Thursday, July 26, 2012
Bindi found her forever family just a few days ago. Though I know nothing about them, I know they are special. According to the staff, they came back several times before making the decision, taking their time to get to know this great little dog. In addition, because Bindi has some Pit Bull in her, there are more rigid standards that an adopter must meet. I know she will not disappoint, Bindi is really an impressive dog!
Monday, July 23, 2012
Even though the shelter was buzzing with visitor activity, it was hard to miss Vivian. Her happy, bouncy personality just draws you in. She had not yet had a volunteer walk so I went for large size walking supplies and told her I'd be back. She is officially considered a "hound mix" but she looks just like the photo I found of an English Coon Hound (left). Her kennel photo is pretty bad, let's hope they get a nicer one. When I returned she was in the front of her kennel greeting visitors but charged back when she saw me. She was so excited - many of you can guess what's coming -Vivian broke loose and dashed out of her kennel. I just crossed my fingers and hoped that she was obedient; she is. She went directly to the outer door, I told her to sit and stay, I got her collared and leashed, off we went!
A stop in the exercise yard to burn off energy was a must. Vivian raced around happily, thrilled to obey the come command. She likes the idea of fetch but gets it right just about one out of every three times. Once on our walk I expected extreme pulling but she was actually quite good. At one point I needed to do some leash adjusting and I made her sit and stay for several minutes; she needed prompts, but overall did very well. The day was warm and when Vivian began seeking shady spots for rests, I knew it was time to take her in. Once I got her back into her kennel, I took the time to read her profile - shock. Because she is so big, I just assumed she was an adult; she is a seven month old puppy! I am just amazed at how well behaved she is especially considering her current circumstances. She is going to make someone a wonderful pet, let's hope she finds that someone soon.
Sunday, July 22, 2012
With visitors everywhere asking lots of questions - I seemed to be the only dog volunteer at the shelter at this time- Rory was easy to miss. He is a sweet little West Highland Terrier who was sitting quietly on his bed watching the goings on. I figured a gentle walk would be therapeutic for both of us so I went for a small collar and leash and told Rory I would be right back. After a quick sprint down the hall and out the door, we took care of the necessities; I thought a romp in the exercise yard would be a good way to start our outing. Rory thought not. Plan B, a fun walk up a gentle short path, very pretty, yet close to the shelter; Rory gave it a "paws down". Plan C, OK Rory, what do you want to do?
I quickly learned that this little guy is very people oriented, he wanted to sit near the entrance and meet people coming and going, sniff cars, stare longingly at people getting in or out of cars, attempt to join them, etc. He really wants to find a family of his own. According to his profile, he also likes dogs and cats, so he is not fussy. On our return I left plenty of time for him to greet all the visitors inside as well as the staff so, all in all, he had a good outing though a bit light in the exercise category.
Since I knew very little about Westies, I consulted Al and Google. They're strong willed - got it- and long lived, 15 or more years. This works well for Rory since he is seven.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
As I was doing my mid dog hand washing today I glanced into the adoption room and saw Duke sprawled on the floor and a happy new owner going through the adoption process. We had a chance to talk in the parking lot and Duke will be going to a wonderful life. He is going to a home with lots of property and one of his jobs will be to discourage a cougar from coming around. Let's all cross our fingers and hope that Duke's attitude of polite reticence toward the kittens does not apply to cougars! On Duke's behalf, I asked the new owner if he had truck; he does not currently have one but he has been thinking of getting one. Good luck Duke in your new home.
Geronimo found his forever home early this past week. It took him awhile as he had lots of small dog competition from a very large group of cuties from an overcrowded California shelter. However the right person finally came along and this, one time shy little fellow, connected in a big way.
Sunday, July 15, 2012
As I signed in on a busy Saturday morning, I noticed that Duke, a beautiful Red Bone Coon Hound was still waiting to be adopted. When I got back to the dog area and saw that he had not yet had a walk, I knew who my walking buddy would be. Unfortunately Coon Hounds suffer from type casting. Many potential Central Oregon adopters picture them racing through a South Eastern forest baying with their buddies, on a serious hunt. I have to admit, I'm sometimes guilty of this same type casting. Whenever I walk a working breed I take two long leashes hooked together so that they have as much freedom as possible to do their sniffing/hunting behavior. Duke also had a note on his kennel to use a "no pull" harness. I gathered up equipment, doggie treats and all my prejudices and went off to meet Duke.
