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Summer is here and, with it we have some terrific shelter dogs. They are hoping to be adopted soon so they can spend the warm, lazy days with their forever families. I’ll be featuring three of them in this post, plus we have THREE wonderful updates. But first, we had two very special adoptions this week.


If you are a regular reader of my posts, you know Gunner well. He’s been waiting for his new best friend since May 1st. Today he found him. WHS Trainer Nichole wrote, “Gunner was adopted! His new pet parent wants him to become an emotional support animal. He’ll get to go on car rides all over!”


Our sweet, blind Luke went home with another dog roommate who is just as chill as he is and who will help him navigate the world. We are going to miss this gentle boy, but we are thrilled that he is now in a loving home. Here he was last week with Megan and Marianne.

Please Note: 

The dogs I feature in this section are available for adoption as of today, June 2, 2021. But things change fast and our goal is always to find wonderful homes for our dogs as quickly as possible. To see if today’s dogs are still available and to see other available dogs, visit https://whs4pets.org/dogs/ .

I’m an affectionate, active gal looking for a gentle, understanding family. Maybe it’s yours!

Coca Cola is a two-year-old Border Collie/Lab mix who is an absolute delight to be around. I first met her last Sunday while she was having a blast in the play yard with a “donut,” her favorite shelter toy.

Coca Cola was surrendered by her family because, though they loved her very much, they felt she would do better in a different home where she would not be overwhelmed. Before that family adopted her, Coca Cola’s life was not ideal. Punishment rather than reward-based training caused her to be anxious and fearful of loud voices and corrections. As the children in her new home got older, Coca Cola became more anxious and would at times submissively wet and withdraw from interacting with her family. Because of her anxiety with the family dynamics, they felt she would do better in a home where she would feel less stress.

So in what kind of home would Coca Cola thrive? Her former owner wrote, “I believe she would do best with an active outdoor family with another dog and a big yard to run in.” Coca Cola throughly enjoys playing with other dogs and has done well in our shelter play groups. She loves to race, is very fast, and is always at the front of the group. One play group helper wrote, “She will mingle in a yard with other dogs, and is VERY friendly with handlers and allows a lot of petting and interaction.” She also is thrilled to play fetch with either tennis balls or Frisbees, which she will return to you to be thrown again…and again. She “likes to sit with people and lean on them while receiving back and rump scratches,” writes a volunteer.

When we took Coca Cola out to the big yard to play fetch, she was overjoyed and then wanted to pose for pictures with Marianne.

Coca Cola can be timid when meeting new people, but once she knows you, she blossoms with personality. She is extremely well-mannered. Her former family reports that she knows the cues for “sit,” “down,” “stay,” and “with us.” She is extremely fearful of crates but is fine when left loose alone in the house. She is house-trained and will alert when she needs to go out by giving “intense eye contact and wiggling by the door.”

Coca Cola does her very best to please her people. Though she is nervous riding in the car, she is always cooperative. The same is true during vet visits, baths, and nail trims. Do you like to go to the beach? Well, so does Coca Cola, in fact it’s her FAVORITE place to go. Coca Cola has lived well with cats and even lived with a bunny, but she became fearful when he started bullying her. When asked what words would describe Coca Cola best, her family wrote the following: “loving, eager to please, active, and excitable.”

Coca Cola is a very sensitive, sweet girl. She needs a home where only rewards-based training is used. She must not have stern, voice-raised corrections. In return, she will be a fun, loyal, and loving addition to the right family.

If your family seems like the understanding and encouraging one that Coca Cola deserves, fill out the Adoption Questionnaire by clicking on Coca Cola’s picture and then on the link Apply to Adopt found on this page: https://whs4pets.org/dogs/. We’re hoping her new family will find her soon. She’s waiting for you!

They say I’m a bit “needy,” but if you would like a lap dog who will love to be with you—like a lot, come and meet me!

Are you a fan of little dogs? Do you like having a dog think that you are the world and wants to be with you as much as she can? If so, you need to meet Lola, a six-year-old Chihuahua. Lola was surrendered because her person moved and couldn’t take her.

Here she is with WHS Trainer Jessi, who decided to take Lola home to foster her until she got adopted.

When she arrived at the shelter, Lola was nervous and fearful, but there was a good reason. She is going blind. She was in a car accident when she was a puppy. She now has cataracts and a retinal detachment so the prognosis for her vision is not good.  And because she cannot really see, she is fearful and shy around new people and things. But give her some time to trust, and she becomes a different dog. Here is what WHS Trainer Nichole wrote about her recently: “During each walk I took Lola to the same place via the same route. I sat quietly in the grass each time. By the evening walk, Lola was jumping into my lap for comfort when loud noises occurred. By the noon walk on the next day, Lola was wagging her tail and jumping up on my legs. Volunteer Marianne and I took her the same way to the same turnout. I sat on the grass and she immediately jumped into my lap. I lay down in the grass. She lay down next to me and rolled over to expose her belly. I gently rubbed it. While we were leaving, Lola was hopping on her hind legs asking Marianne for pets.”

In play groups, Lola has mingled with other dogs, but kept close track of her foster mom, Jessi. Over time, she has broadened her circle of trusted friends. Here she is with volunteer Char.

Once Lola trusts a person, she bonds strongly. She is the happiest when she is in a lap. Her former person reported that she does not like to be left alone. She did not cause any damage, just seemed depressed, not eating until the owner returned. Lola is house-trained and also uses potty pads when she can’t go outdoors. She has gotten along with cats, but can get jealous if she feels they are getting attention she should be getting. She does need to be muzzled during vet visits, as she is very fearful.

