Dear Fellow Dog Lovers,
In these last weeks before Christmas, we are so happy that our shelter dogs continue to find new homes for the holidays. During the past week, there were four excellent adoptions.
Little Suzette is full of spice and love. I think her new peeps are quite smitten with her!
This little sweetheart found her new family!
Our beautiful girl, Midnight was adopted!
WHS Trainer Nichole writes, “Her new family is a young couple who plan to take her on camping, hiking, and RV adventures. What a sweet life our wildfire Husky girl is going to have! And—so appropriate that Midnight’s adoption happened in the dark!
If you are a regular reader of my posts, you know Magnum (Mags to his fans) well. He has been staying at WHS Trainer Jessi’s house. Junior Dog Trainer Cash has been working with Mags to help him be less afraid of new things. On Saturday I went over to Cash’s house to meet Mags. It took a while, but he actually let me pet him a little bit. Here are some pictures from that fun afternoon.
Cash helped Mags so much and Mags would seek Cash out when he was nervous. He wasn’t sure at all about me and my camera.
Here are Jessi and her little girl, Bowie, two of Mags’ favorite people.
On Sunday Mags’ new peeps came to meet him at WHS. They brought their dog, Kiska, a WHS alumna, who will help him build his courage. They even got him an X-Pen so that Mags can continue to have his safe place when he needs it. The couple is experienced with very shy dogs and Mags couldn’t have found a better forever home. They are readers of my blog, so I’m hoping for updates!
Last week I told you about a new feature I would be adding to some of my posts. Here it is! Cash has learned so much from his mom, a professional dog trainer at WHS. I asked him if he’d give my readers occasional tips and he agreed.
Cash’s first tips are about working with shy dogs like Mags.
“When Mags came to our house, he was scared, so my mom gave him an X-pen so he would feel safe. I drew a picture for him, and I sat outside the pen and read to him so that he’d get used to me.”
“It’s really important to let him come to you when he wants to. And you shouldn’t try to pet him too long. Just a short pet, then stop and see if he wants you to pet him more.”
“When he got to know me, he crawled over and put his head in my lap. But that took a long time.”
“I really like shy dogs like Mags. I’m going to be a dog trainer like my mom when I grow up.”
Note from Jessi: “My kids are never alone with any of our dogs. They are always closely supervised.”
Are you an active person with a zest for life that you want to share with an equally active, “zesty” dog? Meet Bojack!
Bojack is a three-year-old, 54-pound Retriever mix who can’t wait to meet a new family to call his own. Since Bojack was found as a stray, we know nothing about his past life. But look at that happy face!
Bojack has not had much training, but he is so eager to learn and since he is very treat-motivated, he will be a quick study. Because of his lack of general manners and his size, he will do best with an experienced, dog-savvy family with no young kids.
Bojack was quite stressed when he first arrived at WHS in early November, but has gradually become used to the shelter environment and is more relaxed. He has not had much experience walking on leash, and at first would grab at the lead. But staff discovered that if Bojack had a soft toy to carry in his mouth, he behaved much better. “He will also run around the yard with the leash in his mouth if he doesn’t have a toy. He’s good at self-entertaining when he does have a toy,” reported one staff member. WHS trainer Jessi has noticed that Bojack “picks up and chews on objects such as rocks, bark, leashes, etc. So teaching him the cues ‘leave it’ and ‘drop it’ would be highly beneficial, along with providing appropriate chews and toys and keeping non-dog items off the floor or out of his reach as much as possible.”
It didn’t take long for Bojack to make it very clear that cheese is his treat of choice, and that he would try to do just about anything a trainer will ask of him if cheese was the reward. This is great news for his new family-to-come. With rewards-based training, Bojack will learn the expectations of his humans.
Bojack loves people and is eager to interact with them. He also has good dog skills during playgroups. While he is considered dog-selective, he has done well romping with some of his new friends. Jessi writes, “He is a really happy-go-lucky guy. He is friendly with the other dogs—watch out when he is running, he doesn’t look where he is going! He has been a good helper for some of our more selective dogs. He seems to be a lower-contact player with others in groups. I see a lot more running and chasing when he is engaging in play. Oh, and he does really enjoy keep-away, another reason to teach him ‘leave it’ and ‘drop it.'” Bojack will need to meet any dog he would be living with, as he may be too much for older ones. He is house-trained and keeps his shelter kennel clean.
Here he was hanging out with Kova (who has been adopted).
Here he is giving an inviting play bow to Walt (also a recent adoptee).
