Reader Spotlight - Titan

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Note from the editor ~ Nina Kelley reached out to thank Spot after seeing “Saving the Dogs of Kauai” in the Dec/Jan 2017 edition. We thought you would enjoy hearing her personal story within the story, and photos of her beautiful survivor, Titan.

Titan became a part of our family in January of 2017. We met him December 2016 when we decided to participate in the Kauai Humane Society’s Field Trip program.

Their field trip program is a fabulous way for KHS to get their dogs exercise while also getting them socialized. You can pick out just about any dog they have for the day and they give you a leash, some dog treats, and other doggy essentials and send you out for the day. It was during our field trip with Titan that we fell head over heels in love with him. 

We didn’t take him home right away, but were able to work with the Kauai Humane Society and Hawaiian Airlines to fly him to the mainland. We are SO lucky to have him as part of our family!

Nina Kelley, Portland Oregon

For the Love of Seniors

Meet beloved older lovebugs shared by a few of Spot's Facebook friends.


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I have the world’s most wonderful two Senior Pets around, Bubbas and Oski.

Bubbas came to me in 2006 at 2 years old as a $15 rescue from the San Bernardino Animal Shelter.  When he was picked up, the person told us "he's a lucky boy, we were just prepping the room to put him down as he'd been here for over a week and his time is up." He is the most beautiful and sweetest boy I have ever known.  He wakes up every morning at 5am to go outside and watch the morning sunrise and visit with the birds and squirrels.  He adores chicken jerky, long walks and rides in the car.

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Oski was a Craigslist rescue at the age of 10 back in 2012. He is a Chow/German Shepard, and adores rolling around in the grass.  He is my big cuddle muffin shadow man who waits by the door for me until I come home and follows me wherever I go.  He loves babysitting little puppies and is the perfect teacher and nanny: so very patient, loving and calm. Oski's favorite things in life are chicken, pets on the head, and walks in nature.

- Jess Peterson


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Our little old man, Jake, is a marvel. Sixteen, two rebuilt knees, spinal surgery that nearly killed him, deaf, losing his sight and what we believe is doggie dementia, and yet there are times he has the eagerness and energy of a youngster. We are his family three, getting him at the age of six, and will be his forever people. Of five other dogs in our lives he is the most memorable and will be the most missed when he leaves us, but until then he makes us laugh every day and shares our great love and affection.

- Patty Hudson


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"My name is Miss Lily, and nine years ago I curled up in Mama Laurel's lap because I knew I'd found my furever home. The past nine years have been filled with great joys and deep sorrows. I am a sensitive beast, and show my family expressive, unconditional love no matter what path we walk. My age has not really slowed me down much; I still hike and swim and play and learn new tricks. I'm so grateful Mama and Dad came into the shelter, and I tell and show them every single day."

- LaurelAnn Boone


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His name is Guinness and he is 19 years old. He was a pound puppy, so his first year of life is unknown to us, yet evidence like the bb's lodged throughout his small body point to a rough start. So... you can’t blame that he only trusts those he loves. Those chosen few have aided in providing him an amazing life. He is my best friend and I am not satisfied with 19 years, I want him to share my entire life. I understand that's unreasonable. So, instead I will enjoy every moment until I kiss him our last goodbye.

- James Moore & Travis Ayres

Meet Bella

Bella will be 8 in September — don’t let that white face fool you!

She spends her time roaming the halls of the Ark Veterinary Clinic (where I work), and spending time with her two cats at home.

Her favorite place to be is running on the beach, away from the water and preferably no wind. 

She has her own closet and dresser, which contain all 400 of her outfits.  She even has her own page on Facebook as Bella Rina (her nickname).  She’s even enjoyed a little fame in the newspapers for supporting our local shelter.

Kelsie, Springfield

Who Rescued Who?

Following are some of the beauties who participated in Spot's Cover Model Search at the 2016 NW Pet Fair.  They are all rescues, and their families have generously shared their wonderful stories here.  Watch for more Cover Models in coming issues.  Our 2016 Cover Model winner appears on the cover of the October/November 2016 issue.


Titus and Willow

In October 2008 we went to visit the dogs at West Columbia Gorge Humane Society. Titus (a sweet, large Border Collie-Lab mix) stole both our hearts and he became our first baby. Titus is happy, healthy, and is now a big brother to our two children, and most recently to Willow, our 2nd rescue dog! We met Willow this spring and fell in love all over again! Our fears of having two dogs has vanished, and we will always have at least two furry friends in our lives. We thought we were doing these dogs a huge favor by rescuing them, but truly, Titus and Willow have rescued us. We are forever grateful to the people doing rescue work in our community, and know that our lives are better because of our two furry family members.

Susan & Steve Fronckowiak

 

 

 

 

(Picture is of Titus and our son Alex in the summer of 2009 & other picture is of Willow after we adopted her in the spring of 2016)


Bo Diddley

We met Bo Diddley at an Oregon Dog Rescue adoption event at PetSmart. He was so cute, but he also appeared scared and lonely. We were told he had been brought from Riverside, CA by car. I loved him at first sight, but my husband wasn’t sure about him. We brought him home and he liked our house, but was shy and frightened of everything and everyone. Afraid of walks in the neighborhood, Bo would look back at the house over and over as we walked toward the park behind it. It was as though he wanted to be sure he would be able to find his way back if we took him away for good. But after a few months he loved going on walks, knowing he would always go home. We also have a fairly big backyard where he plays. Shortly bringing him home, it was clear Bo loved this big area he could run around in every day. He loves racing around a big tree, excitement in his eyes. Oh, and my husband has become Bo's best buddy! They play during the day and snuggle at night. When my husband comes home from work, Bo runs to greet him at the door tail wagging. Our life wouldn't be the same without Bo Diddley.

