Dear Fellow Dog Lovers,
Happy National Rescue Dog Day! Yep, it’s really a thing!
“National Rescue Dog Day was founded by Tails That Teach, Inc. to bring awareness to the countless number of amazing dogs in shelters waiting to be adopted, to promote humane education for young children, and to encourage spay/neuter.” (https://www.nationalrescuedogday.com)
What a perfect day for me to publish my weekly blog post about shelter dogs at Willamette Humane Society!
Once again, I have some terrific adoptions to report since my last post.
I knew when I wrote about her last week that she would be gone in the blink of an eye! She was.
Our silly, energetic Barley found his forever family! Here’s what staff member Nichole wrote about his adoption: “He’ll have an older brother, Bear, who’ll help him learn the ropes. His new pet mom says that she’ll take him on jogs, long walks and hikes, and many more adventures. We’re super happy for this goofy pup!”
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know Lucky well. I have written about him so many times since his arrival at WHS last November. He was finally adopted last Thursday! Here are some pictures that staff sent to me. The man in the black hat is Chris, Lucky’s wonderful foster, who has been taking care of Lucky in his home since February. We are over the moon that Lucky finally has a permanent home and family to call his own. We are so grateful to Chris for working with Lucky and giving him a loving home to wait in until his new family found him.
I love kids! I love big people! Do you love dogs? We should talk!
People are not the only ones impacted by the life changes resulting from COVID-19. Cola’s family had to surrender her when her person lost his job due to the virus. She had been with them since she was five weeks old. It is obvious that she was much loved, just look into her eyes.
Cola is a five-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier mix. At 81 pounds, she is a big girl and she would love for her new family to help her exercise and lose a bit of that weight she didn’t realize she was putting on.
Cola loves people and petting. She will even choose to interact with a human over a treat—good to know in helping her to lose some weight! When in playgroups, she has been more interested in hanging out with the handlers than other dogs. Staff reports she is “playful and social-seeking” with them. She mingles with other dogs, and will sometimes try to be a “playground monitor,” but with a soft calling of her name, she happily returns to a handler.
Cola’s former family says she is a “lovable, goofy girl who loves kids.” She has a great history with children, lived with three, and is rated for kids five and older. She has also lived with another dog and gotten along fine. She’d like it if someone were home most of the time, as she can be anxious when left alone.
Cola is not a couch potato. She likes to be on the go. She’s always up for going for walks, but needs to polish her polite leash-walking skills. She will bark at strangers, cats, and new dogs, but once introduced, she’s fine with them. She did not chase the neighbor’s cat in her old home.
Cola is house- and crate-trained. She slept in her crate in her former home at night. She does have a little anxiety when first getting into a car, but settles once it’s on the move. She is frightened by thunder and fireworks.
What is the ideal home for Cola? She’d love a family with a big fenced back yard for romping. She’d like to have children to play with. She’d like a dog sibling to hang out with, but they would need to meet to make sure their play styles are compatible. Cola can’t wait for her forever family to find her.
If Cola sounds like a great fit for your family, fill out the Adoption Questionnaire by clicking on the link “Ask About Cola” under her picture on the WHS adoptable dog page found here: https://whs4pets.org/adopt-a-pet/dogs-2/
I’ve come so far since being in my foster home. I’m ready for my forever home now!
Are you a fan of small Terriers? Well, get ready to fall in love with Max. Max is a five-year-old Border Terrier mix. At 24 pounds, he is a perfect snuggling-on-the-couch size.
While Max has been loved, he hasn’t had a lot of experiences with different people. Because of this, he is fearful at first meetings and it takes him a while to warm up to new people. But once you have gained his trust, Max is a delightful, spunky character who forms tight bonds with his peeps.
Max has been living in a foster home for the last month and has made amazing progress overcoming his timidity. His foster family reports that Max LOVES car rides, going for walks, and outdoor time with other dog friends. He is learning that new people are not as scary as he thought. However, he still gets tense if someone moves a hand toward his face too quickly. He is more uneasy around men than women, but with patience, he warms up to men, also. He just needs some settling time.
Max is very loyal once he feels safe and loved. He walks well on leash, enjoys a good brushing and even baths. He has gotten along with neighbor dogs and even cats! Because of his timidity and no history with children, he is rated for kids about 13 and older.
Do you like to snuggle? Max will be your BEST snuggler once he gets to know you. It may take him a few days to feel secure in a new home, but his foster family is ready and happy to assist in the transition.
What would be the ideal home for Max? He’d like a patient, understanding family who would let him slowly get used to his new home. He’ll feel most comfortable with a woman at first, but just give him a little time, smiles his foster dad, and he’ll be fine with the rest of the family. Max would like a person who will take him for walks and then hang out with him on the couch in the evening. Max is going to make the right family a wonderful new member.
