Monday, May 19, 2014


I think I'm going to rename Timber "Surprise".  His  volunteer notes included: needs work on keeping 4 on the floor- translation, jumps up a lot, needs leash work, and needs basics.  Timber is an eight month old fairly large Cattle Dog puppy who at 2:00 had not yet had a volunteer outing.  With some caution and lots of treats I went off to meet Timber.

An incredibly cute Timber backed up and stood quietly to be harnessed, all the while leaning against me for pets and cuddles. The main exercise yard was occupied so we stopped first in the one with agility equipment.  Timber clearly wanted to play ball but since he had just been neutered eight days prior, the staff suggested that I limit his running thus - no fetch.  I showed him the agility tube and gave him treats for going through it for the ball.  He learned this so quickly.  The yard also has a teeter board.  I had him walk over that for a treat; another quick learn.  Cattle Dogs are always smart but this puppy was blowing my mind!  After a few more minutes of sniffing, it was time for our walk.  By this time, no surprise, Timber is perfect on the leash (video). 

After about a twenty minute walk we stopped in the other exercise yard for obedience basics.  Timber is great at sit and come, but needs a little more prompting on down (video).  This puppy is so special, he is super smart and one of the most loving dogs I've come across. According to his profile he is good with kids and other dogs but cats could be a challenge.  Let's hope some lucky family finds him soon , he's one in a million.

Beau has found his forever home

Beau was adopted last week and the best news of all...... he is my new neighbor here in Sunriver!  He is much loved and doing wonderfully.

Friday, May 9, 2014


I just could not resist Beau's sweet, intelligent face.  He's a pale apricot, miniature poodle, about eight and at the shelter because his owners could no longer keep him.   He was all wags as he met me at his back door but settled quickly to get harnessed.  Our first stop in the exercise yard was a bit of a disappointment for me, Beau went dashing around, sniffing, munching grass and taking care of business, of course, but he was not as responsive to me as I would have liked. 

Once I had him re-harnessed and we began our walk, he was perfect on the leash.  He did not pull and was very responsive to my voice.  I began to notice after a few petting stops he was beginning to know I was his friend.  Many dogs assume this, but I find that poodles are so intelligent,  they often do not take things for granted.

On our second stop in the exercise yard, I had clearly passed Beau's friend test.  He was delighted to come when called, and sit on command, not for a treat, just for affection.  He is so sweet and cuddly once he knows you.  Let's hope this great  guy finds his person and that they know what a wonderful little friend they've got.

Stewie finds his forever home

Sweet little Stewie has a lap of his own.  I know by now his trembling days are over and he is happily settled in his new home.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Nolow came flying down the hall as I was walking into the shelter; I looked back to see two volunteers gaining on him fast.  They managed to recover him just as he was beginning his tour of the cat area (actually he likes cats).  I planned on taking him out later; I'll make sure to hold the leash especially firmly in the hall!

Nolow is about four, and a Border Collie / Newfoundland mix.  He was very easy to get harnessed since he knows it means a walk.  Both exercise yards were occupied so we did our walk first.  Nolow is good with a no-pull harness but he stays near the end of it; his new owner will likely need more leash training for him.  He definitely has Border Collie energy and likely the smarts to go with it.

On our return an exercise yard was available so it was time for some obedience checks.  Nolow is good at come, sit and down but not interested in fetch.  He is very good looking and affectionate, leans on you for pets.  Let's hope Nolow finds a family that can keep up with him. 


Meet Stewie, 4 months old, mostly Chihuahua and my sweet  cuddle buddy today.    Wish I had some great exciting story to tell you about Stewie but he is simply a love bug; sat quivering on my lap the whole time just happy to be held.  Let's hope he get's a lap of his own soon. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


I'm back from travels in the south east (PA to GA) including lots of happy visits with friends and family; only complaint - too much driving.   Selecting Tyke as my welcome back walking buddy was a no brainer.  He's gorgeous, really big for a kennel (I'm guessing close to 90 pounds) and by 2:00 PM, had not yet been out.  Tyke is a Boxer Akita mix, about six and a half, and was surrendered to the shelter when his family had to  move without him.

He was  excited to see me at his back door but sat  quietly to be harnessed.  I readied myself for the possibility of major pulling while getting through the dog area and hallway to the outside; it did not happen.  Tyke ignored all the barking and walked with me down the hall. 

