Orphans of the Storm® Is Hoping to Empty the Shelter

This is a big weekend for Orphans of the Storm®!

Firstly, Orphans of the Storm® is excited to be one of 125+ shelters participating in BISSELL Pet Foundation’s nationwide Empty the Shelters adoption event this Saturday, October 12! Dogs and cats 6 months and older will have their adoption fees waived. If you missed Clear the Shelters back in August, now is another great opportunity to bring home a furry friend.

Secondly, Orphans of the Storm® is happy to be returning to the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Spooky Pooch Parade on Sunday, October 13 from 11am-1pm! Several of our adoptable dogs will be dressed up in Halloween costumes, strutting their stuff. Be sure to come out and cheer them on!

There are many new dogs for you to meet on your next visit to the shelter too.

Titan the five-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix is a very big boy, but really just a big baby! He loves being doted on and will happily stand by your side or lean against your legs for as long as you keep petting him. Titan greeted me with a very waggy tail and was eager to go on a walk. He prefers to walk at a quicker pace but doesn’t pull too much–unless he sees a squirrel or bird, and then you better hold on! Titan can definitely be strong when he wants to be.

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Titan spotted a squirrel in the tree

Titan enjoys sniffing around and exploring when he’s off-leash in the yard. He has been in one play group so far and did well with the other dogs, though he was equally interested in hanging out with the humans. Titan has a ginormous head that he will nudge you with when he wants some more pets. Come in soon to meet Titan!

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Titan is a handsome guy

Hazel the two-year-old and Nutella the four-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mixes are a bonded pair that are looking to be adopted together. A couple of the benefits of adopting a bonded pair are that they already have a built-in friend to feel comfortable with as they adjust to their new home, and they also have a built-in playmate to keep them company when you leave the house. Plus, Hazel and Nutella look super cute when they cuddle during naptime!

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Hazel is a sweetheart

Hazel is the slightly more shy and mellow of the two. She can pull a bit on the leash when she first comes out of her kennel, but settles into being a nice walking companion pretty quickly. Hazel particularly enjoys getting her chin scratched and looks at you with such sweetness and gratefulness. She spent most of her time in the Enrichment Park slowly sniffing around.

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Hazel watching her buddy

Nutella is more outwardly affectionate and playful. He likes chasing after toys but wasn’t too interested in picking them up or bringing them back. Nutella happily romped around the Enrichment Park but often came back to me for more snuggles. When I sat down on the bench, he put his front paws in my lap so I could pet him more. He pulls on the leash during walks a bit more than Hazel does, but not too much.

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Don’t let Nutella’s serious face fool you–he’s a goofball

Hazel and Nutella both attend play groups and get along with the other dogs. Nutella engages in actively playing more so than Hazel. This is a sweet, happy pair ready to join a sweet, happy home! If you have the space for two, be sure to say hello to Hazel and Nutella!

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Nutella exploring the Enrichment Park

Kado the one-year-old Labrador Retriever mix was a little wary of people when he first arrived at the shelter, but has already come a long way! Now he is quite snuggly and will put his front paws in your lap and give you plenty of doggy kisses. There are still some times when he can get nervous and skittish, though, so we think Kado would do best in an adult-only home or a home with older children/teenagers.

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Kado hopped on the bench and politely sat without being asked

Kado is a play group rockstar and participates basically every day. He’s gotten along with every dog he’s met so far, so he could go to a home with or without another dog. Kado likes to lead the way on walks and moves at a quick pace, but doesn’t pull as long as you keep up with him. He enjoys chasing after toys and nibbled on a couple that were in the Enrichment Park. Come in soon to meet Kado!

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Kado was a little camera-shy

Toes the two-year-old Labrador Retriever/Catahoula Leopard Dog mix has pretty much every good quality you could want in a dog. He walks great on the leash, he is friendly and affectionate, he gets along with other dogs of all sizes, and he plays nicely with toys. Toes is a play group rockstar and participates every day. Also, we walked the whole way around the woodland preserve trail next to another volunteer and a tiny Chihuahua and Toes was the perfect gentleman.

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One toy is not enough for Toes

Toes will put his front paws in your lap and gives you doggy kisses when you kneel down to his level. He’s also content to sit in your lap and get lots of pets. Toes enjoys playing fetch with stuffed toys. He likes to play a bit of tug-of-war before you throw the toy, but he always drops it without being asked when he’s ready to fetch again. Toes is the total package. Be sure to say hello to him on your next visit to the shelter!

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Toes’ face of contentment

Kira the one-year-old Labrador Retriever mix is super snuggly. She gave me a doggy hug as soon as she came out of her kennel and wasn’t even interested in walking! She just wanted to cuddle. Kira joined me on the bench and loved getting her ears and sides scratched. When I stopped petting her, she reached out and poked me with her front paw to let me know she wasn’t ready for me to stop yet. (I obliged, of course.)

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Kira’s happy face

Kira is an excellent leash-walking companion. She doesn’t pull at all and walks at a nice, easy pace. Kira regularly attends play group and doesn’t mind the company of other dogs. She is not a fan of cats, however, so she should go to a cat-free home. Kira would also do best in an adult-only home. If that sounds like you, come in soon to meet Kira!

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Kira has a super fluffy tail

Bison the four-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix is very attentive to his person. He looked at me frequently as we made our way around the woodland preserve trail, and I always responded by telling him what a good boy he is. Bison prefers to walk at a quick pace, but doesn’t really pull on the leash. He happily joined me on the bench for a break.

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Bison has fun ears

Bison occasionally attends play groups, and he generally does better in smaller groups with mostly female dogs. Bison has a number of playmates that he particularly enjoys romping with, but some dogs that he isn’t as fond of. When Bison has the Enrichment Park all to himself, he likes to run a couple laps and then come back to his person for more pets. Stop by the shelter soon to meet Bison!

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Bison about to jump on the bench

I also saw Blue and Rachel (who greeted me with a happy doggy hug).

