Orphans of the Storm® Dogs with Muddy Paws

With spring finally here and the snow finally melting, you know what that means–muddy paws for the dogs at Orphans of the Storm®. They didn’t seem to mind much, though. These pooches were happy to get outside and play!

Sweeney the one-year-old Hound mix caught my eye right away on this visit to the shelter. He is so cute! Although he’s still a puppy and might have some more growing to do, he’s still much smaller than some of the other tricolor hound dogs who have come through Orphans of the Storm®. Besides his good looks, Sweeney also has a great personality. So happy and so friendly!

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Sweeney putting his nose to good use

Even though Sweeney probably hasn’t had much training yet, he already knows to come when you call him. I took him and his kennelmate Rolly (see below) to play in the off-leash run, and if I called for Sweeney, he would come running even from all the way on the other side of the yard. I was very impressed. This cuddly little guy could do well in a home with or without other dogs. Come in soon to meet Sweeney!

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Sweeney coming over for a pat

Rolly the one-year-old black Labrador Retriever mix is a little bit nervous in this unfamiliar setting of the shelter–but you certainly can’t blame him for that. When I let him and Sweeney off their leashes, Rolly stuck right by his kennelmate and followed him everywhere. When I would call for Sweeney and he came over to get pet, Rolly would stay a few feet away, unsure of whether or not he wanted some attention too.

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Rolly being a little camera shy

It’s clear that Rolly is still a gentle, sweet dog hiding under those nerves. When he was back on the leash, he let me pet him without trying to pull away. Rolly would appreciate going home with an understanding family who can show him what being part of a loving home is all about. Once you brighten his life, Rolly will be sure to brighten yours!

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Rolly following Sweeney

Beezer the two-year-old Terrier mix is your typical Terrier: lots of personality in a little body. Beezer gets excited about everything. He was more than ready to come out for a walk, and set a quick pace. He’s friendly with other dogs and would bark hello to everyone we passed. His little legs weren’t going to tire out anytime soon!

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Beezer’s little ears flying in the wind

Beezer has a unique look–but it’s an especially cute look! I loved his ears and his nose in particular. Beezer would do best in an active home where he will have lots to do, whether it be training or playing or going on nice walks. If you’re looking for a new four-legged friend who can bring some fun into your life, Beezer might be the pooch for you!

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Beezer always on the move

Tyler the two-year-old Mastiff mix isn’t quite ready to be adopted yet–but if you’re looking for a big dog, keep an eye out! Once he’s ready to go home, he won’t be hanging around the shelter for long. This big boy is also a strong boy–especially when he first gets out of his kennel. Once he runs off his energy, though, he’s a much better walking buddy.

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Tyler’s great face

Tyler‘s face is, in my opinion, one of the best ones at the shelter. His head is bigger than mine, but one look into those bright eyes and you know you’re looking at a giant sweetheart. Tyler likes to lean against your legs while you scratch his back, and is more than happy to give you a doggy kiss as a thank you. I fell in love with this guy, and I’m sure you will too!

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Tyler enjoying the hay

Rocky the one-year-old Rottweiler/Labrador Retriever mix is one of the silliest-looking dogs at the shelter–but I promise that isn’t an insult! He’s the kind of dog who will make you smile as soon as you see him. I’ve never met a Rottweiler/Lab mix before, but I hope they all have faces like Rocky because he just looks so precious! It also seems like Rocky couldn’t decide whether he wanted a Rottweiler tail or a Lab tail, so it’s kind of in-between.

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Rocky’s silly tail

Although Rocky looks a little silly, he’s a very well-behaved dog. He walked well on his leash and when we got to the off-leash run, he just sniffed around calmly and came over for a nice pat on the back every once in a while. Rottweilers and Labs both make great family dogs, so you know Rocky is ready to find his forever home and settle in with his new family.

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Rocky’s precious face

Tammy the two-year-old black Labrador Retriever mix has all the great traits that come with her breed: she’s friendly with people and dogs alike, she’s well-behaved and would be happy to do even more training, and she’s got that wagging Lab tail. Tammy likes to run when she first gets out of her kennel, but she settles down quickly.

