Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Who Found Their Forever Homes, Part XXIV

Another happy success story! Nico was adopted by Orphans of the Storm®’s Canine Enrichment & Playgroup Coordinator, Carrie. His first “gotcha” day is coming up next week! Here is how Carrie and Nico came together.

I met Nico nearly 3 years ago, when I was a volunteer at Orphans of the Storm®. I had always been a “big dog person” and barely glanced at the littles. Nico came on my radar when he started having behavior problems, biting to be specific. There were about 2 staff members that could handle him, and no volunteers. I always stopped by his kennel to give him treats; he would growl, snarl, snap at me, but I still loved him. I felt so bad that he didn’t get walks with volunteers. I started spending time with Nico and getting to know him. I learned that he was an affectionate dog, under all his layers. He wanted to be with his people, but was very defensive of being touched. We would go on walks, I would toss treats on the ground for him, he started slowly trusting me more. He would jump up with his front paws on my lap, wagging, saying, “I love you! You can feed me treats, take me on walks, talk to me…but DO NOT TOUCH ME!” I did not attempt to pet Nico until after I had been working with him for 9 months. I was sitting with him and he came over and I just knew it was the time. He let me pet him, and it was a very happy moment for me.

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Nico and I continued to bond over the 2 years he was at the shelter. He would still snap/bite at me when he felt threatened. We knew Nico could not be adopted out to the public; it was too risky for his and the public’s safety. He would spend the rest of his life as a “shelter mascot.”

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After 2 years of time with Nico at the shelter, I decided to bring him into my home as a foster. I had no idea what he would be like at home. I fostered him for 6 weeks; we built a solid routine and a great relationship with my other dog, Koopa. Koopa and Nico got along right away.

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On May 4, 2019, I decided to officially adopt Nico. I promised him I would be his mom, even with the behavior problems, and that I would do everything I can to help him live a happy, healthy life.

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Fast forward a year: Nico is thriving. He loves his sister dog, Koopa, and loves his home. He has helped me foster countless dogs. Although he likes to “protest” when a new dog comes, once he lets his walls down–he’s a great foster brother. Nico still has behavior problems that he will always have, and things that I cannot change–only manage. I made a commitment to him, and to be totally honest–we do have challenging moments. But I wouldn’t trade Nico for the world. He has taught me SO much patience, and a new love and appreciation for small dogs. I no longer consider myself a “big dog person.” I am an “all dog person,” with an extra soft spot for the “angry Chihuahuas.” I am forever grateful for Orphans of the Storm® for bringing Nico to me, and visa versa. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us.

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Thank you, Carrie, for sharing your story about Nico!

If you would like to share your own Orphans of the Storm® success story, please email meetthepooches@gmail.com.

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Who Found Their Forever Homes, Part XXIII

Here is another success story to put a smile on your face today! Dog walker volunteer Christy adopted her two dogs, Westley (tricolor) and Preston (brown-and-white), from Orphans of the Storm®. Here are their stories.

We adopted Westley (formerly Toby) in October 2017, when he was about 2 years old. We had walked a few other dogs when we saw him, and there something about his eyes that we connected with.

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He had some separation anxiety when we first brought him home (which usually involved him gathering things we had recently touched, like our shoes, into a pile) but he was basically potty trained and seemed to have had some training in his previous home as he picked up commands really quickly. He also got along well with our two senior cats right away.

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He didn’t seem sure about toys when he first got home, but after a few weeks we found a toy he loved (his Kong Wubba). Over time he has amassed a large collection of squeaky toys that for the most part he is gentle with. After a few months, the separation anxiety went away (he figured out that we would always come home) and we couldn’t imagine our life without him.

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Last year we started thinking about getting a second dog so that Westley could have a playmate. We tried a couple of dog meets but the look with Westley’s eyes told us we hadn’t found the right dog. Then last September, we came in and saw Preston. Just like with Westley, there was something in Preston’s eyes that said we should take him for a walk. He was a bigger dog than we were looking for but he was such a gentle soul. He walked well on a leash and he knew some basic commands. He also gave amazing hugs. We came back later with Westley and it was clear that Preston was meant to be his brother.

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Westley and Preston at their first meeting at the shelter

When Preston came home, he and Westley quickly became inseparable. They walk really well together on the leash and really enjoy their neighborhood walks each day. It took several attempts, but Westley did teach his brother to “play” with him in the backyard. Each morning after breakfast they run in the backyard to chase squirrels up a tree and then play for a few minutes (sometimes it’s zooming around the yard together, other times it’s playing together with squeaky toys–Preston can actually throw the toy and then chase it all over the yard). Preston was also about 2 years old when we got him. They are both totally bonded to us and to each other and we can’t imagine our lives without them.

