Dear Fellow Dog Lovers,
This is going to be a happy post about five shelter dogs who are living wonderful lives with the people who love them. There couldn’t be a better time for some happy adoption stories.
First a shelter update: Willamette Humane Society is open for adoption appointments from 10:00 – 3:00 every day. Click on this link for the info you will need if you are interested in meeting a dog appearing on the website: www.whs4pets.org. It will also give you a link to find out everything about how the shelter is dealing with COVID-19 and making sure everyone is safe for adopting.
As our Executive Director, BJ Andersen, writes: “We continue to offer adoptions by appointment, carefully following guidelines around sanitation and social distancing to keep our pets, people, and community safe. We’re thrilled that we can keep this program moving. I personally know the joy an animal brings to my life, and see the loving bond created between animals and their new adoptive families at our shelter every day. We need that joy and love now more than ever. And the time so many of us are spending at home is the perfect opportunity to welcome a new furry family member.”
And if you cannot adopt, but want to help the shelter by giving a donation, here is the link: https://whs4pets.org/donate/make-a-one-time-gift/
At this time, shelter volunteers have been asked to stay home. The essential staff is taking care of the dogs and cats, most of whom have been placed in wonderful foster homes.
Since I am unable to take pictures to feature dogs, I decided this was the perfect time to contact adopters who have sent me updates in the past and ask for a new one. I am thrilled to report that TEN families eagerly sent me pictures and stories about their former shelter dogs. I will post five of them each for the next two weeks.
I first wrote about Grace in my November 14, 2018 post. This is some of what I wrote about her:
“When potential adopters arrive at the shelter, they usually have an idea of the type of dog they are looking for to match their lifestyle. Some want a young, active dog, ready for camping, hiking and other outdoor adventures. Some want a clown of a dog who will keep the family entertained. Well, we’re hoping there is a family looking for a couch potato kind of dog. A family who spends time—well—on their couch.
Grace was transferred to us from our sister shelter in Hawaii where she lived happily in a foster home. Suddenly being in a shelter environment is a little overwhelming for this sweetheart. Grace is embarrassed to admit that her kennel presentation is not the best. She can be barky due to the stress. We worry that potential adopters will think she will be a barker in the home and walk past her kennel. If you are looking for a cuddle buddy who will be low-maintenance and a great listener to boot, come and meet our Grace.”
Grace arrived at the shelter on October 12, 2018. We all loved her, but week after week went by and Grace waited. We spent a lot of time with her in Mary’s Place and we all thoroughly enjoyed it, including Grace.
Finally on December 2nd, Michelle came to meet Grace and I knew when I took this picture that it was a done deal.
We were so excited when Grace went home, we all had to say goodbye.
And here is Michelle’s update:
“I adopted Grace in December of 2018 and here are some update pics. She is so loved and she has given me such laughter and love! Her Cushings Disease is well controlled and she is such a sassy girl, always telling me what she is thinking. Thank you to the staff and volunteers for caring for the shelter animals..I appreciate you!”
I first met Ozo in September, 2017 when he came to WHS as a stray. He was quickly adopted, but in July, 2019, he was transferred to us from another shelter, having once again been found as a stray. He was a big dog in a small body with a delightful sense of humor. We hoped that his next home would be his forever one. As you can see, Ozo needed to lose a few of his extra pounds and we hoped he would once he was adopted again.
I was thrilled when I happened to be at the shelter when his new family found him.
Here is their update:
“Ozo is full of energy for an eight-year-old dog. He loves to play with squeaky balls and has at least a dozen of them all over the house. Ozo likes to go for walks and is good on leash. He loves to ride in the car! He and Reagan (the cat) do not sleep together, but they are on roommate terms! She probably likes him more since she is very dog-friendly. We had Reagan first.
Ozo is quite the talker and he can be very loud. We have spent a lot of time working on his volume and he is much better than last August when we got him. He still talks a lot, but has learned when and how loud it is okay to be!
Here are recent pictures of Ozo at the dog park and one in his co-pilot seat. The other is with Reagan, who is also a rescue from WHS. They are watching for Scott to come home.
We hope to have many more joyful days with him. He has so much personality!”
Look how much trimmer our boy is now!
