March, 2007

This month we introduce a new foster girl, Katie. She was in the King County shelter in Kent, found as a stray and unclaimed. Erin went to check her out, and they said they would like us to take her. Erin headed south with her and met Kathy, who brought her the rest of the way here. Katie is a middle aged dog, lots of biscuit, and not spayed. She appears to have had at least one litter in the past. A quick vet visit pronounced her to have good lungs and a healthy heart. Her urine output is, shall we say, enormous. A urinalysis didn’t pick up any problems but did tell us she was in her last few days of her heat cycle. Her spay appointment is March 15.

Katie came to us with something we haven’t experienced before — kennel cough. In all the Sammies we fostered before, this is the first time we have had to deal with a sick dog. Three days after she arrived she began to sneeze, and five days after that most of the rest of our dogs caught it. She has an elevated white count and high liver enzymes as well as low thyroid, all of which might be due to the illness. It might not, in which case other tests will need to be run after she gets over her cold.

We’re especially happy that the shelter contacted us, rather than the other way around. This marks the first time Kent ever called us about a dog needing our help, a positive sign for the future. We also recently made contact with someone who routinely checks the Seattle area shelters and who will let us know when we are needed.

Oakley and Emily are still with us, waiting for their forever homes. We have listed Emily on Petfinder because none of our current applicants are quite right for her. Emily runs like a greyhound and has the boundless energy of any two year old and it’s going to take a special home for her. Oakley has settled in and we’re waiting for the right home to come along without advertising him. Because his past includes some sort of mistreatment he will need a gentle hand.

Precious was adopted just before last month’s rescue report, and in the past month several of us have visited with her and her new family. They are first time dog owners and needed some extra reassurance that Precious is getting what she needs from them. Special thanks to Liz and Van for visiting and spending an afternoon there.

About a year ago we picked up a senior Sammy girl named Snowy from the Tacoma shelter. She was traced to a vet in the area where we got the name of her owner, but we were unable to find where she moved. Carey and Kaz had recently lost Madison and called to say they would take Snowy. Under their care she blossomed and had a wonderful life there. We’re sad to report she bloated a week ago and they lost her. Please join us in our sorrow at the loss of Snowy, and in our undying appreciation for two guys who have twice given a Senior girl a wonderful home. They are truly two in a million.

Because we are fostering a sick dog, we can’t take any more until the whole pack is well again. If we find another dog needing rescue we may need another foster home on very short notice. If you think you can handle an additional Samoyed for a little while, please let us know.

February, 2007

Applications continue to arrive, even though we haven’t seen many dogs in recent months. As Spring approaches and things heat up (as they always do this time of year), we’re going to need some home visits done. If you have a Samoyed then you already know what we need to look for, and we could use some more volunteers getting the visits done. It’s easy and a great way to meet people with the same interests you have. If you can help, please let us know. We promise not to work you too hard.

We decided to start introducing people to Precious, a year and a half old girl who has been with Lon & Mary for the last few months. She came from the Everett shelter as an owner surrender, and has been getting used to love and good care in Custer. The first family we introduced is from Redmond, and on February 10 she went home with them. Precious will be learning to live with two cats.

Oakley and Emily are still with us as we ponder the best homes for them. Emily came here first exactly two years ago as a puppy we thought was a sammy mix. She was first placed in Portland where she had too much energy for the home, then in Gig Harbor where her enthusiastic wagging kept knocking over the kids. As Emily grew (and grew and grew) she became less sammy in appearance and more like a collie/greyhound/something mix, but we committed to her when she first arrived and we’ll find the right place for her eventually. She needs a home where she can have a ton of exercise and an opportunity to show her love to her humans. Emily has a wonderfully sweet personality.

Oakley has gained weight and is almost where he should be now. When he arrived he weighed only 42 pounds, every rib prominent along his spine. We don’t know much about him except that he has been tied out for years, and he is learning what it is to be in a home where he gets regular meals and attention when he asks for it. His age is still a mystery, guessed at anything from 3 to 10 years. Our latest guess is 4 or 5. He and Emily play like pups and keep each other tired.

