Dear Fellow Dog Lovers,
Sunday was a perfect spring day, one that made everyone, human and canine, want to go outside and play. So we did. Today I’m going to tell you about three dogs whom we took to a yard for a romp; then we came back to Mary’s Place to relax. It was a very good day.
I’m not young anymore, but I still like to play fetch, just a little slower than I used to.
Cybil is an eight-year-old Shepherd mix who originally came to us from Hawaii in September of 2017. She was adopted quickly, but returned to us in early March when her family couldn’t take care of her anymore.
Cybil has some age-related stiffness due to arthritis in her legs, but that doesn’t keep her from being a happy, affectionate and playful girl. She is house-trained (has been for years, of course), mingles with both small and big dogs in our playgroups, wants to be close to her humans, and walks perfectly on leash. Her former family reports that when left in the house alone, Cybil was fine, never disturbing anything. She is friendly to strangers (she never wanted to be a watch dog, anyway), and rarely barks. Because of her arthritis, she’ll need a home without small children who could accidentally hurt her. Cybil is a gentle, sweet senior who is hoping for a quiet retirement home. We decided to take her out to a yard for a gentle game of fetch. She loved it!
After a few slow-paced games, we sat on a bench for a few minutes before going back to Mary’s Place. Ayla, Megan, and Marianne are three of Cybil’s many fans.
Back in Mary’s Place, Cybil enjoyed some quiet play with a GFB (Giant Fluff Ball) among other toys.
Cybil is spending some time in a foster home while she waits for a forever family of her own. For someone looking for a quiet, loyal, and loving companion, Cybil is the perfect choice. We’re hoping a lucky family will adopt her soon.
They tell me I’m a “work in progress.” I’m not sure what that means. It’s good, right?
Volunteer Linda has been working with our “underdog” shelter dogs for years. She gravitates to those dogs who need a little extra time, help, and encouragement to become more adoptable. Her gentle and positive training methods build trust and confidence in dogs who have been passed over by adopters. And that brings us to Persephone. Some dogs come to us with very sad histories. We often do not know the specifics, but by their physical and emotional conditions, it is obvious they have had a rough life thus far. Such is Persephone’s story. Found as a stray in mid-February by a good samaritan, she was in very poor physical condition—emaciated and mentally dull. After vet care including IV fluids, she began to get better. We guessed her to be about four years old, and she had had little or no training. That’s when Linda stepped in.
I had not spent much time with Persephone when Linda asked me if I would feature her in my blog. So on Sunday we got acquainted. I took lots of pictures and decided that our girl needed a movie to show how hard she is working on her manners. Here’s what Linda wrote about her special project dog:
“I had to laugh when after our little photo shoot we both looked at each other and said at the same time: ‘a work in progress.’ Yes, Persephone was excited to be out with all the added attention/activity. I have spent the last couple of weeks giving her added companionship with some tips on basic obedience, leash manners and car rides tossed in. I guess now is the time to add crowd impulse control to the lesson bucket, every family is not just one person 🙂 Although Persephone needs to go home as a ‘solo’ dog, we have been working very hard on walking with and being in the presence of other dogs so taking walks in the neighborhood or just being out socially with her people will be a pleasant experience without any added drama on the end of the leash. Either end. It’s baby steps, but she’s working very hard and doing a good job these last couple of weeks. No worries, we’ll keep at it until Persephone’s perfect family shows up, adopts her forever and probably changes her name :)”
So here is Persephone’s very own movie.
And here are a few still shots to show how much fun Persephone has after working so hard on her manners.
Persephone loves car rides with her peeps and is a polite rider. Linda and Jolene have taken her for several coffee runs and sent me this picture of one last week.
Persephone will never be a dog-park dog and she still needs to practice her new skills. We’re hoping that someone with the time, patience, and love for a dog with a sad beginning will give this girl the good life she deserves.
I was really shy when I arrived in Oregon, but now I’m settled in!
Kaiki’i arrived as one of our Hawaii transfer dogs in early March. When I met her, she was feeling nervous, worried, and confused. After all, it’s a long way from Maui to Salem. She didn’t feel at all like smiling.
But what a difference a couple of weeks make!
