Dear Fellow Dog Lovers,
I’m going to open my post a little differently this week. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will remember the two-week period a couple of months ago when all of the shelter dogs had to be put in quarantine because of exposure to canine flu. Happily, none of the dogs became seriously ill, thanks to the extreme care of staff and volunteers. However, being confined to their kennels for two weeks could have been extremely mentally and emotionally trying for all of the dogs. Enter the Kennel Buddy Project! Spearheaded by our very own volunteer extraordinaire, Barb Cash, this program assigned volunteers to spend time with each dog inside their kennel at least once a day and more times if possible. The volunteers petted, brushed, talked to, gave treats to, and worked on manners and training with their dogs. The goal was to relieve stress and show the dogs that their kennels were good places even if they couldn’t go outside. The hope was that the dogs would not deteriorate too much during the quarantine. That was the hope…the fact was that not only did the dogs not deteriorate, they actually improved in their mental and emotional states due to the individual kennel attention! Because of this discovery, the Kennel Buddy Program is being introduced as a new regular volunteer job. That brings us to my new video. It’s a promotion of this program. The video was a team effort by Jay Lavitre, Sara Masser (Jay is on piano and Sara is the singer), Thunder, Sarah Steele, Molly, and Matthew White. It was great fun to make!
Several great Blog Dogs were adopted during the past week. Here they are.
Play group had its usual conversations and romps. Here is what I overheard Sunday.
Gunner may be six years old, but he raced around the yard like a pup! Seven-year-old Amanda Mae was “A-Maezed.”
Will, a young fostered dog, loved running with Gunner.
Then there was Henri, a new puppy belonging to one of our play group volunteers. He so wanted Gunner to play with him, but he kept asking him in a clumsy, puppy way, and Gunner was not impressed.
I love the look on Gunner’s face!
Harley’s afternoon of respite fun!
Sunday afternoon was busy at WHS. While Sarah helped me take pictures of new arrivals, Harley, the recent winner of the WHS Young Paw Award, was taking some of the dogs on respites around town. The day before, Harley had sent me these pictures of an outing with Molly, a one-year-old American Bulldog (and a star in the Kennel Buddy video).
This is what Harley wrote about their outing:
“When we went to pick up Molly out of the kennels for an afternoon respite, she grabbed our hearts and wrapped us around her paws! We started the time together going to a school track. She walked pretty well, but saw some people jogging and started to pull some so we ended up jogging, too. We then ended up walking at a cemetery. She wanted to smell the smells and drink the water from the hose connectors. She then got to ride in the car with us to do errands. She just slept most of the time in the car, tired from running her energy off. When we returned to the shelter, we gave her a rawhide and she went straight to her bed and chewed it. She would do really well with a home that’s active and has time to raise this cute amazing pup! We had the best day with her!”
On Sunday, first on Harley’s list was Romeo, a nine-year-old Lab/Boxer mix who has been at the shelter since early March. He has become a senior favorite of both staff and volunteers, including me. I snapped these shots just as they were leaving.
Here is what Harley said about their adventure:
“Today we took Romeo to Riverfront Park. There were lots of families and kids, and Romeo loved to watch them and smell all the smells. We walked all through the park, stopping and talking to multiple families who were curious about pet adoptions at WHS. After the park, we continued downtown and Romeo was perfect and wonderful for the whole trip. An hour into the walk he got tired so we headed back to WHS. Time today spent with Romeo benefited both him and us!”
Harley’s next dog of the day was Amanda Mae, a seven-year-old Collie mix. Here they were as they headed out.
Harley sent me the following report on their time together:
“We took Amanda to a track to do some walking today. She very much followed her own walking ways. Amanda would walk side to side on the track, pretty amusing to watch. She decided our adventures in the circle were done and took us around the neighborhood enjoying all the time and smells. After our walk we took a trip to Dutch Brothers coffee shop, and I’m pretty sure Amanda enjoyed it since she got a special treat, also. All together it was a beautiful trip and even though the sun never actually came out, it sure did in our hearts!”
Meanwhile, back at WHS…
While Harley and some lucky shelter dogs were out on their adventures, Sarah and I were getting acquainted with some new arrivals. First was Penny, a one-year-old Vizsla mix. Penny is a very active, hard-playing young lady who has a ton of energy and loves to romp. She will need a very secure yard, as she likes to go on adventures by herself. She has lived with cats happily and older children and is house trained. Here’s some of what dogbreedinfo.com says about her breed:
The Vizsla is expressive, gentle and loving. Keen and trainable to a high degree, it needs daily mental stimulation. It needs a patient, calm hand. Reliable with children, loving to play for hours. Without extensive daily exercise these dogs may be too energetic and excitable for very young toddlers, but are excellent for energetic kids.
