Saturday, December 29, 2012

Minnie and Denny (lower square is a video)

It is really encouraging pulling in to a nearly full shelter parking lot.  Inside, visitors were everywhere, lots of activity and holiday bustle abounded. I made my way back to the volunteer room to see which dogs still needed walks.  By early afternoon usually most of them have had a walk- not today.  Of the dogs requiring a more experienced walker (me) just one had been walked.  I saw from the board that Minnie and Denny were kennel mates so I figured I could save time by getting both of them out and perhaps have time for a third. I got permission from the staff to take two at a time as well as some help getting them harnessed, we were off.

Minnie and Denny  are Chihuahuas, three and five respectively with very different personalities.  Minnie is in continual motion!  She is so cute and squirmy that I completely panicked in the exercise yard when I saw that she had  wiggled right out of her harness.  Fortunately she is also a "carry me" dog, it always "pick me up time" for her, no harness no problem.She snuggles right in, for about 30 seconds, then is ready to rush off to a new adventure.  Denny, on the other hand, is a solid and sweet quiet little guy.  He stays near you just happy to get petted and talked to.  He and Minnie came in together so maybe their temperaments would be different if they were "only" dogs.   Since I was more concerned with getting the dogs out of their kennel than going over training issues, etc, I just let them wander around and enjoy themselves.  Not wanting to risk Minnie getting out of her harness, AGAIN, we ended our outing in a vacant get acquainted room, where I was able to capture a short video of the two cuties.  They are really nice little dogs, so let's hope that they find their new
home(s) very soon.

Bryan (lower square is a video)

By the time I got to Bryan I was a little short on time, but could not resist his sweet shy little eyes. He is a cute Jack Russel mix between two and three years old.   Bryan bounced up to meet me at his back door then promptly dashed in the other direction as soon as I entered his kennel.  With some coaxing I was able to get in a few chin scratches and ear rubs but getting him harnessed - that was something else.  I kept petting him and talking then I decided that, though timid, he seemed naturally affectionate, so he might not mind  being picked up and carried.  Fortunately he was OK with it and I got him harnessed while we left the inner dog area and  walked down the main hall.

Once outside he was again gripped with fear and shyness.  He  stood  in the outside walkway too afraid to even sniff the nearby bushes.  I carried him to a quiet area close to the building and somewhat protected by shrubbery, where he began some cautious sniffing - progress.  Once in the exercise yard he started feeling more comfortable and began normal doggy sniffing and running around, however he was still  cautious  with me.  I continued talking to him and noticed that his wandering started centering on me.  I pushed a bit more and was happy to see that he was soon following me around the yard.  He even came when I called him after just a short amount of time.

Now seemed like a good time for a regular walk however Bryan had other plans.  He preferred returning to the familiar comfort of the shelter and was quite confidant and perky as we walked inside and started back down the hall.  I felt since he had come so far so fast ,that I wanted to spend a bit more time with him.  All the get acquainted rooms were occupied so I took him into the Volunteer Room; he promptly dove head first into the trash can for some left over peanut butter.  He's fast! I decided to leave well enough alone and return the sweet little guy to his kennel.  He was very cooperative, especially since I left him with a frozen peanut butter Kong.  He bonded so quickly with me that I think he will fit in very well to his future family, let's hope he finds them soon.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Kelly (lower square is a video)

I wonder if I'm ever going to walk an ordinary dog.  Well it did not happen Saturday.  According to the chart in the volunteer room  everyone but Kelly had been out for a walk so my buddy decision was made for me.  I went to meet Kelly.  I do not like admitting this but when I saw the happy, eager little terrier, pit bull face looking up at me, I felt a little sad. Since pit bull mix adopters must be home owners, quite a few potential forever families will not be available for her.  It typically takes them considerably longer to get adopted.

Kelly was up on her hind legs to greet me but quieted down nicely to get ready for her walk. She was just full of energy but still was easy to keep close by as we made our way out.  The exercise yard was occupied and Kelly was clearly making "let's play" gestures toward the occupant, however this is against the rules.  Fortunately the yard became available quickly and this is my preferred way to begin an outing.  Kelly wasted no time sniffing, etc. but  went straight for a ball and made it clear that she wanted to play.  She is great at fetch and just as great at catching a ball or ring on the fly and promptly returning it to you.  Next I thought we would try some of the basics: sit, down, stay, come;  she aced them all!  This truly amazing medium/small dog is just eleven months old, very, very affectionate, and  so eager to please  that all she wants for a reward is affection and praise.  I had three different types of treats with me and she had no interest in them. 

After about 20 minutes of play, pets and hugs in the exercise yard we began our walk.  She is every bit as cooperative on the leash as by now, I expected she would be.  Kelly is the complete package,  so very sweet, smart and according to her profile, likes other dogs and cats. In her short first eleven months she has not only been very well educated, she has found time for motherhood (unplanned of course).  I just cannot imagine a sweeter pet, let's hope she finds her forever family soon.

Teddy has a Forever Home

Teddy found his forever family in the Portland area.  He was transferred to the Oregon Humane Society early last week in the hopes that there would be more potential adopters.  He found his new family within two days!

Sunday, December 2, 2012


At less than a week after the Black Friday Sale, the shelter was nicely low on dogs.  Everyone had already been walked so I took the suggestion of the volunteer coordinator that Teddy would really appreciate another outing.  He is young (two), mostly Catahoula Leopard Dog with just a dash of Pit Bull mixed in and very eager.  He greeted me happily at the back of his kennel  jumping up on his hind legs but when I said sit and  slowly opened his door just a little,  he immediately went down and sat quietly.  He was  a little timid about getting harnessed but a few treats did the trick.

Teddy was excited to be getting out again but when I told him to sit, just outside the shelter door, he was in a sit looking up at me before I could get a treat out of my pocket.  I usually let a dog relax a little in the exercise yard before doing any commands but both yards were occupied.  We began our walk into the desert immediately.  After a few minutes, with Teddy trotting briskly along, I slowed down and said his name.  He stopped immediately turned around and looked at me.    I did this several times - same result. Each time he did this he earned a treat, according to Meredith, it is a very important part of obedience training for the dog to look at you when you say his name.  Further into our walk Teddy found a big bone, I said "No", he slackened his jaw while took it out of his mouth and replaced it with a treat.  A few minutes later he found another one, I said, "Drop it", he complied and received another treat.  Amazingly in just a few more minutes he seemed to be going for another big bone, it was a root!  He absolutely knew it was a root, he was just trying to fool me into giving him another treat!  When I called him on it, he just wagged and came back for a pet, not really wanting the root at all.  

On our return we had the exercise yard to ourselves.  I started with basic sit and down, Teddy of course is perfect.  We progressed to fetch, perfect again, dropping the ball right at my feet sitting eagerly waiting for the next toss.  Then I tried  the run out and catch the ball in the air, perfect again.  Teddy is so smart and eager to work.  He also likes other dogs and, according to his profile, cats.  Teddy has been at the shelter for a few weeks possibly because he does not have a fluffy cuddly look, but whoever  adopts him will probably consider themselves the luckiest dog owner ever for the rest of his life.  What a dog!