Dog of the Week: Bean

“I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore,” Dorothy said to her little black Toto after the cyclone carried their house through the air from Kansas to Oz. You could say the same thing to Bean, a bigger black dog from Kansas who has been plopped down in the cornfields of Iowa. She took a little more conventional mode of transportation; instead of a flying house she came from Kansas aboard a small plane, courtesy of the Pilots for Paws program which helps deliver animals from high-kill shelters to rescues like Last Hope.

BeanBean is a black lab mix; from her markings she may have a hound in her background. Her coat is short, slick, and shiny, consistent with a lab or hound background. She’s a big girl at 70 pounds, but she’d still like to be a lap dog. She loves people, being very outgoing, and loves being petted. Bean also likes treats, which could be a great motivator when her new family gives her training. She gets along well with other dogs; she’s spent the last two years living with two other dogs on a farm. Bean is three years old, has been spayed, and is current with her vaccinations.

She’d love to met you– wouldn’t you like to meet her too? Dropping an email to can make that happen. You can also fill out an adoption application HERE.

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June Volunteer of the Month

The person chosen as volunteer of the month for June is Sherrie Collins!

Dog5Sherrie has been volunteering for Last Hope since February of this year but she’s kept herself busy. She is a foster parent and she helped at Petco, Petsmart, Tour for Life, Pride Fest, and Pawsome Paws painting faces. Sherrie has also helped with the critter list by determining which dogs or cats need biographies and helped get them updated. She assisted with the follow-ups of the Tour for Life applications to ensure Last Hope had the time to place our dogs in the right homes. She has contacted numerous homes to help them find their new family member. She also attends as many trainings and meetings as possible because she knows these are things that will help her be the most useful and allow her to be the most helpful as both a volunteer and a foster.

Dog3She was recently asked to be a foster lead and has been easing into her new role by co-leading with Lynette (who she considers one of her mentors). Sherrie has been helping with contract completions and home visits. She says even a simple thing like sharing the Last Hope Facebook posts is an easy thing to do that will help us find forever homes for our animals.

Sherrie says she has always loved animals. As a child she would bring home animals that she had found injured and tried to nurse them back to health. She has always had some form of pet including rats, mice, hamsters, ferrets, and a chameleon. Even with her love of animals, she came to Last Hope with little experience with dogs and has learned a lot in a short period of time. She currently has two of her own cats, Luna and Maya, and they have adjusted well to her fosters.

Dog2Dog“I have volunteered at animal shelters before, but being a part of Last Hope has changed my life. I have become part of a group of people who have inspired me and  with whom I am in awe. The dogs I have fostered, picked up, bathed at intake, held at events, etc. have made me a better person and added so much more love to my life! If you, like me, are considering adoption but are not sure of the type of dog that would be the best fit … consider fostering! It is so rewarding to know that I have been part of a dog, that may not have had any love in his/her life, feeling comfort and warmth and finally knowing what it feels like to be loved.”
Sherrie has shared her love of Last Hope with her mother who now drives from Dubuque to help us. She has helped with the Pawsome Paws event as well as Pride Fest.

In such a short time, Sherrie has helped immensely and has become an indispensable part of our team.


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Dog of the Week: Daisy

The nose knows! Our dog of the week is Daisy who is a black and tan Coonhound mix. Wouldn’t you love to take her home?!

Daisy2Hi, my name is Daisy. I am a hound through and through. I like to follow my nose and I like to be outdoors. I have not had much to brag about in life so far, but I know that will change. I was left by my previous people who left me outdoors all the time. I was covered in ticks but they’re all gone now and I heard my foster people say they are amazed that I tested negative for Lyme disease. I guess I was lucky.