Orphans of the Storm® Pups and Young Dogs

There are many adorable puppies and younger dogs eager to meet you at Orphans of the Storm® right now! (Also, it was another rainy day, so I apologize for the blurry and dreary photos. Everyone looks much cuter and happier when they’re dry, I promise!)

Mack the three-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix is a big, friendly boy. He can pull a bit on the leash when he first comes out of his kennel, but calms down into a nice walking companion once he gets on the woodland preserve trail. He likes to spend his walks sniffing thoroughly and exploring. Mack also likes to snuffle around the off-leash runs.

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Mack standing at attention

Mack is attentive and likes to keep an eye on what’s happening around him. When we were in the off-leash run, he was poking his nose through the fence to see which people and dogs were on the other side. Mack occasionally attends play group, but prefers to be in smaller groups with females. He isn’t as much a fan of other male dogs. Mack also isn’t fond of cats, so he may do best as the only pet in his new home. Come in soon to see if Mack is the pooch for you!

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Mack was skeptical about the rain

Sadie the eight-month-old Australian Cattle Dog mix (not to be confused with the other Sadie) is a little shy and nervous when you first meet her, but she gets super snuggly once she feels more comfortable. In fact, it was hard to get a good picture of her because she wanted to keep climbing into my lap or leaning against my legs. Sadie is a champion leaner. She even spent the first few play groups standing in between the leaders’ legs, but has started engaging and playing more. Her “heeler” side is coming out and she tries herding the other dogs!

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Sadie is definitely a snuggler

Sadie is a nice leash-walking companion who rarely pulls, since she likes to be as close to her person as possible. Her tail can sometimes be tucked, but it starts wagging when you scratch her hips. Sadie is a smart, sweet, athletic girl looking for an active home where she can also cuddle on the couch. Be sure to say hello to Sadie on your next visit to the shelter!

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I wish this wasn’t so blurry, but you can at least see Sadie’s giant ears

Fletcher the seven-month-old Pit Bull Terrier mix is a happy, playful puppy. He’s excited when it’s his turn to come out, but he quickly settles into being a super easy walking companion. Fletcher already knows some basic commands and is ready to learn more. He’s attentive to his person and will look at you often while on walks to make sure you’re on the same page.

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Fletcher being a good walking buddy

Fletcher is a play group regular and enjoys playing with the other dogs. He lived with another dog before he arrived at the shelter, so he could go to a home with or without a furry friend. Fletcher also likes getting lots of pets and attention, and will give you a doggy smile with a wagging tail. Fletcher has adorable spots on his nose that will make you smile when you see him. Come in soon to meet Fletcher!

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A white dog on a muddy day isn’t the best, but Fletcher still looks cute

June Bug the two-year-old English Coonhound mix gave me a doggy hug as soon as she came out of her kennel. Even when I let her off leash in the Enrichment Park, she just wanted to spend her time snuggling with me. When I knelt down to her level, June Bug curled up against me and gave me some doggy kisses while I scratched her sides. After we got our cuddling in, June Bug spent some time following her nose and sniffing all the smells.

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June Bug wishing I wasn’t slowing her down

June Bug goes into Hound mode once she hits the trail, though. She walks with a purpose and is eager to track scents. Although she likes to walk at a quick pace, she doesn’t pull too much as long as you’re keeping up with her. June Bug attends play group pretty much every day and loves playing with other dogs. However, she isn’t a fan of cats. June Bug might do best in an adult-only home. If that sounds like you, come in soon to meet June Bug!

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June Bug doing what Hounds do best

Bandit and Remmy the four-month-old Pointer/Labrador Retriever mixes are the most precious puppies. I unfortunately couldn’t tell who was who because they look so similar, but one is smaller with a wider white space between the eyes, and the other is larger with a thinner white space between the eyes. But whichever one you pick (or, if you pick both!), you can’t go wrong.

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This one (Bandit? Remmy?) was the shier of the two

Bandit and Remmy are in the wriggly, snuggly puppy stage. They are constantly moving, jumping up to give doggy hugs, attempting to nibble your shirt sleeves, and just overall adorable. They don’t have a ton of experience walking on the leash yet, so they can be a little nervous at first and try to walk between your legs.

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But Bandit and/or Remmy loves to cuddle too

When you kneel down to their level, you will soon find yourself covered in doggy kisses. Bandit and Remmy just want to be close to their person. They are very playful and were happy to play a game of tag with me as I ran back and forth across the Enrichment Park. Getting “tagged” meant getting even more kisses.

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This other one (Remmy? Bandit?) wanted to be the leader

Bandit and Remmy have started participating in play groups and enjoy spending time with other dogs. They’re learning proper socialization, though sometimes they still get stuck in their puppy mentality and can annoy the older dogs a bit. Bandit and Remmy don’t need to be adopted together since they’re so young, but they do make a super-cute pair. Come in soon to meet one or both!

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Happy doggy hugs from Remmy and/or Bandit

I also saw Alec(k), Barney, the other Sadie, and Turbo.

This week’s play group included Bandit, Blue, Cass, Chance, Donny, Joan, June Bug, Polly, Rachel, Reese, Remmy, Reno, Sadie, Spike, and Turk, as well as not-yet-profiled dogs Anya, Bison, Fannie, Henry, Henry Hippo, Izzy, Kida, Maggie, Queenie, Red, Sapphire, Scarlett, Sunshine, Todd, and Toes.

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Who Will Protect Your Yard from Squirrels

I don’t know what it was, but almost every dog I walked at Orphans of the Storm® this week really, really, really wanted to chase squirrels!

Chevy the three-year-old Labrador Retriever mix is one of the most snuggly dogs I’ve walked in a while. When he’s walking on the leash, Chevy wants to be as close to his person as possible and was either walking literally between my legs or to my side with his body nudging my leg. A little bit of a tripping hazard, but at least you know he’ll always walk at the same pace as you! The only time Chevy pulled on the leash was when–you guessed it–a squirrel crossed our path.

