Three new friends

Today I signed up to volunteer at the Humane Society of Skagit Valley. I’ve always wanted to walk shelter dogs, but have never done so before, because it seemed like I ought to be walking my own dogs.

Well, why not do both?

Truth be told, I found myself on the HSSV website yesterday fantasizing about getting another dog. I’m conflicted, because on the one hand, I want Leo to have a playmate who will run around with him more than Mia does. On the other, I’m scared of having to break up a three-way dog fight.

I saw this handsome fellow’s profile and felt sad that he’s been in the shelter since November, after being found all by his lonesome on a mountain trail.

But how to know whether he’d get along with my pups? Maybe I should go visit him.

Then I saw this guy, and my heart broke to read that he’s never been allowed indoors. He might not even be house trained.


I can’t adopt all the dogs, as much as I’d like to, but I can visit them regularly. And if in getting to know them, I think one of them might be a good match for our family, I can bring Rob and the dogs over to meet him. (Assuming our next dog will be a boy, in the interest of preserving Queen Mia’s status.)

My volunteer orientation isn’t for a few weeks, but I introduced myself to all the dogs today. Jeck, the shepherd, was the first one I met. He was very mellow, sullen even, but he kindly angled his body for me to scratch his butt as best I could through the bars. What would that be like, to adopt an adult dog who had never been inside, who wasn’t even house-trained? Could he stay out in the yard all day, and then sleep inside with all of us at night?

Jeck was quiet, but Hugo, the brindle pit bull, and his next door neighbor, Koa, were rowdy. Hugo jumped up on the bars and pawed the plexiglass. Let me out! I want to play. I’ve been in here so long.

Oh, Hugo, how I wanted to play with you.

Here’s Koa’s profile:

Koa looked at me soulfully and barked when I paid attention to Hugo. Don’t be swayed by his fancy brindle markings. Black dogs always get overlooked in shelters!

Boys, boys. Be patient. I’ll come visit you as soon as I can. And if some wonderful person takes you home before I get back, I’ll understand.

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Published by Kari Neumeyer

Writer, editor, dog mom, ovarian cancer survivor

7 thoughts on “Three new friends

  1. You are adorable, and the best person to ever enter Dogdom! I love how you care so much, how you “get” what these lovelies are saying to you, Whisperer. ❤

  2. It’s awesome that you are volunteering with the dogs-it’s a wonderful experience for sure. Just be meticulous about adding another one to your family-make sure the newcomer gets along with everyone. Don’t be swayed by the horrendous stories (and we’ve heard quite a few volunteering with a rescue group)-make sure to stay true to your reason and judgement. You will know when the time is right and which dog is the right fit-know that the other ones are going to the homes they are meant to go to and that it’s not up to you to adopt them all to save them-that you are helping just by spending time with them until their forever home finds them. 🙂 Three is an interesting number to have, and you won’t have to worry about three way dog fights so long as no two personalities clash and you have a sit down with your current residents (canine included) about the addition. Keep up the awesome work!

  3. Kari,
    Three dogs aren’t that much more work. OK, so the really are. I have three dogs and I have had to get creative with my morning walks. All three go out first, then Damien goes back inside since he is about 13, then the other two continue on for the rest of the walk. The best part of having three dogs for me is that there is always someone up for a quick run.

  4. Congratulations! I’m the world’s worst enabler, so don’t ask me for help resisting! A lot of dogs who have never been outside adapt just fine to living indoors. Just sayin’!

    You asked if I use external lights with our pictures, and the answer is yes! Most of the time, I use the softbox on them, unless I’m trying to get a specific lighting effect.

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