After a few years on the job, most rescuers seem to cover more territory and build contacts with other breed rescues, as well as people in their own breed. We’ve been lucky to meet people from all over the country who want to help, but more importantly all around the northwest. Recently we were alerted to someone advertising on Craigslist for a Samoyed, so we wrote to let them know we were here. They applied right away and we asked a volunteer down the street from them for a home visit. Although this happens frequently, in this case it was Eagle River, Alaska — 1500 miles away. Later when we had an application from Moses Lake we called an animal sanctuary there we helped a year ago. Working together, regionally and nationally, many more dogs are helped. Our volunteers are the lifeblood of rescue, and we thank all of you for your hard work.

January, 2007

The greatest joy of rescue is hearing about dogs months or years after adoption. When folks with rescue dogs take the time to write and send pictures it thrills us. At Christmas we hear from a lot of people and it makes the season bright. It also makes us think about all the success stories. There have been many who stand out in our memories.

Tonka was one of the first dogs we hosted in our home in the days we were volunteers helping Cheryl and Steve. Tonka’s mom suffered some financial setbacks and had to move to a new home with people who already had many dogs, and they told her he had to go. Christie Smith helped with his transport through Oregon and we fostered him. Marilyn and Gordon Dahl adopted Tonka and have become firm friends of rescue. We hear from Marilyn almost every month, and frequently she sends pictures. Tonka is a very handsome dog, as you can see in this recent snow picture.

Mori was special for another reason. We spotted him when he was listed by the Lewis County shelter, about a half hour from us. They told us they would list us as “last chance” on his kennel card. A couple days later, while Cheryl and Steve were out of town, the shelter called to say they need his cage. Right now. I think we set a record getting there, and a big happy goofy boy came to stay with us. The first applicant who came to visit him was intimidated by his size and energy and ended up with another dog. But then Holley and Hans came through the door and Mori walked over and sat down by them and said “these are MY humans.” Not for the first time we saw how true it is that the dog chooses the people. Hans and Holley have been responsible for the great artwork for all our fundraiser shirts ever since. Mori’s vocabulary is quite extensive, but “zoom zoom” (a ride in the car) may always be his favorite. You can see Mori walking around Green Lake daily, showing himself off to his loyal public.

Homer was picked up as a stray and taken to the Tacoma Humane Society, and his owners were known. Unfortunately they had previously bounced a check there, so they decided not to claim him. As soon as we could, we bailed him out and brought him here. He was a high-energy dog and several families met him before his perfect humans arrived. They understood exactly what he needed. His name now is Tova and he lives happily in Lynnwood with his family. After he settled in they added Amira, who helped demonstrate how well Sammies do with children. Is he a good babysitter or what?

Divorces are something we hear about all the time, and it’s often the dogs who suffer. Old friends who gave their families long lives suddenly find themselves homeless. One of these was Mandy, who at the dignified age of 9 had to come to rescue because her humans were moving into an apartment. We picked her up and took her to Melissa Hopper, who had foster space at the time. Mandy subsequently went to live with Esther and Margaret, close neighbors of Hans and Holley. Esther is a teacher and took Mandy to work with her, where she became the class mascot. Mandy has since crossed the rainbow bridge, but her final years taught her true love. Esther and Margaret have adopted two more rescue Sammies who came from the Coeur d’Alene area, so Mandy’s influence is touching two more dogs.

We can’t write about rescue success stories without confessing to the dogs who ended up staying with us. Charlie was the first, and the experience taught us what rescue was all about. Shadow was one of the first we found after taking over as coordinators, and we couldn’t bear to let him go. Abby had been dropped out a car window before she found her way here and literally couldn’t walk more than a few steps; we had the privilege of having her for the final two years of her life. Cassie was also a hospice dog who came to us with teeth so bad that all but four of them had to be pulled. She was also very old, but we believe love is magnified in a senior dog.

Finnegan is our current senior, found in Bremerton. He is having significant problems getting around and is leaving presents for us around the house, but his smile is as big as any we’ve ever had here. We’ve been privileged to be involved with rescue.