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Chevy is the best snuggler

Chevy loves to give doggy hugs and doggy kisses. His entire body wriggles with happiness when you pet him. Chevy also enjoys belly rubs and even manages to receive belly rubs while standing by sticking one his back legs straight out so you can get to his belly more easily. Chevy likes playing with other dogs and attends play groups. If you’re looking for a sweet, happy, playful pup, be sure to say hello to Chevy!

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Chevy gives very persuasive puppy-dog eyes

Blue the one-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix is definitely still a puppy, which you can tell by her enthusiasm for everything! Blue ran several laps around the Enrichment Park and had a big doggy grin on her face the whole time. Blue has excellent vision and spotted a squirrel across the street in a neighbor’s yard, which she watched very closely and very much wanted to chase! She also wanted to chase the squirrels we later saw during our walk around the woodland preserve trail.

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Blue is a pretty girl

Blue sometimes has spurts of energy where she can pull on the leash a bit, and other times when she is an easy walking buddy. She’s an affectionate girl who likes to give doggy hugs and also joined me on the bench a couple times to get extra pets. Blue doesn’t seem too fond of other dogs, so she might do best as the only dog in her future home. If you’re looking for a fun and spunky puppy, come in soon to meet Blue!

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Blue showing off her doggy grin

Spot the seven-year-old Jack Russell Terrier mix was the exception to the squirrel-watching this week. He either didn’t see any or didn’t care if he did! Spot is a sweet, friendly boy. He didn’t mind being picked up, held, or carried and he settled nicely into my arms. Spot also joined me on the bench a few times and put his front paws in my lap so I could pet him more.

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Spot is a little cutie-pie!

Spot is a nice walking companion and likes to do lots of sniffing. He also enjoyed exploring the Enrichment Park and smelling all the smells there. Spot participates in the “small dog” play groups and gets along with the other dogs his size, politely sniffing hello to everyone. Be sure to say hello to Spot on your next visit to the shelter!

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Spot hanging out on the bench

I also saw Loki, Reeco, and Turbo.

Play group this week included Alec(k), Cass, Donny, Dunkin, Polly, Quinn, Rachel, Reese, Reno, Sadie, and Turbo, as well as not-yet-profiled dogs Al, Fletcher, Henry Hippo, Izzy, June Bug, Marley, Pepper, Pepsi, Phat, Rosanna, the other Sadie, Toes, and Toni. And new arrival Sasha was a bit overwhelmed by the group, so we went on a nice walk around the trail instead!

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs on a Drizzly Day

It was a little damp at Orphans of the Storm®, but the dogs didn’t seem to mind! (My camera did, though, so I apologize for the blurry photos.)

Prince the three-year-old German Shepherd/Pit Bull Terrier mix gave me a doggy hug accompanied by a very happy wagging tail as soon as I let him out of his kennel. Even when I let him off-leash in the Enrichment Park, he decided he would rather give me another doggy hug than go play. Prince is a very snuggly pooch! He also likes to give the occasional doggy kiss.

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Prince taking a break from his squeaker snowman

Prince has plenty of energy. He enjoyed romping around the Enrichment Park and playing with a squeaky toy. He’s one of those dogs who can play fetch with himself. Prince is a pretty good walking companion, but in general likes to walk at a quicker pace. He was happy to take a break every once in a while to put his front paws in my lap and get more pets. Prince gets along with children, so he could go to a family home. Be sure to say hello to Prince on your next visit to the shelter!

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Prince wanted to nibble on some of the leaves and wood chips

Rachel the three-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix loves people so, so much. Meet her once, and she will greet you like her best friend forever after. This greeting includes a doggy hug and covering your entire face in lots of doggy kisses. Rachel has one of the most waggy tails I’ve encountered. Her tail was wagging so hard when I was petting her that she knocked my camera out of my hand!

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Rachel is a ray of sunshine!

Rachel particularly loves getting her hips and sides scratched. She does a little dance and looks at you with a big doggy smile. Rachel is a nice walking companion, which is good because she’s a little on the chunky side and could use regular walks to shed a few pounds in her new home. Rachel has participated in a few play groups and is getting more comfortable with the other dogs each time. If you’re looking for an extra-happy girl to join your home, come in soon to meet Rachel!

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Rachel didn’t mind getting her white paws a little muddy

Reno the four-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix is one of the strongest dogs at the shelter right now, but don’t let that deter you! He’s a very friendly boy. He just likes to lead the way and decide where to go on his walks–however, he isn’t stubborn about it and will start following you if you want to go a different direction. Reno also likes spending time in the yard and enjoyed following his nose all the way around the perimeter of the Enrichment Park.

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Reno enjoying the outdoors

Reno sniffed at a squeaky toy but wasn’t too interested in chasing after it on this particular outing. He gets along with other dogs and attends play group a couple times a week. Even though he might seem like the rough-and-tumble type, Reno’s actually pretty mellow with the other dogs. Stop by the shelter soon to see if Reno is the one for you!

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Reno has one adorable floppy ear and one adorable perky ear

Joan the eleven-month-old Shepherd mix has lots of puppy playfulness. She loves toys and playing fetch, either with a person or with herself. She also enjoys going to play group and being with the other dogs. Joan is speedy, so she prefers playing tag (either being the chaser or the chased). Joan has attended some off-site events and enjoys all of the attention she gets.

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Joan showing off her pretty blue eye

Joan is also affectionate. She likes to give doggy hugs and will happily stand on her back legs for as long as you keep petting her. She gives the occasional doggy kiss too. Joan especially likes getting scratched on her sides and will snuggle up against you when you kneel down to her level. Joan walks nicely on the leash and rarely pulls. If you’re looking for a sweet puppy, come in soon to meet Joan!

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Joan is slim and agile

I also saw Blush, Chance, Sox, and Turbo (who is talkative in his kennel, but really calms down once he’s out on the trail and away from the other barking dogs).

