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Dear Fellow Dog Lovers,

There was a special event at Willamette Humane Society on August 18-19 called “Clear the Shelter.” It was sponsored by Subaru of America, VCA Salem Animal Hospital, and ASPCA. Their support allowed the shelter to waive the adoption fee on cats and reduce the adoption fee on dogs. As a result, 104 cats and 25 dogs were adopted during the two-day event. With 25 dogs no longer waiting for their new people, you can imagine the kennels were pretty empty. But fear not! A new dog transport from a sister shelter in Texas arrived a few days ago. Our transfers come from overcrowded shelters and give very adoptable dogs a better chance at finding their forever homes in Oregon. And find them, they have. Many of the latest newbies are already snuggling into their new families. Two of them still waiting are Ranger and Todd, who will be in Quick Looks a bit later in this post.

As successful as the Clear the Shelter Event was, not all of our dogs found their perfect fit of a home. And so this post is going to feature some long-termers whom I have written about in previous posts. These are dogs who are looking for specific types of families. With the right person and home setting, each of these dogs will blossom into a devoted best friend. We just need to find that person.


My name is Carly and the folks here love me. Could you?

Carly is a four-year-old Retriever mix. She has been waiting for her “just right” family since May 3. She has been adopted twice, but neither was the right fit for this girl. Carly is wonderful with people and most dogs, though she seems to prefer calmer dogs who are not rough and rowdy. Because she can be picky at times, she will need to meet any potential dog siblings. Carly is house-trained and loves treats (especially cheese) and loves to learn new skills. She will need a feline-free home (cats are too much fun to chase) and a fenced yard, five feet or higher. Carly would not be a good apartment dog. She needs a family with older teenage kids, as she can be quite exuberant. Since she can become anxious if there is a lot of activity outside the house, a quiet, more rural area would be ideal for this sweet girl. She wants nothing more than to be around her peeps. On Sunday we took her into Mary’s Place and she was ecstatic being with so many of her fans. Carly LOVES stuffed toys and to our amazement, she does not rip them apart. She tosses them, rolls with them, runs with them, and cuddles with them. She is such a delight to watch.



Carly can settle down and just chill with her peeps, too. Here she is with Linda, Marianne, Jenna and Caroline.


Carly learns new skills quickly!


Carly spent several days at volunteer Susan’s house and was a perfect house guest. Here is her movie, in case you missed it in a previous post.


We’re hoping just the right family will finally realize what a wonderful girl Carly is. She’s been waiting a long time for them.





I’m still here waiting for you. Will you be coming soon?

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 older 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 he is in Mary’s Place as we try to show him that life doesn’t have to be scary. Fingers and paws crossed that the perfect person will fall in love with Brinx and take him home.



If you know me, you know I take a ton of pictures, hoping to get a few great shots. Every now and then something like this happens…





I have some challenges, but look at this face! Does your heart melt?

Neptune is a one-year-old American Staffordshire/Bull Terrier mix. He came to us as a stray, so we don’t know his history, but quickly figured out he is deaf and VERY active. This boy loves to play with both humans and other dogs, is treat-motivated, and a quick learner. He arrived on February 5 and has been waiting for his perfect match of a person ever since. Not surprisingly, since he cannot hear, he has a few challenges. For example, he is startled by sudden movement, an issue on which the Training Team and he have been working. This youngster has grown both in size and muscle during his time at the shelter.


Neptune is such a clown. He loves his time in Mary’s Place.



Our Behavior and Training manager, Chelsea, is one of Neptune’s biggest fans. Here are some pictures she sent from a play session they had recently. Such a happy boy!


Chelsea says this about a very special dog:

“If anyone is looking for an endearing, silly, busy dog, Neptune is your guy. He loves plushies and tug, and his cute snorts and grunts will keep you laughing while you play together. When you’re done playing, enjoy listening to him snore!

We recently found out that he ADORES men. We’ve never seen him happier than when he climbed onto a man’s lap to smother him in kisses. Don’t worry, he can be affectionate, playful, and engaged with women as well. This guy is also very social with dogs; if he goes home with a dog, that dog should be all about chase and wrestling games and be very tolerant of youngsters and all of their antics.

Neptune has a sensitive, cautious nature. Our training team been working on building his confidence and trust, as well as training life skills, since his arrival in February as a stray pup. He is looking for someone who is seriously committed to rewards-based training to continue to help him. Since he is deaf he has been learning visual cues. He is bright and food-motivated. He’s looking for an adult-only home. Since we discovered that Neptune seems most comfortable around adult men, a field trip to the Salem Fire Department seemed like just the thing to make this pup happy. Look at his smiles!”


We’re hoping this endearing, goofy boy will soon finally find his forever home.





Hoagie is still waiting for his perfect family fit. He is a three-year-old Retriever mix with some specific needs for his forever home. Here he is with one of his good friends, Francis, on Sunday.





Ranger is a newbie transferred from Texas. He is a four-year-old Boxer mix here with Noah and Gracie.




Todd is another new Texas transfer and an instant favorite of Marianne’s. He is a three-year-old Retriever mix.







Whenever we have a somewhat challenging dog who is not a good fit for many families, we worry. Will the right person come along and see the diamond in the rough? Will they be willing to deal with the dog’s quirks? Will adopters take him home only to return him after a few days? Or will he be relegated to the back yard because of his behavior? We worry about what kind of life he will have.

Cinch, a stray, arrived at WHS last December. He was a beautiful two-year-old American Blue Heeler  mix whose behavior was challenging to say the least. Cinch was LOUD. Here’s some of what I wrote in my January 10th post: “Another newbie I met on Sunday was Cinch. He was so excited to see other dogs, he was barking up a storm. As typical of his breed, this boy needs a job to do! He will not be a couch potato, but what an athletic guy he is and what fun to train for someone who wants a challenge with huge rewards. Cinch also has a great sense of humor and is smart as a whip….Cinch isn’t the dog for everyone, but for the right person, he will be such a delightful character!” Weeks turned into a month and Cinch was not adopted.



Then on February 1 a couple came to meet Cinch after seeing his picture on the website. It was love at first Cinch! Here is the update:

“I had been wanting a dog for a while and had been checking in at shelters off and on. When I saw this little boy’s face I knew he was the one. I showed the photo to my husband and we went to meet him as soon as we could. He was a stray that had been at the humane society for a month. We were also warned about him being dog reactive. We are pretty secluded so we felt like a good fit. His story also melted my heart! I can’t believe how far he has come. He still can’t go to the dog park anytime soon, but he has some dog friends that he plays with. He is so cuddly and such a goofball. We go on hikes almost everyday and he now gets along with our cat, chickens and goats! He even helps put away the goats. I am so glad that we get to have this dog in our life! I can’t believe anyone could ever give him up!”



Cinch’s story happens over and over at WHS. Stories like his give us hope for Carly, Brinx and Neptune. Just like Cinch, they are waiting for just the right person who sees their diamond. I hope it won’t be long before I can post their own happy updates.


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 adoptanoregondog14@yahoo.com