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Tammy keeping an eye on the birds in the bushes

Tammy was the popular dog on the day I visited the shelter. There were a couple families who had already taken her out and were considering adopting her–so if you’re looking for a Lab, you better come in quick! Tammy is a great dog who would do well in any home. Maybe your home will end up being hers!

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Tammy loves to explore

I also took out Toby and his kennelmate, because I hadn’t written about his new kennelmate yet. His kennelmate has since been adopted, but Toby is still waiting for his forever home! Tennis balls or squeaky toys are kind of a requirement for Toby. He absolutely loves them!

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Toby loves his toys

Remember: The Orphans of the Storm® Annual Benefit Dinner is less than a month away–Monday, April 22 at 5:30pm.

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Ready for Spring

Before we meet our pooches for this week, I wanted to let you all know that you can now RSVP for the Orphans of the Storm® Annual Benefit Dinner, which will be Monday, April 22 at 5:30pm. Check out the Facebook event page for more information. I hope to see you there!

Now, time to meet some of the dogs who will benefit from the benefit dinner!

Jax (who has the name ‘Cooper’ outside his kennel now) the two-year-old Bluetick Coonhound mix is such a handsome boy. He looks a lot like Mervin, who was happily adopted a few weeks ago, but is a little smaller and has a little less drool. Jax, being a scent hound, kept his nose pretty close to the ground while we were out on our walk. If you start to pet him, though, he stops sniffing and will stay right next to you until you stop.

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Jax sniffing his way over to me

Jax loves other dogs. If you already have a dog and are looking for another, Jax might be a good choice for you. He really, really, really wanted to play with Ebbie, but Ebbie isn’t really a fan of playing with other dogs, so poor Jax had to settle for just walking and sniffing. He is a sweet boy ready to make himself at home with a new loving family.

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Jax has too cute of a face to keep it pointing at the ground all the time!

Wilbur the eight-year-old and Rosco the seven-year-old are Pit Bull Terrier mix brothers who would be extra happy if they could both go to the same new home together. They’ve been together all this time! When they first came to the shelter two weeks ago, they were a little shy and very skinny. They’ve already started to perk up and gain some weight, and would improve even faster if they were in their forever home.

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How can you resist Wilbur’s adorable face? (And say hi to Sage, still waiting for her forever home, in the background!)

Wilbur and Rosco are, of course, very friendly with each other. They also seem to be pretty friendly with other dogs, though Rosco wasn’t such a fan of a visiting Rottweiler. Even though they’re on the older side, they aren’t showing any signs of slowing down–don’t let Wilbur’s graying face fool you! They love to run and explore and sniff.

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Rosco the big sweetie

They’re also good dogs who walked pretty well on the leash after they got their energy out. They both came over to me periodically while we were in the off-leash run to get a reassuring pat on the head or scratch on the back. Wilbur even came close to giving me a doggy kiss–but then decided to stick with just a friendly sniff for now.

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Wilbur enjoying the outdoors

If Rosco jumping up on the bench is any indication, these two guys would probably be happy to join you on the couch while watching TV or reading a book, once they’ve gotten their exercise for the day. What better snuggle buddies are you going to find than these two lovable guys?

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Rosco investigating the bench

I also took the always-gentle Akiva out for a walk during my visit. She’s probably the only one at the shelter who is just fine with it still being below freezing in March! The rest of us are hoping that sun and warm weather are on the way!

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

I have another success story to share with you today–mine! Today marks exactly one year since my family adopted Cooper (formerly Chewchee, or Chewie for short) the six-year-old Beagle/Basset Hound mix. It would be a little strange to do a Q&A with myself, so I’ll just jump right in.

But first! If you would like to share your own Orphans of the Storm® adoption success story, please email meetthepooches@gmail.com and I will be more than happy to feature you and your pooch (or cat) on the blog!

Now, Cooper’s story 🙂

Since I started volunteering at Orphans of the Storm®, I had been keeping an eye out for a possible new pooch for my family. Our first dog, Dusty the Cockapoo, had passed away a couple years before, and I thought it was about time we got a new four-legged friend. We were looking for a medium-sized, laid-back, middle-aged dog. When I first saw Cooper at the shelter, I loved how cute he was, and how sweet he was, and I felt bad that he looked so nervous and shy. I brought my family back the next day, and we took Cooper out to the off-leash run. He proved that he was a sweet little guy who was happy to just sit at our feet and be pet.