Play group included Alec(k), Cass, Chance, Cocoa, Donny, Joan, John Boy, Polly, Quinn, and Tommy, as well as not-yet-profiled dogs Al, Dipper, Henry Hippo, Inca, Isabelle, June Bug, Preston, Sam Parker, Seadra, Willah, and Xandria.

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Offer Lots of Love

Orphans of the Storm® has welcomed many new dogs after we emptied so many kennels during Clear the Shelters a few weeks ago! Now is a great time to come in and make a new furry friend.

Sadie the three-year-old Australian Cattle Dog mix is super cute and gets lots of compliments from people as they walk through the shelter. She was originally sharing her kennel with another dog who has since been adopted, so she seems to get along with other dogs (though we haven’t had her in play group yet to see how she does in larger groups). Sadie loves getting attention and particularly likes to get her hips and sides scratched.

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Sadie sniffing around

Sadie walks nicely on the leash and is pretty attentive to her person. Whenever I knelt down to take her picture, she came trotting right over to me. She’s an affectionate girl who likes to give lots of doggy kisses and put her front paws in your lap. Sadie is particularly interested in squirrels and stood at attention at the base of a few trees, hoping they would come back down. Be sure to say hello to Sadie on your next visit to the shelter!

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Sadie enjoying a nice scratch on the hips

Turk the three-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix is a happy, playful boy who loves toys. He saw a squeaky toy lying in the off-leash run and went face-first into the fence in his excitement to get the toy. Turk also enjoys finding and carrying sticks during his walks–the bigger the stick, the better. He can make anything fun!

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Turk was proud of this large stick

Turk can be a little strong when he first comes out of his kennel, but he settles into being a pretty good walking buddy once he gets his initial burst of energy out of his system. Turk occasionally participates in play groups and has made a couple doggy friends, but he can play a little rough for some. Come in soon to see if Turk is the pooch for you!

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Turk likes to be active

Chance the one-year-old Labrador Retriever/Mountain Cur mix still has his puppy exuberance. He would make an excellent running companion for an active person. Chance ran all the way around the woodland preserve with just a couple stops to sniff, and probably would have been happy to do a couple more laps if I had the endurance. He can nibble on the leash a bit when he first comes out of his kennel, but gets into walking/running mode pretty quickly.

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Chance was a blur in all of his photos

Chance is a sweetie, too. He loves to give doggy hugs and get lots of pets. Chance enjoys chasing after toys but could use a little more practice on the bringing-it-back part. Chance also enjoys the company of other dogs. He is a play group rockstar and gets along with everybody. His play style is more on the “rough and rowdy” side, so he particularly likes having active playmates. If you’re looking for a new exercise partner, be sure to say hello to Chance!

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Chance prefers moving to being still

Tommy the four-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix is super smart and already a fan of agility. When we were in the Enrichment Park, he completed the A-frame three times, jumped over the hurdle (on the lowest rung, but I believe he could have gone higher with ease!), and went halfway through the tunnel. And all with nothing more than a couple words of encouragement!

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Tommy with a big smile

Tommy is super affectionate. He covered my face in doggy kisses at every chance he got and climbed into my lap a couple times. He also put his front paws in my lap and rested his head there while I pet him. Tommy participates in play groups and likes to play with the other dogs. He was recently given “rockstar” status because he does so well with everybody. If you’re looking for a sweet and smart new friend, come in soon to meet Tommy!

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Tommy using his ears as wings

Lars the ten-year-old German Shepherd mix is super easy-going and gentle. He has a limp on one of his back legs, so he doesn’t move too fast or go too far, but he still likes to get out and enjoy the fresh air. In fact, Lars followed his nose all the way around the Enrichment Park and would probably appreciate having a nice yard to call his own in his new home.

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Lars appreciating a side scratch

Lars wants to be close to his person. When I sat down, he stood right next to me so I could pet him and then gave me a little nudge so I would keep petting him. He would also pause from his sniffing to come back and get another scratch from me. Lars has participated in a couple play groups with more mellow dogs and has enjoyed their company. If you’re looking for a senior dog who just wants a comfy, loving place to spend their golden years, be sure to meet Lars on your next visit to the shelter!

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Lars has the cutest folded ear

Reese the three-year-old Labrador Retriever/Pit Bull Terrier mix recently lost a front leg in a car accident, but she is much speedier than you would think! Dogs are so resilient. Reese does best with shorter walks right now, but she enjoys lying in the grass in the yard and watching people, birds, and cars go by. Reese started off pretty shy but is coming out of her shell more every day.

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Reese relaxing

Reese is very gentle. She happily accepts pets and chin scratches. She’s met a couple children and seems to do well with them. She also attends play groups with the calmer dogs and has made new doggy friends. Reese has a long, happy life ahead of her and is just looking for the right family to spend it with. If you think that could be you, come in soon to meet Reese!

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Reese having some yard time

I also saw Apollo (who knows “sit,” “shake,” and “speak”) and Barney (who also knows “sit” and “shake”).

Play group this week included Alec(k), Brutus, Chance, Cocoa, Donny, Lucy, Polly, Quinn, Tommy, and Turbo, as well as not-yet-profiled dogs DipperInca (who gave me lots of doggy hugs when I joined the group in the yard and hopped into my lap when I sat on the bench), Isabelle, Joan, Posie, and Smokey.

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

Here is another happy success story! You may recall in my play group summaries that Baby Girl was a regular. Although I didn’t get a chance to do a full profile of her before she was adopted, I took her in and out of play group several times and she was a sweetheart. Leslie and her family saw that sweetness and took Baby Girl home! Here is her update:

Hi, this is Baby Girl’s new mom. I wanted to let you know that she is so very loved! She has only been home with us for two weeks but we cannot imagine our lives or home without her. We are her forever family and we absolutely adore her. She was meant to be ours!