P.S. We did DNA tests on both of them. Westley is an Australian Cattle Dog mix (50% Cattle Dog) and Preston is more of a mutt (25% Australian Cattle Dog, 25% Boxer, 25% Staffordshire Terrier, 12.5% Chow Chow, and 12.5% other).

Thank you, Christy, for sharing your adoption story and these adorable pictures and videos! And for being a dedicated volunteer!

If you would like to have your own Orphans of the Storm® adoption success story featured on the blog, please email meetthepooches@gmail.com.

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Who Found Their Forever Homes, Part XXII

With Orphans of the Storm® closed to the public (including volunteers), there won’t be posts about new dogs for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, I’d like to help spread positivity by sharing more success stories! If you’ve adopted a dog or cat from Orphans of the Storm® and would like to be featured on the blog, please email meetthepooches@gmail.com. These happy tales put a smile on everyone’s faces!

If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you might remember Courage. After waiting three years at Orphans of the Storm®, she finally found her forever home with volunteers Ron and Lucy. Here is their success story!

We adopted Courage, our Black and Tan Coonhound, in September of 2017. My wife Lucy and I are volunteer dog walkers at Orphans of the Storm®, so we were familiar with Courage as we both had walked her several times. When we were ready to adopt a dog, we had a couple of other dogs that we were interested in and Courage was not one we had considered. One weekend we came and walked a couple of dogs on the wonderful wooded trail at Orphans but did not feel a “connection” with those dogs. We were looking for a bigger dog that was an affectionate “people dog.”

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We were feeling frustrated when Lucy said, “How about Courage?” Lucy had recently participated in an off-site adoption event at Chalet Nursery, and Courage was one of the dogs chosen to be there. After spending several hours with her at the event, Lucy saw just how sweet (and quirky) this pooch was. So we took Courage for a walk and when we stopped to sit down on one of the trail benches, Courage jumped up and licked my face and demanded a belly rub! Lucy and I looked at each other. We both knew Courage was the one!

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Courage has made a phenomenal transition from shelter dog to family pet. She is housebroken and only had a couple of accidents when we first brought her home. Now Courage goes to the back door when she needs to relieve herself in the yard, then she barks when she wants to come back into the house. She enjoys a long walk every day as well. We thought that because she was a Hound she would bark a lot, but she does not. She follows us all over the house and tries to be a 65+-pound lapdog. Her morning routine includes laying on the floor waiting for us to rub her tummy. Courage loves to play hide-and-seek with treats hidden all over the house.

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She is definitely a member of our family and we can’t imagine life without her. It is hard to believe that Courage had been at the shelter for over 3 years. She is so sweet, and we would recommend to potential adopters that Hounds do make excellent house dogs. She makes us laugh every day. Adopting Courage has enriched our lives beyond what we could ever hope for.

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Thank you, Ron and Lucy, for adopting Courage and sharing your story! And for being dedicated volunteers!

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Want to Stay Home With You

Orphans of the Storm® is closely following the COVID-19 situation and has made the difficult, but educated decision to close to the public until further notice. Although the staff and foster families will be here to take care of our animals while we wait to reopen, adoptions and fosters will be put on hold during this time.

You can still get to know the dogs here, so you know who you’ll want to meet when we reopen!

Clara the one-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix has plenty of enthusiastic puppy energy. She loves toys (particularly stuffed squeakies) but should be supervised when she’s playing with them, because she also loves tearing them apart and taking the squeaker out. Her future family will probably want to invest in more durable options! Clara’s favorite thing is to be around people, and she doesn’t seem to mind getting pet while she’s chewing on her toys.

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Clara’s big ears better allow her to better hear how wonderful she is

Clara likes to walk at a quick pace and can sometimes pull on the leash to get where she wants to go. But since she’s barely out of puppyhood, she just needs some more practice and guidance on proper leash-walking etiquette. Clara can also get excited when she passes other dogs on the leash. Her energy is a little much for some dogs, but she does participate in play groups and has a select number of doggy friends that she enjoys playing with. If you’re looking for a playful pup, be sure to meet Clara on your next visit to the shelter!

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Clara was in love with this snake toy

Cleo the eight-month-old Pit Bull Terrier mix is a little goofball. She spins in excited circles while you scratch her sides and back and makes happy snorting noises. Since she’s still a puppy, she sometimes gets so excited that she starts nibbling on fingers. She’s a quick learner, though, and calms down as soon as you turn your back to her. Cleo also likes to give doggy hugs and doggy kisses. She has participated in a few play groups so far and seems to do well with the other dogs.

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How can you not love Cleo’s squishy, wrinkly face?

