Dear Fellow Dog Lovers,
Fall in the Northwest means rainy days, and Sunday certainly was one of them. There were a few breaks when we could go outside for a quick game of fetch, which we did. But most of the time we spent in Mary’s Place taking pictures of new arrivals and spending time with the three dogs I’m featuring this week. Despite the rain, we had a good time and the dogs enjoyed hanging out with us indoors, as you’ll see.
I am very shy, but if you give me time, I promise I will do my best to be brave.
Kova, a one-year-old Terrier mix, arrived at WHS last April as a transfer from our sister shelter in Maui, Hawaii, where he was a staff and volunteer favorite. His left eye had been injured at some point in his young life and, because it caused Kova perception problems, the shelter vet removed it. Kova adjusted to having only one eye very well. His Maui foster family wrote: “He loves lying in the sun and exploring the plants in the yard. At night he will snuggle up and try and get petting.” His Beach Buddy reported: “He was very shy to start, but ended up snuggling on our laps by the end of the day. Did not like the water, but loved rolling in the sand. Would not get in/out of the car on his own, but had no issue with being picked up. He likes leaning up against people. Wonderful dog!”
When Kova arrived at WHS, he was very nervous in his new surroundings, his tail was tucked, and we couldn’t get him to relax or smile. We all felt sorry for how frightened he seemed.
We were thrilled when Kova was adopted soon after his arrival. However, he was brought back again a few days ago. Kova is looking for a quiet home where he will feel secure. His former person said he was sweet and loving, but that he did not do well when left at home alone—he barked. He is also not fully house-trained. Kova would do well with a retired person/couple or someone who works from home and has the patience to help him polish his house-training skills and help him to build his courage in new situations.
When we took him into Mary’s Place on Sunday, Kova was quite nervous at first and paced, not wanting to be touched. However, we soon found that he has a love of cheese and that made all the difference.
Soon we were able to coax him up on the couch for a cheese bit.
Although Kova has lived with other dogs, he has been hesitant in our playgroups, but over time he is becoming more relaxed and has shown some signs that he may play in the future, as he did in Maui playgroups. Because of Kova’s timidity and handling sensitivity, he is recommended for children thirteen and older. Sudden movements and noises startle and scare him. To help Kova and his new family get to know each other, his adoption includes a FREE Dog Smart class, a FREE 30- minute private lesson and 50% off of a 90-minute behavior consultation.
On Sunday, after a few bits of cheese and a little time, Kova became less stressed and began going from person to person checking for cheese. He very gently took some bits from Megan’s knee.
Then to our delight, his tail untucked and his face relaxed.
The longer we spent with Kova, the more relaxed he became.
He even ALMOST got on my lap!
When volunteer Francis came to visit, Kova wondered if he had any cheese.
We don’t know what this youngster experienced in his short life before he arrived at the Maui shelter, but we sure hope his perfect forever people will soon find him and take him home. We think he will grow into a wonderful best friend if given love, time, and encouragement. What a sweet boy he is.
Yes, I’m a big girl, and I shed. But put that aside; I’m going to be a wonderful new companion for you!
Do you need a walking/hiking buddy to motivate you to exercise and lose those pesky extra pounds? Well Sky may be the girl for you! She, too, needs to exercise and lose some pesky pounds. You could motivate each other!
Sky is a six-year-old German Shepherd mix. She was surrendered because her family was moving into an apartment. They have had her since she was a puppy and report that she is “loving and well-mannered.” She will settle down nicely inside and is fine riding in a car. She may bark at strangers, but quickly relaxes when asked. She has lived with both another dog and a cat and has done fine with them. She loves children, though she can be jumpy when excited, so is rated for kids about ten and older. She liked to sleep with the fourteen-year-old boy in the family. Sky is house-trained, not fearful in new surroundings, and is fine when left alone. Megan and I met her for the first time on Sunday and were immediately smitten with her gentle, affectionate nature.
We decided to take her into Mary’s Place and see if she settled nicely. She did.
Sky seems to be a very introspective dog.
She’s not above doing some serious wishing.
Sky is a wonderful dog. We hope she doesn’t have to wait long for her forever family.
I’ve been here for a while, but I just know my perfect family fit is out there. I just need to find them. Will you help me?
Delilah is a one-year-old Shepherd mix with an expressive face who adores playing fetch, jumping into pools, and people.
Delilah was found as a stray last August and adopted in September. However, she was returned to WHS because she and the other resident dog did not get along. Her people were heartbroken to have to return her. Delilah’s family had many good things to report about her, including that “in the home she is so sweet, affectionate and in tune with her people.” They reported that she wants to be wherever her people are and can be anxious when separated. However, she did well with having puzzle toys while in her crate. Delilah is house-trained and very well-mannered. She was not a digger in the yard and never was destructive in the home. She was eager to please, listened well and was a quick learner regarding house rules and routines. She also is a big snuggler. Her former family writes, “We absolutely adore her and wish she could stay.”
