Meet The Dogs



Think Rambo, only without the "b." The film character Rambo (played by Sylvester Stallone) was described as having "…a muscular and intense training regimen";  "…a high amount of strength and stamina"; and as "…exceptionally tough, callous and raw." Ya, THAT Rambo.

Welcome to a glimpse into the complexity and uniqueness of Belgian Malinois dogs... canines that professional dog trainers do not recommend for the inexperienced or easily intimidated. Ramo is what this breed's fans and K-9 officers call a "real-deal Malinois." He is a man with a plan… to keep Tomten Farm and Sanctuary and all its residents safe. And he takes his job very seriously.

Ramo's pedigree is one of competition, working, sport dogs and police dogs. His father, brother and other assorted relatives work as respected K-9 dogs in various law enforcement departments throughout New England. He is one of the reasons that we have the cautionary sign informing you that there are "large loose dogs" beyond it.

Big, strong high-energy, intense and watchful with a deep voice and fierce loyalty, Ramo lets his goofball side show when he is off-duty. When he's not patrolling the property, he even stops to smell the roses every now and then. But don't be fooled. He is one of the "Large Loose Dogs" that our farm-gate sign is talking about. He is definitely a girl's best friend.



My beloved female Belgian Malinois, Taela the Tulip, departed this life in 2017. She had not been a rescue but rather, my personal dog for an entire decade before Tomten Farm and Sanctuary even began.

Beautiful, social, stable and kind, she had just the right balance, an ability to do her job and protect and yet still welcome the guests and animals that came our way. She honored us, doing so for 14 years. She was our very own Tomten.

The loss of Taela left a big hole. Despite being offered multiple, gorgeous puppies, I was not quite ready and they were not quite "right ."  But then, an unexpected but perfect litter came along and as it often does, the universe stepped in to make things align.

Please welcome our newest addition. No, she is not a rescue, and I struggled with that for quite some time as I followed the litter from birth (thank you, Scott D.). I believe in rescue with all of my heart, but as a professional dog trainer for over two decades, I also believe in genetics, environment, imprinting and the ability to mold and shape behaviors from the get go. There is no doubt that there will be many more rescued canines here on the farm but she is not one and transparency is important. But like all the dogs here, she will be a big part of the farm. Ramo is already showing her the ropes and she has stolen a piece of my heart for sure.

Names are generally group decisions at Tomten and what may seem simple is often deep with meaning. Such is the case with the name of my beautiful new pup. She has big shoes to fill, those of my first dog as an adult, a Dutch Shepherd (like her) called Nika and those of my beloved Taela. Her name needed to be just right and I would like to thank Tomten Facebook follower, Susan H., for an amazing name suggestion. We just love the Swedish reference and the meaning behind the word. (Remember Tomten Farm and Sanctuary is named after the Swedish poem, The Tomten.)

The Swedish word "arvinge" means "heir" and we added a "T" to the beginning of the word in honor of Taela.  To us it means "Taela's heir," since, after all, she is the heir to the farm and we hope she will help us welcome animals and humans for many years to come.

Please join us in welcoming Tarvinge (pronounced Tavinyay ). We call her Tavi for short

Jon Pierre LaFleur Woof Woof, AKA "Bug"

This handsome little guy is a young Pomeranian cross. He's animated, engaging, affectionate, intelligent, inquisitive, expressive and small (maybe 20 pounds). He has an angel on his shoulder.

"Bug" was found running loose on a baseball field. From there, he ended up in a kill shelter, was rescued from there by a no-kill organization and had the amazing good fortune to be fostered by a wonderful client of my Boston dog training business. Our introduction to him was during a courtesy behavior evaluation. We instantly fell in love.

When the right home didn't come around, we couldn't risk letting him end up in another bad situation so we offered to help Bug with some badly needed training.

As my mother says all the time about him, "It's a good thing he's so darn cute." We'll admit, like some of our rescues, "Bug" has a few issues but we love him just the same. Smart, fun and feisty, his antics amuse every visitor to the farm. .

You Can Sponsor the Goats *
But The Dogs Have Already
Found Their Tomten!

Every rescued or surrendered dog at Tomten Farm and Sanctuary, no matter how they got here, is fully sponsored by The Pawsitive Dog Training Center in Boston, MA.

Thank you to all the Pawsitive Dog® clients for your confidence, trust, referrals and loyalty over the past 20 years that my staff and I have enjoyed helping you develop enjoyable lifelong partnerships with your dogs. We hope you enjoy the +dog field trips to Tomten Farm and Sanctuary and look forward to welcoming you and your dogs again soon!

City dogs students practicing good manners
with new farm friends

* While dog sponsorships are covered, our other animals would love to find their own Tomten! In addition to the goats, sponsorships ARE available for Tomten Farm and Sanctuary's rescued cows, pigs, sheep, feathered friends, horses, ponies and donkeys.

Nata the Potata
(owner surrender)

Nata's original owners adopted him as a puppy. They thought he was… are you ready for this…. a Bichon Frise, a little cottonball of a dog that grows up to weigh just 7-12 lbs! Instead, Nata grew up to what he is today, a gorgeous fluffy 40 lb. Keeshond (pronounced KAYZ-hawnd).

Through no fault of his own, Nata turned out to be way too big (both in size and personality) for people expecting a compact little Bichon, and he needed to be re-homed. Surprisingly, we found no takers. After several months here in foster care, we felt it would be unfair to uproot him from the farm.

Nata's home is now Tomten Farm and Sanctuary. Cheerful and happy, he is our resident jokester who delights in teasing his fellow canines. He finds just about everything and everybody amusing and entertaining.

He loves winter. We love him.

Ruby Roo
(owner surrender)

Meet sweet and petite rescue, Ruby Roo.

The smallest canine here on the farm, Ruby was surrendered several years ago due to divorce and behavior issues—hmmmmm, we were too polite to inquire who it was that had the behavioral issue. How could we not let Ruby join our family?

Our resident house dog, despite her advancing age, she is the first to alert us when coyotes are lurking outside with her sharp "Let me at 'em" bark. She would run out to challenge them if we let her. In addition to her watch-dog duty, she enjoys naps in the sun, comfy dog and human beds, regular trips to work with me and food… of almost any kind.

On warm spring, summer and autumn days, you can occasionally see her outside waiting for egg collection—eggs are a favorite treat for all the dogs—but generally she prefers to stay clean, come to the dog training center with  me and leave the farm work to others.

Did You Know...

Coming to one of our Farm Tours or Down and Dirty Work Days? Great!!
While we love dogs, we do not allow loose dogs at the farm. On cool spring and fall days and moderate winter days, you are, however, welcome to bring quiet, well-behaved dogs along for the ride, park in the shade and leave them in a crate in your car so you can safely open your window if temps warm up. You may walk them (on-leash) in approved areas of the farm before, during and after lunch. We cannot allow disruptive dogs (i.e., barking, unleashed, etc.) to remain on the property—safety first. Please check the weather and plan accordingly. Together we are Tomten Farm and Sanctuary and with your help, we make a difference in the lives of animals in need. Hope to see you soon!

While we'll never catch up with the "World's Cutest Dog, Boo" we do hope you will check in with US every now and then!

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"Those pigs always hog the shot."
Nata Potata

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Tomten Farm and Sanctuary
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing peace, protection and possibility to animals in need.

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P.O. Box 85 Haverhill, New Hampshire 03765 603-989-5800

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