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Dear Fellow Dog Lovers,

I’m going to start this post with a love story. Last week I got a text from a fellow shelter volunteer friend, Krystal, inviting me to meet her to visit Coco who is getting very old. Krystal wanted to make sure she saw Coco one last time. I was unable to go, but remembering Coco brought back a flood of memories…

It all started on a spring morning in May of 2012. Krystal received an urgent call from Willamette Humane Society, asking if she could foster a mother dog and her THIRTEEN two-week-old puppies who had just arrived from California. After taking a deep breath, Krystal agreed, and the love story began.

Coco was a wonderful, though overwhelmed and exhausted mother.

The puppies had to eat in shifts, there was the constant hum of the washer and dryer in Krystal’s house, and Coco was often reassured that her babies really would grow up. I loved going over to visit and I had to make a movie. Here is a part of it.

The days flew by and I got to take care of the puppies one weekend when Krystal and her family were away. By this time, the pups were eager to explore their world. I had to make another movie. Here is a part of it.

Before long the puppies were old enough to be spayed/neutered and adopted. Coco had had her last litter of pups (she was thrilled!) and she, too, was adoptable. Friends of Krystal fell in love with Coco and she was soon living in a wonderful, happy, quiet world filled with love and attention. The puppies were quickly adopted to thirteen different families.

Fast forward to September 15, 2014. Invitations had been sent out to fourteen homes to attend a Coco & Puppies Reunion at WHS. Five families were able to come. Did the “puppies” remember each other and their mother? Who knows? But they had a romping good time and the families thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each other and comparing notes.

Coco looked so happy and relaxed with her family.

That brings us to last Wednesday when Krystal visited Coco, who is now between 12 and 14 years old (she was a stray, so we don’t know exactly). The cancer, that was first detected shortly after her puppies arrived, has returned. Krystal sent pictures. We will always remember this sweet and devoted mother dog. Krystal and Coco have a special bond.

And we will always be grateful to Krystal for opening up her house and heart when Coco and 13 little pups needed her most.

Even with the Thanksgiving holiday, we had six adoptions in the last week.


Our youngster, nine-month-old Spice, will keep his family entertained. He needs some training, but as eager as he is, it’ll be fun to do. Here he was with Kate and Marianne last week.


This eight-month-old puppy is pure delight. Such an energetic, fun girl. She’ll be a wonderful family dog, here with Megan and Kate.


On Sunday we got to meet and spend time with Princess’ new people. They adore her and her new name is Nellie. Lucky family.


We are overjoyed that this big boy is now in his new home. Such a handsome dog!


Our sweet Millie was adopted yesterday. What a wonderful girl and what a lucky family!


Our youngster (only one year old) Tobias was adopted today! What a great pup! He will keep his new family active!

Please Note: The dogs I feature in this section are available for adoption as of today, November 30, 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.

Ok, so I have a few issues. Who doesn’t? I’ll be a great companion for the right person. Maybe it’s you?

Pongo is an eight-year-old Chihuahua mix who, at 16 pounds, is a perfect size for a lap, or sitting next to you on a couch.

Pongo was surrendered in July because he wanted to be the only dog in the home. He does not like to share food, toys, or bedding with other dogs. So Pongo will need to be the only pet. His first family had him since he was ten weeks old and had good things to say about this independent, but lovable dog. “Pongo loves to play with toys! Will chew up cotton toys so rubber are the best! Fetch is his favorite game.”

On Sunday we brought Pongo into the Ed Hall (still couldn’t use Mary’s Place) and he had a blast. He was not picky about the size of the toy. And yes, fetch is his favorite game.

Pongo can be quite opinionated and will need a family who will respect his need for space. He would do best with older children who can read body language and know when Pongo wants to be left alone. He can be shy at first meetings, but warms up quickly. His first family wrote, “Pongo is playful, shy with visitors, and independent.” He also loved his rubber chicken and any ball that he could play fetch with. He does need continued help on polite leash-walking, but has gotten better during his walks at the shelter.

On Sunday we discovered he loves to be scratched on his back.

He also gave Linda his full attention when she worked with him with cheese rewards.

