May 2024 Rescue Report

Fortunately, it’s been a “quieter” month with more dogs going out than coming in to rescue.

Mochi, the owner-surrendered puppy who was too much dog for her previous owner’s home, was adopted a month ago. She has a new BFF sister to run around with, which is great for her energy levels (but maybe not so great on the amount of grooming her owners now have to do!).

Mochi and her new BFF
Mochi and her new BFF

Moko, our 12-year-old senior girl, found her new home, too! She joined a family with another Samoyed and a Husky, and she gets lots of love from all.

Moko leaving her foster family to go to her permanent home.

It’s a great month for our senior dogs because Kaya, our sweet 13-year-old, who came in to rescue last month with two other Samoyeds was adopted today. Her new owner grew up with a Samoyed, and she’s excited to have one back in her home. Kaya and her new terrier sibling got along well, so we’re excited for her new life. 

Kaya heading to her new home in North Idaho with her new terrier sibling

After trying everything over the last year, Chalky’s itching (and scratching and cone) has finally ended. The only thing that has worked is Prednisone, so we called the vet and asked if we could put him on it for the rest of his life. After all, he is probably 13 years old. The vet agreed, and the combination of the Prednisone and another flea treatment completely stopped his itching. We have been able to remove his cone for the first time since he arrived nearly a year ago. It’s hard to describe what a difference this has made. His rear legs are beginning to give out, so there is no telling how much more time he has. We will enjoy him as long as he is here.

Chalky’s skin condition is getting much better.

Since Sophie died, Tessa has been without her partner in fear. She is coming into the house without as much hesitation, and we are forcing ourselves on her a little more. Son Jeff picked her up, and we removed a number of mats near the base of her tail. Recently, his wife took Tessa to their home to give her a different place to explore. We’re also giving her a treat when she comes in, which probably helps her come inside. If we could find a home with only women, ideally an older woman, we think it would be a successful adoption.

Tessa has slowly been coming out of her shell and engaging more.

We have also found an amazing home for an owner-surrender male Samoyed. We are waiting to finalize all of the details and then we’ll post more about that next month.

If you see a dog on our site that you are interested in fostering or adopting, please fill out an application. You can also drop us a note at if you have questions. 

Recently, we’ve had a lot of expenses for fostering and transporting dogs, so if you would like to donate, you can do so here.

April 2024 Rescue Report

This has been a busy month with many dogs coming into our care. In February, we were alerted to three dogs that needed to be rehomed. One of their previous owners had passed away, and the other needed to move into assisted living. After some back and forth with the owner’s son, it was determined that we would wait to take them until he sorted everything out with his mom. During that time, the dogs were moved into a boarding facility, where the change in food and location stressed them. 

We were finally able to take the dogs in mid-March. Kaya, 12, Nika, 9, and Karma, 6, were all taken to Melissa’s house, where they could decompress and relax for a few days. It was not ideal, though, because, in addition to her own dogs, Melissa was also fostering 12-year-old Moko, whose owners surrendered her due to a move out of the country. 


Fortunately, Karma met with a fantastic family who quickly fell in love and adopted her. Nika is currently being fostered in the Seattle area, and Kaya is now being fostered in North Idaho. All three dogs are getting health checks and grooming and are settling in. 


Meanwhile, Moko is still with Melissa, and we are looking for a home for her. She is a sweet dog in excellent health with the energy levels of a dog half her age. Initially, we thought she would need to be the only dog in the home, but as she’s adjusted to her new environment, it turns out she’s opening up and engaging with other dogs. We have a couple of people interested in Moko, so we’re crossing our fingers. 

Six-month-old Mochi, who was surrendered because she was too much puppy for her previous owner and her toddler, is still being fostered and is looking for her new home. She is getting comfortable with crate training and has a ton of young dog energy. She needs to be physically and mentally engaged, so she will do best in a home with another dog, particularly one who can show her the ropes and keep up with her energy. Her foster said she shows all the markers of being a good agility dog, so she’ll be a great match for someone interested in participating in dog sports. 


