Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Happily there were just a few dogs at the shelter, though King had already had one walk, one look at his smiling face (really) and he was going out with me for number two.  This was just his second full day at the shelter so he was in that very excited somewhat confused state that is typical for new arrivals.  King is a beautiful six year old German Short Haired Pointer, surrendered because his family did not have time to give him the exercise necessary to manage his energy.

He was up on his hind legs to meet me at his back door, but after just a couple of "backs" he backed away, then quieted nicely to get harnessed.   Once on our walk King acted every bit the hunting dog that he is, nose taking in everything, but surprisingly responsive to my voice telling him which way we were going. He does need more leash training, which he will be getting daily at the shelter. 

Once back in the exercise yard it was good to see that he comes when he is called (video).  As for sit, I think somewhere in his past "sit" meant "sit up" for treats. Every time I said "sit" he stopped what he was doing, focused on me, and made a half sit up, half jump.  If I get time to take him out again another day; I'll work on sit using his leash to keep him from "sit up/jump".

He is so sweet and affectionate, according to his profile, this applies to kids, other dogs, and cats; just an all around lovable guy.  I  tried to get a photo of him smiling, because he REALLY does it.  You have to see it to believe it.  He will make a wonderful family dog as long as he gets adequate exercise.

Say Hello and Welcome Home to Chauncey

I was forewarned that likely Chauncey would not leave his kennel, he is very timid.  This cute little one year old Silky Terrier was going to be a challenge.  I loaded my pocket with cheese cubes (his favorite) and went to meet the elusive Chauncey.  It was really odd because he knew that a harness and leash meant something good, and quickly came to me, but backed off as soon as I attempted to put on the harness.  Not wanting to add to his discomfort, I talked and talked  very softly, fed him cheese, etc; nothing worked, Chauncey dug in and was not budging. 

Once I got home later that day, I noticed that shy little Chauncey was no longer listed at the Shelter's website.  Apparently a potential adopter had stopped by, it was a two way "love at first sight" with Chauncey joyously greeting his brand new person.  Chauncey is in his new home in time for the holidays.

Misha has Found Her Forever Home

Bubbly, bouncy Misha was adopted last week.  Too early for a Christmas stocking, but just right for Misha.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


On these really cold days all but the furriest dogs wear cute jackets, even inside; some, however look especially cute, Misha for example.  She's about four and mostly Carin Terrier.  Since she is one of the dogs from the California shelter, her background is a mystery.  Misha is so bouncy that getting her harnessed was a challenge.  I finally just picked her up, got it buckled and off we went.  She was so funny going down the hall, her little paws  were going so fast I felt like I was walking a high speed dust mop.

Once outside she headed straight for the exercise yard.  I barely got her unharnessed when she dashed to a clear area to take care of business then, just as quickly, dashed back to the gate.  Harnessed again she begin trotting briskly back toward the shelter.  This is no cold weather dog!

Since we had barely been out ten minutes, I opted to continue our outing in a play room.  This suited Misha just fine, lots of toys, other dogs outside to bark at and me close by for pets.  Misha is going to make someone a wonderful little companion, she is full of energy, playful, very clear about what she wants and very responsive. 

Newman Finds His Forever Home

Newman the super smart and lovable cattle dog puppy has been adopted.  Since he is as lovable with other dogs and cats as he is with people; I know he will be a welcome addition to his new family no matter what their mix.

Wellington Finds His Forever Home

It took Sir Wellington no time at all to find his forever home.  No surprise his scruffy cuteness is hard to resist.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Exciting times at the shelter,  26 new dogs from California, lots of visitors and a barking competition in full swing.  Despite lots of volunteers on hand, Wellington had not yet made it out for a walk.   Since he is one of the California dogs from an over crowded shelter nearly nothing is known of his past, just that he is about a year old and mostly Otterhound.  As you can see he is also extremely cute.

Wellington was very easy to harness, the promise of a treat goes a long way with him.  He loved his walk and is reasonably good on the leash.  On our return we made use of the  vacant exercise yard to check on some obedience drills.  Wellington was very good when  close to me and in visual contact (video) but did not connect when I called him from a distant corner.  At the time I assumed that he did not know his "very new" name; but hindsight, I'm going to ask the staff if they think he may have a hearing problem.  He is very responsive, affectionate and treat motivated, I'm puzzled why he is  not better at "come".  He is such a cute little guy let's hope he finds a better life here in Oregon.

Stanley Finds His Forever Home

The most happy puppy Stanley was adopted last week.  Hard to believe he could be any happier but I'm sure he is.

Monday, November 18, 2013


It's  nice that when you check the volunteer board all the dogs have had so  many activities, you are just enhancing an already pretty good day for them.   We are lucky to live near such a shelter.   Newman, a nine month old mostly Short Haired Border Collie, was on his tummy at the back of his kennel.   Day three  at the shelter and his cautious intelligent eyes were taking it all in. Timid, according to his profile but after just a quick sniff and treat, he was cuddling close as I got him harnessed for our walk.

