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I went to the shelter twice in the last week, first on Wednesday to catch up on taking photos of new arrivals. Since only one additional new dog came to the shelter by Sunday, it meant that our “photo crew” got to spend lots of quality time with the dogs I’d decided to feature this week. We had a great day. The weather was perfect for some Blanket Time and the dogs loved it. But first, here are the adoptions that have occurred since my last post.


The moment Pippa arrived at WHS, we knew she’d be gone in a flash. What a sweet, smiling girl she is.

Adoption Specialist Sasha sent me this happy going-away photo of Pippa, and as always, she is smiling. Her new sibling doesn’t yet seem quite as smitten with her as we all were.


You may remember that in last week’s post I reported on Pea Pie’s adoption, then featured his brother, Bunny, who was still waiting for a new family. Well, it didn’t take long, and Bunny is now happily settling into his new home. Sasha sent me this going-home shot.


We all fell in love with our senior boy, Petey, as soon as we met him. At nine years old, Petey still has a lot of spunk and personality. Here he was with Megan. We are thrilled he is now living a great life in his retirement home.

Please Note: The dogs I feature in this section are available for adoption as of today, July 14, 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’ve been here a long time while I wait for my perfect family match. I’m not the right dog for every family, but I’m a great dog for the right one! Could that be yours?

I’ve written about Coco before, and while I’ve spent some time with him, I hadn’t had a chance to really get to know him. Volunteer Linda has worked a great deal with this little guy and on Sunday, Marianne, Megan, and I joined Linda in giving Coco some quality time that he deserved.

Sometimes a dog arrives at the shelter having had a difficult beginning in their young life which results in behaviors that can be challenging. They need a special kind of family. They are not the right fit for a casual dog owner. They are waiting for a family who has the love, patience, understanding, and time to help them overcome their fears and insecurities. And what will the adopters receive in return? They will earn the lifetime devotion of a best friend.

Coco is a one-year-old, eleven-pound, affectionate, bouncy little dog who first arrived at the shelter last December 6th 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 barking and reactivity toward other dogs and strangers. Thus, Coco has not had much stability in his early life—three homes in less than a year is confusing to a young dog. After his second return, he started hiding under his bed and had to be coaxed to come out.

This is what we would see in Coco’s kennel. Yes, he was there—under his bed.

When coaxed, he would come to the front of his kennel.

Coco is house- and crate-trained. He was relaxed in his crate in his first former home, 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. Last week he was absolutely delighted when WHS Pet Adventure Camp kids read to him while sitting outside of his kennel. He rolled over on his back in his bed and got as close to them as he could through his kennel bars.

Coco is a cuddler with people whom he trusts and bonds strongly with them. If you are his friend, he will jump into your lap in pure joy. He is extremely treat-motivated and isn’t picky about what kind of treat he earns for good behavior. 

On Sunday, Linda worked with him on impulse control. Coco finds it a challenge to be calm when he’s so excited to be with his friends.

In the spirit of full disclosure, Coco’s attention span is quite short.

Coco is not an apartment kind of dog. He barks. Shelter staff and volunteers have been working with him and his new family will need to continue to help him through rewards-based training. 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. He would rather romp in a yard than go for a walk. 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.” Because of his agility and speed, his nickname at the shelter is White Lightning.

We took him out to a yard on Sunday and he had a blast.

If you motion for him to jump up into your arms, he will!

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. When I think of the perfect home for Coco, I think of a family with older kids or a retired couple with a fenced yard. He would not need to be taken on walks where he will become reactive when he sees another dog. He will get plenty of exercise romping with his people in his yard.

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. He will be so worth the effort it will take to help him overcome his fears.

He really enjoyed our time together on Sunday. Here he was with Marianne and Megan.

On Tuesday, Coco got to go on an outing to the recycling center! Volunteer Jolene wrote, “Here’s a photo of Linda and Coco on our big adventure at the recycling center. He was a good boy.”

Coco has been waiting since December for just the right match of a family. He hasn’t gotten discouraged, and he now runs to the front of his kennel when a volunteer comes to take him out. We know there is someone needing a friend who will recognize the loving heart of this little dog. We hope they come soon.

If you think you might be the right family for Coco, fill out the Adoption Questionnaire by clicking on Coco’s picture and then on the link Adopt Me found on this page: https://whs4pets.org/dogs/.

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

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. He is an active dog who loves to play with his peeps and race around a yard. Here he was on Sunday.

What Jackson does not like are other dogs, cats, and baths. He will have to be the only pet in the home. He also will require a securely fenced yard and he 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.

While Jackson seeks attention, he can be handling-sensitive, especially on his back. His new family needs to be dog-body-language savvy and recognize his body language when he indicates 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.”

One of his favorite volunteers is Nicola, who sent me these pictures of her recent relaxed time with Jackson.

On Sunday, we spent some Blanket Time with Jackson, which we all enjoyed.

Then we went out to a yard to play. He loved it.

