Dear Fellow Dog Lovers,

I’m very happy to report that the dog adoption numbers continue to be strong! Last week seventeen of our terrific shelter dogs found new homes. Some of these were long-termers who finally have a family to call their own. And I personally am thrilled that every single dog I wrote about in last week’s post is now home! Here are all of the Blog Dogs who were adopted.

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I got three wonderful adoption pictures from staff. First, Thor, a long-termer and his new sibling brother. What a great pair!

10425430_10205545879901588_9179189846136949449_nHere is Juicy Fruit and her new family. What a wonderful happy beginning!


And here is Lentil, another long-termer. So happy he finally has a home!




The sun was out and the dogs were ready for FUN on Sunday morning. Playgroup chatter was almost constant, as was the romping. Here are some of the conversations I was able to overhear.

In case you think sarcasm is only a human characteristic, think again.


Pip had his best shelter day EVER on Sunday (more on that later) which started out with frolicking with a new friend.


Who would have guessed that Pip is a pool dog?



Meanwhile, in the mellow dog yard, shy Spike was getting some reassurance from Cecil.

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Puppy Cheyenne comes to visit WHS with her adopted family sometimes and stops in for some playtime. She couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to take pictures of her and kept trying to pose. Then she figured out a way. Sterling was not pleased.


And finally, there was this. I was trying to get a picture of Spike and Ali, when Sterling decided to photobomb. Enough said.




We’re best buds. We’ve been together for eleven years. How about two for one?

Cecil (left) and Virgil (right) came to us from a California shelter and are looking for an Oregon retirement home together. These brothers have been best friends their entire eleven years. They are Rat Terriers. The boys are friendly, happy, and both have springs in their steps. They did well in playgroup on Sunday and can’t wait to meet their forever family. Their adoption fee is two-for-one. Here they were with Gracie and Jessica on Sunday afternoon. We’re hoping these seniors will be in a home very soon.

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Caroline thinks I’m the perfect dog! Maybe I am!

Meet Wednesday, a four-year-old Border Collie mix. Caroline and I were both smitten the moment we met this gentle boy. He came from a shelter in California through our partnership with S.T.A.R.T. He scored so well on his behavior assessment that he is rated PG-5. He came with a bit of a cold, so is in the ISO kennels for now, but is still adoptable. Wednesday loved our attention and happily snuggled with Caroline. What a beautiful boy. As a Border Collie, he will need a family who will provide him the exercise that he needs, but at the end of the day he will want nothing more than to hang out with his peeps, as you’ll see from these pictures.


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I’m one of the newbies here. I’ve come down with a cold, too, but I’m still adoptable, just like Wednesday!

Volunteer Kylie really enjoyed getting to know Comet on Sunday afternoon. Soon afterward, staff realized he was developing a cold and he was moved into the ISO kennels while he recovers. Comet is a one-year-old Lab mix who is eager to learn the skills he’ll need as he grows into a great dog. WHS classes would be perfect for this active youngster. I took him out to playgroup on Sunday morning and when it was time to return to his kennel, he decided he really didn’t want to go back and simply sat down. My coaxing didn’t phase him, but another dog walking back in did the trick. He willing followed, and a squeaky toy was the reward for going into his kennel (he LOVES squeaky toys!). Hope this boy gets his new home soon!

Comet and Kylie




Pip’s Excellent Adventure!

Remember I said there would be more on Pip later in the post? Well, after Pip’s fun in playgroup Sunday morning, he was picked up by volunteer Allen and Michelle for an overnight respite! I snapped this photo just as they were leaving.


And here is Allen’s report on Pip’s adventure.

“We wanted to let you know that we had a fantastic time with Pip on his respite getaway yesterday. He is very smart and is willing to learn new things for the right treat. Pip enjoyed exploring the back yard, burying a new bone and lounging in the sun. Pip loved to work for a treat in a Kong ball or jug while we went about our Sunday yard work. Pip did well to entertain himself by tossing the ball and bounding after it. Once Pip drops the ball he is very good at letting people pick it up to throw it again. He also showed off his “army crawl” on the freshly mowed grass. Pip was an excellent passenger in the car while we ran a couple errands around town.