Once outside taking care of business came first; he had been waiting a very long time.  We had a short stop in the exercise yard but Tyke seemed more interested in going for walk.  It did not take me long to conclude that Tyke is about the best dog on a leash I've ever walked; hard to admit, but that includes Willow.  Many of you know she is also very good on the leash. The  difference is that Tyke maintains his perfect "slack leash" manners even when he sees a squirrel!  As one raced by us and into a bush, Tyke just straightened up, looked at me and when I did not give the OK to chase, resumed his walk.  Like Willow, Tyke responds to  soft voice commands such as, "let's go this way", etc; a taunt leash is not required. (video)

On our return we stopped again in the exercise yard for some obedience checks.  Tyke knows sit, down, come and shake.  According to Tyke's profile he is very good with everyone and this includes other dogs and cats.  Whenever another dog came into view, Tyke wagged and whimpered as if he wanted to play.  Let's hope this wonderful dog has a short stay at the shelter; he is really a gem. 

Sparky has found his forever home

It took him awhile but Sparky eventually found home.  He's been adopted and has begun his happily ever after.  Let's hope we get some warmer days so he can ditch wearing a sweater.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Little Sparky looks more like a toy than a dog.  He's about seven, mostly Maltese and.... how did this sweet little guy ever become a stray?  The world is a strange place.  Sparky was easy to harness since he's very comfortable with people, plus his cuddly sweater (stays on both in and out of the shelter) gives the harness a snug fit.  Interesting side note; I had just come from a lecture and sat next to a woman whose knitting group does  sweaters for the shelter's little dogs - kind, caring people are all around us.  Back to our outing.

We had gone just a short distance on our walk and Sparky let me know that his  feet liked smooth soft surfaces.  I think he has been mostly an inside dog.  He is wonderful on the leash, very responsive and easy to walk.  We stopped in the exercise yard on the way back where Sparky showed me that he could come and sit for treats (videos). He showed interest in other dogs but was not fearful or aggressive.  He was easy to return to his kennel; no gate charging, just bounced up toward the front to great some hall visitors.  He's really a cute little guy.  Let's hope he finds his new home with lots of comfortable inside time soon.

Rengar has found his forever home

The super smart wonderful puppy Rengar was adopted last week.  Lucky family, happy pup.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


According to the board, by mid afternoon just Rengar had not yet had a volunteer outing .  Looking a bit more closely at the notes:  Very high energy, work at calming him, work on basics, needs leash training; I could go on but I'm sure you're getting the picture.  Rengar is a big, mostly Siberian Husky, 9 month old puppy in a confined situation.  I loaded up with treats, crossed my fingers and went to meet Rengar.

Surprisingly he was not up on his hind legs to greet me. I entered his kennel, he ran the other direction.  He quickly dashed back for pets then, off again. It took a few minutes but I eventually got him harnessed.  Energy burn off in the exercise yard was absolutely essential.  Rengar just loved chasing balls and actually began dropping them within 3 to 4 feet of me.  After about 15 minutes of solid dashing around, I hoped that Rengar would be a bit more ready for a leash walk.  When I'm doing a leash training I let the dog go  mostly where he/she wants on the way out then do the training on the way back.  Rengar was all that his profile implied.  Wrapping himself in his leash, jerking, bolting, grabbing his leash; you name it, he tried it.

On the way back, training began.  When he walked quietly in front of me, initially for just a few seconds, I praised him.  He got it almost immediately.  Within just a few minutes he was walking nicely on the leash, loving hearing the kind words and getting petted (video).  Of course he had sniff stops but it was  a night and day difference from our outgoing walk.  He is so smart and eager to please. 

Our second stop in the exercise yard would be for more obedience.  My first couple of attempts at getting him to sit resulted in puzzled looks.  However once he did it and received a treat and lots of praise, he had it.  Getting him to come on command was easy since he is extremely affectionate and loves contact.  According to his profile he is  good with children other dogs and cats.  Though he will need a family  willing to keep up his training and see that he gets plenty of exercise, I know they will be very lucky to  have him.  Let's hope it happens soon.

Drew finds his forever home

Sweet little Drew is now in a home of his own.  It took him a bit longer than most, since he had a bit of an attitude regarding other dogs. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


I don't know how to begin this one.  Sure wish I could say that Barney was going to have an easy time getting adopted but look at him.  It gets worse.  He now has a cone on his head and is so lonely he has barked himself hoarse.  I think this crummy weather is really getting to me.

