Dear Fellow Dog Lovers,
This isn’t going to be one of my usual posts. On a personal note, I live in a continuing care retirement community. As the coronavirus has spread, those of us in independent living situations have grown very concerned about the vulnerable population with whom we share a campus. Because of this, I decided not to go to WHS on Sunday to take new dog pictures and spend time with dogs I wanted to feature. So for this post, I am going to revisit three dogs I have written about before but who are still waiting for their new families.
But first, I want to tell you a story about a little dog named Wallace.
Wallace had been found tied up in a Salem park in January of 2013 and brought to WHS. He was quickly adopted, but sadly came back to the shelter after his person died in December of 2015.
I wrote this about him in my December 23rd post: “Wallace is a seven-year-old Miniature Dachshund mix. This sweet boy is as gentle and calm as he can be. He’s had some sadness in his life and I’m so hoping his future will be bright with a loving forever home.”
I was at the shelter the following Monday and had just finished taking the above picture when this happened and I wrote about it in my next blog post: “Shortly after he returned to his kennel, the BEST NEWS EVER! A quiet gentleman came to meet Wallace. The man had lost his fourteen-year-old dog recently, had seen my picture of Wallace in the Statesman Journal as WHS’ Dog of the Week and couldn’t stop thinking about him. It was love at first sight. I asked if I could take a picture, and he agreed. Wallace has had some very sad times in his life, but never again!”
We were all so thrilled that Wallace was going to have another chance at happiness. I didn’t expect to ever hear about him again.
Fast forward to last Monday. I got the following email from WHS staff member Katy:
“Hello Martha. Terry, the man who adopted the older dachshund dog named Wallace, stopped by today. He wanted to let you know that Wallace had a great last three-and-a-half years of his life. They went hiking together on all sorts of trails within 50 miles of here. Thank you for helping Wallace.”
What a thoughtful gift this kind man gave me.
I may be eight, but boy did I have the photo team fooled!
I first wrote about Tyson in my February 26th post. I was so hopeful that he would be adopted after people saw pictures of this happy, active boy. But that didn’t happen. So here again, is Tyson, and maybe THIS time his new person will read this post and realize he is the perfect fit for the family.
Tyson is an eight-year-old Boxer/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix. When we first met him a couple of weeks ago, he seemed old and sad. Boy, were we wrong.
Tyson has lived with the same family his whole life, but because he can get ear infections and has some skin allergies, the family could no longer afford to take care of him. Since being at WHS, medication has done the trick and his coat is healthy and sleek. He will need to be monitored by his next family to catch the allergies early should they crop up.
Since we had not spent much time with Tyson except to take his profile pictures, we took him into Mary’s Place, thinking he would not be very active. We were amazed and delighted to discover behind that graying muzzle is a puppy who loves toys!
So here’s the scoop on this wonderful dog. Tyson has lived with other dogs, but would need to meet any dog siblings he might have in his new family. He finds cats too much fun to chase, so needs a feline-free home. He has a great history with children and is rated for kids about eight or older. He knows several commands including sit, down, stay, speak, come, and shake (with either paw!).
Tyson is afraid of loud noises such as fireworks and thunder. He is also afraid of water. He has never destroyed anything in the house when left alone, however he does cry some, so a family who isn’t gone a lot would be perfect for our boy. When strangers come to the door, he will bark, but then let them pet him. Of course he is house-trained, has been for years. He enjoys car rides and walks in the neighborhood. He walks nicely on leash. Marianne, Megan, Ayla, and I had so much fun with him in Mary’s Place. He liked posing for pictures and to hang out on the couch with us. His two favorite toys were the GFB (Giant Fluff Ball) and the plush lamb.
We decided to take him outside and see if he liked playing fetch. He did!
Tyson LOVES plush toys!
Tyson can’t wait to find his active retirement home. While he loved to romp out in the yard, he was ready to come back in and relax after about fifteen minutes. After all, he’s not a youngster anymore.
Tyson has been waiting at the shelter since February 3rd, a long time. He is hoping his forever family will come soon.
I’ve been waiting for my perfect person fit for a long time. I’m really hoping they find me soon!
I first wrote about Lucky in my January 1st post. I’m hoping that featuring him in my blog will let people see him as the clown and affectionate boy that he is, and maybe a reader will realize they would be his perfect match.
Lucky is a one-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier mix youngster. He has not had the best start in life, having experienced a lot of neglect. At WHS, we have worked to help him realize that the world doesn’t have to be a scary place. We’re hoping the perfect person will fall in love with our boy and continue to make him feel safe while going on outdoor adventures.
Lucky is not the right dog for everyone, as he is full of youthful enthusiasm mixed with a need to be active. This very smart boy loves to learn new things and, as I found out the first time I met him, he also loves cheese. Being smart AND treat-motivated makes for a very fun dog to train. Lucky loves to romp with some dogs, but not all, and would need to meet any dog he would be living with. He would no doubt enjoy having a trusted dog sibling to help build his courage around new things. Lucky’s perfect happily-ever-after would be a quiet, adult home with a person who will give him the attention he craves, the time he needs to adjust to new surroundings, and the desire to help him overcome his fears. These fears include strangers (though he warms up quickly) and being left alone (he worries you won’t come back). He is learning not to jump when he is excited to see you. While Lucky still needs to learn a few things, he will be such a loyal and devoted best friend.
