Orphans of the Storm® Super Sweet Dogs

I guess I had particularly good instincts this week, because each dog I walked at Orphans of the Storm® ended up being one of the sweetest dogs I’ve met! If you’re looking for a cuddle buddy, there are lots of sweeties to choose from right now.

Bonnett the five-year-old Australian Cattle Dog mix is a cutie. She barks a little from inside her kennel, but that’s just to get your attention. She didn’t make a peep the entire time I was out with her. Bonnett was a little shy at first, but warmed up after a few minutes. She spent some time exploring underneath the bushes in the off-leash run but eventually came over to spend some time with me.

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Bonnett in the shade

Bonnett loves going for walks. When I said, “Do you want to go for a walk?” she jumped up and put her front paws on me with her little stub of a tail wagging enthusiastically. Bonnett is a good leash-walker who likes to walk at a quick pace but doesn’t pull. She was previously sharing her kennel with another dog, so she could go to a home with or without another dog. Be sure to say hi to Bonnett on your next visit to the shelter!

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Bonnett following her nose

Oliver the two-year-old Treeing Walker Coonhound mix looks like a bundle of energy when he’s inside his kennel, but after his initial burst when he first comes out, he’s actually pretty calm. Oliver likes to cuddle and joined me on the bench a couple of times. He’s happy to give doggy kisses.

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Oliver says, “May I join you up here?”

Oliver and I took a stroll around the woodland preserve. Oliver walked nicely on the leash and occasionally looked up at me, which is a good sign that he’ll take cues from his new owner. He liked taking breaks every once in a while for a good scratch on the back. Hounds can be talkative, but Oliver wasn’t when we were out. Come in soon to meet Oliver!

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I’d say Oliver was pretty happy on his walk

Andy the eight-year-old Border Collie mix is such a sweetheart. He was resting on his doggy bed when I came by his kennel, but got up to say hello. He was a little nervous when I showed him the leash, but after a minute or so of petting him and telling him it would be just fine, Andy let me hook him up and we went on our way.

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Andy coming over to cuddle

Andy walks on the slow side (he has arthritis) but still seems to enjoy being out and about. The longer he was outside, the more his tail wagged. Andy is so precious. Whenever I started petting him, he would keep leaning into me and tuck his head against me. Andy looks a little sad right now, but once he gets some TLC and a nice bath, he will look and feel so much better. Make sure to say hi to Andy on your next trip to the shelter!

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Andy is ready to head to a loving home

I also saw Bella, Coal, Cody, Daffodile, Josh, Lucy, the other Lucy, Ramsey, Roxy, and Waggles.

Orphans of the Storm® Clear the Shelters 2016 Success

At the beginning of last weekend, over 100 dogs were listed as available for adoption on the Orphans of the Storm® website. By the end of Clear the Shelters weekend, that number was below 50! Although a 100% cleared-out shelter is always the goal, over 50% in one weekend is amazing. There were also 32 cats adopted on Clear the Shelters day alone, and 58 total in the past week.

Thank you to all of the staff and volunteers who worked through a hot and humid day to make sure so many dogs and cats found their forever homes. And an even bigger thank you to those who came to the shelter and left with a new furry family member! You can find some adorable family photos on the Orphans of the Storm® Facebook page.

Whether you adopted your pet from Orphans of the Storm® five days ago or five years ago, we would love to hear from you! If you would like to share your adoption success story, please email meetthepooches@gmail.com. You can read previous adoption stories on the Success Stories page.

Below are just a few photos from the event. There are many more on the Facebook page!

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The adoption tent was always bustling with people filling out the final paperwork

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Staff from both of our veterinary offices were on site, helping to answer adopters’ questions and pass out goodies!

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Hurray for long-timer Gypsy, who went home this week!

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Sweet Jacob also found his forever home

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And so did handsome Blondie, who will also have a doggy friend to play with at home!

There are still plenty of dogs and cats at the shelter, ready and waiting to go to their forever home. If you weren’t able to make it to the event last weekend, come in any day of the week and meet them! Orphans of the Storm® is open daily from 11am-5pm, with extended hours on Thursday (11am-8pm). The animals hope to see you there soon!

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Who Found Their Forever Home, Part XIII

I’m happy to share another success story! Michael and Wei adopted Willie the Beagle mix and have their story and some adorable pictures to share.

If you would like to share your own Orphans of the Storm® success story here on the blog, please email meetthepooches@gmail.com.

Here is what Michael had to say:

I wanted to let everyone know Willie is doing great in his new home. We adopted Willie on December 23, 2015.