When it was time to go inside he showed care and understanding that he is supposed to act different inside the house vs the outside. We had some friends over for pizza and Pip did very well to greet them with sniffs and wagging tail. We worked on “Do Nothing” training with Pip to help him practice resting beside us while we visited with our company. Pip was tuckered out at the end of a long day filled with sunshine and play. Pip loved to snuggle up with us while we watched TV and fell asleep quickly and easily. Pip has a hilarious snore and was good at alerting us when he needed to go to the bathroom at night. Michelle and I loved having him stay with us and getting the opportunity to get to know the real Pip.

Some things to note about Pip:
Pip still needs some boundary training inside the house because his curiosity can get the best of him when something tempting is kept on a shelf. He is gentle but will stand with his front paws on a shelf to reach an item he wants.

Pip is also very motivated to bury bones! We tried to give him a bone while he was inside the house and it was very clear that he was in search of a place to bury it; we were able to intervene before our shoe rack became his bone’s new safe hiding place. :-)”







It’s a total mystery!

Yes, it is. No one can figure out why this wonderful girl hasn’t been adopted yet. Priscilla is a four-year-old Australian Cattle Dog and pretty much the perfect dog. She’s been waiting for her forever family since March 19th. Here’s what two staff members say about this sweetheart:

“Pretty Ms. Priscilla would be the perfect pet for a first-time dog owner! She’s the perfect medium-sized lady and only 4 years old. She is fairly active, but loves to play with various types of toys. She also is a very quick learner and would love some of the behavior and training classes hosted at WHS!”

She is absolutely perfect. Walks well on leash, loves everyone she meets but isn’t pushy or rude, doesn’t mind other dogs either! She’s had 3 baths at the shelter and stands beautifully for those, too. i just don’t understand it. She has the kind of sweet demeanor people should be looking for.”

She is house-trained, too! Priscilla is always smiling, even when she’s wearing a cone. Here she is with Diane on Sunday. Hoping this will be her lucky week!

Priscilla and Diane




I’m still here. Still waiting for you to adopt me.

Sweet Pea has been at the shelter since March 13th and all of her many fans are hoping she won’t have to wait much longer. She is looking for a retirement home where she will be a low-maintenance, new best friend. She’ll be happy with a walk around the neighborhood, then snooze by your side in the evening. She is house-trained and while she’s an older gal, she still has bursts of energy and loves to run for a bit. Sweet Pea is feeling a little sad at the shelter, and I couldn’t get her to smile on Sunday when Colby had her out for her walk.

Sweet Pea and ColbyAnd after a while, she got a little bored waiting for me to finish taking pictures.

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I’m hoping I’ll be adopted by an active family who loves adventures!

This cutie is named Nala. She’s a two-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix who is an inquisitive and enthusiastic girl. I met her for the first time when Daniel took her for her walk on Sunday afternoon, so I don’t know much about her, but she seems like a delightful character and I love her wrinkled forehead. She was interested in everything she saw and loved my hot dog bits. I look forward to getting to know her unless she gets adopted quickly, which would be terrific!

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What a difference a haircut makes!

A few weeks ago I first wrote about Flynn. This is what he looked like when he arrived at WHS.

Flynn - Version 2 Here is Flynn now! He is an eight-month-old Terrier mix. Since he’s still just a puppy, he’ll need an understanding family with older kids to help socialize him and teach him how to be a perfect family addition. He already knows how to sit when asked and took my treats gently. He can be quite noisy when around other dogs as I discovered when I walked him out to playgroup on Sunday. However, once he was in the yard, he had a blast racing around with all of the other little dogs and didn’t bark at all. Emelynn found him adorable.

Flynn and EmelynnHere he was lounging with Kylie on Sunday. Could he be any more relaxed?

Flynn and Kylie




I’ve been homeless for a while and would like a forever family.

Frankfurt came to us from another shelter and had been found as a stray before that, so not much is known about him. We think he’s about two years old and is a Lab/Hound mix. He’s a big boy at 58 pounds, but could stand to gain some, as he’s a bit thin. Jolene and I met Frankfurt when he first arrived at WHS and both of us instantly liked him. He knows several commands and was interested in my treats. We think he’d be a great hiking or jogging partner and a loyal family member.

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Emelynn’s Pick of the Week!

