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Dear Fellow Dog Lovers,

It’s June! Schools will soon be out, the weather is great, and families will have more time together. We’re hoping that it will be a great summer for many shelter dogs to find their forever homes. This week I’m going to tell you about three dogs who will bring such joy to the lives of people who are lucky enough to adopt them.

It’s June! Here’s a fun fact: my name is June. It’s going to be my month to be adopted, for sure!

It’s hard to remember another shelter dog who has blossomed as quickly as June has. June was found as a stray and is about ten months old. I first met her a week ago. She was very nervous and I knew that she had been extremely fearful when she had arrived at the shelter. We did a quick photoshoot and she was cooperative, though wary.



But—what a difference a week makes! We decided we would feature her this issue, but wondered if she would warm up in Mary’s Place. We didn’t need to worry. June couldn’t have been happier to have all of our attention. And she has a beautiful smile!


June can be a little overwhelmed at times, and so is rated for kids about thirteen and up. She has become a rock star in our playgroups, being extremely social with other dogs. She was so good, in fact, that she was allowed to stay for our public playgroup after the shelter playgroup. Since she had recently been spayed, we couldn’t take her outside for a romp on Sunday, but wanted to see if she was interested in toys…she was.



She also has a sense of humor.


Because June was found as a stray, we don’t know her history, but oh my, what a delightful girl she is. For a family who will take the introductions of new things slowly and give her time and patience, June will make a terrific new best friend. When it was time to go back to her kennel, we made a bench stop for a group shot. She loved it.



June is convinced she’ll be adopted in June. We’re pretty sure she’s right.





I rock! And my name is Rocky—pretty appropriate, I’d say!

I had not spent any time with Rocky, a two-year-old mixed breed boy, since I took his picture when he arrived at WHS in April. At that time, he was nervous, very tense, and tried to avoid looking at my camera.



At first, Rocky was overwhelmed in the shelter environment. Though his family, who had to surrender him due to moving, told us he is “overwhelmingly loving,” we first observed a frightened, confused boy. Over the next couple of weeks, I saw him out for his walks, and was relieved to see that he was gradually relaxing with Francis and Diane.



He seemed to feel safer under Diane’s leg.


Because of Rocky’s timidity with new people and environments, he became one of our Behavior Team dogs, which gave him extra TLC and more time to work on building his courage.

Rocky is both house- and crate-trained. His former family told us that once comfortable, Rocky is playful and outgoing, getting along with other dogs and all people. He has done well in our playgroups and loves car rides and adventures. Because of his initial shyness around new people and situations, he is recommended for families with older kids, fifteen and up.

On Sunday we decided it was time to feature this sweet boy and hoped we would get to see his true affectionate, playful nature. We were not disappointed.

When we first brought Rocky into Mary’s Place, he was uncertain. He sniffed around the room and I was afraid he might be too nervous to relax. While he no longer avoided looking into my camera, he looked sad.

And then, as if a switch was suddenly thrown, Rocky came over to where I was kneeling taking pictures, flopped himself down against my leg and smiled up at me. We couldn’t believe it and were thrilled. Handing my camera to Megan, I gave Rocky my full attention.


From that moment on, he was a totally different dog—happy, relaxed and ready for love.


With the wonderful transformation, we decided we would go out to a yard for some active play. Rocky is a ball dog through and through. Not only does he race after a ball, he brings it back and drops it for you to throw again. And Rocky is not a bit picky about what kind of ball it is.


After many rousing games of fetch, it was time to relax.



Rocky is going to be one of the best active family dogs EVER! If you are interested in Rocky, please submit your adoption questionnaire and allow our Training Team to contact you for an appointment to meet him. You can fill out an application here: whs4pets.org/adopt-a-pet/adoption-process/adoption-application/




One of our favorite things about summer is Blanket Time out on the lawn. We always look forward to relaxing with a dog under the shade of a tree. This week it was with Poncho.

I may be small, but I’m packed with personality!

Poncho is a senior at thirteen years old. He is a Yorkshire Terrier mix and he’s looking for a special family.