His profile indicated that he is very people oriented, this became clear early in our walk as he turned every leash untangling into a petting opportunity.  There were lots of these since a leash is a new experience for Newman.  Actually, almost everything is a new experience for Newman.  He and his sister were brought in as strays so their background is anyone's guess. Newman enjoyed  his walk, especially turning his leash into a toy.

On our return we stopped in the exercise yard for a much appreciated romp.  A Border Collie puppy is never low on energy.  Newman does not yet have the ball or fetch concept;  However he's good at "come" since he loves being close to you.  When I told him to sit, he did it, then quickly went down and rolled over for belly rubs.  He is also the first dog I've seen,  curious enough about the agility tunnel to enter it and go halfway through - three times!  Unfortunately the combination of his newness, intelligence and caution about new things (except the agility tunnel) did not bode well for photos.  He was uncomfortable around the camera and it shows.

As we were returning to the shelter a family stopped to talk about him; apparently, just yesterday he would not even leave his kennel for them.  He has certainly made big gains since then, as he  quickly went to his back for belly rubs from them today!  He is such a sweetheart, even does well with other dogs and cats; let's hope he finds his new family soon.

Ranger Finds His Forever Home

Ranger was adopted last week.  His new family includes a wonderful human mom and dad plus a doggy friend.  The volunteers and shelter staff loved him and will miss him but are so happy he is home at last.

Monday, November 11, 2013


Every time I've been to the shelter in weeks and weeks (since August 23!), I've said hi to Ranger.  He is always sitting there like a stoic little Buddha, his kennel festooned with colored blankets, cheerful remarks taped everywhere, plus a portrait by a local artist.  He is hard to miss.   According to his profile he was surrendered because his owners had no time to train him.  He is four, but looks older since, as a cattle dog mix gray is one of his typical colors.  Also, he is up a few pounds  since he is quite happy with the shelter buffet plus his many adoring volunteer fans keep him well supplied with treats. Add in his coup de grace; did you ever see such a nose?  He has some appearance challenges.

Though he had already been out, I had some extra time, my doggy number two would be  Ranger.  He cuddled close as I harnessed him and we were off.  We met visitors just outside the shelter door and his nose gave them pause.  I patiently explained that "No, it was not two noses, just one with a crease in the middle.  Have to admit, it does look like two half noses.

On our walk, it was evident that Ranger has the routine down.  He is perfect on the leash. After about 20 minutes we stopped at the exercise yard for obedience drills.  He is wonderfully obedient.  Ranger has it all, totally lovable and cuddly, gets along well with other dogs and cats and is already trained.  Whoever is fortunate enough to see what's inside this odd little package will never regret it.


Another busy, noisy Saturday at the shelter; visitors everywhere, dogs seeing who could bark the loudest and longest and Stanley still stood out.  He is one of those totally happy  dogs, whose face lights up and whose entire body wags to greet you.  He did this  for everyone we met on our walk.  Stanley is a one year old bull terrier mix and so very sweet.   He backed away politely as I entered his kennel, stood still while I harnessed him, and waited for me to exit the kennel door first.  I'm already impressed!

Stanley was recently neutered so an off leash romp in the exercise was not on the agenda.  He will need a few more recovery days before before full out play can resume.  We had a good walk in the desert but Stanley definitely would have liked some fetch and run around time.  He is just full of puppy energy but fortunately  very obedient. He does sit, down, and shake hands (videos), since he could not be off leash, there is no video for fetch and come, but according to his profile, he is quite a ball player.

He is a dog who just loves everyone and that includes other dogs and cats.  Let's hope he finds his new family soon.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Say Hello and Happy Homecoming to Molly

At just before 3:00 PM all of the dogs had been out with volunteers at least once. Molly, with a rap sheet as long as your arm, seemed the obvious choice.  A seven month Old English Sheepdog (OES) puppy with training issues - mouthy (translation, she considers you the best chew toy EVER), needs LOTS of work with the leash, and jumping up on you, well what would you expect.  It's not that I go looking for trouble, but quite a few years ago I had a wonderful OES, Mandy; she stayed very much a puppy till age two; and she never had to endure the stressful conditions that Molly is now living in.  I had a pretty good idea of what to expect.

First surprise,  though up on her hind legs to greet me she backed up and stayed away from the door when I said "back"and she held very still while getting harnessed.  Once outside our first stop was the exercise yard.  Bad idea.  She was so excited that as soon as I attempted to undo her harness, the mouthiness began.  I thought the distractions of a walk would be a better idea, so off we went.

