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

What better time to add a dog to your home than during the dog days of summer? There are plenty of playful pooches at Orphans of the Storm® who are ready to enjoy the outdoors and sunshine with you!

Annie the two-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix is a super playful and happy girl. She loves toys and can easily keep herself entertained by playing fetch with herself, romping around the yard while carrying a toy, or plopping down and chewing on it. Annie also loves rolling around on her back in the grass and getting her belly rubbed. She likes hip scratches and will wriggle from one side to the other depending on where you’re petting her.

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Annie is an active girl

Annie can pull a bit on the leash when she first comes out of her kennel, but she walks great on the trail when using a front-clip harness. She isn’t a fan of other dogs when she passes them on walks or sees them on the other side of the fence, but we are working on her dog socialization skills. She is looking for a home where she can be the only dog. Annie is a smart girl who already knows some basic commands and is housebroken, so she’s ready to settle into her new forever home. Come in soon to meet Annie!

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Annie will enjoy snuggles post-playtime

Socks the one-year-old Shepherd mix is very gentle. He enjoyed meandering slowly around the yard, sniffing at all the new smells. Socks wasn’t too interested in toys on this particular outing, but he does enjoy getting lots of attention and pets. Socks is happy to greet people and walk right up to them to get more snuggles (and hopefully a treat!). When I sat down on a bench, Socks hopped up next to me. He just likes being close to his people.

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Socks showing off his white paw-socks

Socks likes to lead the way on walks and moves at a brisk pace, but doesn’t pull on the leash at all. Socks gets along with other dogs and participates in play group with dogs who like to play tag with each other. This means he could go to a home with or without another dog. If you’re looking for a big, sweet boy, come in soon to meet Socks!

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Socks on the bench

Data the one-year-old Shepherd mix is new to the shelter and still a little nervous about her new surroundings. She is very submissive and often rolls over onto her back when she’s not sure what else to do. But when you start rubbing her belly and tell her it will be okay, her tail starts to wag! Data is pretty skittish and doesn’t seem too familiar with walking on a leash, but she’ll get better with more practice.

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Data being braver in the yard

Data comes out of her shell more the longer she’s out of her kennel. When we went to the Enrichment Park, she started by just pacing at the gate. After a few minutes, though, she was exploring all the way out to the middle of the yard. She eventually came over to where I was sitting so I could pet her. Data has potential to go to a home with another dog or with a cat. This sweet puppy has lots to offer–she just needs the right comforting home to help her develop into her full potential. Be sure to say hello to Data on your next visit to the shelter!

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Data hiding in the corner

Kara the four-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier/Weimaraner mix is a sweet girl. Her favorite thing is to be close to her people. Whenever I knelt down to her level or sat down somewhere, Kara would come trotting over without even being called and snuggle up next to me. She especially loves hip scratches and neck scratches. Kara enjoyed sniffing her way around the Enrichment Park. She chased after a toy when I threw it, but wasn’t interested in picking it up or playing with it.

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Kara likes to stop and smell the roses (and other flowers)

Kara is a perfect walking companion. She stayed right by my side and didn’t pull at all. In fact, she walked so close to me that I was afraid I would step on her toes! Kara wanted to pause occasionally so she could smell the flowers and other plants lining the trail, and was also happy to pause for more pets. Come by the shelter soon to meet Kara!

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Kara enjoys her walks

Bubbles the two-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix is very calm. She walks nicely on the leash, moving at an easy pace and not pulling at all. Bubbles especially likes to snuggle. Whenever I knelt down to her level, she came running over and rested her chin in my lap while I pet her. She also gave the occasional doggy kiss. When I sat down on the bench, Bubbles put her front paws up on the bench next to me and gave me a big, happy doggy smile.

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Bubbles exploring the Enrichment Park

Bubbles gets along with other dogs and attends play group almost every day. She already has a long list of doggy friends. Her favorite type of play style is to chase and be chased. When we were in the Enrichment Park, Bubbles politely sniffed a much larger dog on the other side of the fence. So, she could go to a home with or without another dog. If you’re looking for a happy, bubbly pooch, look no further than Bubbles!

