Dear Fellow Dog Lovers,
Spring has arrived in the Willamette Valley and with it, more puppy adoptions.
Here’s a picture of Fern, one of the litter of ten puppies I’ve written about in previous posts. This sweetheart was adopted by Ezair, one of the staff members at WHS. Fern comes to work with Ezair at the shelter and I got this picture last week. As you can see, Fern takes her job very seriously.
Also adopted were seven other puppies. They were adopted so quickly, I didn’t get any pictures, but their names were Praline, Pecan, Whiskey, Almond, Peanut, Cashew, and Acorn.
I’m thrilled to report that Leena, our 11-year-old sweetheart, whom I featured last week was adopted on Saturday! She went to a wonderful home with two other little dog siblings! So happy for her! She’ll have a wonderful rest of her life!
News Flash! We just got a message from her family that Leena is settling in very well, loving her dog siblings, and jumping up on her peeps’ laps!
I was pretty scared at the shelter, but now I’m doing just great at Cash’s house!
Spotty is a two-year-old Jack Russell Terrier mix who was surrendered when her family moved and couldn’t take her with them. Spotty had not had a lot of socialization outside of her home and was terrified in the shelter when she arrived. She trembled, body tense, and wouldn’t let anyone touch her.
Spotty was with the same family her whole two years, and has been an outdoor-only dog. She is really looking forward to being inside with her family. She has lived happily with other canines, but will need to meet any that she will be living with. She never tried to escape her yard. She slept in a crate and did fine. She was wiggly and playful, and at times hyper with her family. She has lived with children and loved them, but was shy around new people and would bark at strangers. Since Spotty spent most of her time in her yard, she is fearful of car rides and new environments. She is also easily startled by loud noises. Spotty’s family reports her favorite treats are meaty ones and cheese and her favorite toy was a rubber chicken. When asked to describe Spotty in three words, her family said, “playful, gentle, and shy.”
Soon after Spotty arrived at the shelter, WHS Trainer Jessi spent some time sitting with her in her kennel and Spotty began to warm up to her.
Jessi knew then that what Spotty needed most was to learn to be brave and who better to show her how than Jr. Trainer Cash (Jessi’s little boy). So last week Spotty left the shelter to be fostered by Jessi’s family. When she got in the car, Spotty seemed uncomfortable in a dog bed in the front, so Jessi used a crate and Spotty settled quietly for the ride. Once home, Spotty became a different dog! Jessi writes, “From the minute she got here she was comfortable and excited around the kids.”
Spotty has now been hanging out happily at Jessi’s for a week and we know so much more about her. “She sleeps in her crate overnight without making noise. She potties in the same place every time we take her out and hasn’t had an accident in the house. She gets along with our other dogs, mostly mingles with them but hasn’t really played. She walks well on leash with a harness. It takes her a little time, but she does warm up to strangers and has bonded with us quickly. She takes treats gently. Spotty gives very clear and direct signals when she needs space with other dogs and people. With people, she will give a low growl when uncomfortable and then when given space, she does not escalate. When a dog makes her uncomfortable, she will lift her lips and maybe growl or bark, but again, she never escalates when the other dog listens. Her ability to give feedback shows good communication skills. She LOVES children and would be wonderful with dog-savvy kids who will give her space when asked.”
On Monday afternoon, I went over to Cash’s house to meet Spotty and get some pictures. When I arrived, Spotty barked and kept her distance, but with patience and some hot dog bits and cheese, she slowly warmed up. Here are some pictures from our afternoon.
By the end of my visit, Spotty was warming up.
Cash has some things he wants a new family to know about Spotty.
“Spotty is my foster girl. She loves kids. She is shy and she is a good dog!”
Spotty is looking for a home with people who will be patient and understanding while she adjusts to a new family. If Spotty seems like the right dog for your family, fill out the Adoption Questionnaire by clicking on Spotty’s picture and then on the link Apply to Adopt found on this page: https://whs4pets.org/dogs/
We have THREE happy updates this week!
Jake arrived at WHS in March of 2019. He was a sweet senior at 14 and we worried who would adopt him. Here he was with volunteer Chauncey.
But on April 27, Jake found his perfect retirement home. Last week his family celebrated his 16th birthday with this update.
