Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Against Black Dog Syndrome, Part 4

There are a number of black dogs at Orphans of the Storm® right now, and they’re all hoping that you will appreciate their fur color instead of avoid it! (And the black cats at the shelter feel the same way.)

BeeWee the two-year-old black Labrador Retriever mix is a playful, happy guy. He quickly led the way to the off-leash run and had a fun time following his nose and exploring. When I threw a tennis ball, he bounded right after it–but he hasn’t quite mastered ‘fetch’ yet so he didn’t bring it back. He’s a retriever, though, so with a little practice I’m sure he’ll get the hang of it!

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BeeWee coming to say hello

BeeWee is the type of pooch who wants to say hi to everyone and be friends with everyone. He was originally sharing his kennel with another (big) dog who has since been adopted, so he could go to a home with or without another dog. BeeWee loves to get attention and will do a cute little dance when you scratch his hips. Stop by soon to say hello to BeeWee!

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BeeWee loves being outside

Bonnie the five-year-old black Labrador Retriever mix is much smaller than your purebred Lab. In fact, her legs are so short that when she tried to hop up onto the bench next to me, she couldn’t make the leap! (So I moved and sat down on the ground so she wouldn’t feel left out.) Bonnie is an absolute sweetheart who just wants to love and be loved in return.

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Bonnie will stay by your side

Bonnie could be considered a “Velcro” dog because she likes to stay close to her person. Even when I let her off the leash, she still stayed close to me as I walked around. Whenever I knelt down next to her, she would put her head in my lap and cuddle. And walking with her on the leash was a breeze. If you’re looking for a sweet and gentle companion who loves to snuggle, come in soon to meet Bonnie!

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Bonnie never strays too far

Gambler the two-year-old Border Collie mix is one of those dogs who will make you smile immediately because he is just so friendly. When another volunteer hooked Gambler onto a leash and let him out of his kennel, the first thing Gambler did was give that volunteer a doggy hug. It was quite possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen, because it was so clearly a “thank you for taking me out!” hug. After that, I knew Gambler and I would get along great.

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Gambler has an adorable face

Gambler is a happy pooch with a constantly wagging tail. He had a good time racing the dog on the other side of the fence while we were in the off-leash run, but soon came back to me and buried his head in my lap so we could snuggle. Gambler seems like he gets along with other dogs, but if you do bring him into a home with another dog, Gambler would prefer to eat his meals separately. If doggy hugs are your thing, be sure to say hello to Gambler!

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Gambler eagerly joined me on the bench

I also saw Bella, Blush, Diamond, Kayne (also spelled as Kane), Lexi, and O’Shea.

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Who Found Their Furever Home, Part X

We have another Orphans of the Storm® adoption success story to share today! Suzie and her husband Adam sent the following story about their pooch, Josie:

A Josie collage

A Josie collage

We adopted “Dot,” a Beagle Mix, on March 29, 2015. She was very stand-offish every time I visited the kennel (like nine times before we adopted) always laying in the back of the kennel never coming to the front to see people. My husband and I had our list of four dogs the day we came to finally adopt (she was in last place). Turns out the other dogs were either already adopted or not what we were looking for. There was something about Dot; my husband said, “Let’s go see her again.” We went to her kennel and she still stayed curled up in the back even when we called her. My husband saw something in her so we took her to the off-leash run for a solo visit. As soon as she got there, she perked up immediately! And of course we fell for her.

Josie in her favorite place

Josie in her favorite place



Dot (Josie now) is such a good dog! We are absolutely in love with her and she is quite smitten with my husband. She has taken and passed a six-week obedience class at TOPS (not all dogs pass – yay Josie!), she is fun to walk or run with, she loves her new yard, comfy beds, and spending time with us. She is such a sweetheart, she loves snuggling up and giving kisses.

Josie loves watching squirrels

Josie loves watching squirrels

While it is always a chance when you adopt a dog with no history, it is definitely worth the risk!

Josie ready for a walk

Josie ready for a walk

Thank you for sharing your success story with us, Suzie and Adam!

If you are interested in sharing your own Orphans of the Storm® success story on the blog, please email meetthepooches@gmail.com.

Orphans of the Storm®’s “Clear the Shelter” Success!

When I turned onto Riverwoods Road around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, I could immediately see that this wasn’t going to be an average day at Orphans of the Storm®! The visitor parking lot was full and cars were parked along the side of the road as far as the eye could see. I turned onto Saunders Road, where the second parking lot was also full and cars were lined up on both sides of the road. I parked a ways away and made my trek back to the entrance gate, which was decorated with a banner and balloons. It was the official Clear the Shelters day, and Orphans of the Storm® was hoping to do just that!

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There was no doubt as people drove by that it was a special day!