That first visit was when I noticed one of Cooper’s unique traits: he purrs like a kitty! I first thought he was growling at me, so I stopped petting him and took a step back, but he just looked at me like, “What? Why did you stop?” So now we have to inform everyone who meets him that he’s purring, not growling. (Cooper’s other cat-like trait is that he will find any sunny spot in the house and nap there.)

Poor Cooper had a bit of a rough start when we first brought him home. He bolted through our screen door after accidentally knocking over a house plant with his cone (which he was wearing since he had just been neutered) (he was perfectly fine; the screen, not so much). He had worms, which cleared up immediately with some medicine. He had kennel cough, which went away on its own after a few days. I think it’s safe to say he wasn’t feeling his best that first week with us.

Now Cooper loves the house plants!

Now Cooper loves the house plants!

Cooper was also afraid of basically every single noise. He was afraid of the TV, so if we had it on in the living room, he would go hide in a corner or a bedroom. He was afraid of the refrigerator door opening and closing, cabinets opening and closing, people sneezing, my bed squeaking if I rolled over in the middle of the night (he usually sleeps in my room), you get the idea. He has improved drastically, though he still hides in that same corner for big noises like thunder or fireworks. He also howled at my mom’s snow globes and Christmas music. What a Scrooge.

Cooper getting in the holiday spirit

Cooper getting in the holiday spirit

But now watching TV is one of his favorite things! Who would’ve guessed? Cooper’s favorite show is “Too Cute!” on Animal Planet. He prefers the puppy episodes, but has also watched kittens and piglets. He enjoyed watching The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in February as well. Cooper does not like sheep or horses, though, which we learned when my dad rented “War Horse” and when I tried to watch “Babe.” If Cooper could’ve jumped into the TV to get those sheep, he would’ve. We have hypothesized that Cooper had a traumatic experience on a farm, though we’ll never know, since he was picked up by animal control with no collar or microchip, and a bit on the skinny side.

Cooper the Basset Hound mix watching the Basset Hound compete in Westminster

Cooper the Basset Hound mix watching the Basset Hound compete in Westminster

I have sometimes considered submitting Cooper to Dog Shaming. He used to jump up on the dining room table when no one was home, in search of crumbs (no one believes us when we tell them, because he has little Basset legs and everyone thinks he can’t jump. But he can, and we have the claw marks on our tablecloth to prove it); he once ate an entire loaf of cinnamon bread (we checked with the vet and he was fine); and he chewed my mom’s glasses, among a long list of other things. We’ve learned to push in the dining room chairs before we leave, and to not leave things where Cooper may find them and chew them. Now we (almost) always come home to a clean house.

We took Cooper to obedience classes, where he was originally too scared to function. After a few months of being in the same place with the same instructor and some of the same dogs, he got a little more comfortable. The instructor always liked to tell the other people in the class, “The first time I met Cooper, I couldn’t even pet him! Now look at him!” (as he jumped up on her to get treats). His only failing by the end of class was that when I told him to “Stay,” he would make a run for the door and attempt to escape. Other than that, he was a star student. We’ve started working with him again in the last couple weeks, and he “Stay”s much better at home where he’s comfortable.

Cooper enjoying some sun in the backyard

Cooper enjoying some sun in the backyard

Speaking of comfortable, Cooper is a total lapdog, although I’m the only one who sits on the floor with him. He just plops right down and makes himself comfy. Cooper also discovered the couch a few months ago. We originally taught him to stay off the couch (mostly because dogs with long backs like him shouldn’t be jumping up and down all the time), and he never even attempted after his first night at home. But then, one random night in December, he decided that he would give it a try. Now that’s his favorite spot. Unfortunately for me, it is also my favorite spot. We’re still working on how to share fairly. Cooper usually stretches out across two of the three cushions, so I have to resort to curling up into a ball and squishing onto the last cushion. The concept of “fair” is lost on Cooper.

Cooper saying, "Oh, you wanted to sit here?"

“Oh, you wanted to sit here?”

