Shelters are full of dogs who share the same destiny. Most of them are either stray dogs who experienced the tough life on the streets, or pets who got abandoned by their owners because of banal reasons such as getting old. All these dogs are beyond scared when they first enter the shelter, because they have no idea what is going on around them.
The story of Phoenix the pit bull is no different. He was neglected and severely abused by his previous owner, and when passers-by found him, he was tied to a tree.
His health condition was bad, his body covered in wounds and blisters, and his spirit completely broken. Because of the severity of the situation he was in, the poor pup was put on the ‘kill list.’ But, God had other plans for Phoenix.
A local rescue group, Litters ‘n Critters Rescue Society from Halifax, Nova Scotia, learned about the dog and was determined to do anything in their powers to help him recover.
Besides their willingness to give Phoenix a second chance for a better life, they were realistic about his chances.
“He was in really, really bad shape,” founder of the rescue organization Shelley Cunningham said to The Dodo. “He was very withdrawn and sad.”
Once a vet took care of his wounds, the dog had to be taken to a foster family, where he would spend some time. Lori Teale and her husband already had one dog whom they adopted from the Litters ‘n Critters, and they thought fostering Phoenix would be good both for him and for their dog Echo. They wanted Echo to have a friend to hang out with, but they could never imagine the two will become inseparable.
When Phoenix arrived to his foster home, he was terrified. He was uncertain about his future, and his experience with his previous owner was so bad that it was difficult for him to trust humans again.
The pup was afraid even from the slightest movements, and it was sad to watch.
“He was terrified of everything when we first brought him home,” Lori recalls. “Loud noises would cause him to shake uncontrollably, or he would shut down completely. Even the smallest things would scare him — curtains moving, a cat passing him or something he didn’t notice was suddenly in view. Phoenix was terrified of sudden movements or if you raise your hands with him near or even slightly raised your voice. He would shut down immediately and pancake to the floor.”
However, hanging out with Echo had an incredible impact on Phoenix. He started socializing and it looked like the two were a match made in Heaven. The fear was now a part of the past and Phoenix started feeling happiness for the first time in his life.
The foster family simply knew that the dogs were destined to spend their lives together so the next step was adopting Phoenix forever.
“The initial meeting could not have gone any better,” Lori told. “Within the first 24 hours, they were following each other and we knew we couldn’t separate them.”
The transformation was incredible. Phoenix didn’t resemble that frightened dog any longer, he became more energetic, started wagging his tail and that was all thanks to Echo.
“I believe it was the confidence of Echo that really helped him settle down and get comfortable,” Lori told. “I give her all the credit, honestly.”
He regained his trust in humans again and he now enjoys cuddling with his human parents. Life was cruel to Phoenix, but he got his happy ending. The sad, poor dog is now a healthy and enthusiastic pit bull that filled the life of his new family with joy.
“I will never regret adopting him,” she concluded. “He’s made our home feel complete and brought so much laughter into our house.”
This story is a perfect example of what love and devotion can do.
Please share this story with your friends to remind them to adopt, not shop.