Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Think It Might Be Spring

Firstly, remember that our buddy Yeager is still in training at Tops Kennel and is still looking for that perfect forever family! You can check out all of the videos of his progress (and boy, has he come a long way in just a few short weeks!) on the Orphans of the Storm® Facebook page.

Secondly, Keith Sanderson (sidekick of Orphans of the Storm® alum Max A Pooch, who you might recall from our Success Stories) just interviewed Julie Adams, co-founder of Chicago Cat Rescue, about Black Cat/Dog Syndrome. I’ve written about Black Dog Syndrome a number of times, and there are still plenty of black dogs at Orphans of the Storm® wondering why they keep getting passed up. Benny, Blackie, Blush, Max, Ryla, and Saber are all great choices!

Thirdly, time to meet more pooches!

Ollie the six-year-old Husky mix is one of the calmest, gentlest dogs I’ve met at Orphans of the Storm®. Usually the Husky mixes I take out want to go sprinting off right away, but Ollie walked calmly by my side all the way to the off-leash run. Even once he was off-leash, he was more of a meander-er than a runner. If you’re looking for a walking companion, Ollie should definitely be on your list.

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Ollie with his pretty blue eyes

Ollie, like most of the Husky mixes I’ve met at the shelter, was a little aloof when we first started out. But (like most of the Husky mixes I’ve met at the shelter) after a few minutes, he was coming up to me to get a nice scratch on the chin and back. It’s so important to give these dogs a chance–they see strangers coming and going every day, so you can’t blame them for not always cuddling up to you immediately. Once Ollie knows you, though, you’ll have a very loyal companion. And, of course, I couldn’t write about Ollie without mentioning his stunning blue eyes! Come in soon to get to know Ollie.

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Ollie is such a handsome, gentle guy

Buddy the one-year-old black Labrador Retriever mix is definitely still in his puppy phase. This little guy thinks that everything is a game (which is perfect for when his future owner starts training him!). It took us a little bit to get situated because he wanted to play tug-of-war with the leash, but once we got walking he let it go and we hurried over to the off-leash run so he could burn off that puppy energy.

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Buddy smiling for the camera

Buddy hasn’t fully grasped the concept of “fetch” yet, but he’s certainly willing to learn. He loved chasing the tennis ball around, but wasn’t so sure about bringing it back to me. After he dropped it, though, he was happy to have me pick it back up and throw it again–no signs of being possessive. Buddy also loves to give doggy hugs. All he really wants is to be spoiled with love and attention. Don’t let Black Dog Syndrome keep him at the shelter for too long! If you’re looking for a fun, playful pup, come in soon to meet Buddy.

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Buddy showing off his silly side

Barney the seven-year-old Beagle mix is just too precious. He seems a little sad inside his kennel but once you have him out on a leash, that little tail of his does not stop wagging! Barney walks pretty well on the leash and could certainly use some more exercise, judging by the size of his tummy (cute as that round tummy may be). Barney is currently sharing his kennel with another dog, so he could go to a home with or without another doggy friend.

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Barney knows how to pose

Barney is super affectionate. As soon as I knelt down next to him, he put his little front paws on my leg and covered my face in doggy kisses. I was just about ready to scoop him up and take him home with me! Barney isn’t as bark-y as some Hounds are known to be, which is a plus. And he just has the cutest little face. This sweet, happy boy would bring so much joy to his new family. Stop by the shelter soon to meet Barney!

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Barney coming over to cuddle

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

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs with Common Names

You’re more than welcome to give a new name to the dog you adopt from Orphans of the Storm®, but this week’s pooches have some of the most popular pet names already!

Bella the seven-year-old American Bulldog mix will make you smile the instant you see her. She’s a little chubby, which is cute in and of itself, but she also looks exactly like Yoda, with a wrinkly face and ears that stick out to the side of her head. You will be sure to get lots of comments from Star Wars fans when you’re seen out walking Bella. In addition to her adorable looks, Bella also has an adorable personality.

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Bella would love to have her own yard to play in!

Bella was surrendered by her owners because they no longer had the time to care for her properly, so Bella already knows what it’s like to be a family pet. She does pretty well on the leash and she is friendly and affectionate with people, though she would probably do best as the only dog in her new home. She’s only been at the shelter for a couple of weeks, but she’s already a volunteer favorite. Come in soon to find out if Bella is the pooch for you!

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Bella’s adorable face

Max the two-year-old black Labrador Retriever mix is an all-around great dog. He walked really well on our way to the off-leash run and he already knows some basic commands like “Sit,” which he did for me even without a treat (sorry, Max!). I was wondering if he might even be part Pointer, since whenever he heard something he would go into that signature Pointer stance.

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Max enjoying the hay–no more snow!

