Featured Stories

Valentine tails from the animal world

Love stories abound about lovebirds - lovedogs, actually - and the romance they share
by: Sam Bennett, Lady, at left, and Luke — both vizslas — like each other a lot. Rick Hendon, obedience trainer at Gone to the Dogs, Inc. in Lake Oswego, trained them both. Luke is his dog.

Annie Cain paces along a long wall within the indoor playroom at a Lake Oswego doggy daycare. The Great Dane towers over many of the smaller breeds inside the facility. Soon the door will open, and she will be reunited with the love of her life, Bailey, a yellow Labrador.

'They like to play - a lot,' said McKenzie Akins, a day care attendant at Gone to the Dogs, Inc., where the two lovebirds - or lovedogs - met. '(Bailey) gets mad at her if she does anything bad.'

Linda Hendon, owner of Gone to the Dogs, said, ' it's a cute love story. They've become such good friends.'

Many animals - dogs, cats or others perhaps - in Lake Oswego and West Linn are more humanlike than some of us may realize. Animals find love, fall in and out of love and enjoy attention from others - or at least that's what their human caretakers observe.

That's why Cindy Clunes-Noack, owner of Bone-Jour Gour-Mutt Bakery and Boutique in West Linn, prepared for today's lovers holiday in style - and with plenty of doggy delectables.

Located in West Linn's Central Village shopping center, the boutique shop resembles a French bakery but serves up only yummies for dogs. With festive Valentine décor, Clunes-Noack said that her shop has been a popular spot for four-legged friends to get their paws on the perfect treat.

Great Danishes, Bon Bon's, Chicken Liver Brownies in the shape of a heart are just a few of the tasty treats offered this Valentine's Day.

Animal friends throughout both cities needn't have a special holiday to celebrate their affection, they do it everyday.

Inside the Dog Club of West Linn, Athena, a black and white Great Dane, often plays hard-to-get with Dexter - a Harlequin Great Dane.

'Once inside, (Dexter) starts nipping at her neck and tail and tries desperately to get her attention and affection. But Athena, being the diva that she is, just walks away,' said Cathy Cox, owner of the club. 'But, she does look back to make sure he's following her - and he does.'

On the smaller side, Piper, a brown Merle miniature Aussie was quite shy when he first came to the West Linn doggy day care facility. That was until he met Chloe, a beautiful silky Yorkshire terrier.

'Chloe shows Piper the ropes, and he came out of his shell completely,' Cox said. 'They run from one end to the other, playing together and run towards each other whimpering, and then showering each other with nips and kisses.'

Close by, two cats - Victoria and David Beckham - at PAWS Animal Shelter in the Willamette area of West Linn were named after their devoted affection to one another - much like their famous human namesakes. Victoria, a gray and dilute calico, and David, a flame-point Siamese, found love at first sight.

Victoria was living on the streets of SE Portland; neighbors left food out for her and had her spayed before bringing her to PAWS. David was found at a truck stop south of Salem by vacationers. He arrived at PAWS injured and covered in grease.

'The moment David and Victoria saw each other they became inseparable and could be found cuddled together watching the world go by - or taking a cat nap,' said Sharon Murphy, director of the non-profit cat adoption center.

Animals and owners also have love stories of their own this Valentine's Day.

'The real love story is with their owners,' said Rick Hendon, obedience trainer at Gone to the Dogs.

As Suzanne Dannemiller of Lake Oswego dropped off her yellow lab, Grady, at Gone with the Dogs for a day of playing, she pet him gently and rewarded him for obeying commands so well.

'We love our dog because he is great with children and compassionate,' she said, 'and for all the outdoor activities we enjoy.'

While dog owners celebrate human love today with flowers, chocolate or greeting cards perhaps, don't forget to reach out your hand of appreciation to your pet who loves you everyday no matter what.

'Ain't love grand?' Cox said. 'Love comes in all sizes.'