December, 2006

This is the month of our annual fundraiser, and this year we’re offering a new design by Holley called “Samflake.” We will take orders until at least the first week in January, so there’s lots of time left to get yours. We have had great success in our fundraisers in recent years. There are many other Samoyed Rescue groups around the country constantly scrambling to pay vet bills, and we have the privilege of not worrying whether we have to turn a dog away because he or she might be expensive to help. Your financial support is what makes it possible to save so many dogs.

New this month is Precious, a one and a half year old female Samoyed. She came from the Everett shelter where she was an owner turn-in. Although there was a note on her paperwork that the previous owner wanted a call when she was adopted because he cared so much, someone else brought her to the shelter for him, and she was filthy and ungroomed. Erin picked her up for us and took her to meet Lon, who is now fostering her. Precious needed bathing so badly that Erin says she stopped at a dumpster and threw away the pad from the back of her car on the way home. Wow. Lon & Mary have taken care of grooming Precious and we’re waiting for more pictures so we can get her listed. She should be an easy placement.
We can understand why Emily’s families have had so much trouble keeping her out of trouble. She is possibly the most active girl we’ve ever encountered. Emily first came to us in February 2005 after being found as a puppy in the Coeur d’Alene shelter. The best guess was that she was mostly Samoyed. Now that she has grown up (and UP and UP) our guess is that she is not as much sammy as everybody thought, but it’s still a matter for debate. We took her as a puppy and placed her, so she will always be able to count on us for a place to stay. She is a wonderful dog, but she will need a big yard or someone really committed to exercising her.

Oakley continues worming his way into our hearts. You’d think after this long we could decide how old he might be, but he’s a hard one to figure out. Imagine two year old teeth, puppy play, and then sleeping as soundly and as much as a ten year old. Well, that’s Oakley. This month’s picture was taken during the snow when Emily and Oakley were playing outdoors.

November, 2006

As we reported last month, we had two dogs come back into rescue we had previously placed. Both are young and active and we made the mistake of placing them together. We were promised the home had lots of sammy experience and understood young dogs, but finally they had to admit they really weren’t ready for this much challenge. For Emily, it is the third time with us; we found her as a puppy in Coeur d’Alene in February last year and were told she was “mostly sammy.” Her first home in Portland gave up on her because she chewed too much. Emily grew up into a “kinda sammy,” but since we committed to her originally we’ll keep looking for the right home. She might have some Samoyed in her, and her temperament is sweet, but her activity level tops any other dog we’ve fostered. We’ve been slow to list her because we’re doing a bit of training first.

The other dog was Sammy, who came to us early this year from the Tacoma Humane Society. We think he was about a year old when we found him, so he also has a lot of energy. We could see how the two dogs would be more than a handful, especially when they joined our other four dogs here.
After the sad loss of Tramp, George and Louise wrote to say they saw Emily and Sammy listed in the last rescue report and wanted to meet them. We all got together and decided that although Emily wouldn’t be the right fit, Sammy would be perfect. We are beyond delighted to announce that Sammy is now named Loki and has taken his place between Sierra and Shasta on their team.

When we checked with AVID to be sure Loki’s registration could be switched, we found an interesting fact about him; he was originally adopted from the Greensboro, NC animal shelter. That means he was adopted from there, taken to the Tacoma area and picked up as a stray; adopted by the shelter to someone in Pierce County; he came back (again as a stray) and wasn’t claimed, then we got him. He went a home in Gig Harbor, back to us, and finally to the home he was meant to have with George and Louise. We can’t say too often that despite his travels, this is one lucky dog to have ended up where he is now.

Annie was here briefly, a ten year old girl given up because she barked too much. Her owner worked long hours and was getting complaints from neighbors — and even had a visit from animal control. He tried different training methods unsuccessfully, spending hundreds of dollars, until he was forced to board her daily. That’s when he asked us for help. We felt she was a good candidate for de-barking but his vet refused and we think he was at the end of his willingness to try anything else. Kathy picked her up October 21, and a couple from Whidbey Island came to meet her the next morning. They asked us for an older dog and we felt Annie would be a good fit. They agreed, and after visiting her they took her home. All the reports have been positive, except that she was diagnosed last week with diabetes. Their attitude is that they are used to medicating their other old dog and this is no great hurdle. We appreciate people who think like this.