If Max sounds like the dog you’ve been waiting for, fill out the Adoption Questionnaire by clicking on the link “Ask About Max” under his picture on the WHS adoptable dog page found here: https://whs4pets.org/adopt-a-pet/dogs-2/
I’m still here, waiting for the right family to find me. Is it yours?
I wrote about Wade last week, but he still hasn’t found his perfect match of a home. To read all about him, check out my last post, linked at the bottom of this post.
Wade is a one-year-old Hound mix who is in love with life and can’t wait for his next adventure. Wade’s foster dad describes him as “lap loving, curious, active, playful, intelligent and—communicative!” Wade is not a dog for the faint of heart! But if you’re up for it, he’ll be such a delightful best friend.
Last week Wade got to have a playdate with Kyle (WHS trainer, Jessi’s dog). They had a fabulous time and were perfectly matched in play style.
Jessi writes, “These two are ridiculously hilarious. They are a good match. Both are intense rough and tumble players, but listened to each other’s corrections and listened to the handlers. They were able to take breaks from playing and just hang out together. They got so dirty playing, we had to hose them off, then towel-dry them. They were both fine about it. Wade would do well with a dog like Kyle who would tire him out playing.”
They loved crawling under the platform. Who would have thought? Jessi and fellow trainer, Nichole, couldn’t believe they could fit under it!
Here they are in action—wait for it…
And here he was today in a playdate with Jessi’s dogs, Kyle and Graceland. She says he did great!
I asked Wade’s foster dad for an update and here’s what he wrote:
“Wade is a great work in progress! He loves all aspects of life and won’t hesitate to let you know, from barks to yowls and happy grunts. He is as vocal as he is intelligent. Wade is very energetic and will benefit from a lot of attention and exercise to keep his mind and body occupied. He is still a young dog and eager to keep learning how to be close but respectful of space. This includes bathroom time and sharing his toys. Wade loves car rides and visiting new places. He is most likely to try to talk you into hopping into any car that looks like yours for a new adventure!
When I first met Wade it was assumed his vocal reactions were due to anxiety and hyperactivity, but as he’s come out of his shell it’s become clear he really is just a volcano of young excitement and thrives as long as he is given positive outlets. As he grows he will definitely settle into a more mature energy level. With regular exercise, normalization, and reinforcement, his forever family will definitely be rewarded with the happy, cuddly people-pleaser that he really is!
More than a paragraph, but I didn’t want to leave anything out! Thanks for helping get Wade adopted!”
If Wade sounds like a great fit for you, fill out the Adoption Questionnaire by clicking on the link “Ask About Wade” under his picture on the WHS adoptable dog page found here: https://whs4pets.org/adopt-a-pet/dogs-2/
Tennis ball?? Did someone say tennis ball??
Do you like to play ball? So does Jackson! Playing fetch is one of his favorite things to do. Jackson is a two-year-old American Staffordshire/Boxer mix. He was surrendered when his family moved and couldn’t take him with them.
Jackson is a high-energy boy who loves to romp, but after all the fun he becomes an affectionate cuddler. Jackson has had some ups and downs in his young life, but he is eager to please and is looking forward to beginning a new life in his forever home.
Jackson was overwhelmed when he arrived at the shelter. Because of his anxiety, he was placed on a mild medication to help him relax while at WHS. He also had some hair loss due to allergies. Medication has fixed the problem, but his new family will need to watch for any recurrence.
Jackson’s former family has a lot of good things to say about him. He shows no resource-guarding tendencies, toys and food can be taken away from him without problems. He is house-trained. When his family was gone, Jackson rested in his crate with no destruction or barking. He loved to play fetch and chase games with his peeps and then at night he either slept on his person’s bed or in his crate. Because of events in his early life, Jackson is fearful of men standing over him, so will need an understanding family to help him realize he does not have to be afraid.
Jackson loves to romp in a yard, Jessi took these of him this morning.
Jackson is working on impulse control with staff while at the shelter. He can be jumpy when excited to greet people. He will bark at strangers in his enthusiasm to meet them, wanting them to play. Jackson is practicing polite leash-walking skills. He has lived with a cat and done very well. His former family reports that he was “amazing with the cat, will play gently with it and lies down with it.” He has also lived with kids and done well, but because of his exuberance, he’s rated for kids about 13 and older.
In WHS playgroups, Jackson has been selective in his dog friends. He will romp some, but prefers to mingle and sniff at the multitude of smells in the yard, or hang out with the handlers. He will need to meet any dog he would be living with.
One of our WHS trainers spent some time with Jackson working with obstacles in the yard to help him build more confidence. At first he was very cautious, but once he found a treat that he liked, he was excited and enjoyed the hide-and-seek game.
And Nichole, another WHS trainer, made this video of Jackson in action.
