Dear Fellow Dog Lovers,
I want to start this post by telling you about a very special adoption that happened on Monday. Lincoln, a one-year-old mixed breed dog, was transferred to WHS from another shelter on August 25, 2017. He arrived with some issues, but staff and volunteers saw potential in this young, energetic, happy boy. He became a long-term Behavior and Training Team project with many positive training sessions, fun outings and lots of attention. He was adopted once, but returned because of landlord issues. Over time, Lincoln made big gains in his dog reactivity, though he will always need to be the only dog in the family. I think he came to believe that WHS was his home, and he patiently waited for his outings, treats, and walks. He loved his time in Mary’s Place where he could relax and play. Then finally on Monday, his new person found him and Lincoln spent his first night in his new home after eight months of waiting at WHS (and who knows how long he was in the other shelter!). We are all over the moon about our boy. Here are some pictures I took of him during the eight months he was with us, with two of his favorite people (and trainers), Linda and Jolene.
Lost any tennis balls lately you can’t find? Trust me, I’m your gal! You can pay me with love and cheese!
Luna is a three-year-old Lab mix who was surrendered to WHS on March 18. She is such a good girl, but does have a few quirks.
Here she is with her friend and volunteer, Christine.
Luna asked me to tell you about her quirks right up front, then move on to her many strengths. So here goes. Luna will need to be the only pet in the home, and no dog parks for her. But though she is picky about her dog friends, she does have some here at the shelter, so could have play dates with dog buddies. Luna also can be quite fearful of new environments and people. She needs slow introductions and positive reinforcement (she loves cheese). She needs a family with older kids who will gently show her that they can be trusted and the world is not such a scary place. She told me to mention that she would love to attend training classes at WHS. And now on to her many strengths. Luna is a doll! Once she knows you, she is a happy, playful, affectionate girl (as you’ll see in her movie). She is house-trained, walks well on leash, and is very attentive to her walker. She knows several commands including Drop it and Sit. While she LOVES to play ball, especially fetch with tennis balls, she is incredibly well-behaved. No matter how involved she is with a ball or toy, a simple “drop it” gets immediate response. She not only drops whatever she has, but she then looks at you for direction. I don’t think I’ve ever met a dog who is more well-trained in this command. She loves treats and takes them gently. She can be boisterous one minute, then settle and cuddle the next. Even with what she calls her “quirks,” Luna will make a wonderful new best friend. We hope she won’t have to wait for her perfect family fit much longer.
P.S. Luna reminds me to tell you that after play group, she can find any lost tennis balls in the field that no one else (human or canine) can locate. Just sayin’ if you need a tennis ball hunter, look no further.
We spent some time with Luna in Mary’s Place on Sunday. She loved playing with the GFB (Giant Fluff Ball) and cuddling with Marianne.
Luna loves belly rubs.
Here she is in action!
I’m still here. Please give me a chance to show you my affectionate personality!
Biscay has been waiting for a new family since February 3rd, and he’s getting anxious to find one. He is a two-year-old mixed breed boy who is a nice medium size, weighing 38 pounds. He came to us as a transfer from a sister shelter in Texas where he was not adopted. Biscay is calm, walks well on leash, is very affectionate and is smart as a whip. He loves to learn. Volunteers Jolene and Linda have been taking Biscay on outings which he thoroughly enjoys. He settles and is polite in the car, though still a little nervous. They often go for a coffee run and after the latest one Jolene wrote: “Very sweet dog; quiet and polite entering and exiting the building. Really seems to look forward to our visits and the extra attention he is getting. I think he would strongly bond to his person once he warmed up to them.” Biscay is uneasy around small children, so will need a home with kids 15 and older. He would be happy as an only dog, but could live with another canine if they met first and had similar play styles. He should not go home with small animals or cats. This sweet boy has been overlooked for a long time and we don’t understand why. We’re hoping he will find his perfect family fit very soon.
I love my foster family, but I’m hoping my forever family will find me soon!
