Dear Fellow Dog Lovers,
I’d like to start this first December post by telling you a wonderful and true story about a sad, abandoned dog in California and a little boy in Oregon, who though they started out hundreds of miles apart, yesterday were snuggled together watching a Christmas movie.
What we know of Emma’s story begins on a Thursday morning in a Los Angeles neighborhood where a young, black Pit Bull Terrier with very badly cropped ears had been dumped by someone. It was obvious that she had had a litter of puppies only a few weeks before. She was running up to anyone she saw with a desperate look as if begging for help in finding her pups. Terri, a nurse at a veterans hospital, who was on her way to work that Thursday morning, stopped her car and opened the passenger door. Emma leaped in the front seat. She was in terrible shape with a bad skin infection causing hairless blotches all over her body. But it was Emma’s pleading eyes that Terri saw. Terri first wanted to keep Emma herself, but her own dog did not want to share her affection. After two days of frantically calling rescues, Terri said she “clearly got the message that no rescue would take her. A Pit Bull with a skin condition is not considered an adoptable pet.” She had no choice but to take her to East Valley Shelter. The shelter kept Emma for three weeks. Then they told Terri about S.T.A.R.T. (Shelter Transport Animal Rescue Team), an organization that accepts dogs from overcrowded California shelters and takes them to the Northwest where they have a better chance for adoption. Emma was a perfect candidate for S.T.A.R.T. and she was taken to a boarding facility where her skin condition gradually improved. After three months, she was physically ready to head to Oregon and hopefully a new start and a forever home. Emma arrived at Willamette Humane Society on September 13th. While she quickly became a staff and volunteer favorite with her gentle and patient demeanor, the days, then weeks, went by, and while many other dogs were adopted, Emma was not. She would sit at the front of her kennel, ever hopeful, yet with a furrowed brow, always looking worried. Terri kept in close contact with me via email, but I did not have any encouraging news. One Friday morning I asked Emma to be my teaching assistant when a school of K-7 students came for a shelter tour. She was a wonderful helper, showing the kids how to safely meet a new dog and some training tips. It was then that I knew that she wanted to be in a family with children.
Everything changed for Emma on Sunday, December 1. After taking pictures of new dogs, I got her out of her kennel to spend some time with her before I headed home. I happened to see a young couple with a little boy looking at our adoptable dogs. They had asked to take another dog out for a meet, but it had been too rambunctious for their small child. As they stood in the hallway, I walked up with Emma and asked if they’d like to meet her. Soon we were in a visitation room and before long they had decided that Emma was perfect for their family. Here they were just after they decided to adopt our girl. At this point she still had the worried look that she always wore. She hadn’t yet realized that her entire world was about to change and she was finally going to have a family of her own.
Here is the picture they sent on Emma’s first night in her forever home. The first thing I noticed was that she no longer has her furrowed brow.
Here’s what her family wrote about her:
“Sweet Emma has made herself comfortable. Our son is so smitten by her. We’ve started calling her Emma Grace – but our son calls her ‘My Emma.’ She’s perfect for our family. We already are madly in love with her! She is so sweet and gentle.”
More news about Emma yesterday: “Here is a photo of her and my son watching a Christmas movie this morning.
“Emma has been absolutely amazing here. She has pretty much adopted our son as hers, they snuggle together, she sits next to him while I’m getting ready. She loves my husband. When he comes home from work she is jumping all over for joy. We took her on a walk yesterday and she was so happy and curious about everything. She has been doing so well and seems to be very happy here. When everyone gets up in the morning she is super excited. It’s so funny, when we sit on the floor with her, she immediately rolls over for us to scratch her belly.”
And that’s how a thrown-away dog in California became Emma Grace, a little Oregon boy’s new best friend.
Here are photos of all the terrific Blog Dog adoptions during the past week!
Play group was wet, muddy, and rowdy! However, since I hadn’t made a movie for quite awhile, I decided it was time. The dogs had a blast as you’ll see even through the rain drops on my lens!
And yes, there was a lot of chatter!
Dallas came in as a perfectly white dog!
