Tag Archives: dog rescue

What was I thinking? A Slice of Life Story

20 Jan


I packed my bag Friday night  with all the things I’d need for the adoption event the next morning: blanket and water bowl for the dogs we’d have on hand, printouts of available dogs, the poster board, donation box, candy and bowl. I was set.

Saturday morning saw torrential downpours and it was OK to miss a day cozy at home because I knew Monday was a holiday. I had a late breakfast so I wouldn’t need to take a break for lunch. I had some snacks, just in case.

The rain was wicked as I drove to the PetSmart. This wasn’t our usual location for the adoption event. This time two stores were buddying up. It was easy to find although I surprised they didn’t have sign out or balloons. I figured it was due to the weather.

I walked in, surprised to see no tables set up, but I confidently walked up to the store associates and announced that I was there to represent Oregon Basset Hound Rescue. They looked perplexed. They were under the impression it was next month. Uh oh. The manager kindly called over to our regular store and they thought so too.

I retreated to the car and called our adoption coordinator. Apparently, I was a month early. I’m not sure how I made the mistake, since every e-mail I had about the event clearly said February in the subject line.

I’m leaving the bag packed so I can use it when I show up again…on the right day this time.

Happy 8th birthday, Lucy!!!

18 Jun

Here’s the birthday girl, ready to give you a big hug!


Today, Lucy turns 8. I decided to dedicate this post to her because, with all her health and age issues, Fiona gets a lot more attention than Lucy.

I adopted Lucy in January 2010. It was the Saturday before President’s Day. I had gone in to my principal to let her know I was taking off the day after the Monday holiday, usually a no-no, because I was getting a new dog. And bless her heart, my principal said, “Take Wednesday, too.”

She fit in well, at first. About 3 months after I adopted her, she started being reactive on leash to other dogs. When she turned on Fiona, I knew I had to take drastic steps. I was heart-broken and worried I’d have to give her up, but the folks at OregonBasset Hound Rescue gave me advice, which I followed. I took her to the vet to rule out a physical problem. Then, I saw a behaviorist who gave me some very helpful strategies I still employ. I always carry turkey jerky when we walk and I use Dog Appeasing Pheremones in the house.

Lucy spent her first few years locked in a bathroom, the victim of a family enamored of a puppy, but not willing to give her the training or attention she needed. Neighbors felt sorry for her and convinced the family to let them have her. Two years later the second family divorced and Lucy was an asset no one wanted. At least this family knew to contact OBHR.

And so Lucy came to me. She is the Laurel to Fiona’s Hardy. She is also very sensitive and trembles at times, when I leave. In fact, after our last round of 2 nights of parent-teacher conferences, Lucy was a wreck. Even when I left in the mornings after PT conferences, she would shake violently & try to hide in the bathroom. It took almost a month before she got her confidence back and was OK when I left in the morning, which she never used to react to.

Lucy likes to adjust blankets so they are all at her back and she frequently remakes my bed.


Sometimes she likes to go right under and hide.


Unlike Fiona and Louie, Lucy loves to play with toys. She gets so excited when we play fetch, which she really enjoys. This is one of the rare times when Lucy barks. I often joke that Lucy is silent, but deadly.

Join me in wishing Lucy a many happy returns of the day. And, since it also Paul Mccartney’s birthday, let’s sing

Puppy Love: A Slice of Life Story

25 Feb

I am a volunteer with Oregon Basset Hound Rescue. In that capacity I do a number of things including home visits for potential adopters or fosters,  intakes of dogs being relinquished, and meet & greets, where families meet a new dog they are thinking of adopting.

Many people who apply indicate that they want a young dog. I get to tell them that we rarely get puppies and mostly get adult or senior dogs. This week was different though. We have three 3 month old puppies. Mom was a big girl, a 60 lb basset. Dad was a chihuahua. That makes everybody smile as they try to figure out the logistics of how that happened. In any case, a good Samaritan in Eastern Oregon contacted us and brought them to the Metro Portland area so we could find them homes.

