Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Hoping Today Is Their Lucky Day

I don’t think there are many Irish breeds at Orphans of the Storm® at the moment, but all of the dogs are claiming they’re Irish today so they can get some extra luck! They don’t care too much about finding a pot of gold, though–what they really want is to find their forever home.

Cookie the two-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix came from an owner who had to move and couldn’t bring her with. This means she already has two years of experience being a family dog, and she is housebroken and gets along with kids. Cookie is a sweet and snuggly girl.

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Half of Cookie’s pictures included her tongue sticking out

Cookie walks pretty nicely on the leash. She enjoyed sniffing her way along the woodland preserve trail. When I knelt down next to her, she put her front paws in my lap and snuffled around my face. Later, she joined me on the bench for a snuggle session. Cookie likes getting her hips scratched and does a cute wiggly dance. Stop in soon to see if Cookie is the one for you!

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Cookie hanging out on the bench

Candy Cane the one-year-old Mountain Cur mix has lots of energy, understandably, since he’s still a young pup. We were off and running as soon as he came out of his kennel. Candy Cane was happy to lead the way, but often looked back to check in with me (and probably also wondering why I wasn’t keeping up).

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Candy Cane doing a little wiggle

Candy Cane settled down eventually and showed off his sweet side. He gave me some doggy kisses when we were in the off-leash run. Candy Cane was also eager to race the dog on the other side of the fence. He didn’t seem too interested in playing fetch, but I’m sure he’d be happy to learn. If you’re looking for a young and fun dog, come in soon to meet Candy Cane!

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Candy Cane is ready to give doggy kisses

Sir the three-year-old black Labrador Retriever mix can be a little wound up when he first comes out of his kennel, but give him a few minutes to settle down and then you’ll see what a sweetie he is. Sir wanted to play tug-of-war with the leash when he first came out, but by the time we got to the woodland preserve, he wasn’t paying it any attention at all and walked pretty well.

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Sir is a cutie

Sir and I found a quiet spot along the trail where he sat right at my feet and gave me some doggy kisses while I pet him. When we went to the off-leash run, Sir loved chasing after a tennis ball, but needs some practice on bringing it back so his person can throw it again. Sir would do best in an adult home with an experienced dog owner. If that description fits you, be sure to say hi to Sir on your next visit!

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Sir shines in the sunlight

Tucker the three-year-old Redbone Coonhound mix is a big softie. We met a little puppy on our walk around the woodland preserve, and I thought Tucker might be too much for a small dog, but it was the other way around! The puppy jumped on Tucker’s head and Tucker just looked at me like, “Is this okay?” It was too cute.

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Tucker is a handsome guy

Tucker has long legs, so his walking pace was my jogging pace. He doesn’t pull on the leash as long as you’re keeping up with him, though. Tucker gave me a doggy hug and some doggy kisses and wasn’t in any hurry to put his front paws back on the ground. He can be a little skittish around loud or strange noises, but will probably get over that once he’s settled in his new home. Come in soon to meet sweet Tucker!

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Tucker following his Hound nose

I also saw Bella, Blaze, Buddy, Casper, Chester and Te Amo, Clarinet, Cleo, John Boy, Sammy, Tino, and Tyson.

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs with Different Energy Levels

Whether you’re looking for a couch potato, a running partner, or something in between, Orphans of the Storm® has the dog to match your activity level.

Dillon the seven-year-old Labrador Retriever mix is very shy and submissive at first. When I went to put his leash on, he rolled over. But he was happy to sit back up for a treat and once he realized I had a couple more in my pocket, he kept nudging me with his nose. He takes treats very gently. Dillon also walks nicely on the leash.

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Dillon is a sweetie

Dillon and I took a stroll around the woodland preserve. He was still a little nervous at the beginning, but after he got used to me, he got much more snuggly. Dillon joined me on the bench and kept scooting closer to my lap the more I pet him. He just needs a little extra encouragement to come out of his shell. Stop in soon to say hello to Dillon!