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Willie on his car ride home for the first time

We first went into Orphans sometime in October just browsing and considering a second dog for company to our young puppy Oreo (also a rescue but from WrightWay).

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Willie and Oreo waking up in the morning

We saw Willie, and he was so adorable! We took him out for a walk and discovered he was having issues with one of his rear legs. It made us so sad to see him limping along on 3 legs! But he was so eager to walk and enjoy the fresh air it broke our hearts to put him back inside. We weren’t sure if we could handle two dogs, so we opted to consider it for a while and also allow some time to diagnose more of what was wrong with his leg.

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Willie lives in comfort now

Over the next few weeks I couldn’t stop thinking about the poor guy stuck in the shelter. I went back about 4 weeks later, and he was still there. I walked in and he was in the office area behind the door. He saw me and instantly jumped up and came to the door, almost like he remembered who I was. He stood on the other side looking up at me through the glass with his tail wagging, and I knew at that point I had to take him home! A little convincing to Wei and she agreed.

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Willie and Oreo getting acquainted

It took a few additional weeks to sort out his medical issues, but we were finally able to bring him home on December 23. The whole ride home he kept looking at me and reaching out for me with his paw…he seemed to know he was rescued! He’s been a wonderful addition to our family and we’ve been giving him plenty of exercise. His leg seems to be all better now and he really enjoys running. I’ll take him for a nice run everyday, and it’s at the point where when I get the leash, he starts jumping up and down in excitement to go for the run.

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Willie and Oreo enjoying the fireplace

He has become best friends with our younger Oreo. The two are almost impossible to separate, often sleeping next to each other and playing together. They are the perfect partners in crime, having managed to destroy more than a few soft toys–often working together on the same toy.

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Willie and Oreo have great teamwork

He’s completely spoiled, but we figure that’s okay–we’re just making up for him the time he spent at Orphans. He likes to sleep on the bed curled up right alongside either Wei or me.

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Willie in bed with Wei

Hope you enjoy–we are certainly enjoying Willie.

Thank you, Michael and Wei, for sharing your story and pictures with us!

Orphans of the Storm® Long-Timers Hoping for a Home for the Holidays

I’m going to save new dogs for the new year and take the next couple of weeks to write about some of the dogs at Orphans of the Storm® who have been waiting for their forever family a little longer than others. Included are updated photos from this past weekend.

Weezie the nine-year-old Chow Chow mix is quickly becoming one of my favorites. She may bark at you when you first walk by her kennel, but once you take her out she is one of the sweetest dogs. Now that she knows me, she greets me with a wagging tail instead of a bark. Weezie is a senior and walks on the slower side, but she gets around just fine and enjoys being outside. When I had her out this past weekend, she sat by my feet and enjoyed getting a scratch on the neck. She will happily give you doggy kisses if you give her the opportunity! Weezie has a lifetime of experience as a family pet and is ready to join a new family and show off what a lovable companion she is. You can read more about my first visit with Weezie here.

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Weezie

Zoey the four-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix is an energetic girl who loves to run and play. She knows her basic commands like “sit” and would be a quick learner if her new family wanted to teach her more. Zoey likes to chase tennis balls, though she doesn’t usually bring them back. She’s also enjoyed playing with other dog toys in the past. Zoey has very pretty coloring that I haven’t seen on any other dog. If you’re an active person looking for an active companion, Zoey might be the one for you! You can read more about my first visit with Zoey here.

Orphans of the Storm Dogs: Zoey Update

Zoey

Showtime the six-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix is a volunteer favorite. There were several other volunteers at the shelter when I was there this weekend, and all of them stopped what they were doing to say hello to Showtime. Showtime’s favorite thing is getting her hips scratched; she does a cute little dance and wags her tail. Showtime seems to do pretty well with other dogs also. Since everyone who knows her likes her, all you have to do is come in to meet her! You can read more about my first visit with Showtime here.

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Showtime

Lexi the five-year-old American Bulldog mix is super happy, all the time. Her tail never stops wagging and she is always eager to greet people and do some cuddling. Lexi quickly joined me on the bench and tried her best to fit in my lap, though she’s a little big for that. Lexi loves going for walks and literally jumps up and down when she finds out it’s her turn. Sadly, Lexi has cancer, but you wouldn’t know that just from spending time with her. Lexi is looking for a special person who will love her and take care of her through her illness. You can read more about my first visit with Lexi here.