Sarah and I both enjoyed Penny’s eager and playful personality and hope she finds a new family (with a secure fence) very soon!
I’m Coby and I’m handsome, don’t you think?!
Coby, a three-year-old Alaskan Husky mix, arrived at the shelter Sunday afternoon and volunteer Luke was the first one to take him out for a walk. Coby is a smart, gentle, and beautiful boy who walks well on leash, takes treats gently and loves to be with people. As a Husky, he will need a lot of exercise. He’ll make a fantastic running or jogging partner. He does have a high prey drive, so should not live with cats or birds.
The name is Chipper and I’m looking for a person to love.
This is six-year-old Chipper, a Miniature Dachshund. Like most Dachshunds, he is an independent fellow, but he also loves to be in your lap and cuddle. He is very active and enjoys long walks. I’m not sure how much he enjoyed play group on Sunday; he seems to like people more than other dogs, and was happy when I took him back to his kennel. He is a comical little guy and will make a good new family addition.
Looking for an uncomplicated dog? That would be ME!
Little Oreo is a ten-year-old Shih Tzu/Maltese mix. She is about as easy-going as a dog can be. She walks well on leash, loves to hang out with people, and is gentle and calm. She had fun in play group and was polite with everyone. She will make a wonderful companion to some lucky person!
I may be older but I’m wiser!
Kyra’s kennel is easy to walk by. She is a senior girl with some old-lady bumps and lumps on her body. Kyra is a nine-year-old Australian Shepherd mix. But if you take a moment to meet this gentle and sweet girl, you will fall in love. She is still active and eager. She has lived with cats and small children. She is house trained and affectionate. Here she was on Sunday during play group with Sarah. Kyra deserves to spend her senior years with a loving family. I hope one will find her soon.
Today Sarah spent some quality time with Kyra after she took Kyra to show a tour group of young children how great shelter dogs are. The pictures need no captions.
I don’t understand why I haven’t been adopted yet.
Thunder is still waiting for his new family. He was such a star in my Kennel Buddy video! He is a two-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix who is so ready to begin a new life filled with love and adventure. He is a playful, active guy who already knows some commands and is treat-motivated. He’s been on “short walks” only lately because of a healing foot and will be so excited when he is able to romp like the other dogs again. I’m hoping a family will soon realize what a great new member Thunder will be! Today I wore a great Pit Bull T-shirt that Richard, another walker and friend, gave me recently. I needed a Pit Bull Terrier to pose with me and Thunder was more than happy to do so. He is such a good boy!
Another Pit Bull Terrier Jokester!
As so often happens, it seems to me, we have yet another Pit Bull Terrier mix who loves to tell jokes and thinks she’s hysterical. This is newbie Cali, who is a year old. She walks well on leash, took my treats politely, and is a happy, well-mannered young girl. Debbie really enjoyed spending time with her this afternoon.
Looking for an easy-going best friend? Meet Kody.
I met Kody for the first time this afternoon and immediately liked him. He is a five-year-old Brussels Griffon/Jack Russell Terrier mix. Never heard of a Brussels Griffon? Well, the American Kennel Club says this about the breed: “The affectionate, charming and curious personality of the Brussels Griffon makes it a good companion dog. However, this breed is not typical of the “pampered pet” stereotype of Toy breeds. Their active indoor lifestyle and small size makes them ideal for apartment life, but they still need to be taken for daily walks.”
Kody walks well on leash and is a gentle little guy. Sarah, too, fell for his perky, glass-is-half-full attitude about life. I did take quite a few pictures of him, as he was posing so cutely. After awhile, he had had enough.
At the end of the afternoon shift, I happened to find several walkers visiting in the yard while hanging out with Oreo and Chipper. It reminded me of another reason I enjoy volunteering at WHS. I’ve made some good friends who share my passion for helping shelter dogs. Here are Bethany, Kathy, Debbie, Joan and Steve.
We have a number of older dogs waiting for their new homes in the shelter at the moment. Sarah recently gave me the book, Old Friends, authored by Mark J. Asher. As I read it, I was reminded over and over again of our shelter seniors. This paragraph says it all:
In the end I learned many things about older dogs. Although they may be a little slower and a little grayer, older dogs really are no different from younger dogs—they are still driven by new scents, tasty treats, and a need to love and be loved. What they lack in youthful “cuteness,” they make up for with soul and a distinguished appearance. What they lack in untamed exuberance, they make up for with stoicism and a gentle spirit.
Romeo ~ 9 years old
Tia ~ 14 years old
Kyra ~ 9 years old
Amanda Mae ~ 7 years old
This will be my last post for awhile. I’ll be blogging again May 22. I know I’ll have many, many happy adoptions to report then!
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