Poncho is uncomfortable around young children, so he is looking for a family with kids about fifteen or older. He also resource-guards food from other pets in the home, so being an only pet would be perfect for this adorable guy. He has done well in our playgroups, not really a player, but mingles with other small dogs. Poncho would like some help in house-training, he needs to be on a schedule. But what a great little companion this dog will be, perhaps to a retired couple looking for a new best friend? He is a favorite of lots of volunteers, including Kaylee and Marianne.



We decided that Poncho would be the perfect Blanket Time dog and he was. The pictures speak for themselves.



One can’t really blame an active little dog for getting bored with three ladies just sitting and talking.


We’re sure hoping that Poncho’s perfect fit of a family will find him soon. He will be the best little buddy.





Travels with Terry: Adventure #3

Yes, Terry went on another adventure with Marianne and Ayla last week. Because he has been at the shelter since April 5th, Terry is getting stressed and worried. These outings help lower his anxiety. Terry is a three-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier mix. Terry LOVES people. He is dog-selective, meaning he likes to play with some dogs and not others, and would be happy to be an only pet. Terry needs to go home with older kids. We can’t wait for him to be found by his perfect family! They will be so lucky!

Here’s this week’s report:

“Another adventure with Terry in the books. This time we went to Turner City Park. What a nice place, and close to the shelter. Such a good boy. Ayla and I love him so much and enjoy taking him places. On the way home, he always puts his head on the center console and snoozes. This time he actually snored but his eyes were open. Interesting.”





Axel is a four-year-old American Bulldog mix, here with Kaylee and Angie. He still looks sad and I couldn’t get him to smile. I hope he’s adopted soon.



Bear is a six-year-old Shepherd mix, here with Haylee.




Our sweet, shy Pam is getting better and better. Here she was with Haylee acting quite brave. Pam is a two-year-old mixed breed girl from Hawaii, still getting used to Oregon.





Arlo was found as a stray in January of 2011. He quickly became one of my favorites and I worried about him getting adopted, as he continued to be at the shelter week after week.

Then on April 15th, Carol and Paul saw him and adopted him on the spot. Arlo got a jackpot of a home, and Carol has kept in touch with me ever since.

Each year Arlo, Carol, and Paul attend the WHS WillaMutt Strut. Arlo is now nine years old. He no longer has the energy for the 5K course, but enjoys coming and mingling with everyone while raising funds for the shelter. This year after the Strut, Arlo, Carol and Paul came to visit me at WHS as I was taking pictures. Arlo is looking older, with a graying face, but he is the same, sweet boy he always has been. He is a well-loved and happy dog. I was so happy to see him.

Megan got to meet Arlo for the first time.






That moment when you think you have the perfect shot…then you notice the dog.


And then this after a long day, when your team is getting silly.





In Memory of Echo

I’ve written about Echo many times. I wrote about her when she first arrived at WHS in 2005. I wrote about her in 2012 when she came back to us. And I wrote about her when she finally found her forever people that April. Echo got the jackpot of a home and the family has been great about sending me updates. In fact, the last update was in April when they sent pictures of Echo’s 15th birthday.

Last week I got the very sad news that Echo has died. Along with the favorite family picture below, I got the following beautiful tribute to her written by her person. It is a treasure.

“I want you to know that Echo was the love of my life. Prior to her, I loved my dogs but not in the way that I loved her. From her I learned a whole new level of patience, a ton about breeds like her and about rescue and adopting. I learned how much better it is to adopt a senior than a puppy because they seem to be so grateful to the person who adopts them. Because of her I decided to volunteer and help more fur babies. But most importantly, I am the person that I am now, because of her. The level of love we had for each other was something new to me. She was my Princess and she will forever be in my heart, soul, and mind. Everything that I do, will be to honor her. Thanks for all that you did for her and because of you, and what you do, I was drawn to her, the best gift in my life!”

Sweet dreams, beautiful girl. You will always be in our hearts.


Whenever I learn of a dog’s passing, I send the following quote to their person. I find it very comforting and true.

“There 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

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  adoptanoregondog14@yahoo.com