Opal is a two-year-old Staffordshire/Boxer mix who arrived at WHS from another shelter on January 12th. She was somewhat stressed at first, but got better with time.
Here she was when she first arrived at WHS. I couldn’t get her to smile…
…so I asked Marianne to smile instead. Opal thought we were nuts.
Opal is a happy, bouncy girl who will need a home with older kids, as she can be somewhat jumpy when excited. Opal is having the time of her life in her foster home. Her foster mom adores her. Here’s what she says: “Opal is a wonderful dog! She enjoys spinning in circles, chasing lights on the wall, sunbathing, and playing fetch. Two young children stayed with us last weekend and she did great with them! She also currently lives with two small dogs and plays very well with them. We are still evaluating how she does with other dogs. Opal is house- and crate-trained. She bonds quickly with her person and wants to stay by their side at all times. She does not react to other dogs barking at her while we are out on a walk. She pulls on leash at first but then lightens up :)” Opal’s foster family loves her so much, they have decided to take care of her until she is adopted. If you are interested in meeting Opal, you can contact the Foster Coordinator here: firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone: (503)585-5900 Ext. 303.
Opal would also like you to know some other things about her: “I love to find sticks on my walks and carry my prizes all the way home. If you play fetch with me, I am the happiest dog in the world! I bond quickly with people and want to be near my person at all times. I know the commands to ‘sit’ and ‘lie down,’ and I am very polite when it is time to eat. When my foster mom uses a vacuum cleaner, she puts me in my kennel. I don’t know what those things are, but I do not like them! I am having so much fun in my foster home, but I need a forever family. Is it yours?”
Here are some pictures from her foster home. She was serious about liking sticks!
She was also serious about playing fetch.
I’m not a youngster and people overlook me, but I really am a good dog with a lot of love still to give. Won’t you come and meet me?
Bridgit is a ten-year-old Shepherd mix who was found as a stray. She is quite timid and nervous at first meeting and may need a little time to get to know you. But she is a sweetheart. She came down with pneumonia shortly after arriving at WHS and was quite sick, but our vet and staff took great care of her and she pulled through just fine and is healthy again.
Here she was on Sunday during her walk with volunteers Frank, Angie, and Kaylee.
Later on Sunday, we took Bridgit into Mary’s Place to relax with her. We decided she doesn’t really know what toys are for. She was interested in them, and sniffed them, but didn’t really play. We wondered if no one ever gave her toys.
But then we asked if she wanted to hang out on the couch and she did. Bridgit is a very sweet old lady. She is house-trained. She will need a calm home where she will feel secure and safe. She won’t be a dog for adventures and will be happy with short walks and being with her family. She will be a wonderful and devoted companion for some lucky person.
Here she is with Jenna.
I wondered what she was thinking about when I took this one.
Then she spent some treat time with Marianne.
This girl is a keeper. We’re hoping her forever retirement home will come along very soon.
I’m not a youngster, either, but I promise to be your very best friend!
Thelma is another senior girl who has won many hearts since she arrived at WHS on April 6th. She is a ten-year-old American Staffordshire mix who, like Bridgit, was found as a stray. She is looking for a calm, quiet retirement home where she can feel loved and secure. She was very uneasy when she first came, but has been gaining confidence and has even played a brief game of fetch in a turnout with Marianne. Thelma does have arthritis, so walks rather slowly. She has soulful eyes and we wonder what kind of life she has had.
Marianne has spent a lot of time with Thelma, her new favorite. She wrote this about her yesterday: “Thelma’s sweetness is her best quality. Everyone in Mary’s Place fell in love with her today even though they hadn’t met her before. She goes from person to person and she does this thing where she looks right into your eyes and then she puts her head on your knee.” Marianne took this picture on Tuesday while spending some time in the spring sunshine with Thelma.
