Dog Stuck in Shelter Smiles for First Time Thanks to Groomer’s Tender Makeover

Living as a stray dog has to be stressful, and if someone does help them and take them to a shelter, it can get worse before it gets better. A new environment, being surrounded by noisy dogs they’ve never met before… it would be overwhelming for any dog! That’s why animal shelter staff and volunteers do all they can to ensure their new furry friend is healthy, happy, and comfortable. This often includes vet checkups, a warm bath, and–for dogs like Rex–a pampering grooming session, too.

Dog Stuck in Shelter Smiles for First Time Thanks to Groomer's Tender Makeover

Shepherd mix Rex met his new friend, a dog groomer named Mel, shortly after he arrived at Animal Friends of the Valleys in Wildomar, California, on April 8. The groomer was as patient as could be with the hesitant pup, but before long, Rex relaxed and let himself be pampered.

Rex’s Relaxing Transformation


Did you see Rex’s like smile at the end 😍 he’s available at @AFVpets in Southern CA #adoptme #dogs #germanshepherd

♬ Jacob and the Stone (Slowed) – Emile Mosseri & sped up + slowed

Rex is such a beautiful boy! This is clear as day even before his bath and brushing session, but it seems like he feels more confident after being cared for. He’s clean, tangle-free, and as handsome as can be–what’s not to be confident about?

Dog Stuck in Shelter Smiles for First Time Thanks to Groomer's Tender Makeover

According to Rex’s shelter paperwork, he was brought to the Southern California shelter by a Good Samaritan who found him as a stray with no collar or identification. Shelter experts estimate his age to be about one year and seven months, though this Shepherd mix is more than ready to be somebody’s baby. After his grooming appointment, he’s all dressed up and ready to meet someone special!

Shelter Dogs Requires Patience

Several commenters applauded Mel, the groomer at Animal Friends of the Valleys, for her limitless love and patience with the rescue dog. The top-liked comment of the video comes from @awwe_god, who said, “Mel just seems to always understand these sweet babies.” You couldn’t be more right! She can tell when they need extra time to take in their surroundings, and she has so many tips and tricks up her sleeves for making grooming as stress-free as possible. For being such a nervous dog at first, Rex was fantastic throughout his appointment!

As Mel has experienced while grooming shelter dogs, many of her nervous new friends require lots of patience and reassurance. Whether it’s a pocketful of treats or an hour of calm words and pets, winning over a nervous shelter dog can take a lot of effort. But the result is so worth it in the end. Thanks to Mel’s hard work, Rex is feeling more confident and looking better than ever!

If you live in Southern California and would like to meet Rex, please head to the Animal Friends of the Valleys shelter website to learn more about the adoption process.

Dog Stuck in Shelter Smiles for First Time Thanks to Groomer's Tender Makeover

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