Dear Fellow Dog Lovers,
This last week proved to be one of the best weeks EVER in the lives of SIX shelter dogs!
Tallulah was found as a stray and we are so happy that she now has a new life with a family who are smitten with her!
We were over the moon when Sherlock was adopted (again)! This boy has been waiting for so long for just the right fit. We’re hoping this time it is.
Our sweet and shy senior, Lila, was adopted! She will be such a devoted friend.
I was thrilled to get this picture of Sanders with his new peeps. WHS Trainer Nichole wrote, “Sanders was adopted yesterday by a retired couple who have had larger dogs in the past but just thought he was the cutest. They are going to think of a hand signal to represent his name due to his possible deafness.”
Remember Yukon, our senior Husky? Here’s wonderful news from Nichole: “Good things come to those who wait, and 11-year-old Yukon’s wait is over! Our handsome wildfire Husky has been adopted by the best family. The retired couple has two other Huskies to help him adapt to his new lifestyle. He’ll be a snowbird spending time in the Arizona sun, too! Enjoy your new sweet life, Yukon!”
Yukon’s family called Nichole once they made it home. She reports, “Yukon is doing great! He watches the other two dogs and follows their lead. He seems excited to be able to go in and out on his own. He even told them quite clearly with his howl that he needed to go outside!”
Walt also was adopted! Nicole writes, “Walt went home! His new parent has experience with large-breed dogs like Walt. He also said that he’s used to gigantic puppy behaviors! He’ll have his hands full with Walt, for sure. Happy life, you big goofy boy!”
Here he is about to head home!
I may not be the bravest dog in the world, but I’ll be the most loyal.
If only a dog could talk. If they could explain what their life has been and why they are afraid, we could assure them that with time and love, they will feel safe.
Magnum was found as a stray. He is a Border Collie mix and about a year old. When he arrived at WHS, he was fearful of everything, including human touch. He cowered at the back of his kennel, didn’t take treats, tucked his tail, was very tense, and did not seek attention. He looked at doors for possible escape. He also stood over his food, head low, when anyone approached, seeming worried that it would be taken from him.
Here he was with volunteer Linda soon after he arrived. He was tense and hyper-vigilant.
From the time of his intake, using positive reinforcement, staff and volunteers started working with Magnum, knowing that earning his trust would be challenging but so rewarding. And slowly little improvements began to appear. One morning, while a volunteer was spending time with him in one of the yards, Magnum began to show some interest in treats. Eventually he started taking them from the volunteer’s hand. And then he leaned into her for pets. Soon he was following the volunteer around the yard, stopping periodically, being asked for a sit and getting a reward. Within a half hour, the volunteer reported that “Magnum was showing relaxed body language—tail untucked, ears up, mouth slightly open.” That very day WHS Trainer Jessi took Magnum home to foster.
For several days Jessi kept him in an X-pen to give him time to settle and realize he was in a safe place. He was extremely tired from the stress he felt being at the shelter and slept a lot of the time. Jessi’s little boy, Junior Trainer Cash, spent time outside the pen reading to Magnum and even drew a picture of him to hang up to make him feel at home.
Trainer Cash also read to Magnum to help him relax.
Magnum has now been in his foster home for over a week and is slowly learning to trust. He seems to be crate-trained and Jessi writes that he “walks into his kennel willingly and sleeps all night.” After the first night, he has had no accidents in the house. Within a few days, Magnum actually started slowly wagging his tail and began “walking up to us (two adults and two kids) with a loose body.” A breakthrough came when he started “laying his head on the family members’ legs and going to sleep.” He takes treats gently—he’s not a fan of cheese, however.
It soon became clear that Cash had won Magnum’s trust and wanted to be near him.
Magnum seems to gain confidence by having Jessi’s own dogs around him. “He follows them around the house and yard, but so far hasn’t seemed interested in actually playing or interacting with them much.” Here is Graceland trying her best to get Magnum to play.
After the first few days, Jessi left the X-pen door open so Magnum could come and go at will. Jessi wrote, “He likes having a safe place to go. He goes to his pen or crate to just chill sometimes. And once I caught Graceland hanging out with him in his pen.”
