Friday, September 6, 2013

Not Everyone Will Like You . . .but God ALWAYS loves you

Not everyone will like you.  This is an extremely difficult thing to hear and accept.  Wednesday evening an individual wrote something hurtful and cruel on the Tails of Courage Facebook page.  Friends and family of this person, who actually volunteer for TOC were enraged and distraught, coming forward and apologizing and sharing how much they love volunteering.  For a portion of Thursday I felt that little grey cloud hanging over me, the one that creeps in and tries to tell you how low and pathetic and weak it wants you to believe yourself to be.  I tried not to let it hang there for too long and moved on with my day.  Thursday evening Tails of Courage stepped in to rescue two dogs, one from New York City, a Rottweiler who is a service dog and another from our partner rescue in South Carolina, a small beagle who was hit by a car.  Going to bed I was feeling pretty good about myself and Tails of Courage following the outpouring of thanks and cheering that came our way.  Friday morning, I awoke to see a posting from Mandissa, one of my favorite artists, where someone had expressed something horrible about her and how she chose to respond to the pain.  And then it hit me, I am a survivor.  I am the President of Tails of Courage.  I am a survivor of One World Trade Center.  I am a mother who sat the first 10 days of her child's life in the NICU unable to hold her baby, and only able to touch her hand through an incubator while she struggled for life.  I survived the day a Detective called to tell me my father had died, and 20 minutes later through my tears, listened as the doctors told me that my daughter was breathing on her own and could come home that night!  I survived divorce, because the God I serve is greater.  And myself and Tails of Courage will survive and overcome every negative comment thrown, and return your hate with love.  Tails of Courage has programs for animal rescue, children, the elderly, and the military.  If you can't find something nice to say about one of those, I don't know what to tell you, except that I challenge you today, instead of complaining and asking the world to validate your negativity, roll up your sleeves and say, Lord, how can I help?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

HUGE News for Tails of Courage - Headquarters!!

Home.  It has so many meanings.  To a dog it can mean living under a tree outside in the cold, a deadly shelter, or being chained up somewhere before being rescued and moving safely to a foster home and eventually a forever adoptive home.  To our organization, it refers to the places where we house our dogs, where we meet with other volunteers to run or discuss a program, where we meet to worship God, and where we lay our head at night.  Tails of Courage has never had just one home, we have many.  We open our homes to the lost and abandoned – dog and human alike.  Through the extreme generosity of Passage East Kennels of Wilton, Connecticut, ( Tails of Courage had a temporary home to house many of the dogs waiting to find their forever homes.  The staff worked tirelessly, helping volunteers with adoptions, and accepting donations, and most importantly, caring for our dogs as though they were their own pets.  Because of their incredible efforts, they helped Tails of Courage to grow and prosper.  They stepped in during a critical time for the organization and were lifesavers, not only for the dogs, but for Tails of Courage.  The manager, Fawn, helped to breathe new life into the rescue.  When we realized one day that we were completely outgrowing our allotted space at Passage East, we faced a crossroads.  Would we set out to rent more space in other locations, spread out the dogs and try to coordinate adoptions from various locations, or would we make the HUGE leap of finding our own space?  Our own home.  We are pleased to announce that Tails of Courage, after much work and negotiating, and with the generosity of Wilcroft Kennels of Danbury, Connecticut, will officially as of July 15, 2013 have a headquarters!  Tails of Courage Headquarters will be home to a kennel where we will house our adoptable pets and meet the public for adoptions, meeting spaces where we will work to run our various programs, and well, we do not yet know what else, but are looking forward to the next phase!  Now, while we are celebrating, we also need donations.  We need everything from cleaning supplies, to office supplies, to towels and blankets, dog bowls, beds, and of course, monetary donations.   To see our wish list, please go to  Our new Headquarters address is 1 Pembroke Road, Danbury, CT 06811.  We are only leasing this space as of now and hope to raise the funds to purchase.  Check out our building fund project! We look forward to having you stop by and visit us! 

In other news, Tails of Courage has 5 runner slots given to us for the 2013 ING NYC Marathon!  We have 5 runners chosen and are in the process of setting up our runner registration.  We are already up and running for donations.  Please check out 

Our Traveling Tails of Courage program has been going so well.  Our teenage volunteers have been enjoying visiting the residents of the nursing home each week.  If you want to recommend a nursing home for a visit, please email us at  We are always welcoming new volunteers to the ministry. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Damien - The Brunette Gentlemen. Well, brown furred - at least!

