A happy reunion, “Haku” goes home

Haku went missing in late January 2017 and was reunited with his owner at the Seattle Animal Shelter.

The greying black lab was panting and wagging his tail furiously – Haku had just seen Rick Osterhout, and he knew he was going home.

In 2016, the Seattle Animal Shelter reunited 493 dogs with their owners. Haku was one of the first in 2017.

On Friday, Jan. 28, Haku went missing when he snuck out through Osterhout’s back door. Osterhout posted Haku’s photo on multiple websites, including his neighborhood watch in Ravenna.

“A lost dog in an urban setting is really tough because he’s a dark color and it’s dark outside at night,” said Osterhout.

Haku was one of five dogs in the Osterhout family. Sadly, in January the family had to put down three of their dogs due to old age, and losing Haku would have been devastating. As part of his search for Haku, Osterhout checked the SAS “Found Pets at the Shelter” webpage and saw that field officers had picked up a male black lab mix in the Ravenna area.

“I saw the area and his description and knew it was Haku,” said Osterhout.

When the shelter lobby opened at noon the next day, Osterhout was there. He walked through the dog kennels and couldn’t mistake Haku’s excited bark. From the dog’s expression, Osterhout knew Haku was ready to go home.

Osterhout said he and his wife bought a motorhome specifically for their five dogs to take on travel adventures, and he is happy Haku will be able to enjoy these trips again.

“My wife would signal, ‘ready!’ and we would let the door open for all the dogs to run out at once,” said Osterhout. “They were some of my best memories.”

We’re thrilled to have helped reunite the Osterhouts with their beloved Haku, and want to help others get their happy endings. If you’ve lost a pet in or near the Seattle area, list your pet in our Lost and Found Database, and see the found animals we currently have at the shelter. Visit the Lost Pets section of our website for more information and resources.

For more information: www.seattleanimalshelter.org

You write the vows, we’ll weed the venues

Nearly all of Seattle Parks and Recreation’s 465 parks are available for special events

Michael Grenetz and Rebecca Fischer will marry this August in Discovery Park.


As more and more flowers begin popping up in Seattle parks, it seems more and more people begin popping the question in them too.

A sunset view from Kerry Park or a rhododendron bush in full bloom in Parsons Gardens make beautiful backdrops for wedding proposals. They also make cost-effective backdrops for wedding ceremonies.

Wedding ceremonies can be scheduled in almost all of Seattle Parks and Recreation’s 465 parks. Ceremony permits cost between $120-$175 per hour with a two- or three-hour minimum. Garden sites and indoor facilities book on a rolling calendar, one year in advance of the date, but all other parks can be reserved on the first business day in January.

A September wedding in Golden Gardens photographed by Eric Rust (www.ericrustphotography.com).


“We’ll have about 20 people in line at the crack of dawn in January, even though we don’t open for hours,” Seattle Parks event permitting and scheduling manager Joanne Orsucci said.

Orsucci said the most popular venues are Dakota Place in West Seattle, Kubota Garden, Parsons Gardens, Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing Center and Golden Gardens.

A September wedding in Golden Gardens photographed by Eric Rust (www.ericrustphotography.com).


“A lot of people want a natural atmosphere rather than a heavily decorated space,” Orsucci said.

Two such people are Seattleites Rebecca Fischer, who works in health administration, and her fiancé Michael Grenetz, who works in nonprofit technology. The couple plans to wed this August in Discovery Park.

“We were initially drawn to Daybreak Star Cultural Center in Discovery Park, but when we realized that we could have the ceremony in the park itself, we jumped at it,” Fischer said. “We’ll have a lot of family visiting from out of town and want to be able to show off the beautiful views we can get from within the city.”

The couple considered the Golden Gardens Bathhouse as a venue, but thought parking may be difficult in August. They also discussed community center spaces but decided that Discovery Park felt unique and the most like them.

“We’re excited for the view and we like the casual feeling in the park,” Fischer said.

Orsucci said Seattle Parks never has a month without events, even during wet winters. She recommends planning ahead and booking desired venues early, whether they be for weddings, reunions or picnics.

“Parks are great places to recreate and learn about nature,” Orsucci said. “It’s just healthy to be outdoors.”

To learn more about reserving a Seattle Parks facility or space for an event, please click HERE.