This Week’s Featured Adoptable Dogs @ Willamette Humane Society by Martha Russell


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Dear Fellow Dog Lovers,

It was a pretty exciting afternoon on Sunday at Willamette Humane Society when we saw this truck pulling into the driveway!

DSC_18682ASPCA was bringing us some wonderful dogs from overcrowded shelters in California so that they can find forever homes in Oregon.

DSC_19412 DSC_19452Below are Shelter Manager Rachel (right) and the angels from ASPCA!

DSC_19532I’ll be getting pictures of the newbies and sharing them here and on my WHS Facebook page ( as soon as the dogs are medically cleared by our WHS staff.


We had some fantastic adoptions last week. There were a total of 15 dogs adopted; these were the Blog Dogs who went to new homes.

Page_3 Page_4 Page_1 Page_2I know what you are hoping…did the bonded girls, Missie and Lillie, go home together? Yes, they did!




I’m a STAR!

I decided that since Opie has been waiting for his “just right” person since June 28th, it was high time he got his own movie. But first, here are some shots I got of him on Sunday getting ready to film.

Such a funny boy. Learning “leave it” is REALLY challenging!

Page_0 (2) He listened very carefully to directions on how I would video.

DSC_18242He got his cast lined up.


Page_2 Page_3And here it is…




I may not be a pup, but I’ll be the best friend you have.

“Some see these gray hairs and call me a senior dog. That just means I have years of experience in the fine art of Love and Friendship.” ~Woods Humane Society.

I met Sally, an eleven-year-old Australian Shepherd mix, on Sunday. This sweet girl has been an outdoor dog most of her life and now is looking for a calm retirement home where she can live inside with her people. She’s a little timid; loud noises startle her (fireworks are the worst) and make her nervous, so a home with adults or older kids would be good for her. She is fine when left alone (unless there are fireworks) and even though she has lived outdoors, Sally is house-trained. Everyone who has met this gentle older girl is smitten, and the person who adopts her will have a wonderful best friend. Here Sally was with Diane, and Daniel.

DSC_21002 DSC_20792  DSC_20732There is something in an old dog’s eyes that go straight into your heart.





I’m having a blast with everyone here, but I sure would like a person of my own!

Want to guess who Jolene’s new Swim Dog is? It’s Marbles, a four-year-old Whippet mix who has become a volunteer favorite. This girl LOVES to play fetch and is looking for a family who will throw tennis balls for her. She needs an active lifestyle. Hiking or running with her person would be great. She also would enjoy WHS training classes since she is smart, eager, and treat-motivated. Marbles needs a home without cats or other dogs. She has lived with children well, but her exuberance might be overwhelming to smaller kids. Marbles is one of Francis’ favorites, and I spent some time with them out in a yard on Sunday.

Marbles DSC_18412Oh my…one ball in mouth…one ball in hand…

Page_1 DSC_18432   DSC_18332I think Francis actually tired her out!

DSC_18282But that’s not all! Marbles has another talent that Jolene discovered when she took her to Bailey’s Journey Canine Swim Therapy Class! Here’s what Jolene wrote about their afternoon:”Marbles had a great adventure! She rode nicely in the car and really had fun checking out the water, the other people, and the other dogs—large and small. She greeted people politely and enjoyed the attention. She stared at the small dogs without barking, and would give a few barks at the larger dogs, which they returned; then everyone was fine. Once Marbles found out she could retrieve a tennis ball in the water she was off to the races! She would wait in the water for the ball to be thrown, then bolt out after it. She is a very good swimmer, and can really change direction quickly. She had a great time and was tired out after all the activity. Several people thought she resembled a Dutch Shepherd. She’s a delightful dog!”

IMG_01912 IMG_02002

Go, Marbles, GO!





Caroline’s Pick of the Week!

