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Dear Fellow Dog Lovers,

This week’s post is aimed at a specific audience—those potential adopters who have a soft heart for senior dogs. You know who you are. I’m going to feature four wonderful dogs who have been waiting for their retirement families a long time. I have written about each of them in past features, but still they wait. I’m hoping that writing about them again will spark interest in the hearts of those who, knowing they won’t have their friend as long as if they adopted a youngster, still want to give an old dog the best rest of their life.

But first, I have some terrific adoptions from the past week to announce.


This beautiful girl was adopted (again) on Saturday. We’re hoping her new home is her perfect fit.


This little guy was scooped up right after I met him and took pictures on Sunday. He is such a fun character, I’m sure his family is enjoying watching him settle in.


This girl is a hound through and through. She will bring much joy to her new family.


Freddie is an energetic young dog. He will keep his new peeps entertained and active!

 Please Note: The dogs I feature in this section are available for adoption as of today, July 20, 2022. 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 featured dogs are still available and to see other available dogs, click on the link to the currently available dogs here.

Why should one consider adopting an old dog?

Here’s what internationality-known dog trainer, Victoria Stilwell, writes:

“The need for senior dog adoption is great. What makes this need even more saddening is the fact that, despite the wonderful attributes of older dogs and all the best efforts of most shelters, these dogs are frequently overlooked in favor of puppies and younger animals. The ageism that causes seniors to be passed over is a prejudice without merit, as oftentimes it’s the older dog that is best suited for a happy household and a lasting marriage of dog and family.”

Here are some of the reasons Stilwell gives why an older dog might be your best family match.

“With an older dog, what you see is what you get. There are no surprises. Their physical size is established so there are no mysteries about whether they’ll exceed the weight limit for your apartment, and by and large, their temperament and personality are also fully developed. In other words, they’ve become what and who they are going to be.

An older dog has typically had some basic training and is already familiar with the essential commands that will make life enjoyable for both of you.

[An old dog’s] requirement for exercise will be far less. This attribute alone makes the older dog a great fit for many family situations and an ideal match for the aging adult as well.”

Read Victoria Stilwell’s full article about senior dogs here.

“Some call me a senior dog. That just means I have years of experience in the fine art of friendship.” ~ Anonymous

I may not be young anymore, but my friends here say I still have lots of energy and love to give!

Cowboy is a twelve-year-old Australian Cattle Dog mix. I was instantly smitten when I met him in mid-June.

Cowboy quickly became a favorite of both staff and volunteers. Here’s what a member of the Intake staff wrote about his first meeting: “He is a good boy. He came out of his kennel willingly to greet me and go outside. He wasn’t very interested in peanut butter but loves duck treats. Cowboy was easy to hold for medical procedures. He may be hard of hearing, but didn’t seem reactive to other dogs we passed. Very easy-going dog.”

Megan became a fan during Cowboy’s first photo session.

Cowboy has been an outdoor dog for several years and is very excited about being indoors more. He was surrendered because his person was moving and couldn’t take him. Cowboy is “playful, curious, and likes to chase balls” according to his former owner. He likes other dogs, but will chase cats. He has done very well with children. He is crate-trained and is fine riding in a car. He does seem to be losing some hearing. Since he’s been outside for several years, he may need a little brush-up on house-training. A volunteer dog walker recently wrote, “Cowboy goes on super easy ‘wandering’ walks. He likes to go at a slow pace.”

Upon meeting Cowboy, we were very surprised to learn he is twelve, as he certainly doesn’t act like it. He is eager and very happy to get our attention. He was a hoot in Mary’s Place.

Cowboy has been waiting for his new family since June 16th, but he is ever hopeful.

If you have room in your heart and home for a senior no-drama kind of guy, fill out the Adoption Questionnaire by clicking on Cowboy’s picture and then on the link Adopt Me found on this page: https://whs4pets.org/dogs/.

I’m not a youngster any longer, either, and I have the usual arthritis and lumps of a senior, but I’m a good listener and I still like to play a little ball. Let’s not discuss my kennel presentation. I am waiting for a retirement home. Yours?

Kaylee is a twelve-year-old Australian Shepherd mix who is about as sweet as they come.

She has a large fan club at the shelter. Kaylee was surrendered by her person due to their health; they couldn’t take care of her anymore. Kaylee had the same home for eleven years, so being in a shelter is stressful for her. That brings us to her kennel presentation, which could use some work. When people walk by her kennel, she will likely bark. But spend a little time getting to know her, and you’ll discover what a sweet senior she is.

She loves hanging out in Mary’s Place with some of her fans, Linda, Marianne, Kate, and me.

Kaylee has arthritis and will need to be on medication the rest of her life to ease the discomfort. She will not be up for long hikes, but she enjoys short walks around the neighborhood. Kaylee’s former person told us lots about her. She is “quiet, fairly chill, usually just hangs out with family.” She is house- and crate-trained. When she needs to go out, she whines and stands by the door. She is excited to meet new people. She has lived with cats, but may try to chase an outside feline. She has lived with another dog, but would need to meet any new dog she’d be living with, as she is selective in her friends. She has been very “patient and gentle” with children. She is “fearful of fireworks and large trash bags filled with air.” She can be nervous in new situations, is fine riding in a car, and “loves all treats, is not picky.”

Kaylee has gained many friends at the shelter. One dog-walking volunteer recently wrote, “Kaylee is super sweet, loved her short walk. Loves attention, pets, and to be talked to.”

Did I mention that Kaylee is a good listener?

