Nov 6, 2017

A Joyful Experience: A Letter to Project POOCH

We recently received a letter from one of our youths, and it reminded us of why we do what we do. His letter was titled "A Joyful Experience:"
***
Dear Ms. Dalton,
I would like to thank you for giving me the wonderful experience of working here at Project POOCH. While here at POOCH, I have gained an abundance of valuable work experience. Most of all, I learned how to train and groom dogs. While working with dogs, I learned the importance of patience, which I had trouble with before I was employed here. These dogs have also taught me one of the most valuable lessons of all, the value and respect of another life. While working at POOCH, I have adopted out five dogs, and am working on my sixth. These dogs ranged from easy (Elka) to challenging (Missy - the border collie). Although, no matter the difficulty level of the dog, each one made me a better trainer. I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to work here at Project POOCH. 
Sincerely,
Andrew
***
We love hearing success stories about both our youth and our dogs. It brightens our day whenever we receive a letter like Andrew's, explaining the ways in which the program has made a difference. We know that when Andrew gets out of MacLaren, he will be able to apply his acquired skills in the real world in order to benefit the community. We strongly believe that with the right resources, everyone is capable of change and success, and this even extends to our pooches themselves. 
Many of our dogs, like Missy, the challenging border collie that Andrew worked with, just needed some extra love, patience, and training in order to become adoptable. Missy is doing very well in her forever home and is a beloved member of her family, just like the other dogs that Andrew trained and adopted out. It's incredible to witness the positive behavioral changes and increased hope in our youth and dogs alike, and that is what keeps us going. Thank you for your continued support of our project and for making a different in the lives of Andrew and Missy.
Oct 4, 2017

Former POOCH Youth Helps in Outreach Office

Jeff playing guitar at the annual dog wash
Jeff playing guitar at the annual dog wash

Jeff, former POOCH youth, started working in our outreach office this summer and has been a really valuable asset to our team. He not only helps with our record keeping and keeps our office organized, but he also assists at some of our local community events. Most recently, Project POOCH partnered with Stickmen Brewing Company in Tualatin for our third annual dog wash. This is a yearly fundraiser that we do right outside the brewery where guests can make a donation to Project POOCH in order for their pet to receive a bath. Jeff assisted at this event by playing guitar for the attendees, and his music was a big hit. It was a perfect day all around with sunny weather, delicious food and beer, good music, and adorable dogs receiving lots of love and attention. 

In addition to working for Project POOCH and playing guitar in a local band, Jeff helps a restaurant with their social media marketing strategies and studies at Portland Community College Sylvania Campus. He serves as the Program and Events Director on the college campus, and despite being so busy and taking on multiple responsibilities, he still manages to be an A-student. 

Jeff still has a passion for working with dogs and is studying to take the test to be a professional dog trainer. With his enthusiasm and dedication, we're confident that he'll pass the test and be an excellent trainer. We're happy that Jeff is continuing to work with dogs because the POOCH dogs adored him. 

There is no doubt in our minds that Jeff will continue to succeed in all he does. We are so greatful that he has chosen to give back to Project POOCH, and his hard work is very much appreciated. With his determination and positive attitude, we can't wait to see what's next for him! Jeff is a great example of what POOCH youth are capable of. Thank you for your continued support of our project.

Jeff hard at work in our outreach office
Jeff hard at work in our outreach office

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Sep 15, 2017

Rusty Pulls Through

Rusty is a 6-year old Pitbull Mix who has had one of the longest stays at Project POOCH with no potential adopters in sight.  He is incredibly lovable and has bonded with this trainer and caregiver, Daniel, during his long stay.

   To make the long kennel stay less stressful for Rusty, he often gets to spend the night in Daniel's living unit. Rusty loves spending the night away from the kennel, and is very popular among the incarcerated youth.

   On a recent overnight stay, Rusty cried out in pain as his stomach started to visibly swell.   Daniel recalled his training on stomach torsion and asked Project POOCH staff to take Rusty to the nearby veterinarian.  Stomach torsion occurs when the stomach becomes overstretched by gas content and rotates; the dog can die if surgery is not performed immediately. Daniel and the other youth were afraid Rusty would soon die if he didn't get immediate help.

   This occurred during rush hour, and the veterinary clinic was almost closed.  Staff agreed to stay open until Rusty arrived.  Rusty was rushed into an X-ray which returned a definitive diagnosis of stomach torsion.  Rusty then had to be transported to an emergency clinic for the surgery, which took another hour. The emergency clinic was waiting on standby and ready for surgery upon Rusty's arrival.

   Rusty was immediately taken in for surgery. "No guarantees he will make it," was the prognosis.  Four hours later, Rusty made it safely through the surgery and spent the next two weeks recovering in foster care.

   The veterinary surgeon told Project POOCH that Daniel had saved Rusty's life by recognizing the symptoms of stomach torsion.

   After Rusty’s surgical sutures were removed, Rusty was adopted.  We couldn’t be happier that this sweet dog has finally found his forever home.

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