Dogs of Valhalla Rescue “Cooper”

Adoption story #4 Dogs Renea and her bond with our dog Cooper
Have you ever had a dog before?
When I was little we had a dog for a brief time.  We moved to a house that did not allow pets so my mom had to get rid of him and after that the only pet we had growing up was a bird.
What made you want to get a dog now?

When I moved in with my boyfriend and his dog Maverick. I saw the bond he had with him and was amazed on how quickly I grew attached to Maverick. We were both deeply saddened when we had to put him down last August. After a few months passed we started talking about getting a dog together, but I wasn’t pushing it since I knew Shawn was still sad about Maverick. Once I started to look and Shawn became more interested, I then knew there was no turning back.
Why adoption instead of a breeder? 

When we decided to get a dog, we didn’t really have a preference. We had a bad experience with a breeder that was trying to sell puppies thorough Craigslist. He wouldn’t meet us at the place he kept and breed the dogs, as he keep tying to have us meet him in a parking lot somewhere. It seemed a little strange to us so when we came across Pet Finder on the internet we decided to adopt/rescue.
How has having a dog changed or effected your life?

In so many ways, First off I never knew that I could love a dog as much as I love Cooper. I moved to Washington from Chicago and it is really hard on me being away from my family and friends. The bond I formed with Cooper helped with this a lot. I love playing with him, taking him on hikes, the way he always comes and sits in my lap when I am on the floor and most of all I love how is waiting by the door for me when I get home from work. It is truly an unconditional love.

Funny Story or Instance with Cooper

The day we picked Cooper up from Laurie’s house (thats where he was being fostered) he was so little and only 8 weeks old. When we left, Laurie gave us a pee pad for the car ride home and suggested to lay the pad on my lap. But of course I didn’t take her advice. Shortly after leaving Cooper started whining and seemed very anxious. We stopped to let him out of the car to see if he had to go to the bathroom. We Walked around for a few minutes and nothing so we got back in the car and continued home. We were a block away from our house and he decided to poop while sitting on my lap and I did not have the pee pad on cover my lap so it went all over my pants. Shawn was laughing so hard, of course I wasn’t. After I cleaned Cooper and myself up I was laughed a little 

What is one of coopers favorite behavior traits?
He lays on his back when he is playing with a bone and holds it with his paws in his mouth.  Also when I put his favorite toy away he goes and gets it out even if he doesn’t want to play with it just so it is next to him.
Are you glad you decide to adopt? Would you do it again? 
Yes and Yes..

How did Valhalla help with the adoption experience?
They made it very easy for us. Cooper (Poe) was the dog I had seen on pet finder first and that adorable face just made me wanted him. We went to Laurie’s  and she brought out a few of the puppies but Cooper was the one that stood out for us (His markings and his energy) he was all over the place. Valhalla had us fill out an application then brought Cooper over to our house to check things out.  Shortly after they approved our house we got the call that we can adopt him and the rest is History.

Would you recommend Valhalla to others? 
Yes, I would Patti does so many wonderful things for dogs. I especially like how much she helps out special need dogs. The whole experience with Cooper was great and they really care about the animals.

Cooper’s 1st Birth Day
As Cooper turned one I cant help but to love how the relationship between Cooper and Renea has developed. I remember when we first got him, Renea didn’t quit feel the connection at first. This was partly do to the fact that Cooper and I spent so much time together and Cooper was trying to figure out were he stood in the family dynamic. I must say their relationship has gotten very strong and is only getting stronger. I am so looking for to the many years ahead of us as their excitement and love grow for each other. As it will only bring us closer together. Thanks again Patti and the Valhalla Rescue. I couldn’t imagine going anywhere without these two. This is from our camping trip on San Juan Island over Labor Day weekend.

Dogs of Valhalla Rescue “Hannah”

Here is the story of Susan and her boyfriend John on how they opened their hearts and their homes to two wonderful dogs. Because of these two caring people and Valhalla Rescue Hannah and Moose will have a chance to have the happy and fulfilling lives they deserve. 

How has adopting Hannah changed or effected your life?  

We get a lot more exercise. Hannah really loves getting out and so we spend more time taking walks together as a family. This ends up being great for everyone as we get exercise and spend more quality time not thinking about work.

Funny Story or Instance with Hannah. 

We went hiking one weekend at cathedral falls and despite having been hiking with us before, Hannah seemed rather startled by every insect she saw that day. At one point she was sniffing around some leaves and a little beetle crawled out. As soon as Hannah noticed the Beetle she leapt backwards a few feet and then tried to scurry up the hill before nearly falling down a hill. All this just to avoid a beetle.

Does Hannah have special needs, what are they? 

While we were fostering Hannah, she had two spay surgeries aborted due to her heart rate dropping under anesthesia.  We decided to adopt her anyways, and have been working with specialists to see what is causing the reaction.   Preliminary results indicate she may have a heart condition called Cardio Myopathy.  She doesn’t have any obvious clinical symptoms yet, and we are just waiting on some more test results to get a definitive diagnosis and to create a management plan.
Why did you want to take on a dog with special needs? 

