Dear Fellow Dog Lovers,
First of all, yes, this is a blog about adoptable dogs at Willamette Humane Society, and there will be lots of dog pictures in this post. However, on Sunday I happened to walk past the Cat Suites and I had to stop. I’m not sure there is anything much cuter than a kitten pile, which is exactly what I happened upon! And now…on to the dogs!
Lady, a sweet, shy, senior Coonhound arrived from our sister shelter in Hawaii on July 31. I met her shortly afterward and both Marianne and I were touched by her gentle personality. She didn’t like my camera, but wanted to be friends.
I had planned to feature Lady in a post, but she was adopted quickly. However, she was not the right fit for the person and was returned. So I was going to feature her this week, when Marianne messaged me that a friend’s mother was interested in meeting Lady. Marianne introduced the two and it was love at first sight. Here is a going-home picture that Marianne sent. We are so happy this shy girl is in her forever home now.
I wouldn’t be the perfect fit for everyone, but maybe I would be for you?
Edgar is a ten-year-old, eleven-pound senior Chihuahua mix who is very shy at first meeting, but give this sweet boy some time and patience and his personality begins to shine. Edgar was found as a stray and we don’t know what kind of life he has had, but he’s hoping for a forever home where he can feel safe and secure. When Marianne and I first brought him into Mary’s Place, he wasn’t comfortable being touched, but he did tentatively take the cheese bits I offered him. We let him explore the room at his own pace while we sat and talked to him quietly. Soon he was approaching us for a cheese bit, then he began putting his paws up on us, then hopping up on the couch with the help of a footstool. What a difference some time and patience made in his comfort level! Edgar will need a quiet home with older, calm kids or only adults who will give him the space and understanding he needs to feel safe. We have no doubt he will become a wonderful companion for the right person.
I know, I know. Marianne and Martha say I need to work on my kennel presentation. I’ll try harder!
LouLou is a seven-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier mix. She arrived at WHS with some medical issues that have now been taken care of and she’s ready to be adopted! LouLou is a doll and loves people. She has lived with other dogs and even a cat. She chased the cat at first, then learned to ignore it. Because of being a senior with a few senior issues like some weakness in her back legs, she’d do best with older, gentle kids. LouLou is house-trained and very good about asking to be let out. In so many ways, LouLou is a wonderful girl.
LouLou’s one behavior needing improvement is what we call “demand barking.” Sometime in her life she discovered that if she barked at someone, they would give her a treat. We are working on teaching her that it works exactly the opposite—barking gets you ignored, while polite sitting and waiting earns you treats. Because of her demand barking, she has horrible kennel presentation. Whenever a prospective adopter stops at her kennel, LouLou thinks she should bark for a treat. Needless to say, people keep on walking and don’t stop to get to know her. So on Sunday Marianne and I took LouLou into Mary’s Place to practice polite waiting. We were amazed at how quickly LouLou started to catch on. Just watch!
Arriving in Mary’s Place, LouLou happily “demands” a treat.
To LouLou’s utter amazement, we ignored her. As soon as she stopped barking, I gave her a cheese bit. When she started to bark again, we ignored her. And to OUR amazement, within minutes of the barking/ignoring/cheese-bit-when-quiet lesson, this began to happen.
LouLou is such a great girl and will be a wonderful family dog if they are just willing to give her a little time to continue to practice how to ask for treats nicely. We’re hoping someone will realize what a sweetheart she is very soon.
After our lesson, we just relaxed with LouLou. I take a ton of pictures every time I go to the shelter. Most of them are deleted and I keep the good ones. However, every once in awhile, I can’t resist. Neither Marianne nor I can remember why she was making this face!
LouLou is a very happy dog with high hopes.
I’m shy around people, but I really would like to learn to be brave.
Brinx arrived at WHS in mid-July, a very timid, nervous boy, but he is gradually improving and we see great potential for this beautiful dog to gain the confidence he needs in the right home. He is a five-year-old mixed breed and about sixty pounds. Brinx is house-trained and walks well on leash. He has a good history with children and would be good for ages about ten and up. He will need to meet any dog sibling he might have. Because of his timidity, he is one of our Behavior and Training Team dogs, so he is getting extra time with skilled staff and volunteers to help build his confidence. He may never be a dog for grand adventures and needs a quiet home where he will feel safe. Marianne and I like to take him into Mary’s Place to encourage him to relax.
Brinx is especially nervous around men and tries to avoid interacting with them. Volunteer Francis, who really likes Brinx, is spending time with him to try to help him overcome his fear. Here they were on Sunday relaxing out in the yard.
Brinx is a good boy waiting for just the right fit of a loving family.
I’m not a young dog, but everyone here loves me. You will, too!
Every so often, we welcome a dog that I loved in years past back to the shelter. Such is the case with Jovi. I first met her in December, 2009 and wrote this about her in my blog post:
Regular readers of this blog will not be surprised to learn that I’m falling in love again. This is Jovi who is almost four years old. What drew me to her was her quiet manner. She was sitting at the front of her kennel when I arrived, hopeful, yet very shy. Jovi is a gentle soul who is looking for someone to love. She has polite manners and a great history with both other dogs and kids. She is the perfect family dog. Here she is with Brian.
When I first met Jovi, it was actually her second time at WHS. She had been found as a stray in 2006, adopted, then surrendered in 2009. Jovi was adopted again shortly after I wrote about her. Now, nine years later, she is back. At twelve years old, she is an old lady with stiff joints and a gray muzzle, but she is still the loving, happy girl that she was in 2009. Here she is with Marianne.
Jovi went to playgroup on Sunday morning and enjoyed mingling with the other gentle dogs. We then took her into Mary’s Place in the afternoon. She loved the attention and we loved spending time with her. She will need some serious dental work before she can be adopted. We are hoping that her perfect retirement family will decide they want to adopt her, then foster her until she has her dental procedure, at which point the adoption will be finalized. Jovi has a great history with kids, and is rated for gentle children five and older. She also gets along well with other dogs and even cats! She has started on some pain meds for her joints, so soon should feel less stiff. Jovi will not need long walks. Slow, short meanderings will be perfect for her age.
Jenna met Jovi for the first time on Sunday and was smitten just as we are.
Francis stopped in to say hi.
Jovi was happy to help us choose who the next dog would be in Mary’s Place.
We assured Jovi that there are adopters out there who want to adopt older dogs. We just have to find the perfect one for her. Oh yes, and she won’t be much trouble, and she will bring you much joy.
Maddie is a very happy, energetic one-year-old Shepherd mix. For someone wanting the joys of positive dog training, Maddie is your girl! Here she is with Marianne.
It just so happened that volunteer Megan stuffed some Kongs for the dogs and Maddie was so excited!
This is Bella, a five-year-old Terrier mix, with Christine.
Margot is a ten-month-old mixed breed girl who is full of energy! Here she is with Marianne.
This weekend will see a special event at WHS, a “Clear the Shelter Adoption Event.” Dogs will be adoptable at a reduced price. It’ll be a very busy weekend, and I won’t be trying to get new pictures. So I won’t write a blog post next week. See you on August 29th!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org