Overall, Cooper is a great dog. We’re still working on a few behavioral quirks, but in many ways he is extremely well-behaved. He only barks when there’s an unfamiliar noise, he doesn’t jump around like a maniac to let us know it’s dinnertime (which is what Dusty used to do), he lays down when he knows we’re about to put on his leash, and he’s a great walking buddy (unless the weather is too hot or too cold–then he tries to head right back inside). He loves getting belly rubs, and, of course, he is super adorable. Nothing is better than coming home to a lovable dog who greets you with a wagging tail and kisses. We love our Super Duper Cooper!

Cooper being a good boy and wearing his bat costume for Halloween

Cooper being a good boy and wearing his bat costume for Halloween

Thank you, Orphans of the Storm®!

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Against Black Dog Syndrome, Part 2

I am happy to say that all of the black dogs who were featured in Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Against Black Dog Syndrome, Part 1, were adopted shortly after I wrote about them. But there are still plenty of black dogs at the shelter who are happy to prove that fur is just a color! (And a couple brown dogs are also looking for their forever home!) (And I apologize in advance for some of the blurry photos. I blame the rain/mist/fog.)

Blush the two-year-old Labrador Retriever mix has many great qualities. She is much smaller than the average Lab, and a little fluffier. She has bright, inquisitive eyes and ears that perk up when she realizes she gets to come out and play. Even though the snow was still pretty deep for her shorter legs, Blush was happy to romp around.

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Blush romping in the snow

Blush will stay close to you as long as you’re petting her. She walks well on a leash and is hopeful that someone will come to the shelter soon and fall in love with her. Maybe that someone will be you! UPDATED 2019: Blush was diagnosed with diabetes. Susie’s Senior Dogs has generously sponsored the cost of her future insulin and monitoring expenses for her future family! She gets insulin shots twice a day, which she tolerates quite well and otherwise has a normal, happy doglife!

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Blush is hoping that spring brings her a new family!

Winnie the Pooh (or just Winnie for short) the four-year-old Dachshund mix is as cute and lovable as his namesake. Winnie is currently sharing a kennel with Blush, so he too does well with other dogs. When Winnie realized he was about to go for a walk, he started doing a little tap-dance because he just couldn’t contain his excitement.

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The snow was a little deep for Winnie’s little legs!

Winnie loves being close to people. He’s happy to be cradled in your arms or just snuggled in general. He also has plenty of energy, though, and seems like a playful guy. Those little legs sure can move! A cutie like Winnie won’t be at the shelter for long, so come in soon to meet him!

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Winnie is super adorable

Dottie the one-year-old Rottweiler mix is just a giant lovebug. This big girl is convinced that she is a lapdog. I knelt down to pet her, and she rested her front legs across my lap and seemed perfectly content to stay right there. If you are standing instead of sitting, Dottie will take the opportunity to lean all of her weight against your legs in a not-so-subtle request to pet her. Once she gets to know you a little bit better, she will happily give your nose some doggy kisses.

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Dottie giving a doggy smile for the camera

Although Dottie is large (and may even get a little larger, since she’s only a year old), she doesn’t try to throw her weight around when she’s walking on the leash. She will make a great companion dog! Dottie is currently sharing a kennel with Sage (who is a little more rambunctious than Dottie), so she could go to a home with or without another dog. This big sweetheart is hopeful for her new forever home!

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Dottie’s sweet face

Spring the one-year-old Labrador Retriever mix is a playful pooch who would be much happier in a home of her own. She was so happy to go for a walk that she was bouncing up and down when she first got out. Once she realized we would be out for a while, she settled down and enjoyed sniffing all of the interesting smells. She even found the birdseed by the windows to the cat room, and wanted to help herself to a snack!

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Spring saying, “I’m ready for a new home! Pretty, pretty please!”

Spring gets extra-excited when there are other dogs nearby, but I think that’s because she’s so eager to find someone to play with. Since she’s barely out of puppyhood, this is understandable. Because Spring seems to especially like food, and because she’s a Lab mix, she should be a very quick and eager learner, and will make her new family very happy!

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Spring sniffing in the snow

Now onto our two brown dogs for the week:

Jackal the five-year-old Shepherd mix is an extremely gentle dog. She is the perfect companion to have for walking around the neighborhood because she’s so great on a leash, and because she gets along with everybody. She is currently sharing a kennel with Ranger (who was still a little shy at first, but loves to snuggle once he feels comfortable).