My previous people didn’t teach me how to live in a home, so I am learning that now with my foster family. I am still pretty scared of a lot of these new things and I shy away from them. It will take me some time to get used to things like riding in cars and seeing bicycles go by. I don’t mind cats; I might bark at them or chase them a little, but I don’t mean any harm to them. Because I didn’t have a very good start in life I am LOVING the attention I’m getting now. Because of that I can be a little jealous of any attention paid to other dogs in the house. I’ll learn to share in time, but now I just need my huge attention gap filled. I need someone to teach me how to do the things some of the other dogs I’ve met know, like sit and down. I like to go for walks and don’t pull too much because I need you to introduce me to all these new things. I don’t really like being crated, but at least I’m in a home so I settle down after a little whining. My foster mom says I can be stubborn, but I’m really sweet as pie.

DaisyDaisy is up to date on vaccinations, heartworm negative, and spayed and microchipped. She is quickly learning the housebreaking routine. Daisy needs a patient and consistent home who will teach her how to be a family dog. If you would like more information about Daisy contact The adoption application can be found HERE.



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Happy Tails: Bentley


Recently Jamie and her husband adopted Comet, who is now named Bentley, and this is their success story…

BentleyPrevious to adopting Bentley they had a dog for ten years. Two years ago they had to have her put to sleep. It took a while but they were finally ready to put their hearts out there and adopt another dog, but they knew it had to be a good match.

They heard about Last Hope from a friend and decided to look into adopting. Looking for a puppy, they found Bentley. He was socialized in a much bigger pack at his foster home and at his new home it is just Jamie and her husband. In order to keep him well socialized they have been taking him to a variety of places including a graduation party, a  picnic at a retirement community, and is  currently taking puppy classes. He also enjoys going to doggy daycare at Cedar Run and car rides.

Bentley is doing very well in his new forever home. He eats all his food and has gained four pounds in less than a month. He sleeps on his bed in their bedroom at night, has never had an accident in the night, and sleeps from about 10:00 PM to 5:30 AM. Jamie jokes that he is doing much better than her kids did at five months of age. He already has many friends in his new Bentley 2neighborhood and they cannot wait to take him more places.

Jamie has nothing but good things to say about Last Hope and the adoption process. She was impressed that we check references because she realizes that the animals need to be safe and in good homes. The adoption process felt quick to her and she states that “Last Hope and Cedar Run have excellent staff and volunteers.”

Jamie says that they are more than happy with Bentley; they are over the moon and he has abundant kisses for them every day. What a success story! It sounds like Bentley has found a wonderful forever home with people committed to training and socializing him.

Puppies Playing

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Dog of the Week: Willow

Looking for an adorable, well-behaved dog? Look no further than Willow! She’ll charm your socks off.


Meet Miss Willow. Willow is a Bassett/Beagle mix with a beautiful reddish-colored coat. Willow has been well taken care of during her life, but now finds herself looking for a home after the make up of her family changed. Willow is very apprehensive of small children. The movements of toddlers especially distress her. Willow truly wants all the attention on her. She does not like to share her person when at home. We think her ideal home would be a single person without children.

Willow 2She is very sweet and will quickly drop and roll over to give almost anyone her belly to rub. You can take her anywhere and she will win over everyone. But at home she will be possessive of her favorite person, so we think it best to have only one person in the home. Willow gets along well with other dogs. She can be a little bossy with other dogs, but she takes corrections from other dogs well when they tell her they don’t like what she is doing. Being a mix of two hound breeds she does have a good sized bark, but it can be controlled.

Willow likes to be outdoors and she would prefer a fenced yard. Willow does like to sleep on the bed with her people which is just part of her wanting to be with you all the time. She would rather be with you, but she is fine at home alone when you do need to leave. She is crate trained, but crating her is not necessary as she is well behaved on her own. Willow is spayed, up to date on vaccinations, and microchipped. She listens well to commands and will sit to wait for her food bowl. Come and meet Willow and she will show you her adorable pose where she sits up on her hips and paws at the air until you pet her. You need to see it.

For more information about Willow please contact or complete an application HERE.

