Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Enjoy the Snow

Hurray for finally being able to return to the shelter! There’s still some snow on the ground, but it was a warm enough day that I didn’t even need gloves to play with the pooches outside.

Before I introduce you to this week’s dogs, I wanted to let you know that the pooches will be out and about again this Saturday, January 28th. You can find adorable adoptables at both Petsmart (291 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook) and Wags on Willow (840 Willow Rd., Northbrook) from 11am-2pm. Stop by and say hi to some wonderful dogs looking for a wonderful home!

Up first today was Tino, a 6-year-old Chihuahua mix. Tino ran up to me and put his little front paws on my legs (they didn’t even reach my knees) to say hello with his tail wagging. We took a walk around the property and Tino liked walking in the snow, even when it was deeper than he is tall.

Tino Chihuahua 1

Tino being curious

He is an affectionate little guy. When I got down on his level, Tino put his paws in my lap and licked my nose happily. He’s also very curious–he likes to sniff everything. Even so, he walked well on the leash.

Tino Chihuahua 2

Tino in the snow

I brought him into the front office so we could both warm up a little bit, and when I sat down on the bench he put his front paws on the bench next to me and buried his cute little face against my leg. I scratched his neck and back for a little bit, and he seemed to love the attention.

Tino Chihuahua 3

Tino enjoying his walk

After meeting Dumbo at Petsmart last week, I knew I had to take him out to one of the runs and get to know him on my next shelter visit. So, today was that day. He is a 6-year-old Terrier mix and much too cute to not find a home. Dumbo has lots of energy and loved playing with the dog in the next run, chasing her along the fence and barking playfully.

Dumbo Terrier 1

Dumbo being adorable

After running off his energy, Dumbo hopped up onto the bench next to me for a while as I scratched his ears and back. He put his cute nose in my face a couple times so we could get better acquainted.

Dumbo Terrier 2

Dumbo, who got a little muddy

Dumbo would do well with a family that can give him the exercise he needs, and the love and attention he deserves. He’ll be happy to settle down and be a lap dog after going for a nice walk or playing in the yard. And how can you say no to that precious face?

Dumbo Terrier 3

Dumbo's precious face

Speaking of precious faces, the last dog I met today was Cappy, a 7-year-old Labrador Retriever/Chow Chow mix. One look at that face, and you’re in love. Cappy is one of the dogs who will push his body against the side of his kennel so you can give him a nice scratch as you walk by. In fact, he wanted me to pet him so badly that he wouldn’t even go outside when I opened his doggy door. I had to tell him repeatedly that I would meet him out there, and that he would enjoy being scratched much more once we didn’t have a fence between us.

Cappy Labrador Retriever Chow Chow 1

Cappy looking at the camera

Cappy‘s initial burst of energy means he can be a bit strong when you first take him out on the leash, but he was much, much better on his walk back at the end of our visit. (Again: why you shouldn’t be turned off from a dog right away just because he pulls on the leash at first.)

Cappy Labrador Retriever Chow Chow 2

Cappy enjoying the winter sun

While we were inside the run, Cappy walked over to where I was kneeling and leaned against me so I could continue that scratch I had started back inside. He especially likes to get his hips scratched. And his fur is so soft! He really is a very handsome dog, with those light brown eyes and a round face.

Cappy Labrador Retriever Chow Chow 3

Cappy, so handsome!

Stop by Orphans of the Storm® to see if one of these pooches is the right fit for you and your family!

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Out and About

If the snow and cold temperature are keeping you away from the shelter this week too, don’t worry! You can visit some of the amazing adoptable dogs at several indoor locations in different suburbs. Tomorrow (Sunday, January 22) there will be dogs at Wags on Willow (840 Willow Road, on the corner of Waukegan Road and Willow Road in Northbrook) from 12pm-3pm. Check out the shelter’s Facebook page to learn about upcoming events!

Today, dogs were at Pet Supplies Plus in Highland Park and Petsmart in Northbrook. I stopped by Petsmart to say hello to some old four-legged friends and meet a new four-legged friend.

The first pooch I saw when I walked in the door was Cody, a personal favorite because of how friendly he is. I knelt down to say hello and he jumped right into my lap (or, as much of him as could fit in my lap) and gave me some doggy kisses. This poor guy has had some fortunes followed by misfortunes since I first wrote about him. A family came in and adopted him (yay!), but the dog they already had at their house wouldn’t stop picking on Cody (boo!), so they had to return him just a few days later. This is a good time for a reminder: if you have a dog or dogs already, bring them to the shelter to meet their possible new friend. We want to make sure that everyone gets along so it can be a happy home!