At first, Magnum was nervous about walking in and out of the door to the yard, and Jessi would have to go with him, but he is now going out and in on his own. Loud noises frighten him, but he recovers quickly, and when the kids are loudly playing, Magnum does not seem to be bothered.
Magnum will need to be carefully monitored when he is outside. He will need to be on a leash or a long line. Left alone in a yard, even if fenced, could result in him escaping. While he may eventually be able to be trusted unleashed, it will not be for quite some time, and perhaps never.
Magnum is very nervous riding in a car and gets carsick, even if he is crated. He needs to work on polite leash-walking, which Jessi is practicing with him. He is leery of strangers and will need time and patience when meeting new people.
“Magnum needs someone who understands that a shy/fearful dog may never be that happy-go-lucky friendly dog to everyone and they should not expect to take him everywhere with them,” Jessi writes. “But they can help him grow and improve and it is actually fun and incredibly rewarding to work with shy/fearful dogs. When you can get past that ‘wall’ and start to make progress and they trust you, it makes you feel really special and it is so gratifying to see their behavior changing in positive ways.”
So what kind of home is it important for Magnum to have? He needs a family with the skills, time, and commitment to help him develop into the wonderful companion he wants to become. It will not happen overnight, and patience, understanding, and rewards-based training will be key. Magnum would enjoy living in a home with older, dog-savvy children and another dog who could help him build confidence.
If Magnum could talk, he would tell you how happy he is living with a loving family. If you think your family might be the right fit for Magnum, fill out the Adoption Questionnaire by clicking on the link “Ask About Magnum” under his picture on the WHS adoptable dog page found here: https://whs4pets.org/adopt-a-pet/dogs-2/
Yep, I’m another one of the rescued-from-the-fires Huskies and I’m ready to find my forever Husky-savvy home!
Midnight is a stunning girl with distinct Husky markings and a huge smile. She is one of the Huskies rescued during the September Oregon wildfires.
Midnight was social the moment she arrived at the shelter. During her Intake appointment, she was friendly with the staff and loved their attention. They noted she was sensitive about having her ears touched. The vet’s best guess is that she’s about four.
Like the other rescued Huskies, Midnight has never lived indoors and can’t wait to be part of a family. But she knows she needs to learn polite inside manners and has been working hard with the Behavior Team. She now “sits on cue, comes when called, walks nicely on her leash, and has learned to focus on her handler in the presence of life’s doggie distractions. Midnight loves learning new behaviors for her dog cookies,” reports Marilyn, WHS Behavior and Training manager.
Here she is out in the big yard with volunteer Marianne.
Midnight has had limited interaction with the world, but is an enthusiastic learner. One WHS staff member wrote, “Midnight hasn’t quite figured out tennis balls yet, but she does prance around them and kick them around when playing if you roll them towards her.” Another wrote, “Alone in a yard with handlers, she was very interested in interaction. She would run around the yard and then lean on me, fall over, and allow petting on her stomach. Midnight offers face kisses, paws for attention, sits for pets, likes to be petted on chin.” Staff has discovered that her favorite type of toy is a plush one that squeaks, and when she gets excited in play, she clicks her teeth to show her enthusiasm.
Here is volunteer Linda introducing Midnight to new experiences. She’s all for novel adventures!
Midnight, like many Huskies, loves to talk and has a lot she wants to say. She is not an apartment-kind of dog. She will need either a yard with a high fence or, even better, an enclosed outdoor kennel to live in as she acclimates to her new indoor home. She will need a patient and understanding Husky-savvy family who understands her breed and is able to give her the exercise, attention, and rewards-based training that she craves.
Midnight has been picky about her dog friends at the shelter, so would do best as the only dog in the home. Being an energetic and big girl, she should go home with teenage kids and no cats.
Volunteer Ayla decided to fix a special dog-friendly “turkey dinner” for some of the shelter dogs. Volunteer Marianne helped her and one of the lucky recipients was Midnight! Here is Ayla’s video of her feast.
Midnight can’t wait for her perfect fit of a family to find her.
