Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Too Cute to Pass Up

What a wonderful day at the shelter! I got to spend time with some amazing dogs and I hope that visitors to Orphans of the Storm® find them just as amazing as I do.

Diamond is a five-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier mix (not to be confused with the other Diamond, a two-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix—apparently Diamond is a popular name). This poor girl has had some bad luck: her original family’s home had a fire, and they had to give Diamond away when they moved. This means she has many years of experience as a family pet, though, and loves people.

Diamond American Staffordshire Terrier 1

Diamond exploring

Diamond likes to use her front paws to move around the very top layer of dirt, probably to unearth some new, exciting smells. She crawled under the bench inside the run and did a little scratching and sniffing in the hole that’s already there. Her cute face stuck out from under the bench and she looked at me for a moment, then turned in a half-circle and had her wagging tail sticking out from underneath instead while she continued to sniff.

Diamond American Staffordshire Terrier 2

See why she's called Diamond?

When I sat down on the bench, she hopped right up and stood next to me while I gave her shoulders and neck a nice rub. She almost sounded like she was purring! She enjoyed the attention and didn’t jump down from the bench until I stopped petting her.

Diamond American Staffordshire Terrier 3

Diamond's adorable face

Chewy the eight-year-old black Labrador Retriever mix is my new absolute favorite. (I don’t know if I should really have a favorite, but I can’t help myself.) When I asked if I could take him out, one of the staff members said, “Only if you think you can handle him.” This turned out to be a joke, because Chewy is one of the gentlest dogs I have ever met. He is a very big boy, but he did not pull on the leash once while we took our walk. All I had to say was, “Here, Chewy,” and he would go in whatever direction I wanted.

Chewy Black Labrador Retriever 1

My favorite Chewy

In standard Lab form, Chewy stayed close to me, even when he was off-leash inside the run. He walked over to me when I sat down on the bench and put his head in my lap so I could pet him. He seemed to prefer walking, though, so after just a few minutes inside the run I put the leash back on and we took a stroll.

Chewy Black Labrador Retriever 2

Chewy the gentle giant

Since Chewy is an older dog, he didn’t need to go on too long of a walk. We did one lap around the property and I was ready to go for a second lap, but he sat down on the sidewalk and I got the hint. He knew exactly which kennel was his when I took him back and went inside with ease. He gave my hand a final sniff and wagged his tail. This sweet and gentle giant deserves the most loving home to live out his golden years.

Chewy Black Labrador Retriever 3

Chewy being a loyal Lab

When you visit Orphans of the Storm®, you’ll find two cuties sharing a kennel: Duvall the Jack Russell Terrier mix and Izzy the Dachshund mix. They are both older dogs (Duvall is seven and Izzy is nine) and they are both completely precious.

Izzy Dachshund and Duvall Jack Russell Terrier Australian Cattle Dog

Izzy and Duvall at attention

The two of them can be a little shy around strangers so one of the staff members accompanied the three of us out to the run, but Duvall came up to me and sniffed my shoes as a hello when he first got out of his kennel.

Duvall Jack Russell Terrier Australian Cattle Dog

Duvall's perky face

Duvall is one of the staff favorites, and it’s easy to see why. Even though he’s a bit older, he still has lots of energy (as Jack Russell Terriers are known to have) and he is a very smart boy. He is apparently also mixed with Australian Cattle Dog, which you can tell from the markings on his fur, and sometimes likes to be more in control. (It’s what herding dogs were bred to do.)

Izzy Dachshund 2

Izzy being a hound

Izzy is a close second when it comes to my favorites (again, I couldn’t help myself). He can take a while to warm up to people, but when I knelt down to his level he came trotting over and let me pet his back for a while. His ears look almost too big for his little face, but that makes him even cuter. Izzy has been at the shelter for a few years now, which is incredibly bewildering to me. Give him a chance to get to know you, and you’ll both fall in love.

Izzy Dachshund 1

Izzy, his little legs, and his waggy tail

Orphans of the Storm® Black Cat and Dog Friday

Are you a fan of Black Friday? Come to Orphans of the Storm® and meet some lovable black cats and dogs. These black cats won’t be unlucky after they find their new forever home. There are some wonderful black dogs as well, like Scratch, Lex, Forest, and many more! Orphans of the Storm®’s website makes it easy to browse adoptable dogs and cats by color. Or, visit the shelter and see who grabs your eye and steals your heart!