Cleo alternates between being a good walking companion and thinking the leash is a tug toy. If she gets distracted with sniffing scents or holding a toy, then she doesn’t mind the leash. She just needs a little more training! One important note about Cleo is that she is allergic to chicken, so her new family will need to be careful with the food and treats they give her. Cleo was an owner surrender, so she has at least a little bit of experience living in a home and is ready to join a new forever family. If you think that might be yours, come in soon to meet Cleo!

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Cleo is too adorable

Endor the two-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix is a little cutie. He likes to give doggy hugs and loves getting pets and attention. Endor isn’t shy at all and happily greets new people who happen to walk by–and is even happier when they kneel down to his level for snuggles. Endor walks pretty well on the leash. He rarely pulls and mostly stayed just a step or two ahead of me.

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Endor being a good walking buddy

Endor had a fun time exploring the off-leash run. When he was done, he hopped up next to me on the bench so he could get more pets. He quietly and politely watched as other dogs walked by. Endor participates in play group and likes to play rough-and-tumble with the other energetic dogs, so he has the potential to go home with another dog. Stop by the shelter soon to meet cute Endor!

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Endor would enjoy a yard to call his own

I also saw Bison.

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Celebrate St. Pawtrick’s Day

This weekend, March 14-15, Orphans of the Storm® is hosting a St. Pawtrick’s Day adoption event! The adoption fee for dogs and cats 6 months and older will be waived (final vet fees still apply). New adopters go home with a goody bag! We are especially hoping to find families for dog-friendly dogs who can go to a home with another furry friend. Since the dog wings have been closed due to kennel cough for the past two weeks, we are excited to be back open and hoping for lots of happy adoptions this weekend!

Chili the two-year-old American Bulldog mix is super playful. He particularly enjoyed playing with a big, long rope toy–he ran around with it in his mouth, shook it back and forth, and plopped down to chew on it. Chili then brought the toy over to me and leaned into my lap while continuing to chew. When we eventually went for a walk, Chili didn’t want to leave this fun toy behind!

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Chili with his favorite rope toy

Chili is a good walking companion. He likes to walk at a quick pace but doesn’t pull too often. He also likes to stop and snuffle his nose through piles of leaves or in tall grasses. Chili has become a play group regular and has a long list of doggy friends that he actively likes to play with, so he could go to a home with or without another dog. If you’re looking for a fun-loving pooch, be sure to say hello to Chili!

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Chili being a good walking buddy

Ziggy the one-year-old Labrador Retriever/Hound mix loves to snuggle. He gave me a doggy hug as soon as he came out of his kennel and just wanted to stand still there, getting lots of pets. He gave me many more doggy hugs during our time together. Ziggy always waits for the person to end the hug first because in his mind, a hug can never be too long! When Ziggy wants attention, he’ll sit at your feet and look up at you expectantly until you start petting him.

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Ziggy gives the best hugs

Ziggy enjoys playing with a variety of toys: stuffed squeakies, ropes, balls, etc. He’ll happily plop down next to you and chew on a toy while you pet him. If you stop petting him, though, he’ll stop chewing and poke your hand so you continue. Ziggy also hopped up to join me on the bench. He just wants to be close to his person! Ziggy can occasionally pull on the leash, but he’s barely out of puppyhood so he just needs some extra practice. Ziggy has participated in a few play groups and gets along with the other dogs, so he could go to a home with or without another dog. Come in soon to see if Ziggy is the one for you!

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Ziggy happy with his big toy

Crema the two-year-old Shepherd mix loves her toys so much that she even carries them in her mouth during walks. Soft squeakies, tennis balls, ropes–she’s happy to have them all! Crema is also great at playing fetch. She prefers to play with a person, but she can also keep herself entertained by throwing the toy in the air herself and catching it. She may even be able to figure out how to use an automatic fetch machine in her new home because she’s such a smart girl.

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Crema’s face of contentment/satisfaction

Crema likes to lead the way on walks. She keeps up a quick pace and doesn’t stop too often for sniffing. Crema doesn’t pull too much if you’re able to keep up with her, though. Crema participates in play groups regularly and her favorite form of play is to chase or be chased. Sometimes she gets overexcited with a lot of other high-energy dogs, but after a quick breather she settles down again nicely. If you’re looking for an active dog to participate in your active lifestyle, stop by the shelter soon to meet Crema!

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Crema says, “Yay! TWO toys for me!”

I also saw Hayden, Hunky, Rusty, Scooby, and Titus.

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Will Leap into Your Heart

Leap Day is tomorrow, and the dogs at Orphans of the Storm® would leap for joy if they found their forever homes!

Roxie Marie the two-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix is an excellent snuggler. As soon as I knelt down to her level, she curled right up against me and then put her front paws in my lap so she could cover my face with doggy kisses. When I sat down on the bench later, Roxie Marie hopped right up next to me and particularly enjoyed getting her hips and sides scratched. Her tail is constantly wagging.

