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This sweet mixed breed spent six months in shelters. After ringworm, heartworm, and flea treatment, and behavioral training, she caught the eye of the nice man who became her human.
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Fluffy, adorable puppies who will love other pets and give sweet kisses to their humans are popular. But who wants a hyper, skinny older dog with patchy skin and sores on her ears? One who doesn’t like other dogs and could never be friends with the family cat?
The answer is: a very special person.
A chocolate-colored mixed-breed dog named Sallie had spent six months being overlooked at a Florida animal shelter. Not wanting the dog to languish any longer, staff transferred her to the Jacksonville Humane Society in August 2014 with the hope that a change of locale would help get her adopted.
Like many “less adoptable” dogs, the cards were stacked against her. The former stray didn’t look the greatest, thanks to the unexplained hair loss and sores on her body. “She was treated for ringworm and heartworms before transferring to JHS,” says Lindsay Layendecker, development manager at the humane society. “We suspect all her issues were from lack of care.”
Additionally, she was an older dog, about 4 years old, and let’s face it — most people want puppies or at least a dog under the age of 2. Sallie was also high-energy, with a high prey drive, which meant she would rather chase squirrels or sniff around than snuggle with potential adopters. “She did not instantly bond with people,” Layendecker says. “She did not like other dogs, and her prey drive didn’t make her a candidate for a home with cats.”
A dog like Sallie can be extremely challenging to adopt out because most people are looking for an instant emotional connection when they meet shelter dogs.
To get Sallie primed for adoption, staff at JHS addressed her medical and behavioral concerns. Her skin issues resolved with a nutritious diet and monthly flea prevention. Next, she learned how to walk nicely on a leash. “We have a behavior manager at our shelter who works closely with the staff and designs protocols for each dog,” Layendecker says. “Sallie had a lot of leash training. We have a sponsored adoption-fee program (Peaches Pays) for hard-to-place dogs.”
Around the same time Sallie was brushing up on her manners, Chris was still mourning the loss of his beloved dog who had recently passed, but he felt ready to start looking for a new friend to add to his life. He really wanted to help a dog who was truly in need. One day, he happened to click on a video of Sallie on the JHS Facebook page and recognized the voice narrating the video. It was his friend Becky! What were the chances?
Of course, he had to give Becky a call, and she told him, “If you want to save a dog, Sallie is the one for you.”
With no other pets at home, Chris realized he was a great candidate for this special girl.
After bringing the dog home for a trial-run “sleepover,” (an innovative program offered by the organization), Chris knew he was in love. He renamed her Malibu, and now she is simply known as “Boo.”
Once unwanted and overlooked, Boo is now living the good life with a loving and involved dog dad. She even has her own Facebook page!
“The hair loss around her eyes naturally improved after adoption, and her coat became much shinier,” Layendecker says. “She put on a few pounds, too.”
As you can see Boo looks like a completely different dog — and she seems to know how lucky she is to have been given a chance to shine.
Jackie is a freelance writer specializing in the pet industry. She lives in Southern California with her husband, son, and adorable Miniature Poodle, Jäger, who is obsessed with fetch and killing all the toys. She is the former editor of Rescue Proud, Dog World, and Puppies 101. Follow her on Twitter or visit her website.
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