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Dillon likes getting his white spot scratched

Shay the one-year-old Labrador Retriever mix is a pretty girl who will make a great walking companion. We headed straight for the woodland preserve, where Shay walked at mostly a quick pace but rarely pulled. She also didn’t mind stopping every once in a while to get a nice pat on the back. She enjoyed a good scratch under her chin, too.

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Shay says, “What scent am I picking up here?”

Shay has a good nose and likes to put it to work. She spent most of the walk either with her nose to the ground or high in the air, trying to pick up as many scents as she could. And it worked! There was a doggy toy half-buried in the leaves a couple feet off the trail, which we initially walked past. Then Shay stopped, sniffed, turned around, and unearthed the toy! Be sure to say hi to Shay on your next visit.

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Shay has such pretty coloring

Casper the four-year-old American Bulldog mix is a volunteer favorite. He’s friendly with everybody, gets along with other dogs, knows basic commands, and is housebroken. Casper has lots of energy when he first comes out of his kennel, but after he gets a chance to run around, he settles down and turns into a snuggle-bug.

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Casper wanted to play with the dog on the other side of the fence so badly!

Casper literally leaps with all four paws off the ground when he’s running fast. I wish I had gotten a video! When we went for a walk around the woodland preserve, though, he did pretty nicely on the leash and only pulled a few times. We sat down at a bench and Casper leaned against my legs the whole time, sometimes doing a little wiggle so I could pet the spot he wanted. He also gave me some doggy kisses. If you’re looking for a fun and affectionate boy, come in soon to meet Casper!

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Casper is definitely a leaner

I also saw Aleck, Bella, Blaze, Blush, Chester and Te Amo, Coal, John Boy, Joui, Lucy, the other Lucy, Mongo, O’Shea, Pippa, Scotty, Snuffles, and Wombat.

Orphans of the Storm® Hounds and More

If you’ve been thinking about bringing home a Hound, now is the time to come to Orphans of the Storm®! Before I introduce you to the newest Hounds, here is a list of some of the other Hounds I’ve written about before:

And here are some new Hounds, along with a few non-Hounds:

Cleo the seven-year-old Treeing Walker Coonhound mix follows her nose, as she should. The main downside to that was that I couldn’t get a good picture of her sweet face! Her nose snuffled all the way around the woodland preserve. If you like spending time outside and don’t mind moving at a slower pace, Cleo might be the perfect walking buddy for you.

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Cleo sniffing around the base of the tree

Cleo took a break from her nosework so she could get a scratch under her chin and behind her ears. She also has a tickly spot on the side of her neck. Cleo is currently sharing her kennel with another dog, and also used to live in a home with another dog, so we know she’s dog-friendly. So whether you’re looking for your first dog or a new addition to your pack, come in soon to meet Cleo!

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Cleo’s floppy ears help pick up more scents

Franklin the seven-year-old Hound/Collie mix is like a fox and a Hound in one package. He has Hound coloring and a bushy tail. Franklin wasn’t in very good shape when he first came to the shelter, but he’s doing much better now, though he could probably gain a little more weight still. Franklin is shy at first but turns into a real sweetheart once he gets to know you.

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Franklin enjoying the sunshine

Franklin walks at a quick pace but didn’t mind stopping every once in a while to get some attention. He stood right by my side while I pet him and eventually rested his chin on my arm. Franklin was sharing his kennel with another dog for a while, so he could go to a home with or without another dog. If you can give Franklin the TLC he deserves, come in soon to meet him!

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Franklin’s handsome face

Trudy the three-year-old Treeing Walker Coonhound mix was curled up and napping when I came to her kennel, but she perked up immediately once she got outside. Trudy loves to give doggy hugs and doggy kisses. Even when we were in the middle of our walk, she would stop and put her front paws on me so I could pet her. She walks pretty nicely on the leash but can pull a little bit when she’s excited.

