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Dear Fellow Dog Lovers,

It was such a fun week to be part of the WHS family and I’m going to share it with all of you! First, we had a blast with three dogs waiting for just the right family to adopt them. Then late Sunday a wonderful young couple came and adopted Molly. And that’s not all! I have received not one, not two, but THREE updates. Let’s get started. I’m going to begin with Molly’s story.

Molly Goes Home!

I never got a chance to write about Molly in my blog posts. She was surrendered due to her family moving and not being able to take her, in mid-July. She is eight years old and quickly became a volunteer and staff favorite. Molly had some medical issues, so wasn’t available to be adopted for several weeks. But we all knew she was just about perfect. She loved everyone, got along with other dogs, and had thought her former family’s kittens were her own. She soon had everyone, including me, wrapped around her paw.



When she became available, it was right before the Clear the Shelter event, and she was promptly pre-adopted. Meanwhile, I had been corresponding for several weeks with a young couple from out of the area who had fallen in love with Molly when they had visited WHS and had seen her in her kennel during her medical treatment. They were very anxious to meet her as soon as she was available, but we thought they had lost out when she was so quickly pre-adopted. However, that adoption fell through, and once again, Molly was available; I let the couple know. After work on Saturday they drove to Salem, met Molly, and like all of us, fell in love. But it was too late that day to adopt her. So back again they drove on Sunday and took Molly home. Marianne was at the shelter and snapped this picture right before they headed out.



I was thrilled when I got pictures of her first night with her new family. Molly has found a jackpot of a home. She will be able to go to the office with her peeps and be an “official” Office Dog. She will be such a wonderful breed ambassador.

They stopped at a pet store on the way home so Molly could pick out a new bed.



Once home, she tried out the couch.



She loves her peeps already and she KNOWS she’s a very lucky girl.


Then it was time to sleep in her brand-new bed in her brand-new home.



Molly’s first day on the job was a great success! Here she is checking out her office. Notice the toy in her mouth!


Molly’s fan club is over the moon about her new family and life. She could not have gotten a more perfect home.




Yes, I’m awfully cute, but I’m not for the faint of heart! Are YOU right for me?

Dani is a three-year-old mixed breed girl who is absolutely adorable.


Dani has a few needs in her new home. She came to us from another shelter and had been found as a stray, so we don’t know anything about her past. But we do know a few things about her since she arrived. Dani seems to be nervous around other dogs and some strangers, although she warmed up to us quickly on Sunday. Until she is further evaluated with other dogs, she is recommended to be dog solo. Because she can be fearful of new people, the staff is making her available for 13 and older kids. Dani has been quite vocal in her kennel, which may be due to the stress of life in a shelter. Dani’s adoption includes a free Dog Smart Class, a free 30-minute private lesson with one of our trainers, and 50% off a behavior consultation.

Our experience with her on Sunday was happy. She was glad to get out of her kennel and go to Mary’s Place where she thoroughly enjoyed playing with toys, especially soft fluffy ones.


She knows several commands, including sit and shake.


She doesn’t seem to be a very cuddly dog, but that could change once she feels at home. She took treats politely and seemed to enjoy human interaction. We think she might really enjoy playing fetch so will take her in a big yard next week, if she hasn’t been adopted yet.

Shelter life, no matter how much we try to make it a happy place, is stressful for dogs. So it’s difficult to know how Dani will be once she’s relaxed in a home. She was good about posing for my camera, though seemed unsure about what exactly I was doing.



It is so confusing adjusting to a new shelter.



As a photographer, you quickly learn that some pictures that you take remain mysteries.



We hope that Dani will find just the right person to adopt her.






Do YOU like to play fetch? I do! We could play it together!

Look at this smile! Pearl is another stray who was transferred to WHS from another shelter. And she is a dog looking for dog-savvy people. Pearl is a three-year-old mixed breed gal who is quite a clown. She loves a good joke and enjoys entertaining an audience.



Pearl will need to be an only pet, as she has not done well in playgroup with other dogs. Because of this, she will need a secure yard to play in and no cats or other small animals. Her rating is for children 13 and older due to her size and energy level. But Pearl LOVES people and is such a hoot to hang out with. And her adoption also includes a free Dog Smart Class, a free 30-minute private lesson with one of our trainers, and 50% off a behavior consultation.

On Sunday Marianne, Ayla, and I took her out to the big yard and did she ever have a blast! This girl has boundless energy and has never met a ball she hasn’t loved.


After a rousing game, we headed to the platform to relax—we thought.


But soon Pearl was ready to play again.



But it was hot and we decided to head to Mary’s Place. Pearl was fine with the idea and had fun there, too.





Finally, playtime was over. Pearl trotted off happily with Ayla, but she had one last thing to tell me.





Big puppy in search of a puppy-savvy home!

I’ve written about Swayze before in my July 17th post.

Swayze is an eight-month old adorable American Staffordshire Terrier mix puppy. He came to us on June 3rd, a transfer from an over-crowded California shelter. Swayze is a delightful pup, though he has not had much training.



Swayze still has many puppy behaviors and needs to be taught better manners through positive reward-based training. He has been adopted and returned four times. He is hoping—in fact, all of his many fans at the shelter are hoping—that the fifth time will be the perfect fit. Swayze needs a family who understands, and has had experience with, puppies who just need to learn about the human world they will live in.

