Every Monday we bring you a happy tale of rescue to start your week This week is no exception. Today we will tell the story of our alpha male Phoenix.
It was ten days before Christmas when we went to get him. I had yet to put up the Christmas tree that year, we had been busy. Our last adoptee had been picked up the day before and we were closed to adoptions until after the New Year. It was the perfect time to integrate a new dog into the pack.
We were expecting this dog to be a bit of a challenge, but he had an advantage over most of our rescues, he was coming with his own thousand dollar bank roll. Money those that had rescued him scraped together sacrificing the little nuances of their own holiday celebrations to ensure the big black dog had everything he needed.
This one was coming with baggage, lots of it! Authorities in Toronto had already labeled him a “dangerous dog” and he was under DOLA restriction if he stayed in the city. Some involved in his rescue knew that if he stayed where he was with a kind, but brand new foster family he would only bite again. The group who had rescued him after finding him abandoned in a house under construction knew they could take him no further. This badly abused dog needed more than they knew how to give. It was about that time that one of their members contacted me.Phoenix (formerly known as Kent) was a fear biter. He had bitten a few people in Toronto (one of them an animal control worker) which is where his problem started. He had been mishandled during his initial rescue and transport and had bitten because he felt cornered. He wasn’t a bad dog, he was a misunderstood dog. We were about to change all that! Believe me, we felt like this might be our biggest challenge yet. This was a dog that given his description, I was prepared to be very cautious with. “Patience, understanding, caution” the three words kept running through my mind as we approached the city. I don’t really know exactly what I was expecting, but I do know that it wasn’t what we found when we reached our destination! We had been told that the big black dog had been found stuffed into a crate neither big enough for him to stand up nor turn around in. He had regained some of the weight he had lost during his ordeal but he still had a way to go before his weight was healthy. You could see the distrust and fear in his eyes, but underneath that you could see that he really was a good dog. I knew in that moment that this dog would be fine, he just needed someone who understood him, and knew how to help him work through his fears. Phoenix was wary of us at first, but it wasn’t long before he found my husband and decided he had found his best friend. While I discussed the legalities of the exchange and signed paperwork that would make Phoenix our dog and our responsibility, the big skinny black dog took up residence by my husbands feet staring up at him like he was a God. We took him home with us, stopping at Petsmart on the way home to purchase toys treats and the largest crate we could find. We knew we would have to crate him at night and wanted to make sure his crate was big enough that he did not fear it. Two days later took him in for his neuter surgery, and had him chipped. That was three years ago. This Christmas will be Phoenix’ fourth with us! He is a mild mannered giant of a dog who loves people especially his Daddy! Ladies & Gentlemen, the Phoenix has risen! We leave you with this video of Phoenix and his pack mates playing in our big backyard. Phoenix has found his forever home with us, and life just wouldn’t be the same without him. Somewhere out there in a shelter or with a rescue group, there is a dog just waiting to complete YOUR family! You owe it to yourself to find him/her. ADOPT DON’T SHOP! Until Next Time Remember, RESCUES ROCK! Everydogsmom