Orphans of the Storm Dogs: Lexi Update

Lexi

Zola (previously known as Chola) the two-year-old Hound mix has shared her kennel with many dogs during her time at Orphans of the Storm®, and for some reason her kennelmates always get adopted and Zola remains. Although Zola gets along with other dogs, she would prefer to be the only dog in her new home. Zola is very snuggly and absolutely loves getting belly rubs. I wish I could have gotten a picture of her this weekend when I was giving her a belly rub because I have never seen a dog look so happy: Zola’s eyes were half-closed and the corners of her mouth were turned up just slightly so she really looked like she was smiling. She could have stayed like that all day! You can read more about my first visit with Zola here.

Orphans of the Storm Dogs: Zola Update

Zola

Diamond the eight-year-old Pit Bull Terrier mix is one of the longest long-timers at the shelter, and she’s another volunteer favorite. She walks pretty well on the leash and enjoys spending time in the off-leash run. One of her favorite activities is racing whatever dog happens to be in the run next to her; she’ll do a little bark and go into a play-bow to entice them. Diamond will gladly stay by your side as long as you’re petting her. You can read more about my first visit with Diamond here.

Orphans of the Storm Dogs: Diamond Update

Diamond

Bear the two-year-old Chow Chow mix likes being around adults but isn’t as much of a fan of children. Bear likes adults so much that he sometimes has separation anxiety, so he would prefer to be in a home where someone is around most of the day. Bear is a sweet boy who walks pretty well on the leash and enjoys getting a good scratch under the chin. You can read more about my first visit with Bear here.

Orphans of the Storm Dogs: Bear Update

Bear

Roxy the six-year-old Labrador Retriever/Pit Bull Terrier mix came from an owner, so she knows what it takes to be a family dog. She’s not too fond of other dogs but loves being with people and will give you plenty of doggy kisses once she gets a chance to know you. Roxy can pull a bit on the leash at first but settles down quickly. She would love to have a yard to call her own and an owner who will take her for daily walks. You can read more about my first visit with Roxy here.

Orphans of the Storm Dogs: Roxy Update

Roxy

Bella the eleven-year-old Boxer mix is another one of my favorites. I know I say this about her every time, but it’s because it’s so true: Bella is the definition of “gentle giant.” She’s one of the largest dogs at the shelter right now, but one of the easiest to walk on the leash. Bella loves to snuggle and give doggy kisses. Her favorite place to get pet is her back, but her ears and chin are good choices too! Bella would like to be the only dog in her new home. All she’s looking for is a loving family to join for her golden years. She has so much love to offer! You can read more about my first visit with Bella here.

Orphans of the Storm Dogs: Bella Update

Bella

Scotty the ten-year-old Labrador Retriever/Pit Bull Terrier mix is another sweetheart. He walks nicely on the leash and just loves spending time with people. Scotty will stay by your side as long as you’re petting him and particularly likes getting scratched on his back and hips. Scotty has a horseshoe-shaped marking on his back, which we keep hoping will bring him some luck! Scotty had some surgery on his back knee a while ago but you wouldn’t be able to tell that now; he gets around with no problem. Scotty is a mellow senior looking for a loving home. You can read more about my first visit with Scotty here.

Orphans of the Storm Dogs: Scotty Update

Scotty

Stay tuned next week to get reacquainted with some other long-timers!

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Who Found Their Forever Home, Part XII

What better way to start of the holiday week than with an Orphans of the Storm® success story! Cathy adopted Sweetie, who now goes by the name Coco Chanel, earlier this month. Here is what Cathy has to say about her new family member:

I went to Orphans of the Storm® “just to look” and was instantly smitten with Sweetie. She is only 8 lbs and would have had a hard time with the cold weather in her kennel! Luckily we were a match made in heaven and I brought her home within an hour of meeting her. Her new name reflects her princess-like personality; she’s already shown my two cats who is boss even though they both weigh twice as much as she does. Here she is celebrating Christmas and just chilling with her new mom. Coco is a real winner!

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Thank you for sharing your adoption success story (and adorable pictures!) with us, Cathy!

If you would like to have your own success story shared on the blog, please email meetthepooches@gmail.com.

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Bring the Holiday Cheer

When you adopt a pet from Orphans of the Storm®, that cat or dog is going to brighten your day every day! But the holidays are an especially nice time to have some extra cheer. The three dogs I met this week will have no problem putting a smile on your face.