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Bubbles trying to be a lapdog

Snow the two-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix sits without even being asked when it’s time to put her leash on–both when she’s in her kennel, and when she’s in the yard. She would be eager to learn even more! Snow is super snuggly. When we went into the Enrichment Park, Snow immediately sat down next to me and just wanted to cuddle. When I eventually got up and walked away, Snow came over and stood in front of me so I had to stop and pet her more. She particularly likes getting her sides rubbed.

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Snow often has a doggy smile on her face

Snow is a good walking companion. We made our way around the trail at a nice pace. Snow sometimes perked up when a chipmunk or bird crossed our path, but she didn’t try to chase after them. She especially enjoys rolling around on her back in the tall grasses. Snow regularly attends play group and does well with the calm and gentle dogs. She has potential to go home with another dog, but she does not like cats. Come in soon to meet Snow!

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Snow leading the way

Lupa the seven-month-old Labrador Retriever mix is still very much a puppy. She has lots of energy, but eventually plops down in a shady spot after she has a chance to run and play. Lupa loves toys. She happily chases after them when you throw them, and then runs a couple laps around the yard carrying them in her mouth. She isn’t possessive, though–when you reach out to take the toy back, Lupa drops it quickly and then eagerly hops up and down waiting for you to throw it again. Lupa is also learning to enjoy splashing around in the puppy pool and will dip her toes in if you throw a toy in the middle for her to fetch.

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Lupa ready for me to throw the toy

Lupa, still being a puppy, needs a little more practice walking on a leash. She likes to lead the way and would often rather run than walk. She would probably do best with a harness to prevent her from pulling as much–but once she’s in a home where she’s getting regular walks and exercise, she probably won’t have quite as much energy on every walk. Lupa attends play group and enjoys romping with the other dogs. If you’re looking for a fun and playful puppy, come in soon to meet Lupa!

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Lupa likes toys of all shapes and sizes

Orphans of the Storm® Has Dogs of All Energy Levels

Whether you’re looking for a companion to keep you cozy on the couch, a running partner, or a fetch guru, Orphans of the Storm® has the dog with the right energy level for you!

Maria the five-year-old Redbone Coonhound mix is one of the most mellow dogs at the shelter right now. She was lounging in a sunny spot in her kennel when I came to take her out, and she wagged her tail when she saw the leash but otherwise wasn’t in a hurry to get up. When I let her off-leash in the yard, she went straight for the doghouse, dug up some fresh, cool dirt, and plopped down to do some more lounging. Maria is happy to get lots of scratches and snuggles while she’s relaxing, too, and will gently nudge your hand with her nose if you stop petting her.

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Maria enjoys her chest scratches

Maria is a very easy walking companion. She goes at an easy pace and never pulls. Sometimes she can be a little stubborn if she wants to stop and you want to keep moving, but she starts going again with a little encouragement. Maria has attended an off-site event and was calm the entire time. She already has a big fan following among the volunteers. Maria sometimes participates in play group, but because she prefers things to be low-key like she is, she isn’t too fond of all the activity involved. If you’re looking for a sweet and gentle couch potato, come in soon to meet Maria!

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Maria being a good walking buddy

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Bonus photo of Maria dozing in the doghouse

Chappie the five-year-old Labrador Retriever/Hound mix is a real cutie. He was excited to come out of his kennel and quickly led the way to the Enrichment Park, where he enjoyed sniffing and exploring. Chappie did several slow loops around the perimeter and especially enjoyed snuffling around the potted plants. A staff member was coming in and out of the park to do some cleaning, and Chappie didn’t pay him any attention or even notice that the gate kept opening and closing. He was just content to do his own thing.

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Chappie looking serious

Chappie finally realized that I was there to spend time with him once we were on the walking trail. When I knelt down to his level, he came over to get some neck scratches and gave me a few gentle doggy kisses. Chappie likes to walk at a quick pace but doesn’t pull as long as you’re keeping up with him. In fact, Chappie has the potential to be a great jogging or running partner–his speed perfectly matched my jogging pace, and he even started to run a little when he realized I was running too. Chappie has participated in a few play groups with gentler dogs. Come to the shelter soon to see if Chappie is the one for you!

