A home for Blue

10-year-old shelter dog looking for ‘fur-ever’ family

-Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert
Blue is a 10-year-old Australian Shepherd/Labrador retriever mix at Almost Home Humane Society of North Central Iowa. After being in and out of the shelter most of his life, Blue is looking for the perfect "fur-ever" home.

Meet Blue. With his handsome salt-and-pepper coat, he’s Almost Home Human Society of North Central Iowa’s most eligible senior bachelor — and he’s looking for the perfect home to live out his golden years.

Blue is a 10-year-old Australian shepherd/Labrador retriever mix and he’s spent most of his life going in and out of the shelter. He first entered the shelter in 2015 as an owner surrender when his previous owner was moving and unable to take him along. Over the next five years, he’d been adopted and then returned to the shelter a few times.

“Nobody’s really taken the time to work with him or really care for him,” said Makayla Morgan, a staff member at Almost Home.

Shelter staff, who have spent countless hours with Blue, describe him as sweet and playful, but he’s not a fan of other animals. As a sometimes grumpy old man, Blue doesn’t really have the patience for younger children who may try to climb on him or grab at his furry ears or tail.

Blue’s most recent admission to Almost Home was in November 2021. Last week, he celebrated his 10th birthday while in the shelter. Staff are hoping that he’ll be able to celebrate his next birthday with his family at his forever home.

-Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert
Blue, a 10-year-old Australian shepherd/Labrador retriever mix, spends some time sitting on the couch with Almost Home employee Gloria Dupuy.

“He’s kind of iffy toward newer people,” said Stan Anderson, a staff member at Almost Home. “He loves his space.”

When it comes to meeting new people, Blue just needs to be given the time and space to warm up to strangers.

“He needs someone to be patient and to work with him, to get to know him and everything,” said staff member Gloria Dupuy said.

When given that patience and time to warm up, Blue becomes almost like a puppy again and feels right at home.

“He has no history of behavior issues,” Morgan said. “Blue is a wonderful dog and loves to cuddle when he’s comfortable — he just needs the right home and the right environment.”

-Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert
Blue, a 10-year-old Australian shepherd/Labrador retriever mix, has some playtime with Almost Home employee Stan Anderson.

Blue’s adoption fee has also already been paid for by a shelter volunteer.

Blue isn’t the only pet at the animal shelter who — because of their age, breed or special needs — is having a tough time finding his fur-ever home.

An adult Brittany spaniel/hound mix named Dixie has also spent quite some time at Almost Home and is looking for a home with no other pets and no children. Stacey is a 2.5-year-old white domestic shorthair cat, and Murdock is a 3-year-old tuxedo domestic shorthair who are both looking for homes where they can be the only pets.

“Murdock’s been to three homes, including his original,” said Crystal Wendell, another staff member at the shelter. “At the last one … he was not treated the best. And even through all of the stuff that he’s been through, he is the single sweetest, most gentle, wonderful guy back there.”

As of Friday, there were 31 dogs and 130 cats available for adoption at Almost Home. The shelter is also looking for homes to foster kittens when a litter or a pregnant cat are brought in.

Anyone interested in adopting Blue, Dixie, Stacey, Murdock or any of the other dozens of animals waiting for their fur-ever homes, can visit www.almosthomeiowa.org to fill out an adoption application. Once applications are approved, staff will set up an appointment for a meet and greet with the shelter pets. Approved applications remain on file for six months.

While not everyone is in a position to be able to adopt an animal from the shelter, there are a myriad of ways to help Almost Home.

Daily supply needs include clumping cat litter, liquid laundry soap, lemon floor cleaner, Dawn dish soap, brooms for sweeping, 13-gallon trash bags, paper towels, bleach and food. Some specialty foods are also needed like sensitive-digestion and skin-dry food for cats.

Almost Home also has a special wish list of items, including solid Kong balls, cat toys that can be hung or dangled, interactive cat toys (things that will pop out or pop up and encourage mental stimulation and movement), easily washable cat beds, “Nyla” bones for dogs of all sizes and two cat grooming bags.

The biggest item on the Almost Home wish list, however, is a portable ultrasound machine to help monitor pregnant animals who come into the shelter.

“That would be a godsend,” Wendell said. The machine could be used or new, as long as it works well, she said.

Another way to help support the shelter is to golf in Putts 4 Pups, hosted by the Deer Creek Golf Course on Saturday at 11 a.m. Registration is $15 per person and all registration fees are donated to Almost Home. Cart rentals are $17. Golfers can pre-register at Deer Creek or sign up on the day of the event.

Almost Home is also always welcoming volunteers to help at the shelter.


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