I'll start again, a busy rainy day at the Shelter, visitors everywhere and Barney's "odd sounds" were piercing the room.  Barney is one of the dogs from the over crowded California shelter arriving here about ten days ago.  He a Terrier / Miniature Poodle mix and about two years old.  On the plus side, he is very good on the leash, and promising at come and sit.  According to the general profile of this group of the CA dogs, they all get along with other dogs and are all very social.

Once inside of Barney's kennel he snuggled close while I got him harnessed.  He was hard not to notice prancing down the hall, he  resembled a giant alien bug, at least in my opinion. You can weigh in on this too since I made a video.  Once outside we did the exercise yard and a short walk but Barney does not like cold wet feet.  After just about 20 minutes he started back toward the shelter in a determined strut.  We finished our visit in a get cozy get acquainted  room with lots of lap time.

As I returned Barney to his kennel, he cuddled and nuzzled but was not much interested in playing with toys.  I think Barney will make a sweet affectionate companion to the person who can see past his appearance challenges.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Patty and Moses find there forever homes, lost dog's owner finds her


Found Dog

Too much good news to hold on to.  Both Patty and Moses have been adopted; plus, the lost pointer had a short stay at the shelter.  Her owners claimed her and she is safely home.  I think that many of you putting the word out around Sunriver  really helped. 

Monday, February 17, 2014


One look at this incredibly sweet 6 month old puppy and my first  buddy of the day was a no brainer.  Moses is a  pit bull mix who loves everyone and this includes other dogs and cats!  Once inside his kennel, hugs and cuddles were my preamble to getting him harnessed.  Since he had been out for several walks already, I signed him out for obedience drills.  The Shelter has an enrichment program for each dog to keep boredom low and adoptability high.

This wonderful puppy is excellent at fetch, come, sit and leash walking.  We enjoyed ourselves in the exercise yard for about 30 minutes then called it a day.  Let's hope some lucky family finds this wonderful dog soon.


I was going to be Patty's first volunteer, ever; I crossed my fingers and opened her back door.  She is a pretty Shepherd mix and just about four years old.  She was of course happy to be going out and was surprisingly quiet and easy to harness.  I had been alerted by a staff member that she might pull on the leash, so I was ready.  Both exercise yards were occupied so we began our walk.  At the Shelter we use primarily Sens-ible No Pull harnesses on all the dogs; Patty did a little weaving back and forth but no pulling, she was easy to walk with this type of harness.

On our return the exercise yard was free and Patty was able to run.  She  has tremendous energy to burn, and began happily racing around stopping only when she spotted a staff person  near the fence.  She has been at the shelter just over a week and clearly bonded with several of the employees, I'm always happy seeing these bonding behaviors.

I think that once Patty gets into the routine of going out with volunteers and being trained on a daily basis she will improve but even though this was her first volunteer time out , she came when she was called and sat on command.  Except for a little inappropriate jumping for joy, Patty did really well.

Lost Dog

This dog was found by the Sunriver Police / Citizen's Patrol Saturday (2-15) near Circle 7.  Al and Carolyn were on patrol and drove in the area for quite awhile attempting to see if anyone was looking for her or knew anything about her - no luck.  She is now at the shelter listed as a stray where, hopefully, her owner can claim her.  So....... if you know of anyone who was in Sunriver President's Weekend who might be able to find this dog's family please forward this information.  According to Al, she is a young American Short Hair Pointer, very timid but otherwise OK.  Thanks.

Sunday, February 2, 2014


A busy noisy Saturday at the shelter, the first time I walked by Drew's kennel I thought it was empty, a second look revealed Drew quietly sleeping on his white bed.  This is one calm dog.  Drew is  a  beautiful Lhasa Apso, about two and  from the overcrowded California shelter so nothing is known of his background.  Drew had already been out on two walks so I opted for fun and obedience in the exercise yard.

Once in the yard Drew was pure energy, dashing everywhere, stopping only for back rubs - which he loves.  When he slowed down for some sniffing I took the opportunity to do some obedience drills.  He's good at come, pretty good at sit, but gets distracted when other dogs are within sight.  Surprisingly he is close to being able to heel but, once again, other dogs distract him.  I think he will be very easy to manage when he has his own family and training sessions can be free of distractions.