Molly darts here and there, getting herself tangled in the leash predictably and as I reach down to untangle her, the mouthiness begins.  Just a loud "No", scared her into stopping  but did not really solve the problem.  On the next untangling, I put my hands down on her harness, as soon as she attempted the chew  toy game, I tucked my hands away, became a statue, shortened her leash so that she had no choice but to become a statue also, and, after just two times, she got it.  She had to stop the chew toy game or no more walk.  Just love the intelligence of this breed.

Our second stop in the exercise yard was more productive.  Molly is very good at fetch, including dropping the ball in front of you with no need for a treat.  She is also good at sit but has not mastered down.  She would not go far enough away from me to try the come command.  She is pretty amazing for a seven month old pup in her circumstances.  As I was putting her through obedience drills I looked up to see a couple watching us, who were interested in adopting her.  As I walked Molly back toward the shelter I was not surprised when a staff person told me that someone was completing adoption papers on Molly.  However I was surprised that it was not the couple I'd met outside.  Let's hope Molly's new owner takes the time to develop her into the wonderful friend she can become.

Danica Finds her Forever Home

It took Danica no time at all to find her forever home.  She was adopted in just a few days, her hearing issues not a drawback.   She is likely fully settled in by now cuddling on her new owner's lap.

New Program for Feral Cats

Just thought I'd let you know about this new program the Humane Society is implementing to help feral cats.

Greetings Volunteers-

We are excited to announce the launch our new TNR Feral Cat Program.

Many communities and published papers have found that successful control of feral and outdoor un-owned cats is best achieved by trap-neuter-return. This concept is not new, but is being more fully embraced nationwide as a way to keep cat numbers low without the need for euthanasia.

Feral cats that are brought to the Humane Society of Central Oregon by the public are now being enrolled in our TNR program. If the cats are determined to be healthy by our veterinarian and fit for an outdoor life they receive the following medical care:

  1. Spay or neuter surgery
  2. Vaccinations (for upper respiratory infection, Panleukopenia and rabies)
  3. Deworming
  4. The tip of their ear is removed.
The ear tip is removed to permanently and easily identify them as being spayed or neutered so that trapping is not attempted or, if trapped, they can be quickly released.
Cats are returned within blocks of the location they were originally trapped, as they will know the resources for food, water and shelter in that area. There are no laws in Oregon regarding cats and this is not abandonment. These cats are going back to their home but in an improved state – unable to reproduce, vaccinated and dewormed.

We strive to do the best for all of the animals in our care and this is just one more step that the Humane Society of Central Oregon has taken, utilizing the latest published research for the betterment of animals and of our community.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Looking at the dog board in the Volunteer Room, only Danica had not yet been out with a volunteer.   Looking a little closer...............she is described as VERY energetic, loves being in your face and  likely deaf.  I get to her kennel and see one of the oddest but cutest puppies (10 months) ever.  Danica is mostly Kelpie, Australian Cattle Dog, all ears and a happy face.

One Kelpie trait is high intelligence.   Though she has been at the shelter just a short time, as soon as I got inside of her kennel and she saw the harness, all the squirming stopped; she popped her head through the harness then flipped to her back so it was easy for me to clip it. 

At our first exercise yard stop I was convinced she has some Greyhound DNA, she is incredibly fast.  I tried to get a video of her racing around but it was impossible.  After about ten minutes of dashing around  playing with balls and getting belly rubs at every opportunity, we started our walk.  Danica is not  great on the leash  but she is small so it is not really an issue.  As we were walking by the county utility buildings on the next lot, a generator noise came on and startled her - she must be able to hear some sounds.  We continued along and I realized that while she was going where I wanted to go without pulling when she could see me, she could not hear me when I talked to her and she was facing forward.  

On our return we had another stop in the exercise yard.  Since dogs are so good at reading our visual cues, maybe Danica would be able to carry out commands whether or not she could hear them.  At one point during this exercise yard stop, I heard a shrill bark from a dog inside of a car in the parking lot.  I was surprised to see Danica run to the fence and begin barking back at it.  At least she can hear some frequencies.  I was happily surprised to see that Danica's hearing issue is not a problem when it comes to obedience.  For  a young dog in a stressful environment, she did very well with come, fetch and sit.   Let's hope she finds her new and active family soon.

Reese Finds His Forever Home

Not surprisingly Reese was adopted quickly.  Such a sweet little guy, happily he found his own lap in record time.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Late on Thursday afternoon all of the dogs had been out for at least one volunteer walk.  The staff person  in the dog area said that Reese would  really appreciate more people time.  What an understatement!

Reese is a five year old Chihuahua who arrived as a stray.  It was a cool day and Reese had squirmed out of his jacket so the staff person found him another one, helped me get him into it and harnessed.  We were off.   Reese trotted along, quickly found a tree; next stop the exercise yard, business taken care off; and after a few minutes of sniffing and playing  went to the gate ready  to start our walk.  This little guy is very good at communicating what he wants.