If you are husky-savvy and up to the challenge of an active, eager and hugely entertaining dog, fill out the Adoption Questionnaire by clicking on the link “Ask About Midnight” under her picture on the WHS adoptable dog page found here: https://whs4pets.org/adopt-a-pet/dogs-2/
Some dogs are born to herd. Yep, I’m one of those dogs.
Buddy is a five-year-old Border Collie mix. According to Dogtime.com, “The Border Collie dog breed was developed to gather and control sheep. They’re dogs with unlimited energy, stamina, and working drive, all of which make them a premier herding dog. The highly trainable and intelligent, Border Collies also excel in various canine sports, including obedience, flyball, agility, tracking, and flying disc competitions. They can make for great family companions, so long as they get a lot—a lot!—of physical and mental exercise. You’ll also have to be comfortable with a dog who can outsmart you from time to time. If you want a loving, brainy dog who will keep you active and on your toes, this may be the breed for you!” (https://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/border-collie#/slide/1)
Buddy was surrendered because he has so much energy and he just can’t resist herding small children—he is a Border Collie, after all. Buddy is a little overwhelmed at the shelter and has been timid in meeting new people, but once he feels comfortable, he is a delight. Volunteer Marianne has spent some quality time with him and writes, “Buddy is fantastic. He’s shy but he’s getting better. He is very well trained. He absolutely loves to play fetch, brings the ball back and drops it at your feet. Then he will do a sit and a down as soon as you ask him to. He’s got excellent skills and he’s very sweet. He also walks well on leash.”
Here was Marianne when first meeting Buddy.
Here he was today, feeling a little bit braver with volunteers Linda and Marianne.
Buddy’s former family writes, “Buddy is very sweet, acts like a puppy, inside he mostly sleeps, will just lie down next to you, when outside he runs around with great energy. He doesn’t react to strangers, does not bark. He is crate-trained and when left alone he is fine. He is house-trained and will alert when he needs to go out.”
Buddy has gained many fans at the shelter. Behavior/Training Manager Marilyn reports, “While at WHS, Buddy has shown excellent kennel manners and patiently waits to go out for walks and training sessions. Much like with any dog in a high-stress environment, Buddy may take a bit of time to warm up to strangers but once he does, wants nothing more than to be engaged in training sessions getting his favorite treats (cheese) or having his ball thrown in an exciting game of fetch.”
Here Buddy is in action today!
Buddy loves his tennis balls!
Buddy has lived with other dogs, but does not do well with small ones. (Remember about herding?) He will need to meet any dog he will be living with. He is fine with some cats, but will chase a one outdoors. Because of, well, you know, herding, Buddy needs to go to a home with older children.
If you lead an active life and are looking for a dog who will be thrilled to learn any sport, go on any adventure, and love you unconditionally, Buddy may be your next buddy. Want to learn more? Fill out the Adoption Questionnaire by clicking on the link “Ask About Buddy” under his picture on the WHS adoptable dog page found here: https://whs4pets.org/adopt-a-pet/dogs-2/
A Sincere Thank You!
I am so grateful to staff members Jessi and Nichole and volunteers Marianne and Ayla for the pictures and videos in this post!
Pam and Tom have two WHS alumni, Pugsly and Winston (formerly Wilbur).
They adopted Pugsly in 2015. Last February 10th, they came back to the shelter and adopted Wilbur, who became Winston. Pam has been a devoted reader of my blog posts and last week sent this update.
“Winston is doing really well. He is very loving to me. He and Pugsly have become very close, now sleeping next to each other. Winston and Susie are not too close. Once in a while, Winston will go over to Susie. Susie is over 17 now and simply prefers to sleep in her bed most of the time (other than eat).
This picture is of Winston by the fireplace. The others are at Champoeg and Mission parks. Wilbur is such a runner. He runs so fast. He loves to run. We just are still so much in love with him. We feel so lucky to have him. He is very very smart.”
“When I was sending you my emails, Winston came in the office and jumped up on the couch in the office. This is one of his favorite places. He stays with me when I am working. Pugsly at my feet, Susie in her bed and Winston on the top of the couch.”
On that happy note, 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
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This Week’s Featured Adoptable Dogs
Dear Fellow Dog Lovers,