Oakley arrived a month ago, terribly underweight and neglected. His owner said he had been tied in the yard for five years and was reportedly nine years old when he got him. That’s absolutely impossible, as he acts like a puppy and his teeth look like two or three at the most. We have come to the conclusion that his owner lied to us about this dog, but since Oakley was so neglected and underweight, and we have a signed release, we’ll leave it at that and give him a good life. We won’t list Oakley until we feel he is ready for another home. In the meantime he keeps telling us how much he likes his new life.

The male we heard about just before last month’s report is not coming here after all. He had been given to friends when his family moved to Germany, and the friends have been transferred to Guam. His original family has made arrangements to fly back just to take care of him, so he seems to be in good hands. We also worked with the Post Falls police department regarding a sammy in their care, but his family came in and picked him up. We were contacted by the shelter in Billings, Montana to find a home over there for a three year old girl, so far without success. Our territory seems to grow a little each year, but that’s OK with us as long as we keep finding great people all over the northwest who help Samoyeds wherever we find them.

We are now posting picture galleries of rescue dogs at Take a look at all the smiles.

October, 2006

We received e-mail from American Eskimo Rescue on August 14, saying they had picked up a Samoyed in Oregon and brought her back to Seatac. Erin Sitterley lives close, so she did a quick assessment and took pictures. Two days later she brought Lilly to us at the Specialty in Enumclaw. Opinions differed, but she appears to be a very tiny Samoyed, probably bred by a puppy mill that claims to breed “miniature Samoyeds.” She certainly has a sammy temperament. Nancy and Doug Fenty were waiting for another dog to add to their family, so Lilly and Genie were introduced and got along well. On September 4, Lilly went to her new home.

Cosmo first came to our attention in May when we received mail from a number of people about a blind dog in Spokane. Our daughter Kristina visited him, took pictures, and we said we would help. Cosmo’s owner had gone through a divorce and Cosmo was living temporarily with a family member. We’re thankful his owner saw the need to have him neutered so we could begin looking for his new home. It’s not always easy to place a disabled dog. It took four months before we had interest in him, but the end result was a home with an experienced Sammy owner in Montana. She has had sammies for 30 years, used to show, and has another blind dog. Margo Varberg met us in Post Falls and arranged to take Cosmo to her own veterinary ophthalmologist. He confirmed that Cosmo is congenitally blind and is a dwarf, but no other obvious health issues. Margo and Cosmo went back to Bozeman and will live happily ever after. As with most special needs dogs, all fees were waived.

One of our adopters, Sheila Springer, works in Centralia. One of her patients saw her Samoyed calendar on the wall and asked if she wanted another dog, so Sheila got in touch with us right away. Oakley was given to a family about five years ago, and when they found he chased chickens they tied him out in the yard. He has lived there since. It’s a home with a single father with two children, and he works long hours and recognized that Oakley needed a better place to live. Judy Gustafson did an assessment and found a love-starved sammy of unknown age who hasn’t been groomed for five years. She went back and picked him up and brought him to us, and Oakley has been getting to know all sorts of grooming tools. His owner was told he was nine years old when he got him, which would make Oakley 14 now — and that’s clearly not the case. We estimate him at 8-10 years, with the agility and movement of a young dog. He is less than 40 pounds, skin and bones, and because he loves to eat we think they simply forgot to feed him. His first vet visit is scheduled and he is on the road to a good future.

Last April we placed two dogs together. One was Sammy, a male about a year old who had been in two homes before we got him from the shelter. The other was Emily, who we first placed as a puppy and came back a year later. The two went to live in Gig Harbor together, despite our feelings that it might be too much for the family to handle. We need to listen to our experience, because they are coming back to us this week. Two dogs, active and under 2 years old, would be a handful for any sammy family, let alone a home where training isn’t a priority. We’ll look long and hard before we place two young dogs together in the future.