Bojack is a high-energy young dog who is working on both basic manners and impulse control with our behavior team. His new family will need to be committed to continuing his training so that Bojack will blossom into a wonderful family member. And a great bonus to his training will be the bonding that will naturally occur between Bojack and his family.
Bojack may not be a dog for first-time owners. But if you have the time and patience to work with an enthusiastic, happy, exuberant dog, you will be rewarded with a best friend who will think you are the most amazing human in the whole world. And once he has basic training under his paws, he will be a great companion for hiking, jogging, camping, and hanging out on the couch with you in the evening.
If you think that you are up to the challenge and many rewards of adopting Bojack, fill out the Adoption Questionnaire by clicking on his picture, then on the link “Interested in this animal?” on the WHS adoptable dog page found here: https://whs4pets.org/dogs/
I know I’m not the dog for just anyone, but if you are husky-savvy, I might be the perfect dog for YOU!
Travis, a one-year-old Siberian Husky mix, is a stunning young dog.
Travis was surrendered because his person worked long hours and didn’t have the time to give a young, active dog the attention he needs.
Travis is extremely smart and thrives on the challenges of learning new skills. WHS staffer Nichole writes, “Travis is a rock star at training. Another WHS trainer has taught him to walk through his legs, and jump up on platforms, among other things. He really likes food puzzles and is very treat-motivated—in fact, he eats pretty much anything!”
Travis loves WHS playgroups. He is a rough-and-rowdy player with female dogs who have similar play styles.
Travis has proven to be a quick study and since his WHS arrival, the Behavior Team has been working on loose-leash walking and other basic manners. He loves every minute of work—especially when cheese is involved.
Travis is in need of a family with experience in living with Huskies. He is a high-energy dog who will need a job—something to keep his mind and body busy. He would love to go on adventures with his peeps, hiking, jogging, or agility training would thrill him. He is a pro at playing fetch and will return the ball to you—well, in your vicinity—and wait for another throw. Afterward, he is happy to settle in his person’s company for a quiet evening.
Travis is quite shy and fearful in new situations. He will try to hide at times (under a table at the vet’s office—all 56 pounds of him). But he loves people and warms up quickly. He does bark at strangers, but then lets them pet him. He enjoys car rides.
Travis has never lived with children, and due to his size and energy, should not go home with young kids. He also should not live with cats. Travis does not like to be left alone and when he is, he is very anxious resulting in chewing on inappropriate things. When left outside unsupervised, Travis has climbed a five-foot fence to go on adventures of his own. He is not completely house-trained yet.
Finding just the right home for Travis is a challenge. This sweet-tempered, bright and eager youngster will thrive with someone who has the experience, time, and energy to challenge him and give him the exercise he craves, along with the understanding and patience to help him gain courage. Maybe just that person is reading this post.
If Travis might be your new loyal best friend, fill out the Adoption Questionnaire by clicking on his picture, then on the link “Interested in this animal?” on the WHS adoptable dog page found here: https://whs4pets.org/dogs/
Do you like to play Tug? I do. It’s my most favorite thing in the world! We could play Tug together!
Sting, an American Staffordshire Terrier mix, arrived at WHS as a stray, but it is clear from his affection for people and his happy outlook, that he has been loved.
Sting is about two years old, we guess. He is full of energy and would like you to know that he has a couple of hobbies. First, he LOVES to play Tug (yes, he thinks it should be capitalized). Secondly, he is a professional at tearing apart plush toys of all types. Need the stuffing out of one? No problem. Sting will take care of it in seconds, then look up at you with a wide grin.
Sting knows several cues. He will sit, lie down, and stay when asked. He wants you to know that his favorite treat for working is chicken jerky. This fact has been especially useful to know since he does need work on loose-leash walking.
He was very attentive to volunteer Marianne today as she explained what he needs to work on.
Sting is very people-oriented. He thrives on human attention, is affectionate, and tries his best to please. WHS Trainer Marilyn writes, “Sting always presents with loose body and feet on the floor or sits when I approach his kennel front. He is friendly in the kennel, seeking attention and pets, and offering sits for treats. He sits readily on a verbal cue, and also goes into a down position with a hand signal.”
WHS Trainer Nichole writes, “Sting is a wiggle worm and loves pets. He’ll probably be a great road trip companion.”
Because of Sting’s exuberance, he should go home with older children who can handle his lust for life. While Sting seems to love all humans, he does not care for other dogs. He will need to be the only pet in the home, but he will be all that you need in entertainment! This boy will keep you laughing and will become a cherished member of your family.