Susan Diane Rudi 


MacGee the Westie

All day when I was at the Pet Fair, people wanted to pet him and take his picture. He soaked it up. He is such a happy dog, and my third Westie.

MacGee was rescued from the Columbia County Humane Society. He immediately looked at my daughter and I and said "take me home." We did. 

 

Marilyn Guillory and of course MacGee.


Jester

A little over a year ago, while searching for a larger apartment, my husband suggested we get a dog once we were settled. I couldn't quite believe him at the time. I wanted a dog so badly but thought it would be years before he agreed to it. Finding an apartment that allowed larger dogs was complicated, but I knew it wouldn't be nearly as difficult as finding a single dog I wanted to adopt over all the others. There are so many dogs, and I am easily overwhelmed by choices. I decided to narrow my options and look only into dogs not easily homed. In my search I came across Deaf Dogs of Oregon (DDO) and realized that a deaf dog would be perfect for me. I knew that I wanted to train my dog anyway, and was not concerned about training with hand signals. When I emailed DDO the only dog they had at the time was Jester. He was a Deaf and Blind Catahoula Leopard brought up from Oklahoma a few months earlier.

I was concerned at first at not being able to use sign language for commands, but the DDO trainer assured me I could teach him many things with touch signals. It's now been a year since we got him, and I figure that Jester understands close to 20 different touch signals we use regularly. Jester is only about 2.5 years old, and he’s the most enthusiastic dog I've been with. He is not fazed by bumping into things or finding himself in a new area. When we're at the dog park I have to regularly explain his disabilities to people and they hardly believe it because Jester runs around with so much confidence. The best thing about working with him is how excited he is to learn new commands. I try to bring Jester to every DDO event to demonstrate his tricks and show people how capable he is. I thought that finding my first dog was going to be a long stressful process, but it turned out to be the easiest and best decision I have made as a young adult. 

I have included a picture of jester when we first got him but we also have an album for him on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jesterthedeafdog/ 

Emily Foreman


Sassy

We got Sassy, our chocolate Pomeranian, when she was 10 weeks old. At that young age she had been left alone 10-16 or more hours every day and was punished for piddling on the kitchen floor. She was put in a kennel at night as a punishment for barking and whining during the day when home alone.

Sassy has extreme separation anxiety, and until just recently, was deathly afraid to go in our kitchen — but she conquered that fear by herself! She is three now and is happy, and of course goes everywhere we do. She loves camping at the beach (she rides on my atv with me) and swimming in our pool, and she has a nice big yard of which she's “the Boss.”

She's the most important member of our family to all of us!

The Booth Family


Oliver

Oliver was rescued from the street after my daughters spotted him running loose. No one claimed him, and we instantly fell in love. He was matted, filthy and scared. With grooming he looked like a brand new dog. We taught him how to play and he fell in love with us. Later it seemed he was having eyesight issues, and this was confirmed. He had cataracts and both retinas were detached. Our little guy must have endured some trauma in his past. His eye became red and swollen, and the vet recommended removal for Oliver's comfort. We agreed; the eye was removed, and Oliver never complained. Although he is blind, he is the happiest pup around. He loves car rides and walks. His favorite place is the beach where he can run on the smooth sand with no worries of bumping into things. He navigates throughout his home, inside and outside, with ease. (We haven't moved the furniture in 5 years!) Oliver has blessed our lives in so many ways. He truly is a member of our family.

Jennifer Buckhalter and family


 Rambo, Bear & Sassy

Rambo, Bear & Sassy

Bear

In April 2012 I saw a craigslist post from Tacoma, WA picturing an overweight Corgi. I wanted to share this with our Corgi group but needed details. Speaking with the owner I learned they were rehoming “Bear” due to a medical condition, but that no one wanted to come get him and he had to be out by noon the following day. Concerned for his wellbeing, and what might happen, I told them I would come get him.

I had not intended to keep Bear but to foster him because I already had two Corgis, Rambo and Sassy, who I’d raised from puppies.  When I arrived I found an overweight, dirty dog with no collar, leash or paperwork. Just food dishes and a bed, which looked like they’d been pulled from the trash, or had long been outside. Bear however was a sweetheart. He came up and sniffed me, then jumped up to greet me, smiling and wagging. The person gave me his shoe-string leash and Bear started immediately down the driveway to leave. He jumped in my car and heart that night. The drive home was long, and Bear looked at me and rested his head on my hand the whole way, melting my heart. He stayed near me from that point on, and would cry/howl (the whole first year) when I had to leave for a few days. When I thought I had found someone to adopt him, Bear would stick to my side and not go anywhere near them. So, since it seemed he wanted to be with me, and was scared/timid around everyone else, he became a permanent part of our Corgi Pac. Bear is now the center of the Pac, an outgoing love bug who loves all and protects all. I could not have asked for a better addition to our family.  

Jennifer Robinson

Editor’s Note: Jennifer Robinson is Organizer of the Corgi meetup group in Portland and of Corgi Day at the Beach. The group routinely shares Corgis who need loving homes.  


