Friends Forever – Ollie and Rusty

| Events, News

A bonded pair find a special home thanks to the Friends Forever program

Ollie and Rusty shared a kennel at OHS.

Shirley, a retired scientist and OHS supporter of 40+ years, adopted Rusty after he had been passed around among a series of owners. Rusty was a bit of a challenge; he sometimes let his herding instinct get the better of him and nipped at people’s heels. Shirley adopted Ollie soon after and the boys bonded immediately. They loved their life with Shirley, and each other, in Idaho.

As she got older, Shirley began to worry about what would happen to her beloved dogs if she were no longer able to care for them. It broke her heart to think that they might be separated—or worse. She was especially worried about Rusty; she realized he’d be hard to place.

In July 2016, Shirley reached out to OHS to inquire about the Friends Forever program. Since its founding in 1994, Friends Forever has helped hundreds of people plan for their pets. By enrolling in Friends Forever and making a planned gift of any size to OHS, pet owners can rest assured that, should the need arise, OHS will immediately receive and care for their pets and place them in carefully matched, loving homes. Friends Forever pets enjoy celebrity status at the OHS shelter, receiving a constant stream of staff and volunteer visitors—along with the usual generous supply of toys and treats!

Shirley kept in touch with OHS about Friends Forever, and, about a year after her initial inquiry, her daughter Dorcas called to report that her mother had been hospitalized and could no longer care for Ollie and Rusty. Shirley had made the difficult decision to say good-bye to her boys, knowing that OHS would find them a wonderful new home where they could stay together. Dorcas packed up their belongings and drove the dogs to Portland one summer Saturday.

Ollie and Rusty were greeted with open arms at the OHS shelter, where they were assessed and settled into a large, shared kennel. Predictably, many prospective adopters soon showed an interest in Ollie, while Rusty, the over-zealous herder, was a bit less popular. In accordance with Shirley’s wishes, though, they were offered only as a bonded pair.

As it turns out, Ollie and Rusty were a perfect match for Margaret of Beaverton. An experienced dog owner who had recently lost her soulmate, Cowboy, she was excited to open her home to the boys. And, much to Rusty’s delight, she and her husband were willing to be herded—at least for a little while!  It has been more than eight months since she adopted Ollie and Rusty, and Margaret reports that they fit right in and love their new home. “Thanks for making this mama happy,” she writes. “They are the best thing that has happened to me in a long time. I sure miss my Cowboy, but he is in heaven watching over us.”

Shirley still gets tears in her eyes when she thinks about Ollie and Rusty. She is so grateful for the care OHS took to place them in the perfect home. And she is especially grateful for Margaret.

To learn more about Friends Forever and ensuring the future care of your pet, visit OHS online at or contact Kathryn Karr at 503.802.6743 or [email protected]. OHS also offers 30-minute presentations about Friends Forever, suitable for individuals and small groups.

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