Cody Petsmart

Cody greeting customers by the entrance

Bear and Coco were also working the crowd at Petsmart today. They are such pretty dogs, and so well behaved! Bear was happy to sit for a treat, and Coco was cool as a cucumber. Both of them like to stick out a front paw for a shake. Bear was being especially affectionate today; like Cody, he tried to climb into my lap. When that didn’t work, he tucked his head against my stomach and stood still while I scratched his neck. Coco is always a good dog to go to if you’re looking for a kiss on the back of your hand.

Bear Petsmart

Bear walking around the store

Coco Petsmart

Coco being a perfect pooch

Lastly, I introduced myself to Dumbo, a six-year-old Terrier mix. This guy is a real sweetie! He was the dog who could fit into my lap. I haven’t profiled too many small dogs yet, and I can see that I’ve been missing out. Dumbo has an adorable face, topped by those big ears. He loves being pet and will get nice and close to you. And look at that curly tail!

Dumbo Petsmart

My new friend, Dumbo

You can find all these wonderful dogs, and many more, at the shelter every day of the week. Stop by to say hello, and be sure to ask to take them out into one of the off-leash runs to get to know them better!

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

Another Friday, another snowy and frigid day! I hope to make it back to Orphans of the Storm® next week so we can all meet more pooches! Until then, here is another interview with Keith, who adopted Max A Pooch from the shelter. I wrote about Keith and Max A Pooch in an earlier post, but here are more details about the great story of these two best friends!

Q: Why Orphans of the Storm®?
A: One day wife Helen and granddaughter Zoe went to Orphans of the Storm® to adopt a cat for Zoe. Besides dogs, Orphans has many incredible cats. If you can’t find a tabby or two or three or four at Orphans, you will never find a cat anywhere. While Helen and Zoe were looking at all the cats I decided to take a look at the dogs. I saw this poor dejected and scared  black Lab.  Helen and I had been talking about getting a dog. So I walked back to where she and Zoe were with the cats and said, “You should see that dog in kennel 25.” She took one look at him and we had ourselves a new companion.

Q: How did you hear about Orphans of the Storm®?
A: I live in Deerfield. Orphans has such a presence in the area that I don’t remember when I wasn’t aware of them.

Q: Was Max your first pet dog?
A: No, my first pet dog was a small beagle named Mitsy when I was around seven or eight. Mitsy was an amazing dog. One summer we went on vacation and a friend of my parents watched her. When we came home from vacation we learned Mitsy had slipped out an open door and was lost. I was dejected. She was twenty-five miles from home. Over a month later I looked out my bedroom window one morning, and there was Mitsy on the our front lawn. How she ever found her way home is a miracle. Since then I have had mutts, beagles, bassets, and poodles, and now Max.

And here is Max’s full story, written by Keith:

I am Keith, the sidekick of Max A Pooch. Max is a proud alum of Orphans. He turned five the day after Christmas. We adopted Max when he was four months.
Max was relinquished by his owners to Waukegan Animal control and Orphans recycled (rescued) him. He was a high-energy project when we first met. We think he spent most of his first months in a basement. Why? When we brought Max home, he was terrified of going to the basement. He knew absolutely no commands and all he wanted to do was run, run, run, run, run. But he soon showed us what a smart boy he is. That’s him below, don’t you think he looks so wise?
Max A. Pooch

Max A Pooch

Now Max is known far and wide as the recycled Lab who finds and recycles Litter. To see exactly what that means just take a look at this 14 second video . Max proves picking up litter and putting it in its place is so easy even A Pooch can do it.
He says, “You’d be surprised how many humans can’t seem to learn this simple trick.”
Max believes that in addition to not littering you should pick up litter when you have a chance. Litter is unsightly, it pollutes our waterways, and it can kill, maim, or harm wildlife and pets.
Animal Planet’s David Mizejewiski wrote this about Max: “I couldn’t resist one more dog-related story because this is so awesome. Check out the video about a “recycled” black lab that is now on a mission to recycle trash. I think this is such a clever and useful way to channel the lab’s innate retrieving instinct for the greater good.”
He  loves to appear with me in front of audiences and demonstrate not only can he pick up and deposit litter, but he can seek it out. He also can show humans where to deposit litter and trash.
Max A. Pooch 2

Max A Pooch recycling

Max A Pooch first appeared at the Orphans of the Storm® Pooch Parade last summer. Even though it rained hard, he still put on a demonstration and even got his picture on the front page of the Deerfield Review.
We have appeared on radio and TV. Max A Pooch was featured by Lake County as part of their Lake County Green Initiative, as well as on AOL Patch, the Huff Post website, and many more places.
Max A Pooch is just one example of the incredible dogs and cats that are saved by Orphans of the Storm each year and adopted by people like me.
We think that people who abandon pets and those who litter have much in common. Both types of people leave their messes and problems behind for the rest of us to take care of. The result is American spends $52 billion dollars a year cleaning up litter and euthanizes more than 4,000,000 cats and dogs annually.
Max could have been a pooch that was put down along with millons of other pooches. Thanks to Orphans, he is Max A Pooch, the canine with a mission and a message. Learn all about Max A Pooch at his website, or go to his pressroom page.

