Dogtown: Dusty and Tico, eager and friendly

Week 63. Here are a few updates from recent columns. 

Big beautiful German Shepherd Jasper found his forever home in Crescent City. He was a great example of how hard it can be to see a dog’s best qualities when they are kenneled at the shelter.  His new owner adores him and says he is perfect! The Loleta pups continue to improve. Just last week scaredy girl Chloe started to allow pets and is now sporting a collar, a huge step forward! 

All five of the pups still at the shelter are on the leash-walking continuum now, from Chloe dragging a leash while playing in the yard to Finn who can’t wait to show his adopter-to-be what a great walker he is! 

This is really rescue at its finest – teamwork between animal control, shelter staff, Redwood Pals and volunteers – that results in seven puppies taken from abandonment in the brush to becoming friendly, trained, adoptable pet dogs.

One more piece of the Team Loleta Pups has been the other dogs at the shelter. They have been exemplary in their patience with the youngsters. Some are their play yard pals and others have helped by just sitting quietly at the front of their kennels when the pups walk by. They seem to understand; even those that usually bark are quiet so as not to scare the pups.


Tico and Dusty are two of our adoptable dogs that have been good helpers.

Tico is a lovely four-year-old chocolate brown male. He appears to be a mix of Labrador and Pit Bull. Tico first came to the shelter last October. He had moved over to the adoptable area when his owner showed up and took him home. This time his owner ever came forward despite numerous attempts to contact them. Tico is well out of the puppy stage and able to focus on obedience skills. When asked he has displayed a good sit, decent leash manners and a willingness to learn more. 

Tico’s special skill is his ability to steer a big ball around the play yard with exacting accuracy! The first time I saw him drive the ball through a tunnel, between the weave poles and over a ramp I thought it was amazing luck. I have since seen this show many times and there is no randomness to his ball-handling skills! FIFA should be calling any day! 

Equally impressive is that he is accepting if the ball is removed and will move on to another activity. Tico would love a home with a big yard and some soccer-playing children to share it with! Tico weighs in at about 60 pounds.


Dusty is another Labbie/Pittie type male dog. This bigger boy is just over a year old. He is often admired for his lovely sable coat and intelligent golden eyes. Dusty is still puppyish in his love for toys. He will meet his volunteer walker at the kennel door with one of his prizes in his mouth. Dusty got to have an hour in the inside playroom with all the toys and balls he could want the other day. He was in heaven with so many choices! 

He has good leash manners and, like so many of our dogs, would love to learn more obedience skills. Often it seems Sit is as far as anyone goes in the obedience game. Dusty loves his toys so much that he should be easy to motivate to learn new skills. He has a cute prance when he is happy, which is almost all the time! He also can’t stop wagging and is good at making the volunteers laugh. Dusty weighs in at about 70 pounds.

Tico and Dusty are both neutered, micro-chipped and current on their vaccinations. Neither of these boys are great candidates for a home with cats. They are available through the Humboldt County Animal Shelter. The shelter is still doing dog intros by appointment so call (707) 840-9132 to schedule. The shelter will start having extended hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays again beginning June 15. Currently they are open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


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