“I took her bed out of her kennel today because she seems so stiff getting up and down on it. I gave her a big puffy comforter. She still has some spunk and she will run around a little bit but mostly she would just like to sit with her person or people. She loves being outside in the sunshine. I take her to a turnout and just let her wander around and sniff everything. She’s kind of a perfect dog. She’s pretty happy at the shelter. She gets fed regularly and the volunteers spend lots of time with her; she’s just one of those dogs that takes life in stride.”
Thelma is another keeper that we hope will soon be snuggling with her forever family.
Miko, a one-year-old Poodle/Retriever mix, spent some time on Sunday with volunteer Diane.
Dozer is a two-year-old Boxer mix, here with staff Shelter Animal Trainer, Marilyn.
This is one-year-old Retriever mix Buckley, with volunteer Francis. This boy will keep his person active!
Wiggles is a Rottweiler mix youngster at ten months, here with Christine.
Staff Trainer Marilyn spent time with newbie Kenzi, a four-year-old mixed breed happy girl.
I have a wonderful update for this post. First, some back story. Steve and Joan were long-term, very dependable, canine-loving Wednesday dog walkers while I was the Wednesday team captain. I so appreciated their dedication even though they had quite a drive to get to WHS each week. They are also hound lovers, especially Steve. That brings me to Lemon, a nine-year-old redbone coonhound with issues who was found as a stray in early January, 2014. She was adopted, but quickly returned due to possible separation anxiety, along with other issues like very frequent howling (she was a hound, after all!). A month went by and Steve and Joan walked Lemon, played with Lemon, and fell in love. One day when Joan had Lemon in a turnout, I took these pictures and I knew it was only a matter of time and Lemon would have the best home ever.
And I was right!
At the time of her adoption, Lemon became Amber (SO much better name!) and she joined senior dog, Tucker. Did I mention she was a hound and loved to howl? And did I mention Amber had “issues” to boot? But she landed in her perfect forever home with Steve and Joan and Tucker.
Sadly, Tucker eventually died and Amber became an only senior dog. And here’s the rest of the story told by Joan.
“We adopted Amber from WHS in February of 2014. She was a beautiful redbone coonhound with long silky ears, soulful brown eyes and a nose that never quit…hunting! Amber used that nose to outwit us on many occasions. Any food left unattended for even a minute became hers!
Sadly, we lost Amber to kidney failure in January of this year. Trips to our skilled vet and OSU could not save her. We found ourselves devastated and dogless for the first time in 43 years of marriage.
In February, the hole left by our loss led us to frequent dog rescue websites and facilities. A random stop at WHS brought Sadie and Rudy into our lives.
Sadie ( formerly known as Kiwi), is an eight-year-old border collie mix. She is timid, smart and reserved. She watches everything and moves cautiously through life. She is like a whisper of wind. Very quiet, but always there.
Rudy is an adolescent hound mix. He is boisterous, social and outwardly affectionate. He, like Amber, loves to hunt and bay. Living in the woods with a hound can be a challenge!
Our two dogs have bonded and established their places in our home and hearts. We love them and are thankful to have them in our lives! We are grateful to WHS staff….Mel in adoptions, Jessie and the playgroup volunteers and Chelsea and Nichole in behavior and training….for helping us help them adjust to becoming ours.”
These two lucky dogs could not have found a better home. Last Sunday Joan brought Rudy to public playgroup and I was thrilled to see them both. Rudy’s exuberance reminded me of Amber.
With that happy story, that’s it for this week!
Remember, if you see a dog on my blog whom you are interested in meeting, try to make arrangements to get to the Willamette Humane Society soon. Some dogs are adopted more quickly than you might think.
You can reach me at email@example.com
As the 2010 Humaneitarian Award recipient, her passion is promoting dogs for adoption through her engaging blog: adopt-an-oregon-dog.com.
Martha and her volunteer team interact with dogs each week on their walks, take photos, and post profiles and adoption updates to supporters.
Her intimate view of the dogs and the shelter highlights the joys and triumphs of volunteering.