Orbit

My name is Orbit and I reside in Vancouver, WA.  I am a 2.5-year-old, 45-lb extremely high-energy double-Merle female Aussie, born deaf and blind. But this does not keep me from having fun and going for outings with my peeps! I am very familiar with my house and backyard and move around perfectly within them. I also go for long walks with Mama every day, knowing asphalt means to walk straight ahead and grass means I can cut loose and run fast in orbits (my FAVORITE thing!!) while the sod beneath my feet goes flying, cracking Mama up! We communicate by touch signals and lots of hugs and kisses. Oh, I need to mention that I also live with four felines who often taunt me by slowly walking close to me, then jumping to a high place when I catch their scent. I humor them by giving chase but my feathery tail wags all the while.

While I love my forever home, the real credit for my rescue goes to Double J Dog Ranch and owners Duane and Cristine Justus who, along with volunteers, take in, love and care for other K-9s like myself at their beyond beautiful nonprofit sanctuary next to Hauser Lake in Idaho. They sponsor fun events to spread love and awareness about us very special dogs. Please see their website to learn more about them and see where I lived before I was adopted and moved to Vancouver. At DJDR, they believe that "Special needs pets are perfect in every way that matters."  (No truer words...)

I give Spot Magazine a Paws Up and thank them for offering me the opportunity to tell my happy story.  I recently met them at the 2016 NW Pet Fair, where I was greeted with warm, open arms and so much love.🐾  (I delighted them by turning endless orbits)

With love and appreciation,

Orbit Frost 


Cali

had a kitty from a co-worker’s cat’s litter. I wanted to get a second one so went to Willamette Humane in Salem. I saw a kitty I liked but wasn’t sure about. I looked at many other kittens but kept thinking of the pretty little Calico. After a month I decided to see if the she was still there, with little hope she would be. I was shocked that she was. The lady helping me said most people who looked at Kelly (what they’d named her) were put off by her loud, almost annoying meowing. I took a chance that once home and no longer locked up she would be fine, which turned out to be the case. I named her Cali and she has been with me going on 16 years. 

Joan Moorhea

Meet Cover Model Maggie

Patrick and Renee of Eugene had always had large dogs — Golden Retrievers, in fact — except for a three-year hiatus doing elder care for family members. When they began looking again, a co-worker, Victoria, was volunteering at the Saint Bernard Rescue Foundation, so they took a look. “We saw a couple we liked, and then chose one, but someone had already gotten him,” says Patrick. “After a couple of false starts, Renee found one and said ‘This is the one.’ I wasn’t quite ready … the dog was in Medford … we had an older car … and I wanted to wait a couple months.”

They drove to Medford the following day to meet Maggie.

 “We’ve been in love ever since,” Patrick affirms in his mild Irish brogue.

Renee laughs. “We’ve always had male dogs; she’s our first female, and she is such a Daddy’s girl!” She says Patrick has Maggie speaking three languages, English, Spanish and German. “When we leave, he tells her, ‘Dog watch the house’ in German, and she knows what to do. In Spanish, we say, ‘Dog go for a ride in the car’ [here Renee explains she can’t say the actual phrases because “Maggie’s right here.”]

While thought to be about 2 when they got her in January 2012, Patrick suspected Maggie was much younger. “She had puppy poop, sharp little teeth, and bright pink gums,” he says. The vet agreed, saying she was likely just 9-12 months.

Maggie had been passed around family members and a little underweight, but was otherwise in good shape. “She knew basic commands, and other than separation anxiety, she was great,” Patrick says. He believes a road trip during her first year with them helped a lot.

They traveled to Chicago and Wisconsin, where Maggie met family members from several states, Ireland and Canada. They took the northern route home to visit friends in Coeur d’Alene. Staying in hotels most of the time, Patrick believes every time they stopped and continued on as a pack helped Maggie understand they always would.

From the beginning, Patrick says, “She’s been wonderful with kids and older people. Once when I was between jobs we would visit an assisted living residence.  She has this way of kissing . . . she moves her face closer and closer, and then boom! Big kiss! Her tongue is like a foot long,” he laughs.

When planning trips to Europe, the couple’s only worry about Maggie’s care is who stays with her: Mark, who cooks at the Friendly Street Restaurant (making her favorite roast beef or turkey that’s not part of her vegetarian parents’ repertoire), or Renee’s sister,  Rochelle in Windsor, Ontario, who loves to stay with her. “They get their dog fix without owning a dog,” Patrick laughs.

Everyone loves her, it seems. In fact, the cover of this issue shows a little boy who, upon meeting her, immediately and ecstatically began hugging and climbing her, burrowing his smiling face in her fur.

“She’s been such a blessing,” says Renee. “She makes everyone smile . . . or at least turn their heads.” Makes sense. At 150 lbs, she’s small for a Saint.

Holiday Smiles!

Spot recently asked friends to send photos of their little elves, naughty or nice.  Enjoy the magic of the season!