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Chappie smiling

Kobe the one-year-old Labrador Retriever mix is an active boy who loves toys. He chased after the toys I threw, then picked his favorite and carried it in his mouth while he ran a few laps around the yard. After that, he found a shady spot in the grass and laid down to do some chewing. The good news is that Kobe doesn’t try to destroy his toys when he’s chewing, like some dogs do. He just casually nibbles and keeps the toys intact. Kobe can pull a bit on the leash when using a regular collar, but walks more easily with a front-clip harness.

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Kobe loved this squeaky pumpkin

Kobe attends play group every day. He loves wrestling and romping with the other rough-and-rowdy dogs–but annoys the calmer and gentler dogs, so he does best with high-energy dogs like himself. Kobe is learning basic obedience and would be eager to learn more. His previous owners noted that he can be protective of his home and yard, so Kobe is looking for an adult-only home that can work with him on this and teach him that he doesn’t need to be territorial or wary of visitors. If you’re looking for a playful pup, be sure to meet Kobe on your next visit to the shelter!

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Kobe says, “Whatcha got there?”

I also saw Chevy.

Orphans of the Storm® Has Big Dogs and Active Dogs

It finally cooled down enough to be able to walk the dogs at Orphans of the Storm® in the afternoon!

Joe the seven-year-old Hound mix is a big boy, but very gentle. He can unintentionally be a little strong when he first comes out of his kennel because he’s happy to be outside, but he is a super easy walking companion once he’s on the trail. Joe preferred walking in the tall grasses (I think because it was cooler there) and took some breaks in the shade. He was happy to get his neck and back scratched during these breaks, and gave me a big doggy smile.

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Joe enjoying his yard time

Joe would love to have a yard to call his own. He had a great time meandering around the yard, thoroughly sniffing the perimeter and exploring behind the bushes. His future family will be glad to know that Joe is very calm and patient when getting his long, floppy ears cleaned. Joe has already made a couple doggy friends in play group and is gentle around the dogs he’s met so far. If you love big Hounds, be sure to come in soon to meet Joe!

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You’ll have to be okay with a little drool if you bring Joe home

Cooper the one-year-old Hound mix has lots of energy, since he’s basically still a puppy. He jumped up and down in excitement when he first came out of his kennel and wanted to play tug with the leash, but dropped it quickly when we started our walk. Cooper likes to lead the way on walks and wanted to run rather than walk on this particular outing. What Cooper likes the most, though, is water. He hops right into the kiddie pool and has so much fun splashing around. He even plunges his face into the water with his mouth open as if he’s trying to catch fish.

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Cooper relaxing in the shade

Cooper enjoyed romping freely around the yard. He did a couple quick laps and then slowed down to do more sniffing, and eventually came back to me to get some pets. Cooper loves playing rough-and-tumble with other high-energy dogs in play group and could go to a home with or without another dog. He also has potential to go to a home with cats or children. If you’re looking for a fun and playful addition to your family, come by the shelter soon to meet Cooper!

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Cooper’s face of pure contentment in the pool

Boon the three-year-old Anatolian Shepherd mix is a gentle giant–so giant that you don’t even need to lean over in order to pet him. He’s been a little nervous and shy at the shelter but is starting to come out of his shell more. Boon likes to stay close to his person. When we were in the Enrichment Park, Boon either stood at the gate waiting to leave or stood next to me and enjoyed getting neck scratches.

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Boon says, “I’d like to go for my walk now.”

Despite Boon‘s size, he’s very easy to walk on the leash and didn’t stray far from my side. He did a little sniffing here and there, but mostly kept moving at an easy pace and paused occasionally so I could give him more pets. When I knelt down next to him, he gave me lots of gentle doggy kisses. Boon’s breed is known for being loyal, protective, and territorial, so Boon is looking for an adult-only home where he can be the only pet. If that sounds like your situation, stop in soon to say hello to Boon!

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Boon in the middle of giving doggy kisses

I also briefly met Sherpta, Boon’s sister, who has quickly become a volunteer favorite because she is so sweet and just wants to snuggle and give kisses.

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Handle the Heat

It was a hot and humid day, but the dogs at Orphans of the Storm® were still happy to spend time outside!

