Dear Fellow Dog Lovers,
Some of my Sundays at the shelter are busier than others. When there are a lot of new dogs to photograph, there is not as much time to spend with the ones we plan to feature in my next post. However, last Sunday was an exception. There were only eight new dogs, so once those pictures were taken, we relaxed with the stars of this week’s issue. Did I mention the weather was great? Well, it was, and so we headed to a yard with two very special dogs.
Who would have guessed that a dog from Alabama and a dog from Hawaii would meet at a shelter in Oregon and become best buds? Well, that’s what happened.
Fetty came to us from Alabama when his home town was struck by tornadoes and room had to be made at his shelter for newly displaced dogs. Dogs already at the shelter were sent to other shelters. WHS took nine of them, and Fetty is the last one waiting to be adopted. Pam came to us from our Hawaii sister shelter where she had not been adopted. Fetty and Pam are both very timid and unsure of the world. Both have become favorites of staff and volunteers and are learning to trust, one person at a time. Both are looking for special homes with compassionate, patient and loving families.
Fetty and Pam
Pam is a two-year-old mixed breed girl. She came to the Maui shelter in March, along with her litter of new-born pups, so was immediately whisked off to a foster home. When they were old enough, all of Pam’s puppies were adopted, but Pam was not. So to give her a fresh start, she came to Oregon looking for her forever home. When she arrived at WHS on April 26, she was very uneasy and timid. When I took her first pictures, her tail was tucked, her ears were back, and she was unsure about everything and scared. Gail did her best to make Pam feel safe.
As usual when a dog like Pam enters our shelter, volunteer Linda started spending time with her and it didn’t take long for Pam to trust Linda. Here’s what Linda says about their time together:
“The first time I walked Pam I let her walk out of the kennel on her own and just picked up her leash as she passed by. I wasn’t sure how to read her, she walked fine on the leash and would look up at me every so often and I acknowledged it, but left her alone when it came to petting. At the end of our walk we had to wait on others before our turn to come in. We sat on the brick wall and waited. While sitting there she nudged my hand with her nose, so I petted a little and stopped. Then came another nudge. Then tail wags started on our next visit and then zoomies in the yard the next. It’s just what everyone says about a shy dog, give them time, sometimes let them make the first move. We are good friends now and have even gone on a few adventures in the car. She’s a lovely girl and will do fine with a patient family.”
Linda quickly realized that Pam is a great “helper dog.” When another shy dog was hesitant about going back inside, Pam was happy to walk with him to give him courage. She also started going to playgroup, where she met Fetty.
Fetty is a five-year-old mixed breed boy who arrived at WHS on March 11. As Chelsea, our Behavior & Training Manager, wrote in his bio, “Fetty came to us from Alabama when his home town was struck by tragic tornadoes. He’s been spending the last month under the tender, loving care of staff and volunteers. It’s likely he’s seen very little of the world. We’ve been helping him learn that everything is safe and everyone is trustworthy by going at his pace and adding social support.“ Here he was, tail tucked, feeling very worried for his initial pictures.
Chelsea goes on: “Fetty needs someone to give him a life filled with compassion and patience. He is so very affectionate with his inner circle, resting his cute little face in your lap and looking up with soft brown eyes. Sometimes he paws us for more loves; other times it’s a sweet nudge with his nose.”
On Sunday when I arrived at the shelter, I saw that Linda and Jolene had Pam out in a yard. Linda was very excited to tell me that Pam and Fetty had a wonderful time in playgroup and had become best friends. Wanting to see for myself, I asked if we could take them out to a yard for pictures and maybe video. While we waited for Fetty, Pam had fun with Linda.
When Fetty arrived, he and Pam were thrilled to see each other and immediately started a game of fast-paced chase.
These two dogs are such great playmates. They are able to perfectly time their “pops” and continually take turns at being the “chaser” and the “chasee.” I decided you had to see them in action.
After a long playtime, both dogs were ready to relax (one more than the other).
Fetty and Pam have come so far in building trust and feeling safe. They still are hesitant about new people and situations and will need families who will give them love, patience, and time to adjust. But what loving, happy dogs they will be once they feel at home. They are waiting for families with older children who will understand their needs for slow introductions to everything new.
Both Fetty and Pam are working with our Training Team. You can submit your Adoption Questionnaire and allow the staff to contact you for an appointment to meet one of these terrific dogs. You can fill out an application here: whs4pets.org/adopt-a-pet/adoption-process/adoption-application/
We’re hoping both of these special dogs will soon be basking in the love of new families.
I’m still here waiting for my perfect family fit! Could it be yours?
I’ve written about Terry several times, but he is still waiting to be found by just the right people. Because he has been at the shelter since April 5th, he is getting stressed and worried. So we decided to feature him again, hoping the perfect person will see this post. We brought him into Mary’s Place where he loves to hang out with his peeps.
Terry is a three-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier mix. He first came to WHS as a stray in September of 2018. He was adopted the following October, but his family’s life changed, and they could no longer take care of him. Terry LOVES people. He is dog-selective, meaning he likes to play with some dogs and not others, and would be happy to be an only pet. Terry is not the right dog for everybody. He is a big boy who has not gotten the rewards-based training he should have, and so pulls when going for walks. He is working on this and is doing better. The fact that he loves cheese bits will help in training him. Terry can also be possessive of his toys. Because of this he will need to go home with dog-savvy people and older kids.
