Because Rinaldo was so tiny, the shelter had him housed with the cats.

By Eve Marx

Every day as I walk with my dog past Ken’s Market on Avenue U, I pause at the Clatsop Animal Assistance poster taped up inside the grocery store window. I look at the sweet faces of two dogs, Callie, and Doug, and linger on the calico cat, Rayne.

A quick check of the shelter website informed me that Callie is a young Rottie mix described as playful and snuggly. I watched a video of her playing ball with a volunteer; the shelter staff says Callie is well-trained and intelligent; she prefers to be the only dog in the home.

Doug is a handsome one year old cattle dog/heeler mix. He’s blind in one eye, which to my mind gives him a debonair pirate look. It’s easy to see he just wants to play.

Rayne is a calico domestic shorthair; she’s delicate and pretty as because she’s an older girl, she just wants a nice lap and a quiet home.

Lately on their Facebook page, Clatsop Animal Assistance has been posting adoption success stories. I find them endlessly uplifting. In fact I search them out and read them when I’m feeling a bit down. They recently shared the story of a previously shy cat named Flower whose new family reports has developed an adorable feline sense of humor.

A small, black dog the shelter christened Kimmy was adopted by a family who renamed her Lucy; the dog is now the best friend of the family’s 10 year old daughter who is doing a 4-H project called “Classy Canines” with her. Little Lucy it turns out is a champion hiker and has climbed Kings Mountain in the Tillamook National Forest Cathedral multiple times.

Zoe, a 25-pound mixed breed, was adopted in Dec. 2018 by a man who lost his partner of 47 years. The man said after his loss he was overcome with grief, but Zoe has been helping him get better. He said having Zoe in his life has been transformative. I love reading these micro stories. They reaffirm my belief that loving and being loved by animals can change the dark to light.

My family has been into rescue for a long time. We rescued five cats over the years and eight years ago, a 10-year-old Chihuahua. The dog was an owner surrender; when we got him, he was seriously underweight and mostly toothless.

Because he was so tiny, the shelter had him housed with the cats. We met him the day after Christmas; it was brutally cold. The dog was wearing a tiny sweater and was curled up under a towel. He was depressed. When we spoke to him, he barely lifted his head. With two dogs and two cats at home at the time, we had no plans to adopt another pet.

We’d only gone to the shelter to make a donation. It was an impulse to take a look. We brought him home and changed his name to Rinaldo and he lived on for seven years, a highly entertaining and always loving rapscallion to the end.

The next time you see a Clatsop Animal Assistance poster (and they are everywhere), take a moment to consider bringing new love into your life. Dogs and cats find their way to the shelter for all sorts of reasons; sometimes their owner is forced to move and can’t find housing that accepts pets. People lose their jobs; they no longer can afford to feed their pet. Sometimes the owner has died. The great majority of these animals have experienced love and training before they arrived at the shelter. All they want is a second chance for a good life.

Clatsop Animal Assistance is located at 1315 SE 19th St., Warrenton.

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