Dear Fellow Dog Lovers,
“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.” ― Kahlil Gibran
“Above all things physical, it is more important to be beautiful on the inside—to have a big heart…” ― Ellen DeGeneres
This week I am going to tell you about a shelter dog who has been hoping to find a very caring person for a long time. Chester is a six-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier mix who at one time had a beautiful black and white coat. We know that he originally came to Oregon from a shelter in California, but he was later found and taken to another shelter as a stray here in Salem, completely hairless. He came to WHS in March. Since then, our staff has searched for answers for what is causing his hair loss. We still aren’t completely sure. He is on medication and has frequent medicated baths. A few tufts of hair have started to grow, but we have no idea if all of his hair will come back. At first I found it very difficult to look at him. But gradually, as I got to know him, I stopped seeing his outside, and began to see the joyful dog living inside.
Chester may not be a handsome dog, but don’t think for a moment that he feels sorry for himself or that his skin hurts. This boy loves to romp, play with toys, and snuggle with his peeps. He has no idea that he doesn’t look like his fellow canines. And he’s developed quite a shelter fan club, including Jolene, who all know that Chester is just a regular dog.
Chester may always need special care. He must wear either sunscreen or “clothes” when he’s outside. He is on an allergy medication, and he’ll continue to need special baths. But oh, what a happy love-bug you will get if you adopt him.
Chester will need to be the only pet in the home and is rated for children about 13 and older, as he’s a big, exuberant dog. But he can also be calm and loving.
We know there is someone out there for Chester—someone who doesn’t care about how beautiful their dog is, but rather how happy is his heart. Chester is waiting.
We decided that Chester needed a movie to show people what a happy dog he really is.
I may be small, and I’m no youngster, but I will make you the very best buddy!
JD is a fourteen-year-old mixed breed boy, weighing only fifteen pounds. He arrived at WHS on June 9th. JD is shy when he first meets you. He has lived with the same person his whole life, so it takes him a little time to warm up to someone new. When JD arrived at the shelter, he had some medical issues, mostly related to his age. He had to have thirteen teeth extracted. He has the usual old-age lumps and some hair loss, we think because of allergies. But JD has responded to our vet care beautifully and is ready to find his forever retirement home.
On Sunday we decided to give him some blanket time and, though he was a bit hesitant at first, he was soon crawling into our laps and munching on cheese bits.
Dogs’ eyes say so much. He just wasn’t sure what he was supposed to do.
He was curious about the GFB (Giant Fluff Ball), but not enough to play with it.
JD will need to go to a home without cats; he’s too interested in chasing them. He also would do best with older children because of his age. He is house-trained and is mostly an indoor dog. His former owner said that he is afraid of other dogs, so will need to meet any that he would be living with and would probably need a slow introduction.
Over time, JD began to warm up to each of us and enjoyed some lap time.
It is easy for potential adopters to overlook JD in his kennel. He is small, quiet, and shy.
But based on the time we spent with him on Sunday, for someone looking for a calm, gentle lap buddy who will be easy to have around and a wonderful companion, JD may be your perfect fit. We hope he won’t have to wait much longer.
Looking for an active dog with a great sense of humor? That would be ME!
Bear is a very handsome six-year-old Shepherd mix. He arrived at the shelter on June 1st because his family was moving. This is actually Bear’s second time at WHS. He came to us in 2016, but was adopted so quickly I didn’t get a chance to meet him. I haven’t worried about Bear, as I was sure he would be quickly adopted once again. But since he is still waiting for his new family, we decided to spend some time with him on Sunday so I could feature him this week.
We had an absolutely wonderful time getting to know this delightful boy. Bear is rated for children about ten and older, and he must go to a feline-free home. He can be a bit picky about his dog friends, so will need to meet any he will be living with. He loves to play with other dogs he likes. He is house- and crate-trained and knows basic commands. He walks beautifully on leash and loves to ride in the car. Oh, and did I mention his sense of humor? He enjoys joking around and is constantly grinning.
We started out relaxing on a blanket and Bear loved it. Megan, Ayla, Caroline, Marianne and I became instant Bear fans.
We were practicing “sits” and “downs” when I happened to move my hand in a way he recognized and, to our surprise, he instantly threw himself down and rolled over.
When we asked him to do it again, he wanted us to appreciate his ability.
Then it was time to go out to the big yard. Bear wasn’t really interested in playing fetch, but the agility equipment caught his eye and Ayla happily assisted. It turned out to be a little more challenging than he first realized.
After agility, there was some posing for pictures.
Then some exploring.
We wrapped up our Bear time by going to Mary’s Place to relax a little while.
Well…sort of relaxing.
Bear will be a fantastic family dog. He is really hoping his new peeps will find him this week!
That time when neither subject is ready for the shot, but you take it anyway.
When you are waiting to catch just the right group shot, but only one subject is cooperating…
There are two wonderful updates this week!
Peppi and Max
Two weeks ago, I posted a terrific update on Peppi, adopted last January, and Max, adopted on June 1st. Their family wanted to let us know that the two of them are getting along just fine.
King, Suave (Pip), and Bonbon
If you are a regular reader of my posts, you will remember all three of these special dogs.
King was a transfer from our Maui sister shelter in October of 2018. At ten years old and 75 pounds, we worried about who would adopt him. Marianne fell in love with King and he was her “date” to Bowser’s Boo Bash that year.
Suave (now Pip), a three-year-old Chihuahua mix, also arrived in October of 2018 with some serious medical issues resulting in his losing his right eye. Since he went to a foster home after being treated by our vet, I didn’t get pictures of him.
BonBon, a two-year-old Chihuahua mix, came to WHS last April after some kind of accident causing him to lose his right eye, too.
What do these three dogs, all with sad back stories have in common? All three got adopted by the same incredible family. And this week I have an update!
“Pip (formerly known as Suave), settled right in. He loves to snuggle, and just be a lap dog. He was just a teeny 4.10 pounds when we adopted him and now he is almost 6 pounds! He loves his family, and is a big mama’s boy.
King is the most amazing dog ever and just brings joy everywhere he goes. He has even made friends with cats in the neighborhood and we have had some new kitty friends follow us home from his walk. Unfortunately, he has pretty terrible arthritis and hip dysplasia, but we do everything we can to help with medications and supplements, and the rest of him just keeps on ticking.
Bonbon has settled right in and is doing fantastic! He loves his family and to give kisses, and to snuggle. He is playful and has helped Pip come out of his shell even more. He LOVES the kids, and gets along well with King and Pip.
All three boys get along well and bond over treats. They cause quite a stir when they are out and about, since it’s not everyday you get to see two tiny, one-eyed Chihuahuas and a huge Staffordshire. They are all such a wonderful part of our family and we are so blessed to have them.”
With both this update and Chester’s story, I’d like to close with the quote from the end of Chester’s movie:
“If only our eyes saw souls instead of bodies, how very different our ideals of beauty would be.” ~Anonymous
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 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.