As we were crossing the road toward the open area, the first ear splitting shriek stopped me cold.  I knew I had not stepped on him.  It quickly became a loud continuous wail.  I was hoping that visitors seeing my volunteer badge were not getting the wrong idea about me!  I looked around and saw one of the staff going toward her car then Reese tugging to join her.  He is so bonded with the staff that even when she picked him up for hugs he could not stop squealing  and whimpering.  This sweet little guy needs people more than just about any dog I've ever met.  I made up my mind right there, if it was okay with the staff our "outing" was going to be inside near  them.

They said it would be fine for me to  let him wander in the central staff area while I kept him on the leash and stayed out of their way.  Reese thought it was wonderful  since he loves all of them. We were there about 20 minutes when Reese came over and curled up on my lap.  It seemed a good time to take him back to his kennel for a snooze.   I feel sure that Reese will get adopted very quickly since he is so extremely affectionate.  What a perfect companion he will make.

Glad to be back volunteering.  Al had a back surgery that went very well, except for a complication of pneumonia resulting in a week's hospitalization.  As of Thursday he's been OKed to drive so life is getting back to normal. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Say Hello and Bon Voyage to Gizmo

At around 1:00, only Gizmo had not yet had a volunteer walk;  combine that with his sweet Chihuahua expression and it was a no brainer, he was my choice.  He put his paws up to snuggle as I fastened his harness around him.  I had to loosen it a bit, Gizmo has been at the shelter for several weeks and put on some weight.  At nine years old he was not likely at the top of many potential adopters' "must have" lists. 

We began our outing in the exercise yard with the standard sniffing, exploring, taking care of business and watching other dogs walking by.  After about ten minutes  it seemed like a good time to start our walk.  Like most little dogs Gizmo is very good on the leash and really enjoys sniffing and exploring wherever you take him.  We did a short walk into the desert area, then back around the hedges near the building; sometimes very small dogs seem to like these small darker areas.

To finish our walk, I wanted to try one more visit to the exercise yard to see how Gizmo was at more structured obedience.  This was a different yard so I let him sniff around for a few minutes. As I was about to move to the other part of the yard to try him at "come", he went racing to the gate and began pawing at it.  He was ready to leave, NOW.  I tried coaxing him with treats, most dogs would like their outings to last all day, Gizmo looked at me pleadingly, he was ready to go.

I put him back in his harness thinking that we could do more of a regular walk. Gizmo did not want a walk, he wanted to go back into the shelter.  Still undeterred, I thought that I could let him walk around some of the common areas inside if they were available or, take him to a get acquainted room.  Gizmo had other plans.  He trotted straight to the front desk.  The staff person greeted me with " Someone is here to adopt Gizmo".  Animals will never cease to amaze me.  I naturally assumed that she had spent considerable time getting to know  Gizmo, etc. and that he had simply picked up her scent; but I do not think that this was the case.  When the staff person asked her if she wanted to take Gizmo for a walk, she said she had not known that this was allowed, but, yes, she would love to walk him. 

Gizmo's wonderful new life will include,  15 acres to explore in the company of another dog, cats and horses plus two people who already love him.  Not bad for this sweet little guy. 

Grover Finds His Forever Home

Grover the super sweet Mastiff puppy was adopted this week.  Wonder of wonders, his new family includes another Mastiff!  Way to go Grover.

Sunday, September 1, 2013


At 3:00 all of my category of dogs had been out for at least one volunteer walk, but Grover's had been quite early.  I took one look at this sweet guy and my decision was easy.  He is a huge ten month old Mastiff puppy, making the best of his current confined circumstances.  He met me nearly eye to eye at his back door.  Despite the normal exuberance and energy of puppies I was happily surprised that  he  managed to back away and sit for me to get him harnessed, once I entered his kennel.  He was not bothered by the cacophony of barks as we left the kennel area and headed down the hall and out the door.  According to his profile he is fine with other dogs and cats.

We stopped first in the exercise yard for some serious energy burn off.  Grover loved racing around, I planned to do obedience practice after our walk, not before.  As the day was warm, Grover ended his workout with a dip in the pool.
 Harnessed up again we began our walk.  Grover is one of those dogs who clearly listens to you and wants to obey.  He is very good on the leash, to change direction all I had to do was say "this way Grover", no need for me to tug on the leash.  We walked for about 20 minutes then returned to the exercise yard for another romp and some obedience basics.  Grover comes when he is called,  sits on command and is very close to doing fetch.  He is not that interested in treats; he just wants to please you.  I would be impressed with most dogs who behaved like Grover but to find this in a ten month old puppy in an extremely stressful situation given his size and age - amazing.  Let's hope some very lucky family finds him soon.

Victor Finds his Forever Home

Little Victor was adopted this week. I know this squirming little bundle of energy is bringing lots of happiness to some lucky family.