Superstitions, shmuperstitions. Find your new best friend at Orphans of the Storm® today!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Hopeful for a Home

A heartwarming scene greeted me when I arrived at Orphans of the Storm® this week: a woman was standing at the front desk, filling out the necessary paperwork to adopt the adorable fluffball at the other end of the leash she was holding. It was obvious that the dog knew something good had just happened to him. When his new mommy started to say her goodbyes (because she wasn’t bringing him home until next week), the fluffball rolled over onto his back for a belly rub. I haven’t seen a happier doggy face in a long time. This is something I would love to see every time I visit the shelter, and something that I hope happens to the three dogs I met with this week.

Corky is a lovable four-year-old Hound/Shepherd mix. He was very interested in covering my whole face in doggy kisses, and put his front paws on my lap while I was sitting on the bench in order to reach.

Corky Hound/Shepherd 1

Corky sniffing

To give him some exercise, I tossed the tennis ball across the run. Corky went running after it and dropped the ball a few feet away from me—so he has a general idea of what fetch is. We did this a few times, and then Corky became more interested in sniffing around the bushes.

Corky Hound/Shepherd 2

Corky looking at me

Corky is also a fan of doggy hugs. He ran up to me, put his front paws up on my stomach, and stood on his two back feet quite happily while I scratched his neck and ears. We did this several times during our time together.

Corky Hound/Shepherd 3

Corky coming to say hi

Piper, a five-year-old Shepherd mix, reminded me more of a polar bear than anything else—an adorable polar bear. Piper is a very calm dog, and even though he’s a bigger guy, he doesn’t pull on the leash with too much strength (except for when I was trying to get him back inside his kennel, but that’s understandable).

Piper Shepherd 1

Piper enjoying the grass

Piper enjoyed investigating underneath the bushes, and could spend many moments sniffing the same blade of grass. He was so focused, I didn’t want to interrupt him. I couldn’t resist scratching his ears, though. They were too cute to stay away from.

Piper Shepherd 2

Piper avoiding the camera

Unfortunately, he’s a little bit camera shy, so I couldn’t get a good picture of his precious face. You’ll just have to visit the shelter and see him for yourself!

Piper Shepherd 3

Piper still sniffing

Peggy has been on my list for a while, because when you walk by her kennel and stop to say hello, she enthusiastically licks your hand. This three-year-old Hound/Pit Bull Terrier mix has been at Orphans of the Storm® since she was four months old, and would love the chance to make a family very happy.

Peggy Hound/Pit Bull 1

Peggy running around the run

Since Peggy has been at the shelter since puppyhood, she will need some training. She learns fast, though. While we were inside the run, she was getting excited and started jumping up on me. Thanks to Animal Planet’s “It’s Me or the Dog”, I tried the technique of simply turning my back to her. After just two more jumps, she stopped and kept her four paws on the ground. I praised her excessively for her smarts and good behavior.

Peggy Hound/Pit Bull 2

Peggy's eager face

Peggy, like Corky, has a general idea of what it means to “play fetch.” I would throw the ball, Peggy would chase after it, and then she would do a lap around the run with the ball still in her mouth. Then she brought it back to me. There’s nothing wrong with getting extra exercise, though.



Give these three pooches a chance and see how happy they can make you, and how happy you can make them!

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Tug at Your Heartstrings (And Your Leash)

Rocco the five-year-old hound dog immediately made me think of Disney’s “The Fox and the Hound.” Since that’s one of my favorites, I had to take him out and get to know him. I don’t know what Rocco looked like as a puppy, but with his adult face as adorable as it is, I’m sure he was even cuter than Copper from the movie.

Rocco Hound 1

Rocco following his nose



Being a hound, Rocco has that unique baying bark. Not too loud, and a little raspy – not at all jarring like some other barks can be. He used this bark to let me know when other dogs and volunteers were approaching the run, but funnily enough didn’t seem too interested in the birds that were hopping around by the water dish.