Kaylee still enjoys playing fetch in a slow-motion kind of way.

Kaylee may not be young anymore, but she will be a wonderful companion for a calm, relaxed family. If that sounds like yours, fill out the Adoption Questionnaire by clicking on her picture and then on the link Adopt Me found on this page: https://whs4pets.org/dogs/. She’s waiting for you.

Do some members of your family want a small lap dog, while others long for a bigger one? Look no further!

Meet Reno and Kona.

Reno and Kona were surrendered together on June 15th due to the death of their owner. Kona was adopted from WHS in 2011, Reno from another shelter two years before Kona. They have lived with each other for nine years and are quite bonded. Kona looks to Reno for reassurance and is happiest when they are together.

Reno and Kona are both twelve years old. Reno is a Chihuahua mix and Kona is a Shepherd mix. Kona feels much better when she is with Reno.

Reno, on the other hand, is confident and happy to be near someone’s lap.

Both Reno and Kona have gotten along well with other dogs. They are okay with cats if the cat stands its ground. If it runs, they will chase. They have not had experience with children. They spent time traveling with their family in an RV. Their former family wrote, “Kona can be nervous, panicky around loud noises but otherwise sweet and a bit shy. She’s otherwise pretty laid back.” Reno, on the other hand, “believes everyone should adore him, he’s unflappable, confident, fearless. Reno needs a slow feeder because he inhales his food, but takes treats gently.” Both dogs are house-trained and never have had accidents. “Kona loves toys that squeak, Reno is a ball player.”

At twelve years old, both dogs have the usual senior conditions and Reno has chronic renal failure, meaning he needs to be on a special diet. But what a joy they will be to a new family.

In Mary’s Place, Reno is his usual clownish self and Kona likes to relax.

Kona, not a drama kind of girl, enjoys just relaxing.

Kona really does take direction from Reno.

We have had such a fun time with these two seniors. We so hope they won’t have to wait much longer for their new family to give them a loving retirement home. If that family might be yours, fill out the Adoption Questionnaire by clicking on their pictures and then on the link Adopt Me found on this page: https://whs4pets.org/dogs/.

I’ll close these senior dog features with this quote: “I can’t think of anything more rewarding than making the last years of a dog’s life the best that they can be.” ~Anonymous


It is very fitting that in a post all about senior dogs, that a young couple who adopted another senior sent a beautiful memorial about their treasured time with him.

Johnny arrived from Maui on June 14, 2019, a transfer from our sister shelter in Hawaii. From the moment he set a paw in Oregon, he was a happy boy. 

He quickly became one of our favorites and we loved spending “blanket time” outside with him.

Johnny was a senior at ten years old, but you’d never have known it, as he was an active, eager boy. He had been a rock star at the Maui shelter, where “Beach Buddies” wrote glowing reports of outings with him. Johnny’s one fault was his kennel presentation—it was terrible. He barked excitedly whenever anyone stopped by his kennel. We worried about him getting adopted. But then one Sunday a young couple stopped in looking for a new best friend. I was so happy that I got to witness their first meeting with Johnny and falling in love with him. It didn’t matter to them that he was a senior or that he barked in his shelter kennel. We were thrilled when they took him home. They changed the spelling of his name to Jonny.

Last week, I received this very touching tribute to our special Maui boy.

“Hi Martha, it has been about a year since our sweet Jonny crossed the rainbow bridge. We spent two wonderful years together. I wish our time together could have lasted longer. I feel lucky to have had the time that we did and we spent it well. He was such a wonderful friend to his little sister, Hershey. He really brought her spirit back after losing her friend a few years before. He always let us know when they were ready for a walk and oh man, we did a lot of adventuring with our boy. He loved just roaming our neighborhood and we were close enough to walk to some dog-friendly establishments. He made so many friends and even a girlfriend that he was obsessed with, Iris. We took him on many adventures. We went on camping trips, beach hangouts and the dogs always came with us on vacations. He loved our outings and at the end of the day he would demand some cuddles. Jonny, our sweet Jonny. He was so full of love, joy, and strength. He made every day brighter and happier. I am grateful for him. It is impossible to put the love and life he was into words. I know he touched many hearts and he will always live on in mine. 

I want to thank you personally for introducing us to Jonny. I know he never forgot the care and love he got from you—and the cheese.😂 

A few months ago we came across Sheldon on your blog and he just stole my heart. He seemed like he would fit into our home nicely and my heart went out to him for losing his person. So…he’s currently sleeping on my couch and I plan on sending an update on how wonderfully he is doing soon.

Here are a few pictures of our boy.”

What a wonderful last two years Jonny had filled with adventures and love. We will always be grateful to his wonderful family for adopting a senior who barked in his shelter kennel. They saw through to his heart and knew he was special.

“Senior dogs: Their devotion is timeless, their devotion is ageless, their love is forever.” ~Pet Connect Rescue

That’s it for this week. I have out-of-state company coming to visit, so I will not be writing next week. I’ll post again on August 3rd.

As always, my thanks to my photo team volunteers Marianne, Megan, Linda, and Kate. Also special thanks to volunteer Susan for going-home pictures.

All of the dogs I have featured today, along with other terrific dogs waiting to be adopted, can be found at Oregon Humane Society Salem Campus. Here is the link to the adoptable-dog page: https://whs4pets.org/dogs/

Remember, if you see a dog on my blog whom you are interested in meeting, try to make arrangements to get to the shelter soon. Some dogs are adopted more quickly than you might think.

You can reach me at  adoptanoregondog14@yahoo.com