Before he was taken in by NBGR, Antonio’s first six years of life were spent living in a crate in horrid conditions in a hoarder’s puppy mill. He had no idea what it was like to have a soft bed to sleep in or would feel like to be treated with kindness by humans. He was stick-thin; his jaw was broken; he had worms; and he was absolutely terrified of everything.
As bad as his physical condition was, we were more concerned about his mental condition. He looked broken. Could the damage that had been done to this little guy be reversed, or would he always stiffen when touched by a human? Would he always have that wide-eyed, fearful stare that made him appear feral?
Our plan of first action was to give Antonio a little time to settle in his foster home, let him feel the comforts of a climate-controlled environment with a soft bed and plenty of food/water, offer him gentle interactions with his foster family, and allow him to become familiar with the everyday noises we take for granted. At the same time, we arranged to repair the damage to his jaw and get him the rest of the medical attention he needed to heal and grow strong.
Once his jaw was repaired and Antonio could finally eat without being in pain, he started to put on some much-needed weight. It was a joy to see him enjoy food for the first time since who knows when.
Antonio was afraid to walk through a doorway or be on a leash, but he watched the joys his foster-siblings displayed, and he slowly learned from them that the leash is a good thing and that danger doesn’t lurk behind doorways. Antonio is now starting to take treats from his foster mom’s hand, whereas in the beginning she had to put his treats on the floor then look away so he would take them.
Having other dogs to watch has also helped Antonio learn the joys of your human coming home from work. Through his foster siblings’ excitement and example, Antonio’s tail now wags when his humans come through the door, and he is gaining courage to come closer for a little rub or a scratch on the rear.
He loves going for walks with his buddies and is now coming over to have his harness put on for walks. He also has found the joy of curling up on the couch. He sleeps in his crate at night and stays in a larger x-pen during the day. He is working on his house-training but wears a belly band for safe measure. His foster family works, but he has a pet sitter who comes over once a day for a nice walk so everyone can get their business done. Antonio will benefit greatly from having a set schedule and more frequent potty breaks, so if you are retired or work at home, or if you work close enough to come home for potty breaks, that should help with the house-training process.
Today Antonio’s face is now softer, and his eyes sparkle. He is a healthy, loving guy who is ready for a forever home and a family of his very own. Loud noises and fast movements can startle Antonio, so we are looking for a home without children. He is more confident when he is with other dogs, so a home with at least one dog is preferable. We are looking for a special family with patience who will continue to help Antonio grow and enjoy his new world. Gentle obedience-training will go a long way in helping to build his confidence.
If you and your family will dedicate yourself to this little guy, you will know the true meaning of rescue and reap the loving rewards. Antonio lived in hell, but that’s behind him. His prospects are as bright as his eyes.
Antonio is neutered, up to date on vaccinations, micro-chipped, heartworm negative and on preventative. Antonio weighs 14 lbs. and is approximately 6 years old.
Antonio is being fostered in Houston, Texas.
If you are interested in adoption please fill out our Adoption Application. If you would like more information, please contact Connie Lawrence at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep in mind that we prefer to place dogs within driving distance of where they are being fostered. If someone from outside the local area is approved for adoption, they must be willing to fly in to get the dog and that can only happen if the dog is stable enough to travel in the cabin with the passenger.
May 14, 2015
Antonio has been Adopted!
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