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Roxie Marie has good camouflage

Roxie Marie walks great on the leash. She likes to explore and sniff, but rarely pulls and mostly just stays a couple steps ahead of her person. Roxie Marie has also participated in a few play groups and has made some doggy friends. She’s more on the calm and gentle side, but still seems to like the company of other dogs. Come in soon to see if sweet Roxie Marie is the one for you!

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Roxie Marie literally smiles

Kibble the eight-month-old Labrador Retriever mix was rescued from a hoarding situation, so he’s still figuring out the best way to be a happy puppy. Since he never had anything to call his own before, he can sometimes get extra eager about food. But he’s already learning that people are great for getting lots of pets! Kibble had a fun time romping around the Enrichment Park, playing with a stuffed squeaky toy. He was perfectly content to chew on the toy and toss it around himself, but would also chase it when I threw it for him.

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Kibble wondering, “What’s over there?”

Kibble likes to give his people doggy hugs. With his puppy exuberance, Kibble can sometimes pull on the leash, especially if another dog is nearby. But he’s also pretty easy to re-focus. Kibble hasn’t been a big fan of other dogs at the shelter so far, but coming from a hoarding situation, that’s understandable that he wants his own space for once! Kibble does have the potential to go to a home with children, though. Be sure to say hello to Kibble on your next visit to the shelter!

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Kibble loved this toy

Sugar the four-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix is a total sweetheart. She loves getting attention, but she’s very mellow about it. She’ll just plop down next to you and look at you expectantly until you start petting her, and then she’ll wag her tail and poke your hand with her nose when you scratch the right spots. Sugar jumped up on every single bench we passed during our walk and looked at me like, “Okay, I’m at perfect petting height now! Time to snuggle!” She wouldn’t get off the bench until she had been satisfactorily doted upon.

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Sugar modeling her cute sweater

Sugar is also an excellent walking companion. She doesn’t pull at all, and moves at an easy pace. Sugar is looking to be the only dog in her new home. However, when she’s out on walks, she doesn’t give other dogs a second glance. (She even sat directly next to Max Becks on the other side of the fence and let him sniff her through the gate.) Sugar is certainly as sweet as her name implies. Come in soon to meet her!

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Sugar on the bench

Hayden the two-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix has been described as “ladylike” and “dainty”–and I agree! She’s much smaller in person than she looks in her photos, and she has a delicate prance when she walks on the leash. In fact, she is an ideal walking companion because she doesn’t pull at all, and she rarely stops to sniff. She just likes keeping up with her person.

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Hayden’s ears waving in the wind

Hayden can be a little shy when she first comes out of her kennel, but after she explored the off-leash run for a bit on her own, she came over to me to get some pets. She sniffed a couple of toys but wasn’t interested in playing with them. However, she does have an athletic side! She jumped right onto the roof of the doghouse and then hopped off the other side like it was no big deal. If you’re looking for a pretty little princess, be sure to say hello to Hayden!

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Hayden is such a pretty color

Moose the two-year-old Labrador Retriever/Australian Cattle Dog mix is a very handsome boy, with his one blue eye and one brown eye. He can pull a bit on the leash when he first comes out of his kennel, but settles down nicely once he’s on the woodland preserve trail. Whenever I knelt down to his level, Moose came over to give me a quick doggy kiss and then leaned against my arm while I pet him. He enjoyed sniffing around the off-leash run but wasn’t too interested in toys during this particular outing.

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Moose being a good walking buddy

Moose gets along well with other dogs. He was originally sharing his kennel with a Husky who has since been adopted, and he also likes to participate in play groups. His favorite form of play is to chase and be chased. He’s made a couple good doggy friends so far. Be sure to stop in soon to meet Moose!

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Moose’s blue eye always makes him look surprised

Baxter the one-year-old Shepherd mix is the most snuggly pup. Whenever I knelt down next to him, regardless of what else was going on around us, Baxter immediately put his front legs into my lap and rested his chin in the crook of my elbow. He also joined me on the bench a couple times and sat in my lap so I could pet him and so he could give me doggy kisses. Baxter is too sweet!

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Baxter is too cute

Baxter is barely out of puppyhood, so he has lots of enthusiasm and can occasionally pull on the leash during walks when he gets excited. For the most part, though, he’s a good walking companion. Baxter is currently sharing his kennel with not-yet-profiled Gracie and also regularly participates in play group. He has a long list of doggy friends already! So Baxter definitely has potential to go to a home with another dog. Come by the shelter soon to say hello to Baxter!

