rescues the forgotten dogs. The unadoptable, the elderly, the ones most often euthanized due to age or some special needs. They do not believe age & special needs is a death sentence. They save dogs with conditions such as sight loss, hearing loss, skin conditions and arthritis. Their hospice residents with terminal conditions are kept comfortable and happy. Knowing they are loved to the end.

 Bark N Rest began in 2009, all because of a little Mini Schnauzer named Gidget. Founder, Dawn Enriquez decided to adopt another dog as a playmate for her family’s dog, Daisy.

Gidget was the Mini Schauzer that inspired Bark-N-Rest Retirement Center

Dawn told us about her experience with Gidget. “Other than a possible flea issue, which caused some hair loss, not a big deal. Fleas are easy to get rid of and hair grows back. Well, after getting her home, giving her a bath and getting her settled. I noticed something was just not right about her. My daughter begin to play with her, as Gidget was a little spry. But the sock kept falling out of her mouth.” Dawn further explains, “She was toothless. I then picked her up and really began looking her over. This was not a normal, happy healthy dog. She also had hard little lumps on her under belly.”

“Why was she discarded and without medical care for her?  This bothered me and tugged at me. I took her to the vet and she had a host of problems. All kinds of allergies that caused skin issues, no teeth, with badly infected gums and mammary cancer.”

It was then that Dawn realized, if Gidget was discarded like that, there must be more out there in need.

Gidget, sadly, was lost to cancer, but Bark N Rest Retirement Center was born.

“Everyone adopts and ‘oohs and ahhs’ over the young and the healthy, But what about the forgotten ones? The ones discarded due to age, illness, blindness, hearing loss, cancer, neurological issues, handicapped or any other ailment,” Dawn explained. “From that day on, it has been my mission to provide happiness, love and care to the forgotten ones. For whatever time they have, days, weeks, months or years. It does not matter as long as they do not die in a shelter, forgotten and unloved.”

Bark N Rest is a small non-profit rescue – one of the very few that takes in senior and special needs dogs. Dogs like the puppy, Chance, who would never have had the chance to lead a happy life if not for Dawn and Bark N Rest. Follow Chance’s progress on his very own Facebook page.

Chance and China

China and Chance have become inseparable friends under the care of Bark-N-Rest.

Chance’s best buddy, China, is a Catahoula who is deaf and suffers from slight  neurological problems. In the time she’s been with Bark N Rest, China has learned hand signals and is completely house-trained.

Sugar Bear is a 15 year old who was dumped by her long-time owners in 2011, and then overlooked by adopters because of her age and depression. Under the care of Bark N Rest, Sugar is coming out of her depression and doing great!


Spanky came into Bark-N-Rest with aggression and fear. Now he craves attention!

Spanky is a 10 year old little guy who was surrendered by his owner in Arlington, Texas, where he ended up on death row. He came to Bark-N-Rest with aggression and fear issues and could not be touched. Under their care, Spanky has a much improved quality of life. He will greet guests now and craves attention!

Bark N Rest has been rescuing senior and special needs dogs since 2009 with little to no funds. These dogs require extra medical care and, often, constant supervision.

Follow the progress and heartfelt stories of their residents by visiting their website at or following them on Facebook. It is amazing to see the transformation from a sad, sick and depressed dog to a happy, healthy thriving dog that regained days, months or even years to their life. All due to Dawn and her foster families showing them love and happiness!

Donations can be made for the ongoing care of Chance, China, Sugar Bear, Spanky, and the several other sweet dogs Bark N Rest has devoted their time to by visiting Won’t you open your heart and donate for the care of these special pups?



  1. Becky Oajor

    Feb 15, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    Somehow I lost track of you, Dawn. I'm afraid to ask — how's Chance?

  2. Jacalyn Ann

    Apr 25, 2013 at 11:44 am

    I can’t begin to say enough good things about this organization and wish there were more people who were willing to do things like this. I do rescue work as well and it breaks my heart when I see the number of dogs that are dumped by their owners after so many years of being a loyal member of the family. It sickens to even think about it but what Dawn and her family does helps to restore my faith in humankind!

  3. Colleen Jones

    Apr 18, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    I have been a Fan of Bark N Rest Retiement fo quite awhile now and what Dawn and Her Loving Family has done for These innocent voiceless Animals is nothing short of Amazing. Her and Her Families Love and devotion to those that have No voice is what We all should do for These helpless Creatures that are here thru NO fault of Their own but by Human failure,,,God is watching how We treat His preacious most vulnrable Creations and We have failed Them misrably but Dawn hasn’t! We need to follow Her lead and support Her any way We can,,,,,My utmost Respect and admiration goes to her and Her Family,,,,God will reward You!