Mulligan is a three-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix. He was found as a stray, so we don’t know about his past, but we do know he LOVES being with people. As you can see here with Caroline, this boy is a happy camper. He would like to be the only pet in the family and would love a yard he could romp in, then settle in for the evening with his peeps. Mulligan would enjoy older kids who could keep him active playing. He did great on his behavior evaluation with people. He’s a very good boy. Caroline calls him her goofy boy.

DSC_26342 DSC_26442After my shift today I helped Marianne give Mulligan a bath. He was such a well-behaved boy, we couldn’t believe it. Marianne, who has bathed many, many shelter dogs, said, “He was the most cooperative dog I’ve ever bathed!”

DSC_26652He even thanked Marianne during the shampoo soaking time!

DSC_26712  DSC_26812 DSC_26842After the bath, we took him through the lobby to go back to his kennel and this happened.

Mulligan cartoon (1)We’re hoping this wonderful dog will soon be with his forever family.




I’m just about perfect…well, there’s one minor thing…

Today I met Moose and instantly fell in love, as everyone does, who spends time with this two-year-old Lab mix. Moose is extremely gentle, polite, and loving. He has no doubt that he is a lap dog, so be ready for 87 pounds of love sitting on you, as Jolene quickly found out.

DSC_21962DSC_22002When he can’t be in your lap, he leans!

DSC_22042Moose’s scores in his behavior assessment were almost perfect. He gets along with other dogs and has been very gentle around kids. He has been an outdoor dog and is really looking forward to being an indoor dog so he can be with his family more. What, you ask, is the “one minor thing?” In his previous home, Moose was quite the escape artist. He just loved going on adventures and meeting new people. So his new family will need to be vigilant when Moose is outside. This boy will be much happier being an indoor dog and may not want to wander as much!

DSC_21892Then an airplane went overhead.





Are you a lover of Pugs?

If you are, then meet little Fiona, a seventeen-pound, ten-year-old purebred Pug. Fiona loves to cuddle and be close to people, as Marianne found out on Sunday. She is looking for a home where she can finally be an indoor dog in her senior years. She’ll need her person’s help because having been an outdoor dog her whole life, she is not house-trained yet. Spend a few minutes with Fiona and she will work her way into your heart. We’re hoping she will soon be in a loving, indoor, forever home.





I’m happy, eager, and ready for my new family!

DJ is a very active five-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier mix. He is house-trained and is looking for a family with older kids and no cats. He’ll keep everyone laughing with his goofy personality. He is very smart and treat-motivated, making him fun to train with positive reinforcement. He does need work on walking politely on leash (in his excitement, he wants to pull) but because he is so people-focused and loves those hot dog bits, he will improve when his new person spends time working with him. He is now over a cold that kept him in the ISO kennels for a while. Here he was with Daniel on Sunday.

DSC_20022See what I mean…happy?





I’m still here.

Just before I left for the day on Sunday, I went into the small-dog room and asked Henry if he’d like to go sit outside for a few minutes. He said yes. Henry is an eight-year-old Chihuahua mix. He gets very attached to his person and doesn’t like to be alone. He needs a quiet home without kids, cats, or other dogs. It would be ideal if his person was home most of the time. I first wrote about Henry last week and I found myself thinking about him often in the following days and looking forward to spending some more time with him. We sat in a yard and he would wander away from me sniffing the grass. When he had gone quite a ways, I would call his name and he would turn and dash back to me. I’m hoping his perfect new person will find him very soon and take him home.

DSC_21642 DSC_21732




The newbie preview!

During the afternoon today, many of the new arrivals from California were medically cleared and are now adoptable. So my walking team and I were very busy with “photo shoots.” I can’t resist showing you a few of these adorable dogs! Just pictures for now…


Gordo DSC_22382 DSC_22392

Chocklet (and Caroline)

Chocklet DSC_22252 DSC_22272

Ozzie (and Jolene)


DSC_22842 DSC_22912


Olivia (and John)

Olivia DSC_24412




For all of you Rosco fans, here’s a question. What happens when you eat French fries in the same room as your dogs?  This is what happens.




