Dogtown: A Saturday in the life of Redwood Pals, and playful, tidy Cole

Week 55. A busy week in the world of Redwood Pals Rescue as we move forward with placements and adoptions while still keeping an eye on the new shelter arrivals and gearing up for the ones with special needs. Here’s a peek into a normal Saturday for the Redwood Pals team:

Saturday morning activities start with our weekly pack walk in the Arcata Bottom. Some weeks this may be the only time our own dogs see us for the rest of the day! The walk takes a little over an hour and gives us a chance to give each other any updates. 

On this Saturday, each of us had a different set of dogs to care for after the walk. Ashley took our two foster puppies to the vet, brought them back to their foster home, headed to the shelter to walk dogs, then back to the puppies for a meet and greet with a prospective adopter. 

Jim took one of our longer residents to his weekend placement in Fortuna (second visit this week), arranged for a trainer to help the dog settle in, and made it back to McKinleyville in time to walk a shelter dog and then be home for the puppy meet. 

Jeanne helped get the rest of the shelter dogs walked between the puppy arrivals and departures from her house. 

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My job for the day was to check on a different dog that we had placed the day before, walk a few dogs at the shelter, reply to dog texts and emails, and then go give a recently adopted litter – 10 puppies! – their second vaccinations at a reunion at their foster home. Whew!


One of our current rescue dogs is Cole, a four-year-old neutered male Lab. What makes a handsome dog like this a rescue dog? He’s good with everyone he meets, pleasant towards other dogs and well-trained.

Technically, Cole is at the shelter as a result of a bite. I would say this dog was failed by his humans. For whatever it’s worth, this isn’t just conjecture; I actually spoke with his former owner. She said that her great grand-child had been tormenting poor Cole for a year. 

In addition to extreme tail-pulling and ear-poking, the child had actually bit the dog several times! (“Where were the parents,” I hear you ask…) 

At the time of the bite, the dog was trapped under a blanket. The owner felt that she couldn’t take Cole back with the current situation though she kept telling me what a great dog he is. He did not react at all to the gentle pulling of his tail or ears, our most basic kid test. 

With all that in mind, we carefully introduced Cole to a family and then took him to meet their small school pod of seven year old children. Cole was very well-behaved, playing fetch with each of them in turn and then resting in the shade in between. 

Cole is house trained, rides great in the car, plays with toys but doesn’t destroy them, fetches balls on land or sticks in the water with equal pleasure, and knows a good collection of commands. 

When I had Cole inside for some play time I saw that he will actually pick up his toys and put them back in the bucket! There’s a good trick. Cole does not appear to be interested in cats or livestock.

If you’ve been looking for a nice Labrador to add to your home, please contact us at [email protected] or leave a voicemail at (707) 633-8842.


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