 This is Bentley, he is a two year old Great Dane. He loves himself some ugly Christmas sweaters!  ~ Blair Roby

This is Bentley, he is a two year old Great Dane. He loves himself some ugly Christmas sweaters!  ~Blair Roby

 This is Otis Medley, enjoying the wrap party. ~ Pam Medley

This is Otis Medley, enjoying the wrap party. ~Pam Medley

 Ruger’s Holiday Photo  ~- Mallary

Ruger’s Holiday Photo  ~-Mallary

  Photo from our Labradors Buddy (yellow) and Bear (black) at Christmas!  ~  Carol Otis

Photo from our Labradors Buddy (yellow) and Bear (black) at Christmas!  ~Carol Otis

 Here are my fur babies on Santa’s lap back in 2011. Asparagus (‘Gus for short) is the dark one, and Bailey is the brindle.  ‘Gus was about one and Bailey was ten in this picture. Both are rescue babies. Bailey is no longer with us; she crossed the bridge two years ago, but ‘Gus is still going strong.   ~ Christina Mays

Here are my fur babies on Santa’s lap back in 2011. Asparagus (‘Gus for short) is the dark one, and Bailey is the brindle.  ‘Gus was about one and Bailey was ten in this picture. Both are rescue babies. Bailey is no longer with us; she crossed the bridge two years ago, but ‘Gus is still going strong.   ~Christina Mays

 Max and Chloe with dogmom Jayne and Santa   ~ Jayne Bailey

Max and Chloe with dogmom Jayne and Santa   ~Jayne Bailey

 T-bone's first Chanukah! Here you see T-bone (Am Staff) and Jasmine celebrating the 5th night of Chanukah. After lighting the candles, they get to open their presents, yay! These beautiful pups live with Enid and David Traisman.

T-bone's first Chanukah!
Here you see T-bone (Am Staff) and Jasmine celebrating the 5th night of Chanukah. After lighting the candles, they get to open their presents, yay! These beautiful pups live with Enid and David Traisman.

 Teko the Wonder Dog in Holiday Attire - Teko the wonder dog and true wonderful friend. From Best Friends of Baker City Rescue. Teko is a Chihuahua mix about 10 years old.   ~ Dana Robinso 

Teko the Wonder Dog in Holiday Attire - Teko the wonder dog and true wonderful friend. From Best Friends of Baker City Rescue. Teko is a Chihuahua mix about 10 years old.   ~Dana Robinso 

 Manny the handsome man.  12 years old, from Eastern Oregon rescue Best Friends of Baker City.  My best buddy and constant companion. True love.  ~ Dana Robinso  

Manny the handsome man.  12 years old, from Eastern Oregon rescue Best Friends of Baker City.  My best buddy and constant companion. True love.  ~Dana Robinso 

 This is Sassparilla at our annual holiday Doodle Romp. Give her a ball and you can dress her up any way you please!  ~  MatchMeNow1

This is Sassparilla at our annual holiday Doodle Romp. Give her a ball and you can dress her up any way you please!  ~ MatchMeNow1

 This is from two years ago of my two Danes and little mix guy. We were trying on our sweaters for our annual visit to see Santa. The dogs, from left to right: Marlie (black spots) middle Jake and Fynn (brown spots).  ~ Jenny McKibben

This is from two years ago of my two Danes and little mix guy. We were trying on our sweaters for our annual visit to see Santa. The dogs, from left to right: Marlie (black spots) middle Jake and Fynn (brown spots).  ~Jenny McKibben

 Lexi is my 3-year-old Golden Retriever. Lexi loves playing in the snow over the holiday season. This photo is from Culver, Oregon, where we were visiting friends. We woke up to find fresh snow had fallen, and Lexi ran around like a wild child and even put her nose right in the snow! (you can see her white muzzle in the photo).  ~ Christa Glasgow

Lexi is my 3-year-old Golden Retriever. Lexi loves playing in the snow over the holiday season. This photo is from Culver, Oregon, where we were visiting friends. We woke up to find fresh snow had fallen, and Lexi ran around like a wild child and even put her nose right in the snow! (you can see her white muzzle in the photo).  ~Christa Glasgow

 Boo Radley ate Santa!!! He will be 8 next Saturday! He has Addison’s disease, for which he takes daily meds and a monthly shot. He is the love of my life! He really is my real life Boo Radley; he has saved me many times over, and I never had to wear a ham costume for him to do it!! ~ Julie

Boo Radley ate Santa!!! He will be 8 next Saturday! He has Addison’s disease, for
which he takes daily meds and a monthly shot. He is the love of my life! He really
is my real life Boo Radley; he has saved me many times over, and I never had to wear
a ham costume for him to do it!! ~Julie

 Brie, 7 years old, named after the cheese!! She is a true rescue story, as is her sister, Periwinkle. ~ Juli

Brie, 7 years old, named after the cheese!! She is a true rescue story, as is her sister, Periwinkle. ~Juli

 Periwinkle Blue is 5 years old.  ~ Cindy Wiseman Buchanan

Periwinkle Blue is 5 years old.  ~Cindy Wiseman Buchanan

 Doggie Christmas - Attached is a picture of my two little furries, Paige (b/w) and Karmin (apricot) visiting with Santa.  Paige apparently really wanted something great from Santa and gave him a kiss to seal the deal  ~ Rita Sickler

Doggie Christmas - Attached is a picture of my two little furries, Paige (b/w) and Karmin (apricot) visiting with Santa.  Paige apparently really wanted something great from Santa and gave him a kiss to seal the deal  ~Rita Sickler

