, , , , , , , ,

Last Sunday was the annual WillaMutt Strut, a fundraiser for WHS to help in the care of all of our shelter dogs and cats. For the second year, the Strut had to be virtual, but staff and volunteers did their best to make it a fun and money-making event. I was at the shelter on Saturday as participants came to pick up their “goodie bags” in preparation for the big day.

I was especially excited to see one of my all-time favorite former shelter dogs, Ruby.

Flashback—Tig arrived at the shelter on April 17, 2011 when she was about a year old. I immediately fell in love with her. She was beautiful with soulful eyes and I hoped she’d be adopted quickly.

I didn’t have to worry long. On April 23, her forever family, Jeff and Tracy, changed her name to Ruby and took her home. Ruby has had a wonderful life filled with love. I always look forward to seeing what she has decided to dress as for Halloween, her favorite holiday.

Ruby is now eleven years old and beginning to show her age. She is almost deaf and becoming stiffer in her back legs. But Tracy says she still does her zoomies. “In the yard she can leap over shrubs or anything that’s in her racetrack path, although she does it less now, and we cringe when she does it.”

Here Tracy, Jeff, and Ruby were on Saturday. Although Ruby is getting gray in her face and can no longer hear, she still is a delightful character who loves her family and life.

Over the years Ruby has loved to participate in the “My Dog Will Eat This” contest at the Strut and usually won—she has never been a picky eater! This year she defended her title of “Most Wins” and won first place again! Here’s her entry photo and she certainly looks proud of herself!

We had three happy adoptions during the last week.


Our goofy comedian, Arlo, was adopted on Friday. He will keep his new family active playing fetch and laughing at his antics. We are so happy he now has a new home. BUT! Typical Arlo, he wanted to tell you himself.

Coca Cola

Our sweet Coca Cola went home with her new peeps on Friday, also. Adoption Specialist Sasha sent me this great picture. So happy for our girl!


There was a perfect-fit adoption on Sunday. Shy and almost-blind little Lola went home with her new person. The lady told me that Lola needs someone to see for her, and the lady needs a lap companion. Yep, sounds like a perfect fit. Here was Lola in her foster home with Junior Trainer Cash a few days ago. He is very happy that she now has a forever home.

Please Note: 

The dogs I feature in this section are available for adoption as of today, June 9, 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/ .

Ok, so I’m not the easiest dog to find a home for, but if you are my forever person, I promise, I’ll be your best friend EVER!

When I arrive at the shelter each Sunday morning and walk through the kennels to say hi to all of the dogs, this is what I see when I get to Coco’s kennel.

It’s obvious someone lives there. There are toys scattered about and a bed with blankets. But where is Coco? I have learned that all I have to do is ask, “I wonder if Coco wants a bit of cheese?” Suddenly from under the bed, a little dog scurries to the front of her kennel and looks at me hopefully. Coco is a one-year-old Chihuahua mix.

After some cheese, he is eager for pets. Here is volunteer Megan giving him some much appreciated attention.

So at this point, you are no doubt thinking, “Why on earth has this cute dog not been adopted?” Well, he has—twice. But neither home was the right fit for this active boy who the staff calls “White Lightning” because of his love of racing around the yard.

Coco is an eleven-pound, affectionate, bouncy little dog who first arrived at the shelter because his family was moving. Intake staff reported that he was “friendly, tolerated all handling, was very social and active. He loved sitting in laps and getting pets. He did not mind being fitted with a harness and we were able to vaccinate him with no problems.”

Coco was quickly adopted, but returned when it became clear that he did not feel comfortable with small children. He was adopted again, but returned because of his reactivity toward other dogs and strangers, and barking. Coco has not had much stability in his early life—three homes in less than a year is confusing to a young dog. He needs an understanding and patient family who will work with him through reward-based training to help him overcome his anxiety.

Coco is house- and crate-trained. He was relaxed in his crate and slept in it at night. He knows some basic commands including “come,” “sit,” and “off.” He LOVES stuffed animals, rope toys, and balls. He has done very well with children over nine years old. He’s a cuddler with people that he trusts. If you are his friend, he will jump into your lap in pure joy.

Volunteer Linda has spent quite a lot of time with Coco and I love to watch them interact. She has been working with him on his reactivity toward other dogs and I observed some wonderful progress this morning when I was at the shelter. Coco is extremely treat-motivated and isn’t picky about what kind of treat he earns for good behavior. His new family will need to continue this work. Coco bonds strongly and lovingly with his peeps, as you can see with Linda.

Coco is not an apartment kind of dog. He barks. His new family will need to be willing to help him with this behavior, too. Because of his reactivity toward other dogs, Coco will need to be the only pet in the home. He would love a yard to race around in. WHS Trainer Nichole writes, “Coco can leap over downed tree branches in a single bound, then jump into your arms to give your ear a good lick.”