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Tips for Greeting a Shy Dog

Many times a dog that has been mistreated or has not interacted much with humans or other dogs is shy. One way a dog deals with greeting someone new is to be fearful and possibly aggressive. I have a shy dog and these guidelines are invaluable in ensuring her interactions with strangers are positive. Here are some important tips to remember when faced with a shy dog.

Fear Aggression

Before you greet a dog you know or suspect may be fearful, you MUST be aware of fear aggression. Dogs, like most animals, have a fight or flight response. If scared, they will either run or fight. Some fearful dogs, especially if they are on leash or backed against the wall of a kennel and feel they have no way to run, become aggressive and will bite out of fear, hoping you will leave them alone.

Signs of Fear in Dogs

  • Stiff body posture
  • Low tail carriage not typical for the breed
  • “Turn and freeze” – meaning when you reach your hand toward them, they will quickly turn their head toward it and then “freeze.” This is a warning that they can and may bite
  • Whites of the eyes showing
  • Ears low and/or back if it is not typical for the breed
  • Baring of teeth
  • Growling
  • Barking
  • Lunging

Dog BiteThe last three tend to cause the most confusion for a dog owner. They see a dog at the end of a leash acting like that and they immediately assume the dog is dominant, wants to greet, is excited, etc. However, some dogs are using this as a way to say, “I’m scared. Go away!” Regardless of the reason, if a dog is giving you those signals, it’s best to stay away.

Greeting the Shy Dog

If the owner says “My dog is shy,” PLEASE listen to the owner! It is really best to just ignore the dog. Does a shy kid want every single person coming up to them and not only talking to them but trying to touch them? No and neither does the shy dog.

If you must greet…

Sometimes you may need to touch the dog – groomer, pet sitter, dog walker, family member, vet assistance, rescuer, potential adopter, etc. If so, follow these tips to make sure the greeting is a positive one, and to help prevent getting bit by a scared dog.

  • Move slowly! Fast movements make a nervous dog even more worried about you
  • Approach from the side
  • Avoid direct eye contact. Keep an eye on the dog’s face and emotions by taking quick glances from the side, do not stare into their eyes, as this is threatening.
  • Treats. Do not underestimate the power of food! Start from a distance by tossing food to the dog. This associates you with something good.
  • Listen to the DOG, not the owner. The owner may tell you it is fine to pet their dog because they are not good at reading her signals. Use your judgment. If the dog’s body posture says “go away,” – heed the warning.
  • Do not reach for the head. If the dog’s body signals are telling you it is okay to pet them, reach for under the chin or the chest. Most dogs do not enjoy having their head touched.
  • Do not bend over the dog. Instead, kneel, sit, or crouch near the dog. This is a lot less threatening than you looming over him.
  • Speak softly, calmly, and soothingly. Loud, high pitched, or gruff tones will make the dog more nervous.
  • Pet softly, slowly, and no patting! A shy dog may have been abused, even a soft pat could be taken wrong. Use soft, slow strokes.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it will help you learn a bit more about dog body language and how to have a successful meeting with a shy dog.

Remember, the best advice to avoid being bitten is: IF YOU ARE IN DOUBT, DON’T GREET THE DOG!


(This information was summarized from THIS WEBSITE.)

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Dog of the Week: Sadie

Who could resist a face like this? Sadie is a Dachshund mix desperately searching for her forever home. Won’t you give her a chance?



Sadie is an approximately three year old dachshund mix. She is one of the sweetest dogs around. She really likes to form a one-on-one connection with a special person. She is very timid and scared of strangers at first, but once she gets to know you she wants to do nothing but be by your side and Sadie 3snuggle with you!

Sadie is fearful of men at first, but does warm up to them. She would do best in a home where a female would be her primary caretaker. Sadie would also do best in a home with no children or children who are over the age of 12 since she does spook easily. Sadie is kennel trained and completely housebroken. She gets along with dogs and cats with a proper introduction.

Sadie is the sweetest dog who needs a special someone to spend the rest of her life with!

SadieFor more information about Sadie, please contact   The adoption application can be completed HERE.


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