Jaxon, an 80-pound spotted dog with floppy ears and a heart of gold, has always had a lot to say … and he never misses an opportunity to speak his busy, inquisitive mind in a million different ways! It’s how he found himself at the Dumb Friends League when his previous owner could no longer meet his energy needs. It’s how he acquired so many admirers during his nearly three months in our care. And it’s ultimately what made his devoted adopter, Kaitlyn, fall head over heels for him.

When Jaxon first arrived at the League in October of 2022, our Behavior Care team knew he was a dog with many complex needs. Because of his extremely vocal nature, he would eventually need a home with no shared walls. He would also need someone who could give him grace and manage his anxiety when it got the best of him. Like most animals, having outlets for social play, physical activity, and mental stimulation were a must. But above all, what Jaxon needed most was a loving person and a reliable place to call home.

When loyal League adopter Kaitlyn saw his stunning and oh-so-sophisticated portrait on the League’s Facebook page (featured above), she was immediately taken with his beauty. When she learned that he was a “longest stay” resident with challenging behavioral needs, she was officially invested in helping him grow and thrive.

The following snowy day, when many Denverites tried their best to stay put and stay cozy, Kaitlyn made the long trek to the League to meet the boy who had captured her heart online. Kaitlyn’s pure joy and instant connection with Jaxon – combined with a successful visit with her resident dog (another League alum) – was everything our staff and volunteers had hoped for. Even more, it was exactly what Jaxon had longed for. He was going home at last!

Right from the start, Kaitlyn was dedicated to being the best caregiver (or “dog mom”) she could possibly be. On that very special adoption day in January, she arrived at our shelter with a car full of donated food and pet supplies for all the animals in our care. Once she knew Jaxon was the one for her, she even made several snowy trips from the League to her home (and back again) to ensure Jaxon and her other dog had the chance to meet in a slow and appropriate way. Our team could not have been more impressed with her thoughtfulness and commitment – which only boosted our excitement for Jaxon’s next steps.

Nearly six months later, Kaitlyn can’t imagine life without exuberant and lovable Jaxon by her side. As the newest member of the pack, Jaxon has even helped his new canine pal make strides in her own healing journey after a traumatic early start. “He’s a pretty special dude,” Kaitlyn shared.

Jaxon is also quite the entertainer and fan favorite among Kaitlyn’s social circle, including her boyfriend’s 8-year-old son who shares Jaxon’s innocence and zest for life. Jaxon loves meeting new friends and “showing off” at the dog park, and always lets people know when it’s time to play – even if it means bringing Kaitlyn toys in the shower!

And while he may always exhibit anxious and high-energy behaviors, Kaitlyn gives him the grace and support he has long deserved. To her, this is who he is and who she loves – and she welcomes all his traits and behaviors with open arms. “Nothing good is [ever] easy and quick,” she said. “[Dogs are] doing the best they can with what they’ve been given … there’s no greater reward than the love in their eyes.”

The Dumb Friends League recently received a $50,000 grant from Petco Love to support our essential work and to help make heartwarming stories like Jaxon’s possible. Petco Love is a national nonprofit leading change for pets by harnessing the power of love to make communities and pet families closer, stronger, and healthier. Since its founding in 1999, Petco Love has invested $330 million in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. The League is proud to be a Petco Love partner.

For more information about Petco Love, please visit petcolove.org. If you would like to give a second chance to a special pet waiting for a home at one of our shelters, check out our adoptable pets here.