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Dear Fellow Dog Lovers,

I’m going to start this post with a some great news.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will remember Maggie, our sweet, tennis-ball-obsessed girl who was accepted into the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) in California.

We recently got this wonderful update from SDF.

“We’re very excited that Maggie arrived safely at our training center campus in Santa Paula, CA. Such a fun girl, she came out of the crate ready to play ball! She also seemed to love all of the extra attention she was getting from our team on site, as they all dropped what they were doing to welcome her to our National Training Center.

Over the next 3-4 weeks, our staff will let Maggie settle into her new digs and get used to the new environment. Maggie will enjoy daily exercise, trips to our “doggy day spa” for baths and nail trims, and will get to know her new friends here at SDF (both canine and human). 

Once our training staff feels that Maggie is properly acclimated and has a chance to adjust to her new surroundings, Maggie will go through our formal performance evaluation with our trainers to determine if she will be a good fit for our nine-to-twelve-month search and rescue training program. This evaluation includes tests similar to those you sent us video of, along with additional assessments on one of our rubble piles. 

If Maggie meets the criteria for our program, she will immediately begin training daily with our canine care staff and trainers. Within that 3-4 week timeframe, she will also undergo a full medical evaluation to ensure there are no medical issues that would put Maggie at potential risk in a search and rescue career. This would include x-rays for hips, elbows, and spine. 

If Maggie decides at any point during evaluation or training that disaster search is not for her, we will find an alternative career placement for Maggie or a loving home through our Lifetime Care Program. 

Of course, I will let you know the results of the performance and medical screenings. Thank you for all of your help in getting Maggie to this point—we are excited to work with her!”

We are so happy for Maggie. What an exciting new life for a former shelter dog!

We had some wonderful adoptions in the last week.


We were so happy that Duke found a new home. He was such a gentleman and a volunteer favorite. Thanks for the going-home picture, staff member Mackenzie.


We didn’t get to know this newbie well, but we could tell he’ll be a great family dog.


Rayna was another newbie who was adopted soon after she arrived. She was shy, but a very nice girl. Thanks for the going-home picture, Marianne.


Drum roll! Happy Dance! Our long-termer and multiple-times-adopted sweet Beya was adopted once again today! She loved her new family and hopped right in the car to go home. We are so hoping THIS will be Beya’s perfect fit! Staff member Mackenzie sent me these wonderful pictures of Beya’s most excellent day!


Our sweet Meringue went to her new home on Sunday. Riley sent me this great going-home picture! Oh! And that is her happy face!


This was one cute adoption! Puppy Snow went home with his new family. He will keep them active! It was a real challenge to try to get him to stay still for a nanosecond for a picture.


Bean was adopted today! Such a good boy. Very lucky family.

Please Note: The dogs I feature in this section are available for adoption as of today, February 22, 2023. 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.

My friends here at the shelter say I’ve come a long, long way since I got here and was very scared. Now I’m ready for a family of my own.

Suzanne is a one-year-old Lab mix, who along with another dog was found as a stray.

We don’t know why Suzanne was so afraid when she arrived. Perhaps she was not well socialized as a puppy. Whatever it was left her extremely fearful of any person she does not know. We call this “stranger danger” but what a difference patience and love has made in the weeks Suzanne has been at the shelter. She still has some fear at first meetings, but the number of human friends she has is growing every day. One staff trainer recently wrote, “Suzanne has come a long way. She is active, playful and engaging, not fearful and defensive as she was with everyone to start. She now has many friends. Her stranger danger is improving, too.” Another staff member wrote, “Suzanne saw multiple new people today while on her noon and evening walks, she noticed them and focused for several moments, then easily turned and kept walking by my side. No barking at all, and she completely forgot there were new people around once we continued our walk.” Each new milestone is celebrated by staff and volunteers. “Another big step for Suzanne. She went through the front lobby door and took tossed treats from a volunteer who was a complete stranger.”

Suzanne is not a dog for a first-time dog owner. Even with her improvement, her person will need to be able to read dog body language and know what to do when Suzanne is afraid.

Because of her fears, she has been a staff-only project. But gradually she is meeting volunteers. I first met Suzanne a week ago to get some pictures. She was not only afraid of me, but also of my camera. But within minutes, she was running around the yard, though she kept some distance between us and looked worried when I held up the camera.

What a difference a week makes! Since we wanted to feature her in this post, we asked Skylar, one of the shelter trainers, to bring her to the big yard with us. We had a wonderful time! Look at her now.

One of the fun things about Suzanne is that she can easily entertain herself if she has some toys. She loves to lope carrying a ball in her mouth, as you’ll see in her movie.

Suzanne is not picky about the kind of ball she has. She will sit and wait for it to be thrown.

Skylar encouraged her to get up on the platform with a bit of cheese.

Once up, she had a visit with Linda.

When it was time to go back to her kennel, she wanted to say something to potential adopters.