We’re so excited that Judi has been adopted! This blue-eyed girl came a long way from being the dirty, flea-infested dog with seizures. Now her seizures are under control, and she is a happy girl. 

Judi heading to her new home

There’s good news about Anna, the Seattle dog, who lived with an older woman with dementia. After she was seized by Animal Control and taken to the shelter, she landed in a foster home and was eventually adopted. 


We took Sophie, Fena, and Tessa into rescue in February 2018. They were nearly feral and spent much of the first year hiding in the garage, eventually coming in the house. We found Fena a good home, but Sophie and Tessa were still so fearful that they were unadoptable. They became part of our pack, but only Kathy could get close to them.

Tessa and Sophie

Last year, Sophie developed a perianal fistula that made it hard for her to poop. We treated her with Cyclosporin and antibiotics and then a laxative. A couple of days ago, she became lethargic and quit eating. A trip to the ER vet showed her colon was remarkably full, and they said it was like a firehose trying to empty through a tiny hole. A stricture made it even worse. They tried enemas, which didn’t work, then gave her the liquid humans get before a colonoscopy. Surgery would have been impractical. Our only option to avoid a life of pain was to help her cross the bridge, so we went to be with her as she left us.


We are working with Tessa now, hoping she will improve now that she won’t feed off Sophie’s fear. She really is a nice dog who deserves a home with a woman since she is afraid of men.

Chalky has been in the rescue since August of last year. He has a skin problem we haven’t diagnosed yet; we requested at a veterinary dermatology clinic several months ago and were told to wait until they have a slot open. We’re still waiting. Meanwhile, a mobile vet visited and put him on Apoquel, which has been marginally effective. Steroids work well, but he can’t be on them for at least a month before he sees the dermatologist. In the past month, his rear legs have weakened, and he has trouble standing. He is at least 12 years old, possibly 13, and we took him as a hospice foster. Chalky is the kind of dog you wish you had his whole life. He is a truly special, friendly, loving dog.


If you see a dog you are interested in fostering or adopting, please fill out an application. You can also drop us a note at if you have questions. 
And if you would like to donate, you can do so here.

March 2024 Rescue Report

Judi is a challenging girl. She has made great strides since she first came into rescue back in November. She had been bounced between owners, was overweight, and was having seizures. The last owner didn’t give her the meds she needed, but now she is stable as long as she gets her twice-daily pills. She is a gorgeous dog, with beautiful blue eyes; only the second blue-eyed Samoyed we have seen in over 20 years. As she learned she was safe in her foster home, Judi’s personality emerged. She is friendly, gets along with other dogs, and enjoys walks. She loves toys and treats and being close to her people. She is losing weight and gaining strength with exercise. It probably goes without saying that Judi needs the right kind of home, because she absolutely has to adhere to a twice-daily medication schedule. And lots of walks. There is someone interested in meeting Judi later this month, so cross your fingers.


Mochi is a 5 month old typical Samoyed puppy; spunky, sassy, energetic and super sweet and cuddly. She was surrendered to rescue because the previous owner had a toddler at home, and Mochi was too much puppy for them to handle. What we can tell you since she’s been with us is that she is very smart, picks up tricks very easily (good and bad tricks), and does all of the normal puppy stuff — barking, playing, running like a crazy dog, and being super affectionate when she stops to think about it. She is still working on potty training. She mostly is successful but occasionally has indoor accidents. She also has made a good start with crate training while she’s been with us. She will sleep through the night in her crate but doesn’t love it during the day. Mochi loves other dogs and has oodles of energy, so she would do best in a home with other young-ish dogs to play with and a yard to run around in. We think we found someone who will meet all her needs, and they get together soon.


We heard of a dog in the Seattle area living with an older woman who has dementia. The dog has been kept in a crate and not given exercise, and is generally in terrible condition. As we followed the story, Animal Control was convinced to visit, and the dog was seized and taken to a shelter. We are following closely and have been in contact, but we can’t give more information than that. If we get this dog, we will foster for a while and make sure she is rehabilitated for adoption.

Sophie and Tessa are former puppy mill dogs who have been with us for a little over six years, and are still fearful. If we can split them up, we believe either would be a good candidate for a home with only women (they are scared of men), with a yard that is super-secure.

