By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer
Make it matter. That’s what drives us. It’s our focus. Our mission. Our passion. We want to make it all matter. We strive to make sure that every single act, every single decision, every single thing we do for the dogs matters. Each dog gets our full attention, and no, that’s not an oxymoron—each dog does get our full attention.
If you’ve followed this column for any length of time, you will be familiar with Caper and Ladybird. Each week these darling dogs get top billing because, well, they deserve it. Look at Caper’s photo. How pensive; how thoughtful; you’ve got to wonder what he’s thinking. This senior German shepherd is loved by every volunteer, without exception. He has earned that love with his personality, his sweetness, his affection. He has so many fine qualities that if he were a student being evaluated for college, he might be considered an overachiever. What he does, he does super well. He’s smart and fastidious and handsome and walks well on a leash and loves to meet people and loves to hang out in the office and loves to go for car rides and loves to go out in the snow and loves to.... well, you get the picture.
Ladybird is equally deserving of a fine and wonderful home. She’s a small, nicely proportioned adult beagle. On a recent field trip, she met a woman who has owned, trained, run and loved beagles for many years. She’s what you might call a beagle expert. Her evaluation of Ladybird? She gave the dog high marks. She shared with us that beagles sometimes don’t show obvious bonding or affection right away; they are an independent breed, hard-wired to be that way. But they do bond and show love and affection given time, which is why they remain a very popular breed. Ladybird will do well in a home with one or two quiet, retired people making up her pack.
Max, the eponymously named Great Pyrenees, has a lush white coat, but it appears ivory in the snow-covered play yard. In fact, only the colorful, if incongruous, beach chairs stand out in this expanse of snow so loved by this magnificent dog. Max is close to 2 years old and is remarkably calm for a young dog. He knows some basic commands and prefers not to be left alone much—he’s a social kind of guy.
Suki is so cute her photo should come with a warning. She is 15 tan-and-white pounds of adorableness. And lest you think that we’re mesmerized by just her looks, let us assure you that her personality is just as attractive. This blend of Pomeranian and Tibetan spaniel is 7 years old, has full run of the house, walks well, plays well, and seems to get along with every creature. Suki is still in her own home, but wait: she will be visiting the shelter tomorrow! ‘Nuff said.
We are trying to help someone find a foster or permanent home for their 8-year-old shih tzu named Ollie. This poor little thing was rescued from the streets. And despite being betrayed by someone somewhere, this dog retained a sweet nature. He simply wants someone to cuddle with. He is house-trained. He would prefer not to have to deal with the cold (note his snazzy sweater).
Well, that’s certainly a varied crew looking for homes. Surely you will want to meet at least one of them. And to help accomplish that, we are open seven days a week: Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to noon; Sunday from 3 to 5 PM; and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 3 to 5. Volunteers also stop by the shelter on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 4 to 5 PM to check on the dogs, walk and cuddle, and feed them. You’re welcome to join us on any shift.