In 2005, an eight-month-old stray puppy is found by police near the Oregon coast. Full of adoptive potential, the young pit bull is promptly taken to the Oregon Coast Humane Society in Florence, Oregon, and given the name Odie. He is aggressive toward other dogs in the shelter, a likely relic from his past as an independent pup.
Everyone at the shelter loves him, but being raised in a kennel rather than a home is a challenge. A year passes and Odie’s chance to find a home plummets by 15%. For one reason or another, Odie was always passed over by anxious pet-parents-to-be. Another five trips around the sun later and Odie is officially an adult animal. His chance of finding true love drops another 6% purely due to his age. As the years crawl by, Odie sees hundreds of other animals go to loving homes. Over time, the Oregon Coast Humane Society and its volunteers became his family. He was happy, relaxed and loved everyone. Volunteers would take him on adventures to the beach and into the forest in their spare time. Eleven years pass and Odie still does not have a forever home. We all feared Odie may never find a family that would see him for who he truly is: a gentle, fun-loving boy who has a lot of love left to give.
In February of this year, Sharon Foster met Odie for the first time. She had been a volunteer for the Humane Society for the last year and was coming in for a meeting. Her family’s dog, a senior pit bull named Sally, had recently passed away and Odie stared right into her wounded soul. From the moment she saw him, Sharon felt as though Odie spoke to her. She could not get him off her mind.
In early 2016, Core Paws and the Oregon Coast Humane Society team up to find Odie his forever family. Kara Hamada, Core Paws’ Founder and Executive Director, along with board members and a volunteer met Odie in Florence on two occasions to best determine how our organization could help the senior animal. After Odie was referred to Dr. Pachel and his team of animal behaviorists at Animal Behavior Clinic in Portland, Oregon, Core Paws had a clear goal and sprung into action.
This summer, the Core Paws’ board approved to fund Odie’s assessment and any necessary follow-ups through a fundraiser. The fundraiser was a big hit! We met our goal and Odie’s consultation was scheduled.
The Oregon Coast Humane Society inspected Sharon’s home after the behavioral consultation and it was approved. After completing a few other pre-adoption requirements, Sharon was ready to give Odie his first real home at the age of 11.
Odie was adopted by Sharon on her birthday in October of 2016.
After living his whole life in a shelter, living in a new home was quite the adventure! Old dogs really can learn new things, just as Odie did. Sharon is diligent about keeping to Dr. Pachel’s instructions for Odie’s behavior with other animals, including getting into the routine of using a muzzle when out for a walk. He was house broken within 24 hours, learned how to open doors, and knew all the basic commands in no time. He made himself right at home and quickly claimed an armchair in the living room for himself.
Sharon shared with us that she has never been so happy as she is with Odie. She says Odie has saved her in more ways than one, as she suffers from Lupus. He sleeps with her at night and is a constant shadow for her as she enjoys the outdoors near her home on the Oregon Coast. Her only regret is that she couldn’t have adopted him sooner.
“Take the time needed when looking to adopt a dog. Don’t choose based on which one is the cutest. Learn about the dog’s personality and make sure it’s a great fit with yours. Older dogs, like Odie, can be really good for seniors. Odie is the right dog for me and I couldn’t be happier.”
Core Paws is incredibly proud of Sharon for giving Odie a new lease on life. But we could not have done it without the extraordinary team of volunteers at the Oregon Coast Humane Society like Nancy Salvatore:
“We and Odie from the Oregon Coast Humane Society are forever grateful for your positive energy, hard work and love for animals. You brought awareness to him and that made a profound difference. Your organization brings a new ‘beam of light’ to otherwise overlooked animals in need. You are an awesome group with boundless energy and now Odie (who lived at our shelter for 11 years) has a loving home and Mom and so many other animals are helped because of your passion to serve them. Our hearts say Thank You.”
– Nancy Salvatore, Oregon Coast Humane Society
In this remarkable dog’s honor, Core Paws has created Odie’s Fund for Hard-to-Place Animals. This fund will help other hard-to-place animals like Odie get one step closer to finding a forever family by funding physical and behavioral services.
Help us continue to match hard-to-place animals with their forever families by donating to Core Paws and Odie’s Fund for Hard-to-Place Animals today.
Written by Aascot Bohlander, Content & Email Marketing Manager of Core Paws