Annie is a dog in the Seattle area, bought 10 years ago as a puppy, who needs a new home now because she barks too much. Our first efforts are always to counsel, advise, and try to keep a dog in its current home, but this owner made up his mind before he called us. She is being boarded now, will be kept by a friend for a week, and then we will bring her here if a home isn’t found first.
We’re also in the process of getting information on a male Samoyed on Whidbey Island. He was given to friends when his owners went to Germany, and now they are getting transferred to Guam. There’s an applicant locally, and we will try to work something out so they can adopt directly.

As the ones at the rescue table at the National in Post Falls, we want to thank Van, Liz, and the rest of the committee for their support. Our location was great and we met a lot of people we knew only from e-mail. One of the greatest parts of participating was meeting other rescuers for the first time, like Dorinda from Utah and Beverley from San Francisco. Although there have been a lot of politics in rescue in recent years, we proved again that we can all work together for our dogs.

The Rescue Parade was Tuesday evening; ten dogs participated. Sunny Bear came with Christine Kiernan from California; Celine Cutler brought Makita and China; Jim and Doris Commons had Saskia and Suni; Tom and Erin Sitterley brought Piper and Dory; Karen Johnson and Sam came from Walla Walla, George Johnson and Louise Goodman accompanied Tramp; and our dog Shadow was there, escorted by Diane Dings of SamUrgency.

Sadly, we have to report that less than two weeks later, George and Louise lost Tramp after he bloated and died before they could get him to the vet. Tramp has always been one of our favorites because of his unique, gentle spirit. We met him first when he was being fostered by Steve Madsen, and he has been a faithful attendee of the rescue picnic every year. We always joked that he was the only dog we knew who could surf the picnic tables without ever taking his feet off the ground, but he was so polite we never worried about it. Tramp’s passing has been a blow to all of us, and we mourn the loss of such a wonderful dog.

August, 2006

Cosmo, the blind dog in Spokane, still needs a home. He is living with his owner’s ex-mother-in-law, and although we are keeping track of him we need to get him moved. We know a blind dog is easy to take care of, and we need a foster home. If you can give Cosmo a temporary place to live while we find his new home, PLEASE contact us. The woman who has him is not a dog person and we’re concerned for his future.

On July 15, during our rescue picnic, Bear was adopted! He now lives in his forever home in the Kirkland area. His new mom and dad are retired and he will have someone with him all the time. After years as a puppy mill stud dog, Bear finally gets the life a sammy deserves.
Shasta might have the record for the most miles on the road. We were contacted by the Humane Society in Missoula, Montana on July 14 to let us know the litter sister of China, a girl we placed last January, was homeless because of a divorce. The shelter worked out transport to Coeur d’Alene, and Kristina brought her the rest of the way to us. While she was still on the road, we had a message from a woman who called the shelter just a little too late, who wanted to adopt her. We were fortunate because she had previously adopted dogs from both San Francisco Samoyed Rescue and Arizona Samoyed Rescue, and both gave us a great recommendation. After two days here, Shasta hit the road again and went back to Montana. After 1,113 miles, she now lives in her new home 14 miles from where she started. Our thanks go to Kristina, who did the majority of the transport, and especially to Barbara Campbell who took Shasta from CDA to meet her new mom – and on short notice. (Shasta on the right, new sister Bunkie on the left)
The highlight of our year is the rescue picnic each July, and this year was no different. We had 40 dogs running around the yard, with 30 of their humans present. We were thrilled to have the first dog we placed come to visit (Dakota), as well as the first we fostered (Mori). If you came, we thank you for your presence. If you didn’t make it, take a look at these pictures and mark your calendar for the second Saturday in July next year!

A month from now we will be loading up the van for the National in Post Falls. If you will be there with a rescue sammy and would like to be in the rescue parade, please let us know as soon as you can.