Sophie (rear) and Tessa

If you see a dog you are interested in meeting or adopting, please go to our website at and fill out an application to adopt. You can also drop us a note at if you have questions.

October 2023 Rescue Report

Chalky was found as a stray in the Sultan area in early July, and was taken in by a woman in the area. She took him to her vet, where they found a microchip, but the vet reported not being able to connect with the owner of the chip, either by phone or email. He was in bad shape, with hair loss all over his body and a belly that was licked to the point the skin had turned almost black. Her vet ran a lot of tests, and determined the urgent problem was a staph infection. He went on an antibiotic, plus a thyroid supplement, but he was slow to respond. We contacted her then, but she wasn’t ready to surrender him. She wrote to us again at the end of August, asking about sending him here, and we started looking for a possible foster home. We knew it would be a hospice-type foster and he likely wouldn’t move again. Although we told our team we probably wouldn’t be able to take more dogs, Chalky ended up coming here. We have, unfortunately, a lot of experience with senior and hospice dogs in rescue.

Chalky, soon after arriving

On September 17, Tom and Erin transported Chalky south to us. He is a sweet old man who didn’t deserve being abandoned by his owner. The woman who found him tried very hard, but without Samoyed experience she didn’t know what to expect. Since coming here he has been able to live inside, and spends most of his time snoozing close to one of us. By luck, we had a vet appointment scheduled for the day after he got here, originally for Balto, who had been adopted. They ran more tests, without many new results, and we scheduled a follow-up two weeks later. His antibiotic was changed, and they cultured his skin to determine the best antibiotic. In the meantime, we put a cone on him so he couldn’t lick, and his skin began getting better. The culture came back showing Doxycycline would work best, so we switched to it, along with a Gentamycin spray to work on the fungal problem. Chalky is improving but probably has a way to go before his skin is better and his poor tail has hair. He has a lot of life left in him. When he comes out in the morning, he is literally prancing. The day of this writing, we added Prednisone to his meds and we’ll see how much it helps.

Quinn is still with Melissa and Terry. He is such a delightful dog that she says she would keep him there except for one problem. He just hates other males. Quinn and their boy Boomer have been in at least five fights, with each prompting new measures to keep them apart. Quinn is spending more time in a crate than anyone likes, and there is a door between them most of the time. It’s not easy to live that way. We have been trying to schedule home visits for applicants who don’t have other male dogs, but it’s slow going. Quinn would fit in wonderfully as an only dog or if there is only a female already there.

Quinn, after grooming
Quinn, paws crossed

Tessa and Sophie have been here more than five and a half years. Kathy is able to approach them, and they seem to enjoy being petted by her, but only by her. In all this time, the only way I can get close is when they are confined. Their “safe place” is a shower in our bathroom. When they need sometime and I need to be close, we wait until they are there and close the door. Sophie accepts it, but Tessa shakes when I am too close. Kathy and I will have to downsize in the coming years, and we don’t have an option for the two girls. They need a home with no men, plus a super-secure yard. After they got here, we poured a concrete curb under our fence in the vulnerable spots, and we have an electric fence we can turn on if they begin testing things. If anyone knows a home that meets the necessities, we would sure love to hear from them.

Tessa, who turns 8 this month

July 2023 Rescue Report

Polar was on Craigslist early in June. The owner said he got him from a friend, and was rehoming him because he had too many dogs. Melissa called and wrote, and after a few emails back and forth, he brought Polar to Melissa’s home, where he has been fostered since. Polar was still intact, and will be neutered soon. He was born in 2019, so he is a wonderful age. We had a good app from someone in Clatskanie, Oregon, so Melissa took care of the home visit and reported they were a good home. After meeting him they decided not to visit Balto, the other dog we are trying to place, and as soon as Polar is neutered he will move in with them. He is a very mellow boy who loves people, and this looks like an excellent match.