What is Jackson’s ideal home? He’s hoping for an understanding family who will help him gain more self-confidence and become less fearful in new situations. He thrives on attention, so continuing the positive reward-based training he is getting at the shelter will help him to curb his enthusiasm in greetings. Jackson is a sweet, loving dog who is waiting for the right family to take him home.
If Jackson sounds like the dog you’ve been waiting for, fill out the Adoption Questionnaire by clicking on the link “Ask About Jackson” under his picture on the WHS adoptable dog page found here: https://whs4pets.org/adopt-a-pet/dogs-2/
Do you like to stay active? Do you need a friend who will think you are the best human EVER? Pick ME!
Are you someone who has the time to exercise and provide mental and physical challenges for a devoted friend? Well, Travis may be your new best buddy.
Travis is a two-year-old mixed breed boy who, at about 34 pounds, is just right for people looking for a mid-sized dog.
The two most important things you need to know about Travis are that he has a ton of energy and he bonds closely to his people. He has been adopted twice but came back to us even though his families loved him. We want to help him make his next home his forever one.
Travis first came to WHS last July when his person had to travel so much that she felt it wasn’t fair to Travis to keep him. He was adopted again right away. However, the family decided that Travis was simply too active for them and they didn’t have enough time to give to him, so surrendered him in hopes that he could find a better family fit.
Both of Travis’ families had wonderful things to say about him. He is “super friendly” to everyone, loves car rides, toys, and playing fetch. In fact, his last person wrote that he loves playing fetch so much that when you “throw the ball for him he doesn’t want to stop even when he is so tired he can’t stand up!” Now that’s a fetch dog! Jessi, one of our WHS trainers who loves Travis says, “I can see him being an agility dog. He jumps really high! He is really into playing fetch and will bring the ball back to you and drop it at your feet, so maybe he’d also be good at Flyball!”
Jessi took these pictures of him on Sunday.
Travis’ families also said that Travis hardly ever barks and is house- and crate-trained. He even rang a little bell when he needed to go out in his last home. He doesn’t mind being in his crate and is calm when his family is gone, although he does get lonely if left for a long time. He loves children (is rated for kids about 13 and older) and is excited when he meets strangers, wanting their attention.
Besides fetch, Travis also enjoys being a lap dog and watching birds. He doesn’t really care for cats, so will need a feline-free home. He has lived with other dogs and does fine except he can be possessive of his toys. Travis is working on not jumping up on people in his enthusiasm to get to know them.
Travis loves to sit on the couch with his peeps and will bring them one of his toys. He wants to know where everyone is in the house.
Since Travis has been back at the shelter this time, he has become quite stressed and his reactivity to other dogs has increased. He also has shown some prey drive around small dogs, so would need a dog sibling his size or larger. Travis will need to meet any dog he will be living with to make sure their play styles are compatible.
Our training staff has been working to help Travis with his reactivity and stress level. They report he is eager to learn and is trying very hard. “We played games rewarding him for coming to a heel position when on the leash, rapid rewards on the leash, in addition to some off-leash heeling games in the training room. Once we found his motivation to pay attention to us (holding a tennis ball), he could then walk a great distance without reacting to another dog.”
WHS Trainer Nichole made a video to show Travis in action.
What is Travis’ ideal home? This sweet boy needs a consistent, kind family who is willing to continue his positive reward-based training and help him to learn that he is safe. He would do best in a home where he wasn’t left alone for long periods. He would like to have a big fenced yard and people who enjoy an active, smart, and loving companion.
If Travis sounds like the dog you’ve been waiting for, fill out the Adoption Questionnaire by clicking on the link “Ask About Travis” under his picture on the WHS adoptable dog page found here: https://whs4pets.org/adopt-a-pet/dogs-2/
A Thank You!
I’d like to say a huge thank you to WHS Trainers Jessi and Nichole, and to Wade’s foster dad Nicholas for all of the pictures and videos in this blog post. You guys are simply THE BEST!
Finally, on this National Rescue Dog Day, a quote about shelter dogs like ours from https://www.nationalrescuedogday.com:
“Rescue dogs often overcome extreme obstacles and yet provide comfort, security, and friendship as family pets. But, rescue dogs are capable of much more. With training, they contribute to the independence of people with disabilities as service animals and give comfort to the elderly. In these circumstances, they become our eyes, ears, or legs as well as our best friend. Rescue dogs provide a variety of therapeutic benefits. Children, teens, and adults with autism may benefit from services provided by trained rescue dogs. As emotional support companions, rescue dogs help to relieve anxiety, depression, and PTSD among the military or those who suffer from mental illness. They make excellent teachers, too. Rescue dogs show children about caring and kindness. Rescue dogs can even be trained for search and rescue missions. The possibilities are endless! When it comes to four-legged friends, they improve the human condition by leaps and bounds, barks, and yips. It’s hard to imagine a more loving, worthy companion.”
On that note, 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