July, 2006

Roxie was with us for three months after coming from eastern Oregon. She had a heart murmur, not serious but a definite obstacle to finding a home. Luckily, we had an application from a doctor who understood her problem and thought it was something she could live with. This is a woman who already has a paraplegic sammy with her own set of wheels, who is committed to giving her dogs the best possible lives. Roxie sensed right away that this would be a great new mom from the minute she walked in the door. Roxie met her new sister, everyone got along, and we’re thrilled that Roxie now lives in Portland.

We told you last month about Shasta, a six year old male in Shelton who needed a new home. While we were searching, his owner put an ad in the paper and placed him on his own. Although we had a signed release, there wasn’t anything we could do but hope for the best. As it happens we had done a home visit on Shasta’s new home several years ago and turned them down for lack of fence, but we can still hope it works out. Once again we had to look hard at our policy of leaving dogs with their owners while we look for new homes. The bottom line is until we get people to step forward and offer to foster, this is the way we have to do rescue.

Cosmo is a perfect example of a sammy who needs a foster home. He is with a woman who isn’t a dog person and would rather not have him there, but there is no place to put him. Cosmo is blind, and although 70-80 people each week look at his Petfinder listing we’ve only had one inquiry in over a month. We know well that a blind dog is no problem to live with, but of course it’s hard to convince people.

Last month we told you about Sadie, an older girl who went to a first-time dog owner. In the time we’ve done rescue, it was the most positive meeting we’ve ever seen; human and dog bonded instantly. Sadie’s new mom had just successfully completed chemo and celebrated by getting the dog she always wanted. She took two weeks off work to help Sadie settle in.

Well, sometimes life isn’t what you expect. Ten days after her placement, Sadie had blood in her urine and was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Her new mom had her to the vet for surgery immediately. Sadie recovered quickly but tests showed they weren’t able to get it all. Throughout this, her new mom has had an amazingly positive attitude, especially considering she is a cancer survivor herself. She has elected to keep Sadie with her and do everything possible to make her comfortable. They are taking walks, having great times together, and refusing to let this get to them. We think if we do rescue for a hundred years, we could never meet a more perfect adopter. We returned the adoption fee, plus a bit extra, to help Sadie with medical bills. If anybody else wants to offer assistance, we will pass it along and give you our gratitude.

Bear is another dog from the Mona, Utah puppy mill by way of eastern Oregon. He was one of their stud dogs for four years, then sold to a woman in the LaGrande area as a stud for her Malamute. After two years she got tired of him and gave him to Cathie Falck. Cathie found a foster home and had him neutered, then he came here. Officially we’re fostering him for Samoyed Rescue of Oregon while they repair their kennels, which gives us the experience of watching him blossom and come out of his shell. His coat was so matted he was shaved before he got here, so we’re also getting to watch how fast sammy hair really grows. We expect Bear to move to a forever home with an experienced sammy family very soon.

May/June, 2006

In last month’s report we told you about three young sammies, all under two years old, and all being fostered in our home at once. “Our Three Sammies” sounds like a great title for a TV show, doesn’t it? And believe me, there were plenty of good story ideas. Fortunately, two of the three are now in their adoptive homes so we’ll call off that series before it starts.

Sammy is now named Zuke, his third name in that many months and the most important he will have because it’s forever. He was at the Tacoma Humane Society in March and adopted out before we could get there. After escaping several times in a month from that home, he was picked up and taken there again, and this time they called us so we could get him in a home that understands the breed. His only problem was excess energy, and that was handled by his being adopted along with Emily.

Emily is a mix of Samoyed and collie, or golden, or something else that also has a great temperament. We first placed her as a puppy over a year ago into a home that didn’t understand she needed training. Emily is a tall girl they allowed to do as she pleased, and the family decided to send her back because they couldn’t handle her. We were fond of Emily when she first came as a puppy, even more when she stayed with us this time. She bonds quickly to humans and only wants to please and play! When she first got here this time, she had some scabs on her neck, but they didn’t seem to bother her and were healing well — or so we thought. After she got to her new home she became ill and a deep tissue infection was discovered. After a number of vet visits, a change of vets, and more than one course of antibiotics, we are pleased to tell you she is healthy and back to normal. Because this was a problem she evidently had before she was adopted, we decided to return the adoption fees for both dogs to help pay the bills.