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Baxter being a lapdog

Rusty the two-year-old Hound mix likes to follow his nose, as Hounds are known to do. He slowly meandered around the off-leash run, exploring along the fence line and behind the bushes. Rusty also liked keeping an eye on what was happening on the other side of the fence and watching other people and dogs go by. After Rusty finished exploring on his own, he put his front paws up on the bench next to me so I could rub his belly and scratch his ears.

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Rusty enjoying a chin scratch

Rusty enjoyed taking the occasional break during our walk around the woodland preserve trail to get more pets. Even if he was moving right along, he would stop as soon as I did and come over to cuddle. Although I didn’t get a doggy kiss on this outing, he seemed to seriously consider it when he put his nose right up to mine. Rusty was originally sharing his kennel with a dog who has since been adopted and also participates in play group, so he could go to a home with or without another dog. Come in soon to meet Rusty!

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Rusty in the shade

I also saw Brunhilda.

Play group this week included Baxter, Big Boy, Haruto, Hunky, Jupiter, Moose, Prince, Princess, Rusty, Springer, and Titus, as well as the not-yet-profiled Aspen, Buffer, Chili, Clara, Crema, Daisy Mae, Dee Dee, Gerald, Jack, Lake, Shadow, Skittles, Van, Whisper, and Ziggy.

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Looking for a Playmate

ANNOUNCEMENT: The Orphans of the Storm® Foster Program is now live! Give a dog a break from the kennel–a chance to truly shine–or somewhere quiet to recover from a procedure or treatment. All dogs come with medical care, food, and supplies (as available), and a full team of support for all their needs.

Fostering is also great because it helps two dogs at once: Bringing a dog into your home opens up a kennel at the shelter for another dog in need.

If you’re not ready to adopt, but still want to help our dogs, our foster program could be perfect for you! See the current list of foster-able dogs and, when you’re ready, fill out an application.

If you are ready to adopt, then come by the shelter and meet these playful pups!

Spot the one-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix was originally living in a home with a family, including older children, but due to a housing issue they had to give him up. That means that even though Spot is barely out of puppyhood, he already has experience in a home and is ready to join another family. Spot absolutely loves playing with toys! He particularly likes stuffed squeaky toys–but he also likes tearing the stuffing out of them, so he should be supervised while playing.

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Spot has the funniest ears

Spot has plenty of energy. He loves having a big yard where he can run around with his toys. He can pull a bit on the leash, but for the most part he walks pretty well. Spot wanted to jump up on every single bench we passed, so maybe he has agility in his future! Spot occasionally participates in play groups and prefers playing with the other rough-and-tumble dogs. Come in soon to see if Spot is the one for you!

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Spot is very appropriately named

Emma the seven-year-old Labrador Retriever mix is super easy-going. She’s already gone to some off-site events and is very well-behaved when meeting new people (including children) and new dogs. At the shelter, Emma likes to spend her time slowly exploring around the off-leash run. When she’s done with that, she likes to come over to get some pets and cuddles. Emma gives very gentle doggy kisses.

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Emma has such a sweet face

Emma is a great leash-walking companion. She stayed right by my side almost the whole way around the woodland preserve trail. She picked up the pace towards the end, but that might be because her paws were getting cold in the snow! And even so, she never went too fast or pulled. If you’re looking for a mellow, loving almost-senior, be sure to say hello to Emma on your next visit to the shelter!

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Emma plodding through the snow

Chaco the five-year-old Chocolate Labrador Retriever mix is very mellow, bordering on timid. He’s a little confused about being at the shelter and has mastered the “sad puppy eyes” look, but we know being in a loving home will cheer him up! Chaco did some exploring in the off-leash run, but always came back to me when I knelt down to his level. He enjoys gentle pets and will stay by your side. He put his nose right up to mine and seriously considered giving a doggy kiss.

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I was serious about Chaco’s “sad puppy eyes”

Chaco is perfect on the leash. He walks at a nice, easy pace and never pulls. He rarely even stops to sniff! Chaco’s definitely a go-with-the-flow kind of walker. Chaco regularly attends play group and likes being with the other calmer, gentler dogs. He was also briefly sharing a kennel with another dog when he first arrived. Come in to see if you can turn Chaco’s frown upside down by making him your new family member!

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Chaco enjoying the trail

Brisco the one-year-old Labrador Retriever/Pit Bull Terrier mix is literally the best lap dog I have encountered. When I sat down on the bench, Brisco hopped up to join me. He balanced all four paws on my legs and then sat down so we were face-to-face, and proceeded to cover my face in doggy kisses. He eventually took a break from the kisses and just wanted to be hugged. The only reason Brisco got out of my lap is because I stood up–and he still tried to balance on me for as long as physically possible!

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I had to lean back to get a break from Brisco’s kisses!