We have been working with Balto off and on since January. His family seems to want him, but Balto is a jumper who can get over their five and a half foot fence. Because of that they have to keep him on a long line, and they recognize he needs a place to run. They recently brough him to us to meet, and he did well with our whole pack, as well as our fairly low fence. We believe a little judicious use of electric fencing would keep him contained, but so far we haven’t found anyone with an adequate fence. Fortunately, the owners are patient. Balto is a big guy whose ears didn’t come all the way up. He walked in the door and immediately joined our pack without problem, so we know he will make a great addition to the right home. Balto will be three years old in October.


In the past few days we heard of a Samoyed with four pups in Burlington. This month, Kathleen is on call so she is handling the contacts with the shelter. It’s her first month as “first responder,” and there is nothing like learning while under fire. When she reached the shelter, they indicated they would work with us. Melissa offered to foster them, which would be a heroic feat. We will see what happens. There was also a young Samoyed (we think) found in the Index area. We don’t know what his status is yet.

Dogs we heard about or saw online this month.

Sophie and Tessa go through spells where they won’t come inside, and when that happens we limit them to a small cross-fenced area of the back yard, where we can herd them toward the door. After many months of that, they seem to be coming in reliably now, and recently we gave them the whole yard. It helps that we are giving them high-value treats after they are in and the door is shut.

Sophie and Tessa

April 2023 Rescue Report

In last month’s report Harmony had just been diagnosed with two more mammary tumors. We were waiting until early this month to have them removed because there wasn’t a great rush with relatively low grade tumors. She went in on April 5, and because she had a previous tumor removed, we wanted a good set of x-rays first. Unfortunately, there as enough question that our vet sent them to a radiologist, who said there is someone concerning in one lung. There is a good chance the cancer metasticized. She also has a bit of a cough, so the surgery was cancelled. In a month we will take Harmony back for another set of x-rays and will make a decision how to proceed. According to what we were told when she was picked up at the shelter, she is 12 years old, and we have to consider age. Meanwhile we will continue spoiling her.


We recently started Tessa and Sophie on a CBD product that worked well on Fena (Sophie’s litter sister). We couldn’t see much difference, but we’ll continue trying everything we can to make our Iowa puppy mill girls more comfortable. Once in a while we experiment by letting them outdoors off-leash, but they still aren’t comfortable coming back inside until bedtime. It’s odd, because when I let them out after dinner, Tessa (the more timid of the two) always comes back to the door to lick my hand. With the recent rainy weather we don’t dare take a chance too early in the day. Something happened to them when they were young, and after five years we don’t expect they will ever be “normal” dogs.

Our transition to a new generation of rescuers is going well. Each board member is taking alternating months as “first responder,” meaning they handle all inquiries for dogs for that month. We communicate with the other board members as things happen, so everyone has input and keeps current on events. Some months will be busy; some won’t, but we “old timers” can relate what has happened in the past and how we handled it. Speaking as an old timer, I have confidence Samoyed Rescue will be around a long time after I’m gone.

March 2023 Rescue Report

Kahlil, the big bundle of Samoyed Melissa was fostering, has moved on to his forever home. A wonderful couple from Tacoma meet him last month and decided he would be a good fit. He came from Seattle Animal Control, who told us he had been abandoned in a dog park. His life is going to be great from now on. Kahlil’s new name is Otis.

Kahlil, now Otis, watched the Super Bowl with foster dad Terry.

When we got Harmony from the SpokAnimal shelter last year, they told us she had a mammary tumor. Erin and Tom fostered her through surgery, and Harmony has been living with us since. We have always taken the senior dogs here, and the shelter said she was either 10 or 12 years old (they had it listed differently in two places). A week and a half ago I was scratching her and found a lump. Since September we have been waiting for our favorite vets, who quit Tumwater Vet Hospital then, to open their own new clinic. When I found the lump on Harmony, I used one of their personal emails to ask when they would be opening. Officially the clinic opens on March 13, but they told us to bring her on the 9th, the first day of their “soft opening.”

Unfortunately, the diagnosis is for not just one, but two mammary tumors, one on each side. They are likely low grade tumors, so we elected to wait until April 5 for surgery. We drew blood for a senior panel to be sure everything else is OK, and the results should be back by the time you read this. We need to give her a dental cleaning, and they will do that at the time of surgery. They will also do x-rays to see if it has spread. Harmony has cataracts in both eyes, but heart and lungs are fine, a big deal when cancer is involved.