Back in his kennel, he quietly had a long cool drink of his water then hopped right back on to his bed. He is such a cute little guy, let's hope he finds his own family soon since he is very tuned into and distracted by the multitude of surrounding dogs.

Say Hello and Welcome Home to Fifi

It's amazing, when I started volunteering here about three years ago I believed all the negative urban myths about Pit Bulls.  The Pit Bulls we volunteers encounter are nearly all like Fifi - total love bugs.  A little  history here, before unscrupulous people did some terrible things to this wonderful breed, they were referred to as Nanny Dogs because of their gentle and devoted behaviors around children.  Fifi is about 8 months, her sweet expressive face says it all.  I've noticed her for several weeks but this was my first chance to take her out.  As soon as I entered her kennel she was beside me, snuggling and cuddling. Getting her harnessed was so easy.  She had already been out for several walks so I opted for  some obedience drills in the exercise yard.  She was great at sit, come and heel, fetch is not her thing; considering she is still a puppy, very impressive.  Now  to the lack of a video...

After I returned Fifi to her kennel I went out to the car and thought I'd clear off some of the excess photos on my phone before continuing Bend errands.  Major oops;  I deleted all Fifi's videos, my heart sank!  Pit Bulls need all the help they can get,  to be adopted (adopters must prove home ownership) and Fifi had already been at the shelter for nearly a month.  It was late in the day, I did not have time to get a new series of videos.  I was feeling pretty glum going about my Bend errands when I spotted a Verizon store, maybe the videos were still on my phone - hiding.  I told the Verizon  rep the situation, he tried his best; he thought Fifi was adorable when he managed to recover one photo. Coincidentally, he had an equally lovable Pit Bull at home who is identical to her but a little older. As I left the store he asked which shelter  was Fifi's current home.  I would go back to the shelter the next day and get some cute videos of Fifi.

Next morning:
As I checked into the shelter, the staff told me that Fifi had just been adopted.  No specifics of course since that is confidential but..... her new family includes an equally lovable Pit Bull who is identical to her but is a little older.  Don't you just love fate!

Susie finds her forever home

Sweet little Susie was adopted last week and is likely cheering for her favorites in this year's Super Puppy Bowl game with her new family.

Sunday, January 26, 2014


You know me,  I always seem to have positive experiences with each dog though none of them are perfect - till now!  Meet Susie, she's as close as it gets ;  you'll just have to read on and reach your own conclusion.  She's somewhere between one and two, mostly miniature poodle but I'm guessing there is some Bedlington Terrier in her DNA since she looks a lot like a little lamb. 

Susie was super friendly and bouncing excitedly  but settled quickly as I got her harnessed and ready for her first volunteer outing of the day at about 1:30.  The exercise yard came first for stretching, sniffing and general prancing around.  For a bouncy young dog she quickly settled down once again as soon as I told her it was time to get her harness back on so we could begin our walk.  Off we went.

She did the usual sniffing, that every dog does but as we continued I noticed that she was trotting along beside me (slack leash)  and staying mentally connected by looking up at me every few seconds (video).  Except for a few sniff stops, this is the way Susie walks on the leash with no prompting.  I stopped a couple of times and she stood patiently, looking up for cues.  At one stop, I sat on a bench and invited her up; she immediately hopped up, laid down beside me snuggling close and, once again, waited to see what I wanted her to do.

We had another stop in the exercise yard on our return for some basic obedience checks.  She's very good at come, sit and shake (paw).  She was again easily harnessed as I readied her to return to her kennel.  She calmly laid down her bed as soon as she was back inside.  One characteristic I find so appealing is her calm, solid demeanor, somewhat unusual for a young small dog in her current situation.  She is one of the dogs from an over crowded shelter in California so nothing is known of her background.  She is going to be some lucky person's most wonderful friend and soul mate, let's hope it is soon.

Rocket has found his forever home

Rocket the wonderful smart and sweet cattle dog pup is in his new home.

Barry finds his forever home

Sweet timid little Barry has found his home.  I'm sure most of his shyness is now a distant memory.

Update on Good Dog Alum, Newman

Meredith (Pawsitive Experience) provided this update.