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs (and Cat!) Who Found Their Forever Homes, Part I

So much for that beautiful spring-like weather from last week! Due to the new snow and below-freezing temperatures, I wasn’t able to visit the pooches this week. However, thank you!!! to the volunteers who have shared their wonderful adoption stories with me. Below is my interview with Rebecca, who has adopted both a dog and a cat from Orphans of the Storm®.

Q: Why Orphans of the Storm®?
A: My husband and I went to Orphans of the Storm® because they are a no-kill shelter that seems to take very good care of the animals. Also, they are very nice and accommodating to the people who come in to look for a new pet. We have been to other local shelters where the staff was a bit rude, but the people at Orphans are always helpful and friendly. Another factor was the cost. The adoption fee at Orphans is very reasonable.

Q: How did you hear about Orphans of the Storm®?
A: We first found Orphans of the Storm® via an online search when we were looking for our cat, Mr. Cheezle.

Mr. Cheezle

Q: What made you want to adopt from a shelter?
A: We have a personal policy of never going to pet stores for our pets. You hear too many horror stories about the puppy mills, etc. Also, we wanted to get adult animals so we know their personality, and because everyone always seems to want the puppies and kittens, but the adults need homes, too! We also believe there are too many great dogs and cats waiting for homes in shelters for us to ever consider buying from a breeder.

Q: Was this your first pet dog and/or cat?
A: Mr. Cheezle is our second cat, and Chloe is our second dog. Our first cat passed away about a year before we adopted Mr. Cheezle. He had congestive heart failure and was 8 years old. Our first dog passed away from Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia very suddenly. He was 9 and passed a few weeks before we got Chloe.

Q: Did you have a specific breed/age/size/other trait in mind when you first came to the shelter?
A: We actually came in looking for a small dog (Chihuahua or similar) who was good with other dogs, kids, and was an adult. We wound up with Chloe, who is a 48-pound Border Collie Mix! We just fell in love with her friendly and snuggly personality. When looking for Mr. Cheezle, we were looking for a large, friendly adult cat, which is exactly what we got.

Q: How many dogs did you visit with in one of the off-leash runs before you decided on Chloe?
A: We walked 2 other dogs before we decided on Chloe.


Q: What about Chloe sealed your decision to adopt her? And what about Mr. Cheezle made you decide to adopt him?
A: We actually didn’t notice Chloe in the kennels, but when we asked the Orphans staff for help and described what we were looking for they said we should take her out. We fell in love with her right away. She was very friendly, adorable, walked well on the leash, and my husband just looked at me and we said “this is the one.” When we were looking for our cat, we wandered the cat room for a while and pet the many cats. We felt a bit lost, and there was a great volunteer working that day who guided us to several cats. (I’m so sorry I don’t remember his name.) As soon as I picked up Mr. Cheezle (then known as Big Kitty), he started to purr and knead his paws. I knew right away that he was my new snuggle buddy!

Q: How did your dog and cat transition from shelter life to home life?
A: Chloe made the transition very well. She had a couple of accidents, as she was not potty trained, but after a few days she got it figured out! She was very happy from the start, even rolling over for a tummy rub the first day despite having just been spayed. She has done very well with other dogs who come by to visit and kids that stop by from time to time. She loves them all. We’ve even taken her on vacation! I was a little worried, because she had been in a shelter for a good portion of her 2 years, but she did just fine. You’d never know she came from a shelter in Tennessee and sat at Orphans for 4 months waiting for a home! Mr. Cheezle also adapted very well. He hid for a few hours, as cats typically do, but by that night he was out on the couch getting some love and watching TV with us. He’s been my inseparable companion ever since. Mr. Cheezle had been in a home and was surrendered with 7 other cats, so he adjusted very well.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: We are eternally grateful to Orphans of the Storm® for caring for all of the animals who need homes, and for having such a great and helpful staff. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you go to look for a new friend, but if you ask the staff/volunteers, they seem to always know the perfect one for you. I’m so glad we have our Chloe and Mr. Cheezle. Life just wouldn’t be the same without our furbabies!

Thank you again, Rebecca!

There are more great adoption success stories that will be posted soon! If you would like to share your story, please email meetthepooches@gmail.com.

Call for Interviewees!