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Trudy liked seeing the world from a higher vantage point

Trudy is a playful girl. She likes other dogs and happily sniffed some of the other dogs we passed on our walk, though she may be a little exuberant for some. She also kept trying to nibble on my camera. Trudy joined me on the bench and will probably gladly join her new family on the couch. Stop in soon to meet Trudy!

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Trudy is an expert snuggler

Mitch the four-year-old Boxer mix is great. By the end of our time together, I was telling him what a perfect boy he is. Mitch is a wonderful walking companion. He heels (left side and everything!) without even being told. It seems like he knows some other commands because any time I reached for my pocket, he sat down. Unfortunately I didn’t have any treats to give him for his good behavior.

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Mitch says, “Do you have a treat?”

Mitch is very affectionate. The first thing he did when I took him out of his kennel was give me a doggy hug. When I sat down on a bench, Mitch put his front paws in my lap for a while and then eventually climbed up on the bench and sat in my lap. He isn’t quite lap-sized, but he makes it work. Mitch and I passed a few dogs while we were on our walk and he barely even glanced at them. Be sure to say hi to Mitch on your next visit to the shelter!

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Mitch hanging out in my lap

Chester the twelve-year-old Chocolate Labrador Retriever and Te Amo the eight-year-old Yellow Labrador Retriever are so much fun. These brothers came in together and would preferably like to be adopted together. They can be a little bark-y inside their kennel but were pretty mellow when we were hanging out in the off-leash run.

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Chester coming over to say hello

Chester and Te Amo spent the first few minutes sniffing in the bushes and exploring. Te Amo was the first one to come up to me and get some pets. Chester was soon to follow. They’re both friendly boys. They also seem to walk pretty nicely on the leash.

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Te Amo always has a wagging tail

Chester and Te Amo wouldn’t be proper Labs if they didn’t like playing fetch! At first I only had one tennis ball. Chester beat Te Amo to it, but Te Amo apparently had been in this situation before and grabbed Chester’s front leg. When that tactic didn’t work, Te Amo just stuck his mouth in Chester’s and they were both holding onto the tennis ball for a while!

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Te Amo and Chester “sharing” the tennis ball (yes, there is a ball hiding in there)

Luckily for everyone, I found another tennis ball under the bushes and Chester and Te Amo were happy to each have their own. Below is a short video of how to play fetch with two Labs and two tennis balls. Who wouldn’t want to be part of this fun every day? Come in soon to see if Chester and Te Amo are the pair for you!

I also saw Aleck, Honey Lamb, Joui, Sammy, and Wombat.

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs in Warm Weather

It felt more like May than February two weekends ago, and the dogs at Orphans of the Storm® were all eager for a chance to come out and enjoy the nice weather.

Wilbur the two-year-old Beagle mix was happy to lead the way as soon as his leash was on. We headed to the woodland preserve, where Wilbur enjoyed doing his Hound thing by keeping his nose mostly to the ground. Wilbur walks nicely on the leash (except for when it’s time to go back to his kennel, in which case he stops walking until you give him lots of petting and encouragement).

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Wilbur enjoys a good scratch on the back

Wilbur likes to snuggle. He’ll gladly lean against you as long as you’re petting him. He also tried to climb into my lap at one point when I was kneeling next to him. Wilbur would do best in an adult home that doesn’t get too many visitors, but will be a loyal companion for his new owners. Come in soon to see if Wilbur is the one for you!

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Wilbur leading the way on our walk

Brix the five-year-old Boxer/Plott mix has plenty of energy and is looking for an energetic family to match. Brix likes to give doggy hugs and will occasionally top it off with a doggy kiss. He’s a happy boy who knows how to smile for the camera. When he’s extra excited, he jumps up and down like, “Oh boy oh boy oh boy!”