Ajax the one-year-old Hound mix is so handsome. He caught my eye right away when I got to the shelter, so I knew I wanted to take him out first. Ajax would love to have a yard of his own. He enjoyed exploring around the Enrichment Park, calmly sniffing and exploring all the corners. He got one case of the zoomies and ran a quick lap, but settled down again quickly. When I sat down on the bench, Ajax came over to me to get some pets.

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Ajax enjoying the green plants

Ajax likes to lead the way on walks. He’s a big, strong boy and can sometimes pull on the leash when he wants to go at a faster pace or go in a certain direction. Ajax is also a smart boy, and knew to climb underneath a bush to cool off in the shade. Ajax occasionally attends play group and gets along with other active dogs who like to play, so he could go to a home with or without another dog. Say hello to Ajax on your next visit to the shelter!

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Ajax considering a dip in the puppy pool

Gunter the seven-month-old Pit Bull Terrier mix is still very much a puppy. He loves to give enthusiastic doggy kisses that sometimes turn into excited nibbles. Gunter jumps up and down to give doggy hugs when he first comes out of his kennel, but the heat on this particular day mellowed him out pretty quickly. He’ll happily climb into your lap whenever the opportunity presents itself, but he’s still very wiggly!

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Gunter licking his hips after a quick drink

Gunter walked nicely on the leash around the woodland preserve trail. There were a couple instances where he started to chew on the leash, but he dropped it after a few seconds and continued walking at a nice pace. Even though Gunter is still a pretty small puppy, he can hold his own in play group with bigger dogs and loves to chase and be chased. He could go to a home with or without another dog. If you’re looking for a happy, sweet puppy, come in soon to meet Gunter!

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Gunter wasn’t too sure about the agility equipment

Bailey the eighteen-year-old Chihuahua mix is a super senior! But don’t let his age fool you–Bailey likes to lead the way on walks and still has lots of pep in his step. I thought he would only want to be outside for a few minutes in this heat, but he loved exploring around the yard and even nimbly jumped over a puddle more than once. When I told him it was time to go back inside, he just looked at me as if to say, “But I’m not done yet!” and wanted to go in the opposite direction of the kennels.

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Bailey is too cute for words

Bailey can be a little timid when you first meet him, but he enjoys getting scratched under his chin (and he has a cute little underbite) and eventually warms up to getting his sides scratched. Bailey politely sniffed another small dog while we were on our walk and has the potential to go to a home with another dog. If you’ve been considering opening your home to a senior, be sure to meet Bailey on your next visit to the shelter!

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Bailey trotting around the yard

Drip the one-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix has lots of affection to give. He will happily sit down next to you and lean against you while you pet him, and won’t move again until you stop. Drip particularly likes getting his sides rubbed, and may start to roll over onto your lap so you can rub his belly too. He also didn’t let a face mask stop him from giving me plenty of doggy kisses! Drip is potentially housebroken, or close to it, because he went potty as soon as all four of his paws were outside his kennel.

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Drip deciding between two toys

Drip loves toys, especially stuffed squeaky toys. He ran around the Enrichment Park carrying one in his mouth, then plopped down on the ground to chew it a bit. He also brought one toy over to me and held it while I pet him. Drip pulls on the leash when using a regular collar, but is much easier to walk when using a front-clip harness. He likes to lead the way and walk at a quick pace regardless. Drip gets along with other dogs but is a “rough and rowdy” player, so he does best with other active dogs who won’t get annoyed by him. He has the potential to go to a home with another playful dog. If Drip sounds like the kind of dog for you, come in soon to meet him!

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Drip picked the raccoon

Orphans of the Storm® is still operating by appointment only, so please call 847-945-0235 to schedule an appointment to meet these dogs or any others.

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Ready to Be Welcomed Home

The first week of Orphans of the Storm®’s reopening was a great success, with nearly two dozen dogs finding their forever homes! There are still plenty more who are eager to find their new family, so please call 847-945-0235 to make your appointment.

King the five-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix was recommended to me by three different volunteers, so I knew I had to meet him! They all told me how sweet and handsome he is, and now that I’ve spent some time with him, I agree. King likes to give the occasional doggy kiss and loves getting pet. He has a tickly spot on his left side and kicks his back leg while you scratch it, but stands still and gives you a big doggy smile when you scratch his right side.

