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.

48 responses »

  1. […] was the first dog I spent time with on my first visit to Orphans of the Storm®, so of course I feel a special attachment to her. She’s a beautiful […]

  2. […] Staffordshire Terrier mix is the very first dog I took out! You can read that first post here. Shamrock is one of the better-behaved dogs when she’s inside her kennel. She doesn’t […]

  3. […] is Ebbie the ten-year-old Shepherd mix. Although I’ve written about Ebbie before (from my first visit to the shelter!), this was actually my first time walking her. Ebbie is Orphans of the […]

  4. […] the fenced-in yard, spent some time cuddling with Frankie and Bailey, and took walks with Bebe and Shamrock. So many great pooches in just one short […]

  5. […] also said hello to Rock, Ebbie, Molly and Reebok, and Wilbur and Roscoe. So many […]

  6. […] walked plenty of other old friends while I was at the shelter this week: Ebbie, Molly, Winter, Bailey, Frankie, Wilbur, Roscoe, Harley, and Tilly! […]

  7. […] (who has the sweetest eyes), Molly (who would much rather snuggle than go back in her kennel), and Ebbie (who is far too nice to have spent so long at the […]

  8. […] have an anniversary to celebrate: It has been exactly two years since My First Afternoon with the Pooches! In that time, 301 dogs have been profiled and 231 of those dogs have been adopted (plus countless […]

  9. […] also spent some time with Diamond (who I had forgotten was such a snuggler!), Ebbie (who doesn’t need a whole lot of exercise at her age but still appreciates a nice walk), […]

  10. […] also spent some time with Ebbie, Corky (who knows his commands–I didn’t even realize!), Keini, Lady, Bella, Midnight, […]

  11. […] also spent time with Ebbie, Corky, Wilbur (who was incredibly well-behaved while I gave him a good brushing), Frankie, Tilly, […]

  12. […] and more each time I walk her), Harley (who is so sweet–why is he still at the shelter?), Ebbie, Sebastian (who snuggled into my lap as soon as I knelt beside him), Winter, Rock, and Frankie (who […]

  13. […] other dogs who enjoyed the snow on this chilly day were Wilbur, Rosco, Jade, Ebbie, Keini, Molly, and Trixie (who loves to catch and eat snowballs in place of her favorite tennis […]

  14. […] also spent time with my buddies Wilbur, Rosco, Keini, and Shamrock (who is extra-special to me because she was the very first dog I walked at Orphans of the […]

  15. […] Some other pooches who enjoyed the snow this week were Wilbur, Rosco, Jade, Keini, Winter, Trixie, Akiva, Lucky, Corky, Topaz, and Ebbie. […]

  16. […] looking for love this February are Molly (who is happy to hang out in the yard, winter or summer), Ebbie (who is looking for a nice, quiet place to enjoy her golden years), Akiva (who was built for a […]

  17. […] also gave Ebbie (who is just the sweetest and gentlest) and Shasta (who has really started to come out of her shell […]

  18. […] Shamrock, as you may recall, was the first dog I ever walked at Orphans of the Storm®. She may not like other dogs very much, but she certainly loves people! Shamrock is an eight-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier who has been waiting patiently (and I do mean patiently–Shamrock never barks or jumps around inside her kennel) for the right person to find her. […]

  19. […] also saw my furry friends Ebbie, Emerald, Honey Lamb, Javan, Molly (who is still the best fetch-player at the shelter, by far), and […]

  20. Beth Reiter says:

    I wish we had room in our home for Ebbie. We adopted Penny from Orphans several years ago as a senior and she was such a great dog! We finally had to euthanize her last year, but the time we had with her was priceless! We adopted Christy the beagle (now Emma) at the same time and she’s still doing great – she was a senior when we adopted her 4 years ago and a swear she hasn’t aged a day since.
    I wish more people would give senior dogs a chance – sure, you don’t get as much time with them, but that means you get to share your life with even more wonderful dogs.

    • So true! I’m glad you were able to give two senior dogs a second chance at a happy home. Ebbie has waited far too long at the shelter, but I know there must be someone out there for her! She really is a sweet girl. Another volunteer and I take her out every weekend so she can stretch her legs in one of the fenced-in yards. She is so easy to walk!
      Thank you for reading and sharing your story! If you ever want to share more about your Orphans adoption experience, you’re welcome to email and I can post your story (and any cute pictures you may have) on our Success Stories page. I know the staff and the other volunteers always like to hear how the pooches are doing in their “furever” homes.

