Dear Fellow Dog Lovers,
Although this is a “dog blog,” this week I want to tell you about a special cat adoption.
Dillon arrived at the shelter on February 1. She had lived happily in the same home for thirteen years, but her person became ill and had to give Dillon up. It was clear to the staff and cat volunteers that Dillon was very sad about losing her family.
Meanwhile, my friends, MJ and Brian, had decided they were ready to adopt another cat after losing their senior and beloved Guiness a few months earlier. While they were not looking for another older cat, Dillon’s story touched them and they decided to go to WHS and meet her. Before they came, I went to see Dillon myself and there was no doubt in my mind that she would soon be in her retirement home.
I was right. It was pretty much love at first cat-sight.
As you can see, Dillon is a rather “fluffy” cat—she prefers being called fluffy to obese, at almost 16 pounds. After her scheduled dental cleaning, Dillon went home last Saturday. Her name is now Ellie and she is settling into her new life (while munching on diet food) very quickly. On Monday MJ sent me this picture of Ellie who has quickly become a lap cat.
And here she was yesterday when I went over for a visit.
She is going to have a wonderful life.
I’m not a youngster and I need a special home. But oh, how I will love you!
Every so often a dog arrives at the shelter with many challenges. Such was the case of little Mushu, a thirteen-year-old Lhasa Apso mix who was surrendered on February 20. He first came to WHS in 2013. It was decided that he would do better if transferred to a small rescue shelter where he could be in a foster home. He was adopted, but now, seven years later, was surrendered again to WHS when his health issues became too much for his family.
Mushu had no idea that his life was soon going to become joyful once more when he was discovered by one of our most devoted volunteers, Ayla. Here is the rest of the story in her words.
“Mushu has had quite a journey. He arrived at the shelter with painfully infected eyes resulting in blindness, overgrown nails, matted hair, itchy ears, and decayed teeth. His joy for life was dwindling. He was also deaf, and didn’t respond much to touch or interaction. He just lay in his bed feeling very uncomfortable. Thankfully, Willamette Humane Society was determined to give him a fresh and happy new beginning. Mushu’s eyes were removed so he would be out of pain. He had already lost most of his teeth and the remaining ones also had to be extracted. Naturally the shelter staff was worried about his recovery and the rest of his life ahead of him.
I didn’t meet him before his surgery, but one day walking through the kennels, I heard a little cry. Finding his kennel, I looked in to see a sad little fuzzball, curled up and wearing a cone. When he lifted his head, my volunteer friends and I knew that I had to take him home for fostering.
Little Mushu has benefitted amazingly from the care WHS has provided and from foster love. He is adjusting to life without seeing, hearing, or teeth so well you can’t tell half the time that he is different from other dogs. His joy for life is back and he now spends his days napping in one of his many beds, rolling around being silly, and getting up and taking some sniffs around the room. He enjoys short trips to the pet store, playing with food puzzles or his snuffle mat, and, of course, most importantly, snuggling with anyone he can find. This little guy absolutely thrives on attention and hasn’t met a single person he doesn’t like.
But even though Mushu’s new world is good, he is searching for someone who will continue to give him a happy life for however long he has left. He is looking for someone whom he can bond with and love with all his little repaired heart. And I can say first hand, it will be the best feeling in the world.”
Ayla brought Mushu to WHS on Sunday for pictures and we had such a delightful time with him. This little guy is full of life and curiosity. Here are some of the many shots I took of him that afternoon.
One of the first things Ayla got Mushu was a “halo” so that he won’t bump into things.
But sometimes he enjoys just wandering while Ayla makes sure he’s safe.
He loves being held.
With no teeth, he can’t keep his tongue in his mouth, but it doesn’t bother him, and he still loves to eat soft food.
He was even game to dress up for our St. Patrick’s Day photo shoot!
Mushu has stolen many hearts at WHS of both staff and volunteers. Now he’s working on stealing yours. If you are in a position to care for and love a special needs dog, you can fill out an application to meet Mushu here.