Delilah does need work on leash walking around other dogs. She can become very aroused and jumpy. While she has been in our playgroups and done well with some dogs, she should not live with another dog. She is rated for children thirteen and older. And because of her past challenges with other dogs, her adoption includes a FREE Dog Smart class, a FREE 30-minute private lesson and 50% off of a 90-minute behavior consultation.
As I said in the opening of this post, there were some breaks in the rain on Sunday afternoon, and we took Delilah out to a yard to see if she’d like to play fetch. She did.
While Delilah had great fun dashing after the tennis ball, she did not do as well in returning it, often leaving it in the dirt as she continued to race in giant circles around the yard, just enjoying the run.
After a while, Delilah wanted to just hang out with two of her shelter friends, Megan and Marianne.
Delilah is getting stressed at the shelter and her kennel presentation is not good, so potential adopters do not see what a nice girl she can be. We’re hoping someone will read this post and decide to spend some time getting to know her. While Delilah isn’t a dog for every home, for someone who wants a single dog who will love them unconditionally and completely, she would be a perfect fit.
Thor’s Excellent Adventure!
If you read last week’s post, you know all about our goofy Thor.
Well, Thor was right! His new family came to meet him after reading my blog post, brought their dog, Gunner (WHS alumnus), for a dog meet, and then pre-adopted our boy. He will go home after he has some upcoming surgery. But before all the excitement of finding his new family, Thor went on an outing with volunteer Heidi and she wrote this terrific report of their fun.
“I took Thor on a quick trip to Neskowin Beach on Saturday. He was very scared to get in the car so it took a lot of cheese and patience. However, once in the car, he was a perfect passenger and just lay in the back and took a nap. When we got to Neskowin, he was also very scared to get out of the car (more patience, more cheese). After he summoned the courage to leave the car and walk to the beach, he was one happy pup. He enjoyed exploring the different smells of the beach and rolling in the sand for belly rubs. He walked pretty well on a leash and only pulled a little. He wasn’t interested in the water but really enjoyed the sand. He is very cuddly and seems to like people a lot. He is probably up for the occasional adventure as long as his future family understands that some new things may be scary for him and let him go at his own pace.”
Last week I reported Rufus’ adoption and that he had a girl to be his best friend. Here they were about to go home.
A few days ago, I received this sweet report from his girl. “Hello, I’m the one who adopted Rufus! He is so friendly and cuddly everyone loves him! He’s doing great so far! He’s been in some trouble getting into his food. We are signing up for training classes soon. I love him!”
Could a dog BE any happier?! So thrilled that Rufus got such a terrific home!
In Memory of Griefindor
One of the gratifications of writing this blog is that some adopters keep in touch with me, sending me updates years after adopting their dog. Such was the case with Griefindor. Here he was in 2014 when I first met him. He was found as a stray. He was a goofy youngster, had little training, loved everybody, shed in great clumps of fur, and won the hearts of everyone at the shelter.
Gryffin, as he came to be called, was adopted in August 2014 by a wonderful family, and his dog-mom, Patti, sent me stories and pictures of their adventures over the years. Gryffin joined a puppy-sibling, Scrappy, whom the family had adopted two months earlier from WHS.
This is the first picture I received.
Here are Gryfinn and Scrappy.
Over the years, several more family members were added to the pack, including Bella, the cat and Emmy, the puppy.
It was always a thrill to get the latest updates. Here are a few examples:
“Every day I get the vacuum out Gryffin lies in front of me til I vacuum him.”
“Gryffin and Scrappy are still doing fabulous. The center of our family’s world.”
“We have had a very busy summer. We have been going for lots of walks and exploring new rivers. Gryffin is learning how to swim. We bought him a life vest and Scrappy has been working with Gryffin.”
“Still love them to the moon and back.”
“Gryffin has become the family protector. He lets us know when one of the kids comes home late with a growl. Scrappy is our family goof. He is dingy and clueless as ever which is why we love him. I think he will forever be a puppy!”
Here are a few of my favorite pictures that they sent to me.
Last week I got the last Gryffin update. He had been diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer and the family had to let him go. Patti wrote the following, “It was heart wrenching. Gryffin was such an amazing, great dog right up to the end. He was loved and he also loved us deeply. He will be greatly missed. The void in our life is immense. Scrappy and Emmy are still trying to figure out their new place in the pack as well.”
Many of you reading this post have experienced just such a loss, as have I. Nothing takes the pain away, but there are some comforting words. I’d like to leave you with two quotes that have helped me in the past:
“If you have a dog, you will most likely outlive it; to get a dog is to open yourself to profound joy and, prospectively, to equally profound sadness.” ~Marjorie Garber
“I think the reason we are so deeply affected by the absence of a beloved pet is because our lives were so profoundly touched by their presence.” ~Tracy Crandall (WHS Board member)
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