Brisco can pull a bit on the leash when he first comes out of his kennel because he’s excited that it’s his turn, but he settles down nicely once he’s walking on the trail. He stopped to hop up on almost every bench we passed so I would give him more cuddles. He also already seems to know “sit.” Brisco has the potential to go home with older children or other dogs, though in play group he’s been very high-energy and too much for some of the dogs. He just needs to find the right buddy. Be sure to say hello to Brisco on your next visit to the shelter!

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Brisco says, “Will you stop taking pictures and pet me instead?”

Springer the three-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix arrived at the shelter a little wary of people, but made instant friends with shy puppy Skye (who is now in a foster home). He’s starting to make more human friends, too, and was very playful when I took him out. Springer found a toy in the off-leash run and started tossing it around and chewing it right away. He did start to tear out some of the fluff, though, so heavy-duty toys might be better for him in his future home.

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Springer’s ears may be able to access satellite TV channels

Springer is still learning to trust the person at the other end of his leash, so he can pull a bit when he’s walking on the trail. But if you stop walking and start to pet him, he’ll gladly stand by your side for a bit before continuing on. Springer has the potential to go to a home with children over 5 or with another dog. Stop by the shelter soon to meet Springer!

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Springer looking skeptical

Haruto the one-year-old Pit Bull Terrier/Pointer mix loves toys. Stuffed squeakies, tennis balls, ropes–you name it, he’ll play with it! He’s about halfway to being good at fetch. Haruto enjoys chasing after toys when you throw them, but then he’ll just plop down and start chewing it instead of bringing it back to chase again. If you have two toys handy, though, he’ll drop the one toy to run after the next. Haruto is another dog who thinks it’s great fun to pull out the stuffing.

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Every picture of Haruto was an action shot

Haruto’s entire body wriggles with happiness when you pet him. It starts with his wagging tail and then goes all the way up, so even his head moves back and forth while he gives you a big doggy grin. It is adorable. Haruto also likes to give the occasional doggy hug and get his sides scratched while he’s standing up next to you. Haruto is basically still a puppy, so he could use some extra training when it comes to walking nicely on the leash rather than pulling in excitement. If you’re looking for a happy puppy, come in soon to meet Haruto!

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Haruto taking a sharp turn

I also saw Bailey (who loves to cuddle) and Meshai (who is so well-behaved that he sometimes gets to be the front desk dog).

Orphans of the Storm® Has Singles Looking for a Valentine

This weekend, February 15-16, Orphans of the Storm® is hosting a “Singles for Singles” Valentine’s Day Promo! Several dogs and cats are designated as needing to go to a “single-pet” home where they can be the only one to get all of your love and attention. For the specific dogs and cats listed below, their adoption fee will be waived (final vet fees still apply). So if you’re a one-pet kind of person, be sure to stop in this weekend to find your perfect match!

Eligible Dogs:

Eligible Cats:

This is also a big week because we celebrated our one-year anniversary of implementing play groups! More than 8,000 times in just this one year, a dog has entered the play group yard to join the fun. Play groups make the dogs happy, make the staff and volunteers happy, and make potential adopters happy because we can tell them even more about a dog’s personality from the way they behave in play group. It’s a win-win-win!

And here are some more sweet dogs also looking for a Valentine!

Lenny the eight-month-old Labrador Retriever mix was rescued from a hoarding situation, but his unfortunate beginning hasn’t dampened his spirits! He is a happy, playful puppy with plenty of energy. Lenny loves racing around the Enrichment Park. He did a few laps on his own and then slowed down long enough to sniff each corner of the yard. Lenny also enjoyed chasing after and playing with a bouncy ball.

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This was possibly Lenny’s first time experiencing snowfall, but he seemed to like it

Lenny likes to give doggy hugs and likes getting pet, when he does eventually slow down! Despite all of his energy when he’s off-leash, he is actually a pretty easy walking companion on-leash and rarely pulls. Lenny occasionally participates in play group, but is still learning some doggy manners and can pester the other dogs when he wants to play but they don’t. If you’re looking for a playful pup, be sure to say hello to Lenny on your next visit to the shelter!

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Lenny on the move!

Duke the three-year-old Feist/Australian Cattle Dog mix is super sweet. He gave me a doggy hug as soon as he came out of his kennel and continued wanting to cuddle when we were in the off-leash run. He climbed right into my lap (or as much of him as would fit) and covered my face in doggy kisses. Any time I knelt down to his level, he came right over for more pets, snuggles, and kisses.

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Duke being a cutie

Duke likes meandering around the yard, casually sniffing and exploring. He is one of the easiest leash-walkers I’ve walked in a while. Duke doesn’t pull at all and stays by your side or just a couple small steps ahead. Duke participates in play groups and actively plays with the other dogs. Come in soon to see if Duke is the one for you!