I am attaching a photo of Baby the day she came home with us. She found the softest spot in the house and fell into a deep sleep! It fills my heart with joy that after so much time spent on concrete, we have the honor of filling her golden years with love, treats, and soft beds!

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Baby sleeping in the softest spot in the house

I have told everyone who asks about our adoption story that it was “almost love at first sight.” The reason I say ALMOST is because I looked at Baby Girl in her kennel twice on my first visit–once as I was walking in and once as I was walking out–and she did not make an impression on me. She ignored me.

But before I left, I stopped by the front counter to chat with the staff. I said that I was interested in adopting a dog that was overlooked. I am truly sorry that I did not catch the name of the staff member who looked at my adoption application and said to me, “I have the perfect dog for you. Take Baby Girl out for a walk.”

I did not have time for a walk that first day, but I brought my daughters back to Orphans the very next day. They looked at every single dog. They had several favorites but neither noticed Baby Girl.

As we were waiting our turn in line, the couple in front of us inquired about the dog who was our first choice. We did not want to adopt a dog who had multiple adoption options, so I asked to see Baby Girl instead.

This is where the “love at first sight” part happened. I could live to be a hundred years old and I will never forget what happened next. The three of us did not walk more than ten feet from Baby’s kennel when we looked at each other… and we knew. Less than 10 steps and we all simultaneously KNEW that this gentle, quiet dog was supposed to be ours forever.

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We took this photo with Baby at Orphans. This is the face of a little girl who is about to adopt her best friend!

I would say, “For the life of me I cannot fathom why such an amazing dog was overlooked by everybody,” except do I know why. She was introverted and even worse, she was 10+ years old. I don’t blame anyone for wanting to adopt a younger dog. But I can say without hesitation that adopting Baby was one of the most joyful moments of our lives.

It would mean the world if you could find the staff member who recommended Baby to me and deliver our gratitude. I remember that she had dark hair and dark eyes. I want her to read our story and know from the bottom of my heart what a difference she made. I also want to thank everyone at Orphans–all the staff and volunteers. Without your tireless hard work and dedication, adoptions like ours would not be possible.

Thank you for sharing your and Baby’s story, Leslie! I’ll track down that staff member for you.

If readers have their own Orphans of the Storm success story, please email meetthepooches@gmail.com. These happy tales never get old!

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Want to Join Your Labor Day BBQ

Orphans of the Storm® will be closed this Monday, September 2, for Labor Day–but open our regular hours on Saturday and Sunday! So you still have time to find a new furry friend before the holiday.

Lobo the one-year-old German Shepherd mix is a happy, well-behaved pup. Even though he’s barely out of puppyhood, Lobo already has several qualities that will make him a great pet. For example, he’s housebroken, walks nicely on the leash, and gets along with kids. Lobo is also affectionate. He put his head in my lap so I could pet him, and also gave me a couple doggy kisses.

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Lobo taking a cuddle break

Lobo likes to play and particularly likes tennis balls. He’s happy to both play fetch and just carry the ball around in his mouth. But he knows that playtime is different from walk time, and dropped the tennis ball as soon as I put his leash back on. Lobo participates in play groups. He was a little nervous with the other dogs at first but is getting more comfortable each time and likes to sniff all the other dogs hello. Be sure to say hello to Lobo on your next visit to the shelter!

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Lobo happy with his tennis ball

Enzo the one-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix has the cutest face, but is so camera-shy that I couldn’t get a picture to do him justice! Enzo enjoys rolling on his back in the grass and getting belly rubs at the same time. He already knows the “sit” command and might know a few others–but if he doesn’t for sure, he will be a quick learner!

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Enzo leading the way around the trail

Enzo prefers to walk at a quick pace but doesn’t pull too much on the leash as long as you’re keeping up with him. He participates in play groups and enjoys being with other dogs. He particularly likes to play tag and the other fast dogs like playing tag with him! Enzo is quickly becoming a volunteer favorite. Come in soon to see why!

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Enzo refusing to look at the camera

I also saw Barney, Delilah, Snow White, Sonny, Sox, and Turbo.

The play group I went to this week included Alec(k), Brutus, Cass, Cocoa, Donny, Dunkin the Red, John Boy, Leia, Lucy, Polly, Quinn, and Roscoe, as well as not-yet-profiled dogs Al, Chance, Joan, Major, Rose, Tennessee, Tex, and Val.

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs and Cats Want You to Come Out and Clear the Shelters!

This Saturday, August 17, Orphans of the Storm® is again participating in the national Clear the Shelters initiative, in partnership with NBC 5 and Telemundo Chicago. Orphans of the Storm® will be waiving adoption fees for dogs and cats over the age of 6 months. The waived fee includes a spay or neuter, but costs for final shots still apply.

If you’re planning on attending this Saturday, here are a few things to know:

  • If you will be considering a new dog and there are other members of your household–human or canine–please bring them to the shelter! Your new pet will need to meet everyone to make sure it is a good fit.
  • If you bring your current dog(s) with you to the shelter, please bring someone else to help you with them and don’t leave them in the car.
  • If you are renting your home, bring your lease or rental agreement that shows you are allowed to have a pet.
  • Please no fingers in the kennels–both for your safety and for the safety of the animals.
  • Although the $90 adoption fee will be waived for all adult cats and dogs, the normal adoption process is in place and you will need to pay for the final veterinary care at the vet.

