Shelter Dogs’ True Personalities Revealed During Secret Weekend Retreats

Story from Mara Segal the Volunteer Coordinator at the Humboldt County Animal Shelter and part of Redwood Pals Rescue:

Gloria the dog in a vehicle

Happy Gloria.

As the year wraps up, we are celebrating the adoptions of two of our longest residents, Gloria and Porsche, as well as all the other cats and dogs that have gone on to their forever homes this year!

Gloria and Porsche were both female Pit Bull mixes that didn’t really call out to potential adopters who came to the shelter. Poor Gloria would drool at her kennel door and then act crazy when she went out to meet anyone who got that far with her.

But Gloria had her secret weekend life, where she went home with one of our volunteers and was absolutely perfect!

Porsche had her overnights with a different volunteer but with the same results – quiet, attentive, affectionate, housebroken. We publicized their stories here and on Facebook, but people who came to the shelter still saw them at something less than their finest. But then along came some kind souls who were able to take that leap of faith to find the diamonds inside the coal. Gloria’s new mom says that Gloria is the perfect companion and ideal housemate. We could not be happier for Gloria, Porsche and their new families! Gloria’s photo shows a happy dog who knows she will never see the inside of a shelter again.

Frog is looking for a place to share his personality.

Frog is looking for a place to spread out and share his personality.

Our current longest resident is Frog. Frog has also had the chance to go to one of our fabulous volunteer’s weekend retreat center. As you can see in his photo, he was a little surprised by the comfort and freedom allowed him, but he did settle in and enjoy it!

Frog is a young adult male, about two and a half years old. He has a perpetually quizzical face, a pretty dark brindle coat and a little stub tail. Frog has a very sweet personality and has proven to be a very good student for training.

One of our weekend training sessions focused on helping Frog to learn to drop the ball after fetch (one of his favorite activities). Volunteers were impressed with how quickly he caught on and how dramatically his behavior improved. 

We are excited to keep working with Frog and showing him new skills. One of his other skills required no help from us. He is our best rodent hunter, with quite a tally of gopher dismissal. Quick and efficient – that’s our boy! 

We are sure there must be someone out there that will appreciate that skill. Frog has been friendly with other dogs, happily following the resident male around on his weekend outings and playing with some of his friends at the shelter. 

Frog went to an afternoon of dock-diving last fall and did participate, though has indicated that swimming is not his favorite activity. Perhaps Frog wasn’t really the right name for this dog… 

Whatever you might choose to call him, we think someone will be deeply rewarded by giving this handsome guy a chance. Come meet Frog at the Humboldt County Animal Shelter located at 980 Lycoming Ave. in McKinleyville. More information on Frog and his shelter friends can be found at or by calling (707) 840-9132.



  • I had a Male like Gloria greatest dog I ever had.

  • Nancy J Harmeyer

    YAY for Gloria and Porshe!!!!!

  • is that the who just farted look

  • Having had a few dogs for the wknd i can say its amazing to see their unique personalities emerge!!!

    Mara is so intuitive wuth them, she had told me she didnt think a dog had been sleeping much during his long shelter stay. I took him home for the wknd and he slept 13 hrs! Had a few lets go pee outside breaks but went right back to sleep. She got to see his real true personality for the first time too, it was great. He got adopted not long after&mara took the time to let me know. That felt so good.

    I can’t afford a pet so getting to have a dog for the wknd that is thrilled to get so much attention is such a win-win. I highly recommend it.

    Thank you kym for posting this & hope to see her column here as much as possible. Mara is one of the most devoted people ive ever met, she is a dog angel. Just like Kym is for our community. 💖

  • Sadly the pound is overflowing with pit bulls due to cannabis farmers leaving the area after prop 64 wiped them out and abandoning their guard dogs.

  • How can I get info on weekend pup dog visits? I would love to spread some much needed love around

  • Thanks for asking! You need to fill out the volunteer application (either pick one up at the shelter or email )
    Once approved by the county, there is an orientation. This also allows you to go up and walk the dogs. Volunteers make sure they all get out of their cages for a little exercise everyday… and btw this is a great way to get to know the dogs if someone was considering adopting.

  • Got two great dogs through Mara, Redwood Pals, and the Humboldt County Shelter. Such a blessing. We are lucky to have them as a volunteer org.

  • If the shelter would simply put the pit bulls down the other good dogs would have happy homes. Pit bulls kill and should be outlawed. They are not predictable and are breed to kill. They al have it in their blood. The shelter is not responcible. Outlaw pit bulls. They are killers!

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