By Tovah S., GTHS Volunteer and Dog Care Team Lead
It was on May 16, 2015 that a feisty two-year-old Rambo, weighing in at 13.8 pounds, was surrendered to GTHS from Timmins and District Humane Society. Rambo’s previous guardians were moving, and this little bundle of energy was looking for his forever home.
We conducted a Safer Test for Rambo, revealing that this cute little Pomeranian had a low stress threshold, high fear aggression, and low bite inhibition. Environment is a critical factor when matching a dog’s personality and needs with his forever home. It was important that Rambo be placed in a quiet home with no children. A home where sensitive Rambo could thrive. His guardians would have to be calm, dog-savvy, loving and firm and experienced in sharing their life with this small breed.
To begin the rehabilitation process, a special program was developed for Rambo’s GTHS handlers, with clear and concise instructions. For an anxious dog such as Rambo, it was best to use a calm and soothing tone of voice while giving verbal praise. Movements were slow and gestures small when approaching, speaking to and handling Rambo. Positive praise for good behaviour, calm encouragement, and steady, controlled commands were essential to gaining Rambo’s trust. A detailed exercise was patiently undertaken to desensitize little Rambo to touch. Physical touch had to be gradual and gentle, with special instructions to follow between each touch to avoid over-stimulation.
With each week throughout the spring and summer, Rambo’s trust increased one step at a time and this little bundle of energy drew the attention of potential adopters. Then one day in August, a wonderful couple walked into the shelter and into Rambo’s life.
Susan and Nelson had lost their precious Pomeranian, Princess Tasha, on February 14th this year, leaving a hole in their hearts. One night in August, Nelson had a dream and couldn’t fall back asleep. Finally giving up on sleeping, something drew Nelson to his computer, where he found himself visiting the GTHS website scanning available adoptions. Well, everything happens for a reason, and on that sleepless night, Nelson found Rambo.
This was a magical sign from Tasha. They had no doubt that Tasha wanted them to adopt Rambo. Susan and Nelson realized that Rambo was a bit of a challenge, but they knew in their hearts that they would be good for each other. Susan and Nelson booked a Meet & Greet and instantly fell in love with little Rambo. It was just meant to be.
Susan and Nelson adopted Rambo, with a list of directives from the staff at GTHS, to help him slowly develop that bond he so desperately wanted. Only 48 hours later, Rambo was joyfully rolling over on the couch when Nelson asked him if he wanted a belly-rub.
Rambo enjoys playing in his kiddy-pool, biting the water as it splashes out from the fountain. When it’s time to get out of the pool, Rambo picks up the hose as if to say, “But it’s not time yet! I’m having too much fun!”
Rambo has an endearing behaviour that makes his mom and dad laugh. When he is told “no”, Rambo lifts his paw up to his face, rubbing it from his eye down to the tip of his nose, as though being apologetic.
Rambo is now Cooper, and is enjoying a new leash on life with his mom and dad, as well as two canine siblings. A smart and balanced little boy, he has quickly learned his place in the pack. While Cooper doesn’t replace Princess Tasha, Susan and Nelson are very happy to have opened up their home and hearts to him.
Another happy ending… J Are you thinking of adopting a shelter pet? Please click here for our available adoptions!