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Sweet Jackal is a great walking buddy

Jackal is a bit on the tubby side at the moment, but that just means there’s more of her to love! She certainly has plenty of love to offer in return. Jackal is one of those dogs who absolutely loves getting her back and hips scratched. She’ll lean into your hand so she knows you’re getting just the right spot. If you’re looking for a calm dog to welcome into your home, Jackal could be the one for you!

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Jackal loves getting her back scratched

Goose the six-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix is quite the athlete. He and Nemo used to be neighbors, and they would have contests to see who could jump the highest. Now that they’re in separate wings, they’ve both decided to give their legs a rest. I walked Goose for the first time about a year ago, and he has calmed down considerably since then.

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Goose enjoys being out and about

Goose, being an athlete, loves to go for walks. I let him lead the way as he sniffed and explored. (I think melting snow provides extra-good smells for dogs.) Although Goose isn’t particularly fond of other dogs, he is perfectly happy when it’s him and his person. Goose is also pretty gentle when it comes to taking treats from your hand. If you’re looking for a dog who can keep up with you when you exercise, Goose may be your new workout buddy!

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Goose loves the camera, and the camera loves him!

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Are Agile

At least, the two new dogs I met this week at Orphans of the Storm® are agile!

Jessie the nine-month-old Hound/Labrador Retriever/Border Collie mix is absolutely adorable. What a sweet little puppy! Jessie is all wiggles and puppy kisses who loves to romp around, especially in the snow. This pup also enjoys quality snuggle time, and at least for the time being could potentially squeeze into her new owner’s lap.

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Jessie’s adorable puppy face

If you are the lucky one who brings Jessie home, know that she has a natural inclination for agility! When we went inside the off-leash run, Jessie climbed right up, over, and down the agility bridge without a second thought. With her mix of breeds, she could be an agility champion! (Or just enjoy it as a fun way to bond with her owners.) This sweetie is too cute, so come in soon to meet Jessie!

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Jessie coming to cuddle

Miley the four-year-old Shepherd mix may be the first dog I will describe as ‘graceful.’ I think it’s partially because of her long legs. Miley enjoyed running around the off-leash run, but her running was more like delicate leaping. Seriously! Even when she’s just walking, she almost looks like she’s prancing.

Pretty Miley exploring in the snow

Pretty Miley exploring in the snow

Miley comes from a family who was moving and couldn’t bring her along, so she is used to being in a home and seems a little nervous in this strange new setting of the shelter. She is seems like the type to warm up to strangers quickly, though, and is extremely friendly with other dogs of all sizes. She and the little Papillon mix (who has since been adopted) got along great. Miley is ready to welcome a new family into her heart. Are you ready to welcome Miley into your home?

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Miley looking for another dog to play with

I also spent some time with some old friends. Winter the Pit Bull Terrier mix and I took a brief walk, and she was as great a walking buddy as before. She also leaned her whole body against my legs at one point so I could give her back and side a nice rub, and gave me a little doggy kiss as a thank you.

Sweet girl Ebbie the Shepherd mix wasn’t quite sure what to make of all the snow. Watching her try to walk through it all was a little funny (I can’t say ‘agile’ came to my mind), but she figured it out pretty quickly and enjoyed her time outside.

Rizzo the Shepherd mix, with all his fluffy fur, loved being in the snow. He was running around with his big, poofy tail wagging all the time.

Molly the Pit Bull Terrier mix preferred to curl up in the dog house inside the yard rather than try to make her way through the snow. But she just loves people so much! That cute tail of hers never stops wagging when someone is petting her.

I also walked kennelmates Molly the Boxer/Shepherd mix and Reebok the Shepherd mix. Reebok has calmed down a lot from the first time I took him out a few months ago, and does much better on the leash now. Molly just wants to play and have fun, and would love a new family!

And, of course, I took out my buddies Bandit the Labrador Retriever mix and Lilly the Labrador Retriever/Shar Pei mix. Why are they still at the shelter? I have no idea. Come visit them and get to know how wonderful they, and the other dogs at Orphans of the Storm®, truly are!