Dear Fellow Dog Lovers,

The new year is starting out happily and very busily at Willamette Humane Society! There were FIFTEEN dog adoptions during the past week and nine of them were Blog Dogs.

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We were especially excited about Titan’s adoption. His new person is very experienced with his breed which Titan seemed to sense, as he practically danced out of the shelter and into her car.

Also, Lucy Lu’s senses were on high alert, too. Here she was just an hour before she went home! Amazing!

Lucy Lu



I’m still here.

I was hoping that just the right person would see Joker‘s adventure with the Salem Police Officers in last week’s post and scoop him up, but it didn’t happen. Our beautiful boy is still available and would love a new person all his own. Joker is a four-year-old German Shepherd mix who has been at WHS several times because of skin issues which have resulted in hair loss. The great news is that our staff has determined that if Joker stays on a prescription food, he’ll be fine! We all love Joker and want him to find a forever home soon. He needs an adult home and would make a terrific hiking or jogging buddy. Here he was spending time with Esme on Sunday.

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I’m new here and I’m waiting for my retirement forever home! Maybe it’s YOURS!

Katie is an eleven-year-old Lab mix, and if you read my posts regularly, you won’t be surprised to know that I’ve fallen hook, line, and sinker for this beautiful older gal. She lived with her family for ten years, but they are moving and can’t take her with them. We told Katie on Sunday that we will find her a new family in which she can happily retire. Katie is house-trained (“of course,” she says, “have been for years!”), calm, and affectionate. Her only slight fault is that she takes treats a bit roughly. We have discussed this with her and she is working hard to iron out this one little issue. Katie will be a perfect new best friend to a person looking for a companion who is happy to hang out, take leisurely walks around the neighborhood, and settle in for quiet evenings. I’m not the only one who has fallen for this sweetheart; here she is with Caitlin and Tim.

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Ready for a youngster? Pick ME as soon as I’m available!

Meet little Courage, a Papillon/Dachshund mix (we think). This cutie was found as a stray so we don’t know anything about him except that he is adorable. We think he’s about nine months old, so he has a lot to learn about being a family dog. But what fun it will be to work with this eager and energetic guy. He is affectionate and curious about everything around him. He does know how to sit when asked (some of the time). Older kids would be best for this little man, as he could easily be overwhelmed by small children. Because he is serving his “stray time” he’s not available to go home just yet, but you can visit him in the Puppy/Small Dog room at the shelter. Caitlin and Caitlin (yes, same name, different volunteers!) are smitten with Courage.

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Daniel’s Pick of the Week!

I first met Zane in 2012 when he was transferred to us from a rescue. A Shepherd/Malamute mix, he was a big, goofy boy who loved to play tug and run, knew some commands, and loved people. He was game for anything, including helping me with Christmas pictures, happily posing with then-volunteer (now staff) Sarah.

Sara and Zane Zane

Zane was recently found as a stray and so is back at the shelter. As you can see, he’s got a distinguished graying coat, and is now eight years old, but don’t for a minute think this boy has slowed down. Here he is last week with Marianne.

ZaneWhen Daniel arrived at WHS on Sunday, he immediately wanted to get to know Zane and soon after taking him outside, informed me that Zane was his Pick of the Week. I wasn’t surprised.

DSC_95662 DSC_95572Zane and Daniel had a great visit.

Zane and Daniel (1)Later in the afternoon, volunteer Caitlin took Zane in a yard and I tagged along. You’d never think he was eight, right?

DSC_96332 DSC_96322 DSC_96502 DSC_96542 DSC_96582 DSC_96612This big boy will make a wonderful member for some lucky family!




Remember me? I’m Jolene’s new Swim Dog!

I featured Buddy, the ball-playing, four-year-old English Springer Spaniel mix, in last week’s post. Here he was anxiously awaiting for Caroline to throw the ball.


And here he was today with Jolene, having come in from the rain.

DSC_02582Last Friday he became Jolene’s new Swim Dog. He had a fantastic time. Here is Jolene’s report.