 KT Bug

KT Bug

 This is KT (bug), she is 9 years old. She has been with us since she was 6 weeks old. She has always had someone with her. She never got into things, chewed on things that did not belong to her. We can put a toy out, tell her it's not hers and she will leave it alone. Till her later age. She has got into garbage. Testing the limits (in old age), however she is such a love. Loves to have people touch her. She would make a wonderful therapy dog.  ~ Misty Wagner

This is KT (bug), she is 9 years old. She has been with us since she was 6 weeks old. She has always had someone with her. She never got into things, chewed on things that did not belong to her. We can put a toy out, tell her it's not hers and she will leave it alone. Till her later age. She has got into garbage. Testing the limits (in old age), however she is such a love. Loves to have people touch her. She would make a wonderful therapy dog.  ~Misty Wagner

 Lily, Lucy, Chase, Brynn & Kohala are waiting patiently to play those reindeer games!  ~ Lori Rose   

Lily, Lucy, Chase, Brynn & Kohala are waiting patiently to play those reindeer games!  ~Lori Rose   

 Sweety Whippet-Mix loves being a reindeer. She likes her ears to be warm.  ~ Lori Rose

Sweety Whippet-Mix loves being a reindeer. She likes her ears to be warm.  ~Lori Rose

Endless Love

Spot invited (through Facebook) pet-loving friends and pet parents to share photos and tidbits about the beloved seniors in their lives.

As the stories and pictures came in, the Spot team paused many times to feel the power, share the tears, and appreciate the phenomenal love that radiated from every single one.

Thanks to everyone who participated for sharing their beloveds with all of us!

Enjoy ♥


Shasta

COVER MODEL 411

NAME:  Shasta

AGE/BREED:  Tri-color Australian Shepherd.

PACK:  Shasta travels and lives with me in the van as we explore America. She is looking forward to being out of the van and spending the holidays in a real house with real people. We'll be in Texas with family for December.

LOVES:  Shasta loves me and her big Kong squeaky tennis-type balls. I probably come in second to the ball. Shasta was out playing ball the day I picked her up at OHS and my hope is that her last day will include ball time.

DOESN’T LOVE:  FIREWORKS AND THUNDER

SPECIAL NOTES ABOUT KATIE:  In the last year and a half Shasta has travelled over 30,000 miles in the western half of the US. She has seen mighty rivers, herds of buffalo and listened with me as the coyotes howl around us at night.

— Marty Davis, Shasta’s mom 


Neptune

Neptune was dumped in an anonymous overnight drop box in at LA animal control.  He was skinny, fearful, matted hair, and (worst of all for adoption) old — 12-13 was the guess. His two remaining teeth had to be removed.  Years of neglect had taken its toll. The shelter's groomer estimated he had not been trimmed in years — a Maltese, possibly purebred, his hair grows all the time —he actually lost a pound or two after being shaved. He wasn't cute or young, and he would have been euthanized if My Way Home Dog Rescue in Sandy, OR hadn’t agreed to take him into foster care.
 
Seeing him, you’d never know all that. He's perky and playful and pounces into laps for cuddle time. He loves to scamper with his adoptive brothers. Like many seniors in rescue, Neptune likely had people at one time, as he adapted quickly to home life. Unlike many younger dogs, he was housetrained and just needed to learn the new home rules and routine. As a senior, he's restful — he loves cuddling for naps and dozing outside in the sunshine, and he’s thankful for a little peace. While we know we won't have him as long as we'd like, we are blessed to be able to give him a safe and secure time in his golden years. He is a joy — reminding us to appreciate the important things in life — a warm lap, a sunny day, and (of course!) treats.

     Lisa and Rachel Turley-Bertoni


Bo

You may recognize Bo (short for Bocanacht, or Bocan) — he was Spot’s 2010 winning Cover Model! He stills loves walks, chasing the ball, and the beach. He is now 12 years old.

Bo and I became a registered animal therapy team 2012. Oh my, the fun opportunities to meet new friends, especially at college stress relief visits! In 2014 we started volunteering with Signature Hospice. Once a week Bo and I visit a local facility. The staff greet him by name, and enjoy his visits as much as the patients. 

Bo's appeal has no generational boundaries. Headed out from a recent patient visit, we stopped at a nurses’ station. Two VERY young-looking aides loved his attention, petting and hugging him, while he made his trademark squeaky joyful noises. One declared that he's way cuter than a baby. The other, "He's adorbs!”

—     Ann Martin, Portland, O


Finn

Hi Spot Magazine staff,

I'd like to introduce my best friend and constant companion, Finn — aka Mr. Finn or Finnster. I found Finn, a found stray, in 2013 at Multnomah County Animal Shelter. He was covered in fleas, had a terrible skin infection and severe hair loss from fleas and skin disease. I am a surgery tech at Cascade Veterinary Referral Center, and saw a post about Finn on CVRC's FB page. I kept checking the shelter's website to see if he was still there — something about his sweet senior face drew me. I couldn't imagine a 12-year-old dog being stuck at the shelter and knew he was not likely to be adopted over the younger dogs. I visited him and it was all over. I was not leaving without him. I had no idea of his condition as the posts just showed a head shot. When I saw him the first time, I was shocked. He was underweight and his skin was terrible and malodorous. I feel so lucky I found him. His skin was treated, and he began to gain weight.

