Shelter Pittie Won’t Trust Me Until I Try This…

Sitting With Dogs

Join animal advocate Rocky Kanaka on a heartfelt and authentic journey as he visits scared and lonely shelter dogs, armed with nothing but his iPhone and a deep desire to provide comfort and hope. In this unpretentious series, Rocky quietly sits with these homeless dogs, capturing their stories and unique personalities. Through the simplicity of his approach, he aims to shed light on the challenges they face and help them find loving homes. Experience the power of genuine connection and the transformative impact it can have on both humans and animals in this sincere exploration of companionship and second chances.

Kuma: A Mama Dog’s Second Chance

At first glance, one might mistake Kuma for a young pup, but her weary eyes and worn-out body tell a different story. Found by a good samaritan and left in the shelter’s night drop, Kuma’s life has been one of hardship. Despite her youthful appearance, this black and white pitbull has mothered multiple litters, her body bearing the scars of overbreeding and neglect. It’s not uncommon for some unethical backyard breeders to abandon the mother after their body can no longer sustain breeding, or it wasn’t profitable enough.

Sitting With Dogs - Kuma

Kuma’s story is one that’s tragically common in shelters. Amidst the cacophony of barks and whines, many dogs like her go unnoticed. But thanks to Christie, a dedicated dog-walking volunteer, Kuma’s plight caught Rocky’s attention.

Christie has been working tirelessly to boost Kuma’s confidence, a trait most potential adopters look for. The stress of the shelter environment, combined with her traumatic past, has left Kuma anxious and fearful. Yet, when Kuma sat in Rocky’s lap, Rocky could feel her rapid heartbeat gradually slow down.

Sitting With Dogs - Kuma

Rocky’s mission is to shine a light on overlooked dogs like Kuma, giving them a chance at a better life. He hopes that by sharing her story, a kind soul will come forward to adopt her. To aid in her recovery, Rocky has pledged to provide a year’s supply of nutritious food from Sundays for Dogs to whoever gives Kuma a forever home. The journey ahead may be long, but with the right support, Kuma can heal and thrive.

Sitting With Dogs - Kuma

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Sophia The Cane Corso: A Majestic Breed Misunderstood

Sitting With Dogs - Sophia

The Cane Corso, with its regal bearing and powerful build, is a breed that commands attention. Originating from Italy, these dogs were once revered as war dogs, hunters, and protectors. Today, in the modern world, their imposing stature often becomes a double-edged sword. While many are captivated by their beauty and strength, few truly grasp the depth of commitment and understanding required to raise them.

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Sophia, a Cane Corso residing at Animal Friends of The Valleys, is a testament to the tragic consequences of this breed’s misunderstood nature and the recent surge in its popularity. Abandoned anonymously in the shelter’s night drop, she arrived in a heartbreakingly emaciated state, a stark 30 pounds underweight.

Rocky sat with Sophia in her kennel, offering her comfort and solace. Each time he looks into her melancholic eyes, he’s left wondering how such a magnificent creature has remained unadopted. Rocky tries several things to get her to come out of her shell.

Sitting With Dogs - Sophia

From treats to toys, he employed various methods to gain her trust. Yet, her past traumas are evident, especially in her apprehension towards direct eye contact. However, there’s a glimmer of hope: Sophia’s demeanor transforms in the company of other dogs, drawing strength and confidence from their presence.

Despite the challenges, the shelter remains undeterred in its mission to find Sophia a forever home. A recent adoption seemed promising, but compatibility issues with another dog led to her return (despite a positive meet & greet). The setback, though disheartening, has only strengthened the resolve to ensure Sophia finds the love and care she so rightly deserves.

Editor’s Note: Sophia is currently available for adoption. Those wishing to provide her with a loving home are encouraged to contact the shelter.

Sitting With Dogs - Sophia

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Redford: The Enigma of a Red German Shepherd

Sitting With Dogs - Redford

Redford, a striking 4-year-old red German Shepherd, has a story that tugs at the heartstrings. Found wandering the streets and subsequently picked up by Animal Control, he was brought to the shelter where his unique all-red coat immediately caught the eye of Rocky. “I’ve got to tell you about this beautiful red dog right here named Redford,” Rocky said, captivated by the dog’s beauty.

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Sitting With Dogs - Redford

However, Redford’s initial days at the shelter revealed some concerning behaviors. Quick movements would make him flinch, almost as if he was anticipating a blow. His hesitancy in accepting treats suggested a past where such luxuries were rare. Despite his initial shyness, with time and patience, Redford began to show a different side. A few weeks later, Rocky noted, “He’s a completely different dog.” The transformation was evident: from a fearful, hesitant dog to one that was playful and trusting.

