An Orphans of the Storm® Dog Success Story

If you want to read about an incredibly successful dog adoption, check out Max A. Pooch’s website! Max was adopted from Orphans of the Storm® and has gone on to do great things. Think about the potential that ALL of the shelter’s dogs have. Even if they don’t start a recycling program like Max A. Pooch, they can still brighten up your home and be a wonderful friend!

Again, if you have your own Orphans of the Storm® adoption success story, please share it with the rest of us via a comment on any of the posts. We’d all love to hear about what these lucky dogs are doing now.

Who’s a Good Dog? Orphans of the Storm®’s Dogs are Good Dogs!

Today was another visit with some of Orphans of the Storm®’s long-timers. The dogs I spent time with today have each been at the shelter for over a year and are ready for a real home. Luckily, I remembered to bring my camera (finally) so you can see more of these lovable pooches.

First on my list was Billy, a six-year-old Pointer mix. Don’t let that gray fur on his face fool you! He absolutely loves to run and play. Billy and I sprinted to the grassy run and I took him off his leash so he could explore all he wanted. After rustling around inside the bushes at the far end of the run, Billy emerged with a tennis ball in his mouth. He is a big fan of playing fetch, and isn’t at all possessive of the tennis ball. He’s even spry enough to jump up and catch the tennis ball in midair!

Billy ready and waiting to play fetch

Billy enjoying the beautiful autumn day

Billy is also an extremely intelligent dog. In all of his doggy years, he has learned that treats tend to appear from inside pockets. Every time I reached for my pocket to either get my camera or put it away, he expectantly sat down right in front of me and nosed my pocket. I wished I had a treat to give him, because he was so good at it.

Billy exploring the run

A look at Wizard's face

Next was Wizard, a three-year-old Shepherd/Shar Pei mix. He is a little chubby, but enjoys going on walks and does well on a leash. Don’t expect to walk too briskly, though, because Wizard likes to sniff everything. It was hard to get a picture of his precious face because he almost always had his nose to the ground.

Wizard's round tummy and curly tail

Wizard also seems to be a little on the ticklish side, which I personally think is an endearing trait. After scratching his velvety ears, I started to scratch his back. As I moved towards his tail, one of his back legs started kicking. It was adorable.

Wizard's nose to the ground

Molly stretching her legs in a lap around the run

The last dog for me today was Molly, a three-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier mix. Molly was the best leash-walker of the three and was happy to walk just slightly ahead of me without pulling as we made our way to the run. Her light brown eyes match her tan markings and give her a very unique look – a look that anyone can love.

Molly liked to nibble grass

Molly is a giant sweetheart. She enjoyed sitting next to me as I gave her a good pat, and she would occasionally give me some slobbery doggy kisses. She even attempted to climb up onto my lap so she could reach my face better. If you want to make her extra happy (which everyone should, because she deserves it), you should scratch the right side of her neck. She’ll lean into your hand and pant cheerfully.

Molly sniffing in the bushes

On your next visit to Orphans of the Storm®, make sure to stop by and say hello to these three adoptable pooches!

Happy News and Weekend Events for Our Pooches


HURRAY for Howser (profiled in an earlier post) because this lucky dog has been ADOPTED!!! My goal is to be able to say that about ALL the dogs I write about. Help make it happen!


October is “Adopt a Shelter Dog Month” so Orphans of the Storm® has several events this weekend. Come out, enjoy the beautiful autumn weather, and meet some great dogs!

  • Saturday, October 22nd, 10am-4pm — Open House at Animal Medical Center of Skokie (8343 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie, IL 60077) — Meet adoptable dogs and cats, tour the facility, eat some yummy grilled food, and go home with a goody bag.
  • Saturday, October 22nd, 9am-12pm — Make a Difference Day (Indian Hill Train Station parking lot, corner of Green Bay Road and Winnetka Avenue, Winnetka, IL 60093) — Donate items and supplies to help needy families and animals. Visit for more information.
  • Sunday, October 23rd, 11am-3:30pm — Didier Farms’ Pumpkin Festival (corner of Aptakisic and Buffalo Grove Roads, Buffalo Grove, IL 60089) — Meet more amazing dogs and cute kittens at the Orphans of the Storm® tent, and pick out your last-minute pumpkin while you’re at it.


If you have an adoption success story (i.e. you adopted the best dog ever) from your experience with Orphans of the Storm®, please feel free to leave a comment so others can read about it and be even more inspired to adopt!

Meeting More Pooches

During my first afternoon at Orphans of the Storm®, I scouted out the other long-timers that I wanted to visit with so I would know exactly where to go next time. One dog that caught my attention was Lex, a seven-year-old Rottweiler mix, because he was very sweet when I stopped by his kennel. So, when I returned to the shelter this time, I asked to take Lex out.

