Sky’s Story

Sky arrived at CHS in October, when her family decided they had more dogs than they could care for. Sky came in with a smile on her face and her booty wagging. The lump on her chest was a huge concern for staff. After some tests, Sky was diagnosed with a malignant mast cell tumor along with mammary gland tumors.

With Sky’s diagnosis, it is unknown how much time we have with this beautiful girl, but we do know we are going to give Sky the best life possible! Sky is currently in her foster home with her foster mom and dad. And oh boy is she spoiled! She loves to lean against you, cuddle, give kisses, bounce around like a puppy, and just stare at you with those sweet eyes.

When other dogs are around, Sky becomes very uneasy. Her foster family was having trouble taking Sky for walks when other dogs were around. Sky would lunge, pull, and bark. Her foster family knew there must be a way to help ease some of Sky’s anxiety’s, this being so important with her medical needs.

Sky’s foster dad reached out to CHS’s Behavior Program. Thanks to Traverse Outdoor, CHS can offer this program to current, foster, and adopted rescue dogs. During Sky’s training session, Sky and her foster dad learned how to keep Sky’s focus on dad during a walk and around other dogs. Sky even had a positive experience with another dog while at class.

After a few weeks it was reported that Sky and her foster dad were walking like pros! Whenever a dog would come around, Sky would look at dad for direction (which is amazing!) As they continue training, walks will become more enjoyable for the both of them.

Thank you Traverse Outdoor for not only providing a Scholarship Fund for rescue dogs to receive the training they need, but also giving these dogs the extra push to enjoy their lives even more with their families.

A huge thank you to Sky’s foster family for giving Sky the absolute best care! Sky loves her foster family, but she is still looking for that forever adoptive family. Contact CHS for more information on Sky.

For more information about Traverse Outdoor and the Canine Behavior Training Program Scholarship Fund, please visit and


Barley and Dasher! Their training Success Story!

Check out these outdoor loving dogs! That’s a lucky stick!🌳

Barley and Dasher were both adopted from CHS and looks like they are living the life! Both of these wonderful pups came to CHS as strays and now have found each other! This photo was shared by Barley’s mom.❤

Barley has a surgery and therapy under her belt. Dasher spend some time waiting for his prefect fit. Look at them now! Thank you so much for taking amazing care of these fur babies.🐕

Traverse Outdoor has provided these two playful pooches scholarships to attend CHS’s Training Program! Maybe they can attend a class together!

For more information about Traverse Outdoor and the Canine Behavior Training Program Scholarship Fund, please visit and


Ella’s Training Success Story!

Ella came to CHS with her sister Nova and her brother Pacino, all of which have amazing families. These dogs came from a rough situation, found in a crate with not much care given. Ella was extremely shy and it took several attempts until Ella felt comfortable with staff and volunteers. Over time Ella opened up and was able to show her sweet and loyal personality. Ella found her people and it did not take long for Ella to bond to her new mom.

While getting used to her new home Ella was showing some insecurity towards men and other dogs. Ella’s dad was giving her space to warm up at her own time. After several months Ella’s parents wondered if there was anything they could do to help Ella build her confidence around her dad and neighbor dogs. Ella’s parents reached out and CHS’s Canine Behavior Training Program was available for Ella and her parents to attend classes!

Ella’s first class was a success! She was bonded to the hip with her mom and seemed shy around dad. Dad learned some training activities to do with Ella to build her confidence around him. After a few attempts, Ella began going up to dad for more affection. Which was amazing to see! Ella’s parents also learned some confidence building games to play with Ella at home. At the next session, a few more tips and tricks were given and by the end of the class, Ella was approaching and sticking close to dad for pets and a belly rub! Even after a week, her parents saw a difference in Ella. Over time, her parents will continue the trainings and give Ella that boost she needed.

Ella and her parents are excited for their next session, because they have socialization training with her brother Pacino!

Thanks to Traverse Outdoor’s Scholarship Fund, Ella was able to attend class, learn how to become more confident, and have the opportunity to socialize with her brother! CHS is absolutely thrilled to be working with Traverse Outdoor to be able to provide our adopted dogs with the opportunity to succeed in their new forever homes. Thank you Traverse Outdoor and all those furry parents who are committed to giving their four legged babies the attention they so well deserve!

For more information about Traverse Outdoor and the Canine Behavior Training Program Scholarship Fund, please visit and


Finnegan’s Story!

Finnegan came to CHS as a little puppy ready to take on the world with his squeaky toy. Basic manners were non-existent for this playful pooch. Thanks to Traverse Outdoor Landscaping & Irrigation’s Scholarship Fund, Finnegan was able to begin his training with shelter staff!

About 6 months ago Finnegan was adopted and found his forever home! Oh boy was he an excited puppers!