Spade the two-year-old Labrador Retriever mix is a cutie. His light brown eyes really jump out at you from the black fur on his face, so you won’t be able to resist saying hello! Spade was a little shy at first, but he walked nicely on the way to the off-leash run and he even sat down next to me and waited patiently while I took his leash off (unlike most dogs, who try to run free before I can even close the gate behind us!).

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Spade showing off his black “mask”

Spade spent the first couple of minutes exploring on his own, but he came back to me soon enough so I could pet him. He gave me a few doggy kisses in return. Spade joined me on the bench briefly, so there’s a good chance there is some couch-cuddling in store for his future owners. Spade seems like a pretty calm and easy-going guy. Stop by the shelter soon to say hello to Spade!

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Spade is such a handsome boy

Weezie the nine-year-old Chow Chow mix was adopted from Orphans of the Storm® when she was just a puppy. Now she’s back and ready for a second chance at a forever home where she can spend her golden years. She has a lifetime of experience as a family pet; she’s house-trained and knows some basic commands. Weezie is pretty nervous inside her kennel (understandably, since she’s used to being in a home) but she really perks up once she’s out and about.

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Weezie coming over for a scratch on the back

Weezie, being an older dog, has some knee issues. But that doesn’t stop her from enjoying the outdoors! She’s happy to go on short walks or spend time hanging out in the yard. There were a few times while we were together when she simply sat by my feet and enjoyed a good scratch on the top of her head between her ears. The cutest/funniest thing Weezie did was that when I went to take her for a walk, she was in the middle of chewing on a bone. I thought she had carried it with her, but it turned out that she sneakily hid it outside her kennel and when I went to put her back, she went straight to the spot she hid it, picked it back up, and continued to chew it after she was back in her kennel. So resourceful! Come in soon to meet Weezie.

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Weezie is ready for a new life on the other side of the fence

Tweetie the ten-year-old Beagle mix is one of those pooches who will make you say “Aww” when you see her, particularly if you have a soft spot for older dogs and/or dogs who are slightly overweight. Tweetie has a bit of a tummy that could probably be worked off once she’s in a home where she gets to go for regular walks multiple times a day. The good news is she loves going for walks!

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Tweetie is a sweetie!

Tweetie may have gray fur on her face, but she certainly doesn’t act like a senior. We headed straight for the woodland preserve walking trail and Tweetie led the way. When Tweetie wanted to follow her nose off into the bushes but I kept her on the trail, she voiced her opinion with a short howl. Tweetie was previously sharing her kennel with another Beagle mix who has since been adopted, so she could go to a home with or without another dog. Stop by soon to see if Tweetie is the pooch for you!

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Tweetie enjoying the fresh air

I also saw Bear, Blush, and Duke.

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs Will Warm You Up

Any day is a great day to add a new furry family member, but it’s even more appealing in the winter months when the perfect place to be is cuddled up on the couch! The dogs I met this week at Orphans of the Storm® are certainly ready to take on the task of snuggling with their new families.

Rocky the seven-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix is a great guy. Some people may think he looks tough, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. He’s a big boy, but he has a big heart to match and can’t wait to shower his new family with lots of love. Rocky walks nicely on the leash and knows some basic commands like “sit.”

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Rocky enjoyed exploring in the bushes

Rocky gets along with both people (including children) and other dogs. He loves to get attention and will stay by your side as long as you’re petting him. As a thank you, he’ll happily give you doggy kisses. Rocky is such an expert snuggler that some of my pictures of him ended up being too much of a closeup because he was right there next to me. If you’re looking for a big lovebug, come in soon to meet Rocky!

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Rocky turning around to get some more pats

Maggie the three-year-old Mountain Cur mix is a total sweetheart. If those eyes of hers don’t melt you, I don’t know what would! Maggie was eager to come out for a walk and pulled a bit on the leash at first, but settled down nicely pretty quickly. She explored the off-leash run on her own at first, but came back to me for some quality time.

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Maggie is such a pretty girl

Maggie is an expert at giving doggy hugs. When I was standing next to her, she put her front paws up on my jacket and stood on her hind legs for quite some time with her tail wagging while I scratcher her chin, ears, and belly. Maggie is ready to have a forever home in time for the holidays. Stop by the shelter soon to see if Maggie is the pooch for you!

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Maggie has such soulful eyes (and adorably floppy ears)

I also saw Barney (who looks a bit like Rocky and also knows some commands), Bear, Blush, Diamond, Donna, John Boy, Showtime, and Zoey (who is also well trained–she’ll even “stay” for you when she’s not on a leash).