Today WHS Trainers Jessi and Nichole and volunteer Marianne had a winter photo shoot! Sting loved posing!
If Sting sounds like he’d fit right in with your lifestyle, fill out the Adoption Questionnaire by clicking on his picture, then on the link “Interested in this animal?” on the WHS adoptable dog page found here: https://whs4pets.org/dogs/
Last week, I featured Danika. Today she also wanted to take part in the winter photo shoot. She is quite a stunning poser!
To learn all about Danika, read about her in my last post by clicking here:
As I do each week, I want to give my heartfelt thanks to WHS Trainers Jessi and Nichole along with Adoption Specialist Sasha and volunteer Marianne for the wonderful pictures!
We have FOUR terrific updates this week.
Remember shy Buddy?
He went home with a family who understands shy dogs and they sent this wonderful progress report to WHS.
“It has been one week since we brought Buddy (now Benji) home and we already can’t imagine life without him. He enjoys his walks to the park with his dog sister, and plays fetch in the backyard every day. They are bonding very quickly and he likes to bring her toys and snuggle with her. Thank you for allowing us to bring this wonderful addition into our family! I’ve attached a photo of him on a recent beach trip.”
Mowgli was a staff and volunteer favorite from the moment he arrived at WHS. He was a clown and a gentle soul who got along with everyone.
He was adopted quickly and this week I got this touching update.
“We got Mowgli for my older son, Noah. He and his younger brother, Wyatt, and I suffer from PTSD and anxiety. Noah’s doctor thought that getting a dog would be great to help him. Wyatt, my younger son, has cats, Liberty and Snowflake. So we set out on the mission to find the perfect dog. We spent HOURS looking at various shelters online.
Then I got an email from Sasha about the application we submitted on Mowgli. We all immediately fell in love with his big brown eyes and sweet (not so) little face! Noah was immediately sure this was the dog for him.
My only concern was it was unknown how he was with cats. Fortunately, when we got home, and he met them, he didn’t really care much. He walked up, tail slightly wagging and wanted to say hi. Liberty took a swipe at him and was having none of it. Mowgli didn’t get mad or react at all just walked off. Since then, she’s getting more and more accepting of him, but still not ready to be BFF’s just yet.
While Mowgli is Noah’s dog, he has also done WONDERS for Wyatt, as well. Along with his PTSD and anxiety, Wyatt also has Autism and OCD. Wyatt typically will not leave our home without me right by his side but now with Mowgli, he has zero problem taking him downstairs to go out a couple of times a day. He also is a HUGE germaphobe. Well, with Mowgli being a mastiff mix, there is slobber. Lots and lots of slobber. Wyatt has absolutely no problem with it. He will play ball with Mowgli for as long as Mowgli wants to play and will happily pick up the icky, slimy, slobbery ball and throw it time and time again.
Noah has severe ADHD. In just the few short days Mowgli has been in our family, I have seen some pretty amazing changes in Noah. He is more responsible. I used to have to drag him out of bed each morning for school. Now when I wake him up, he immediately jumps up, gets dressed and takes Mowgli out to go potty before feeding him his breakfast, and starting school. Having Mowgli there to just hug whenever he starts feeling overwhelmed or frustrated has been a huge help to him.
Oh and we’re keeping his name. He doesn’t really know it yet, but it is super cute and just fits him, so we decided to keep it.”
Luna was a hoot and very popular with the staff and volunteers while she was at WHS.
Her new family sent this update last week.
“We adopted Luna the 1st week of November. She loves watching football on Sunday mornings. Her new name is Coconut.”
It didn’t take her long to settle in her new home!
Petunia came to WHS as a transfer from an overcrowded shelter in Texas in 2018. She was scooped up almost immediately. We were so happy to get this update.
“Wanted to give an update on a dog we adopted from you guys two years ago. Petunia has been such a blessing to our family, we couldn’t have asked for a better dog. She loves our 8-year-old son so much!”
A general note about dogs’ faces near to kids’ faces—this sweet photo shows a very relaxed dog that seems to have chosen this position. Parents need to be alert when a dog is next to a child if the dog is uncomfortable. If the dog averts its eyes, turns its head away from the child, has a tense body, lip licks, and tries to pull their body away from the child, it is trying to signal that it is uncomfortable and needs space. It’s important for the supervising parent to let the dog have that space. In the above photo, Petunia is totally content.
Dogs are amazing companions. On that happy 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