Scrappy Finds his Forever Home

At long last Scrappy has won the heart of some special person.  Not everyone could see beyond Scrappy's somewhat "esoteric" appearance, but the right person did. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Since Victor's profile said he might be timid, I opted for a pocket full of hot dogs - the great persuaders - and went off to meet him.  I looked down through his back door to see a black and tan bundle of energy wagging, squirming and whimpering; approximately 10 to12 pounds of unbridled joy.  Once again the volunteers have clearly brought him out of his shell.  Victor is just about a year old and mostly Manchester Terrier, a very handsome little guy.   Since at 3:00 this was his first volunteer outing of the day, he was more than eager to get going; we raced down the hall and out the door.

He just loved tearing around the exercise yard, chasing balls, chasing me, happily running and jumping, barking at the other dogs passing by; he has typical terrier energy plus he is still very much a puppy.  After about 20 minutes I realized Victor was not going to run out of energy any time soon, so we started our walk.  Like any puppy he is thrilled with everything, fortunately he is small so his darting around on the leash is not really a problem.  I think that once he has a home and matures this will solve itself.

Our second stop in the exercise yard was a little more fruitful.  He happily comes when he is called because he is very affectionate and loves cuddles and pets.  This crosses over  making him reasonably promising at fetch.  He loves running after the ball, and naturally wants to come when called - result - Fetch.  He is such a sweet little guy, let's hope he finds his new family soon.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dog park information, plus Brandi finds her forever home

I attended last night's meeting of the Sunriver Amenities workshop which included a discussion of the proposed dog park.  I walked into the room thinking "How wonderful, we are at last going to get our own dog park. Yes, it appears to be somewhat small, no shade, no where to sit, and ugh double ugh, bark or wood chips, but, at least it's down on paper and SROA (Sunriver Owners Association) wants our input." 

I left the meeting feeling not so up.  The dog park ANY DOG PARK, is not a slam dunk.  The meeting focused 99.999999999999999999999% on  boat launch issues, excepting my measly comment on a dog park and my mention of my preference  for the surface being either planted with a tough native grass or left natural.  Dog lovers, SROA needs to hear you.

A bright note, the Sunriver volunteers who have spent countless hours working on this project are very open to your ideas and seem to really want to implement what Sunriver residents want.  Their main objective seems to be to get the residents to specifically tell them what they would like to have.  While it would be great if you could make it to the discussion at SHARC following the annual meeting Saturday.  I think it would be  even better if you would just send them an email at infosroa@srowners.org  letting them know your thoughts about having a dog park as well as any specifics you would like.  Make sure you include your name and Sunriver local address.  Please let anyone else who may be interested know that their input is very important. 

It took beautiful little Brandi no time at all to find her forever home.  No surprise, one lucky family. 

Friday, August 9, 2013


At 1:00 just Brandi had not yet had a volunteer walk, her notes said she could be shy but loved hot dogs. With a pocket full of hot dogs I and headed for kennel number eight. I got there and looked down to see a gorgeous red Miniature Dachshund happily squirming and not at all timid.    The volunteers have obviously done a great job of bringing her out of her shell.  I typically give every dog the opportunity to walk on the leash out of their kennel, through the enclosures, etc. But, most of the time, the small dogs are afraid of all the surrounding barking so I usually pick them up quickly and carry them out of the noisy kennel area.  Brandi was absolutely unafraid of the barking.  She calmly trotted along beside me with, at most, a haughty glance at some of her noisier tenants. I was not surprised by this behavior since, I had the privilege of being owned by a Dachshund from the time I was 10 through 24. 

We began our outing in the exercise yard, Brandi enjoyed sniffing and barking at other dogs passing by.  I tried a few commands with her but she was more interested in sniffing and still getting used to me.  When she sat at the gate I knew she was telling me it was time to begin our walk.  She is wonderful on the leash,  just happy to trot beside me and enjoy all the new smells. 

By our return stop at the exercise yard, I had passed her friend test.  She came when I called her, walked beside me on command, as well as ran beside me on command.  She did all of these commands freely without treats.  She is such a wonderful little dog and is going to make someone such a great friend.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

New information

This is the image from the Sunriver Scene that includes the proposed Dog Park (orange arrows) to be located near the Marina in Sunriver.  Those of us who live in the area will have two very good opportunites to give our input next week:  August 13 from 6:00PM to 8:00 PM at SHARC and August 17 immediately following the annual owner's meeting (likely around 3:00 PM), also at SHARC. 

Next a happy correction regarding Pollyanna.  She was transferred to the Oregon Humane Society (not foster care) and adopted her first day there!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 3, 2013


Another late afternoon visit to the shelter for me, this summer is just too busy.  All of the dogs had been out for at least one volunteer walk but Scrappy's had been earlier in the day.  I must admit, I've seen some odd looking dogs at the shelter but Scrappy is near the top of the list!  Cute though.  He is supposedly a combination of dachshund and wirehaired terrier and about five years old.   He was all wags at the front of his kennel, but when I came in his back door, he was soooo timid (video).  It took over 10 minutes of coaxing to get him in a harness.  I should have guessed this since he was wearing a Thunder Shirt.  I was about to give up and get help from the staff  however when he saw that I was going to leave, he bounced over, happy to let me harness him - #*#*# !  Off we went.