He was waiting for me at his back door, standing on his hind legs gazing happily into my eyes, he is big. The first thing I noticed is that he had no plastic collar to grab; however he took one whiff of the doggy treats in one pocket and my jerky snack in the other pocket and he sat so fast on command, he practically sat in his water dish. This was one obedient dog! I got his regular collar attached with his leash and we were off to the front desk for the "no pull" harness. They were busy so he had to wait; once again he quickly sat on command then flopped down onto the floor until the staff had time to get the special harness on him.
Our first outside stop was the exercise yard, he enjoyed some leisurely sniffing, had no interest in fetch, but was completely thrilled to come when I called him and sit for a treat. After a little while of this we started our walk; I was all ready for our mini hunt, I lashed the two leashes together, and started walking into the desert. Duke really did not want to go; he of course walked with me when I told him to, but his heart was not in it. He wanted to amble around the parking lot. He just loves trucks; he not only sniffs every inch of the tires, but puts his paws up on the doors so that he can see in the windows, etc. Being a Saturday, the parking area had lots of activity; at one point, a visitor dog broke away from his owner and came bounding over. I quickly leashed Duke in closely but he was so polite and gentle with the other dog, I had no need for concern. To finish out our walk I led him on to the grass surrounding the building, less chance of running into visitors. Duke was enjoying sniffing around in the shady shrubbery when I heard unmistakable kitty meowing. Two of the cutest tabby kittens were in the enclosure area that fronts onto the Shelter yard, they were less than ten feet away. The kittens were very interested in Duke. Duke, however behaved as though he was afraid of them and kept his distance. I think this is probably a very healthy behavior for a dog of his size who needs to be able to fit into a variety of family situations. Duke is a sweet gentle creature who will be happy in just about any situation, but wildly happy if it includes a truck.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
I knew I would be walking an adoptable dog in the Bend Pet Parade but it was not until I arrived and started toward the Humane Society tent through the parade staging area crowded with many, many dogs, that the reality started to dawn. I was about to bring a dog who was not surrounded by comfortable family members, and who had recently been transported from her kennel via car to me, a stranger, into this chaos. I got to the Shelter's tent, signed in, and waited for my walking buddy to arrive. As I read Bindi's profile, she certainly looked promising; a three year old Heeler/Pit Bull mix who not only could do all the standard obedience drills, but also liked other dogs and cats. In addition she has the really cute behavior of mimicking you if you get down on the floor with her. I crossed my fingers as I looked up and saw her being led across the street toward the tent by the shelter director - showtime! We took a few minutes to get acquainted, get her suited up into her "Adopt Me" jacket and, with another volunteer/dog team, headed for the pandemonium across the street.
Bindi is a medium size dog at about 40 pounds but we clustered in the Big Dog waiting area so the shelter dogs could be near each other in the parade. We were crammed so tightly with dogs and their owners that you could not turn around without bumping into someone. We waited in this area for at least a half hour. I knew Bindi was excited because when I gave her a command eg sit, she would respond but would not a accept treat; she was too excited to eat. When dogs many times her size approached her sniffing, licking, etc. from all directions, she remained perfectly calm, positive, and friendly but completely in control of each interaction. If any of you have ever watched Cesar Milan the Dog Whisperer (TV show), one of his "perfect dogs" will often take this role when he is working to correct someone's problem dog. With each passing minute I was more impressed with Bindi, as were many of the other dog owners we were crushed in with!
Finally the Parade began. I decided that in order to give Bindi maximum exposure we would walk the outside edge so that I could see how she'd interact with the hundreds of well wishers along the route, some of them canine. Bindi loved prancing along welcoming the oohs, ahs, and pets from the spectators. About 3/4 of the way through, she seemed to be getting thirsty so she paid a lot of attention to those with water bottles and coffee cups! I think she enjoyed every minute and so did I. Great day, even greater dog.