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Brix is happy all the time

Brix and I took a lap around the woodland preserve. Brix would have preferred to go at a faster speed and pulled on the leash a bit, but was also nice about turning around and waiting for me to catch up. Brix was sharing his kennel with another dog, so he could go to a home with or without another furry friend. If you’re looking for a new exercise buddy and playmate, come in soon to meet Brix!

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Brix is an expert at making funny faces

Max the eight-year-old Great Dane and Rye the eleven-year-old Australian Cattle Dog mix are a bit of an odd couple, but an adorable and lovable one! The two came from a military family who was transferred and couldn’t take them along. Max and Rye have been together for years, so they need to be adopted together.

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The perfect duo

Max is basically a horse. He’s probably taller than most people are if he were to stand on his hind legs. But Max is very gentle and easygoing. He mostly stayed near me when we were in the off-leash run. He particularly likes getting scratched on his hips and will do a little dance and/or lean against you. Max’s future owner can’t be too opposed to doggy drool, because Max makes a lot of it.

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Max showing off his spots

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Max’s big (cute) nose

Rye is smallish for a Cattle Dog and Max makes him look even smaller by comparison. Rye can easily walk underneath his big little brother. Rye doesn’t get too worked up over things. Another dog was barking at him on the other side of the fence, but Rye just looked at him for a minute and then continued on his way.

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Rye is a little cutie

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Rye is a mellow guy

Both Max and Rye seem like they walk pretty nicely on the leash, though we didn’t go to the woodland preserve for a full walk. Adopting a bonded pair like this is great because your new family members will have built-in friends and can help each other adjust to a new home. If you have the space in your heart and home for two dogs (one extra-large), stop in soon to meet Max and Rye!

Roxy the four-year-old Rottweiler/Shepherd mix is a pretty girl who likes being around people. We first went to the off-leash run, where Roxy sniffed a bit at one of the doggy toys but didn’t seem overly interested in playing fetch. Roxy is very snuggly, but prefers to snuggle on her own terms. She’ll lean against you and even tuck her head into your arm, but gets a little nervous if you get right in her face.

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Roxy glows in the sunshine

Roxy and I then went for a walk around the woodland preserve. Roxy walks nicely on the leash and didn’t really pull at all. Roxy would do best as the only dog in her new home. She also prefers to be around older children and adults. If that sounds like your home, be sure to say hi to Roxy on your next visit!

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Roxy ignoring the ball behind her

Tater the two-year-old Labrador Retriever mix is a friendly boy. The first thing he did when he came out of his kennel was give me a doggy hug. We then took a walk around the woodland preserve. Tater walks at a quick pace but doesn’t pull as long as you’re keeping up with him.

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Tater says hello!

Tater was happy to take a break from our walk every once in a while and join me on the bench for a quick cuddle session. He also gave me a few doggy kisses. Tater can get a little excited or distracted when other dogs are nearby, but it seems like giving him a treat is a good way to get him refocused. Stop in soon to say hello to Tater!

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Tater hanging out on the bench

I also saw Blaze, Lucy, O’Shea, the other Roxy, Scotty, and Wombat.

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Still Looking for Love

The Orphans of the Storm® Valentine’s Day event went great (maybe you saw us on the WGN News that weekend!), but there are still many dogs waiting for their turn for furever love. There’s no time like the present to come in and meet them!

Mongo the one-year-old Labrador Retriever mix is a handsome boy. I tried to take him out the week before, but he wasn’t too eager to go out in the cold. It was warmer this time, so he was happy to join me. Mongo has the cutest stubby tail that’s even cuter when its wagging. Mongo walks pretty nicely on the leash.

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Mongo looks particularly handsome in the sunshine

Mongo is a leaner. When you start petting him, he leans his whole body against you and sometimes tries to tuck his head into you. It’s a great snuggling technique! We took a few nice breaks as we made our way around the woodland preserve to cuddle. Mongo can be a little barky when other dogs are around, but otherwise he’s pretty quiet and well-behaved. Stop by soon to say hi to Mongo!