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All of the animals were ready and eager to find their furever home

I had never seen so many dogs being walked simultaneously! It was a bit overwhelming, but in the best way. Even though the shelter had been open for less than an hour, there were already plenty of “ADOPTED! :-)” signs written on individual kennels. I saw many potential adopters with lists in their hands, keeping track of which dogs they were interested in walking. There were a few instances where a dog had already been adopted, but the great thing was that there were still so many wonderful dogs to choose from!

There were several tents set up at the shelter, including a tent with staff from the Ruth Helen Wolf Animal Clinic, which is where the dogs and cats from the shelter go for their spay/neuter and any other medical needs before heading to their furever home.

Orphans of the Storm Clear the Shelters 1I spent my time helping take dogs out to meet potential adopters, and also made sure to stop and talk to people who were with dogs I had already profiled here to tell them what a good dog they were walking. When I left the shelter a little after 2, over 30 dogs had already been adopted.

In total, 57 (yes, 57!) dogs were adopted over the weekend, along with 48 cats. That’s over half of the dogs who were at Orphans of the Storm®! If you haven’t already, I highly encourage you to visit the Orphans of the Storm® Facebook page to see the photos that have already been shared by the happy adopters and adoptees. It’s safe to say that Clear the Shelters was a success–not only at Orphans of the Storm®, but around the entire country. According to NBC, nearly 20,000 dogs and cats were adopted over the weekend.

I have to give a special hurray to Shamrock, who was actually adopted the day before Clear the Shelters. Shamrock was not only the shelter’s longest long-timer (she had been at Orphans of the Storm® since 2006!), but she was also the very first dog I walked and profiled here. There were several other long-timers adopted over the weekend, which is extra exciting.

If you weren’t able to make it to Orphans of the Storm® this past weekend, don’t feel like you missed out! There are still over 50 dogs waiting for their turn at a new, happy life. Some long-timers who are still available for adoption are:

There will always be good dogs looking for good homes, so if this weekend wasn’t the right time for you to adopt, don’t worry! When the time is right for you, there will be the perfect pooch ready and waiting to join your family.

Thank you to all of the staff, volunteers, and especially the adopters who made Clear the Shelters such a success! We love to get updates on our dogs and cats, so if you would like to share your Orphans of the Storm® Success Story, please email meetthepooches@gmail.com.

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Hoping to Clear the Shelter

Saturday is the big day! Orphans of the Storm®, along with 25 other shelters in the Chicago area and even more shelters nationwide, is looking for your help to Clear the Shelters. If you’re ready to have a new furry friend join your family this Saturday, your adoption fee will be waived (fees for additional shots still apply). I’ll be there, hanging out with some of the shelter’s long-timers who are eager to find their furever home.

This past weekend, though, I met some new pooches!

Parzivie the four-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix is so incredibly lovable. It is impossible not to smile when you spend time with this happy guy. He’s pretty strong and can sometimes pull when he’s on the leash, but that’s just because he is enthusiastic about everything! Parzivie does seem to have good manners, though. If I stopped walking for more than a few seconds while he was on the leash, he would either sit or lay down next to me to wait. Parzivie is also very affectionate. When I knelt down next to him to take his picture, he bounded right over and covered my face in doggy kisses.

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Parzivie is a happy guy

Parzivie loves to play. When we first got into the off-leash run, he tried to get the two tiny Yorkies on the other side of the fence to race with him (to no avail). Then he spotted a squeaky hamburger toy and had a blast! He chewed on it, rolled it around on the ground, threw it into the air, and was very much capable of keeping himself entertained. The cutest thing was that when it was time to leave the off-leash run, he dropped the hamburger right at the gate so the next dog could play with it! If you’re looking for a fun, loving, and fun-loving companion, come in soon to meet Parzivie!

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Parzivie playing with his hamburger toy

Saddie the three-year-old German Shepherd mix is a sweet, pretty girl who was found as a stray. You wouldn’t know that from spending time with her, though, because she is well-behaved and likes being around people. (However, she would prefer to be with adults rather than children.) Saddie walked nicely on the leash and also seems like she knows some basic commands like “sit.”

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Saddie expressing an interest in the camera

Saddie is an affectionate girl who will gladly stand by your side and give you doggy kisses while you pet her. She does have a playful side: when Saddie discovered that there were little birds in the bushes in the off-leash run, she got them to fly out and started chasing them! On your next visit to the shelter, say hello to Saddie!

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Saddie after flushing the birds

Franklin the one-year-old Treeing Walker Coonhound mix seems like pretty much a perfect example of his breed. He has plenty of energy, follows his nose, is athletic, and has that great Hound baying voice. Franklin can be a little bit of a handful when he first gets out of his kennel, but he settles down after he gets to romp around for a bit and eventually became a good walking companion who stuck by my side.

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Franklin sharing a doggy hug

Franklin is a fan of giving doggy hugs and will stand on his hind legs with his front paws resting on you while you pet him. Since he’s both athletic and curious, he could potentially jump fences, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on him when he’s off-leash. Franklin was originally sharing his kennel with another big Hound who has already been adopted, so he could go to a home with or without another dog. If you’re looking for an active new friend, come in soon to meet Franklin!