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King’s ears flapping while he romps

King walks nicely on the leash when using a front-clip harness. He likes to stop and sniff at different trees and clumps of grass, but overall walks at a good pace. King has a fun time romping around the Enrichment Park and will happily chase toys you throw, but isn’t always interested in picking them up and bringing them back. King would do best as the only dog in his kingdom and is looking for a home where he can be the only pet. Stop by the shelter soon to meet King!

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King being a good walking buddy

Wayde the two-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix arrived at the shelter nervous of his new surroundings, but he has made lots of friends with the staff and is now making more friends with the volunteers. Once Wayde feels comfortable with you, he’ll climb right into your lap and roll over for a belly rub. He particularly likes getting his sides scratched. You’ll also win him over quickly if you give him treats!

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Wayde has the sweetest facial expression

Wayde walks great with a front-clip harness. He doesn’t pull at all and walks at an easy-going pace. Wayde likes stuffed toys and sometimes wants to carry them on his walks. He kept going back to a stuffed sloth toy in the Enrichment Park, poking it with his nose and sniffing it, and eventually decided that was the one he wanted to carry. Wayde attends play group regularly with the calmer, gentler dogs and has potential to go to a home with another mellow dog. Come in soon to meet Wayde!

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Wayde enjoying the cool grass under his paws

I also saw Chevy, who had no interest in walking on this hot day but curled up next to me in the grass to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine.

Orphans of the Storm® Is Now Open!

Orphans of the Storm® is excited to announce that it has reopened to the public! However, there are new protocols and procedures in place to keep staff, volunteers, and potential adopters safe. Please read the following notes before visiting the shelter:

  • We are open by appointment only.
  • Appointments will be daily between noon and 3pm and last 45 minutes.
  • Walk-ins are not permitted and will be turned away.
  • Only 2 people per party are permitted inside the shelter at a time.
  • Minors must not be left unattended, so please plan accordingly.
  • Please leave your pets at home.
  • Masks must be worn at all times. Entry will not be granted without a mask.
  • Contactless temperature checks will be performed on all entrants.

To make an appointment for either dog adoption or cat adoption, please call 847-945-0235.

And here are some of the new dogs who are eager to meet you!

Tom Hanks the four-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix already has a large fan club, and volunteers have only been back for one week! Everyone who has had the opportunity to walk him has fallen in love with this super sweet boy. Tom Hanks will be happy to join his future family out in the yard, where he can loll around in a sunny spot in the grass and keep you company while you read, garden, or play outside. He especially enjoys belly rubs and will lay by your side so you can continue to pet him.

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Tom Hanks is such a happy boy

Tom Hanks walks nicely on the leash and does well wearing a harness for walks. He was very patient with me while I learned to put his harness on correctly. He’s very attentive to his person and was happy to pause several times on our way around the trail to get more pets and snuggles. Tom Hanks only pulls on the leash when he sees some dogs, but some dogs he doesn’t give a second glance. He regularly attends play group and enjoys the company of calmer, gentler dogs. Come in soon to meet Tom Hanks!

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Tom Hanks wondering why I stopped rubbing his belly

Colossus the five-year-old Bloodhound mix is a big, strong boy who likes to stay active. He may bay inside his kennel to get your attention, but he’s very quiet once he’s out and about. The only sound he made when we were on our walk was when he whined at me to keep moving (I had stopped him to take a few photos). Colossus definitely enjoys his walks and keeps his nose to the ground to follow scents. He moves at a quick pace but does well with a front-clip harness.

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Colossus says, “Follow me!”

Colossus would love to have a fenced-in yard to call his own. He had a fun time romping around the Enrichment Park and didn’t want to leave. Colossus tolerates other dogs his size or larger, but may be too much for smaller dogs. He also is not a fan of cats and is looking for a cat-free home. Colossus could go to a home with older children and would make a loyal family dog. Be sure to say hello to Colossus on your next visit to the shelter!

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You’ll have to be okay with a bit of drool if you bring Colossus home!