We didn’t post them. We would have been flooded by well-intentioned people. Instead, we all thought about our previous adopters, especially the ones who, instead of getting the young dog they’d hoped for, took in an older dog. It was payback time.

Yesterday I went to see the puppies with a young couple who adopted from us in November. I got there a little early and had snuggle time with the girls. Here they are in order: Biscuit, Big Girl, and Trixie.




The couple brought their dog, Benny, who is possibly the most laid back basset I’ve ever seen. They met with the puppies for almost 2 hours, knowing they could always say no, yes, but not today, or take one home. They tried each girl out alone with Benny. By that time I knew they’d say yes to someone. In the end they took Biscuit home for a trial period. We always tell people to give it a few weeks before we make things official. So, Big Girl and Trixie are left together, waiting for just the right people to come along. and make them part of their family.



16 Jan

Today is Lucy’s 4th GOTCHA DAY. Four years ago today, she came to live with me.


My dog, Louie, died December 7th, 2009, very suddenly as I was getting dressed for school.

Louie-Just_being Louie

His passing hit me very hard and I had no intention of getting anther one too soon. But, that was not to be. Fiona seemed to be having a hard time as an only dog. And then there was that e-mail from Oregon Basset Hound Rescue, letting people know that the post-Christmas dog dump had begun and they needed adopters. Did you know that lots of dogs get given up AFTER the holidays? OBHR has 6 new dogs this month.

So I got in touch and said that I wanted someone young. My first basset, Clara, had passed away in May 2008. If I got a new dog, I didn’t want to lose it too soon, or have it pass away shortly before or after Fiona. So, I went to meet Lucy. We arranged to have her move in on President’s Day weekend 2010. I had a class in the morning, but would get her in the afternoon. It was perfect because there was no school Monday, so we’d have a little extra time to get to know each other.

I went to my principal and let her know that I was getting a new dog and she told me I should take Tuesday off too. And so I did. Although we had some rough patches at the beginning and had to see a behaviorist, Lucy is a wonderful addition to the family. Even if she is a bed hog.


U-G-L-Y this dog’s got an alibi

26 Nov

I’m a sucker for a dog book. Good, bad. I’ll give it a try. I especially like sad  dog stories with a happy ending like you’d see in a Hallmark movie. What a delight it was to pick up Spike: Ugliest Dog in the Universe by Debra Frasier.


First let me show you the way cool art. Who knew you you do so much with old blue jeans!!!! Here are a few samples of what Frasier can do.




Having worked on dog rescue for many years, I know there really are people cruel and irresponsible enough to leave their pet tied up and drive off. In fact, before I lived where I do now, I had neighbors who left their dog in the garage. The neighbors on the other side and I broke into the garage to make sure the dog was OK, gave it food and water, etc. Then we closed the door and called the police. The officer who showed up clearly knew we had broken the door and didn’t say a word about it. He was a dog lover, too. But I digress.

Spike gets left behind by an irresponsible person, but is lucky enough to be found by someone who loves him, a boy named Joe. Spike worries about being sent to the pound because Joe’s family doesn’t have a lot of extra money. Spike tries to be clean and quiet. he even asks a cat for advice. There is a happy ending, but Spike doesn’t know that til the very end. Written in Spike’s voice, this book is perfect for any animal lover.

One more thing:

So far this year, we’ve worked on persuasive and personal narratives in writing with the 4th graders. The bak of this book has a nice, kid friendly article entitled  “How I Draw Dogs”. It would be a great intro to the expository writing unit coming soon to a 4th grade class near me.

National Adoption Weekend

16 Nov

As much as I want t stay home, snuggled between Fiona & Lucy, knitting  and reading on this blustery day, I’m off to Salem for a National Adoption Weekend event with PetSmart Charities.

Oregon Basset Hound Rescue is a new partner with them and this is our first event. Today, I’m bringing Daisy & Molly, a bonded pair. we’ve had for 6 months.