I received a nice letter from The Humane Society of Central Oregon's exec director thanking me for my donation. In the thank you letter, they featured a dog named, Newman, hard to adopt until he received extra help and training from the volunteers and staff when he came in shy and anxious, until they all worked with him. The exec director,  didn't know, Newman was placed by my wonderful neighbors. Newman is doing awesome, and is with an awesome family. He is adored by their three children ages 9, 8 and 3 years. He has been in my training classes and was the star student, and is signed up for more classes. He has come out of his shell and loves playing with my puppy, Remy, and now greets new strangers with confidence and asking for pets. He is in the perfect family. Thanks HSCO.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Jimmie Tate

Most of the dogs seem to get accustomed to the confinement and kennel routine after a reasonably short time. This does not seem to be the case with Jimmie Tate.  He's very young, a year and a half, has been at the shelter about a month and struck me as being  overly excited by the environment.  His profile indicated a need for more leash training so I decided that I would focus on that.  He's a real beauty, a Shar-Pei / Bull Terrier mix.  In the three years I've been volunteering I've found the Bull Terriers to generally be very people oriented.  Just the touch of my hand petting him calmed him quickly and he stood quietly to get harnessed.  However as soon as we left his kennel, the sights and sounds of the shelter had him shrieking, barking and pulling as we made our way down the hall.  I held him very close but it did not help.

A stop in the exercise yard to burn off some of his incredible excitement and energy was a must.  He went tearing around  and was not very responsive to me.  We began our walk,  I wanted to get him to a quieter area before beginning the leash training.  In the interim, he was jerking and pulling  severely.  Once we were off by ourselves, I just stopped.  Jimmie Tate jerked, pulled, shrieked, you name it, he tried it.  When he eventually stopped we moved forward for about 10 feet with lots of praise and kind words for his great (but short) improvement. After just about 20 minutes of this process Jimmie Tate was walking on the leash and listening to me for cues; he was a different dog (video).

On our return we stopped in the exercise yard.  This time he  was very responsive to me, demonstrating, come, sit, and was close to down, but not quite.  He is a very fast learner and will be so much better when he has a home of his own.  Let's hope it's soon.


Barry, a 5 year old miniature poodle  is such a delicate timid little guy, seeing him so cute and fluffy in his kennel, how could I resist.  He is a one step forward two steps back dog so he had to be picked up to be harnessed.  This was fine with him since he is a "pick me up" kind of guy.  Once harnessed he bounced down the hall and we were out.  

Outside Barry's shyness quickly disappeared, he spotted kids.  His former home included kids and he clearly wanted to play, barking out his invitation.  We continued our walk with Barry doing all the normal doggy sniffing and exploring.  Barry is great on the leash, but does not seem to know other basic obedience commands. In my shelter experience this is not unusual for the small breeds.  Since Barry's former home also included a cat, he should fit in to lot's of potential families. Let's hope he finds his new one soon.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Rocket, a cute as can be  lab cattle dog mix had already been out for several walks, but with just a few dogs on hand, he was going out again with me.  At around a year old he is still very much a puppy with lots of energy.  His herding behavior was not appreciated by the family's cat who obviously had seniority over Rocket.  Fast forward, Rocket is now at the shelter interviewing new families.

Rocket was up on his hind legs to greet me, but,on my command backed away immediately  for me to enter his kennel.   He was all squirms and happiness as we got acquainted  but quickly decided he did not want harnessed; he just wanted to play with it. Using a hot dog treat as a diversion, I eventually got him harnessed.

Our first stop was the exercise yard.  Cattle dogs are so smart!  He's just a year old, in stressful conditions, does not know me and he is nearly perfect at sit, down and heel.  Perhaps the "heel" is just his breed;  he would not leave my side long enough for me to even try the "come" command.  When it was time for us to begin our walk, the harness game began again.   I finally just stood at the gate, told him I was leaving without him, he got it; end of harness game, treat forthcoming.

He was just wonderful on the leash, no pulling at all. Back at the shelter he was easy to get unharnessed and settled back into his kennel.  He is such a nice dog.  Let's hope he finds a family that appreciates him soon.

King finds his forever home

King has a good reason to smile, he has been adopted by someone who not only loves him but is committed to giving him the exercise he needs.  According to the staff he was so happy with his new owner that he leaned against her smiling the whole time she was filling the adoption papers.