Our first stop, the exercise yard.  Scrappy just loved running around sniffing, taking care of business and chasing tennis balls,  they were almost as big as his head!  He is a little dog with a big attitude.  He was also very tuned in to other dogs walking by, I could tell he considered them all potential buddies, giving them his full attention and practically wagging his hip out of joint.  What a sweet little guy.  According to  volunteer comments he sits on command but I did not have much luck with this one.  He does however come when he is called, stays close when walking and is  close to learning  fetch.  He was brought to the shelter because his owners did not have time for him; it is apparent that he is responsive to training, just has not had much.  Most of the small dogs I walk seem to  happy just playing in the exercise yard.  Scrappy let me know clearly that he wanted a regular "big dog" walk.   We headed out into the open desert, Scrappy leading the way.  He is good on the leash and thoroughly enjoys exploring everything new.   

On our return a woman got out of her car and approached us quickly.  She  said she had a dog at home who looked exactly like Scrappy;  it's a strange world!  She plans to bring him in for a meet and greet and, who knows, maybe Scrappy will find his long lost twin.  Let's hope he finds some caring person so he can know what it is like to have a truly forever home.

Pollyanna has a Transition

Pollyanna will wait for her forever family in a foster home.  She has so much energy, this will be a much better situation for her to be at her best.

Clyde has found his Forever Home

Sweet little Clyde was adopted last week.  I'm sure he is settled in and enjoying this beautiful summer with his new family.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


 So few dogs at the shelter today, I selected Clyde mostly since the  other dogs had been on recent volunteer walks.  However it took no time at all to see how extremely cute and sweet he is.  Clyde is a three year old Lhasa who came in as a stray;  his past is unknown.  I was greeted with wags and wiggles at his back door but he backed away from his door and settled long enough for me to get him harnessed.  He trotted cheerily down the hall and we were soon outside; a lengthy piddle began our outing.

It was so hot and he is so small I figured an extended visit to the exercise yard was the best choice.  After lots of sniffing, exploring and quiet cuddle time I was happy to see that he is quite obedient.  In my experience here at the shelter, this is often not the case with small dogs though they are nearly always sweet and affectionate.  Clyde comes when he is called, sits on command and even seems to heel.  I tried getting a video of heel, but it looks pretty strange.  

He is such a nice little guy, let's hope he finds his new family soon.

Boston Returns to His Owners

After about two weeks in the shelter, Boston's owners came in and claimed him. Duh!  There must be an interesting story behind this one, I'll have to check with staff.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Family Fun

Willow and her visiting cousin, Alice in a romp; both are rescued dogs.

Sunday, June 30, 2013


The volunteer note board cautioned that Tobbi, might be timid and could take some time to warm up; treats, soft talking, etc would all be helpful. I loaded up my pockets and went off to meet the possibly reclusive Tobbi.  I saw two visitors sitting on the floor making "puppy talk" sounds and a squirming, charming Tobbi pressed up against his kennel as close as he could get to them.  At his back kennel door he greeted me with the same happy enthusiasm, settling  just  enough to get harnessed.  Far from a recluse, this dog was Mr. Hollywood.  Tobbi is a  about 18 months old; his profile says he is a Chihuahua/Cocker Spaniel mix but to me he looks more like a Papillon. He happily trotted out of the dog area full of confidence and not at all concerned with the cacophony of barks and howls all around us.

He is so small and the day so hot, I decided that our outing would be limited to the exercise yard which afforded plenty of room for his exercise and also shade.  He was happy  sniffing, getting petted or carried around and watching some of the bigger dogs going out on walks.  Unlike some small dogs, he is very calm  and relaxed.  I always attempt to catch the dog doing something active in the video but this did not happen with Tobbi.  He was quite happy resting in the shade letting the breezes waft over him.  He is such a totally sweet little guy, it was very hard to end our visit.  I guess I'll just have to be content knowing that there is an excellent chance his search for a forever family will be short.  They will be so lucky!


Despite the heat Boston, an approximately 8 year old Chocolate Lab was ready for a walk.  Apparently he arrived at the shelter as a stray but no one has claimed him.  He was happily jumping around as I approached his back kennel door but quickly settled down for me to get him harnessed.  As we made our way through the dog area he seemed a bit afraid of the barking and was happy to stay close, me on one side, the wall on the other.  This behavior repeated  on our return.  Once outside the joy of going on a walk superseded everything else.  We started in the exercise yard, lots of sniffing but, surprisingly, not much interest in fetch.  I would try it again on our return.