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This year, Orphans of the Storm® is featuring 20 special dogs who are volunteer favorites. Their kennels will be specially marked, and you will be able to talk to volunteers who can tell you more about why they’re a favorite and why they should go home with you! In alphabetical order, this year’s featured dogs are:

  • Big Boy the five-year-old Boxer mix. Big Boy arrived at the shelter with his mom, Mojo (see below), but they’ve been living in separate kennels for a while now, so Big Boy can either be adopted by himself or with Mojo. Big Boy loves being around people and is super snuggly. He enjoys climbing into laps and cuddling. Big Boy can be choosy when it comes to doggy friends, though he’s been participating in play groups more often and is getting more comfortable socializing. He can get a little bark-y and pull-y when he passes other dogs on leash, but otherwise is a good walking companion.
  • Bo the eight-year-old Labrador Retriever mix. Bo is a snuggler. He’ll just plop down right next to you (or if you’re standing, he’ll lean against your legs) and look at you with the sweetest puppy-dog eyes. Bo participates in play groups, but lets us know right away if he doesn’t like a certain dog. He would probably be most comfortable as the only dog in his new home, or with a very mellow furry friend.
  • Brutus the three-year-old Hound mix. Brutus is a super-dog! He participated in last year’s Top Dog Competition and mastered the agility course. He also attended obedience courses and knows his basic commands. Brutus is a high-energy dog looking for a playful home. He is currently sharing his kennel with another dog, and he is also a play group regular. Brutus could go to a home with or without another dog.
  • Carlos the five-year-old Black-and-Tan Coonhound mix. Carlos is a big, strong boy who loves toys and is also happy to play dress-up! He cooperates very nicely when we put the dogs in costumes for holidays and special occasions. Carlos has a great time playing with certain doggy friends, but in general prefers the company of people to that of other dogs. Carlos would do best in an adult-only home.
  • Cass the six-year-old Catahoula Leopard Dog mix. Cass lived with another dog in his previous home, before his owner could no longer afford to take care of him. That means Cass has experience being a pet and could also go to a home with or without another dog. Cass can be a little strong when he first comes out his kennel, but settles into a nice walking buddy. He likes going to play group.
  • Chevy the seven-year-old Terrier mix. Chevy is the smallest dog on this list, and he makes for a great lapdog! Chevy likes to cuddle and be held. He’s a little shy and nervous, so he’s looking for someone who can give him extra TLC and make sure he’s loved. Chevy was sharing his kennel with another dog when he first arrived at the shelter, and he has also participated in small-dog play groups. He doesn’t play much, but he doesn’t mind being around other dogs.
  • Cheyenne (Shyanne) the six-year-old Hound mix. Cheyenne is a total sweetheart. Whenever I walk by her kennel, she sticks her front paw out so I can hold it. She also loves to give doggy hugs and get lots of pets. Cheyenne used to not be too fond of other dogs, but now she is a play group regular and gets along with just about everybody.
  • Cocoa the three-year-old Labrador Retriever/Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix. Cocoa got the nickname “crazy Cocoa” when she first arrived because she has so much playful energy. Cocoa loves toys (especially jolly balls) and loves playing with other dogs. She has a rambunctious play style, but has learned to tone it down when needed with calmer dogs. Cocoa graduated from Level 1 obedience classes and is part of the way through Level 2!
  • Delilah the ten-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix. Delilah is a sweet, calm girl who enjoys taking it easy. She sometimes wants to nibble on the leash, but once she’s on the trail she prefers spending her time sniffing and enjoying the fresh air. Delilah likes having a toy nearby. She gets along with other dogs in play group but isn’t much of an active player. You can read more about why Delilah is a volunteer favorite here.
  • Elijah the five-year-old Labrador Retriever/Mountain Cur mix. Elijah is another athlete who competed in the Top Dog Competition. Besides knowing how to do the agility course, Elijah also knows basic commands like “sit” and “paw” and is eager to learn more. Elijah enjoys playing with other dogs and is best friends with John Boy, who is currently his kennelmate. Elijah loves being with people and will happily snuggle with you. He would probably do best in an adult-only or teenaged children home.
  • Huckleberry the two-year-old Hound mix. Huckleberry is our play group rockstar! He has yet to meet a dog he doesn’t like (and only one dog who didn’t like him back). Huckleberry would love to go to a home with another dog so he has a constant friend to play with. Huckleberry attended obedience classes and knows his basic commands. He is also super affectionate and loves to give doggy hugs and doggy kisses. He’s a tall, lanky boy, so getting a hug from him is basically like getting a hug from a human. Huckleberry is the sweetest and most fun!
  • Lucy the eleven-year-old Boxer mix. Lucy is a sweet senior who still has plenty of spunk. She jumps up and down in excitement when she realizes it’s her turn to come out. She is a great, easy walking companion. Lucy attends play group, but is more of an observer and only plays on rare occasion. She can get a little grumpy when play gets too rowdy around her. Lucy would prefer to be the only dog in her new home so she can be spoiled for her golden years.
  • Maggie the seven-year-old Shepherd/Labrador Retriever mix. Maggie is a short and stocky girl, but she holds her own! She doesn’t mind playing rowdy with the big boys and gets along well with other dogs in play group. Maggie loves toys and always gets to bring one back to her kennel after a walk. But she also loves tearing out the stuffing when given the chance! Maggie is a super easy walking companion.
  • Mojo the seven-year-old Boxer mix. Mojo arrived at the shelter with her son, Big Boy (see above), but they’ve been living in separate kennels for a while now, so Mojo could be adopted by herself or with Big Boy. Mojo is gentle and sweet. She’s a nice walking companion, though some days she doesn’t want to go too far and would rather lie next to you and get petted. Mojo attends play group and gets along with other dogs, but mostly sniffs hello and then keeps to herself.
  • Polly the three-year-old Mountain Cur mix. Polly loves to play, either with people or with other dogs. She particularly likes fetch (with people) and tag (with dogs). She’s an affectionate girl who likes to give doggy hugs. Polly can pull a bit when she first comes out of her kennel, but settles into a nice yet fast-paced walking buddy. Polly is looking for a lifelong playmate!
  • Sox the eight-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix. Sox is a sweetheart. She loves to give doggy kisses and will happily join you wherever you’re sitting. Sox also loves toys, especially stuffed ones, and will proudly carry one around or toss it in the air and chase after it. Sox attends play group but mostly keeps to herself, so she would probably be most comfortable as the only dog in her new home. Sox has had a few mammary tumors removed and will probably need future monitoring, but that doesn’t slow her down.
  • Tiger the five-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix. Tiger is the only featured dog I haven’t profiled yet! He’s such a volunteer favorite that he’s always one of the first ones to go out in the morning, so I haven’t gotten the chance to walk him myself yet. I did hold his leash for a few minutes when someone else had him out, and he treated me like a longtime friend and gave me lots of doggy kisses. Tiger absolutely loves being around people. He would do best as the only dog in his future home.
  • Tom the three-year-old Labrador Retriever mix. Tom loves playing with toys and can entertain himself by playing fetch with himself. He’s an active dog looking for an active home. Tom has made some female doggy friends in play group, but he still isn’t too fond of most other males. He would probably do best as the only pet in his new home.
  • Whizzer the eight-year-old Hound mix. Whizzer was the winner of the Top Dog Competition! He excels at agility. Whizzer also attended obedience classes and knows his basic commands. He absolutely loves toys and would probably have a toy in his mouth at all times if he could. Whizzer did a sleepover with another volunteer and was a great houseguest. He also got along with this volunteer’s dog. Whizzer attends play group and sometimes plays, sometimes just watches the action happening around him.
  • Wombat the six-year-old Hound mix. Wombat would make a great walking or running companion for an active person. He does great on the leash and likes to move at a quick pace. Being a Hound, he also likes to sniff thoroughly. Wombat is a smart, happy boy. He would do best as the only dog in his new home.