Paladin the two-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix gets super excited when it’s his turn to come out of the kennel, but settles down nicely and just wants to snuggle and give kisses. When I sat down on a bench, he first put his front paws in my lap so I could scratch his sides and then he hopped up onto the bench next to me to cover my face in doggy kisses. He wasn’t too interested in toys on this particular outing and mostly just wanted to stay close to me when we were in the off-leash run.

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Paladin waiting for me to join him on the bench

Paladin is a great walking companion when he’s wearing a front-clip harness and walks at an easy pace, but can pull a bit when using a regular collar. He likes dogs, so he gets excited when passing by other dogs and wants to run over to say hello. In fact, Paladin has made lots of doggy friends in play group. He’s high-energy and loves the more rough-and-tumble kind of play. If you’re looking for a sweet and playful pooch, come in soon to meet Paladin!

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Paladin is a handsome boy

Turner the seven-year-old American Bulldog mix is such a happy boy. He constantly looks like he’s smiling and the expression on his big, wide face makes it impossible for people to not smile back! Turner will happily stay by your side as long as you keep petting him. He particularly likes getting his sides scratched, with his tail wagging all the while.

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Turner smiling for the camera

Turner is a very easy walking buddy. He doesn’t pull on the leash at all, and goes at a more meandering pace with the occasional stop to sniff. Turner is a play group rock star and helps socialize new dogs to teach them how to play properly, so he could go to a home with or without another dog. He could also go to a home with children over 10. Stop in soon to say hello to Turner!

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Turner enjoying the outdoors

Jed the seven-year-old Treeing Walker Coonhound mix is a mellow guy. He spent the first few minutes in the off-leash run just sniffing around, but eventually came over to me for some pets. He especially likes hip scratches and chin scratches. Jed walks nicely on a front-clip harness and moves at an even pace. Being a Hound, though, he does like to stop and snuffle around.

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Jed in his element among the trees

Jed and I walked all the way around the woodland preserve trail at a socially distant 6 feet away from another dog and volunteer, and Jed has no problems walking with other dogs. He doesn’t pay much attention to them at all, actually. Jed attends play group but prefers being with calmer, mellower dogs like himself and is happy to do his own thing rather than engage in play. Jed could go to a home with children over 10, and is looking for a cat-free home. Be sure to say hello to Jed on your next visit to the shelter!

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Jed has the sweetest Hound eyes

Pinky the four-year-old Pit Bull Terrier/Dalmatian mix is deaf, but I didn’t know that until after I walked her and I couldn’t tell a difference! Pinky acts like any other dog, but is looking for a special home that will learn to train her with non-verbal commands and make other adjustments to keep a deaf dog happy and safe. Pinky is super snuggly and will enthusiastically climb into your lap at any opportunity she gets.

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Pinky enjoying the plants

Pinky walks nicely on the leash and is happy to stop along the way for more cuddling and doggy kisses. She also enjoys bounding into tall grasses and rolling around on her back. When we were in the Enrichment Park, all Pinky wanted to do was stay close to me and get more pets. She wiggles happily and turns her head around to lick your hands while you scratch her sides. If you’re interested in giving Pinky the special home she needs, be sure to stop by the shelter soon to meet her!

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Pinky showing off her spots in the sunshine

And remember that we have many dogs in foster homes right now, so not all dogs available for adoption are on-site at the shelter. Please see the full list of adoptable dogs on the Orphans of the Storm® website, and the “Location” field on each dog’s page will say whether they are at the shelter or in a foster home.

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

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

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

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

Orphans of the Storm Success Story: Nico 1

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

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

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

Orphans of the Storm Success Story: Nico 1

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

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

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

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

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

Success Story: Westley Preston 2

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

Success Story: Westley Preston 4

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

Success Story: Westley Preston 3

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

Success Story: Westley Preston 1

Westley and Preston at their first meeting at the shelter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Orphans of the Storm Success Story: Courage 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Clara was in love with this snake toy

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

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

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

Orphans of the Storm Dogs: Cleo PBT 1

Cleo is too adorable

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

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Endor being a good walking buddy

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

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Endor would enjoy a yard to call his own

I also saw Bison.