25646749-2-800x0  25646749-3-800x0

They are wonderful seniors, but most people don’t want a senior. My job today is to make people stop and think about adopting a senior.Daisy is an active 9-year-old female. She loves car rides and adores her best friend Molly, who loves to be the center of attention. They are up to date on vaccines, housebroken, walk well on leash. They are just a little older than what most people are looking for.

If you are in Salem, stop by. The store is located at 2925 Lancaster Dr NE. No dogs will actually go home with anyone today., but I’d love to talk with you.

Into the fire

31 Aug

Goodbye summer, time of relaxation.

I’ve gone from 0 to 60 this week. Summer vacation to full on EVERYTHING. Not only has school started, but so have my out of school activities. And the Great Fall Basset Relinquishment  has returned. There are seasons when people decide to give up dogs, and the end of summer is one of them.

We have three 18-month old male littermates coming in. We might actually have places for them before we get them.

lucky2  This is Lucky.

milo 2 Here’s Milo.

otis1 And finally we have Otis.

Today I’m going to see  6-year old Oscar, who was taken in by a kind-hearted neighbor, but she can’t keep him.

Oscar1 Oscar2

I also did a home visit for a prospective adopter on Thursday and I have another one on Sunday. I love doing this and I love my job, but these things really cut into my reading and knitting time. Every September I have to relearn how to balance my life between work, volunteering  and pleasure. I don’t know how people with kids do it. You guys are saints.

Oregon Basset Hound Games 2013

22 Jul

I’m exhausted, but we had a great turnout yesterday & beautiful weather. Here are some highlights







We started things off with the limbo!


This was followed by Best Trick.




Next came the costume contest.








And the Child/basset look alike contest



Then came Marathon Napping







Thanks to everyone who came!

Small truths

20 Jul


I think Patricia MacLachlan and I are kindred spirits. She writes the sensitive, quiet sort of books  I love and that touch my heart. In  The Truth of Me,  Robbie and his dog Ellie, are sent to spend summer with his Grandma Maddy. This is a good thing because he loves Maddie and feels far more at home than he does with his parents.He doesn’t really understand why this is so. Maddy has a special way with animals and she teaches Robbie some of what she knows and helps Robbie understand his parents.along the way.

One of my favorite scenes is in chapter 4 “Small Truths”. Robbie is talking with Henry, a doctor who lives a few houses away  and a good friend of Maddy. They are talking about Maddy and Henry says that Maddy’s stories are her truths. Robbie asks Henry if he has truths of his own and he replies “I am, in my heart, a man with a very large sailboat. I sail around the world with my two dogs and visit people everywhere.  I like the wind in my hair. I like the sun. I like the stars at night.” This starts Robbie down the road to discover his truths.

In our hearts, we all hold truths. Sometimes the truth is what people see. Oftentimes not. This book will start readers on their own path to discovering what is on their hearts.


The Oregon Basset Hound Games Are Coming!

12 Jul

IMG (2)

The Oregon Basset Hound Games will be held next Sunday (July 21st)  in Legion Park in Woodburn, Oregon. need less to say, I’ve been busy with basset hound stuff this week.

Last Sunday we had our last meeting before the Games.

Yesterday, I took Daisy for her booster shots & we signed her adoption papers.

All week I’ve been working on our last minute decision to get new t-shirts. A volunteer created the design above. I tracked down someone who could make them before Sunday. I told the committee & the t-shirt lady we will have decision by noon today.

Tonight, I’m transporting a bonded pair (Daisy & Molly) from their current foster (who is going on vacation) to another foster home.

Take a look at your calendar. If you are free next Sunday, come & join us. The event is free for spectators. Only bassets who want to participate in events have to pay ( a mere $10 for all events). It s a fun day and I promise you will laugh. The events include a puppy dash, marathon napping, limbo,best howler and many more. There is also an amazing raffle. I knit a sweater for the raffle every year. here are a couple of little pics of this year’s sweater ( size ladies’ medium):

IMG_0957_square   IMG_0962_square

I hope to see you in Woodburn next Sunday. Registration opens at 8:30 & the Games begin about 10:30.

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