Harley, volunteer Sherrie’s dog, decided to hang out under the bench.
Oso and Jump enjoyed playing together, and Jump told Oso his news.
Shadow started in the Big Dogs yard, but decided it was too rowdy for his taste and asked to join the little guys.
I wish I could tell you my history…
One of the new dogs that I photographed on Sunday was this sweetheart, Rosey, a Terrier mix who’s about two years old. We don’t know much about her since she arrived as a stray. Jolene and I found her to be a little shy and very gentle. She doesn’t understand why she’s in the shelter. I hope she’ll be adopted very soon!
My name is Maggie and I’ve been at the shelter a long time.
On Sunday volunteer Cheri spent time with Maggie, a five-year-old Australian Cattle dog mix. Maggie has been at WHS since early November waiting for a forever home. She is getting a little discouraged and has seemed sad lately. Maggie needs to be an only dog and can’t have any of those pesky cats around. She is great with people, is house-trained, and knows several commands. She will need a fenced yard. She loves to play with toys and to go for walks. She really is a good girl in need of a forever home. I hope she gets her perfect match very soon!
All the rest of my Beagle friends have been adopted. How about you adopting me?
Bo is right. Last week we had five Beagles and now Bo is the only one. Here he is with Bruce last Sunday. Bo is house-trained and loves to go for walks. He’s very curious, like all Beagles, and likes to follow his nose. In his last home he was too forward with the cats, so would do best in a feline-free home. He loves to be with his people and doesn’t like to be left alone, so someone retired or with a stay-at-home job would be ideal for this sweet boy.
Meet Abby, the “whole package!”
Last Sunday Sarah fell in love with this three-year-old Chow/Irish Setter mix named Abby. I tried my best to get her to smile for the camera, as she has a great smile, but she chose the studious look. Abby is smart, well-mannered and will make a delightful companion for a family. She loves to run, so would make a great jogging partner. She is treat-motivated so learning even more commands will be a snap for this eager girl. Sarah was sure Abby would be adopted immediately. I’m hoping that it won’t take much longer for a family to realize what a gem she is! Abby’s only vice is her love of going to visit the neighbors. She will need a secure yard.
Hi! I’m Lizzy! I’m one happy girl!
I didn’t have any problem getting Lizzy to smile! She smiles all the time! Lizzy is a five-year-old pure-bred Lab. She is well-behaved and loves treats (ever met a Lab who didn’t?). Lizzy grew up with cats, but will chase them if they’re outside. (Sounds just like my dog!) She is house-trained and as you can see, Jolene thought she was a pretty swell girl!
Got time? Love to train a young dog? It’s Teddy!
This beautiful boy is Teddy, a one-year-old Golden Retriever mix who is looking for someone who will give him the guidance he needs to grow into the well-mannered dog he wants to become. Teddy is an eager boy who just needs the rules of manners explained to him through patient, positive training. He’s a perfect candidate for our WHS classes! Here he was last Sunday with Diane and Andrew (home from college for Thanksgiving!)
Thinking your New Year’s Resolution will be to get more exercise? Need some help to do it? Kratos may be your answer!
This ten-month-old Australian Shepherd/Boxer mix is a terrific young dog. He loves affection and can be calm and gentle, but also enjoys running and playing. He is house-trained, knows some commands, and has lived with other dogs and children. He has become a favorite of Bruce’s as well as many other staff and volunteers.
Emelynn’s Pick of the Week!
Emelynn and I spent some time with Oso this afternoon and enjoyed him so much. This two-year-old Chow Chow/Newfoundland mix is quite the character. He walks wonderfully on leash and loves attention. He will chase a ball, but once he gets to it, he forgets why he was chasing after it. He had a great time in play group, but preferred being in the little-dog yard rather than with the rowdy bunch. He knows he needs to work on his kennel presentation, as he is a “demand” barker, wanting your attention as you go by. He would be a great candidate for our WHS training classes! Oso has a wonderful personality and is hoping for a new home before Christmas. Today he was feeling quite festive and broke into song while posing for pictures.
I’m an energetic boy with lots of love to give to you!