When adopting Hannah, we initially thought her only special need was going to be that she couldn’t be under anesthesia except for emergencies.  Having previously had a special needs dog, we felt this was a manageable condition for us.
Have you adopted a special needs dog before? 

Not intentionally, but my last dog had ended up having Wobblers and Addison’s disease.  The hardest part of having a special needs dog is dealing with the uncertainty of getting a diagnosis and implementing a successful management plan.  However, most special needs dogs only require minimal changes to their routine and you can barely tell they are different.  In addition, the relationship you have with a special needs dog is often deeper than with other dogs.  You are more in tune with each other, and they really seem to appreciate any extra care you provide them.

What is one of Hannah favorite behavior traits?

When Hannah wants something she will first come over and stare to see if you will pay attention to her. If you’re still not giving her what she wants she then places a single paw on your chest and stares into your eyes. Continuing to ignore her will result in both paws being placed on your chest and her pushing her face close into yours.

Are you glad you decide to adopt? Would you do it again? 

We are very happy that we adopted Hannah, our family wouldn’t feel complete without her.  We would like to keep fostering dogs, and would be open to adopting another one if they were the perfect fit for us.
How did Valhalla help with the adoption experience? 

Our adoption experience was pretty casual since we were already an approved foster for Valhalla.  Being able to foster Hannah before we adopted her really allowed us to get to know her before we decided to adopt.       
Would you recommend Valhalla to others? Yes, Valhalla does really wonderful work helping dogs and their community. 
Lets not forget about Moose. 

Have you fostered before? Why foster? Do you ever get to attached not want to let them go? What is the hardiest and most fulfilling thing about fostering? 

Before fostering Moose, I had only done a short-term foster where I fostered a puppy for the holidays.  My dog Dexter passed away in January, and while I wasn’t ready to get another dog, my home felt really empty. Fostering Moose really helped me with the grieving process.  Letting Moose go to his permanent home will be bittersweet, but I know that Valhalla will find him the perfect home.
What’s one of Mooses favorite traits? 

Moose is one of the funniest and joyful dogs I’ve had the pleasure of being around.  He really loves being around his people, and will follow you just about anywhere, including into the bathroom. 

Here is just an other amazing story that could only happen with help of the Amazing people. I believe Moose is still looking for his forever home. Please stop the Valhalla Rescue FB page and show your appreciation. 

Meet Rocky & Rhody

Adoption story #2 Dogs Of Valhalla Rescue 

Sarah & Josh deciding to take on the challenge of adopting two puppies Rocky & Rhody both which are Cooper litter mates. Knowing how full of energy Cooper is I could only image they would have their hands full on a daily basis. 

Why did you decide to adopt? We have asked that very question ourselves at times.  Between the gifts of dog poo on the bathroom rug fresh out of the shower, using my fancy lace bra in a chippy game of tug-of-war and the heaping car-sickness episodes has more than tested our patience once or twice. 

But as we sit here with soft fur, gentle snoring, and puppy dreaming surrounding us we feel content. We feel adored. We feel loved. We feel complete and fulfilled as a family. The endless ball throwing, “sweet spot” belly rubs, and their soulful honey-brown eyes is what makes any frustration worth it. 

Do you feel confident you made the right decision getting two puppies? Sarah laughs as Josh says absolutely!! As much of a hand full as they are at times, they definitely help each other out. 

They give each other constant companionship and help burn off some that puppy energy they have. 

How did Valhalla  help with the adoption experience? It was great for us, they communicated well with us and we got to see the puppies the day after our home evaluation. 

What was one one of the funniest experience with the two? We would have to say  when we took them up to the base Mt Rainer with Josh’s 5 yr old son Matthew and got to see them experience snow for the first time. Watching Matthew and the puppies run around in the snow was so much fun. But on the way home Rocky & Rhody got car sick and vomited on Matthew while he was in his car seat.  Bu the Whole experience was pretty funny. 

How does their personality differ from each other?  Rhody is more of the lover and Rocky is more independent. Both are super Intelligent and they both carry off of each other’s energy. Rocky would be the lover for the moment and Rhody will be distant. As soon as Rocky wants to distant Rhody will come and fill in for him. They are very Yen & Yang. One chews the other one doesn’t and vise versa. They are very complimentative to each other and not competitive at all. 

How has adopting Rocky and Rhody have affected your life’s? It’s as simple as we can’t imagine life without them. But I’m sure our carpet and backyard would disagree.

It’s as simple as we can’t imagine life without them.

So if you are looking for the perfect addition to your family please consider adoption. The dogs give as much back to you as you give to them if not more. 

After seeing how well behaved Rocky & Rhody were I would have to say adopting two is not as crazy as it seems. But sorry Cooper you are flying solo for now. 




Whats his/hers name and breed?

A) Duke, He is English Mastiff

Kiss me

Why did you decide to adopt him?

A) Well we lost our two labs to cancer that we had adopted after 8 years, and began looking. When a friend of mine posted Duke’s picture on FB looking for help with his medical expenses I couldn’t resist his face. So I pledged money to his bills and asked to come meet him after he was all healed up. When we met Duke, we just knew and he just knew. There was an instant connection with him and my daughter. After a couple more visits with Duke I couldn’t imagine someone else owning him, so he is ours!