He is a strong boy! Not surprising, considering Rottweilers are one of the sturdier breeds, but it’s good to know beforehand so you aren’t taken by surprise. It’s also important to keep in mind that every dog you take out will be extra excited at first. Lex led us to our run, and I followed him around as he sniffed at the grass, bench, fence, and bushes. After releasing some energy, he walked extremely well on a leash and responded to my calls of, “This way, Lex!”


His face is extremely attentive (and also extremely cute), and his ears perk up when he hears a potentially interesting sound, which causes his forehead to wrinkle in an adorable way. When I started to give his back legs a good scratch, he leaned in towards me so I could continue. He sat (briefly) when I asked him to, but I can’t blame him for getting up so quickly since there were so many new smells for him to explore.

Lex has been at the shelter since 2006, far too long for such a good dog. Stop by the shelter and get to know him yourself!

Next on my list was Emerald, another dog who has been at Orphans of the Storm® since 2006. Emerald arrived with a litter of puppies, all of whom were adopted very quickly, but poor Emerald was left behind. She is an enthusiastic eight-year-old Labrador/Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix who loves to run and jump like a puppy. Like Lex, she led us straight to the run and was thrilled to be out.


I let her roam around the run for a few minutes before calling her over. When I did, she came barreling towards me with a big doggy grin and gently jumped up to give me a hug. She allowed me to place her back on the ground very easily, and I squatted down to her level. That still wasn’t close enough for her, because she attempted to climb into my lap before realizing she was too big. She then decided to place her front paws on my arms so we were eye-to-eye. I learned that this is how she prefers to receive her belly rubs: standing up on her back legs while resting her front paws on you, so you can then reach down and rub her belly.

Emerald would explore the run for a few minutes, run back to me with a wagging tail for another belly rub, and repeat. She also enjoys being scratched under her chin (which does, at times, have some doggy drool on it). Although she doesn’t come across as dog who likes to give kisses, she does love to be face-to-face. In Emerald’s opinion, the closer the better.

Emerald deserves a loving home, just like all of her puppies. Will it be with you?

My First Afternoon with the Pooches

There are over 100 dogs available for adoption at Orphans of the Storm®. If you’re a dog person, it’s difficult to walk through the kennels and not think to yourself, “I want to take somebody (or multiple somebodies) home!” Orphans of the Storm® has three wings of kennels, all of which I walked through on my quest to find the long-timers.

Most kids want a puppy. A lot of adults want puppies, too. Who can blame them? Puppies are small, cute, and cuddly. I am a puppy enthusiast myself. If you haven’t watched “Too Cute! Puppies” on Animal Planet yet, be prepared to spend an hour saying, “Aww!” every few seconds.

Every dog deserves a good home, though. This includes older dogs and dogs that have spent more than their fair share of time at a shelter. Adopting an older dog is a win-win situation for everyone involved: you get a wonderful pet without the pressures of a (approximately) 15-year commitment, and the dog gets a wonderful home to enjoy his or her golden years.

Shamrock is one of Orphans of the Storm®’s long-timers. This beautiful brindle-and-white American Staffordshire Terrier has been at the shelter since 2006 – and she’s only six years old. Shamrock was one of the first dogs to greet me when I walked into her wing; most of the other dogs were preoccupied with what some of the employees were doing outside. Shamrock came up to the front of her kennel as I approached and sniffed my hand when I held it up to her. She didn’t bark to grab my attention, like some other dogs attempted to do. I said hello to the rest of the dogs in her wing and then returned to the front of her cage. She had gone outside, so I knelt down and called, “Shamrock!” so I could see her again. She trotted over to me and it was decided that I would take her to one of the fenced-in runs so we could spend some more time together.


Someone helped me get a collar and leash for her, and I was shown the proper way to enter her kennel so she couldn’t accidentally run out. She was very excited by the presence of the leash, barely taking her eyes off it, and didn’t mind at all when I had to reach over and around her head to put the collar on.

Orphans of the Storm® emphasizes that visitors should give the dogs a few minutes to calm down after they are first put on a leash and taken out. This absolutely makes sense. Wouldn’t you be excited and running every which way if you were suddenly released from a kennel? Shamrock pulled me in the direction of the runs, sniffing at tufts of grass and bushes as we went. I closed the gate behind us and followed her around the run, where the leash-pulling stopped. She was already calming down. After exploring together for a few moments, I let her off the leash so she could roam where she wanted and we could get better acquainted.

Some dogs have certain places where they do and don’t like to be pet. Shamrock doesn’t seem to have a preference, and enjoys whatever contact you have with her equally. I, on the other hand, preferred scratching the top of her head, right between her half-perked ears, because her fur is so velvety soft there.

Shamrock also has no issues initiating contact herself. While I was sitting on one of the benches, she kept going back and forth under my legs as she sniffed what was around us.

When it was time to return to her kennel, Shamrock again had no problems with me putting the collar over her head. She didn’t pull on the leash nearly as much, but walked just a little ways ahead of me. She knew where to go.