It’s clear from the Orphans of the Storm® Facebook page that lucky dogs are being adopted from the shelter every week. If you are one of those adopters (recent, or from years ago) and would like to share your adoption success story, I’d love to hear from you! Please email meetthepooches@gmail.com if you are interested in being interviewed about your adoption experience and your four-legged friend(s).

Sample questions include:

  • Why Orphans of the Storm®?
  • Did you come to the shelter looking for a specific breed/age/size/other trait?
  • What made you pick your specific pooch?

The interview will be conducted via email. Please feel free to write as long of a response as you wish. Bragging about how wonderful your dog is is totally allowed. If you would like to attach a picture of your pooch to be included in the blog post, that would be great too!

And don’t worry–if you don’t want your name on the blog, I’m happy to interview “Spot’s Mommy” or “Pluto’s Dad.”

Thanks so much! I look forward to hearing from you!

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

It was a beautiful, spring-like day today, and the dogs at the shelter were loving it! The shelter was busy, and as I was leaving it looked like one lucky dog had found a new mommy.

Coco and Bear arrived at Orphans of the Storm® together just a couple months ago, and would be thrilled to find a new loving home together. They are best friends and playmates and spent the first five years of their lives in the same house. They are five-year-old Border Collie mixes and they are beautiful, sweet, well-behaved dogs.

Bear and Coco Border Collies

Bear and Coco make a such a cute couple!

I don’t have much experience walking two dogs simultaneously (just when I took Mink and Puggie out together), but these two were pretty easy to manage. The leashes got a little tangled a couple times, but overall they enjoy walking next to each other and stopping to sniff the same things.

Coco Border Collie 1

Coco sniffing the still-visible grass

Coco Border Collie 2

Coco watching Bear on the other side of the bushes

They can be playful, which is why it’s good they have each other. They chased each other around the run, yipping happily at the chance to get some exercise. Bear would stay on one side of the bushes and Coco stayed on the other; they watched each other carefully through the branches and mirrored each other’s movements until Bear would make a break for it and Coco went running after him.

Bear Border Collie 1

Bear getting ready to run

Bear Border Collie 2

Bear greeting the camera

These two best friends would love to add another companion (or an entire family!) into their lives. Who wouldn’t want two wonderful Border Collies by their side?

Bobo the three-year-old Wired Hair Terrier mix is the dog I was originally drawn to on my very first visit to Orphans of the Storm®. He is a real cutie. Since I’ve started to make my way through the long-timers and old-timers at the shelter, I thought it was finally time to get to know Bobo.

Bobo Wired Hair Terrier 1

Bobo using his terrier nose

Please do not immediately walk past this dog just because he barks from inside his kennel. As soon as he was out on the leash, a peep didn’t come out of him. He didn’t pull on the leash as we made our way to the run—it was more me encouraging him to keep moving because he wanted to stop and sniff everything with that terrier nose of his.

Bobo Wired Hair Terrier 2

Bobo closing his eyes against the bright winter sun

Once we were inside the run, the sniffing continued. I followed him around for a bit and then knelt down, and he stood next to me as I pet him. After a few minutes, he decided he was enjoying himself and sat down so I could continue petting him. A few minutes after that, he rolled over for a belly rub. That belly rub lasted about fifteen minutes, and Bobo’s face was the picture of contentment. Especially in the warm sunlight, he looked like he could’ve stayed there all day.

Bobo Wired Hair Terrier 3

Bobo loving his belly rub

It broke my heart to tell him that we had to go back inside. Even after I stood up and stopped rubbing his belly, he stayed on his back and looked at me, like, “Wait! Why did you stop?” This guy is just too sweet. All he wants is someone to give him the attention he deserves. Give Bobo a chance and get to know him outside of the kennel.

Bobo Wired Hair Terrier 4

Bobo wondering, "Why did you stop rubbing my belly?"

Last for the day was Rosemary, a nine-year-old newcomer to the shelter. She is a black Labrador Retriever mix and very friendly, as Labs are known to be. She jumped up a few times as I was putting her leash on as a greeting, but once we were out in the open the jumping stopped and she did well on the leash.

Rosemary Labrador Retriever 1

Rosemary out and about

Even though she’s nine years old, she would still like to get enough exercise to stretch her legs. Once she’s had enough exercise, she’ll be thrilled to curl up next to you and receive all the petting and praises you can offer. Rosemary sat next to me while I was on the bench and I found a tickly spot on the right side of her neck. She enjoyed getting her back and ears scratched as well.

Rosemary Labrador Retriever 2

Rosie investigating under the bench

Don’t count this sweet girl out just because of her age. She still has lots of doggy love to give, and wants to share it with a new family!

Rosemary Labrador Retriever 3

Rosemary with her lab tail wagging