Kaiki’i is settled in and her wonderful personality is shining. When I emailed Laura, the Maui Humane Society Transfer Coordinator, she wrote this: “Martha, I am so relieved you got to meet the real Kaiki’i!!!” Kaiki’i is a three-year-old mixed breed girl with a stunning black/brown coat that glistens in the sun. Here is a picture from her Hawaii days during one of her “Beach Buddies” outings.
Kaiki’i was a favorite of volunteers in Hawaii. One fan wrote: “Such a sweetie. She loved sitting in the backseat with my husband. Whoever adopts her will be very lucky. She listens well and is affectionate. She is a lovely, lovely dog.” Kaiki’i was in a foster-to-adopt home in Maui, but was too interested in the cat. So no felines in this girl’s future Oregon home, either. Kaiki’i also will do best as an only dog, as she can be quite picky about her dog friends. But oh, how she loves people! Because of her size and enthusiasm, she should go home with older children.
We decided to take Kaiki’i into a yard to see if she would play. Did I say play??
After a rousing game of fetch, we wanted to see if she would relax in Mary’s Place. We were not disappointed. What an affectionate lap dog she is!
Kaiki’i does need to work on a few things, like taking treats gently and walking, not pulling on leash. But she’s a quick learner and is already improving.
She was very eager to greet everyone in the room, and kept making the rounds to be sure she hadn’t missed anyone.
And then she did this…some family is going to be mighty lucky to adopt this sweetheart!
Pinky is a shy five-year-old Chihuahua mix, here with Marianne.
Angel is a three-year-old Terrier mix who felt safe in Caroline’s arms.
Odysius is a six-year-old Shepherd mix who quickly won over Megan.
Lulu is a fourteen-year-old Bichon Frise mix, here with Marianne.
When I am concentrating on taking pictures of dogs and humans, I ask the people to just keep smiling at me and let me worry about the dog. Then I give my full attention to the dog. When I get the perfect dog pose, I snap the picture, assuming that the humans have followed directions. However, that is not always the case.
At times there is competition for a dog’s attention when we’re outside, and even the smell of cheese bits cannot hold their gaze. And sometimes the same is true of the human.
On December 12, a three-month-old Miniature Dachshund puppy arrived at WHS. Bernie was cute as a button, but had a genetic condition resulting in his inability to walk on his hind legs, along with other medical issues. As often happens with Dachshunds needing special care, volunteer Krystal immediately took Bernie home to foster. It was a rocky road and Krystal’s heart took a beating as Bernie’s health was a rollercoaster for some time. But despite all of his medical problems, Bernie had a spunky, eager personality and a determination to thrive. His resolve, together with Krystal’s love and perseverance, resulted in Bernie’s overcoming great odds.
In Krystal’s own words: “I knew Bernie was going to need a very special adopter and I was so overjoyed when a friend contacted me from my Facebook post. Her business partner was looking for another dog for his family and together they owned Wags Pet Resort Doggy Daycare in Sherwood. Toban and his daughter came and visited Bernie several times and fell deeply in love. He purchased wheels for Bernie, clothing and everything he would need prior to coming down to pick him up. That was a tough day for me after having him by my side 24/7 for a month, but he could not have gone to a better home with more love and healing resources. Bernie is thriving and is one of my favorite WHS Foster adoption stories.”
“Bernie has been home with us for roughly two months now. He is coming up on six months old, but for such a young pup he has already faced a lot of adversity. Bernie was born with a spinal condition that has resulted in very little mobility in his rear legs. His vertebrae are fusing, restricting his head movement as well. Bernie is a few weeks into physical therapy to try and improve his mobility and is doing great. We are working on a second custom cart for him, and water and laser therapy are helping him gain some mobility.
Despite his challenges, he is the smallest dog (3.5 lbs) with the biggest heart and attitude I’ve ever met. Bern has settled in to life with his BIG new sister, a 73-pound, seven-year-old Greyhound. Despite the 70-pound size difference, they are rarely far from each other and frequently have to check on each other. Bern has found all of his favorite hiding spots around the house and is increasingly independent, scooting around to find the best place to burrow into some blankets and snooze.
Bernie has been on some big adventures. He likes road trips in the RV and running on the beach with his cart. Bernie’s dad owns a doggie daycare and he is not shy about mixing it up with the big boys.”
On that touching update, that’s it for this week!
All of the dogs I have featured today, along with other terrific dogs waiting to be adopted, can be found at Willamette Humane Society. Here is the link to the adoptable-dog page:
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