We have been through a lot in a short few years, good and bad. We've taken many trips to the beach where Finn's grandpa lives. Also a road trip to visit family in California, hiking, geocaching, window shopping. Finn loves restaurants where he can join mom outdoors. He goes to work with me every day, and my life is planned so he can accompany me wherever I go.

I've never had a dog so many people were drawn to — he’s been called magical. He’s a happy boy who loves everyone.

Finn has been through a lot this past year, dealing with tumors and even a mini stroke. He's got a lot of spirit though, and continues to go on daily walks and weekly physical therapy to maintain his mobility and strength.

I cherish every day I have with this boy. Of course, I am a proud dog mom Here are some of my favorite pictures, which I hope show that even though a dog is senior, they can still enjoy a lot of activities. We're so excited you're doing a frosted face edition because seniors are simply the best! I couldn't imagine him living out his final years in a shelter. We have shared so many great times and adventures.

—     Angie Dutcher, Finn’s mom


Jake

This my 11 year old Boxer, Jake. We adopted him at age 5. He is full of love and cuddles. He enjoys drinking from the hose, sitting in front of the fire, and going to grandma and grandpa's farm. This photo was taken on his 11th birthday, right before he got his big special birthday treat!

— Elizabeth OeDell


Hank

14-year-old HANK, aka”The English Cream Doxie” (because his Grandma always wanted one), lives with 5 Doxies, Grandma Virginia, and Cousin Travis on their Cedar Flats AIR BNB spread, along with 24 chickens, 3 ducks, and neighbor horses, goats and rabbits. He looks forward to seeing his mom soon, who is coming to visit him from Lebanon (Middle East) this month.

—Virgina


My Old Girl Lily

This sweetest face makes me cry every time I look at this picture. It took me years before I could replace it as the background on my phone. Lily was mama’s girl. She was perfect in every way that a dog can be perfect. She grew up with our kids, kept them safe when we weren’t home, cuddled, loved, belonged. We miss her. L

—Ginger Rapport, Beaverton


 Chewie

Chewie is a beautiful Tortie we got 15 years ago from the SW WA Humane when she walked right up to us and begged to go home through the cage bars. She was ours! Later, she returned from her spay with the worst URI ever! I had to nurse her for almost 2 weeks while she recovered. She loves to cuddle in my arms like a baby, the way I had to hold her to force feed her. She lays in my arms and reaches a paw to tap my cheek or wrap around my neck while staring at my face. Her next favorite place is right over my shoulder, and when I worked from home, perched on the back of my chair with her front paws on my shoulder. Even now her favorite place is right next to me, with a paw on my arm or leg. Her favorite position to lie in is with her back leg tucked under her chin or wrapped in her front paws. She has some arthritis now, but that doesn't stop her from assuming odd and awesome sleeping positions!

When she was younger, she let us know she didn't have enough toys by catching garage mice and bringing them in the house to chase. That taught us!!!

Chewie would rather be an only kitty, but that has never been an option. Still, she doesn't take guff from the other 3 cats, and will even smack our German Shepherd around if he’s in her space. She totally has "Tortie 'Tude"! We call her our curmudgeon, but she is so full of love for me. She gazes into my eyes, then ducks her head and butts my face/arm/leg/whatever she can reach. I can't make a move without her.

—Tena Abbey, Vancouver, WA


Riley

Riley has been the best dog I’ve ever had. He’s been by my side whenever I needed him. He listens to me, he is my ‘support group' — he has my heart. He is now 11 years and 3 months old and I bless each day he is alive. <3. He is a Beauceron, if anyone was wondering :) I took these pictures at a park to spend time with him. He can't walk very far anymore so to parks and coffee shops we go.

—Shelli Rasmussen


Annabelle

This is my 8-year-old Golden ANNABELLE.  She is a sweet loving girl who just loves to be near her mommy (me)! She loves looking out the window watching birds, squirrels, and an occasional cat!

—Mary Lou Robison


Miss Beatrice!

We adopted Miss Bea about a year ago. Her previous family gave her up due to her age, which is their loss because she is the absolute best. Even at age 12, she can keep up with her five-year-old sister, romping on the beach or at the dog park. She loves going to doggie daycare and mixing it up with all the other pups. She's also a big fan of sprawling on the couch and watching sports on TV.  She says she could do without the cat that tries to sit on her face, but we think she secretly likes it. We are so lucky to have found her, and are hugely thankful to My Way Home Dog Rescue for bringing her up from a California shelter, taking good care of her, and then matching us up. We love her!

—Anna Joyce and Tami Parr


Harold

I do intake for My Way Home Dog Rescue and I saw Harold was at San Bernardino Animal control. His body was so small from starvation his head looked huge. My Way Home decided to help him. He came into my foster home, and fit right into our pack. While I loved him (and he came on my Birthday) I found him a home. 

It was the home of an auto racer. Come to find out, our Harold got very nervous being alone when they went to work. He spent his time learning how to open the door to the race car room and, well, he marked everywhere. 

When he came back I decided he really was meant for me and the rest is history. As with all separation anxiety, he has mellowed. He is a big goofball and loves our life, no matter what twists it takes!

—Cheryl Yoshioka


Snickerdoodle, The Love of My Life

Snickerdoodle and I found each other in April of 2008. My 10+ year-old Black Labrador Max had just passed from cancer, and I was in search of my next best friend. When I came across Snickerdoodle at the Oregon Humane Society, he did not even look like a Labrador, he was so withdrawn and sad. He was 3 years old and his family had just surrendered him to OHS. They were moving and could not take him. As soon as he was let out of the cage, he became a happy boy and I knew he needed to come home with me. 