“We adopted this fella from the shelter almost two years ago at the age of 14. It was love at first sight! Today is his 16th birthday!!! Jake is a Bloodhound/Lab. I am in complete awe of this dog every single day. He is the most tenacious, independent dog I’ve ever met! He has a gentle, wise soul and quickly became the family guardian. He makes frequent rounds to patrol the house and yard and checks on his humans often. He’s incredibly quirky, weird, and very slobbery! He is stubborn and a bull in a china shop, but is always full of funny shenanigans. Jake, we love you very much! Happy Birthday, Big Handsome Boy!”
Remember Maxamillion, the beautiful shepherd who waited so long for his perfect family fit? His person sent me this video. What a happy life he has, so worth his wait!
Clyde was adopted (again) last week and the family sent WHS these happy at-home pictures. He has settled in well and is much loved.
A few weeks ago I got a comment in my blog from a regular reader. She wrote that in 2016 she had adopted a dog who had originally come from WHS. His name had been Buddy the Elf at the shelter. The name struck a chord in my memory and while I’ve met many dogs named Buddy, the Elf part was unique. I had no trouble finding the picture I had taken the first time I met him, a nine-year-old Lab mix with a sad face and a gentle, loving personality. I remember spending extra time with him that day. He had been an outdoor dog his entire life and he touched my heart.
Like all seniors who arrive at the shelter, I worried about him. However, it wasn’t long before he was adopted. I had high hopes that he would have happy retirement years inside with his people. But it turned out that Buddy was re-homed several times after he left WHS, and finally he was adopted by Tari. I wrote back to her and asked about their life together. And that’s where the rest of his story begins.
“Here are some thoughts on Buddy and his life with us (us being 3 dogs and 3 cats and their caretaker (me)). When I started putting into words how I feel about Buddy, I realized there are so many memories of him. He was just the happiest dog no matter what. Thank you so very much for highlighting Buddy. It truly means a lot to me.
August 8, 2016 was one of the best days of my life. Buddy came home with me to live out his days in peace. I first saw Buddy’s picture on Craig’s List. He was the saddest looking dog and needed someone to rescue him. I got to him as fast as I could to pick him up and bring him home.
What was striking was, in spite of what Buddy had been through, he was just a big luv bug. He clung to me like glue right away and let me know he wanted me for his person. When I got him home, he immediately got along with my other dogs (3 Irish Setters) and 3 kitties. We never had a bad moment, as everyone got along really well. It was as if he knew this was his forever home and these were his siblings. He was so appreciative of his new life and settled right in to the family routine.
Even as one of four dogs, Buddy never had to compete for love, attention or care. He truly enjoyed being part of a pack. He was overjoyed to play in his big backyard with his dog siblings, sleep on a cushy soft bed, eat unlimited dog treats (within reason of course) and take as many car rides as possible. He brought a tremendous amount of peace and joy to our lives. Everybody loved Buddy! He loved every dog, cat or person he met, and they loved him in return. I have no idea if small children were a part of his former life, but he sure knew how to be gentle and very careful around them.
Eventually, as his hind end began to fail him, Buddy started acupuncture treatments. Those treatments proved to be a wonderful benefit for him, giving him pain relief and better mobility. Along with anti-inflammatory and pain medications, he did very well for over a year. As age and medical conditions began to catch up to him, he started slowing down and doing less. He still loved to take car rides though as it was one of his favorite pastimes. A sunny afternoon in the back yard was a favorite, as well. He would lie in the grass and sun himself just soaking up the serenity of a peaceful life. He began losing his hearing, so to communicate, we set up a series of hand signals he quickly learned. He was careful to watch me so he would not miss a signal.
February 28, 2020 was a very sad day for us as Buddy crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. He was 14. Rest in peace dear Buddy, knowing you were loved to the highest level possible on this earth and you are missed every day.”
What wonderful last years Buddy had. Thank you, Tari, for loving your special shelter dog.
That’s it for this week.
As always, I want to thank my “photo team” who made this blog post possible: Staff members Jessi, Nichole, Sasha, and volunteer Marianne.
Remember, if you see a dog on my blog whom you are interested in meeting, fill out the Adoption form at whs4pets.org, and wait to be contacted by the staff.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org