EDMONDS, Wash — Look around this comfortable room, and you'll see faces with a future.
Last month, Aishah Hammock started 'The Haus of Dogs' to help find homes for pets rescued from high-kill shelters down south.
"There isn't any other establishment of its kind in the state," says Hammock.
The dogs here have all been spayed and neutered, assessed for friendly behavior, and micro-chipped in preparation for finding their forever homes.
"The whole idea behind having a cage-free dog adoption lounge is that the dogs are able to show their true personalities," Hammock says.
Human guests reserve a time for their visit, then pay an entry fee to support the program, before hanging out with these furballs for one-hour sessions. The meet-and-greet is limited to 6 to 10 dogs per session, with a similar number of humans. It's designed to keep the interactions low-key and low-pressure.
Hammock says, "You have a better idea of the dog that you're going to be committing to for life."
You don't have to be looking for a new pet in order to enjoy the interaction. Some visitors are apartment dwellers who aren't permitted to have pets in their homes. Others may be grieving the loss of a pet companion and aren't ready to adopt right away.
"We welcome everyone," she says.
But you do need to leave any current pets at home.
When all goes well, a love connection brings people and pups together forever.
"Lots of cuddles and kisses."
That's something to bark about.
"I get to give back, not only to the dogs but to the community," Hammock says, "And just be a safe, fun place where people can enjoy the companionship of dogs."