Orphans of the Storm® is also featuring a special long-timer who has been at the shelter for 6+ years: Riley (Diamond) the eleven-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix. Riley was adopted out for several months a couple years ago, but returned due to her severe separation anxiety. Her new family will hopefully have someone at home the vast majority of the time, and be willing to train Riley to ease some of her anxiety. Riley has started to participate in play group more often, but would still prefer to be the only dog in her new home. She is also looking for an adult home.

Earlier this week, I also saw Barney, Mabel, Thelma and Louise, and Wombat, as well as not-yet-profiled dogs Orlando, Zane, and the bonded father/daughter Shadow and Betsy.

Play group this week started off with Barney, Huckleberry, and Cocoa having a fun romp. Then we had Beatrix, Big Boy, Bo, Bruno, Cass, Cheyenne (Shyanne), Donny, Dunkin the Red, Elijah, Harper, John Boy, Mojo, Maggie, Polly, Quinn, and Roscoe, and not-yet-profiled dogs Al, Cheese, Cindy, Felix, Heath, Henry Hippo, Hunter, Kraken, Major, Onyx, Pixie, Red, Salem, Tex, Tiny, Val, Zane, and Zimma.

There are so many amazing dogs (and cats!) for you to meet this weekend. Please help us make this the most successful Clear the Shelters event yet!

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Enjoying the Dog Days of Summer

It’s not the dog days of summer without actual dogs by your side! Come in to Orphans of the Storm® to meet your new best friend.

Jupiter the two-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix is a super playful pup who loves toys. The first thing he did when we got to the off-leash run was pick up a stuffed duck toy and proudly carry it around the run. Jupiter later alternated between carrying the duck and a stuffed octopus. He’s happy to chase after toys if you throw them, but prefers holding them to bringing them back for more fetching.

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Jupiter very proud of his toy duck

Jupiter can pull a bit on the leash when he first comes out of his kennel, but as soon as we got to the woodland preserve trail, he settled down into a nice walking companion. He likes to sniff and explore, but didn’t stray too far from my side. He was also happy to take the occasional break for pets and snuggles. Jupiter is ready to join a fun-loving home who will have fun loving him. Stop by the shelter soon to see if Jupiter is the one for you!

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Jupiter loving the octopus

Thelma and Louise the six-year-old Pug/Beagle (Puggle) mixes are a bonded pair looking for a forever home with space for two. And when I say bonded, I really mean it–they do everything together! They walk with their sides touching a lot of the time, they sniff the same spots, and they even pooped at the same time and place 😀

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Imagine waking up to Thelma’s precious face every morning

Thelma and Louise spent the first few minutes doing some exploring of the off-leash run on their own. But after that, they both came over to me and wanted to snuggle up in my lap. Thelma and Louise both love having their hips scratched and do a cute little dance with happy snorts.

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Louise leading the way

Louise ended up joining me on the bench and gave me a few doggy kisses. Thelma attempted to hop on the bench but it was a little too tall for her, so I scooted down to the ground to cuddle with her instead. Thelma and Louise used to live with children, so they could go to a home with or without kids.

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Thelma is a cutie-patootie

Thelma and Louise walk surprisingly quickly for their size and shape! They led the way around the woodland preserve trail. Their Beagle side came out when a chipmunk ran in front of us and they were both ready to chase after it. But their sweet, friendly, affectionate Pug side is what will steal your heart. Be sure to say hello to Thelma and Louise on your next visit to the shelter!

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Louise following her nose

Bruno the two-year-old Australian Cattle Dog mix has been adopted but returned a couple times, so he’s looking for owners who have experience with his breed or other active working breeds. Bruno is a dog who likes to be kept busy! He would be good for someone who likes long walks or jogs, because he walks at a quick pace but doesn’t pull on the leash at all.

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Bruno is ready for his close-up

Bruno loves toys. He both plays fetch and just enjoys plopping down and chewing on a favorite toy. He seems partial to tennis balls, but also liked a soft ring-shaped toy for chewing. Bruno gets along with other dogs and is a play group regular who likes to play tag and either chase or be chased. If you know and love his breed and are looking for an active companion, come in soon to meet Bruno!

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Bruno is such a handsome boy

Charles the three-year-old Doberman Pinscher mix is super sweet and affectionate. All he wants to do is be cuddled. He’s a little too large to fit in laps, but he rested his head on my lap multiple times and looked at me with the sweetest puppy-dog eyes. It was hard to get a full-body photo of him because every time I knelt down to his level, he was right there to snuggle with me.

