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Finding confidence and a forever home, a happy dog adoption tale

Red, a 1-year-old mixed breed dog, arrived at the Dumb Friends League in April of 2019. Red had his fair share of needs. He came to the shelter as an owner surrender, and although he had a good history in his previous home, he was stressed and scared in the shelter environment. It wasn’t uncommon for him to growl and even snap at shelter staff. He was enrolled in canine courage, a program designed to help fearful dogs gain confidence, and our behavior specialists worked with the frightened dog, slowly gaining his trust. As time went on, Red went from tense and timid to shy but sweet. He stopped growling and snapping and would instead greet people with low tail wags. Once out of his kennel, Red’s playful and affectionate personality shined.

After just over a month in our care, and with a few adoption visits that didn’t work out, Red caught the eye of a compassionate individual named Ryan. In fact, Ryan had been watching Red from a distance for quite some time. After losing his beloved dog, Betty (a Dumb Friends League alumni from 2005), he often perused the League adoption page scanning through the available dogs. And, there was always one dog that caught eye – Red.

When Ryan saw that Red was no longer on the website, he assumed that was that and it wasn’t meant to be. On a whim, he decided to call the shelter because, in Ryan’s words, “what would it hurt, and wouldn’t you know it he was still in your care.” During that call, Ryan learned Red was on an adoption hold for another patron until 5 p.m. that evening. Ryan and his wife rushed to the League and waited while Red met with the other family. As fate would have it, Red wasn’t the right fit for those adopters, and they finally got to meet their new friend after a month of looking at him on the website.

Staff at the Dumb Friends League knew it would take the right family to adopt Red. He needed a quiet home with patient owners and no kids under the age of 8. He would do best with someone who understood that he needed time to warm up to strangers. Ryan and his wife were just that. After a long conversation with our behavior specialists, it was decided, this was the best fit for both pup and person.

Ryan recently wrote the League with an update on Red, now named Porter. It’s been a little over a year since they adopted, and per Ryan, they “couldn’t be happier. He is still somewhat nervous around new people but is getting better day by day.” Porter recently joined his family on a backpacking trip and typically tags along with them wherever they go.

With time, patience and a little luck, Ryan got the dog he and his wife had been hoping for. As for Porter, he’s settled in just fine with his new family. It’s been tail wags and smiles from pet and persons alike.

Did you know the Dumb Friends League has a behavior helpline for people and pets that need behavior support? This free service is available to any person, regardless if your pet was adopted from the League. Click here to learn more.

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