Dallas is a one-year-old Dalmatian/Australian Shepherd mix. He is a fun-loving boy who romped happily in the mud during play group on Sunday, walks extremely well on leash, takes treats politely and is super smart. He will need a patient person who will take the time to help him with house-training, as he still needs work. Dallas loves stuffed toys which he enjoys throwing around and catching again. He certainly doesn’t mind getting dirty, as can be seen with the before play group and after play group pictures! I’m hoping the right person will find Dallas soon, as he is a special young dog who deserves a great home!
I have a couple of great updates to report, but first, I want to put in one more picture of Emma. This is the last one I took of her just before she met what was to become her new family.
Some of my readers may remember a sweet young dog named Puppers who was adopted last June. Here’s what he looked like then.
Last week I got this great update from his family.
“I though I’d let you know what is happening with Jeffrey (formerly Puppers). One of my dogs turned out to be a bad match for living with a small dog. My mom had been charmed by Jeffrey and was willing to take him on permanently, so I get to visit regularly and keep up with how he’s doing. I must say he’s quite pleased with his new home as he has a person all to himself who is home most of the day. They enjoy going on outings to parks and stores and he loves meeting new people. Jeffrey firmly believes that everyone he meets should take the time to give him attention and some loving. There are some neighbors he meets regularly while walking and he gets a bit miffed if they aren’t out or if they don’t come over quickly enough to say hello.
He had a great time on Thanksgiving and he spent a good deal of time trying out all the different laps of the extended family and then darting into the kitchen to see if the cooks would drop something. We were careful but he did manage to get some crumbs of turkey. Overall, I’d say he’s a happy pup and my mom is so glad to have him in her life.”
Nova and Luna
Remember the two cute pups named Be There and Be Square? Here they were when they were at WHS. They were brought to us in October of 2012 and were S.T.A.R.T. dogs. They were adopted quickly to different homes.
Fast forward six months. Be There’s family had to return her to WHS and guess what family excitedly came to adopt her? Yep, the two girls were reunited. Their names are now Nova (Be Square) and Luna (Be There). I was thrilled last week to get this update on the sisters.
“Luna is the good old-fashioned cuddle bug and makes a great pillow. She loves to just be next to people and loves walks down to the school to see the kids. She won a contest at the vet’s office with her calm personality and gentle spirit. Nova is still all puppy. Bouncy, excited, and thrilled to see you every time. We took the girls on a few family trips. One was camping for a week and the other to the coast. Both girls had a blast playing in the water at both places!!”
Another happily-ever-after story!
On that very happy note, I’ll close 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 email@example.com
Martha Thank you for all the wonderful updates! Wonderful to hear all the great news. Emma’s adoption is fantastic. Thank you for making it happen.
Oso is such a great dog with a wonderful personality. He is a great boy!
Katherine Hager said:
Great one, M! Kate
Sent from my iPad
Marianne Bernard said:
I just have to say that Emma Grace has been adopted by an absolutely lovely looking family! They seem awesome.
And Nova and Luna ended up with a great family! They sure hit the jackpot getting a good family like that!
Kim Hensley said:
I LOVE LOVE LOVE that sweet Emma is getting her happily ever after!!! I love how you can see her physically relaxing in the pictures. That wonderful family hit the jackpot with Emma Grace 🙂
Laurel Hines said:
How wonderful when adopters give pictures and detailed updates. When us volunteers spend time walking the dogs, we always get a little attached, and it is so great to see them with their new families and no longer in kennels. How great that Be There and Be Square got reunited!
Shannon Nelson said:
Loved Emma Grace’s story. The picture of her with her new little boy made me teary.
Carol Short said:
Thanks for the great blog, once again! Kudos to WHS for giving Emma the chance she deserved….so wonderful to hear her story!
So glad Emma lost her frown 🙂
Debbie Wilbanks said:
Wonderful, wonderful blog (again!), Martha!! Thank you for putting all the pieces of Emma’s life in one place; I still got teary-eyed, even though I already knew the story.
Angel payne said:
I know that family, and little Emma Grace is very lucky!!!! Awesome!