Max is a typical Lab mix, in that he loves being with people and will make a very loyal companion. We hadn’t been together for very long before he was staying close to my side like we were old pals. Max would prefer to be the only dog in his new home, and he would definitely enjoy going on nice walks around the neighborhood every day. He loved to get his back scratched and gives doggy kisses in return. If you’re looking for a Lab, take a look at Max!

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Max coming in for a snuggle

Jasper the ten-month-old Pit Bull Terrier mix is 100% puppy. He loves to run and play and give doggy hugs and doggy kisses. We kept stopping on our way to the off-leash run because he kept wanting to get pet! He’s still just a pup, so he’ll definitely need some training to learn things like leash manners. He’s a smart boy who just wants to make people happy, though, so he’s sure to be a quick learner!

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Jasper knows how to turn it on for the camera

Jasper somehow already seems to know what a camera is, though. As soon as I pulled mine out, he was ready for his close-up and posed like a pro. He also seemed to instinctively know that it’s more polite if he sits down when another dog is coming nearby, which he did on a couple of occasions when different dogs walked past us. Jasper doesn’t want to grow up in the shelter; he wants to be with a loving family who will spend plenty of time playing with him and helping him become the amazing companion he knows he can be!

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Seriously, Jasper could be a doggy model!

Bailey the five-year-old Beagle mix does the Hound group proud. This little scent hound follows his nose wherever it takes him–in fact, he barely takes his nose off the ground at all! We paused a lot on our way to the off-leash run so he could take an extra-good sniff. With all the snow melting now, I bet it’s quite interesting! When Bailey isn’t sniffing, though, he walks very nicely on the leash.

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Bailey being an excellent scent hound

Bailey is a gentle guy who would prefer to be in an adult-only home. It may take him a few minutes to stop sniffing and start socializing with you, so don’t count him out too soon because he does enjoy getting a nice pat on the back. And what an adorable boy he is! That face and those eyes will have you falling in love almost immediately. Bailey currently has a kennelmate (see below), so he could go to a home with or without another dog. Come in soon to say hi to Bailey!

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I couldn’t even get a picture of Bailey without his nose to the ground

Kaylee the four-year-old Rat Terrier mix is such a little sweetheart. She came from a family who could no longer care for her, so she’s feeling a little scared and overwhelmed at the shelter. When I first took her out, she kept her tail between her legs and got nervous if I reached towards her. She stuck close to Bailey, who is currently her kennelmate, even once we got to the off-leash run and they were free to go wherever they wanted.

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Kaylee coming to sit in my lap

Kaylee warmed up to me after just a few short minutes, though. She stood next to me a little tentatively and I started to pet her very gently. Once she seemed more comfortable, I picked her up and she melted right into my arms. When I tried to put her back down, she jumped back into my lap for more cuddling! (I have the muddy pawprints on my jeans to prove it.) Once Kaylee knows she can trust you, she will love you forever. If you’re looking for a pint-sized pooch, come in soon to meet Kaylee!

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Kaylee not so sure about this hay business (her buddy Bailey is in the background)

I also saw plenty of other doggy friends this week: Jade, Saber, Gizmo, Giorgio, Dina, Precious, Shasta, Lady, Tiger, and Molokai (who is literally the best walking companion you can find. And you can trust me–I’ve walked a lot of dogs!).

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Who Could Use the Luck of the Irish

Orphans of the Storm® has some pooches with St. Patrick’s Day-related names who have been waiting for their furever families for far too long. Emerald, Shamrock, and Corky (for County Cork!) are three of the shelter’s longest long-timers, and Lucky has been at the shelter much longer than I expected he would be.

Emerald‘s story has been shared many times. She arrived at Orphans of the Storm® in 2006 (that’s eight years ago!) with a litter of puppies. All of her puppies found their new families quickly, but Emerald is still waiting for her turn. This ten-year-old Labrador Retriever/Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix is full of love and affection and plenty of energy to make for a wonderful, playful companion.

Emerald Staffordshire Bull Terrier new


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.

Shamrock American Staffordshire Terrier Australian Cattle Dog Mix


Corky is such a well-behaved boy, and yet it seems like he never gets the chance to show off his good manners because visitors continue to pass him by. Corky knows his basic commands like “Sit” and “Shake” and is extremely food-motivated, so he could easily learn much more. This six-year-old Hound mix is also great at giving doggy hugs.

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Lucky has been at Orphans of the Storm® for less than a year, but I thought he would have been adopted long before now. Lucky is a nine-year-old Border Collie mix who loves to run and play and give doggy hugs. It certainly doesn’t seem like he’ll be slowing down anytime soon. Lucky originally shared his kennel with another dog who has since been adopted, so we know he gets along with both people and animals.

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The next time you visit Orphans of the Storm®, ask the staff about the long-timers. They are just as deserving of a good home as everybody else–it’s just taking them a little longer to get there.