Rocco Hound 2

Rocco saying hello











While I was sitting on the bench inside the run, Rocco came up to me and put his nose right in my face. With those eyes, it seemed like he was really looking at me. I reached up to pet his droopy, velvety ears, and we had a very nice time together.

Rocco Hound 3

Rocco romping




Since he’s a big dog who needs exercise, I tried to engage him in a game of fetch. He was very interested in the tennis ball, but didn’t necessarily understand the concept that he had to bring it back to me so I could throw it again. That turned out to not be a problem, though, because Rocco is very skilled at playing fetch with himself. He would take the ball in his mouth, throw his head back, and chase the ball after it went flying. Watching this made me laugh.



Forest Husky 3

Forest's attentive face

Forest is one of the prettiest dogs at the shelter, along with the other husky mixes. This nine-year-old has many years of experience as a family pet, and also seems to have a lot of experience going for car rides. At every car we passed in the parking lot, he would stop by one of the doors. I sadly had to inform him that we weren’t going to be riding in any Mustangs today.






Forest Husky 1

Forest in the run

Forest isn’t only nice to look at; he’s also very nice to pet. His coat is one of the fluffiest I’ve ever felt, which I’m sure comes in handy when the weather gets colder. Forest loves getting his hips and back legs scratched. He does a little dance until he gets your hand in the perfect position, and then leans into you so you know you’re doing a good job.

Forest Husky 2

Beautiful Forest










While inside the run, Forest found a small treat that had been dropped earlier. Rather than inhaling it, like most dogs I know would, he sniffed it, put it in his mouth, spit it back out, and sniffed it again. He did this a few times. When I went closer to investigate, it almost seemed like he was very carefully biting off the outer part of the treat and leaving the center. Or it could have been a coincidence. Either way, he’s a careful eater.

Stitch is a six-year-old Shepherd mix who has lots of energy, but is happy to settle down and enjoy some cuddle time. Since Stitch can be a bit of an acrobat (high fences are a good idea for this guy), we took a walk around the property instead of spending time in the run.

Stitch Shepherd 1

Stitch on our walk

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Stitch enjoying the outdoors











I let him lead the way along the sidewalks and through the grass. After we covered most of the property, we had some down time. I knelt down to his level and pet his back, letting him know that he is indeed a good dog. He enjoyed the attention and barely moved a muscle while I was petting him.

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Stitch in the setting sun





He has warm brown eyes and cute, half-perked ears that sometimes cause his forehead to wrinkle. Stitch will do great in a home with people who like to run and play—he just wants to have a good time and be loved.

Orphans of the Storm® Office Dogs and Friends

First up today were some of the “office dogs”, Chihuahuas and other smaller dogs who live in individual cages next to the main entrance instead of in the big wings with the big dogs. Even little legs need exercise, so I took three of these dogs for walks around the property.

Mink and Puggie Chihuahuas

Mink and Puggie on our walk







Mink and Puggie work well enough together that I could take them both out simultaneously. Mink is incredibly precious and very friendly; when he was let out of his cage, he came right up to me and put his front paws on my leg so I could reach down and scratch his ears. He is a one-year-old Chihuahua mix. Puggie, despite his name, is also a Chihuahua mix, but seven years old. He takes a little longer to warm up to new people, but wagged his tail when he saw a regular worker approach.

Mink Chihuahua

Mink the cutie


Puggie at attention





They both did well on a leash, although they could be a little stubborn about which direction to walk in (which was especially challenging when they wanted to walk in opposite directions). To get them going in the same direction, I would start to run and they would follow enthusiastically.

Mink and Puggie Chihuahuas 2

On our way back inside








Missy, a four-year-old Chihuahua mix, is extremely shy but sweet. I was instructed to pick her up and carry her out to the grassy area because she wasn’t too excited to walk past the other dogs who were in the outside portion of their kennels. She had no problems with being picked up by a stranger, and even put her nose towards mine as I carried her.

Missy Chihuahua

Missy exploring

Missy Chihuahua, 2

Silly Missy
















Once in the grass and out of sight of the other dogs, Missy scampered around and sniffed the ground, although she did mainly keep her tail between her legs. A patient, understanding, and loving owner would do wonders for her and help her come out of her shell. She’s a sweetie!

