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

Another snowy Friday, another happy story of a lucky dog who found a lucky friend! Learn about Jamie and her dog Harper (formally known as Spots), who was adopted from Orphans of the Storm® on June 28th, 2011. Thank you to Jamie for sharing your story with us! And thank you for the weather-appropriate photos 🙂

Q: Why Orphans of the Storm®?
A: I chose to look for my next canine buddy at Orphans because it is a local shelter with a large number of dogs in their care at any given time. I already have one dog and thought it would be easier to have him help choose his new friend if we could just go to a nearby shelter and meet several dogs to find the best match. Also, I browsed the Orphans website beforehand and several dogs grabbed my attention right away just from their brief descriptions and pictures.

Harper 1

Harper in the snow

Q: How did you hear about Orphans of the Storm®?
A: I’ve known about Orphans for years from things like flyers for adoption events and through word of mouth. I also like to browse most of the local shelters’ websites and Orphans is one that I have visited with some frequency.

Q: What made you want to adopt from a shelter?
A: I wanted to give a home to a dog in need. I had a wonderful experience with my current dog, whom I adopted from a shelter in Indiana, and was happy to repeat the experience of welcoming another shelter dog into my life. I have also volunteered at various shelters throughout my adult life and wouldn’t consider getting a dog from any other source.

Harper 2

She must be thrilled with the new snow today!

Q: Was Harper your first pet dog?
A: This is my 3rd dog. My first dog was a Boxer who passed away in June 2011 at the age of 11. My second and current dog is a 7-year-old Coonhound mix named Hobart.

Q: Did you have a specific breed/age/size/other trait in mind when you first came to the shelter?
A: I was hoping to find a medium or large hound or hound mix between the ages of 1 and 6. That was what I had in mind when I walked into the shelter, but I wasn’t locked in on those specific traits because you never know who you will connect with once you’re there.

Harper 3

Harper and her brother Hobart

Q: How many dogs did you visit with in one of the off-leash runs before deciding on your dog?
A: I visited with 2 other dogs before deciding on my dog. The first one was a smaller hound mix. I had my dog with for each meeting and they completely ignored each other the whole time. The second dog was a Pit Bull mix. We spent a lot of time with him and they were getting along pretty well, but I wanted to keep looking. The third one was certainly the charm for us.

Q: What about Harper sealed your decision to adopt her?
A: She was everything I had been hoping to find when I went to the shelter that day. She was a 50 lb. Coonhound at around 4 years of age. However, the most important factor and the thing that really sealed the deal was that she got along great with my other dog. They walked nicely together and then they enjoyed each other’s company in one of the off-leash runs. They were interested in each other and play bowed back and forth. They just seemed comfortable with each other and that’s what mattered the most.

Harper 4

They look pretty comfortable here too!

Q: How did Harper respond to transitioning from shelter life to home life?
A: She has done pretty well with the transition. Her past is a mystery and she didn’t seem to know too much about living in a house. For one thing, she didn’t appear housebroken and she didn’t seem to know any basic commands. She was a fast learner, though, and was going outside for her bathroom needs within a week and mastered ‘sit’ and ‘shake’ in short order. She was responding to her new name (Harper) almost instantly after I said the name a few times and gave her treats when she would look at me. She also had some fear issues in the beginning and other quirks. As she became more comfortable, she became less fearful. She still has some quirks (don’t we all!) but we have adjusted to each other.

She quickly figured out our routine and now waits with her nose pressed to the front door after breakfast because she knows we’ll be heading out for our 3-mile morning walk. I don’t think she’d let us miss a walk for anything! She absolutely loves playing with her canine brother in our big fenced-in yard. She’s also a champion cuddle bug and will be in your lap with her head on your chest in a split second if given the opportunity. Food is a very big deal in the life of a hound and she’s no exception. She basically lives for food, cuddles, and fun. What a life!
There’s definitely a learning curve for both the humans and the canines when you add a new member to the family. It can take some time for things to smooth out, but it is so worth it in the end.
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: Thanks so much and thank you to everyone at Orphans of the Storm® for providing such great care to the animals as they wait for their new families to find them.
Harper 5

Of course they're smiling! They were adopted by Jamie!

