Dogs I’ve Loved- And Ones You Might, Too!

Odin is a Norwegian Elkhound Black. This coloration is less commonly found in the United States but is a heritage breed in Norway. The breed became less common in the early twentieth century and by the 1950s was nearly extinct. Since then there has been an active effort to restore the breed and it is increasingly popular. I’ve never even met a Norwegian Elkhound, but everything I learned about the breed made it a perfect choice for this story.

I have shared my life and love with many other dogs, though. Some were specific breeds and some displayed a smorgasbord of genetic history. These four-footed family members taught me many truths about love, loyalty, strength, and determination, all values that made their way into the story of Mari and Odin. One very special dog was even named Odin.

The Original Odin golden retriever- spaniel mix

The Original Odin
golden retriever- spaniel mix

After that came two dogs adopted from the Humane Society.

Jenny, small mixed breed, rescued from the Humane Society at 3 months old.

Jenny, named for the beloved Swedish opera singer, Jenny Lind. Small mixed breed, adopted at 3 months old. She was quite a singer, too!

Rudy, named for the great lover, Rudolph Valentino. Mixed breed, adopted from the Humane Society at the same time at 9 weeks old.

And here’s Rudy, named for the great lover, Rudolph Valentino. Small mixed breed, adopted at the same time at 9 weeks old. Easy to guess how he got that name.












Bjorn (Norwegian word for "bear") a bichon frise.

Later came Bjorn (Norwegian for “bear”), a bichon frise.

Kaffe (Norwegian for "coffee"). A Shetland sheepdog, or sheltie.

And now Kaffe (Norwegian for “coffee”) shares my life. He’s  a Shetland sheepdog, or sheltie, and a big fan of Wisconsin football.


When I began researching Norwegian Elkhounds I contacted  several breed groups, shelters, and rescue groups. A few days ago I was contacted by a shelter in Virginia seeking a home for “Woobie”, a three-year-old black Norwegian elkhound.  He’s house trained and great with kids and other dogs. Before I could get this post up to ask your help in finding him a home, he was adopted! What a happy ending for this gorgeous guy.

Compact, strong, and ready for anything, right?

Compact, strong, and ready for anything, right?

Picture 163





That’s the point of this post. Whenever you consider adding a dog to your family, whether mixed breeds or purebreds, please start by checking out your local Humane Society, no-kill shelters, rescue groups, and foster-dog organizations. With online resources it’s possible to adopt an animal from across your state or even cross-country. Volunteers sometimes transport animals for adoption or fostering in relay trips from city to city,  delivering your new addition to or near your hometown.

Not enough room in your residence and/or family for a dog at this time? Consider contacting these organizations to offer to help out. Kids who struggle  with a desperate desire to have a dog may be thrilled to know they can serve as volunteers and assist dogs in finding other homes, at least until the time comes to have dogs of their own. Spend even a few minutes on this link to  to see how great the need is, and how many fantastic animals are waiting for a good home. Just consider the numbers in their banner:

Home of 374,823 adoptable pets from 13,663 adoption groups.

The rescue association aimed specifically at Norwegian Elkhounds can be contacted here:

I’d love to hear about your experiences with rescue, adoption, fostering, and other animal stories.

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