While Tessa is still too scared to get close to me, Sophie is finally beginning to make progress. I started keeping some graham crackers in the office, and when I’m at my computer Sophie will frequently walk up and remind me she knows about them. She takes little pieces from my hand. Someday I’m convinced she will allow me touch her.

(left) Tessa and Sophie, getting rinsed off in the shower after digging in the yard.
(right) Sophie, waiting for her treats.

We welcome a new board member this month. Kathleen Guinee adopted Banjo, and offered to help where she could. We think this is a really positive step forward for the future of Northwest Samoyed Rescue. Thanks, Kathleen!

February 2023 Rescue Report

Our newest dog, Kahlil, came from the Seattle Animal Control. Ryann let us know he was there, and she called to say we were interested. Since we worked with them before (Winston and others), they said we could pick him up. They neutered him the next morning and said he would be available in the afternoon. Hans and Holley picked him up and brought him here. Melissa arrived the next morning, and she will foster him at her home.

Kahlil is one of the biggest Samoyeds we have seen, and his head is immense. They say he is only nine months old, so we wonder how big he will eventually be. The story we heard was that he was found in a dog park, and they were able to find his owner, who said he has cancer and left Kahlil there out of desperation. He is a big goofball, not well trained but willing to listen. We need to wait for him to recover from his neuter surgery, but in the meantime we will be searching for the right home for him.


Five years ago this week, we took in three Samoyeds from a backyard breeder, Prairieland, in the Vancouver area. He had leased five pregnant bitches from White Fire, already pregnant. You may recall White Fire as the Iowa breeder that got in trouble for terrible conditions not long after that; the dogs were seized and given to the ASPCA. By the time all had been placed, the total number of dogs was over 300. Prairieland’s arrangement was to return all five to White Fire after they had their puppies, and split the money he made from selling the puppies. We were never told why, but he called us to take three of the girls, and delivered them to Melissa’s home. The next day she met Kathy and transferred them to us. Sophie and Fena were litter sisters, and cousin Tessa was a few months older. They were practically feral.

The three Iowa girls, just after they arrived. The colors on their foreheads were for identification.

We emptied our garage and gave them a place in one corner for beds, with pee pads on the other side of the garage. Kathy and I took turns sitting in the garage getting them used to us. We added a large x-pen so we could sit inside it with them. After a few months, we opened the door to our laundry room and let them come inside as they wanted. With a little more time they began coming into the kitchen. Eventually we closed the garage door and they lived inside.

Sophie and Tessa chilling in the dog yard.

Although we wanted to place these dogs, we decided any adopter much have a double fence so an escapee would still be contained. A friend and previous adopter, Kathy Bacon, came to visit and meet the girls. Together we decided Fena was the best candidate to adopt, and she has done spectacularly well there.

Sometime in the past a man must have treated them badly. They eventually accepted Kathy getting close, and petting and scratching them, but the only time I can touch them is when they are in their crates getting bedtime treats, or when they are in their “safe place,” a shower in the bathroom. Sophie has begun coming into the office when I am at my computer and taking treats from my hand. Tessa still hangs back. From time to time they wouldn’t come indoors after being in the yard, then just as abruptly would begin coming inside. Currently they currently refuse to enter; if they get outside they won’t come in, even for their dinner. Kathy has to walk them on a leash several times a day.

When they are nervous, Tessa and Sophie hide in the shower.

We need to find homes for them. They feed off each other’s fear, and we are sure if we split them they might do as well as Fena. The right home must have great security, so if a dog escapes through a door they are still secure. Because they are afraid of men, we also need a home where there are no men. Most of all, their adopters must have patience.

We are getting old and facing the fact we will need to move in the next few years, maybe sooner. If the two girls are still here, the only current option we have is to ship them to a sanctuary where they will live without people. If anyone has ideas, we would very much like to hear them.