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Mongo is always up for exploring

Nala the one-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix is super affectionate. She is more than ready to spend time snuggling on the couch with her future family. Nala loves hopping up on the nearest bench and will look at you until you sit down to join her. She sat on three or four different benches during the time I was out with her.

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Nala coming over for a cuddle

Nala also likes to play. When we were in the off-leash run, we spent some time playing fetch and tug-of-war. Nala walks nicely on the leash and would be a good walking buddy. She has quickly become a volunteer favorite because of her sweet personality. Be sure to say hi to Nala on your next visit!

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A true view of playing tug-of-war with Nala

Ralphie the eight-year-old Shepherd/Labrador Retriever mix has cute perky ears. They make him look like he’s always paying very serious attention to whatever you’re saying. But Ralphie doesn’t take things too seriously–he was happy to play with a rope toy when we were in the off-leash run.

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Ralphie and his pointy ears

Ralphie is a good leash walker. He stayed right by my side or just a few steps ahead as we made our way around the woodland preserve. He also didn’t mind stopping every once in a while to get a scratch on the back. Ralphie would do best as the only pet in an adult home. If that description meets your lifestyle, come in soon to meet Ralphie!

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Ralphie will be your walking buddy and your lounging buddy

I also saw Blush, Christi, Joui, Snuffles, Tino, Tyson, and Vanilla.

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Are Looking for Their Valentine

What better time to open your heart to a new love than Valentine’s Day? That’s why Orphans of the Storm® is having a Find the Love of Your Life event this Saturday, February 11 through Tuesday, February 14. Adoption fees will be waived for all dogs and cats six months and older. (Vet and vaccine fees still apply.) So stop in and feel the love for yourself!

Vanilla the two-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier mix has been waiting for a while now for the right person to come in and find her. She may seem like a bit of a handful when you walk by her kennel (she can be a little barky), but she is actually very easy to get along with. She just wants to grab your attention! She didn’t bark at all when we were out for our walk.

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Vanilla is ready to be your walking partner

Vanilla and I headed straight for the woodland preserve. Vanilla walks nicely on the leash and barely pulled at all. Mostly she stayed by my side or just a little ahead of me and occasionally stopped to sniff. Vanilla loves getting loved and will stand next to you for as long as you’re petting her. Vanilla doesn’t like other dogs, so she would need to be the only pet in her new home. If you’re a one-dog type of person, come in soon to see if Vanilla is the one for you!

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Vanilla says, “Hi there!”

Christi the eleven-year-old Shepherd/Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix is such a sweetheart. When she realized it was her turn to come outside, she jumped up like a puppy! Other than that initial burst of excitement, Christi was very mellow. She is super easy to walk on a leash and moves at a good walking pace.

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Christi’s sweet face and wagging tail

Christi is very affectionate. She covered my face in doggy kisses at every opportunity she had. When I sat down on the bench or on the ground, she would sit right next to me and enjoy a nice scratch on the back. Christi also has the sweetest expression on her face all the time. Don’t just walk past Christi’s kennel because of her senior age. Give her a chance to show you how much love she has to offer!

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Christi enjoying the sunshine

Fiona the five-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix was found hit by a car. The vets weren’t sure if she was going to make it, but we’re all very glad that she did! She has become a volunteer favorite. Now Fiona has made a full recovery and is ready to start her second chance at life with a loving family. Despite her traumatic past, Fiona is always happy and greets everybody with an enthusiastically wagging tail.

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Fiona needed a drink after all her romping

Fiona loves to give doggy kisses. I walked her once in the fall before she was available for adoption and we barely got anywhere because she kept hopping in my lap and kissing my face. This time, she was more energetic and explored the off-leash run for a while before we took a lap around the woodland preserve. Fiona would do best as the only dog in her new home. Stop in soon to meet Fiona!

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Fiona from back in the fall. We’re all dreaming of green leaves!