Scratch was quite a difference, after spending time with the Chihuahuas. Scratch is a five-year-old Labrador Retriever mix, and true to his Lab-y nature, he was stuck to my side from the beginning. What a loyal walking companion! I didn’t have to say a word and he was walking right next to me, his side touching my leg.

Scratch Labrador Retriever

Scratch bounding towards me










When we arrived at the run, Scratch ran around and sniffed for just a minute or two before running back to me. I knelt down and scratched his head, ears, and back. When I stopped, he looked at me and whined, like, “What did you stop for? I was enjoying that!” So, of course, I kept petting him.

Scratch Labrador Retriever, 2

Scratch smiling for the camera










He is a beautiful dog, with a white splotch on his chest and some white toes. With so much love and loyalty to give, he would be a wonderful addition to any home.

I ended my visit with Felicia, a ten-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix. She is incredibly affectionate with people and such a pretty dog, with her unique brindle coat. I was amazed by how soft her fur is.

Felicia Pit Bull Terrier

Felicia on her walk

Felicia Pit Bull Terrier 2

Felicia sniffing






Whenever Felicia got the chance, she would lick my face happily. At one point on our walk around the property, I sat down on a bench. She put her front paws in my lap and gave my chin multiple kisses. She has nine years of experience as a loving pet, and is looking forward to finding a new family to spend her golden years with.

Felicia in the snow

A look at Felicia's pretty face








Do any of these dogs sound like a good fit for you and your family? Visit Orphans of the Storm® to get to know them even better!

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs in Action

Still photos are cute and all, but videos are even better. The three dogs I met with at the shelter this week got to star in their own mini-movies and seemed to enjoy being in the spotlight.

Goldie 1

Goldie sniffing around the run

Goldie is a beautiful six-year-old Shepherd mix. She looks a little bit like a fox (in my opinion) and is just as clever. Like Billy, she knows that treats come from pockets and would get very excited any time I reached for mine. Also, while sniffing around the bench inside the run, Goldie crawled underneath and found herself a bit of doggy treat that had been abandoned by another dog. Very appropriate for Halloween.

She has big, perked ears that fold back against her head when she’s getting a good pat. Goldie’s another dog who gets a little tickly when scratched by her hips. She liked walking under my legs while I sat on the bench, and when I knelt down to her level she was happy to stick her nose in my face to say hello. Although Goldie is part Shepherd, she’s a very manageable size. As another person looking for a dog at the shelter said (which you might be able to hear in the video), Goldie is a pretty girl.

Goldie 2

Goldie with her big ears perked

Dina 1

Dina exploring the run

A volunteer I met at the shelter last week requested that I write about Dina, a seven-year-old American Pit Bull Terrier mix. She’s a big, sweet girl who liked to do lots of sniffing around the run. Dina loves a good back scratch, and will lean with all of her weight against you so she can get as good a scratch as possible. Dina was the first dog to jump up next to me as I sat on the bench, so there’s a good chance that she has the capability of being a bit of a couch potato.

Dina is extremely obedient. At one point, she decided that the leash was a toy and wanted to play tug-of-war. I knew I would lose, so I just let go and waited for her to drop it. When she did, I picked it back up and said, “Dina, no,” so she would know that the leash is not the same as a toy. She sat right down and stopped trying to get it back from me. I, of course, gave her lots of pats to let her know she’s a good girl.

Dina 2

Dina running towards me

Cody 1

Pretty Cody

Cody was last for the day, but certainly not least. I kind of fell in love with him. Cody is an eight-year-old Shar Pei/Labrador Retriever mix who has been at Orphans of the Storm® since last November. He, like Dina, jumped up on the bench next to me and loved getting his neck scratched. And look at his face! The wrinkles on his forehead seem to be one of the few visible signs of his Shar Pei roots, and they make him that much cuter.

Cody is an absolute lovebug. The muddy paw prints on my jacket are proof of his happy hugs. Whenever I opened my arms wide, he would come running back to me and give me a few doggy kisses. When I asked him to sit, he did so immediately. Such a good boy!

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Cody joining me on the bench

These three sweethearts all deserve another look. Stop by Orphans of the Storm® and say hello!

Cody 3

Cody's cute face