Saturday, February 23, 2013


Just a few dogs had not yet had a volunteer walk by 2:30 on Thursday and Dudley rivals Willow for the sweetest expression EVER.  A quick look at his profile indicated that he is initially shy and a very big (53 pounds) six month  old Pit/Hound mix puppy.  He was up on his hind legs to greet me at his back door but backed off  quickly when I told to get back.  He was excited to be going out but was  easy to get harnessed.  As soon as we approached the first set of doors to the outer hall his shyness was apparent.  I was prepared to make him wait for me to go through the doors first (basic puppy manners), but he was already crouching behind me, coming forward only slowly, clearly wanting me to go first.   This behavior continued all the way down the hall and on to the outside.

Once outside we made our way to the exercise yard; Dudley continued sticking very close by.  I let him sniff around and attempted to get him to chase a ball but he was not about to let me get that far away.  One of the videos shows this.  As you might expect he is very affectionate, just loves being petted and stroked.  According to his profile he also does well with other dogs and even with cats.  After about ten minutes in the yard,  it was time to start our walk.

Dudley had gained enough confidence to walk on the leash normally however he looked back  often  and was very happy to be acknowledged and petted.  We had a nice walk in the desert and Dudley seemed to be getting more comfortable. On our return I thought another shot at the exercise yard with a more confident Dudley was worth a try.  I threw the ball, Dudley went flying after it and brought it back in my general direction.  For the next two times, I stepped on his leash and gave a treat to drop the ball at my feet.  By the fourth time he was fetching and dropping the ball at my feet EVERY time.  Next I held his leash and told him to sit for a treat.  As I got him to raise his head and bend his legs into a sit for a treat; I watched in amazement as he mastered "sit" after about four times.  This puppy is really special.  He is so loving  plus his ability and willingness to learn just leaves me in awe. He will be one of those dogs that the family treasures  more every year.


 One of the major perks of being a more experienced shelter volunteer is "puppy time".  Tulip is a 3 month Pit/Terrier mix and incredibly cute.  Being less than 6 months old, our outing was limited to a romp in a get-acquainted room but Tulip made the most of it.   For about the first 10 minutes it was snuggle as close as possible coming up only for kisses; she was even reluctant to chase a toy.  Soon however the toys began looking pretty good.  She really surprised me when she actually fetched the ring toy and brought it back to me!  Let's hope this little sweetie finds her new family soon.

Zeus has a forever home

Zeus and his forever human Mom are now happily settled in.  He has begun the first chapter of his wonderful new life.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Kelly has a forever home

At long last the totally sweet, smart Kelly has found her forever family, after just a short time in a foster home -wonderful news.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


A bustling Saturday at the Shelter and several dogs needing their first volunteer walk of the day; so different than last week.  You had to notice Harvey, he paced continuously back and forth in his kennel, a very anxious dog.  If ever a dog needed a romp, it was Harvey.  He is about six, a Gordon Setter mix and newly arrived from another shelter.

At his back door I had to firmly say "back" about three times for him to move away from bolt mode; but he did.  Once I was inside his kennel, he sat on command long enough for me to get him harnessed and we were off.  Given what I perceived as a high level of stress, we went directly to the exercise yard.  I let him trot around sniffing, taking care of business, etc. then I thought I'd check out some of the obedience basics hoping that a little structure would relieve some of his stress.  He aced everything I asked him to do:  come, sit, and down (he included roll over).  I decided we would try a bit of fetch before proceeding to our walk.  I threw the ball and he went for it, but he was distracted on the return.  After another toss or two I noticed that he was  protecting his back leg.  On closer look I saw that his foot pad was bleeding, poor Harvey's outing came to an abrupt end with the staff giving him first aid.

I am so impressed with this dog. This was Harvey's second day at this shelter, in my opinion his stress level was off the charts, a least one foot was injured and he still connected with me, a stranger, and carried out all of the commands I asked of him.  His future owner will be very lucky to have him as part of the family.

Zeus (video at bottom)

The dog log in the volunteer room noted that Zeus was likely to be shy and timid so, before I met him, I wondered if I might need staff assistance to get him harnessed.  I knew nothing more, so off I went to meet him.  I looked through his back door to see this wildly happy little guy squirming, wagging and eager to meet me.  Zeus is a one year Chihuahua mix, but already cooperative enough to move back when I told him to.  I managed to get him harnessed while receiving lots of kisses.   This was his day 4 or 5 at the shelter  and his shyness is clearly history!

We  began our walk in the yard around the building; everything was wonderfully exciting for Zeus.  He found sticks to pick up and trot around with, grass to flop in, and lots of great things to sniff.  We next went for the exercise yard.  Zeus found it a very fun place to go racing around.  Though all of the balls there were much too big for him, he still enjoyed chasing them.  He is so people oriented, he loved coming flying at me when I called him and got especially excited when I "attempted" to  take a phone video. On our return to the shelter we met two volunteers who had walked him earlier in the week; he remembered them greeting them with jumps and kisses.

In addition to being a very affectionate little dog, he has some behaviors that I've seen mostly in larger dogs.  He quietly leans against you for pets, he rolls onto his back for belly rubs, "attempts' to play fetch, and he just seems calmer than some of the other small dogs I've walked.  I think he will make the perfect pet for his future owner.

I promise to learn how to do videos without using You-tube, in the interim please ignore the weird stuff they have tacked on at the end. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Phillip has a Forever Home (Plus)

Phillip the sweet and amazingly mature pointer pup, has been adopted.  He is just so cute I'm not surprised that his stay at the shelter was fairly short. 

The "Plus" is a quick recap of my Thursday visit.  I knew the shelter was down to just a few dogs but I went up anyway.  I was met on the outer walkway by two volunteers walking one dog (Sadie).  When I arrived at the check-in desk area, I was told that the other adoptable dog was being spayed.  Adoptable doggy number three had been adopted a couple of hours before I arrived.  All though the shelter had been getting dogs in every few days from other OR shelters, they were being adopted almost immediately.  I opted to do some Bend errands with happy thoughts that we live in an area that truly values  these shelter dogs.  We are VERY lucky. 

Kelly has a Transition

All for Dogs the wonderful local all volunteer rescue group has arranged for Kelly to move into a foster home where she will await adoption by her future family.  She is such a sweet dog, however since she has some Pit Bull in her genetics, there are restrictions on her adoption requirements so it usually takes a bit longer.