The good news is this boy’s adoption comes with a free Dog Smart Class PLUS a free 30-minute private training lesson PLUS a 50%-off private behavior consultation with our trainers to help both Swayze and his new peeps get off on the right paw. Because of his youthful enthusiasm and lack of training, Swayze can be jumpy, so is recommended for kids 13 and older. He also will need to be an only pet.

So for a family with older kids who want to practice positive, rewards-based training and wish they had an exuberant, friendly pup to teach, here he is. And since he LOVES treats (especially cheese bits), this guy will be an eager and fast learner. With some time and effort, Swayze will grow up to be a wonderful family companion. He is house-trained and loves attention. He is being shown by our training department. Please submit your adoption questionnaire and allow them to contact you for an appointment to meet him. You can fill out an application here.

On Sunday we had such a fun time with this sweet, silly toddler.


And he actually can get tired!



Swayze already has some basics down, like sit.


We all have our fingers, toes, and paws crossed that adoption #5 will be his last!








Ah, the outtakes! Not all dogs come running when the photographer wants a cute picture on the platform. Pearl had more interesting things to do.


An eight-month-old puppy’s tail is constantly and enthusiastically wagging! And he hasn’t learned about personal space yet!





It’s unusual when I receive THREE wonderful updates, but that’s what happened this week.



Roscoe arrived at WHS on October 20, 2016. He was nervous and shy, a transfer from a partnership with ASPCA. We didn’t now know how long he had been in a shelter environment. Roscoe liked some people, was fearful of others. He liked some dogs, not all. He had high anxiety around new things. With the volunteers and staff whom he trusted, he became a favorite. He was great about posing for my camera.



Finally in February 2017, he was adopted. Then returned the next day. Those of us who loved him worried about him ever finding his forever home. Volunteer dog-walker, Laura, was one of Roscoe’s favorite people. Every Wednesday evening Laura took Roscoe for his walk and their bond grew. Finally Laura decided that if Roscoe was ever going to have a home, it would have to be hers. On August 17, 2017, we had a going-away party for Roscoe and Laura took him home.


I was thrilled to get Laura’s latest update.

“Hello Roscoe fans. Can you believe it has been two whole years since Roscoe found his forever home??! He is doing GREAT!!! Admittedly, he has had a few ups and downs with anxiety but has shown great improvement and really is a total love bug!!! In fact my son commented that of all the dogs we have had through his life time (a total of 6 including Roscoe, all WHS alumni of course!) Roscoe is by far the most snuggly. Those of you who knew him at the shelter will probably remember how he always had to have a squeaky toy and that has not changed. He always has a squeaky ball in his mouth when he greets me when I get home or when visitors come over. Sometimes he has to run and get it! We still go for 2 walks a day and often go to a park like Keizer Rapids or Bush Park. He still has his feline brother and they still cohabitate with no problems at all. Honestly, the cat trained him! I have included a video of him doing his favorite thing—scratching his back on the grass in the sun. Silly guy! When we are out and about and I get a chance to tell Roscoe’s story people are amazed it took so long for him to get adopted as he is doing so well now. The credit all goes to the staff, behavior team and volunteers who worked tirelessly with him and believed he had the potential to be the AWESOME dog he has become, and gave him the chance to do so. Thank you WHS community!!! We love our Roscoe!!  ~Roscoe’s family”


Here is is relaxing in his backyard.




Harmony was surrendered to WHS last February, and sadly she had several cancerous masses. Our vet surgically removed the tumors, but the chance of the cancer returning was great. It was decided to make Harmony a hospice adoption.

(Thanks to Wayne Beasley for the photo.)

As always happens with our hospice dogs, a wonderful family decided to adopt her, not knowing how long they would have her. Last week I got this terrific update from her family.

“We welcomed Hera (formerly Harmony) into our family on 3/30/19. We had recently lost two of our older dogs (a lab and a pit) to cancer and were ready to give our love to another. We were looking for a senior and/or hospice dog and the moment I saw her I knew she was the one. She has fit right in with our family. First night we had her she jumped up on the couch and threw her little ‘arms’ around me and lay down. It’s hard to believe it has only been four months, seems like she’s been here her whole life. We have an 18-month-old grandson and she watches over him as if he were her own. So gentle and loving. She was a Hospice Adoption, so we know time might not be long. But we wanted to provide her with as much love as possible and make whatever time she has left the best it can be!






If you are a regular reader of my posts, you will remember Johnny well. He is a ten-year-old senior from Maui and we worried about him getting adopted after he was at WHS for several weeks. I happened to be at the shelter when this young couple came in and decided that Johnny was the one for them.


I got this terrific update this week.

“We have had Jonny for a few weeks now and he has been the perfect addition to our family. Jonny and Hershey are quite buddy-buddy. They always walk right next to each other on our daily walks. They share their toys and their couch very well. He is so so sweet and gentle. He likes to gives kisses. He gets super happy when he makes us laugh. He just likes to be happy and have a good time. We feel very lucky to have found such an amazing new family member. We were worried at first if he would actually be able to stay with us since he hadn’t been getting along with the cats. He has worked really hard and is learning from his sister Hershey that the cats are family. I want to thank you for bringing us together. If it weren’t for you, I’m not sure we’d be so happy with our new best friend. ~Sincerely, Jonny’s pack”

I am so happy that even when Jonny didn’t like the cats at first, his people have made the effort to work it out. We are always so grateful to patient, understanding adopters!


On those VERY happy notes, 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