Thursday, March 24, 2022

Three weeks in a row now we have loaded up dogs to move north to greater adoption opportunities. Last week was our first experience with sending adult dogs to the Oregon Humane Society in Portland.
I’m happy to report that all four had been adopted within five days! Mickey was adopted by one of my best friends who had just recently retired and was ready for a canine buddy; I’m looking forward to following his adventures in his new life.
This week we sent 10 puppies to Portland and two special needs pups to Brookings along with an older dog whose owner had died. Each transport makes a little room at the shelter or with one of our great puppy fosterers though there always seem to be more dogs arriving to fill those spots…
We are constantly working to find new ways to exercise, train, and entertain the dogs and to increase their chances for adoption. Last weekend we purchased a new service cart just for toys to make it easier to distribute a daily dose of fun. There are a lot of young dogs at the shelter and a changing selection of enrichment activities helps while away the kennel hours.
Our volunteers are also mastering the skills that help dogs learn to exit the kennels quietly for their walks which leads to more relaxed dogs and handlers. Training is never one size fits all for dogs and we love to find what works best for each of them. A great example of this is our recent success with Honey, one of our longer residents.
Honey is a beautiful year and a half old female with a fawn-colored coat and soulful dark eyes. She is friendly with other dogs, loves to play ball and enjoys a good walk. For a while there, Honey was the only one attached to her leash that was enjoying her walks as she was quite the puller. Just recently we discovered that she responds very nicely to a head halter (similar to a Gentle Leader).
Now, walking Honey is a pleasure, not a chore! Combined with her already sweet nature, Honey is now quite an attractive package. She is curious about the world and would make a great companion for hiking and exploring. Honey is attentive to her handler and loves to be petted. She has a good sit and is ready to learn more obedience skills with her new person. Could that be you? Zephyr is one of our dogs that really appreciates the toys and enrichment activities that are shared with him. The dogs love their walks with the volunteers but that still leaves many hours in their kennels each day. For a healthy young dog, that can be pretty boring. Zephyr tends to stay on the lean side so he can afford the calories of a maze bowl spread with peanut butter or a treat-dispensing toy. One of the things we love about this one-year-old boy is how well he can entertain himself when he has a little room.
Zephyr is a master ball-handler in the play yard and impresses with his skills. He can balance a big ball on his nose or weave it in and out of the play area. He will play as long as he can and then flop down in the shade for a break. When the big ball is out of sight he is perfectly happy to play an interactive game of fetch.
Zephyr is considered a fairly easy walker by the volunteers. He is attentive and checks in with his handler as they walk. He would love to find a home with a nice yard where he could play to his heart’s content!
Honey and Zephyr are spayed and neutered, micro-chipped current on vaccinations and are adoptable through the Humboldt County Animal Shelter. Please call (707) 840-9132 for more information or to make an appointment to meet them. The shelter is open Monday through Friday.

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