Nikki was in the Everett shelter when we found him, and he was quickly sprung by Erin Sitterley and fostered by Lon & Mary. He is a terrific young dog and we had no trouble at all finding him a great new home. How great? Well, these are people who drove their motor home 250 miles each way so Nikki would have a comfortable ride home. He now lives in Kalama with his new mom and dad.

Roxie has been with us since early March. She has a heart murmur caused by a defective valve (pulmonic stenosis) but shows no symptoms and has no problems. She is less than two years old, very friendly and full of the energy you expect from a dog that young. She also has distichiasis, an eyelash growing in the wrong place and irritating her eye. Our vet wanted us to take her to a veterinary ophthalmologist, but we finally convinced him to do it for us to hold down the cost. When it actually came time for the surgery and they sedated her, they discovered it could be corrected with minor electro cautery. She has already healed, and very soon will have another visitor asking about adopting her.

Sadie came into our lives after a pretty rough life. She had a systemic yeast infection, bad skin, and her ear is bent over from damage done by an untreated infection and hematoma. Both ears had raging yeast infections, as did other parts that made her uncomfortable. When she first arrived she was fearful and aggressive to the other dogs, but quickly learned to be tolerant of the pack. We estimate her to be around 7-8 years old. She got baths every couple days for a while, then twice a week, until her fungus was under control. Despite her interaction with dogs, Sadie is a love sponge with people. We found an applicant in Redmond looking for her first dog, and when she visited we saw the strongest reaction between foster dog and human we’ve seen yet. Sadie went to her, sat with her, and within a minute was on her back getting a tummy scratch. Sadie is now ecstatic in her new home. Her new mom even took two weeks off from work to get her settled in.

We work frequently with Angie Brainard in northern Idaho, who does Coonhound Rescue and has been instrumental in getting several sammies to us. Angie found a dog with a couple in Athol who wanted to find their dog Ice a new home because he had been escaping and killing their ducks and geese. We sent them a release form, and Angie was following up when she learned Ice had escaped again and the husband shot him. We are deeply saddened that they chose not to call Angie, who would have picked him up within 5 minutes (and they knew that). It is forcing us to re-think our policy of leaving owner-surrender dogs with their owners while we look for new homes.

There’s another Bear in LaGrande, one more dog resulting from the wanna-be backyard breeder who bought dogs from a Utah puppy mill. Bear comes from the same people who gave us Roxie, and he was so badly matted he had to be shaved. The groomer said his coat came off like a sheep being sheared, almost all in one piece. In the middle of this month, Cathie Falck (without whom we could not save nearly as many dogs) will drive him as far as Kalama and we will arrange transport to foster. Bare Bear was just neutered and his coat will hopefully start growing back quickly.

Our second Shasta in a year is coming soon, this time a male about 6 years old. He was bred by Sue Roberts, whose dogs have been frequent fliers in Rescue. It appears he is a half brother to our own Charlie, and his owner is unemployed and looking for a good home as he moves to California. The owner and dog are tightly bonded and we’re sorry to see this happen, and it’s possible we may be able to work out a way to keep them together. Unfortunately he has not had vet care for a long time, and has a yeast infection and is badly matted. We may take him into Rescue to ensure he gets the care he needs. Time will tell.

Cosmo is six years old, and blind since he was four months old. He may also suffer slightly from dwarfism but we aren’t positive about that yet. His owner was divorced and placed him with her ex mother-in-law six months ago, but he now needs a new home. We have a signed release, but in this case we are comfortable leaving him where he is while we search for someone to adopt him. There is a possibility we may have found one in Vancouver, but it remains for them to meet. His owner says Cosmo gets around as easily as a sighted dog; having lived with Shadow for four years we can attest to a blind dog having very few problems in life.

Home visits are an important part of rescue and an easy thing to do. All of us who have sammies understand what to look for almost instinctively, and we have a form if you want to know what to look for. Whether or not you have ever done a rescue home visit, we could use your help. Right now we have a dozen or so people waiting for dogs, with most still needing home visits. We delay most until they move up the list, since many find dogs elsewhere while waiting, but a few could be done so they are ready to adopt when we find the right dog. We are also constantly looking for foster homes.