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Franklin wondering what’s on the other side of the fence

I also saw Bear, Blush, Clarinet, Honey Lamb, Lexi, Roxy, and Skippy.

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Ready to Go Home with You

If you’ve been thinking about adopting a dog (or cat) but have been “waiting for the right time,” the right time just may be August 15! NBC 5 and Telemundo Chicago are hosting Clear the Shelters, along with 25 shelters in the Chicago area. One of those shelters is Orphans of the Storm®! If you adopt your dog or cat that day, the adoption fee will be waived (additional fees for shots may apply). There are plenty of deserving pooches ready to go home with you!

Chico the three-year-old Labrador Retriever mix is a fun and outgoing boy. He loves to romp around, whether it’s going for a walk on-leash or exploring a yard off-leash. He’s attentive and likes to be kept in the loop–whenever somebody walked by on the other side of the fence, Chico would hurry over to see what was going on. Chico is also very handsome, with his black-and-white markings.

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Chico happily joining me on the bench

Chico gets along with both people and other dogs. He’s currently sharing his kennel with a Husky mix, so he could go to a home with or without another pooch. He also seemed politely interested in a little Spaniel mix who was in the run next to ours. If affection is what you’re looking for, Chico is here! When I sat down on the bench, he basically catapulted himself into my lap (as best he could, since he’s a big boy) and then happily stood next to me with his tail wagging. Stop by soon to meet Chico!

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Chico likes to keep an eye on things

Razor the one-year-old Labrador Retriever/Mountain Cur mix was a little nervous when he first came out of his kennel. He kept his distance in the beginning (though not that much distance, since the leash was only a few feet long) and quietly sniffed and explored. But the more time we spent together, the more snuggly Razor became.

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Razor is a cute boy

Razor, after getting used to his surroundings, came over and leaned against my leg a little. When I started petting him, he flopped over for a belly rub and kicked his cute little puppy paws in the air. After that, we were good buddies and he stayed close to me. He was a little unsure of the bigger dog in the run next to us, but it was easy enough to distract him and have him follow me to the other side. Razor is looking for a new best friend. If you are too, come in soon to say hello!

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Razor did a good job walking on leash

Rocky the eight-year-old Shih Tzu mix is super cute. He’s definitely one of those dogs who will elicit a lot of “Aww”s when he’s out and about. He has a buzz cut for the summer, which makes him extra soft to pet. Rocky is currently sharing his kennel with another dog closer to his size, so he could go to a home with or without another dog (though he does seem to have a bit of Little Dog Syndrome, trying to act tough when bigger dogs get close).

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Rocky enjoying his walk

Rocky is a dog who walks with a purpose. He trots around with his head held high as if he’s saying, “Look at me!” After we walked around for a bit, I sat down in the shade and Rocky plopped down next to me. Although I personally didn’t try picking him up, another volunteer did when putting Rocky back in his kennel and Rocky was fine with it. If you’re looking for an adorable little companion, stop by soon to meet Rocky!

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Rocky relaxing

Chica the three-year-old black Labrador Retriever mix is a big girl with plenty of energy when she first gets out of her kennel, but don’t let that deter you. Once she gets the chance to stretch her legs for a few minutes, she’ll be ready to sit down and shower you with doggy kisses. Chica would be a great buddy for someone who likes to take long walks.

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Chica is not shy about saying hello

Chica is very fond of people, but not so fond of other dogs. She’d do best as the only dog in her new home, but when you have a dog as affectionate as Chica, you won’t be missing out! Half the pictures I took of Chica are a close-up of her nose because she always wanted to be right next to me. When I sat down on the bench, she quickly trotted over and stood by my side so I could pet her. Don’t let Black Dog Syndrome keep Chica at the shelter for too long! On your next visit, be sure to say hi to this sweet girl.

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Chica won’t stray far from your side

Alfred the one-year-old American Bulldog mix is a perfect example of why you can’t judge a dog from inside their kennel. Since he’s new to the shelter and probably overwhelmed, he’s very nervous when he’s inside his kennel and didn’t want to sniff my hand when I first walked by. But as soon as he was outside and walking on the leash, all he wanted to do was cuddle!

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Alfred has such a sweet face

Alfred has a super cute face with just a couple brown spots, while the rest of him is white. His tail starts wagging as soon as you start petting him, and he also wagged his tail in a friendly way when he greeted a dog on the other side of the fence. He loves getting scratched on his back by his hips and will do a cute little dance while you do that. Alfred just needs to learn that the world isn’t a scary place, and being adopted into a loving home is sure to teach him that. Come in soon to meet Alfred!

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Alfred exploring the outdoors

I also saw Bear, Blush, Cooper, Courage, Diamond, Jasmine, Jessica, John Boy, Lady, Lexi, Skippy, Tiger, Zoey, and Zola (also known as Chola).