“Buddy is my new swim dog and he had his first swim session at Bailey’s Journey today. As a four-year-old English Springer Spaniel, I figured he would love the water and he did! He had a great time chasing tennis balls and he has a unique way of grabbing them by opening his mouth and completely submerging his head and neck underwater, then coming up with the ball. Did I mention he loves the water! He is a very strong swimmer and this was a perfect way for him to work off all his excess energy. He was very quiet in the car on the way back to the shelter (after spending five minutes getting the blanket in the back seat just perfect). He is a fun, happy dog (tail always wagging) but he looked a little sad and didn’t want to go back in his kennel when we returned. I promised him if he wasn’t adopted by next Friday, that we would go again.”

Buddy32 Buddy22 Buddy12Buddy is going to need an experienced owner, as he has developed some issues which include resource-guarding toys and food. He will need to go to a home without children. He does enjoy the company of some dogs. We’re hoping just the right person will find this boy soon!




I’m a senior, too! Need a couch potato?

Bella Bear is an eight-year-old purebred Schipperke. Her breed is described as clever, curious and a devoted companion. Bella is house-trained and has lived with other dogs (but no cats) and children. Because she is now an older girl, she would like to live with older kids or just adults. She’s a total lap dog and as long as she gets some exercise, she’ll be a great couch-potato companion in the evenings. She enjoyed her lounging time with Gracie on Sunday.

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I’m a fun girl looking for an active family I can entertain!

Delilah is a seven-year-old Australian Cattle Dog who has just gotten over a cold so is back from the ISO kennels and on the Adoptions floor. She’s very excited about the prospect of having a new family soon. Delilah is house-trained and although she has lived with children, because she is older, she’d like the kids to be older, too. And she’d like you to know that she really doesn’t care for cats. At fifty pounds, she’s the perfect size for going for walks and then curling up next to her person for a snooze. Here she is with Tim, one of her current fans. We’re hoping now that she is over her cold, that she will be adopted very soon!

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It was pouring rain today, so I decided to take indoor pictures of the newbies. I caught them as they came back from their outings. Following are two recent arrivals that Marianne couldn’t wait for me to meet.


I’m new here, but have been waiting for a new family in another shelter for a long time. I’m hoping I’ll find my forever people here.

Dodger is an eight-year-old Boxer/Lab mix. This eager boy has been in shelter life for the last six-and-a-half years! He’s very hopeful that moving to Salem will change that and that he will finally be found by a family of his own. Dodger is a very young eight years. He loves to play and run. He loves people and is always excited to meet them. He needs a home without cats and, because of his exuberance, should not go home with small children. Here he was with Marianne today. He is such a goofball!

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I can’t wait to find a new family to love!

Meet Jojo, a six-year-old Australian Kelpie/Lab mix. Marianne is over the moon for this boy because of his happy but gentle personality. He came into the room with such enthusiasm for his photo shoot, I had to laugh. He will sit and lie down when asked, but staying put is another matter. Treat motivated? You bet. And he won me over when he crawled to where I was sitting snapping pictures and put his paws on my foot for another shot. Jojo was found as a stray and taken to another shelter, but when no one adopted him, he came to us. We’re hoping an active family wanting an active, fun new member will take this boy home.

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Got another wonderful bit of news about Emma.

“As for Emma, she is amazing as ever we have been able to find a better food for her. She is doing well.  I finally was able to register her for my emotional support dog.  She is also a great cuddler.” 

Check out Emma’s new tag saying she’s an emotional support dog!

Emma2Too bad our girl can’t relax! 🙂

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You’ll remember Ira and how he announced his second adoption. (He’s never been a dog of few words!)

Ira goes homeHere’s what his new person writes about him.

“Here are some pictures of this miracle boy. He is doing very well and surprisingly, he is getting adapted to Dezzy (another Dachshund) who is turning 12 on February 20th.”

IMG_20151228_131229_2022 IMG_20151225_104632_5182 IMG_20151228_131343_3162 IMG_20151229_130929_9422Looks to me like the boy has pretty much settled in wherever he wants to in the typical Ira style! 🙂



In Memory of a Shelter Dog

I feel honored to be able to post the following story about the life of a very lucky shelter dog named Sydney.