Loved having my photo shoot for this blog post. However, right after it, my new family found me and I’ve been pre-adopted!
I was so excited to spend time with Pancho on Sunday afternoon. I took a ton of pictures and he even agreed to pose for some St. Patrick’s Day photos. Little did we know that he was about to get pre-adopted and will go home after he is neutered. But I decided to put a few of his pictures in this post anyway, because he is such a hoot. Here’s our clown, Pancho. He’s such a happy boy!
No, I don’t smile much. But that doesn’t mean I’m not having a good time! Just watch my tail!
Bagheera is a one-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier mix who is looking for a family with an active lifestyle. This youngster has a ton of energy and great enthusiasm for life. He also needs some reward-based training so that his exuberance can be channeled into positive endeavors. As much as his former family loved Bagheera, he was just “too much dog” for them. So this young boy is in search of a dog-savvy family who will help him become the dog he wants to be.
Bagheera loves people and to play. His favorite game is fetch. However, he hasn’t quite gotten the concept down that he’s supposed to bring the ball back once he finds it.
Bagheera will need to be an only pet in the home. While he does well playing with some other dogs, in his previous home he resource-guarded food and toys from the other family dog. He also cannot abide cats, so needs a feline-free family. He is rated for children ten and older and has a good history with kids in his former home. Bagheera needs some work on walking politely on leash and will need to be monitored when outside, as he liked to go on adventures on his own when he escaped his yard (however, he always came back home). He can be anxious when left home alone, so a family with someone home most of the time would be ideal for this boy. He loves to chew, so appropriate toys will keep him busy. Bagheera is not an apartment kind of dog. He’ll need a yard where he can run and play. He is house-trained, but will have accidents if not kept on schedule. However, even with his quirks, Bagheera is a delightfully fun dog to spend time with and will make a terrific companion for the right family.
After our rousing game of almost-fetch, he was happy to pose with Marianne on the platform, although I couldn’t get him to smile.
Then we took him into Mary’s Place. We thought he might like a GFB (Giant Fluff Ball). We were not disappointed.
Maybe it was because we did not let him take the GFB outside, but Bagheera didn’t seem too excited about St. Patrick’s day. But we thought he looked pretty dapper.
Bagheera is hoping that his new family will find him soon, and so are we.
We have two happy updates this week.
Willow was surrendered to WHS at the beginning of January and was extremely shy and nervous. Gradually she began to trust the staff and then the volunteers, and soon she was a favorite of everyone. I wrote about her in my February 19th post. Here she was with Megan, one of her many fans.
I was thrilled that I was at the shelter when her new family came to take her home.
Last week the family sent the following wonderful update.
“Willow (we have taken to calling her Lola) is settling in beautifully. She is asleep by my chair at the moment. When we brought Lola home, she had to explore and smell every inch of the house and yard, but it didn’t take her any time at all to identify the treat drawer or her toy basket; Kong tennis balls are her favorite, and the red laser light sends her into fits. 🙂 Lola has met the cat, and while the cat isn’t thrilled to have a dog in the house again, Lola has been nothing but mannerly. 🙂 Lola loves to take morning walks and only pulls when she wants to chase a squirrel or say hi to someone. We are working on commands and she is clearly a smart girl. Lola is learning the house rules quickly, although she likes to take a quick bite of the cat food when she thinks no one is watching. 🙂 She just hangs out in my office all day while I work and loves her mid-day peanut butter Kong. Lola is such a love, she will just cuddle up on the couch with us and she sleeps on the foot of the bed every night. We just already love her like crazy!”
Such a lucky dog. Such a lucky family.
Moo Moo came to the shelter on January 31st, an adorable, though very large three-month-old 40- pound puppy. Because he was too young to be walked outside, I didn’t try to take pictures of him and he was quickly adopted in early February. Last week I got this super update about this sweet youngster.
“This is Booker we adopted him about three weeks ago. His name was Moo Moo then but we changed it to Booker. He’s such a good boy and we have the best time together. So thankful to have found him!”
On those happy notes, that’s it for this week! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
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