His parents were offered a scholarship to attend CHS’s Canine Behavior Training Program. Finnegan and his parents attended class, learned a lot, and was able to build a foundation to continue his training at home. We are so proud of Finnegan and the handsome gentleman he has grow up to be! Below is an update on Finnegan and the wonderful life he is living with his parents.

We just wanted to pass along an update on Finnegan (formerly known as Bentley) as we approach the 6 month anniversary of his adoption. While he may have started out as a “wild child”, these days you’d never imagine that was possible. He is a puppy that is a true joy to be around and “so stinkin cute” as his trainer likes to say, that when people see him, they have to tell us just how adorable he is!

Attached are some of his recent pictures. For you to share with those that helped care for him while he was finding his way to us. We feel very blessed to have been chosen as his forever “parents”.

– Finnegan’s Mom & Dad”

For more information about Traverse Outdoor and the Canine Behavior Training Program Scholarship Fund, please visit and


Phantom’s Story

Adopted January 27th! After 116 days at the shelter, Phantom found his perfect forever home!

Phantom/Kaid came to CHS from downstate as a transfer, he was in need of a change of scenery. Being deaf Phantom was overlooked, returned, and would need some special training attention. Phantom loves to play with other dogs and would steal shoes to play with on occasion.

The Canine Behavior Training Program sponsored by Traverse Outdoor’s Scholarship Fund, allowed Phantom to get the proper and necessary training and commitment he deserved. While at the shelter Phantom shined bright and stole the heart of one amazing dog mom!

Phantom’s new mom fell in love with him downstate and followed her boy up north. Phantom now has a doggie sister to play with and a mom who works with his training everyday!

Below is an amazing update on Phantom/Kaid and how important commitment, consistency, and the proper training is when bringing a rescue dog home. Worth the read!

Here’s your six week(ish) update on Phantom. I’ve actually decided to keep his name as Kaid, because that’s the name he had when I met him and it’s the one I’ve known him by for a long time.

The two-hour car ride home from Traverse City was rough, as were the first couple days. I quickly realized how this dog had almost zero manners. Within a week, however, I saw a vast improvement. As I shared with you earlier via a Facebook post, I was very relieved to find out Kaid already walked wonderfully on leash – didn’t bite at the leash at all! He walks directly beside me or behind me, doesn’t pull, doesn’t lunge at people or critters. I owe part of this success to the backpack he wears. He carries five pounds in his backpack, and it keeps his pace perfect. He runs just as wonderfully as he walks, too. Kaid was described as a high energy dog, but I wouldn’t describe him that way, and I think that’s due in part to the new exercise he’s getting, as well as the added weight. In the routine we’ve got now, I would call him medium to low energy.

Speaking of routine, I think having a daily, predictable routine has really helped Kaid. By two weeks in, he had settled in and chilled out completely (besides five minute play sessions he likes to have with his sister Tori almost every day). He knows the routine, and he knows the rules. Meal times are a breeze. He sits and waits nicely until I put his food down and release him to eat. I can leave the room with both dogs eating and there is no food aggression. It was important to me to make sure Kaid learned to load himself into his kennel instead of being dragged or forced. It took 1-2 weeks for him to get the hang of it, and there was never a real struggle.

Kaid has learned a handful of commands rather quickly. He was already good at sit, and now he’s doing well at lay down, roll over, high five, back up, stay, and come. The ones we really need to work on and make solid are “drop it” and his recall. The recall is good, but not consistent. I just need to find the time to practice it habitually!

I hope all of you there at CHS got to see even half of the personality that I’ve gotten to see in this dog. I swear he is more like a human in so many ways. He snores louder than some of my family members, and farts often, both of which I think are hilarious. In the morning when we get up at 5:30am to run, I’ll have Tori dressed and ready to go and Kaid is still laying in bed, wishing he could sleep in. One morning, I even got him dressed and ready to go and then he went back to bed, ha ha! If I’m at the kitchen sink, he sits with his back pressed against my leg. When I’m in the shower, he pokes his head behind the curtain to make sure I’m still around. When I’m sitting at the table, he sits at my feet and does that move that I love where he looks at me upside down over his back. I hope you guys got to see that one. He waits patiently to have his jacket and backpack put on and taken off and his feet to be wiped after a walk. He was mouthy about his feet being handled at first, but it doesn’t bother him anymore. I’ve had to give him a few baths so far, and I feel incredibly lucky that he is such a champ about bath time. He can load himself into the bathtub and he doesn’t try to escape or shake himself mid-bath. 

All in all, I can say with confidence that everyone who passed on adopting this dog has severely missed out. Every person who has come over to my house and met him has commented on how “chill” and how sweet he is. This dog was meant to be mine and I’m so glad we made it into each other’s lives.