Once on our walk, Boston got a B+ for leash walking, he's good but without a training harness, I think he would need some work.  It was such a hot day I opted to finish our outing in the exercise yard offering some shade.  Boston did much better with fetch, sit and come - for treats.  I get the feeling that he is still experiencing some stress from his untimely separation from what was likely a long standing home situation.  Let's hope he finds a new family to call his own soon.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


You could not help but notice Pollyanna, a beautiful yellow lab, about three and with that  happy lab smile.  This time I decided to prepare myself by reading her profile before taking her out.  I always read the staff notes in the volunteer room, they were also cautionary regarding her enthusiasm.
This was her second time at the shelter as a stray with no one claiming her  (not good).  Her energy level is very high (at least I can prepare) and she gets along well with kids, dogs and cats.

I approached the back door of her kennel determined that, despite her obvious eagerness, we would exit smoothly. I told her to go back, she did after just a few seconds, then to sit, she did; I got her harnessed and we were off.  At 2:00 this was her first volunteer outing so she was very eager to get outside.  My plan was a nice long energy-burning romp in the exercise yard before starting our walk.  I shuddered to see that both yards were occupied.   For the first few minutes she was breathing hard, trembling and pulling; I continued walking at a slow pace and talking to her.  After a reasonably short time she began to slow down and sniff things.  I did the first video below about 20 minutes into our walk.  As you can see she is quietly walking with a nearly slack leash, she turns around when I say her name and, though not in the video, she walked back and laid down beside me as I was putting my phone away.  This pretty much described the rest of our walk - very nice.

On our return an exercise yard was vacant.  She still had plenty of energy and was so happy to play.  Pollyanna loves running for a ball and after just 3 or 4 times was beginning to get the fetch concept.  She is already good at sitting for treats and coming when she is called.  I could tell that she had not yet learned "down", but she is so smart and eager to please, she started doing it after just a few prompts although not consistently. 

On our way back to her kennel, she did well walking quietly down the hall, but was surprised when two staff members came out of a hall door.  She practically jumped out of her harness trying to greet them.  She can go from a 1 to 10 on excitability in a heartbeat.  Pollyanna is a sweet, smart beautiful dog but I really hope she finds her way to the right family this time.  She needs not only daily exercise but also the daily quiet structure of obedience drills.  Although with her sweet nature she gets along with other animals and people, she will not be at her best in a busy active family that does not have time for her.

Parker has a forever home

It comes as no surprise that sweet little Parker found his forever family in just a couple of days.  He is so irresistible.

Monday, June 17, 2013


I think I need to develop a thicker skin.  I had Saturday all planned out, I would be taking Willow to Petco for a bath, etc. after a hearty romp at a dog park to get her  tired out.  While she was getting her shampoo I would to go to the Shelter and walk dogs.  We arrived at the dog park, it was sooo hot!  Willow found the first shady bush,  gave me that "Why me?" look; off we went to Petco - no exercise for Willow.  At Petco she sat mournfully facing the outside door while I went over the plan for her torture with the groomer. I glanced back and saw her slinking off with the attendant as I left for the Shelter .

I arrived at the Shelter around 3:00 and just two dogs had not yet been out with a volunteer.  One look at Parker and my decision was made - happiest dog I've ever seen.   Parker is mostly miniature poodle and about two years old.  He is one of the newly arrived  dogs from an over crowded  California shelter so not much is known about his background.  Once harnessed (his happy squirming made it somewhat of a challenge) we made our way to the exercise yard.

Parker had been inside for some time, so taking care of business and all the accompanying sniffing was at the top of his agenda.   We mostly just walked around the yard together;  when I got him close for some obedience "tests" he turned the closeness into hug opportunities or belly rubs, so I have no idea whether he can sit, stay or go down.  However I  know that he is extremely affectionate.  He was especially thrilled to be picked up and carried around.  A visitor watching us came over and seemed very interested in him.  Parker is  a loving little bundle of charm so the visitor stayed observing Parker until we left the exercise area for our walk.

Once on our walk Parker was very good on the leash but happy for every petting break.   He is such a sweet little guy, it is so hard to imagine anyone letting him go.  Once back at the Shelter we met the interested visitor at the front desk.  He had been waiting for some one on one time with Parker. Of course I was delighted until I looked down and saw poor little Parker's anxious face that I was leaving him with a stranger.   I fast forward  to how happy Willow will be when I retrieve her from Petco, meanwhile wishing the best for Parker and vowing to keep those positive thoughts coming.

Bonzi has a forever home

Bonzi was adopted very early in the week following our weekend walk.  I knew with three adoption holds, he was going to find his new family very quickly. 

