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.