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Are Super Lovable

The title of this post pretty much sums it up! If you’re looking for somebody to love, Orphans of the Storm® should definitely be your first stop.

Fuzzy the ten-year-old Pointer mix is a calm, gentle soul. You don’t have to worry about any leash-pulling from this pooch; he would make a good walking companion for a trip around the block. Since he’s getting up there in years, Fuzzy doesn’t need quite as much exercise–but he certainly appreciated the chance to go outside for a bit and explore the off-leash run.

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Fuzzy almost looks like he’s in the official Pointer stance

Fuzzy is on the skinny side at the moment, so he probably wouldn’t mind getting a little spoiled with nice, tasty treats from his new family. He also wouldn’t mind getting spoiled with plenty of attention. He enjoyed getting a nice scratch under the chin and on his back. If you’re interested in a calmer dog who is just looking for friendship and a soft, warm bed, Fuzzy could be exactly the right dog for you!

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Fuzzy’s sweet face

Reggie the two-year-old Labrador Retriever mix is such a pretty boy; he caught my eye right away as I walked through the shelter on this visit. Reggie was very polite while I put his leash on, and did a great job walking on our way to the off-leash run. When I stopped at one point, he just sat down next to me and waited. This is one dog who is all about pleasing people.

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Reggie coming in for a cuddle

Reggie is (as the title of this post indicates) super lovable and super loving. If you want a dog that will give you plenty of hugs and kisses every time you come home, Reggie is more than up to the task. What a sweetheart! Also, Reggie is currently sharing his kennel with another pooch, so he could go to a home with or without another dog. A dog like Reggie won’t stay at the shelter for very long, so come in soon to meet him!

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Reggie found a patch of ground with no snow!

Luca the two-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix is a volunteer favorite, and it’s easy to see why. This big, handsome boy is full of love and gets along with everyone he meets. Luca came from an owner who moved and couldn’t bring him along, so he has experience as a pet and gets along with adults, children, and other dogs. When I was out with Luca this week, he had four kids petting him simultaneously and he was enjoying every second of it.

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Luca exploring underneath the agility bridge

Luca knows a few commands, and I’m sure he’d be eager to learn more–especially for treats! He’s pretty strong, especially when he first comes out of his kennel and is excited to go for a walk, but he settles down and walks nicely on a leash after he gets the chance to stretch his legs. Luca loves to give doggy hugs and kisses, so if you’re looking for a big new friend who will shower you with affection, look no further than Luca!

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Luca is such a handsome boy

Javan the two-year-old Shepherd mix is such a happy, friendly guy. He arrived at Orphans of the Storm® with heartworm, but he has received treatment over the last couple of months and is now ready to find his new family. Javan is a real cutie (he looks like he could be Rusty‘s brother!) and has a wonderful personality to match.

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Javan enjoying the outdoors

Javan just loves to cuddle. While he was off exploring the off-leash run, I decided to take a seat on the bench. When Javan looked up and realized this, he came sprinting over and jumped right into my lap (or, at least, as much of him as could fit). He may have had heartworm, but that hasn’t hurt his ability to love with all of his heart! I think it’s safe to say that Javan is one of my new favorites. Come in soon to find out if Javan is the pooch for you!

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Javan looking for a lap to sit in

Tiger the seven-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix is, like Luca, a dog who came from an owner who moved and couldn’t bring him with. That means Tiger has seven years of experience as a family pet, and can’t wait to show you what a great addition he would be to your family. Even though Tiger doesn’t understand how he ended up at the shelter, that hasn’t dampened his spirits; his tail is wagging constantly.

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Tiger has a face you just want to kiss!

Tiger has another similarity with most of the dogs in this post: he loves to give doggy hugs. If you pat your chest, Tiger will gladly oblige and jump up to say hello. Is there such a thing as being too friendly? Tiger certainly doesn’t think so. He loves people and just wants to be loved in return. This good-looking guy has been passed over for far too long. Give Tiger the second chance at a happy home that he so clearly deserves.

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Tiger’s tail wagging, as usual

Some other lovable pooches I spent time with this week are Jade, Saber, Buddy, Bebe, Wilbur, Giorgio, Lady, and Lucky.

Also, who remembers Yeager? Yeager has been at Orphans of the Storm® for over a year, and now he has the opportunity of a lifetime: he’s the latest dog to be helped by Orphans of the Storm®’s Tyler Fund, which sends dogs who need some training for a stay at Tops Kennel in Grayslake. You can follow Yeager’s progress on the shelter’s Facebook page, and if you or someone you know is interested in Yeager, you’re highly encouraged to stop by his training sessions!

Although I didn’t get the chance to meet Tyler, the first Orphans dog to go through Tops Kennel, I certainly did know Buddy, who was happily adopted after his stay at Tops. Peggy, who graduated from Tops Kennel last year thanks to the Tyler Fund, is still waiting for her future family to find her.