  21. […] also saw Emerald, Ebbie, Wilbur, Bella, Dezzie, Diamond, Javan, Molly, the other Molly, Rock, and Winter! A great group of […]

  22. […] and wants to prove how good she is), Rosco (who loves to get his hips scratched) and Wilbur, Rusty, Shamrock, and Tom-Tom (who is also a good doggy-hug […]

  23. […] also saw plenty of my favorites, like Archie, Dezzie, Emerald, Hutch, Lady, Lucky, Mister, Shamrock, Tiger, Tom-Tom, Wilbur, and […]

  24. […] also saw some of my favorite seniors Archie, Ebbie, and Emerald, and two of my favorite active buddies Molly and Rock (who, like Zeus, is back from […]

  25. […] as “little,” but that just means there’s more of them to love!: Cody, Daisy, Ebbie, Honey Lamb, Rock, Ryla, Scotty, Shasta, and […]

  26. […] also saw my buddies Ebbie, Lucy (who loves to give doggy hugs), Molly (who continues to impress everyone with her fetching […]

  27. […] also saw my buddies Corky, Daisy, Diesel, Shamrock, Shasta, Wilbur, and […]

  28. […] also saw my furry friends Benny, Blush, Colby, Corky, Ebbie, Janet, Ryla, Tom-Tom, and […]

  29. […] Ebbie the thirteen-year-old Shepherd mix is currently Orphans of the Storm®’s longest resident. In fact, when she first arrived at Orphans of the Storm®, she wasn’t even a senior! I walk Ebbie almost every week now, and she is such a sweetie. Her legs are a little stiff, but she still enjoys spending time outside and sniffing around in the grass. She doesn’t need long walks, just a little bit of fresh air. Mostly she would enjoy having a comfy bed and a loving companion. […]

  30. […] also saw my furry friends Bueller, Ebbie, Mr. Big (who is doing so much better with his leash-walking now!), Screamer (who is still a total […]

  31. […] (who is another great snuggler), Bueller (who will look at you with the most loving eyes ever), Ebbie (who is just so gentle), Harley (who gets along great with kids), Lucy (who is a pro at giving […]

  32. […] also saw Abby, Clint, Dezzie, Diamond, Diesel, Ebbie, Rocky, Rosco, Shamrock, Shard, Sweet Pea, Tom-Tom, Topaz, and […]

  33. […] also saw my furry friends Ares, Corky, Daisy (who gets along well with other dogs), Ebbie, Javan (who is such a good boy–I have no idea why he keeps getting passed over!), Luciano […]

  34. […] Shamrock the eight-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier is, as you may know, the first dog I ever walked at Orphans of the Storm®–so, of course, she holds a very special place in my heart. She has been at the shelter for over six years now, which is far too much time. Shamrock may not get along with other dogs, but she certainly gets along great with people! Shamrock has a beautiful brindle coat and warm, expressive eyes. She’s a good walking buddy and just wants to be someone’s companion and have a home to call her own. If you don’t mind having just one dog in your house at a time, let Shamrock show you that one dog can give you as much love as you could ever want. […]

  35. […] Corky, Courage (who is convinced that she’s a lapdog), Daisy (who is so easy-going), Dezzie, Ebbie, Luciano, Lucky, Lucy, Mack (as promised last week–he comes when called if you have a treat, […]

  36. […] also saw Baylor, Corky, Daka, Javan, Lucy, Ranger, Rocky, Rosco, Shamrock, Shasta, Shogun, Sweet Pea, Topaz, and […]

  37. […] also saw Corky, Ebbie, Javan, Lucky, Ranger, Rocky, Rosco, Scotty, Shogun, and […]

  38. […] also saw CK, Ebbie, Gus, Honey Lamb, Lucky, Ranger, Scotty, Tom-Tom, and […]

  39. […] gives great doggy hugs and is so affectionate), Corky (who knows his basic commands very well), and Ebbie (who has spent far too long at the shelter and just hopes for a home for the […]

  40. […] with doggy toys), Courage (who is absolutely convinced she is a lapdog, despite her large size), Ebbie (who wants nothing more than a warm bed in a loving home), Rock (who got fully trained when he went […]

  41. […] also saw Bella, Blush, Corky, Courage, Diamond, Ebbie, Lady, Lucky, and […]

  42. […] also saw Cinder, Ebbie, Skipper, Tom-Tom, Trixie, Winter, and Zha […]

  43. […] Ebbie the fifteen-year-old Shepherd mix is Orphans of the Storm®’s longest long-timer. At this stage in her life, all Ebbie is looking for is a nice, comfortable home where she can relax and be loved. She doesn’t need long walks or lots of activity, just a family that will take good care of her. […]

  44. […] Gus, Javan, Rock (who, lest you forget, went to doggy boot camp and knows plenty of commands), Shamrock, Trixie, and […]

  45. […] also saw Bear, Cooper, Daisy, Ebbie, Hachi, O’Shea, Precious, Rock, Trixie, Tulip, and […]

  46. […] I also saw Bear, Blush, Jasmine, Lady, and Shamrock. […]

  47. […] have to give a special hurray to Shamrock, who was actually adopted the day before Clear the Shelters. Shamrock was not only the […]

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