What were or are his special needs? 
A) All big dogs have special needs, but his previous injuries do not hinder him from playing. Duke is missing one toes on his left front foot and some muscle mass on his right back leg. He eats a special diet due to food allergies and takes in a lot of calories at 200lbs. He has a special bed made for him due to his size that gives him cushion from the ground as well.

I might be large but I love to play catch
Thank you for my special bed I love it!!!

Did it take him long to adjust or be active? 

A) Since we were visiting Duke beforehand there really wasn’t adjustment period. 

Snuggle time 🙂

How as the adoption changed/effected your life? 
A) Duke is the most obedient, loving, and charming dog we have ever owned. With his addition to our family simply made it complete. We hope to adopt another one in the future that fits our family like Duke so he can have a friend.

Our family is now complete. Thank you Valhalla!!!!!

How did Valhalla make the decision to adoption easier?

A) Valhalla made it easier due to having his records available during the surrender, and knowing one of the fosters mom made the transition easier and you can tell they truly care about their dogs. 

We have always found dogs through recuses because we believe they need a second chance. It’s been the best decision we have ever made. 

The Dogs Of Valhalla Rescue

As a Seattle Portrait Photographer I am always looking to add a little personal meaning into my photos. 

Thus the idea of my new series “The Dogs Of Valhalla” was born.  It all started when my beloved 12yr old Labrador Maverick passed away August 6th a day after my 41st birthday, he was a truly amazing dog and my girlfriend Renea quickly fell in love with him. She experienced the amazing bond between human and dog for the first time as she never had a dog growing up. 

We miss you Maverick 
A few months passed and we started discussing the idea of getting another dog. I thought it would be awesome to be part of her first puppy experience. Renea started looking around on the internet which quickly sparked my interest. Our first experience with a so called “shelter/rescue” turned out bad and we weren’t sure that was the route to go to find a dog. But shortly after that Renea came across Poe which we now called Cooper we instantly fell in love! How could you not with that cute little puppy face and his black & white markings? He is a border collie mix that was being adopted out by Valhalla Rescue
Cooper on his home visit/inspection  
Valhalla made the experience so amazing I would recommend them to anyone. They actually came to our house for a home inspection to make sure we were the right fit for the dog.  The adoption came complete with his first rounds of shoots, a microchip and his neutering operation. Based on the interaction we had with Valhalla and their volunteers we could tell they cared more about the dogs then anything else. So in my gratitude for matching Renea and I with the most amazing dog ever we are here to help tell their story.

When did you officially start Valhalla?
A) Valhalla Rescue was named in 1999 and became a 501c3 in 2011. I originally started rescuing dogs in 1988
Why did you decide to start a rescue? 
A)I had been volunteering with other rescues and animal welfare organizations since the early 80’s. I started helping with fostering and working at the spay/neuter clinics at the shelters in our area. Back then we were helping mostly Dobermans and wolf hybrids and a lot of mixed breeds. Once it got out that I was helping dogs, people would come to me for help placing their dogs.
Why did you decide to venture into the special needs area? 
A) In 1999 after getting laid off from Boeing, I was retrained as a vet tech and started working at a vet clinic. The vet I worked with had  a fund to help pay the vet costs for people who couldn’t afford their companions bills, but there were times when the owners still where unable to care for their medical needs dog and often asked our vet for alternatives. That is when a light bulb went off and we started to focus on helping dogs with medical needs. 
How many dogs & families have you united to date?
A) I have been doing this for so long, I can’t say for sure, but the rescue itself helps an average of 270 dogs per year so I would have to say that we have helped over 2000 dogs since the rescue started officially in 1999
If there is one reason to adopt what would it be?
A) It’s hard to decide on just 1 reason. I guess I would have to say because it saves lives and the love you get back is so special for bot the animals AND the humans. People often don’t realize how much an animal can bring to their lives until they have one that loves them unconditionally or one that helps them over a hard time in their life.
Is there anything else you want to say about the rescue or why people should adopt? 

A) I can talk about the rescue all day, Some day I hope to have a complete center that can provide medical, training and rehab services for the dogs and the people in our community. That is why in 2011 we acquired the Lewis County Animal Food Bank and started to supply food and medical care to the homeless and veterans in our community. If we can help people who love dogs then we can help to ensure that forever homes that love and care for their pets can continue to do so, even when times are rough. And people SHOULD adopt because sadly there is still way more pets being euthanized each year. The numbers are staggering for the companion animals that are still put to sleep in our local shelters and that die on the streets homeless and alone. Until the day that shelters no longer have to euthanize for space there is always going to be a serious need to adopt animals. Until the day we can shut down every kill room in every shelter, until the day that we stop heart sticking dogs or gassing them in archaic inhumane devises, then I will continue to advocate for adoption. When all puppy mills and breeding factories are shut down, then we have done our job to educate the world that life is precious and even though we love dogs and bred them for our pleasure, we have a responsibility to care for them as much as they care for us.

So please consider adopting if you are looking for a new addition to your family you wont regret it!!!

Thank you again Valhalla for united us with Cooper