Duke has a transition

Duke has gone into a foster home to await adoption.  This is so much better for him; let's hope his forever family comes soon.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Bonzi was hard to miss.  He was doing everything possible to get noticed yet he was the only dog who had not yet had a volunteer walk.  He is a 4 year old Bichon Frise/ Coton de Tulear mix who was surrendered to the shelter because is owner developed allergies to him .   His breed is relatively new   and becoming very popular. Bonzi  was at his back door bouncing around to greet me but backed away from the door and settled down quickly when I told him to.   We started our outing in the exercise yard with Bonzi bouncing and sniffing.  He is very treat oriented so he sat promptly on command when a treat was eminent however he did not come when he was called.  The pending treat reward was too far away to be obvious and I was someone he had just met - not his bonded forever human friend that he had recently lost.  Like perhaps some of you, I had to look this breed up.  As I read about this breed they take relationships very seriously and really suffer separation anxiety when they lose their owner.  While he was sweet and polite with me, I was not someone that he was going to be at his best with.  

As we left the yard and continued our walk I noticed  that he lingered in shady spots but really hurried when we were on any sunny surface.  It soon became  clear that his feet are very sensitive; I picked him up, carried him to the shadier exercise yard and that is where we finished our outing.  Once again I attempted to get him to come when called but he wanted to do his own thing which was grazing.  I thought he looked so much like a little lamb I just had to get a video of it.  

According to his profile he likes other dogs (I saw evidence of this) as well as cats.  I was very happy to notice three adoption holds on his kennel on our return.  I'll bet he has a new best human friend by early in the week.  Let's hope so. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


The shelter was very busy with visitors but a little lite on volunteers.  At 1:45 Duke, a Great Dane/Hound mix, just over a year old and with lots of energy  was more than eager to go since this was his first volunteer walk of the day.  One look at his sweet patient face and I knew he was my choice.  Confinement is stressful for most dogs but it is especially challenging for larger dogs (kennels seem relatively smaller).  For hounds, who love to wander, it must be even more difficult.  Duke met me at his back door up on his hind legs, wagging everything.  It took me just two times of telling him to stay back for him to back away from his door.  He quieted quickly; I easily got him harnessed and we were off. 

We started in the exercise yard with Duke happily trotting around and sniffing absolutely everything.  He is very affectionate, he comes when he is called with such eager joy, he nearly mows you down.  He sits on command but not consistently. I think that Duke will be much more able to focus on basic commands once the stress of confinement is lifted. Though there is lots of stress in his life at this time it is obvious that he is very gentle and affectionate, loves the company of other dogs (according to his profile, is also OK with cats), and stays mentally connected with you; all wonderful traits.

On our return we stopped once again in the exercise yard for a few final sniffs, etc.  By this time more volunteers had arrived so Duke saw other dogs on the other side of the fence.  Most of this yard visit was spent with Duke whining and wagging, hoping that the other dogs would come over. Duke is such a sweetie, let's hope he finds his forever home soon and that it includes other dogs and lots of exercise opportunities.


Roger has a Forever Home

The totally sweet puppy, Roger found his forever person.  This happened a couple of weeks ago but since Al, Willow and I were in California for our Grandson's graduation, I've been out of touch.  Willow, by the way, was the best traveler of the three of us!  On a 1 to 10 (perfect) scale, she was an 11. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Shelter puppies always surprise me.  Unlike most of the adult dogs, who, except for being in a highly stressful environment, behave like  our pets.  The puppies however, are very different than the typical bouncy playful puppies that I've been around in other situations.  Roger is no exception.  At around 1:00, I saw that he had not yet had an outing - at just 10 weeks he has to stay inside, so his outings are limited to play rooms.  I gathered him up from his very spacious, even luxurious kennel and carried him into the play area.  As soon as I sat him on the floor he piddled what seemed like a gallon!  My first thought was, Oh no! House breaking is the number one reason most people are hesitant about adopting puppies.  He then happily crawled onto my lap and that is where he stayed snuggling as close as possible for 30 minutes of our 40 minute visit.  The shelter puppies are utterly desperate for human love and contact.  All of us who have or have had pets know how much they love us, but it is so intense with these puppies.  It is like, as their temporary human, you are just everything to them.

Back to the housebreaking issue, I had plenty of time to think about Roger and it soon came to me that at just 10 weeks old he was well on his way to already being housebroken.  His "house" is his kennel, his "outside" is the playroom.  He had been holding in an enormous amount of fluid for such a young puppy, way to go Roger!

After about 30 minutes of cuddling and some coaxing with little bits of a tasty treat, I finally got Roger to explore the room.  He seemed to enjoy himself but I know if we had been in a larger space he would have been sticking close by.   When it was time to take him back to his kennel, I expected him to be somewhat clingy - another surprise.  Roger was quite happy to be in his familiar kennel and, after a lengthy drink, trotted off to see if all of his toys were still there.    As you can see he is a good looking pup, a lab with some bull terrier mixed in.  I think he will make a wonderful pet, he is so lovable and, considering his circumstances, is making the best of it.