Emelynn and I were just about to head home this afternoon after our dog-walking shift when a staff member mentioned that she had just put a newbie on the adoption floor. Emelynn and I took him out for pictures and some play time and Emelynn was instantly head over heels for this goofy character. Bailey is an eight-month-old Border Collie/American Blue Heeler mix. He is a happy, excited, energetic youngster looking for an equally happy, excited and energetic family. He recently tried out to become a Search and Rescue candidate, but he decided he’d rather be a family dog instead when he found out that to be in S & R, one really has to stay focused, and where’s the fun in that? Here he is with Emelynn this afternoon.

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I first wrote about Sadie in August, 2014. This is what I said about this sweet girl.

This is Sadie, a five-year-old Border Collie/Lab mix. She would be a great first dog for a family, as she is about as easy-going as can be. She loves long walks and could use them often so she could get back her trim figure she wishes she still had! And at the end of the day, she’d enjoy some belly rubs as she sits next to your feet.

And here she was at that time with Marianne.

Sadie and MarianneWell, last week Sadie visited her vet who happens to be MY vet. Former WHS staff member, Cassidy, who now works in my vet’s office sent me this picture of the now slim and healthy Sadie. She said she is very happy and well taken care of. So happy for this wonderful dog!

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“The Boys” (Elvis and Sato, now Dolce and Gabanna)

If you are a long-time reader of this blog, you will no doubt remember a very special duo, Elvis and Sato, who looked very much like miniature hippos. Here they were at WHS in July of 2012.

Elvis and Sato DSCN7009They won the hearts of every person they met, and one of them, volunteer Ashlee, adopted them.

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Recently I got an email from their former person. In part she wrote:

“My name is Tina and I was a previous owner a long time ago (before the later owners) of Elvis and Sato (now Dolce and Gabanna). It has been so long that I constantly wondered how they turned out. I just want to truly thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking care of Elvis and Sato. I am overjoyed that they were able to stay together and find a wonderful home. I am forever appreciative of everything your organization has done and even more thankful to the beautiful volunteer who adopted the two.”

I emailed Ashlee and here is her wonderful response:

“They are doing so good. Still snuggle each other every night. I have a 6 bedroom good-sized house and they still sit on each other out of habit from being kenneled together for so long. They CAN run and are moving so well. But mostly they lay around and get spoiled. Love kids and everyone they meet. They are tattoo on my foot. My babies!!”

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So Hun

I was so happy this morning when I got an update from So Hun’s family! You may remember that So Hun belonged to an elderly (almost 90) man who could no longer take care of him but was brokenhearted to have to give him up, fearing he would not find a good home. Here was So Hun when he arrived at WHS.

DSCN4139Well, the former owner will be thrilled with this update.

“I wanted to update you on So Hun. We adopted him a week and a half ago and he is doing so well! He loves to run and go on walks and is adjusting to the other dogs very well. His personality has become almost puppylike at times! The kids love him and he is just the best dog we could have imagined for them. We would love to take him to see the former owner in a few weeks as school time permits. For now I have included these photos for you.”

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I’d like to take a personal moment before I close this post. In 2001, my husband and I adopted a Lab-mix puppy from a shelter in Casper, Wyoming and named him Scout.

Scout as pupHe became such an important part of our lives and moved to Salem with us in 2006. He wasn’t thrilled when we adopted a cat the next year, but because of his accepting nature, he tolerated (barely) the intrusion into his world. Scout made friends wherever we went and thought everyone we encountered was a “dog person” eager to meet him. In the last year our daily walks became shorter, but were still the high points of his days as he smelled the smells and eagerly wagged his tail when he saw his neighborhood peeps, especially the kids. Last week we knew it was time to let Scout go. At fourteen, his body was wearing out and life wasn’t much fun anymore. As every dog lover knows, it is a heart-wrenching but loving decision we make because they can’t. Every time I came home from WHS, Scout would excitedly sniff my clothes, and I wondered if he knew the exact number of dogs I had petted that day. We will miss our sweet boy very much.

scout-and-mephoto (1)IMG_0749 copy DSC_0004 copyThere is a cycle of love and death that shapes the lives of those who choose to travel in the company of animals. It is a cycle unlike any other. To those who have never lived through its turnings or walked its rocky path, our willingness to give our hearts with full knowledge that they will be broken seems incomprehensible. Only we know how small a price we pay for what we receive; our grief, no matter how powerful it may be, is an insufficient measure of the joy we have been given. ~Suzanne Clothier


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.

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