Holly the one-year-old Hound mix has plenty of energy, which is understandable for a dog as young as she is. We were off and running as soon as her leash was on. When we got to the off-leash run, Holly had a fun time racing the dog on the other side of the fence. She briefly joined me on the bench for a quick pat on the back before hopping off to do some exploring in the bushes.

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Holly debating between joining me on the bench and racing the dog on the other side of the fence

Holly and I then took a walk/run around the woodland preserve. Holly would probably enjoy living with someone who has better endurance than I do! She was happy to lead the way around the trail and, being a Hound, stopped to sniff the trees and bushes every so often. Since Holly is still a puppy, she could probably use some training to learn some basic commands. If you’re looking for a fun-loving pup, come in soon to meet Holly!

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Holly has a cute face

Riley the ten-month-old Labrador Retriever/Mountain Cur mix is very nervous at the shelter, but very sweet. He wasn’t too sure about coming out of his kennel at the beginning, and then wasn’t too sure about going back inside his kennel at the end, so he ended up being carried both ways. But he wasn’t squirmy or fidgety about getting picked up.

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Riley didn’t know what to make of the snow flurries

Riley really starts to come out of his shell when he’s around other dogs. We spent some time with two smaller dogs and Riley was very good with his polite greetings. His tail even untucked and started wagging! When I sat down on the ground next to him after that, he put one paw in my lap and tentatively poked my nose with his nose. Riley will probably need a little extra TLC in his new home so he can learn that the world isn’t so scary. If you’d like to be the one to help Riley with that, come in soon to meet him!

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Riley is ready to mingle! Especially with other dogs

I also saw Bella, Blush, the other Riley, Scotty, and Zoey.

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Are Ready for a New Home in the New Year

The weather finally cooperated enough for me to meet the first new pooches of 2017! There are lots of cuties at Orphans of the Storm® right now. It was hard for me to decide who to take out first.

Riley the five-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix came from an owner who could no longer care for her, but she came with a glowing review that she certainly lived up to! Riley is friendly, affectionate, gets along with children, and walks nicely on the leash. (Though she is mostly muscle, so if she happens to have a direction she wants to go then you will most likely be going in that direction also.) Riley might look big at first, but her legs are pretty short and stubby (and cute), so she stays low to the ground.

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Riley has the sweetest face

Riley enjoyed exploring the off-leash run and did lots of snuffling behind and underneath the bushes. When I asked if she was ready to go for a walk, she immediately headed to the gate and wagged her tail while I put the leash on. After our walk around the woodland preserve, I sat down on the bench and patted the spot next to me. Riley hopped right up, put her front paws in my lap, and covered my face in enthusiastic doggy kisses. Come in soon to meet Riley and see if she’s the sweet family dog for you!

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Riley following her nose

Lucy the three-year-old Treeing Walker Coonhound mix is so well-behaved. She was sitting politely in her kennel, just looking at me, so I couldn’t ignore such good manners. Lucy did some signature Hound baying once she was in the outside portion of her kennel, but as soon as the leash was on, she didn’t make another peep for the rest of our time together. A lot of Hounds will be off and running as soon as the gate opens, but Lucy walks nicely on the leash and mostly stayed by my side.

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Lucy climbing into my lap

Lucy is a great snuggler. When I knelt down next to her, she put a paw on my knee. Then I sat all the way on the ground and she put both front paws on my lap and didn’t budge for as long as I pet her. Even when I told her we should keep walking, she just looked at me like, “No, I’d rather stay here and cuddle.” Lucy politely sniffed a Beagle we passed on our walk, so she seems to get along with dogs of different sizes. Be sure to say hi to Lucy on your next visit to the shelter! (You can also say hi to Lucy the Boxer mix and Lucy the Terrier mix while you’re at it. All Lucy’s at the shelter are super sweet!)