Remember little Humphrey? Here he was at WHS.

HumphreyWell, I had stopped at my nearby pet store where I post my blog each week and I overheard a customer saying that the dog in her arms was a rescue from the humane society. I turned and who should I see but Humphrey! He’s doing great and is well loved, now named Autzen.



A very special letter.

WHS recently received the following letter. I was so moved when I read it that I contacted the author and asked if I could print it on my next post. She responded that she would be honored. To all of us who love shelter dogs, this is a treasure.

Dear Ms. Andersen and Staff:

I write to share one of the probably thousands of stories you make possible. I hope that by gaining a window on how my dog’s life turned out, you’ll gain a small sense for how incredibly expansive, impactful, and fundamentally good your work at the Willamette Humane Society is. I adopted Cisco Kid from your shelter in 2004 when I moved to Oregon to start my first teaching job. Cisco passed suddenly last week. I realize now, 11 years later, that Cisco never belonged to me. I’ve always belonged to him.

When Cisco found your shelter, he had been a ten-month old stray who suffered enough insecurities and uncertain situations in his short life to be fearful of most people. I was 27, living alone, away from my family, and nervous about the prospect of taking new steps in my adult life. Cisco and I were a perfect storm of insecurity and youth. Cisco came home with me, tail between his legs, as we eyed each other cautiously.

But probably like so many other stories you’ve heard, Cisco and I, by virtue of spending so many of our waking and sleeping hours together, grew to lean on one another for just about everything. Cisco ran—literally—thousands of miles with me—in rainy mud, in desert sand, in snow, on beaches, on gravel roads, but mostly on mountain trails. I used to make him sit and stay while I ran ahead for a minute just so that I could turn around to watch him sprint toward me with his open-mouth smile and expectant ears. In those moments, the whole world was me and Cisco, our pounding hearts, and the trail. In those moments, we were content.

Cisco also became an accomplished backpacker, carrying his own food and sleeping in the vestibule of my tent. He swam in wilderness lakes, chased squirrels, encountered places and smells that we couldn’t in the city. He hiked 80 miles with me and my husband across the Bob Marshall Wilderness on our honeymoon, a trip that marked for Cisco and I a realization that our lives were expanding to include another kind of love.

I could recount for you thousands of stories of our time together, of Cisco’s devoted companionship, of his early-morning yawn, of his always hopeful expectations for a run, of his gentle gentle gentle ways, of his readiness to wrestle with other dogs, of his never-lost fear of abandonment, of his love of paw massages and face rubs, of his perfect black face with one brown line circling over his eye and down his nose, of his funny desire for hard floors and dusty dirt beds.

But here’s what I want you to know about Cisco:  we grew up together. And he made possible for me something constant amid a tremendous amount of flux in my life. I pray that I did the same for him. He sat at my feet as I wrote lesson plans for my first real teaching job. He nervously followed me as we packed to make our move from Oregon to Montana where I would start a new job. He was there when I met and married my husband.

He was there when our daughter, Wenonah, entered our lives.

Wenonah loved Cisco. She was 2 ½ when he passed. Each morning, she’d tell me in her limited vocabulary, “I dreamed of Cisco,” and Cis would stick his nose between the slats of her crib to make sure his sweet redheaded little girl was still there. Cis would lounge next to Wenonah when she was an infant, smelling her new smell. He’d allow her toddler hands to hold his face and touch his belly. And most amazing, he allowed his heart to open wide enough to make room for her into his and my intimate, already-bonded lives.

This is what I’ve learned from Cisco: When you trust, you can adapt and make room for bigger love. Cis gave me and my family every inch of his heart. I don’t know for sure if I lived up to this kind of love, but I tried. And I think he understood that we needed him.

Cisco Kid made me a better person, friend, wife, and mother. I needed him. I still do.

Thank you for making possible a relationship that forever will rival all my greatest loves.

Kelly Peterson Webster


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


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