Sitting With Dogs - Redford
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Rocky’s curiosity about Redford’s unique appearance led him to purchase a DNA test kit. “It doesn’t matter,” Rocky mused, “but it is fun, especially when they’re this unique.” While awaiting the results, the shelter staff and volunteers speculated which breeds Redford was. From chow chows to kelpies, everyone had a guess.

Sitting With Dogs - Redford

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Join Rocky’s Pack

Rocky's Pack

By joining Rocky’s community, you’re not just signing up for updates—you’re supporting a fantastic cause. Every member helps Rocky in his mission to give dogs like Redford a second chance. Plus, it’s a great space to connect with fellow dog enthusiasts, share stories, and stay in the loop with the latest rescue tales by offering insights into the rescue process and even giving members first dibs on exciting updates, like Redford’s DNA results. And let’s not forget the added bonus: members get discounts on products. So, come on in, make a difference, and enjoy some perks along the way! Join on YouTube Join on Facebook


Sierra: The Sweet Soul Behind Those Eyes

Sitting With Dogs - Sierra

When you first lay eyes on Sierra, there’s a certain look she gives—a mix of confusion, longing, and a silent plea. It’s a look that seems to ask, “Where am I? Why am I here? Did I do something wrong?”

Sitting With Dogs - Sierra

As someone who’s seen this look countless times, Rocky knows it’s never the dog’s fault. Sierra, with her endearing one ear up and one ear down, initially appears ready for a cuddle. But as Rocky approached, he noticed her nervousness. The trick? Avoid direct eye contact. It’s a simple gesture, but it can make a world of difference in building trust with a dog. With gentle reassurances and treats, Sierra began to warm up, showing small signs of trust.

Sitting With Dogs - Sierra

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Sierra’s backstory is a bit of a mystery. Found near a freeway, the details surrounding her discovery are murky. Sometimes, people turn in their pets with fabricated tales, perhaps to alleviate their guilt but most likely to avoid paying the surrender fee. While the shelter staff might have their suspicions, they choose to focus on the present and Sierra’s future. Pit bulls like Sierra often face an uphill battle in shelters. Misunderstood and stigmatized, they’re frequently the last to be adopted, despite being among the most loving and loyal breeds. Rocky passionately advocates for these dogs, urging potential adopters to consider giving a pit bull a forever home.

Sitting With Dogs - Sierra

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Naming a dog can be a fresh start, a symbol of a new chapter. While Sierra might just be a temporary moniker, it suits her. That relaxed, content face she now shows could be her ticket to a new family. It’s hard to fathom how a gentle soul like Sierra ends up in a shelter, but with the support of the community and Rocky’s unwavering dedication, there’s hope for her yet. As Rocky often says, “Together, we can ensure dogs like Sierra find their forever homes.”

Sitting With Dogs - Sierra

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Chloe: The Little Pup with Big Anxiety

Sitting With Dogs - Chloe

Meet Chloe, a small pup with an energy that’s hard to miss. As you walk by her kennel, you can feel her anxiety, almost like a charged current in the air. It’s probably why she’s still here; while cute little dogs usually get adopted quickly, Chloe’s constant circling and hyperactivity might be off-putting to some. But once you sit with her, the story changes.

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Sitting With Dogs - Chloe

Almost instantly, she’ll crawl into your lap, seeking comfort. It’s not about the person, really; it’s her desperate need to feel safe and calm. “How did you end up here?” Rocky wonders, baffled at how such a tiny creature could end up in a shelter.

Rocky learns more about Chloe’s past from the staff. Picked up by animal control, her initial fear was so overwhelming they couldn’t even check for a microchip. Despite her challenges, Chloe’s demeanor changes when she’s shown love. Her ears perk up, her posture straightens, and a newfound confidence shines through. Rocky muses about her breed, with guesses ranging from “Cheweenie” to a Min Pin. Amidst their bonding, Rocky hears some exciting news: someone’s interested in adopting Chloe!

Sitting With Dogs - Chloe

Enter Heidi, a potential adopter who’s already visited Chloe once. Their connection is evident, and Heidi even has a name in mind. But there’s a catch: Chloe is scheduled to be spayed soon, so any adoption plans have to wait. The journey isn’t over, but there’s hope on the horizon for this little ball of energy.

Sitting With Dogs - Chloe

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