Suzanne is waiting for a specific kind of home. She will be most comfortable in a calm, quiet one with low-traffic and with a dog-experienced family. She has lived with other dogs happily. If Suzanne sounds like your perfect fit, 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/

I am looking for my perfect fit of a family. Do you like a dog with energy? If so, you and I will make a great team!

Margo is a medium-sized three-year-old Lab/Australian Shepherd mix. She is very treat-motivated and knows several cues, among them sit and down, which I found out immediately upon meeting her. She will be so much fun to train with reward-based instruction.

Margo was first surrendered because she had too much energy. The family didn’t have the time to spend with her, so she was crated too much. They want her to have a home where she gets the attention and love that she craves and deserves. She was adopted once, but it was not the right fit, and now she is back at the shelter hoping her perfect family will find her. She has seemed very sad in her kennel since she has been back. She sits quietly on her bed and it’s easy for potential adopters to pass her by and hardly notice her.

But on Sunday I told her we were going to feature her again and brought her into Mary’s Place. She sprang to life and was so happy to be with us and getting attention.

Margo’s former family had a lot of things to tell us about her: “She is very sweet but not very socialized and gets excited when she meets new friends. She has playfully nipped at people and other dogs. She loves belly rubs and cuddles. Loves to sleep at the foot of the bed. She has lots of energy.” When asked how they would describe Margo, her family wrote, “She’s affectionate, playful and very active. She loves basketballs and playing chase.” Margo is house-trained and was crated when her people were gone. She would like to meet any dog she will be living with, but in the past has gotten along with most other dogs. She should not go to a home with a cat as she chases them. Older children would be best for Margo. Her former family wrote, “She is extremely playful but because she is big and uses her mouth to play, it can be a lot for small children. Older kids or teens would be fine.” She walks well on leash most of the time, but does pull when she wants to meet a person or another dog.

She had a lot to say during our time in Mary’s Place.

Margo can settle nicely and relax after playing.

Margo is not shy about sharing her opinions and she can be a bit of a drama queen, especially when it’s time to put on her leash and go back to her kennel…

To see more pictures and a movie of Margo in action, see my first feature about her here.

If you are looking for an active, affectionate, and bright new family member, come and meet Margo. 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/

Are you timid and startled by loud noise? Do you have a quiet home? Do you have a patient and understanding heart? Maybe you could adopt me?

Rose is an eight-month-old American Pit Bull Terrier mix. She came to us from another shelter, so we have no idea what her young life has been like. We do know that she has not been well socialized. She is fearful of any noise or sudden movement and is uneasy around new people. She has a constant worried look. I first met her a week ago when I took her picture.

She was shy with Linda, but seemed to sense that she was a friend, though her tail stayed tucked and her ears pinned back.

On Sunday we decided to take her into Mary’s Place and see if she would relax a little. It took time, but gradually she did begin to settle some. She stayed close to Linda, but did start to take treats.

Rose has a beautiful brindle coat. She is house-trained and was very good during her initial vet exam. The vet tech wrote, “Rose was cooperative for her exam. She is affectionate towards people. She is too fearful to walk on a leash, but can be coaxed to walk if another dog is walking in front of her. Potty trained, she waited until she was outside.” Since that time, Rose has gotten better about walking on leash.

Gradually during our time in Mary’s Place, Rose’s tail became less tucked. Linda became her “comfort person.”

Her tail relaxed and her ears perked up.

After a while…

Then we were surprised and thrilled when she jumped up on the couch and settled in.

Rose is waiting for a quiet, low-traffic home with a family who will be patient with her and give her time and space. She will get braver with your help and be your very best fried. We’re hoping that family will come soon. If you think you are that family, 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/.

Mary’s Place Makeover!

We are so happy to be back in Mary’s Place for spending time with dogs in a room that feels more like a home. It recently got new paint and Marianne got to work and made new curtains, ordered a new rug and shelves, hung new shelter dog photos, and painted some of the furniture. I wanted to show you how great it looks now thanks to the painters and Marianne! And notice the painting left of the window. That’s what our dogs painted last week!


Remember our extremely affectionate Oswaldo who got adopted very quickly after his arrival at the shelter?

Last week I got this wonderful update about this happy dog.

I wanted to give an update on our sweet Oswaldo. We did give him a new name—It’s Bingo! 🙂

He has brought a new energy to our house, and also lots of hugs and kisses! Bingo likes to go to the pet stores and to the dog park. He even came to work with me today! He was very well behaved. Everyone said he is such a sweet boy!

At home, he has been getting along well with our older dog (also an Australian Shepherd). Even though they each have their own food and water bowls, they seem to like to share a meal together. He is working hard at learning commands, he seems to think they all end in ‘hugs’ after.  Thanks for loving on this sweet boy until we finally found him!

On that very happy note, that’s it for this week.

I won’t be writing a post next week, but will post again on March 8.

As always, thanks to my photo team volunteers Marianne and Linda and staff members Skylar, Riley and Mackenzie.

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