On November 1st, 1999, a litter of thrown-away puppies was found and brought to our shelter. And on the afternoon of November 11, 1999, one of those puppies named Sydney had no idea her life was about to turn around forever. Here is her story as told by her family in a letter to the WHS staff.

“I am writing in response to your letter informing my wife and me that our good friends Tracy and Jeff Crandall had made a contribution in our beloved Sydney’s name. I wanted to draft this letter for you to share with all the volunteers at the Willamette Humane Society. All too often volunteers do not get to hear the long story of the great work they do. Diane and I lived in Salem for many years and were very fond of attending the annual Boo Bash. This is a short story of the life and times of Sydney Russo our, ‘mutt.’

“One day in 1999 on my way home from work I had decided to stop by the Humane Society and drop off our monthly donation of food and cookies for the dogs. For some reason I decided to walk into the puppy area and in this little cage was a tiny black puppy and her litter mates. The entire litter had been found huddling alone in a ditch on the side of the road. Those eyes…oh, those beautiful pathetic eyes. I was adopted immediately. Of course, it was quite the shock when I called my wife and asked her if there was room in our pack for another family member since we already had a Cocker Spaniel (Ariel) and a Springer Spaniel (Sebastian). When I say Sydney was a perfect lady, I really mean it. She joined our pack and was welcomed with paws and barks.
Her life from then on was filled with love and treats. While we lived in Salem she had the run of the neighborhood park with her pack-mates. We moved our household to Ohio where she stood guard when we brought our twin daughters home. We never had a dirty floor with her around and she always made sure we knew if the babies needed something. We lost our Cocker Spaniel in Ohio to old age and Sydney lent us her strength to power on. After our short stint in Ohio, we moved to warm sunny Florida where she enjoyed living the rural lifestyle chasing Frisbees and geckos (small lizards) on five acres. We lost our Springer during the first year in Florida and again Sydney gave us strength. Meanwhile our twins, Anya and Josephine, were growing and she was right there in the mix with licks and love. Five years ago we ‘surprised’ our now middle-aged Sydney with the present of a new puppy. This time Sydney was queen of the pack and took it upon herself to train our new Springer Spaniel (Remington). The puppy’s training was intense. The needed dog lessons were taught with great pleasure: how to properly chase a lizard, catch a Frisbee and generally enjoy the good life in Florida.

“As the summer of her life began to wither, she still enjoyed her walks and basking in the Florida sunshine. But, all things that have a beginning must have an end. She started not wanting to eat and we took her to her favorite doctor. After an examination, Sydney was found to have an inoperable cancerous tumor in the back of her throat. We switched her to soft foods and then to soup. It became obvious that she was losing weight but was still our little happy girl. After celebrating Christmas with us, things went down quickly and before she suffered, my wife and I made the decision to let her go. The steroids, antibiotics and pain medicine were just not cutting it and her quality of life was suffering. After living a great life to the ripe old age of 16, my wife and I held her tight until the light in her eyes faded and another angel went to the Rainbow Bridge. She was never alone and died very peacefully surrounded by those who loved her dearly.

“I share this personal story as testament to our love for that little puppy that came into our lives at 7 weeks and for those volunteers at the Willamette Humane Society that may not hear frequently enough how their work continues well after they say goodbye to those dogs and cats in their care. My wife and I thank you for rescuing that little puppy in 1999 and providing us a friend for the last 16 years.”

~Robert and Diane Russo

Robert and Diane sent the following pictures of their wonderful girl.

This was the very first picture of Sydney when she arrived home.

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This was taken a few days before she died.

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My friend, Tracy, wrote the following words after my dog, Scout, died and they are equally true of sweet Sydney.

“I think the reason we are so deeply affected by the absence of a beloved pet is because our lives were so profoundly touched by their presence.” ~Tracy Crandall

What a wonderful life Sydney had!

That’s it for this week.

Sydney Dec 20152

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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