  4. Renee'

    Apr 18, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    I have never met Dawn, but I have been an avid follower of Bark N Rest Retirement. They are the absolute BEST! They take pride and ownership in all their rescues. They are heroes in my book and one of the few that focuses on the seniors. She hides nothing and gives of herself until it hurts. I am proud to see Dawn and her babies be recognized for all her love, compassion and hard work ! Kudos…

  5. Rita

    Apr 18, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    I have kept up with the story of Chance. These people are in dire need of a van dor transportation for these babies they care for..I’d buy it for them if I could. If you just had a few dollars to spare I’m sure it would add up and help these angels out. Please thing about it. Thank you Bark NRest for all the work you do

  6. Birgit Worman

    Mar 24, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    I Really can not say enough good things about this wonderful place & the care they give these discarded animals. I just can’t believe how cruel people can be. Thank God for Dawn & her family & friends who work together to give these little guys a chance at happiness & comfort for however much time they may have.

  7. Rachel Hopple

    Feb 25, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Bless you for all that you do. I look around at our 6 rescued pets, and life cannot get any better.

  8. Jill

    Feb 25, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Amazing service!!!! What a blessing that these special needs and elderly animals have a place like Bark N Rest to feel the love!!!

  9. Donna Collett

    Feb 25, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    I am praying that you will check out several seniors are the Manhattan, Brooklyn shelters in NY. One is going blind, another is deaf. PLEASE contact the shelters and save if possible. Thank you

  10. Deirdre Doyle

    Feb 17, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    This is great, but it’s “shepherd” not “shepard”. If you’re going to write dog news, you ought seem as if you know something about dogs, including something as basic as spelling the breeds correctly.

    • Brooke Arnold

      Feb 18, 2013 at 12:02 pm

      Thank you, Deirdre. Typos do slip in on occasion. We’ve made the correction. 🙂 Have a great day!

    • DMR

      Feb 25, 2013 at 5:01 pm

      Deirdre Doyle. YOU should be ashamed of yourself. A spelling error is what you pulled from that heart-warming story about sacrifice and dedication and passion and love? Kudos to the editor who handled your rude, obnoxious, petty comment with such class and diplomacy. I’m not the editor and have no affiliation so luckily I can tell you that you sound like a miserable, old, bitty who has nothing better to do than troll the Internet waiting for any excuse to attack people. Hopefully you got your fix for the day. Why don’t you go out there and do something good for dogs, or people, so you can take your mind off finding faults? I am blown away by your insensitivity. Please just go away and don’t come back.

  11. Wendy Hillman

    Feb 17, 2013 at 11:43 am

    This story has me in tears here at work! My heart is heavy with gratitude to the love and care you are providing to these animals. I am a dog owner of a shelter dog and believe they are the best animals on earth! My dream would be to own a ranch just to save shelter dogs. You are truly an angel on earth Dawn. I definately have to try to donate to your cause. You are very special! May God bless you!!

  12. Amelia Rush

    Feb 16, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Bark N Rest is the REAL DEAL for sure. I have been involved in rescue for decades and though never having met Dawn personally, after watching the way she works, the sacrifices she and her family make for the pups in her care, I would vouch for her rescue any day ! If folks have a few dollars to spare, money is the one thing Bark N Rest never has enough of. 🙂

  13. Donna Hurst

    Feb 15, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    My husband and I foster one of Bark N Rest’s hospice dogs…Buddy. Dawn pulled him from the Irving, Texas shelter in January, and we’ve been very honored to have Buddy here with us for as long as he wants to stay.

    I can’t tell you how thrilled we are to be fostering a senior hospice dog with BNR. These are the forgotten dogs, and they shouldn’t be. They’re a blessing and we’re so lucky to be a part of Dawn’s group.

  14. pinky mcdonald

    Feb 15, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    They deserve a medal for all there love and hard work.We here in wv love you guys

  15. Val Killworth

    Feb 15, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    I want to thank you for all that you do. I pray for you ppl every night before bed. We need more Angels out there like you…God bless you and all the little fur babies that now know love. 🙂

  16. pinky mcdonald

    Feb 15, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    I have been following the story of Chance.The people who took him in have hearts of gold.They care for so many animals.They are truly a gift from god.People dont understand animals have feelings to.Myself saw a puppy being abused a rope as a collar.2 owners had him took him threw him over a fence at a shelter.He is now being loved by me and my family his name is Charlie.He still has agression issues but he is a gift.We love him so much.

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