Lucky loves to spend time with us in Mary’s Place. Here are a few shots of him with Marianne, Megan, and me having a blast with a GFB (Giant Fluff Ball) which he adores.
Lucky did finally have some actual luck when volunteer Chris agreed to foster him. Lucky has spent the last several weeks in Chris’ home and has done very well. While he still has some things he is working on, Lucky has made remarkable progress. Here’s what Chris has to say about Lucky.
“Lucky is doing extremely well. He still occasionally shows some resource guarding, but is very tolerant of being patted while he’s eating, even wagging his tail. He will also very eagerly swap a bone for a treat any time. He does not seem to do any resource guarding with toys… he WANTS me to try to take toys from him so I will throw them or play tug. I feel like we’re also making really good progress on sitting to greet people, loose-leash walking, remaining calm on the leash even when confronted by barking dogs or ducks or anything else. We’ve done a little bit of work with greeting people on the street. So far I’ve only done this with neighbors and people I know; Lucky is very cautious but warms up quite quickly. Crating him while we are gone from the house has also completely solved the problems with accidents in the house while we are away, and after the second day with us he has never had an accident in the house while we were home. In general he is pretty happy to be in his kennel, even if I close the door while we are home. Lucky loves to cuddle and play ball, and loves treats. He’s a great dog.”
Here are some pictures from Lucky’s foster home.
Lucky has some specific needs in his new family. But if you fit the bill and have been waiting for a dog who will love spending time with you, Lucky just might be your new best friend.
I’ve been waiting for a long time, too, for my forever people. Are you reading this now?
I first wrote about Sherman (at that time we called him Buster) in my February 26th post. He was adopted shortly afterward, but he was soon back at the shelter with a new name and we learned that he cannot live with cats. He has been waiting patiently for a feline-free home since his return. Here’s what I wrote about him in February:
When I first met Sherman, I felt so sorry for him. He had just been brought in as a stray. People had seen him running around for about three days before a good samaritan was able to bring him to the shelter. He was totally overwhelmed and nervous, as you can see by my first picture of him, which I had to take from quite a distance away, as he didn’t want me close to him.
It took several days to convince Sherman that we were his friends. He seemed to want to get close to people, but was so timid, he shied away from human touch. Sherman is about two years old and a mixed breed boy. Because of his timidity, he is rated for kids about 13 and older. We don’t know anything about his history, so decided to spend some quality time and get to know him. We were happily surprised by what we learned about him. While we could not get even a little relaxed smile, he let us know in other ways that he is becoming comfortable with us. Since Ayla had spent the most time with him, he warmed up to her immediately.
We took him into a yard to see if he wanted to play. While he didn’t play fetch, he enjoyed running back and forth to us.
Since he was feeling more and more comfortable, we took him into Mary’s Place and that was when he fully relaxed.
Then this happened. Turns out he DOES like toys!
Like so many shelter dogs, Sherman just needs a little time to get to know his friends. We are hoping that a family with a little patience and a lot of love will find Sherman and take him home.
We have THREE excellent updates this week!
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you followed Terry’s story as he waited for his perfect fit of a family for a long time. We were all over the moon when that family came. Here was his going-home picture I posted then.
His family has sent me several updates since his adoption and last week they sent this one.
“Terry is doing great! He is such a sweet dog. Everybody who visits here falls in love with him. AND he’s going to be a big brother the first week of April!”
Terry is going to be such a wonderful big brother!
We are so happy for this sweet boy!
I didn’t get to know Nikolai well, but fell for him when I took these intro pictures of him with Megan.
I had a feeling he would be quickly adopted, and he was. I was thrilled when I got this update a few days ago.
“We adopted Nikolai in February from Willamette Humane Society. The kids decided Bandit was a more appropriate and loved name for him. We haven’t had him long, but he’s already a loved member of our crazy family. He and our other Heeler, Piper, are best friends, and he’s quickly learning the rules of the house. I’ve included some pictures of our journey with Bandit thus far. We knew we needed another dog for Piper, I don’t think we knew how much WE needed another dog, and how much he seems to need us.“
Meeting Piper at the shelter.
Learning how to use the dog door.
Spending calm time at work.
New friends are the best.
Loving the rides to work.
Relaxing with his human.
Axel arrived at WHS in May of last year. We all loved him, but adopters passed him by. He looked so sad in his intro picture.
We featured him in the June 12, 2019 post, showing what a wonderful clown he is.
We were thrilled when on June 24, 2019, Alex’s new family found him. Recently they sent this happy update.
“Axel is doing AWESOME!! He is such a sweetheart, accepted the neighbor’s dogs, is allowed leash- free on the beach (no dog or people aggression there) and loves to be covered up under the blanket on the bed for ‘night night.’ I think we will have to send him to TBA (Tennis Ball Anonymous 😂). We had to send our Star-Girl (15-year-old black Lab) over the rainbow bridge a few weeks ago so Axel is a little lonely. We are considering looking for another girl dog to be a companion for Axel soon.”
In these stressful times, it is a happy relief to have such terrific news of former shelter dogs living wonderful and much loved lives in their forever homes.
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