Here’s what Jessi has to say about fostering Lola: “Lola has been a great house guest. She sleeps through the night (in an x-pen since she has vision issues) and has not had one accident in the house. She does bark and dance around when she has to potty. She is good with dog-savvy kids but again, due to her lack of vision, she can be startled easily if surprised. She tolerates other dogs in the home and in shelter playgroups. She doesn’t play, but allows loose body greets and mingles with them. She likes to be near people and will try and convince you she needs to be picked up or hang out in your lap all the time 🙂 Lola is treat-motivated and we even started working on some basic commands. She can sit on cue! She walks well on leash and while she does have limited-to-no vision, she gets around fine and is able to blend into even a busy household as long as she has a person to support her :)”

Here she is at Jessi’s house with Jr. Dog Trainer Cash who won her over almost immediately.

Lola will need a home where a person will be there much of the time to enjoy the company of a lap dog. If you think your family is what Lola needs, fill out the Adoption Questionnaire by clicking on Lola’s picture and then on the link Apply to Adopt found on this page: https://whs4pets.org/dogs/. We’re hoping her new family will find her soon. She’s waiting for you!

Are you looking for a dog who will keep you laughing? Someone who is goofy and fun? I’m it!

Every so often a dog arrives at the shelter who makes everyone laugh—I mean really laugh. Meet Arlo, our current comedian extraordinaire.

Arlo is a three-year-old Labradoodle. He has been at WHS twice, the first time because the family’s circumstances changed and this time because Arlo was not the right fit for his person’s lifestyle.

Arlo was extremely cooperative during his intake. Staff noted that he “allowed full exam of ears, paws and mouth. No sign of fear or anxiety.”

Arlo is a happy, rambunctious, and playful young dog who loves all people and using his brain. His favorite thing in the world is to play fetch, and while he won’t actually bring the ball back to you, he will drop it when you offer to throw another one. Here he was during a recent game with WHS Trainer Jessi when it didn’t go quite as Arlo hoped.

But Arlo does not let a failed attempt faze him. His joyful racing around the yard, tennis ball in mouth, makes us all laugh.

Arlo also enjoys the hanging out in the pool, of course with tennis ball in mouth.

Arlo is very smart and has loved working with the Behavior and Training staff on such things as impulse control and taking treats politely. He knows the cues for “sit,” “shake,” “come,” and “down.” He is treat-motivated and throughly enjoys training sessions, not only because he loves to learn, but he happily laps up the human attention. Look at his attentiveness to Jessi.

Arlo will need to be the only pet in the home and is not an off-leash kind of boy. Because of his enthusiasm for everything, he would do best with older kids. He would be overwhelming for toddlers. Arlo bonds easily and will be a devoted and affectionate family member. He is house-trained and in his former home, rang a bell when he needed to go outside. In the spirit of full disclosure, Arlo does admit to sometimes checking out what’s been left on the counter or in the garbage—not things he is proud of, but true. His new family will need to be alert.

If you don’t have any other pets and want a dog who will cheer you up, keep you laughing, and be a wonderful friend, fill out the Adoption Questionnaire by clicking on Arlo’s picture and then on the link Apply to Adopt found on this page: https://whs4pets.org/dogs/.

We have three heartwarming updates this week.


Morty waited since last January for his just-right person. This is a picture that WHS Trainer Jessi took while working to help build his courage.

He was finally adopted last week and staff got this wonderful report on his adjustment to his new family: “Morty is doing GREAT. He is settling into his new home well. Not nipping at people and will only bark for a second when people walk through the door. He snuggles up to people for belly rubs and pets. Loves to chase his ball, but is not so good at bringing it back yet. He is fitting in quite well and is going to have a great life. Thank you for bringing the two of us together.


Bella arrived at WHS in late November 2019, having been found as a stray running loose with no collar. I met her the following Sunday and fell in love with this gentle, sad girl. No matter how I tried, I could not get the worried look to disappear. Her eyes were so sorrowful. I hoped she would find a great home soon.

She did. A wonderful family fell in love at first sight and took her home.

We got a happy update soon after Bella, now Ellie, was settled in her new home. Last week we got another one from the younger daughter. She wrote the following:

“Dear People of the Willamette Humane Society,

I am ten years old. On December 7th, 2019, we adopted my dog, Ellie. Her name was originally Bella. She is really fun to play with and is the best dog we have ever had. I would just like to thank you for the things you do for the animals there. It really means a lot to me and my family.”


Talker was one of the Huskies rescued from the Oregon wildfires last September. Very shy, she slowly gained confidence as the staff worked with her. When she was ready, she was adopted. It took time and patience when she first met her new family. But Talker (now Stormi) was going home with Husky-savvy peeps and she was going to have a new brother, Thor. Here is a picture of the first shy meeting.

We got a terrific update last December and this week we got another one. WHS Trainer Nichole wrote, “Another fabulous update on one of the wildfire Huskies, Stormi (aka Talker). How content does she look (she’s the one lying down)?!  :)”

Good evening! 

We have had Miss Stormi for seven months now. In some ways, it seems like she just came to us and in others, it feels like she’s always been ours. We call her our Princess. You wouldn’t even recognize her. She runs around and plays in the yard, makes friends with our neighbors, sleeps on our bed like it’s hers, and has gained about 20 pounds! I’m including a picture. I think these two were posing for me!

With those very happy updates, that’s it for this week!

Thanks to staff members Jessi and Nichole and volunteers Megan, Marianne, Char, and Jr. Dog Trainer Cash for their help with this post.

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. And please remember that sometimes dogs are adopted quickly, so might have already found a great home by the time you ask about them.

You can reach me at adoptanoregondog14@yahoo.com