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Charles says, “Please love me!”

Charles is a good leash-walking buddy. I’ve walked him around the woodland preserve trail on two different days. The first day, he was always right by my side or a couple steps ahead and didn’t pull at all. He was a little more active the second time and wanted to go at a quicker pace, but would still stop and come cuddle when I knelt down to his level. Charles would do best as the only dog in his new home. Stop by the shelter soon to say hello to Charles!

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Charles loves getting attention

Duke the one-year-old Mountain Cur mix can be a little strong when he first comes out of his kennel, but was much calmer as we made our way around the woodland preserve trail. He liked leading the way and sniffing, but was happy to pause for some pets and put his front paws next to me on the bench. He also rested his head in my lap.

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Duke being lovey-dovey

Duke also liked exploring around the Enrichment Park, snuffling around the trees and flower pots. He took a dip in the puppy pool and had fun splashing around with his front paws. Duke gets along with other dogs and attends play group often, where he romps and plays with the others. If you’re looking for a big puppy, come in soon to meet Duke!

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Duke has the prettiest chocolate fur

I also saw Apollo, Barney (who loves mud puddles and splashing in the puppy pool), Mabel, Mojo, and Sonny.

Play group this week included Alec(k), Beatrix, Bo, Cass, Cheyenne (Shyanne), Donny, Duke, Dunkin the Red, Leia, Lucy, Maggie, Max, Polly, Reeco, and Roscoe, as well as not-yet-profiled dogs Al, Baby Girl, Cindy, Felix, Henry, Henry Hippo, Hunter, Kraken, the other Max, Pixie, Posie, Simba, Stella, Val, Wile-E, and Zimma.

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Say, “Sun’s Out, Tongues Out!”

It was a steamy day at Orphans of the Storm®, so the dogs were on their most mellow setting and just wanted to relax and stay cool. There will be some long tongues in the photos ahead!

Also, the Orphans of the Storm® website is under construction, so please bear with me as I work on updating all of the dogs’ links on the Dog Profiles page! Apologies in advance if you end up on a “page not found” page.

Luanne the three-year-old Australian Cattle Dog mix is super snuggly. As soon as I knelt down to her level, she put her front paws in my lap and covered my face in doggy kisses. She was happy to stay in my lap for as long as I was petting her. Luanne is a pretty good walking companion in that she mostly walks nicely by your side and doesn’t pull much, but she does like to nibble on the leash a bit. She seems to understand the “drop” command, though, so she just needs a little more practice.

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Luanne with her pretty speckled fur

Luanne loves being with other dogs. She goes to play group every day and sometimes stays in for an hour or more–she gets along with everybody! Luanne can also hold her own when play gets a little rowdy. Luanne is a fun girl looking for a fun home. If you think that might be with you, be sure to say hello to Luanne on your next visit to the shelter!

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Luanne has bright eyes and a pink tongue!

Ansley the four-year-old Plott mix greets every person with a wagging tail. She was eager to go for a walk and led the way to the off-leash run, where she had a fun time exploring behind the bushes and keeping cool in the shade. She came over for a pet when I knelt down to her level, and put her front paws in my lap.

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Ansley on alert

Ansley is currently sharing her kennel with Puddin (see below) and gets along with other dogs. She and Tiny sniffed each other through the fence and even both put their front feet up to hold paws before deciding to race each other. Ansley walked pretty nicely on the leash, though she’ll occasionally pull if there’s a particular scent she wants to follow. Come in soon to see if Ansley is the pooch for you!

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Ansley enjoying a romp

Puddin the seven-year-old Beagle mix is very shy right now and needs some extra encouragement to come out of her kennel. She doesn’t mind being picked up and seems to prefer being carried past the kennels of the other dogs before she feels more comfortable walking on her own. Puddin’s tail was tucked between her legs at first, but loosened up the longer we were out.

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Puddin feeling perkier

Puddin can’t hide the fact that she’s part Beagle! She loved walking through the tall grasses along the woodland preserve trail and stopped often for thorough sniffing. Puddin gets along with other dogs her size and is currently sharing her kennel with Ansley (see above). She just needs some extra TLC right now to help her come out of her shell. If you’re looking for a little sweetie, come in soon to meet Puddin!

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Puddin wanted to stay in the grass for as long as she could

Mabel the four-year-old Chihuahua/Terrier mix is the cutest little thing. As soon as she found a cool spot in the grass, she flopped over and rolled around on her back. When I started giving her a belly rub, Mabel closed her eyes and almost fell asleep! Everyone who saw her couldn’t help but smile, she looked so content.

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Mabel says, “Excuse me, I have a belly that requires rubbing!”

Mabel is also a good lapdog. She likes being carried and held. Mabel gets along with other dogs her size. She is currently sharing her kennel with a Beagle not up for adoption yet, and had a brief play group session with four other little dogs. It was too hot to actively play for her, but she politely sniffed everyone and didn’t mind them sniffing her too. Be sure to say hello to Mabel the next time you come to the shelter!

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Mabel in play group with new friends

I also spent some time with a few not-yet-profiled dogs but didn’t get their pictures yet: Khavi, Malachi, Nidget, and Carmella (who are all currently sharing a kennel and are all super snuggly lapdogs); Orlando (who is one of the most affectionate dogs at the shelter right now); and Thelma and Louise (a bonded pair of Puggles!).

Play group this week included Alec(k), Beatrix, Brutus, Cass, Cheyenne (Shyanne), Donny, Dunkin the Red, Elijah, Huckleberry, John Boy, Leia, Luanne, Lucy, Maggie, Max, Mojo, Polly, Quinn, Roscoe, Sasha, and Turbo, as well as not-yet-profiled dogs Al, Bruno, Chance, Dennis, Heath, the other Max, PB&J, Pixie, Posie, Ruben, Simone, Snickers, Val, and Wile-E.dd