Snickerdoodle is starting to slow down a bit, but he is still a happy-go-lucky dog. He still loves to play ball, go to the river and swim, and play with his cousins (my Sister lives next door and has 2 Shepherds).  I know my time with this wonderful dog will be up sooner than I would like it to be, but that is just life. My job now is to keep him comfortable, watch over him, and just love him for however long we both have.

—Bobbie Bacoccini


KT

KT is a 9-year-old Boxer/Lab mix (Boxador). She’s been grey since age 2, but gets more so as she matures. KT loves to find squirrels (fuzzys). She loves to cuddle and go for hikes on Powell Butte. She loves going on the boat with her friends and run on the beach. She is big momma! We love her so much and can't imagine the day when she isn't here. If she is quiet for a few minutes I start freaking out — Where are you? What are you doing? Love this girl to pieces.

—Misty Wagner


Max

2015. He began life as a show dog and quickly rose thru the show world to Westminster in NYC. Sadly reaching such heights of success would lead him to the depths of hell when he was sold as a stud dog to a lady who turned out to be a hoarder. Max became one of 98 dogs in an 1100 sq ft home where he had to fight for food, fresh air, etc. The officer who rescued him said it was one of the worse hoardingsituations he’d ever seen and looked forward to seeing us each year at Doggie dash as he used Max as an example of a rescue success story. Debarked and down to 15 lbs, Max was nursed him back to health. Still, he had a lost look when he was brought into OHS. I got him a few months after he became healthy, shortly after losing my first Beagle, Sonny. The night I brought Max home he attacked my female Daisycher over food (even though they had met before). I wondered if he had too many issues to keep him, but I’m so glad I did. He earned Pet Partners therapy dog certification so he could come to work with me as a Pediatric Occupational therapist. The kids would "do it for Max" when they wouldn’t for Miss Jayne! He was known as the real-life Snoopy as he was a rare all-white Beagle. He was such a lover and I know he is my guardian angel waiting for me on the bridge.

—Jayne Bailey


Max’s story

Born in March 2000, Max’s first family was a single mom with two 2 kids who turned out to be unready for a puppy. After being returned to the breeder he began a career as a show dog, winning a championship and a trip to Westminster. He was then sold as a stud dog to someone who turned out to be a hoarder – with 98 dogs in a small home. (Now he’s one of two dogs in a home twice the size). The place was raided in 2006, and the woman was found guilty and told to never own animals again. Austin Wallace, an animal control officer at OHS, helped free Max, and they have happy reunions every year at the Doggie Dash. 

After being rescued, Max was down to 15 lbs and gained a lost, sullen look. Then the original breeder got him back again and nursed him back to health. Born and shown as a true tri-colored Beagle, Max had prematurely turned white . . . although his grandpa and dad had also gone white later in life. 

In 2007, Jayne, now Max’s dog-mom, had lost Sonny, a relative of Max’s, to tainted food from China.  Max and Sonny both came from the same breeder, and when Sonny passed, Jayne was invited to take Max.

She says, “I fell in love with him (what’s not to love) and brought him to his forever home on Memorial Day 2008. He returned to the show ring in 2009 in the Veterans class, and even won his class at the Beagle Nationals in 2010. He is retired now, but does have has his Canine Good Citizenship and is a former member of the Delta Society, now known as Pet Partners.”  Jayne worked as a pediatric occupational therapist for 35 years, and says Max LOVED working with kids.

Chloe was adopted from SWWA humane in July 2008. Picked up as a stray, the first family returned her after she tried to bite a child who was clipping her nails. After the meet and greet with Max, Chloe went to her forever home. Jayne wondered, “Who in the world lets a 6 year-old clip dogs nails. . . .”

After a long, winding road, the family found each other and their happily ever after.

Fostering Harley

The first time I saw Harley, I was sure he was dead.  The black Cocker Spaniel mix lay motionless on his bed at the shelter.  He couldn’t be sleeping, not at 6 in the morning, potty/walk time!  Normally all the residents are awake, barking and ready to go even before the potty/walk team enters the kennel.  It’s loud.  Sleep is impossible; Harley must have passed away in the night, I thought sadly. 

Taught to approach all shelter dogs with care, I read Harley’s bio and called his name before opening the kennel door.  Nothing — not a twitch, not a quiver.  Calling to him again, I opened the door and stepped in.  Still no response.  I continued calling his name and taking baby steps until I reached his bed.  Nothing. 

With a sinking heart I reached out and gently stroked him.  When he jumped, rearing back to look at me, I was far more startled than he’d been by my touch.  I shrieked and fell against the wall, bringing my partner running.  Was I bitten?  Hurt?  What happened?  Sitting on the floor catching my breath, Harley stayed on his bed, calmly looking around.  So struck by the humor of the situation and how funny we must look, I started to laugh, knowing this would keep me laughing through the day.  Looking at me expectantly, Harley rose, yawned, and stretched.  I gathered myself, leashed him up, and out we went. 

No longer young, Harley seemed fuzzy and slow.  My last potty/walk of the morning, I took time, letting him look around and sniff as much as he wanted while I studied him.  He’d clearly had some training.  He was housebroken and walked nicely on leash, but his training must have ended there.  When I gave him a few basic commands — sit, come, stay, and down — he didn’t respond.  I moved behind him and clapped and called his name loudly.  When he didn’t react, I knew Harley was deaf. 

