Another happy success story! Nico was adopted by Orphans of the Storm®’s Canine Enrichment & Playgroup Coordinator, Carrie. His first “gotcha” day is coming up next week! Here is how Carrie and Nico came together.
I met Nico nearly 3 years ago, when I was a volunteer at Orphans of the Storm®. I had always been a “big dog person” and barely glanced at the littles. Nico came on my radar when he started having behavior problems, biting to be specific. There were about 2 staff members that could handle him, and no volunteers. I always stopped by his kennel to give him treats; he would growl, snarl, snap at me, but I still loved him. I felt so bad that he didn’t get walks with volunteers. I started spending time with Nico and getting to know him. I learned that he was an affectionate dog, under all his layers. He wanted to be with his people, but was very defensive of being touched. We would go on walks, I would toss treats on the ground for him, he started slowly trusting me more. He would jump up with his front paws on my lap, wagging, saying, “I love you! You can feed me treats, take me on walks, talk to me…but DO NOT TOUCH ME!” I did not attempt to pet Nico until after I had been working with him for 9 months. I was sitting with him and he came over and I just knew it was the time. He let me pet him, and it was a very happy moment for me.
Nico and I continued to bond over the 2 years he was at the shelter. He would still snap/bite at me when he felt threatened. We knew Nico could not be adopted out to the public; it was too risky for his and the public’s safety. He would spend the rest of his life as a “shelter mascot.”
After 2 years of time with Nico at the shelter, I decided to bring him into my home as a foster. I had no idea what he would be like at home. I fostered him for 6 weeks; we built a solid routine and a great relationship with my other dog, Koopa. Koopa and Nico got along right away.
On May 4, 2019, I decided to officially adopt Nico. I promised him I would be his mom, even with the behavior problems, and that I would do everything I can to help him live a happy, healthy life.
Fast forward a year: Nico is thriving. He loves his sister dog, Koopa, and loves his home. He has helped me foster countless dogs. Although he likes to “protest” when a new dog comes, once he lets his walls down–he’s a great foster brother. Nico still has behavior problems that he will always have, and things that I cannot change–only manage. I made a commitment to him, and to be totally honest–we do have challenging moments. But I wouldn’t trade Nico for the world. He has taught me SO much patience, and a new love and appreciation for small dogs. I no longer consider myself a “big dog person.” I am an “all dog person,” with an extra soft spot for the “angry Chihuahuas.” I am forever grateful for Orphans of the Storm® for bringing Nico to me, and visa versa. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us.
Thank you, Carrie, for sharing your story about Nico!
If you would like to share your own Orphans of the Storm® success story, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.