Reeves was another one of our Hawaiian transfer dogs and I wrote about him in my August 21, 2019 post:
“Our new Maui dogs arrived last week, so I got to meet them for the first time on Sunday. Reeves is a five-year-old Pointer/Cattle Dog mix. He was shy at first meeting, looking very serious and a bit worried. Reeves was a favorite at the Maui shelter. Here’s what they had to say about this sweet dog: ‘Reeves is one special boy—handsome, friendly, smart, and affectionate. He has done very well in play group and has been stellar in his kennel, the perfect gentleman. He is a terrific dog.’”
We totally agreed. Marianne was one of his biggest fans.
We were thrilled when on August 25, 2019, this couple found him and I got to take some going-home pictures.
Here is their update:
“Reeves has continued being an extremely sweet, friendly, happy dog! He loves going to the Keizer Rapids dog park, and is a favorite there. He has a unique trait of ‘smiling’ and greeting the humans. He shows his teeth in a very happy grin, and many call him ‘Smiley.’ He has many ‘babies’ (dog-safe stuffed toys, which he loves to carry around…and sometimes bury.) Reeves is a very welcome addition to our family…just a wonderful all-around dog.”
Wow! We had no idea Reeves was computer savvy! Who would have thought?!
Toby was one of our longest “long-termers” at the shelter. He was surrendered on July 14, 2019. He was adopted once, but returned when it was not the right fit. Toby was not the right dog for everyone. I wrote about him in my blog posts many times, but still he waited.
This is from my December 11th post:
“I’ve written about Toby many times, but still he waits for just the right family fit. In his former home, he spent most of his time outside but really wants to spend more time inside with his family. Toby is a sensitive dog and he’s hoping that understanding and patient people will adopt him. In his ideal home, Toby would love to have someone there most of the time, as he can be anxious when left alone. Toby is an active dog who would love to go on hikes or jogs with his person. He’s the kind of boy who can be energetic and eager, but then settle down and lounge on a blanket. Toby is not the dog for everyone, but he will be a great pal to someone with patience and time who will help him gain more confidence and will enjoy a rather large, affectionate lap dog. Toby has been waiting a long time.”
The weeks, then months passed and still Toby waited. Then on a cold Sunday, February 9th, a couple came in to meet him. It was love at first tail wag. After over six months of shelter life, Toby went home!
And here is the update:
“Toby is doing great. I think it’s officially kicked in that he’s staying here with us forever. He’s still a stressed out little boy and he has his good days and his bad days but overall he’s a very smart and loving dog. The other day he got off his leash for the first time. I had a slow motion, ‘Oh no,’ moment where all the fear of him running into the street hit me all at once. I took a few steps in his direction, asked him to come back, and he happily trotted back over to me.
He’s coming along in his training slowly but surely. My husband says Toby’s main motivations in life are food and keeping me happy, and I don’t think he’s wrong. So far, his favorite things are cuddles, bird watching, and car rides. He still has no clue how big he is but I don’t mind having a 70-pound lap dog.
Our main requirements for a dog were a walking buddy and someone to alert us at the door when strangers come unannounced, and we’ve got that and so much more.
Thanks for checking in, stay safe out there!”
Maggie arrived at WHS last August. She had been an outdoor dog all of her three years. She had had very limited experiences and was nervous around new people and new situations. We knew she needed a very understanding person who would show her the world was not such a scary place. I wrote about her in my August 21st post and hoped she would find the home she needed. Meanwhile, we spent time with her both outside and in Mary’s Place. She LOVED to play fetch.
On September 5, 2019, a woman came into the shelter looking for a support companion dog. She met Maggie and knew she was the one. That day, Maggie became Murphy.
Here is her update:
“Murphy and I happened to be traveling to Pennsylvania to visit my family just before the pandemic was in full swing! Since Murphy is an ESA (Emotional Support Animal), she was able to sit with me for her first flight and did amazing! The flight attendants and fellow passengers all complimented her profusely on how quiet and relaxed she was!
We are currently stuck in Pennsylvania due to Covid-19 which is fine in Murphy’s book since she has a nice big yard and another German Shepherd here to run around with! This once very shy and unsocialized girl is now an extremely obedient and happy pup! Murphy believes she is a 70-pound lap dog and has slept with me ever since I brought her home! Life without Murphy seems unimaginable now that she is my shadow who follows me everywhere and is such a light in my life, as well as in everyone’s she knows! Murphy just so happened to be the ‘Featured Pet of the Week’ when I first clicked on the Willamette Humane Society’s website and the rest is history!”
I hope that these five happily-ever-after shelter dog stories have made you smile. 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