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

I’m uneasy here at the shelter. I hope my new people come soon.

Are you looking for a dog who will be loyal, loving, and a cuddler? Roxie is a seven-year-old Pit Bull Terrier/Lab mix. This is her second time at WHS. She was first adopted from us as a youngster. She lived happily with her family for seven years, but they moved and could not take her with them, though they loved her.

Roxie will need a dog-savvy family who will be understanding, patient, and alert about her quirks. Roxie can be very anxious in new environments and when riding in a car. She will need to be the only pet. She can be reactive toward other dogs when on leash or behind a barrier and she does not like cats. But oh, what a delightful dog Roxie is, too. Her former family describes her as “sweet and loving around everyone she knows.” When she is with her family, “her relaxed personality makes her seem almost like a cat. She is a really good cuddler.”

Marianne, Linda, and I saw the “cuddly” side of Roxie on Sunday when we took her out in the big yard to play.


Roxie is house-trained and will alert when she needs to go out by pawing at you, running to the door, and whining. She is not a fan of nail trims—she squirms—but does well with baths. Roxie can be handling-sensitive, especially around her ears. She gets excited when company comes and is jumpy, but settles down quickly. She has a good history with older children and loves being around them. She knows several basic cues including “sit,” “paw,” “ok,” and *sometimes* “down.”

While Roxie is crate-trained, she has not spent much time in one. She is not very treat-motivated, but does enjoy bits of chicken. Her favorite toys are balls, ropes, and stuffed animals. She is frightened of fireworks and other loud noises. When anxious, Roxie can become a “door dasher,” so her family needs to be watchful. She will need slow introductions to new people, places, and situations. Even though Roxie is seven, she has lots of energy and will need plenty of exercise. She loves to romp around a yard.

We had a lot of fun with her outside.

Roxie is quite uneasy at the shelter and is hoping her new family will come soon. While she has some quirks, you won’t find a more loving and devoted new best friend. If Roxie sounds like she would be a good fit for your family, fill out the Adoption Questionnaire by clicking on Roxie’s picture and then on the link Adopt Me found on this page: https://whs4pets.org/dogs/.


I first wrote about Gunner in my August 20, 2014 post. Here is part of what I wrote to introduce him: “Gunner is a four-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix who arrived at WHS from a shelter in California. The first time I met him last week he was so shy and nervous I couldn’t get him to even look at the camera. I felt so sorry for him. But by Sunday he was settling in and was much more relaxed. He enjoyed play group and got along fine with the other dogs. He’s a good boy who hopes to find a home where the family will be patient and understanding while he adjusts to his new life. Jolene and I really enjoyed our time with this sweet boy.”

Gunner was adopted into a wonderful family with two dog siblings. By 2019, Gunner’s buddies had died and his people came back to the shelter to adopt another friend to keep Gunner company. This time it was Thor, a volunteer favorite. I happened to be at the shelter when they brought Gunner to meet Thor. It was best friends at first sight.

I was thrilled to get occasional updates on Gunner and Thor from their dog mom, Kim. Here they were dressed for Halloween last October.

A couple of weeks ago, Kim sent me an email with the sad news that Gunner had died. I asked if she would like to write a memorial to him and she did.

“We adopted Gunner in 2014. He was four years old and a very handsome guy. We had never had a Pit mix and honestly, we were nervous. We had two dogs and three cats at the time. There were growing pains, but Gunner fit right in.

In 2017, we lost our other two dogs, and Gunner’s personality shined being an only dog. Gunner loved water and during the summer we would set up a sprinkler and he could play in the water for hours. Gunner also loved toys, really any kind of toys, but the ones that squeaked were his favorite. He would spend hours trying to get the squeaker out of them and usually succeeded.

And Gunner loved us. He wanted to be with us no matter where we were. His person was my husband, James. They did everything together. When James was at home, Gunner was right next to him.

In October 2019, we adopted Thor and they became best buds. They went to the doggy spa once a month. Thor didn’t love that, but liked to go wherever Gunner went.

Gunner was diagnosed with La Par at the beginning of the year. It was advancing, so we scheduled the surgery to help him out. The surgery went well, but unfortunately afterward, he was never able to fully breathe on his own without a breathing tube. So we had to make the decision to let him go. It was one of the hardest decisions that we have ever had to make. We were devastated. Our hearts were broken and they still are. Thor is a little lost. I don’t think he’s ever been an only dog before.

Gunner taught us so much about his breed—they’re gentle, tough, loyal, and have so much love to give. Thank you to WHS for giving us the opportunity to adopt and love Gunner for seven years.” 

Gunner was a wonderful dog. One of my favorite quotes at times like this was written by Tracy Crandall, WHS Board President, several years ago, and I have never forgotten it. Tracy said, “I think the reason we are so deeply affected by the absence of a beloved pet is because our lives were so profoundly touched by their presence.”

That’s it for this week.

Thanks to Adoption Specialist Sasha, and volunteers Megan, Marianne, Linda, and Jolene 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