Pongo is not the right dog for everyone. He will need a family with patience and a willingness to accept his idiosyncrasies and work around them. But for the right person, Pongo will be a loyal, affectionate friend.

If you would like to meet Pongo to see if you are the person he needs, fill out the Adoption Questionnaire by clicking on his picture and then on the link Adopt Me found here  oregonhumane.org/adopt/salem-shelter-adopt-dogs/

My peeps here at the shelter can’t understand why I haven’t been adopted yet!

Carl is a five-year-old Australian Cattle Dog mix. He is a terrific boy, full of energy, but loving to snuggle up with people who love him, too.

Carl arrived at the shelter on October 20 and has been waiting patiently for a new family to adopt him. He was surrendered because he cannot be around cats or chickens. But in all other ways, this boy is a keeper. His family loved him and told us lots about his personality. “Carl is great with people and other dogs. He is a super smart, loving and friendly companion. He is affectionate, playful, friendly with visitors, and very active. Carl loves to go for walks, spend time at the beach and is happiest when getting attention. He really enjoys playing with other dogs and their companionship. He is very gentle with children.” When left alone in the house, Carla could roam freely and never had accidents. There is one important fact that Carl’s new owners need to know. Remember that I mentioned how smart he is? Well, this boy “can open a gate if not secured with latch lock.” He can also open unlocked doors with his nose, so locks will be necessary in his next home.

During his stay at the shelter, Carl has shown himself to be a delightful character. He knows the cues sit, down, come, and off. During his intake, “he walked into the lobby curious and sniffing around with some low wags. Highly treat motivated—hot dogs. Nosed the staff’s hand in a quick greeting, wagging, then went back to sniffing around the lobby.”

Carl has become a favorite of volunteers. We had so much fun with him a couple of weeks ago in Mary’s Place. When asked what he would be thankful for on Thanksgiving, he had an immediate reply.

Last Sunday, we brought Carl into the Ed Hall where he happily soaked up our attention. He was excited to see Marianne.

Could he BE any more relaxed?

We decided to try Carl with a food puzzle and to no one’s surprise, he was quick to figure out how to get treats out of it.

While we were playing with Carl, a family stopped in to say hi. They were going to adopt a cat, but wanted to meet Carl, anyway. We were so impressed with the gentle way Carl took a treat from their two-year-old daughter.

Carl is going to be a wonderful family dog for the right home—one with no cats and a lock on the door. If you would like to meet Carl, fill out the Adoption Questionnaire by clicking on his picture and then on the link Adopt Me found here  oregonhumane.org/adopt/salem-shelter-adopt-dogs/

I have lots of energy and I LOVE treats—ALL treats!

Lotus is a two-year-old American Pit Bull Terrier mix. She was found as a stray, so we know nothing about her history. We do know that she is highly food-motivated and loves to work for treats. She also has a beseeching gaze!

The Intake team wrote this about her when she arrived at the shelter: “Lotus was very happy and jumpy when we took her out to evaluate her. She was HIGHLY treat-motivated. She practically did everything we wanted her to do if we had treats in our hands. She was also able to be handled and easy to redirect.” Lotus would like a fenced yard to romp in.

Lotus has not had a lot of training, and will need someone who will use positive reinforcement to teach her to walk nicely on leash and to take treats politely. She does know the cue “sit” and we found she is very good about waiting while we fixed a food puzzle for her.

And she was right!

She also liked the “Guess Which Hand?” game with Megan.

A couple of weeks ago, we took her into Mary’s Place and she enjoyed hanging out with us there.

She even sat politely in a chair.

However, her new family will need to keep treats out of her reach, as we found out.

Lotus is hoping for a family who will work with her using positive reinforcement so she will be the terrific family dog she wants to be. If you are interested in meeting Lotus, fill out the Adoption Questionnaire by clicking on her picture and then on the link Adopt Me found here  oregonhumane.org/adopt/salem-shelter-adopt-dogs/

That’s it for this week!

As always, thanks to my photo team volunteers Marianne, Megan, Linda, and Kate.

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: oregonhumane.org/adopt/salem-shelter-adopt-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