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Lucy showing off her spots

Copper the eight-year-old Chow Chow mix is a fluffy lovebug. She does the cutest thing that you will have to see in person, but I will try my best to describe. When Copper wants you pet her, she’ll tilt her head to the side, and then hop forward and give you a little nudge or head-butt. This happened at least four or five times while we were out, and it never stopped being adorable. And then once you do start petting her, she’ll plop right down next to you if you’re sitting or lean against your legs if you’re standing.

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Copper leading the way around the woods

Copper is a good walking companion. She didn’t walk too fast or too slow, she occasionally stopped to sniff, and she didn’t get overexcited if other dogs were nearby. Copper gives very convincing “sad puppy dog eyes” when she’s inside her kennel, but perks up as soon as you take her out. Copper’s heart is as golden as her fur! Stop in soon to see if Copper is the pooch for you.

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Copper looks particularly majestic in the sunlight

Buddy the eight-year-old Rottweiler mix was snoozing on his doggy bed when I came by his kennel, but as soon as I opened the doggy door to the outside, he was ready to go. Buddy is yet another great leash-walker. I don’t think he pulled on the leash even once. He came from an owner, so he has plenty of experience being a pet in a home.

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Buddy says, “I love you!”

Buddy was content to just meander around the off-leash run and come back to me every once in a while for a scratch on the back. He looked at a tennis ball and a giant rope toy but didn’t seem too interested in fetching either of them. Buddy knows some basic commands and would be happy to demonstrate for you. If you’re looking for a more mellow companion, Buddy may be the right buddy for you! Stop in soon to find out.

Orphans of the Storm Dogs: Buddy Rottweiler 2

Buddy is more of a sniffer than a player

I also saw AstridBella, Blaze, Blush, Juno, MerlinNoah, and Tino.

Staying Cozy in the Orphans of the Storm® Cat Room

It was too cold for dogs or people to be outside much this past weekend, so that meant I got to visit the cat room at Orphans of the Storm®. I can’t think of a much nicer way to spend a cold day!

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This one did a good job posing for pictures

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This orange one was not interested in sharing lap space

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This cat was pretty mellow

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This little cutie could use some extra TLC

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A cat who likes belly rubs! We were meant to be.

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The crowd that suddenly appears when the staff walks in with treats and toys

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This cat let me know it wanted a treat

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The orange cat still was not sharing lap space!

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This sweetie wanted some treats too

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People say black cats are unlucky, but when I had FOUR black cats all trying to climb into my lap at once, I couldn’t have felt luckier (you can see the fourth’s tail and whiskers in the bottom right corner). The one with the blue collar is the cuddliest cat I have ever met.

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This gray cat is super pretty

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This little cat just wanted to be pet all the time

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What better way to stay warm in the middle of winter than snuggling with your 15 closest friends?

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This sweetheart only has one good eye, but that doesn’t slow it down at all

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This one monopolized my lap for quite a while (and the one in the back is wondering when it gets a turn)

After spending about an hour in the cat room, I got to know a few cats that are in individual kennels. Zoe ended up at the shelter after her owner passed away. She has come out of her shell a lot and once she spends a little time with you, she gets very snuggly. I also met Buster, who likes people but isn’t a fan of other cats, so if you’re a one-cat kind of household then you should meet him. Lastly was Smiley, who hangs out with the kittens and likes being held like a baby.

I’ll be back to meeting more pooches next week!

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Who Found Their Forever Home, Part XV

Our first Success Story of 2017! Jeff adopted Cassidy, formerly Heidi, on Good Friday in 2013. Here is their update:

We have five dogs in our home and Cassidy rules the roost. I wasn’t sure how it was going to work out at first since we already had two when we adopted her, but it’s been great. Can’t imagine life without her.