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Who Are Big and Fluffy

Today I spent time with three older dogs who still have plenty of potential to make you and your family incredibly happy. There are many benefits to adopting an older dog, and Orphans of the Storm® has a variety of breeds and sizes to choose from. Today I focused on a few of the bigger and fluffier ones.

Princess, a ten-year-old Chow Chow mix, certainly looks like royalty. She has that unique Chow coat and adorable Chow face. If you watched the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show this past week, like I did, you’ll know that Martha Stewart is a Chow fan. Since Princess is a mix, she probably wouldn’t get too far in the show ring–but she can certainly be your best in show!

Princess Chow Chow 1

Princess looking regal

Princess is smaller than the average Chow and has a pink tongue, rather than the usual blue-black one. That’s perfectly all right, though. She walks very well on the leash and was happy to stand next to me and get a nice pat. She is a calm dog who took her time walking around the run, rather than scampering about.

Princess Chow Chow 2

Princess watching the spitz and people in the other run

There was a little spitz in the run next to us, and Princess was acting very friendly towards it. The spitz, however, seemed a little intimidated by Princess’ size and wasn’t as interested in being friends. But it’s a good sign that Princess can get along with dogs big and small.

Princess Chow Chow 3

Princess' sweet face

Rizzo is a beautiful eight-year-old Shepherd mix. My guess is that he’s mixed with an Alaskan Malamute: he has a cute shepherd face and a white, fluffy body with a curled tail. We had a nice jog over to the run (Rizzo was eager to stretch his legs) and then Rizzo enjoyed exploring behind and under the bushes.

Rizzo Shepherd 1

Rizzo sniffing

After his initial burst of energy, he too was calm. On the info card outside his kennel, it says that he is a favorite of the staff and volunteers at the shelter. It’s very obvious why! He is a sweet dog who kept leaning against me as I pet him. I ended up with white fur all over me, but that’s what lint rollers are for. This guy is well worth it.

Rizzo Shepherd 2

Rizzo enjoying the outdoors

On our way back inside, Rizzo walked much better on the leash. We didn’t stop by the windows to the cat room, but it also said on his info card that he gets along with cats. So, you can stop by CATMANIA! to adopt a new cat and then come visit Rizzo and take him home. He’s a great dog with lots of love to give. And he comes when you call him!

Rizzo Shepherd 3

Rizzo being camera shy

Sampson is an eight-year-old black Labrador Retriever mix. I’ve been visiting Orphans of the Storm® for over four months now, and there is something that I find puzzling–I have seen many black Labs (like Chewy and Rosemary), but almost no yellow or chocolate ones. I know there’s a stigma with black cats, but a Lab is a Lab is a Lab. It certainly doesn’t matter what color they are. You’re still going to get a great personality.

Sampson Black Labrador Retriever 1

Sampson coming to say hello

Sampson, for example, seems like a dog who just wants to please. He is a happy dog whose tail never stopped wagging the entire time I was out with him. He also never went too far from me; he would sniff around the perimeter of the run, and then come back for a reassuring scratch on the back.

Sampson Black Labrador Retriever 2

Sampson waiting for me to continue scratching his back

Be aware that he is a big boy, and therefore a strong boy, especially when you first take him outside. I took him for a walk around the property after we spent some time together in the run, though, and was able to get him to walk next to me without much persuading. Like I said, Sampson wants to please. This good boy is ready for his new family to take him home.

Sampson Black Labrador Retriever 3

Sampson interested in the tennis ball

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

Happy Valentine’s Day! To celebrate, here is another wonderful love story, about Mark and his adopted poodle, Alex. Thank you for sharing your story with us, Mark!

Background: My daughter was asking me for a dog for a long time and I finally decided to start looking around. I told her my requirements are that it be from a shelter and there were some allergy issues I had to get over. I investigated what breeds would be good as far as allergies and a poodle was one of them.