Thank you to Joy Ritter, who did a visit in Kalama, and to Erin Sitterley who has twice dropped everything to pull dogs from the Everett shelter (Nikki and Sadie). Cathie Falck has almost made a career of finding dogs in eastern Oregon who need help. Lon and Mary have been fostering rescue dogs for over a decade, always ready to take a dog with little or no notice, always giving them the love they need while awaiting new homes. We appreciate the time and effort given by so many to the dogs who need us!

April, 2006

Last month we told you about Powder and Peyton, the brother and sister pair in Coeur d’Alene who needed a new home. Their owner was moving and changed her mind about taking them with her. At about the same time we were talking to the people in Seattle about Roxie, so I mentioned Powder and Peyton. It turned out they were actually thinking about getting two dogs, and this was too perfect. On March 25th, Esther and Margaret drove to Coeur d’Alene and brought both dogs back with them. The dogs’ registered names are Aspen Powder and Princess Peyton, so they are now named Aspen and Princess. If you visit Green Lake you may see them meeting and greeting their adoring public on frequent walks. If you’re really lucky, they may be accompanied by their neighbor, Mori, with one of his humans.

Roxie, who arrived a month ago, was about to be spayed when she came into heat. We pushed back the spay appointment three weeks and took her instead for a quick checkup and shots. During the visit our vet told us she had a heart murmur, so an appointment was made with a cardiologist in Clackamas, and Roxie was diagnosed with a congenitally small pulmonary valve. Odds are she will have a completely normal life at least through middle age, and may never show symptoms. We’ve been working with a woman in Juneau, Alaska, who was in Portland on business and drove up to meet Roxie. We sent the reports to her vet and will find out soon if Roxie will be an Alaskan resident.

Honey, the beautiful honey-colored Samoyed mix, hitched a ride from Idaho and stayed with Lon & Mary while waiting for her new family to find her. We are delighted to say that happened late last month. Her new name is Akai, and we are getting wonderful results about how well she fits into the family.

On April 31 we had a report of a purebred Samoyed named Nikki in the Everett shelter. Erin Sitterley dropped what she was doing and rescheduled appointments to hurry there and arrange for him to enter rescue. First he was neutered, after which Erin picked him up and met Lon. Nikki is a striking young purebred about a year and a half old and should be available for adoption very soon.

Seven is an unusual name for a dog. He was first spotted in the Tacoma Humane Society a month ago, but was placed by the shelter as Kathy was en route to pick him up. A few days ago he was listed again, having been picked up as a stray. They have to send an official letter to the registered owner and wait five days, so we can’t get him out yet. By the time you receive this newsletter we hope we will have him here and he can be placed better by rescue than he was by the shelter.

You may remember Emily, the puppy we found in Coeur d’Alene in January last year, adopted by a Portland area family with small children. We received terrific reports since then, up until last week. Now we learn the family is having problems that will result in a move, and they feel Emily needs to find a new home. Emily is now about a year and a half old, just into the “teen” stage, and it sounds like they didn’t spend any time training her. She looked much more like a Samoyed as a puppy than she does now, but we placed her and we will take her back. If she isn’t in a new home by the end of the week, it looks like Emily will be moving back with us.

Abby was our queen, dropped from a car window in February, 2003. She was helped by a Tibetan Mastiff breeder and delivered to rescue. By the time she was ready to be adopted, we knew she was here forever. Despite severe arthritis and spondylosis, her constant cheer and huge smile brightened our lives beyond description. I’m sorry to say she has been declining, and last month she told us it was time to go. We consider ourselves fortunate beyond words to have been able to spend over three years with her beautiful spirit.

Rescue depends on volunteers all around the Northwest who help with transport, fostering, and especially home visits. Because each home has to be visited before they get to adopt, we really appreciate the time given by all those who want to help these special Sammies find forever homes. We are grateful to you all.