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Our Salem weather is great! It’s getting warmer and our shelter dogs are feeling the change and loving their time outside with staff and volunteers. Spring seems to be a great time for potential adopters, too, as we had SEVEN adoptions in the past week!


Our funny, happy-go-lucky Cisco had been waiting quite a while for his new family to find him. We were thrilled that they finally did!


I fell for Hector at first meeting. He is such a delightful and energetic senior. Lucky family!


Mojave is a stunning boy. I didn’t get a chance to meet him, but he was loved by staff and volunteers.


This ten-month-old bundle of energy was stressed at the shelter; we are so happy that he’s now settling into his new home. We heard that he is doing just fine with his new life.


Our sweet, smart, beautiful Malibu went home with her new family this week! This girl had everyone at the shelter wrapped around her paw, including me.


Donny, a youngster at ten months old, went home on Monday. He will keep his new family active!


On Tuesday, our goofy, rambunctious Bo found his perfect person. He will have lots of room to run and play. We are so happy for this big boy! I had planned on featuring him this week; here are some of the pictures I was going to use.

Are you a homebody? Do you just like to hang out at home, play a little fetch, rest a lot, and then watch TV? Well, that’s me, too! You could adopt me!

I met Baxter on Sunday and was immediately smitten. This sweet, 11-year-old senior Lab mix is so typical of his breed—intelligent, outgoing, kind, gentle, and trusting—and a huge fan of the game of fetch.

Baxter has been much-loved by his former family, but they could no longer take care of him. He is looking for a calm retirement residence where his peeps will be home, as he gets very anxious when left alone.

Baxter’s former family had many good things to say about him. He has gotten along wonderfully with other dogs, both big and small. That has been true at WHS, also. In playgroups, he is more of a mingler with other canines, polite and friendly. He has lived happily with chickens, too. However, Baxter does not care for cats or goats. He has not lived with children, but has been around kids as young as six and was very gentle. He rides well in the car, is cooperative during baths and nail trims, and, as he got older, spent most of his time lying around on the couch or his bed. He walks beautifully on leash and won’t need any long hikes; a quiet stroll around the neighborhood suits him just fine. Baxter’s preferred treats are liver-flavored—though he’s not picky—and his favorite toys are Nyla bones and BALLS! Did someone say BALLS?

What does Baxter enjoy playing more than anything else? (Remember, he’s a Lab.) Yep, FETCH! His eyes light up, his ears perk up, and he grins widely when he is asked if he wants to play fetch. While his spirit is willing, the body is not young anymore, and so after each retrieval, Baxter lies down for a few minutes before the next throw. Megan and I took him out to a yard on Sunday and had a wonderful time.

Afterward, we relaxed in the grass before heading into Mary’s place for some lounge time.

At eleven years old, Baxter needs to go outside frequently. He will alert by standing at the door. He also had some old-dog tumors removed by our WHS vet. We are still waiting on the results of the one by his ear. His former family said he had had some seizures. However, since being at the shelter and having a two-week stay in a foster home, there has been no evidence of them now. Loud noises such as fireworks and thunder frighten Baxter.

When asked what four words describe Baxter best, his former family said, “happy, friendly, fun, outgoing.” They also mentioned that Baxter doesn’t know when to stop playing fetch at times, and can hurt himself; the pads on his feet are sensitive and can become sore.

If you have been wishing for a loyal and quiet friend who will enjoy playing a little fetch, then curling up next to you on the couch to watch TV, maybe Baxter will be the perfect dog for you.

Fill out the Adoption Questionnaire by clicking on Baxter’s picture and then on the link Apply to Adopt found on this page: https://whs4pets.org/dogs/

I may be a senior, but I sure don’t act like it! I’m ready to learn how to be the best family dog EVER!

Jedi is an adorable seven-year-old Terrier mix who is looking for an active retirement home where he can learn some basic manners that he has never been taught. He arrived at the shelter in need of some serious dental attention and that’s just what he got—14 teeth had to be extracted and now Jedi is feeling a whole lot better! Look at that smile!

Jedi has a few issues that he’s a bit embarrassed about, but he hopes his new family will be understanding. He promises he’ll do his very best to learn quickly through reward-based training, which will be quite easy since Jedi LOVES treats, especially cheese. Jedi is not house-trained and has never learned how to politely walk on leash. He also is about five pounds overweight. He thinks reduced-fat cheese will do just fine during his training lessons.

Jedi was an instant hit with both staff and volunteers at the shelter. Here’s what the Intake staff wrote about him: “Jedi did great upon intake. He took all of his vaccines and medicines very well with barely a reaction. He is very friendly, but has no manners on or off leash.” Besides his dental exam, the WHS vet also found that Jedi has patellar luxations. “A luxating patella is a kneecap that moves out of its normal location. Pet owners may notice a skip in their dog’s step or see their dog run on three legs. Then suddenly they will be back on all four legs as if nothing happened. Many small breed dogs have a genetic predisposition for a luxating patella. Some dogs can tolerate this condition for many years, even for their entire life.” (https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/luxating-patella-in-dogs.)

Jedi is a very social boy. His former family said he loved other dogs and all people. He has not had any experience with cats or children. Megan and I had a great time with him both outside for pictures and in Mary’s Place for some fun.