Terry believes he is a lap dog and no one can convince him otherwise.
Oh, and Terry can read. He can be picky about the books he likes, but he especially enjoys books about dogs. We discovered that when he decided to check out the little library in Mary’s Place.
Terry is Megan’s favorite shelter dog at present. Because he is stressed in the shelter environment, Megan decided to take him on an outing. They had a great time. Here’s her report:
“On Saturday I decided to take my current favorite shelter dog, Terry, on an outing to Keizer Rapids Park to enjoy some sunshine and adventure. We had a blast and Terry did wonderfully! He has been a little stressed in the shelter, but he was a completely different dog once he got into a new environment where he could have more one-on-one time.
At the park, Terry was so happy to wander around (walking perfectly on leash!) and smell all of his new surroundings. He also makes the cutest snorting noises when he is sniffing, and I adore it. There were lots of dogs around that Terry would have loved to play with, but he was easily directed away when I asked him to move on. We also ran into several people who he was happy to meet and greet, and receive lots of attention from. They all commented on how handsome and soft he is. He even rolled over for tummy rubs while I was chatting with some people!
After some good walking in the warm sun, we got back in the car and headed back to the shelter. Terry was sufficiently tired and just curled up in the back seat to rest. We had so much fun on our outing, and I will definitely take him on more adventures as the weather allows, until his lucky family comes to pick him up!”
I made a movie for Terry the first time I featured him. Here it is again.
As is so often true of our dogs, Terry is much more relaxed and well-behaved away from the noise and hectic shelter environment. We really hope it won’t be long before his forever person finds him.
This Just In!
By our Volunteer Reporters, Marianne and Ayla.
Terry Goes On An Adventure!
“Ayla and I took Terry for an outing today at Geer Park. He was a perfectly well-behaved dog and loved being out and about. We used a seatbelt tether in the car and he rode very well.
At one point he put his head on the console between the two front seats, fell asleep, and began to snore very loudly.
At the park he initially pulled a little bit from excitement; but after a couple of minutes. he calmed down and walked perfectly on the leash. He loved walking through the very tall grass and exploring —I think he’s a nature boy! He did not react to people, dogs, or geese.
After our trip to the park, we went to Bentley’s for a pup shake which he thoroughly enjoyed! He might have finished it in record pup shake time. Terry is an incredible dog who will make someone a wonderful companion. He is very affectionate and loving. I just can’t say enough good things about this sweet boy!”
Axel is a four-year-old American Bulldog mix, here with Megan. He looked so sad and I couldn’t get him to smile. I hope he’s adopted soon.
Zoe is thirteen-year-old Lab mix who is a sweetheart, here with Diane.
Bunny is an eight-year-old mixed breed girl who has been at WHS before, here with Marianne. If she isn’t adopted by next week, I’ll be featuring her in my next post.
Rocky is a two-year-old mixed breed boy who decided he felt safest under Diane’s leg!
Siri, an eight-year-old Boxer/Retriever mix, is still waiting for her forever family, but she’s not just sitting around while she waits. We took her out to the big yard and she had a blast with Megan and Marianne.
Remember Pookie, Odie and Dixie from last week? Well, we couldn’t resist taking them into Mary’s Place again this Sunday. And as always, they had a lot to say.
And then, just when I thought I had all three posed perfectly, this happened…
We decided to take the Dynamic Trio out to a yard to get a nice, calm, posed picture on the bench. All I asked was for each human to hold one dog. How hard should that have been?
Finally! Was that really so hard???
We have two wonderful updates this week.
Lincoln arrived at WHS in August of 2017. He came from another shelter where he was not adopted. While we all quickly fell for this handsome, spirited boy, he was quite a handful and he became one of the Training Team project dogs. Linda and Jolene spent many hours working with Lincoln.
Lincoln was adopted three times. Each time his many shelter fans hoped it would be his perfect fit. And finally, the third one, in April of 2018, was what he’d been waiting for. We were thrilled when we got this update last week.
“Lincoln is the biggest goofball I have ever met! He loves cuddling with us and sitting with (sometimes on) us. He goes outside a lot and loves soaking up the sun whenever he gets the chance. We adore how playful he can be all the time.
He’s really good about going into his kennel when he gets in trouble. He likes to get into stuff he shouldn’t sometimes and bark at cats in our backyard, but other than that he’s trained really well and listens to us most of the time. Lincoln sniffs around everything in the house, he definitely is good at hunting things out!”
We are so grateful that Lincoln finally got a wonderful, tolerant home.
Knuckles arrived at WHS in May 2016. He was a character who kept us in stitches whenever we took him out. He loved to make people laugh and was a constant clown. His most impressive trick was holding THREE tennis balls in his mouth at once! I’m not kidding! Marianne soon started calling him Knuckles McGee and it stuck.
He was also extremely athletic and loved to play fetch.
Naturally, he became a favorite of many, including Linda and Marianne.
Finally in late July 2016, Knuckles McGee was adopted by his forever family and become Buddy. I’ve gotten several updates over the years, and this one came last week:
“Our boy, my best bud, is AMAZING!!!!!!! He makes us laugh every day, obeys commands and has learned new tricks! We love him so!!!”
On those happy notes, that’s it for this week!
All of the dogs I have featured today, along with other terrific dogs waiting to be adopted, can be found at Willamette Humane Society. Here is the link to the adoptable-dog page:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.