Watch Shelter Dog’s Heartwarming Reaction to First Pet After Family Leaves Him Behind 😔

Let me tell you about Arthur, a dog whose story might just tug at your heartstrings a bit. When I first walked into the Sally Port area of the shelter, where the new arrivals hang out before they’re officially checked in, I wasn’t expecting to meet someone like him. You see, Arthur had this way of looking at you, with eyebrows so expressive they could tell you his whole story without him making a sound. And boy, did he look worried. (watch video above)

The thing about scared dogs, especially ones with those heart-melting eyebrows, is they make you want to just sit down and promise them the world will be kinder from here on out. Arthur was clearly scared, hunched in a corner of his temporary home, trying his best to become invisible. I couldn’t blame him; shelters can be overwhelming, filled with unfamiliar sounds and smells.

Arthur and Rocky

A Slow Approach

In these moments, patience is your best friend. I always start with a treat—kind of a peace offering between two strangers. It’s my way of saying, “Hey, I’m here to help.” Arthur wasn’t immediately convinced, but the aim was just to show him he was safe.

Understanding His Past

arthur is looking for his forever home

Arthur’s past is one of those tales that really makes you think about the responsibilities of pet ownership. He was adopted from this very shelter as a little pup, full of hope and probably a bit of puppy mischief. Fast forward to a year and a half later, he’s back here, not because he did anything wrong, but because his family said they were moving and couldn’t take him along.

Hearing something like that really hits you hard. It’s tough not to judge, but then you realize that the focus needs to be on helping Arthur find a place where he’s truly part of the family, no matter what. It’s a bit of a sobering reminder of why shelters like this one exist and why the work being done here is so important. It’s all about giving dogs like Arthur a second shot at finding a forever home that sticks.

The shelter staff, including my colleague Alexis, were just as invested in getting to know him. As we looked into his background, it was clear Arthur was more than just another stray—he had a story waiting to be told.

Finding His Name

Arthur is our real world arthur like arthur the king

When it came time to name him, I wanted something that felt like a fresh start but also carried a bit of weight – a name that could inspire stories of its own. That’s when “Arthur” popped into my head, not just any Arthur, but the one linked to the tale of “Arthur the King.” Now, if you haven’t heard about it, it’s this heartwarming story turned movie where a dog, kind of like our Arthur, ends up making a huge impact on a team during an adventure race. The thing that got me was how this dog, out of nowhere, joins the human protagonist and they end up saving each other in more ways than one. It’s about loyalty, bravery, and the unexpected friendships that change us forever.

Choosing the name Arthur felt right because it symbolized a new beginning and a nod to that incredible journey of companionship and survival. Plus, I thought it was pretty cool that Mark Wahlberg was in the movie version – adds a bit of star power to the name, right? But jokes aside, naming him Arthur was about giving him an identity that could carry him into a brighter future, one where he’s valued not just as a pet, but as a loyal companion with a heart as big as a king’s. It’s about setting the stage for his own adventure, where he gets to be the hero of his story, finding his forever home and maybe, just in his own way, saving the day.

Building Trust

Rocky working with Arthur on building trust

Trust isn’t won overnight, especially with dogs that have had a rough start. With Arthur, every small step felt like a milestone. When he first accepted a treat directly from my hand, it was a victory. It meant he was willing to consider the possibility of a friend in this strange, new environment.

As I spent more time with Arthur, talking to him and offering treats and gentle pats slowly but surely, he began to respond. The moment he accepted a gentle touch on his paw, I knew we were getting somewhere.

Guessing His Breed

Figuring out Arthur’s breed was a bit of a puzzle, honestly. Initially, we all took guesses based on his looks – those expressive eyes, his size, and his demeanor threw us for a loop. The shelter staff thought he might be part Australian Cattle Dog, what with some of the markings and his sturdy build. But then, when we looked at him more, we could see traits that didn’t quite fit that breed alone. Maybe there was some Shepherd in him too, considering his size and how he carried himself.

It’s pretty common in shelters to have these mixed-breed mysteries, and Arthur was no exception. Identifying his breed wasn’t just about curiosity; it was about understanding him better – his potential size, his energy levels, and even parts of his personality could be hinted at through his breed mix. Plus, getting a good idea about his breed mix would help us find the most suitable home for him, where he could thrive and be happy.

The Cat Test

 A cat test is a simple procedure that can help you assess a dog’s reaction to cats. This test, while not an absolute predictor, provides valuable insights into whether a dog is potentially reactive or aggressive towards feline friends, allowing prospective pet owners to make informed choices. It involves a controlled introduction of a cat to the presence of the dog in a safe and secure manner.

The cat test was an interesting moment for Arthur and for us. It’s something shelters do to gauge how dogs react to cats, which can be pretty crucial for potential adopters with feline family members. We were all a bit anxious about how Arthur would handle it, given everything he’d been through. But when the moment came, Arthur was surprisingly calm about the whole ordeal. He seemed more curious than anything, sniffing the air and observing, but showed no signs of aggression or excessive excitement.

It was a relief to see him so disinterested; it meant his options for a new home just broadened significantly. A dog that’s cool with cats is a big plus in the adoption world. It was another piece of the puzzle in understanding Arthur, showing us he’s likely to fit into a variety of home environments, making his journey to finding a forever home a bit easier.

A Promise for the Future

I promised Arthur that his new name was just the beginning of a new chapter. We worked on socializing him, showing him that not all changes are bad and that there are people who care. Every positive interaction, every moment of trust built, was a step toward a brighter future.

Naming him after a king, and in connection with a story of resilience and loyalty, felt like setting the stage for Arthur’s transformation. It was about giving him an identity that carried hope and dignity. And you know what? Arthur started to live up to his name. He became more confident, more engaged with the people around him. It was as if he understood he had a royal legacy to fulfill.

Arthur is available for adoption at Animal Friends of the Valleys

In sharing Arthur’s journey, I hope to inspire others to see the value and potential in shelter pets. Arthur’s transformation is a testament to the impact of compassion, patience, and a little creativity in naming.

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