So - many of us out there share a devotion to Pit bulls and other bully breeds. We will protect and defend them with our lives, just like they would do for us. Unfortunately, many dont realize just how lovely pitty's are. They don't give them a chance to show their true colors. Devoted, loyal, loving - they are some of the most fantastic creatures I have ever had the pleasure of sharing my life with. And yet, every day, hundreds die in shelters. Cold - alone. Some perfect - some broken inside. No matter what they've experienced, no matter how hard they've tried, they aren't given a chance. Labeled as a 'pit bull' - they are thrown out, deemed vicious - baby eaters. Quick - hide your family! One of my greatest hopes for this coming generation is that they see, and understand, how stereotyping people and animals can have such a significant effect on them. Pit Bull's have a heart of gold, and a mind like no other. And so, with pleasure, I introduce Damien! Gray hair spots his muzzle, brown eyes lead the way to the kindest heart. A senior pup at about 7 years old, who deserves to live out the rest of his life in comfort, and with love - more then he could ever possibly imagine. And, on January 24th, our rescue (Tails Of Courage) stepped up to provide him just that - a chance to receive what every dogs wishes to posses - a home. However, most fairy 'tails' have a twist. Damien, a plain brown pit with a heart of gold, has a cancerous tumor growing on the side of his muzzle. If it is not removed, he won't have much longer to live. All his waiting, wishing, wanting, for a home that only wants to love him will go to waste. A brilliant mind, a fantastic heart, all will go to the ground. We are going to need all the help we can get to get Damien the medical funds he so desperately needs to survive. Please, help us get Damien the closest to heaven that he'll ever be, only with all four paws touching the earth, and his head on the lap of a new mommy. To donate to Damien, please visit or Thank you!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Please help Damien

div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> 1/25/2013 - He was rescued as an animal cruelty case. His owners were not giving him any medical care.  He ended up in the shelter and the mass on his mouth was biopsied and found to be cancerous.  We were contacted and agreed to take him.  He is being transported for treatment and surgery.  We are told he his super sweet and is about 8 years old.  The medical care is going to be expensive we know.  We will post updates on him frequently!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Tails of Courage: Run Your Race

January 17, 2013

My name is Kristan.  I am the President and Co-Founder of Tails of Courage.  This blog post is going to be pretty personal but I feel it's time to step out and share my journey.  Being an incredibly shy person this is not as easy as it may seem.  Just write a blog post, about yourself and your most personal journey to recovery.....I assure you being bitten by a dog is easier for me!

In August, 2012 I received the most devastating news I could have imagined.  While it did not involve a death of a loved one, it sure felt like it did.  It brought me to my knees and upon reflection I still have not quite figured out how this pain does not kill us.  Being a survivor of One World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and having served aboard U.S. military vessels in several armed conflicts, AND having given birth to a 7 week early preemie baby, I know a few things about fighting to survive.  The day I received my tragic news, I weighed 187 pounds and couldn't run so much as down my driveway, which was actually a quarter of a mile long, but the point being I was a pathetic mess.  I won't share the specifics, because I believe we have all had the life altering moments from which we are not sure how to recover.  I spent several days just trying to wrap my head around where my life would now go, the fate and future of the charity and the rescue and what would I tell the volunteers.  I spoke at length with several of the charity program directors about what they wanted and instead of closing our doors, we decided to fling them wide open with abandon!  Comically, I sat flipping through pages of friends on facebook to see what they had been up to the last decade, as I was not very facebook active, and what do we as society consider to be challenging ourselves to be better?  I found several friends who were very active in triathlons.  And so, having never having trained for a triathlon, having no idea how to train for a triathlon or a marathon and again, going back to the fact that I could not remember the last time I ran anywhere, we created Tails of Courage: Run Your Race and I registered for a triathlon - May 11, 2013 in Danbury, CT.  I downloaded the app Couch 2 5K, bought a pair of running shoes, and set out on day 1.  My preemie daughter is now 2 and I got my hands on a running stroller, strapped her in with some snacks and a sippy cup and away we went!  Day 1 was a combination of walking and jogging (and wheezing) and every week an increase in running times and lengths.  The next step, eat better.  My family had been following the Primal Blueprint and Paleo Diets, so on board I hopped.  Away with the sugar, the carbs, the processed foods, junk food, etc and hello vegetables and meats and fruits and nuts.  As I was warned, the first few weeks I did get a little dizzy at times and my daughter was a bit confused as we cut way back on her hot dog and mac n cheese intake.  My brothers began recommending training techniques and a few friends helped out with dragging me to Bikram Yoga classes and crossfit like training sessions (where I was sore for 3 days following).  I am now 32 pounds lighter and still dropping weekly!  I am pleased to say at this time I have gone from 5K to 10K training!  I can swim the 1/4 mile required and the next step is bike work!  I have the bike, and bought the child seat and helmet for the back to train together.  And if it would ever stop snowing here I will get moving on it! 

So what is the point of Run Your Race?  It is a program under Tails of Courage to sponsor marathon runners, triathletes, awareness walks, hiking groups where the participants raise money for the charity.  We will put together the donation pages for the athletes and provide the t-shirt to wear while competing.  As a leader in this organization, I believe that if you are going to lead then do it by example.  I am a survivor, I am a fighter, and as of May, 2013 I will be a triathlete!  And I invite you to join me.  Run, walk, crawl if needed, but get up and get moving.  Never let the bad bring you down.  This program is here to help and to motivate.  Not sure what race might work for you, email me and I'll help you find something.  877-63-TAILS Ext. 705. 

To the entire Tails of Courage family, thank you for being there, for being supportive and Running the Race with me! 
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Hebrews 12:1