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Duke is a champion snuggler

Douglas the one-year-old Pit Bull Terrier is a little shy when he first comes out of his kennel, but perks up the longer he’s out. It was almost impossible to get a picture of his adorable face because every time I knelt down to his level, he tucked his head into my lap and leaned into me. It was so sweet! Douglas loves getting his sides and hips rubbed when he does this. He’ll happily stay in this position until you stand up again.

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I wasn’t lying about Douglas getting too close to get a good face photo!

Douglas got more playful as we spent more time together. He had a lot of fun chasing after toys and chewing on stuffed squeakers. Douglas walks nicely on the leash and rarely pulls. He’s been in one play group so far and did pretty well, though he was getting a little anxious being with several other large males. We’ll find the right friends for him! If you’re looking for a super snuggler, come in soon to meet Douglas!

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Douglas in the snow

Achilles the four-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix is a gentle giant. If you love ginormous, wrinkly faces, then you will absolutely love Achilles! But he’s more than just good looks. Achilles is an easy-going guy. He particularly likes getting his hips scratched and will turn his head around to look at you as if to say, “Oh good, you found the right spot.” Achilles wasn’t too interested in toys, and was mostly just making his way through the snow to explore the yard.

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Achilles looking very gentlemanly

Achilles likes to move at a quick pace on his walks. Even though he’s big and could be strong, though, he doesn’t pull as long as you’re keeping up with him. Achilles is already a play group regular and likes being with the calmer, gentler dogs. He politely sniffs each one in greeting but isn’t too interested in actively playing. You’re more likely to find him sitting at the feet of one of the people in the yard. Be sure to say hello to Achilles on your next visit to the shelter!

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Achilles enjoying his back scratches

I also saw Bailey, Meshai, and Polly.

Play group this week included Achilles, Bailey, Cocoa, Douglas, Jupiter, Meshai, Prince, Rudgie, and Spooky, as well as the not-yet-profiled Barrett, Buffer, Chaco, Chili, Crema, Flower, Ink, Nina, Pumpkin Spice, Rambo, Roxie Marie, and Zeb.

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Looking for a New BFF

The dogs at Orphans of the Storm® are looking for their new BFF–which in this case stands for “best forever family!”

Sadie Lou the three-year-old Hound mix is very calm and easy-going. She gave me a doggy hug as soon as she came out of her kennel and wanted to spend most of her off-leash time just snuggling with me. She especially likes to get her chin scratched, and happily stayed right by my side for as long as I was petting her. She eventually did some exploring around the Enrichment Park and enjoyed sniffing the different scents. Sadie Lou watched me throw a few toys, but wasn’t interested in playing fetch on this particular day.

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Sadie Lou will never be too far from your side

Sadie Lou is a very easy walking companion. She doesn’t pull on the leash at all and stayed just a couple steps ahead of me. She would occasionally stop to sniff, but mostly just liked to keep moving along. Sadie Lou gets along with other dogs and attends play group pretty regularly. She prefers the company of calmer, gentler dogs like herself. Come in soon to meet sweet Sadie Lou!

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Sadie Lou watching the goings-on

Max Becks the five-year-old Hound/Bull Terrier mix is a volunteer favorite because he is happy all the time. Max Becks is also super affectionate. He loves to give doggy hugs and doggy kisses, and will gladly climb into the laps of people he just met for a snuggle session. Max Becks particularly enjoys getting his hips scratched and does a happy dance. He is a great leash-walking companion and already knows some basic commands like “sit.”

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Max Becks liked this monkey toy

Max Becks loves toys. He prefers squeaky stuffed toys (rather than rubber or tennis balls) and will romp around the yard with one in his mouth, toss it in the air, and lie down to chew. Sometimes he likes to chew on his own, and sometimes he’ll bring the toy to you and plop down next to you so he can get some loving at the same time. Max Becks also likes to play with the other dogs in play group. His favorite form of play is to chase or be chased. Stop by the shelter soon to see for yourself how lovable Max Becks is!

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Max Becks showing off his “sit” (and giving me a Look for not having a treat to reward him)

Hunky the three-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix is actually smaller in stature than he appears in pictures. He’s the perfect size for cuddling, which is good news because Hunky loves to cuddle! He covered my entire face (ears included) in doggy kisses and only stopped when I stood up. Hunky also joined me on the bench and liked being able to sit either right by my side or with his front paws in my lap.

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Hunky has the cutest squishy face

Hunky is a good leash-walking companion and rarely pulls. He’s usually pretty mellow when he’s off-leash in the yard, but gets a very occasional case of the zoomies. Hunky watched as I threw a couple toys and walked over to sniff them, but wasn’t interested in fetching. Hunky is a play group rockstar and has so far gotten along with every dog he’s met, so he could probably go home with another dog. Be sure to say hello to Hunky on your next visit to the shelter!