Tessa (left) and Sophie

We still think Harmony is younger than the 12 we were told by the shelter. The only evidence of age we can point to is her eyes, which are cloudy. Still, we have seen younger dogs with similar eyes. She has boundless energy, which she uses up by barking. She runs circles around the other dogs. She is the smallest purebred Samoyed we have had. Because of her age, or at least what we were told about her, she stays with us because we foster seniors. It’s very difficult to place a 12 year old dog. There is a new DNA test that promises to give nearly exact age, but as of February 10 it was taken off the market because it wasn’t working as well as promoted. The company, Embark, promises an update next month.


Bella was listed on the Beaverton Craigslist in 2014, and went to a family in Seattle. In August 2021 she was listed again, and we heard about her. She lived in an apartment and had to be walked, and her family had a new baby and no time for the walks. They said she was 11, based on what they were told when they got her, but we know info on Craigslist is often optimistic. She may have been older.

Bella, on the day she arrived.

A few months later we had her at the vet for a check-up when they found a lump on her neck. An ultrasound showed it was probably a thyroid tumor, so we took her to a veterinary oncologist. The tumor was confirmed and they suggested a high dose of thyroid meds. There was no other treatment. Since then we watched the tumor get bigger, though her behavior didn’t change. Until recently it didn’t bother her. Her breathing got progressively louder, but she continued to be active and enjoying life. Last month it got worse and we waited for her to tell us it was time.

Bella could usually be found close to one of us.

Wednesday morning she let us know. She didn’t want to eat, and her energy was gone. Kathy carried her in from the yard while I tried to reach our vet. I couldn’t get them to answer, but I called a vet who does home calls, and she said she would come the next morning. Bella slept well and even rallied a bit. She asked to go into the living room, where we helped her up on the sofa, her favorite place in the world. She stayed there, quietly, until the vet arrived. The end came peacefully.

Bella, on her last morning, in her favorite place.

Over 22 years of rescue we’ve been through this many times, almost once a year, because we foster the senior dogs. This one hit us hard. Bella was special. She loved people and everyone who met her loved her. Every night after dinner I went to my room to read for a half hour, and Bella always joined me. We really feel her loss.

Like the other dogs, Bella loved the snow.
Beautiful Bella.

January 2023 Rescue Report

Last month, we said Rosie had an adoption pending. She is now living happily in Lake Stevens with a great family. She has two kids, 13 and 11, for her very own. We are grateful to Jenna for fostering Rosie while we found exactly the right home for her.


Niko didn’t work out for his first placement, because he and their other male were incompatible. They tried hard but it wasn’t going to happen, so we made it a high priority to find a new home. That came in the form of a previous adopter we know well, and now Niko lives on the Oregon coast with a very experienced Sammy owner.

Cooper has been with Melissa for quite a while. He was originally one of the Spokane hoarder’s dogs, named Ghost. We don’t believe the ages we got on him and Harmony, and we think he was a bit older than the 7 months they told us last Summer. His hormones kicked in, so he was neutered before finding his new home. That came last month when he went to a home in Tacoma with two kids, 3 and 5, plus an Eskie brother who will definitely be alpha. Because his name is so similar to the Eskie, he will probably be renamed to Mocha.


Bella’s breathing is getting noisier and her appetite is decreasing. Our vet cut back her Thyroid to help with her weight, and we are feeding her pretty much whatever she wants. She is still one of the most loving senior dogs we have hosted, and that’s a large number.

Sweet Bella

Harmony, when she is quiet, is a lovely dog to have around. When she barks without pausing, she isn’t quite as much fun. We’ve been trying to work on her vocalization, which seems to come (a) whenever we talk to each other, and (b) when we have a meal at the table. We tried a sedative and it only helps a little bit. Bark collars, from beepers to spray to electric, have no effect. We’ll keep working on the problem.

Tessa and Sophie continue to make very small improvements. Sophie is now willing to take food directly from me, while Tessa still hangs back. Kathy has to walk them in the yard a couple times a day because they won’t come inside on their own unless it’s first thing in the morning (after their first outing) or at bedtime. Next month will mark five years since they arrived.

Our Pack