Now that I have adopted two shelter dogs of relatively young ages, I can attest to the fact that a solid routine is invaluable for every dog. It took 2-3 weeks for each of my dogs to settle in to their new home and a new routine. Knowing that Kaid had been adopted out a couple times and brought back to the shelter, I feel like other people could have had the success that I have had if they had just stuck with it and given the dog his time to adjust. I think the advice given in the adoption folder you give to your adopters is excellent. I really think following those guidelines can help to shorten the “honeymoon period”, as you call it. If anyone calls CHS wanting to return a dog they’ve adopted, feel free to use me as an example to show that a routine of exercise and discipline with limited affection (or affection at the correct times) WORKS.

Enjoy the pictures of my little piglet. The perfect little family member.

Thanks for everything you do and keep up the good work!

– Kaid/Phantom’s Mom

For more information about Traverse Outdoor and the Canine Behavior Training Program Scholarship Fund, please visit and


Nova’s Story

Adopted March 3rd 2018, Nova was brought home to her forever family! Nova spent 155 days at the shelter and boy was she happy to finally find her people.

Nova came to CHS after being abandoned at home, in a crate with two other dogs. These pooches were left without space, food, water, or a cozy place to sleep. Nova arrived with her sister and brother. All three were fearful and very hungry. Nova and her siblings warmed up slowly to CHS staff and volunteers, but eventually all came to love everyone’s company.

Nova was severely underweight and had a few wounds to her body. Staff and volunteers were quick to spoil her everyday with yummy treats, cleaning her wounds, and all the snuggles a girl could ask for. With time Nova began to gain weight and heal very well. Nova was put up for adoption and she was filled with joy to finally meet and greet every person that walked by. Then one day a family stopped in and won Nova over! After getting a teratoma removed from her eye, Nova was ready to head home!

Many rescue dogs that come to CHS all have a story. Some stories have tough beginnings, like Nova’s, that always require some extra love and attention. Thanks to Traverse Outdoor Landscaping & Irrigation, Nova was awarded a scholarship to attend CHS’s Canine Behavior Training Program. This program will help Nova learn to adjust to her new home and family as well as give her family the tools to teach her at home! Traverse Outdoor is proud to be able to provide outdoor loving dogs, like Nova, a chance to thrive!

CHS is happy to announce that Nova and her siblings have all found their perfect families!

For more information about Traverse Outdoor and the Canine Behavior Training Program Scholarship Fund, please visit and


February 10th 2018

After 231 days, Ace found his forever home!

Ace was surrendered to CHS. His former owners, a military family, could no longer care for Ace. Ace was an extremely active dog and to be temporarily living in a shelter was tough. Ace had to learn how to trust the strangers caring for him and soon opened up and exposed his soft, tender and affectionate personality. Ace connected with staff and a very special volunteer, who helped Ace develop into the happy outgoing young man he is. Ace continues to show insecurity, but hopefully not for long!

Ace was ready to head home right as his new Dad stepped through CHS doors! Ace brought tears of joy to his new family as they played around the room and shared some snuggles. Ace’s Dad inquired about training options and was absolutely thrilled to accept a scholarship to the Canine Behavior Training Program, provided by Traverse Outdoor Landscaping and Irrigation. The training classes will assist Ace and his Dad build a happy healthy relationship and remove any of Ace’s insecurities. Ace will be attending classes shortly and is excited to be top of his class!

Ace has adopted a new best friend. Thank you for giving Ace a loving home and your commitment to helping Ace develop into a permanent family member through the Canine Behavior Scholarship Fund!

The Canine Behavior Training Program Scholarship Fund allows dogs that need that extra attention to develop into a happy, healthy, and permanent family member. Adjustment for rescue dogs can take time and necessary training. With the generosity from Traverse Outdoor Landscaping and Irrigation, this has been made possible.

Mr. Murphy adopted January 19th 2018.

When Murphy was brought to CHS, he was very unsure of his temporary home. New people made Murphy nervous and he liked his personal space. With time and training, Murphy began to trust a select few which allowed Murphy to grow and express himself. Traverse Outdoor Landscaping and Irrigation has supported Murphy in his training efforts through the Canine Behavior Training Scholarship Fund.

After spending 172 days at CHS, Murphy found his forever family and loves every minute of it! Below is a quick update from Murphy’s family!

“Just thought we’d let you know Murphy is adjusting well. He’s such a great dog. We are so in love with him. He loves his walks and would play fetch 24/7 if we had the stamina. He’s housebroken, we don’t use a crate and he brings so much happiness.”

“He’s quiet for the most part. He certainly lets me know when I’m not getting ready quick enough for a walk. On walks, he notices the other dogs but doesn’t bark or get excited.”

“Thanks so much for letting us add him to our family. We sure love him!”

Thank you for giving Murphy the home and love he deserves!


The Canine Behavior Training Program Scholarship Fund allows dogs that need that extra attention to develop into a happy, healthy, and permanent family member. Adjustment for rescue dogs can take time and necessary training. With the generosity from Traverse Outdoor Landscaping and Irrigation, this has been made possible.