Jedi is an eager-to-please, active senior. We’re hoping he’ll soon be snuggled in with a patient and loving family. If you think Jedi is just right for you, fill out the Adoption Questionnaire by clicking on Jedi’s picture and then on the link Apply to Adopt found on this page: https://whs4pets.org/dogs/

I’ve been working with the Behavior and Training folks. They’ve helped me a lot! I’m ready for just the right family to adopt me!

Some dogs who arrive at the shelter need extra time to settle in and gain confidence. Morty is such a dog. A two-year-old Australian Cattle Dog mix, Morty was surrendered in January when his family had to move to a smaller house without a backyard. Morty was extremely fearful when he arrived at the shelter. He became a favorite of the Behavior and Training Team who have been working with him since he first came. They feel he is now ready to be adopted by a patient, heeler-breed-savvy person, who will continue the rewards-based training that Morty thrives on.

Morty is extremely bright and WHS Behavior and Training Manager Marilyn writes, “This little heeler is incredibly bright, showing an adept ability to learn every trick in the book. Morty excels at problem-solving and is always willing to jump into a training session. He has learned an amazing repertoire of cues and behaviors as he works for rewards with our training team staff.”

Morty has been quite shy and fearful of meeting new people, and it takes some time to win his trust. Slowly, he has been gaining confidence. Marilyn reports, “Morty is loose, wiggly, and affectionate with ‘his people,’ and his circle of friends is growing. He has played ball and engaged in positive rewards-based training with several of our BT volunteer assistants.”

Dog-selective in playgroups, Morty gets along well with some dogs and doesn’t care for others. He has improved in his dog-to-dog interactions a great deal since January. Here he was with Miska before she was adopted.

Morty is very playful and enjoys jumping on and exploring the various play yard structures. Here are some pictures that WHS Trainer Jessi took last Sunday.

When I asked Jessi to tell me about Morty, she said, “I think Morty would love dog sports and I bet he would love to be someone’s hiking buddy.”

What activities does Morty most enjoy at the shelter? He loves playing fetch, tug with ropes, and practicing agility exercises. He also is delighted when he’s allowed to spend time napping next to his peeps in the training office.

Morty is house- and crate-trained. He is true to his breed and when playing, will nip at pant legs, trying to herd. Because of this, he should not go home with children; teens and adults who will continue to work on building his confidence would be ideal.

Herding dogs are very active, and Morty, at only two years old, will need lots of physical exercise as well as mental challenges to keep him from becoming bored which can lead to unwanted behaviors.

Morty is fearful of handling when he does not feel safe. He will need several visits with a new family in order for them to become part of his “pack,” but once you are a member, you won’t find a more loyal and devoted friend.

Morty has learned to walk very politely on leash and takes most treats gently, unless it’s something extra good that he can’t wait to get. That still needs some work.

The ideal home for this highly intelligent boy would be with a patient breed-savvy person who will continue to help Morty overcome his “stranger danger” fears, who will continue his reward-based training, and who will give him the needed physical and mental exercises that he craves. Morty isn’t the right dog for everyone, but with the right person, he will blossom into a wonderful best friend.

Here was Morty this morning with one of his pack members, WHS Trainer Nichole. He had quite a bit on his mind to discuss with her.

If Morty sounds like a match for you, fill out the Adoption Questionnaire by clicking on Morty’s picture and then on the link Apply to Adopt found on this page: https://whs4pets.org/dogs/

Last week I featured Cedar, a one-year-old Shepherd mix. He is extremely intelligent, affectionate, and active. He is looking for a family who is shepherd-savvy and can give him the attention and adventures he so enjoys. Jessi took these pictures of him on Sunday.

To read more about the kind of home this handsome boy needs, read his feature here:



There are dogs who come to the shelter with issues and, while the staff and volunteers may love them, we worry about who will adopt them. Delilah was one of those dogs.

Delilah arrived at WHS in August of 2019. She was adopted twice, but returned. Volunteers Linda and Jolene took Delilah under their wings and worked with her on her reactivity with other dogs which had resulted in both of her returns. While Delilah was wonderful with people, she did not get along with other dogs.

Then in April of 2020, Delilah found her forever home with one of the WHS volunteer dog walkers, Beth. Last week she sent me this update.

Lucky D, I call her. We’ve been together for one year now. I met her when I was walking dogs at the shelter. She was a wild thing. I didn’t plan on adopting a wild thing. I was ready for an easy dog, but the universe and D chose me. 

The Behavior and Training Team had put a ton of work into her (as they do with lots of dogs at the shelter. Yay, BT Team). Her life now is pretty sweet. She has plenty of room to run, dog friends, walks, ball-throwing and soon she will be going white water rafting down the Owyhee River. We’ve been working on her dog reactiveness, her enthusiastic greetings or warnings, her deciding things on the counter are fair game if she can reach them…..and every day she gets better. 

I was warned she would be an only dog, probably wouldn’t be really good in groups of dogs, etc. I am happy to say she is breaking all those barriers. Galaxy, on the north and Guiness on the south are both good friends. The positive approach to dog training has worked well with Delilah, and I find it helps my interactions in the rest of my life, as well. Both of us are pretty lucky.

On that happy update, that’s it for this week!

As always, I want to thank my “photo team” this week : Staff member Jessi, and volunteers Marianne and Megan.

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 adoptanoregondog14@yahoo.com