Q: Why Orphans of the Storm®?
A: I love dogs too much. There is no reason to go to a pet shop. There are plenty of good dogs looking for homes in shelters. We heard about Orphans of the Storm® from some friends and decided to check it out. We liked the fact that we could take the dog outside and play with it.

Q: How did you hear about Orphans of the Storm®?
A: From friends and I did an internet search.

Q: What made you want to adopt from a shelter?
A: Like I mentioned, I love dogs and it’s sad that so many of them are in shelters. I see no reason of buying a dog from a pet shop.

Q: Was this your first pet dog?
A: Yes.

Q: Did you have a specific breed/age/size/other trait in mind when you first came to the shelter?
A: I had allergy issues to think about and a poodle was a good breed. We also wanted a smaller-sized dog since we don’t have a huge house. I am also very busy so a dog like a collie, that needs lots of attention and outdoor time, was out of the question.

Q: How many dogs did you visit with in one of the off-leash runs before you decided on your dog?
A: Just one. The one we adopted.

Q: What about Alex sealed your decision to adopt him?
A: I was able to pick it up and hold it without it complaining too much. My daughter really liked it and I did not seem to have any allergy issues.

Q: How did your dog respond to transitioning from shelter life to home life?
A: The whole transition worked great. The dog was already housebroken. We knew that Alex had some ear infection problems when we picked him up so I have been treating him for that, but otherwise everything worked out great.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: I am glad that I had the opportunity to adopt a dog from a shelter. Alex has become a part of the family and we love him.

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Love to Get Close

Although it’s warmer than usual for early February, Marty the one-year-old Chihuahua mix didn’t seem too enthused about coming outside with me. Even so, he was a good sport. I would recommend that you get this adorable pooch a nice sweater so he doesn’t shiver too much in the winter, though.

Marty Chihuahua 2

Marty exploring

Marty has a ticklish spot on his back, towards the base of his tail. He’ll do a little dance with his back legs while you scratch it, which is too cute. He also enjoys being scratched on the right side of his neck, which I learned once we went back inside the front office of the shelter. He kept leaning into my hand until he was on his side on the floor.

Marty Chihuahua 1

Marty with a ball that is far too big for him

When I sat down on the bench in the front office, he put his little front paws up on the bench next to me so I could continue to pet him. When it was time for him to go back to his kennel, he was perfectly fine with me picking him up and carrying him. He’s very calm inside the kennel, preferring to curl up on his doggy bed while his kennelmate Dumbo draws attention to himself.

Marty Chihuahua 3

Marty wondering when we're going back inside

Next up was Precious, a two-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix. She is very capable of being as precious as her name implies, but you have to give her a little time to settle down. This pretty girl has some hops! She will need an owner capable of teaching her that it is generally impolite to jump up on people.

Precious Pit Bull Terrier 2

Precious on the move

After she calmed down, Precious was very sweet. She leaned against my legs and enjoyed getting her back, side, and ears rubbed. While I was sitting on the bench, she jumped up next to me and stood still while I pet her. She was Stewie‘s kennelmate before he was adopted, so we know that she can do well with other dogs.

Precious Pit Bull Terrier 1

Precious looking precious

Lastly was Tino, the seven-year-old Jack Russell Terrier mix (not to be confused with Tino the Chihuahua, who I visited last week). This little guy hasn’t been at the shelter for very long, and I suspect that he will get adopted very soon! He is an affectionate little bundle of energy.

Tino Jack Russell Terrier 3

Tino's cute face

Tino was thrilled to be able to stretch his legs and ran around happily once he was off-leash. I sat down on the bench while he worked off his energy, and he eventually came over and hopped up onto the bench next to me. He put his front paws in my lap and gave my nose a few loving doggy kisses.

Tino Jack Russell Terrier 2

Tino romping

I ran around with him a little bit more and then we both returned to the bench, where Tino again crawled into my lap. He is such a lovable and loving dog! If you’re looking for an older dog who still wants to play, but is also the perfect lapdog, Tino is definitely one to visit.

