Love can do wonders

“It has been the absolute coolest thing to watch a terrified little puppy who, when first brought home, had the biggest fear of going through doors and up stairs to the confident, friendly dog that he is now,” said Amariya. “All he needed was to feel safe and loved, and he is a completely different animal. So cool what a little love can do!”

It IS cool what a little love can do, but let’s take a step back to learn more about the pup named Cache.

Cache (originally named Boris) arrived at the Dumb Friends League Leslie A. Malone Center as a stray, and his history was unknown. The pup was nervous and more inclined to want to be carried than walk on a leash, but he allowed handling despite being tense.

During Cache’s behavior evaluation, the Behavior department determined that this nervous pup would benefit from the League’s K9 Courage program. The program works with dogs to increase their tolerance for situations that caused the fear or aggression.

Throughout Cache’s K9 Courage sessions, he improved. While he was still wary, he began to approach people (albeit hesitantly) with waggy tail greetings and seemed to find pets comforting. But, after eight sessions, Cache failed the program because he still was on the fearful side and was determined not to walk on a leash without a trail of treats to guide him. (Some might say Cache was on to something, but treats can’t always be a motivating factor!)

Despite needing to work on a few things, Cache was ready to find his new family – new human parents with love and patience to help him continue to learn and thrive.

Amariya and Emily came to the Leslie A. Malone Center from Colorado Springs. While they were not looking for a puppy, when they met Cache, they instantly loved him. “He was so friendly, yet not all over us like some dogs that we had met,” said Amariya. “We also loved his size and that he seemed active as we wanted a dog that could go hiking with us and join in on our active, outdoorsy lifestyle.”

As part of the process, a League adoption counselor reviewed Cache’s history at the shelter and what was known about the pup. Amariya and Emily were not deterred that Cache would need more training and positive reinforcement to be his best possible self. “We knew that Cache would be so loved coming home,” said Amariya. “We like to have people over and to go places, so we knew that he would get a lot of love and attention. None of us work crazy long days either, so we would be able to devote plenty of time to caring for him and making sure that he was feeling loved.”

Off the trio went, and Cache is now living his best life. Some of Cache’s favorite things include meeting people and other dogs, sneaking on the table to get to a bag of chips, entertaining others with his toy playing and dashing skills and cuddling on laps despite being 35 pounds and still thinking he can comfortably fit.

The dog who was so reluctant to walk on a leash now loves his walks! “We’re still working on walking well with a leash, but Cache absolutely loves to be outside,” said Amariya. “He will carry a stick his whole walk and try to lay down and chew it any chance he gets.”

“It’s been so cool to see Cache go from a scared puppy who didn’t pass his fear training to the funny, adventurous, people-loving dog that he is now. Thank you guys so much we couldn’t imagine life without our little Cache baby!”

Please note:
Until it is safe to resume our routine adoptions procedures, we’ve modified our process to help animals find their forever homes.

For now, we are proceeding with virtual adoptions — meaning, patrons who are interested in adopting can pursue finding a new companion with the help of our adoptions team. If you are interested in adopting one of the pets featured in this article, please call us at 303.751.5772 and let us know the name and A# of the pet that you’re interested in.

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