After Shamrock and I parted ways, I went to another wing of kennels to say hello to Ebbie, one of the older dogs at the shelter. It was too late in the afternoon for me to take her out to the run, but I had heard good things about her and was eager to see her.

It’s impossible to not immediately fall in love with Ebbie. It’s obvious that this ten-year-old Shepherd mix is a sweetheart. Since she’s getting up there in years and her joints are a little more sensitive than the other dogs’, she has a doggie bed in her kennel, which she was curled up on when I stopped by. We looked into each other’s big brown eyes for a few moments before she decided I was worthy enough to get up for. She sniffed my hand and then pushed her side up against the cage so I could pet her easily. Then she made a half-circle so I could pet her other side.


Some of the other dogs in her wing started barking, and I looked around to see what they were barking at. It turned out they were all looking straight at me. Note to future visitors: Say hello to all the pooches when you first come in, or they get a little jealous.

The Pooches at Didier Farm

Excited yelps of, “Mom, look at the doggies!” filled the air as I approached the Orphans of the Storm® tent at Didier Farm’s Pumpkinfest in Buffalo Grove. Four dogs, three kittens, and a handful of volunteers were there to bring some publicity to the shelter and hopefully encourage some adoptions. Although you aren’t able to adopt at this off-site event, you can always visit the shelter the next day to get better acquainted with your pooch and bring him home.

The first dog I met was Tulip, a six-year-old Beagle/Shepherd mix. The volunteer at the other end of the leash told me that Tulip is a sweet, calm dog who loves to go for walks. Tulip is currently on a diet because she’s a little rotund, so a healthy home with some good walkers would be a nice fit. If you don’t want a dog that will jump all over you and lick your face at every available chance, Tulip is the right dog for you. All she wants is good companionship; she’ll be happy to lie down at your feet as you read a book or watch TV.

Next was Eddie, the Mountain Cur who will be turning one year old in just a few weeks. Eddie is currently in a foster home because he arrived at the shelter in May with a broken foot and needed some extra TLC. He’s all healed now, thankfully! This guy is still in his puppy phase and enjoys nibbling on his leash, but the breed is known to be easily trainable. He already knows a few commands and was pleased to show off how to “sit” for those saying hello to him.

Howser is an eight-year-old Pointer mix who was very popular with visitors to the tent because of his calm demeanor. When I knelt down to say hello, he put his nose right up to mine and was happy to have his head scratched. He and Eddie were both proudly sporting donation vests, where people could put money to help the shelter, and Howser’s vest was pretty full when I saw him. He is a very good walker on a leash and is looking for a caring home with people who will love him and his sweet personality.

The smallest, most rambunctious dog at the event was Pickles, a three-year-old Yorkie mix. Pickles wanted to say hello to anyone and everyone, including his doggy friends from the shelter, and is certainly not shy. When I got down to his level, he jumped right into my lap in an attempt to lick my face. His fur is extra soft and he has an adorable little face. Pickles is relatively new to Orphans of the Storm® and hopes to find a permanent cuddle buddy soon.

To meet these dogs, and the rest of the great dogs available for adoption, please visit Orphans of the Storm® any day of the week!

Orphans of the Storm® wishlist!

Not ready to adopt a dog (or cat) yet, but still want to help the animals at Orphans of the Storm®? Here is the shelter’s wishlist!

For dogs:

  • Food (canned and dry: Pedigree, Cesar, Mighty Dog, Beneful Prepared)
  • Orthopedic beds (for older dogs)
  • Chew bones, treats, and balls
  • Combs, brushes, and leashes

For cats:

  • Food (ProPlan, Friskies Buffet, Little Sheba, Fancy Feast, Science Diet, Iams)
  • Orthopedic beds (for older cats)
  • Cat trees, toys, and treats
  • Combs and brushes

You can also visit their website to find out more ways to help.

Come and meet Orphans of the Storm®’s pooches this week!

Orphans of the Storm® Animal Shelter is hosting some fun fall events in the Chicagoland area this upcoming week.

Meet the pooches (and kitties) of Orphans of the Storm® and “adopt a friend for life” at Didier Farm Pumpkin Festival in Buffalo Grove this Sunday, October 9 and Monday, October 10, from 11am-3pm.

Also on Monday, October 10, from 10am-12pm, Kohl Children’s Museum in Glenview will be hosting a Meet and Greet with some of Orphans of the Storm®’s animals. Come find a new friend!

On Tuesday, October 11, there will be an Allstate Pet Adoption Fair from 11am-1pm, featuring adorable adoptables from Orphans of the Storm®. And, while we’re mentioning Allstate, check out this article from the Chicago Tribune to learn about the Allstate Foundation Grant of $1000 that was just presented to Orphans of the Storm®. Thank you, Allstate!

If you can’t make it to any of the off-site events this week, remember that you can stop by the shelter (2200 Riverwoods Road in Riverwoods) every day of the week from 11am-5pm.

Check in again soon to read about my first afternoon meeting the pooches at the shelter.