Tino Jack Russell Terrier 1

Tino in my lap

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

Here is another happy story about THREE lucky dogs who found their home with Joanna and her family. Thank you for sharing your story and pictures, Joanna!

Q: Why Orphans of the Storm®?
A: Although I was only five when we adopted our first dog from Orphans of the Storm®, I believe that my dad just drove past it, and decided we would rescue from there. It was pure luck!

Q: How did you hear about Orphans of the Storm®?
A: Again, we drove past it. We had previously decided (and by we, I mean my dad; five-year-old kids don’t get much say in anything) that our family would rescue. Part of the reason I think he so desperately wanted to rescue was because he didn’t  want to have to deal with puppies. 😉 That, however, has never been confirmed.

Q: What made you want to adopt from a shelter?
A: We continued adopting from Orphans because of many reasons. Firstly, we liked that it was a no-kill shelter. Everyone at Orphans gets a chance, even if they are sometimes rough around the edges. Secondly, our first dog, Dino, was a gem. That being said, my family has a motto, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This applies to everything be it a haircut, a sink, or a dog. The first dog we had was wonderful, so we came to the conclusion that Orphans was the epicenter of great dogs.

Q: Was your first adopted dog your first pet dog?
A: Yes, that was Dino. Although he passed when I was in 7th grade. He was our genius dog. At our home we had a big backyard with a latch gate to get to the front yard and, in Dino’s eyes, to freedom. I guess Dino had seen us open the latch enough times that he was able to learn how to open it himself. One day, he opened it and then opened the gate to our next door neighbor’s yard who had a poodle that was fresh from the groomers. Dino and his friend went for a joy ride around the neighborhood, and when the police finally caught them, Dino’s poor friend was drenched in slobber and dirt. Needless to say, after that we knew we had a special dog.



Q: Did you have a specific age/breed/size/other trait in mind when you first came to the shelter?
A: With our first dog my mom told my dad, my sister, and me to get a small dog. Of course, she did not realize my sister, my dad, and I love big dogs, so we purchased a 1-year-old black lab, who was not fully grown, but had massive paws. When Dino passed we wanted another big dog, which led us to Max (formally known as Borchek); we call him our house cat. He is a big snuggle bug. Then my mom finally got fed up with all the big dogs, went with us to Orphans, and got Bella (formally known as Tulip), who is a little Papillon mix. Max and Bella ended up being like peanut butter and jelly. When they go to the off-leash park, Max runs around and Bella is right behind him.

Max and Bella

Max and Bella

Q: How many dogs did you visit with in one of the off-leash runs before you decided on each of your dogs?
A: I don’t remember what happened with Dino, but with Max we took out a Boxer mix before him. The boxer, although a lovable dog, almost ripped my dad’s arm out. Max was much calmer and I fell in love with him. Bella was a different story. My mom immediately fell in love with her. My dad and I were skeptical. When she was in her cage, she was loud and had that high-pitched yap that small dogs have. However, my mom saw a diamond in the rough, and she was right. Bella is a gem to behold.



Q: What about your dogs sealed your decision to adopt them?
A: Finding the right dog is like finding the right college. All the colleges you visit seem nice and look like a great place to learn, but when you find the right college you just know. Although you can’t put your finger on it, your eyes lock with the dog’s eyes and somehow you are able to just gain an understanding of each other. The fat lady sings and it’s over. Love at first sight.

Q: How did your dogs respond to transitioning from shelter life to home life?
A: Max had the roughest transition. He was a bit crazy. For a long time we thought that he couldn’t sit because he would always trot around the house. He would only stop to eat and sleep. Bella transitioned seamlessly. She is a little a diva. When we tried to feed her regular dog food she scoffed at us and trotted off. From then on, my mom was forced to cook her meals. Consequently, Max is enjoying his home-cooked meals as well. Their favorite meal is chicken and barley.