Back inside, I sat on Harley’s bed with him.  He’d shown no sign of aggression when I startled him earlier, nor had he been hesitant with me at all.  In fact, he’d been friendly, gentle, and sweet-tempered.  I lightly massaged his muscles for a while, giving him treats.  Holding his face in my hands and looking into his soft brown eyes, I saw a loving, dear old soul.  While reluctant to leave, I had to get home to walk my own two boys.  

Two days later I was back at the shelter for my usual daytime shift.  Starting at one end of the kennel, intending to spend a bit of time with each dog, I’d not gotten far when a staff member rushed in.  Pointing at Harley, she said, “Look!  Harley’s at his door barking at you!  I’ve never heard him bark before — I didn’t think he could!”  

Abandoning my routine, I headed for Harley.  The closer I got, the more excited he became.  Eager with anticipation, he looked like a youngster — barking, jumping, spinning, his entire body wagging.  If he was trying to be endearing, it worked.  He had me. 

Because of his age and deafness, it had been decided Harley would do better in a foster home than the kennel.  His quick bonding to me had not gone unnoticed.  Even though I’d never before provided foster care, when asked, I jumped at the chance.  Given immediate one-on-one training, I became a certified foster mom.  Harley would be going home with me. 

I just had one problem.  My husband, Jack, and I had downsized several years earlier to a home just the right size for us and Sam, our 65 lb. German Shepherd/Rotty/Chow mix.  When close friends could no longer keep Sam’s best friend Bozzy, he joined us.  Bozzy was a 100 lb. lap dog, a 10-year-old mix of Australian Shepherd and some very large breed.  Soon, I found, rescued, and brought home a cat, so compatible with everyone, I named him Buddy.  Jack teased that we’d have to add a room to accommodate anyone else.  Turning serious, he said, “Please, no more.”  He was right, and I agreed.  But Harley happened so fast I hadn’t had time to talk to him.  I wasn’t worried, though.  Not really.  Soft-hearted, kind, and patient, Jack loves animals as much as I do.  And this just seemed meant-to-be.  When he got home, I’d greet him with, “Surprise, honey!  It’s a boy!” 

Every time I came home, Sam, Bozzy, and Buddy, in that order, lined up just inside the door to greet me.  When I was home, all Bozzy wanted was to be close to me.  As soon as I opened the door, like he always did, he pushed Sam aside to get to me first. 

When Harley arrived I was the one pushed aside.  Buddy and I watched the canine ritual of circling and sniffing, sizing each other up.  And just like that, there were three, as comfortable as lifelong friends.  From there they moved almost as one, Harley getting the grand tour of the house and yard.  When Jack got home all three were snoozing in the living room. 

Jack wasn’t terribly surprised; he knew Harley had won me over, and could see he’d worked his magic on Sam, Bozzy, and Buddy as well.  By bedtime, Jack had joined us under Harley’s spell. 

That night as l fluffed Harley’s comforter, wondering where to put it, Sam went to his spot, his comforter on the floor on Jack’s side of the bed.  Bozzy’s comforter was on my side, but he didn’t go to it.  Following me to the foot of the bed, he waited until I put Harley’s comforter down.  With a contented sigh he settled in.  Harley went to Bozzy’s longtime spot by me, snuggling against the bed.  Beautiful Bozzy had given his bed to Harley. 

We knew Harley had found his forever home, forever family.  He had adopted us.   

We enjoyed watching the dynamics of our trio.  Sam and Bozzy knew there was something different about Harley, often sniffing his face, ears, and head.  They watched out for him on walks, even guiding at times.  Our small home wasn’t crowded.  It was cozy, and we were content. 

During Harley’s physical exam upon entering the shelter the vet found a small protuberance just below his right jaw she believed to be a foreign object.  I dropped him off the morning of surgery and went about my day.  

Soon I got a call from the shelter, saying it was urgent, get there now.  With Harley under anesthesia, the vet gently opened his mouth to show a tumor so large it covered slightly more than half his throat.  I had two options:  Let him go now or wake him up and take him home for the days he had left.  Days — not weeks or months — days.  I held him until the end. The vet and tech shed tears with me. 

Shock wore off; grief set in.  Jack and I shared our grief, talking about how little time we had with Harley, and how easily he’d fit our family.  That joy tempered our grief.  It was possible Harley’s last two weeks had been two of the best he’d known.  Warm and comfortable, he’d eaten well, and been part of our family. He’d been loved.  Knowing we’d been able to give him the gift of those two weeks gave us peace. 

Harley gave us more.  He changed us.  We learned what a tremendous difference we could make in the life of a shelter dog.  We’ve continued to foster dogs with medical needs, as well as those who wouldn’t thrive well in a kennel environment, until they’ve found their own forever homes. 

Harley honored us with his love.  This is how we honor him. 

Editor’s Note: Blaine submitted this story with a note saying:
"I don’t know how to say that last sentence.  How can I define his impact not only on us, but the friends and family who met him? Harley touched them all."  
Her words did it beautifully. 


Blaine Holland lives with her husband, Jack Shupe, in Troutdale with 1 dog and four cats. She says at MCAS she found what she was meant to do: join the dedicated people working to save animals, and write about it.