Harlow the potcake finds his forever home – you can help others find their new family

(Meet beautiful Harlow the Potcake rescue. She was rescued by Ashley Tomassini-Labelle from the Helpaws Rescue on a visit to the Caribbean. Harlow is the inspiration for the heartwarming children’s book “Harlow’s Journey Home”. Photo: submitted)

On August 14, 2022, the Station 81 firefighter team hosted a fundraiser/adoption “Pups and Trucks” day for the Eastern Ontario Potcake Rescue (EOPR). We were pleased to meet a very special dog at the event – Harlow the Potcake from the Caribbean and her owner, Ashley Tomassini-Labelle. Ashley is Harlow’s rescuer and her love for Harlow was the inspiration behind her charming book, “Harlow’s Journey Home”; an inspirational story for children and youth told from Harlow’s own experience travelling from one country to another where his new home awaited. You too can help Potcake rescue dogs find their new forever homes in Canada.

(Two of the images from the book Harlow’s Journey Home.)

“It seems like every puppy is getting adopted except me! Am I too small? Is my fur the wrong colour? What can I do? Maybe if I keep smiling and stay hopeful, the right family just might come along…”

When telling her story of Harlow to her dental hygiene patients, “their reaction and intrigue helped encourage me to start writing. My passion for animals and love of my two dogs gave me the inspiration to write this sweet story” said Ashley. Robert Munsch was Ashley’s favourite author growing up and she wrote her book in the same style in the hope that children reading Harlow’s story would experience the same effect his books have on children. She also wanted her many nieces and nephews to want to hear or read Harlow’s story themselves and had them in mind when writing the book.

(Ashley at home with her favourite friend, Harlow.)

Ashley is no stranger to world travel and during her trips has seen her fair share of stray animals. Meeting Harlow at Helpaws (Help Animal Welfare in Saint Lucia), she realized, “that even though I can’t save every animal, I can save at least one”. She is a strong advocate for dog rescue and encourages others to help animals in need and consider the adoption of rescues.

In March of this year, Ashley headed to Barbados to volunteer at the Ocean Acres Animal Sanctuary. During her visit, she saw first-hand how hard everyone works to save the dogs, working around the clock for the animals in need. The Sanctuary organized school trips allowing Ashley to teach the students about animal rescue and the work involved. She was also fortunate to be able to read and share the story of Harlow’s Journey Home to the children.

“I was so humbled by this experience and left with my heart feeling full of joy. My goal is to continue to fundraise and help contribute to all of their efforts, while bringing awareness to animal rescue,” Ashley shared.

(A collage of photos of the rescue dogs and one of the school groups Ashley met when she volunteered at The Ocean Acres Animal Sanctuary in March, 2022.)

Through writing this book Ashley wants to be able to give back and help organizations save more animals just like Harlow. Ashley donates a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each book to help more rescue animals. Ashley has already donated $500 to the Helpaws Organization in Saint Lucia and her goal is to continue to work with organizations such as the Eastern Ontario Potcake Rescue of Ottawa with her next donation going to them. In March 2022, Ashley raised $2,500 for The Ocean Acres Animal Sanctuary in Barbados.

You can follow Harlow as he continues his journey here in Canada on Facebook. To discover more on how you can help the dogs, or to purchase Harlow’s Journey Home, visit Ashley’s website. Ashley looks forward to continuing her travels to save rescues.

(The back and front covers of Harlow’s Journey Home.)

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