I also got to walk a couple dogs who aren’t quite ready to be adopted yet (but still need their fair share of exercise), and I can’t wait to write about them once they are because they were so nice!

Orphans of the Storm® Dogs in the First Snow of the Season

Chicago got its first (big!) snow of the season. Some of the furrier dogs at Orphans of the Storm® were ready to play in it, while others took it as a perfect opportunity to spend more time snuggling.

Tobi the nine-month-old Border Collie mix was definitely interested in playing in the snow. I’m sure Tobi would be interested in playing in any type of weather, actually, and he does a great job of entertaining himself if he doesn’t have someone to play with him. Tobi is an expert at one-dog fetch and spent most of our time in the run chasing after a tennis ball.

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Tobi’s snow-covered face

Still pictures didn’t do the best job of capturing his exuberance, so check out the video!

Tobi‘s little quirk is that he loves to chase cars. Whenever a car would drive past the road near the off-leash run, Tobi would go speeding along the fence. Then one would come from the other direction, and Tobi would come sprinting back. He didn’t seem particularly interested in cars when we were walking on the leash, though, which is probably a good thing! Tobi would do best in an active home that can keep him busy, both because he’s still a puppy and because his breed is known for wanting to have a job to do. If you think Tobi would be a good fit in your home, stop by soon to meet him!

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Tobi is always on the move

Trickey the one-year-old Mountain Cur mix is a sweetie. He walks very nicely on the leash, which is important in the icy conditions you can encounter during Chicago winters. Trickey didn’t seem interested in playing with a tennis ball; he was more interested in following his nose, even if it got covered in snow in the process!

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Trickey doesn’t mind the cold

Trickey was happy to stand by my side and get a good scratch on the back. He is a super cute pooch, with a short tail and ears that can perk straight up. Trickey is currently sharing a kennel with Zola, and seemed pretty nice when saying hello to the dog on the other side of the fence in the run, so he could go to a home with or without another pooch. On your next visit to the shelter, say hi to Trickey!

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Trickey is good at giving side-eye

Elvis the two-year-old Miniature Poodle mix wasn’t too sure about coming out in the cold at first. Once I let him off the leash in the run, though, he jumped right into the snow and romped around happily. Elvis is currently sharing his kennel with another small dog, and he was also very friendly through the fence with two big dogs in the run next to us, so Elvis could go to a home with or without another pooch.

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Elvis is a little snowball himself

Elvis is definitely a cuddler. Whenever I knelt down to take his picture, he would hurry over, put his front paws in my lap, and give me some doggy kisses. He was also fine with being picked up and carried. This is a happy-go-lucky guy who seems to get along with pretty much everybody. If you’re looking to add a lapdog to your family, be sure to come in and meet Elvis!

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Elvis says, “Here comes a kiss!”

Lucy Ricardo the one-year-old Heeler mix is so precious. When I went to her kennel to take her out, she was sort of cowering in the corner, but when I got down to her level she crawled over with her tail wagging and put her head in my lap. I was immediately in love! Lucy Ricardo is very submissive and will roll over when she encounters anyone new, including other dogs, but as she gets more comfortable she stays upright and wags her tail.

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Lucy Ricardo about to roll over for the other dog

Lucy Ricardo is big on snuggling. She will melt in your arms, or your lap, or wherever is available. She also enjoys belly rubs and wriggled around in the snow for a bit. And Lucy Ricardo will give you plenty of doggy kisses if you give her the chance! She may not be as outgoing as her namesake at the moment, but once she gets into a stable and loving home, that will help her come out of her shell even more and become a wonderful companion. Come in soon to meet Lucy Ricardo!

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Lucy Ricardo is just too sweet

Wilson the seven-year-old Australian Shepherd mix is such a handsome boy. He arrived at the shelter with his brother, who has already been adopted, and now Wilson is hoping that it will be his turn soon! Wilson was a little high-strung when he first arrived, but he has mellowed out considerably and gets along with people and other dogs alike.

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Wilson has such soft and pretty fur

Wilson walks nicely on the leash but was happy to spend some time freely exploring the off-leash run. He would disappear behind the bushes and then reappear with his fur all snowy. Wilson was a little shy at first but warmed up after a few minutes. He may be middle-aged, but he has plenty of love and companionship to offer his new family. Visit the shelter soon to spend time with Wilson!

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Wilson in the snow

I also saw Blush (who loves the snow and had a great time walking through the winter wonderland that is the woodland preserve trail), Donna, John Boy, Showtime, Skippy, and Zoey.