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Hunky being a good walking companion

I also saw Bailey, Meshai, and the not-yet-profiled Skye (who is scared of most things and would rather be carried than walk on her own, but takes treats very gently and loves being pet–and she’s already starting to come out of her shell more after just a few days of extra TLC!).

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Snuggle in the Snow

A little snow doesn’t put a stop to how much the dogs at Orphans of the Storm® want to cuddle! There are so many super-affectionate dogs available right now. You’ll fall in love with at least one!

Scooby the three-year-old Shepherd/Labrador Retriever mix absolutely loves toys. He enjoys playing fetch, though it might be best to have two tennis balls handy because he loves them so much he doesn’t want to drop the one he currently holds before chasing after the next one. He even tries to fit two tennis balls in his mouth simultaneously, though I haven’t seen him succeed yet. Scooby will happily lean against your legs or try to sit in your lap while chewing on his toys. He particularly enjoys getting his ears and hips scratched.

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Scooby sniffing in the snow

Scooby is a nice leash-walking companion. He rarely pulls and walks at an easy pace. Scooby would fit in well in a variety of homes. He attends play group approximately every other day and gets along with the other dogs. He also has the potential to live with children and cats. Stop by the shelter soon to meet snuggly Scooby!

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Scooby with his tennis ball (sorry it came out blurry!)

Bailey the eight-year-old Boxer mix already has years of experience living in a home. She’s housebroken and enjoys going for car rides. Bailey is very cuddly and loves getting her hips scratched. She does a little happy dance and turns around to give you a doggy smile when you’re petting the right spots. Bailey is also cat-like in that she enjoys rubbing her whole body against you when she walks by.

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Bailey is happy to stay warm with a cute sweater

Bailey enjoys having a yard to romp around in. She’s also good at walking on the leash and likes going for walks. When walking by other dogs, she’ll bark if the other dog barks first, but is quiet if the other dog is quiet. Bailey has shared her kennel with a couple other dogs and is currently sharing with Meshai (see below), and she also participates in play group. However, she likes to be the queen bee in her home and would do best as the only dog. Come in soon to see if Bailey is the one for you!

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Bailey enjoys the outdoors

Rhino the two-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix has become an instant volunteer favorite. Every other volunteer I’ve talked to is in love with him, and I am too! Rhino unfortunately got off to a bad start in life and was found tied to a tree. He’s missing some fur around his neck from this, but otherwise you would have no idea he’s had it rough. He is so happy, friendly, and playful. Rhino loves to give doggy hugs and doggy kisses, and appreciates receiving lots of pets in return.

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Rhino says, “Yay toys!”

Rhino loves toys. He can keep himself entertained for a long time by holding a toy in his mouth and happily romping around the yard. Sometimes he’ll lay down and chew on the toy for a bit, then get back up and start romping again. Rhino is also super easy to walk on a leash. He attends play group and has gotten along with every dog he’s met so far. We’ve all seen what a gem Rhino is, and hope you’ll see it too!

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Rhino thought the tennis ball thrower was a toy too

Meshai the one-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix arrived at the shelter in rough shape (skinny and missing some fur), but we’re making sure he gets better! He’s nervous and shy right now, and needs some convincing to leave his kennel. Once he’s out, though, he’s very gentle and sweet. Meshai is a little uncertain about getting pets and might pull away at first, but he gets more comfortable the longer he’s out and even starts to enjoy getting pets eventually.

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Meshai was a little uncertain about the cold

Meshai really perks up when he’s around other dogs, though. He’s currently sharing his kennel with Bailey (see above) and he also attends play group. Meshai likes to actively play with the other dogs, and hops around energetically with his tail wagging. He might feel more comfortable going to a home with another nice dog who can show him the ropes. Come in soon to meet Meshai!

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Meshai already knows how to use a doghouse

I also saw Badger (who is walking much better now than the first time I took him out, though he still doesn’t want to go all the way around the trail), Cocoa, and Rascal, as well as a quick walk with the not-yet-profiled Dusty (who is a super easy walking buddy). I also took Princess for a walk, and at every single bench we passed, she hopped up, sat down, and waited expectantly for me to get her lots of pets and kisses.

Play group this week included Bailey, Brunhilda, Jupiter, Meshai, Polly, Princess, Rhino, Rudgie, Sirius, Spike, Spooky, and Titus, as well as the not-yet-profiled dogs Amaryllis, Astrid, Bambi, Chaco, Clara, Dax, Flower, Hunky, Ivy, Lenny, Lucy, Max Becks, Oleander, Penny, Pongo, and Sadie Lou.