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Cassidy

First off, we had looked at Orphans of the Storm® a few years earlier when our first dog went to the rainbow bridge in 2011. Nothing seemed to click then, but having grown up in Northbrook, adopting from Orphans was always in the back of my mind. We ended up with two puppies that year, so for the rest of 2011 and 2012, my wife and I were pretty consumed with those two but by the spring of 2013, our first two had passed their puppy phase and had settled in so we thought it would be good to adopt another dog. We already had two so what’s one more, right?

On Good Friday 2013, my wife and I were both off work, and we thought it would be a good opportunity to go down to Orphans of the Storm® and see if there was a dog there that might fit in with us. So I got our other two dogs and put them in the car and we made the trip south. After seeing all the dogs that were available for adoption, my wife and I liked a Boxer mix you had, and we took it out to one of the pens in the back. He was very high energy and was constantly running all over the pen. When I brought my other two dogs from the car, they both seemed very skittish around the Boxer mix. I am glad we did have our current dogs with us so we could see up close how they seemed to get along and in this case, it didn’t seem like it was working out okay.

But we were determined, and we had noticed another kennel that had Heidi, a Feist mix, and a 9-month-old Beagle puppy. I was leaning toward the Beagle puppy, but for some reason my wife felt a connection with Heidi, and we decided to take her out to the pen. She was definitely lower energy than the Boxer mix from before, and since that seemed to go well, I went to retrieve our other two dogs from the car again to see how they would interact. It was almost the completely opposite reaction from the Boxer where our two were more dominant and Heidi decided it would be better to snuggle up with my wife than deal with two crazy 2-year-old dogs. Based on that interaction, we decided to adopt Heidi on the spot.

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Cassidy on her first day home from the shelter

Since she was not spayed, I had to pick her up the following Monday at your medical facility in Vernon Hills. The first few days, she was definitely under the weather, and kept to herself for the most part, but after the first week, she began to come out of her shell. It was very funny to see how our other dogs reacted to this. They had been with us for almost 2 years already, but Heidi–now named Cassidy–decided that she was in charge. Now that did not come without a struggle, as my other two needed to adjust to the new social order. It definitely wasn’t simple and there were a few fights that needed to be separated along the way, but as time went on and everyone, including us, adjusted to the new social order, things began to settle down.

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Cassidy (right) with her two siblings, Christmas 2013

It really took almost a year for Cassidy to really begin to settle in to the point where she really felt like she was safe and home. We had come to find out that she was on a euthanasia list three different times in Tennessee where she was from and the third time, the woman who busted her out of the shelter wrecked her car on the way to get her and a Tennessee State Trooper who responded to the accident drove the woman the additional 45 minutes to the shelter so Cassidy could be saved. Knowing what kind of a background this little dog has had, it’s no surprise that she might have been a little hesitant to trust people again, but the good news is that she’s fully bought in to the program and we spoil her like the little princess that she is.

I can’t believe it will be 4 years with her already on April 1st.

Thank you, Jeff, for sharing your and Cassidy’s story!

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

Call for Success Stories!

To get 2017 off to a warm and fuzzy start, let’s share some Orphans of the Storm® success stories! If you adopted your furry friend(s) from Orphans of the Storm®, we would love to hear how they’re doing in their forever home. Pictures are very welcome!

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My own Orphans alum, Cooper, celebrating Christmas this year

You can find a full list of previous updates on the Success Stories page. Feel free to write your story in whatever format you’d prefer. If you’d like to go with a more formal Q&A, below are some questions adopters have answered in the past:

  • Why Orphans of the Storm®?
  • How did you hear about Orphans of the Storm®?
  • What made you want to adopt from a shelter?
  • Was this your first dog and/or cat?
  • Did you have a specific breed/age/size/other trait in mind when you first came to the shelter?
  • How many dogs or cats did you visit with before you decided on your pet?
  • What was it about your pet that sealed your decision to adopt him/her?
  • How did your dog and/or cat transition from shelter life to home life?

Please send your success story to meetthepooches@gmail.com and it will be posted right here on Meet the Pooches. We’re excited to hear from you!