Loud noises, sudden movements, small children, and strangers frighten Coco. He will do best in a quiet home where he can relax with his trusted people, play fetch (he LOVES fetch) in the back yard, and snuggle with his family in the evenings, preferably in someone’s lap.

Coco obviously isn’t the right dog for many families. But we hope that there is one that is just right for this little character who wants so badly to have forever peeps of his own who will love him. He will be so worth the effort it will take to help him overcome his fears.

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

Do you like to read? Well, I like to listen to someone reading to me. We could be a team! You read, I’ll listen, and we’ll add in a few cheese bits for fun! Sounds like a great life to me!

Jackson is a five-year-old, fifteen-pound Chihuahua mix. He has been at WHS twice because neither home was the right fit. Jackson is really hoping that his next home will be just the right one. He’s not a great poet, but he is sincere.

Jackson loves people. He craves attention, enjoys lap time, and his favorite toys are tennis balls and Kongs. Jackson is crate-trained and is used to sleeping in his crate at night and goes in it sometimes during the day to nap. Jackson is an active dog who loves to play with his peeps and race around a yard.

What Jackson does not like are other dogs and baths. He will have to be the only pet in the home. He also will require a securely fenced yard and is not an apartment dog. He needs a home where he does not have to have close contact with other dogs, as he is fearful in such situations and becomes reactive. As for baths, Jackson is afraid of running water. Flushing the toilet will send him racing into the other room. And though he is embarrassed to admit, he can be a “door dasher” if given the chance.

Although shy at first meetings, Jackson is quick to warm up to people as Megan found out during his photo shoot.

While Jackson seeks attention, he can be handling-sensitive, especially on his back. His new family will need to be alert for his body language indicating when he is uncomfortable and give him space. When left alone, Jackson does fine. He is not destructive and mostly sleeps. He loves car rides and listening to someone read to him. Jackson is highly treat-motivated (Beggin’ Strips and cheese are his favorites) and is thrilled to earn treats while learning new skills. He is affectionate, attentive, and can’t wait to finally find the right home situation where he will thrive. His former families describe him as “loving, playful, happy, and sometimes hyper.”

Are you are looking for a dog who will keep you laughing and active? Despite a few issues, he will be a loyal companion. Fill out the Adoption Questionnaire by clicking on Jackson’s picture and then on the link Apply to Adopt found on this page: https://whs4pets.org/dogs/. He’s hoping his new family will find him soon.

I’m still waiting…I’ve been here a long time. Might YOU be the person I’ve been hoping for?

Theo arrived at the shelter on April 29th. He has been patiently waiting for the right family fit ever since. I wrote about him in my May 26th post. He needs a big-dog savvy person. At 96 pounds of enthusiasm, he is no couch potato. I wanted to add a few new pictures of him from last week. This boy LOVES tennis balls and carrying them around while he sprints around the yard. He is not satisfied with just ONE tennis ball…

Two tennis balls stuffed in his mouth was quite something, but he was not through, yet!

To read all about Theo in his featured post and find out how you can meet him, click here.

We have one happy update to report this week.


Lincoln arrived at WHS on May 11th and we knew that he wouldn’t be around long. I mean, look at that face! This youngster was adopted six days later. Here he was with Megan and Marianne shortly after he came to the shelter.

Last week WHS staff got this happy update:

Hi, All! Just wanted to give you a quick update on Lincoln, who now goes by Stanley. He has been a real pleasure. We’re at the two-week mark and he has settled into our household just fine. He and our older dog are great buddies since they both like that rough play. Lots of tug-of-war with those two! We’re signed up for a basic manners class with a positive dog trainer our vet recommended, so we’re looking forward to learning some new things. However, Stanley has been such a good boy that the class will just be the icing on the cake. He sleeps great all night outside his crate, has been perfectly potty-trained, and really tries hard to do his best. Even the cats are starting to get used to him. He did have a bit of resistance at the vet’s office but they worked through it. We know it was just because he was afraid and we couldn’t go in with him.

Stanley is a HUGE hit at the dog park where we go every day. He plays with everybody and ‘catch me if you can’ is his favorite game! That really helps manage all that puppy energy. He also has been on a number of hikes with us at Smith Rock State Park. He’s a perfect little gentleman when he meets other hikers and dogs.

Anyway I just wanted to let you know he’s a happy boy and we’re nuts about him! Thank you all SO much! We feel very, very grateful to have Stanley in our family!!!

With that terrific update, that’s it for this week! 

Thanks to staff members Jessi and Nichole and volunteers Megan, Marianne, Linda, 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