She Was Abandoned With No Name, Until This Happened…

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.

Rocket’s Journey to a Forever Home

In the bustling corridors of Animal Friends of The Valleys, a dog shelter in Wildomar CA, countless tales of hope, despair, and redemption unfold. One such story is that of a stray German Shepherd, who, against all odds, found her way to a loving home.

The day began like any other, with dogs barking, playing, whining. Among them was a nameless female German Shepherd. As Rocky strolled through the aisles, he couldn’t help but notice the overwhelming number of German Shepherds awaiting adoption. This particular one, however, caught his eye.

Why Are There So Many German Shepherds in Shelters?

Sitting down beside her kennel, Rocky observed the dog’s behavior, which spoke volumes about her emotional state. She displayed several signs of distress: heavy panting, an open mouth, alert ears, and a reluctance to make eye contact. Most heartbreakingly, she pressed herself against the back of the kennel, as if trying to disappear from the world. These were clear indicators of her anxiety and discomfort.

Understanding A Dog’s Body Language

What struck Rocky the most was the absence of a name tag on her kennel. In his eyes, every dog deserved a name, a sense of identity. Drawing from a humorous memory of a recent pizza delivery mix-up, where the delivery person mistakenly called him “Rocket,” Rocky decided to bestow the moniker upon the nameless German Shepherd.

Rocky got news that a couple was at the shelter interested in adopting a German Shepherd. But with so many Shepherds he wasn’t initially sure which one. But he was hoping that Rocket would be the chosen one.

And indeed, she was! Rocket’s journey took a turn for the better when she was introduced to Kristan and Tu. The meet and greet was filled with wagging tails, gentle pats, and the promise of a brighter future. By the end of the day, Rocket, now lovingly renamed Emma, embarked on her new life with her forever family.

Happy Trails Emma!

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A Fresh Start for Timmy: The Timid Cattle Dog’s Journey to Adoption

A young Cattle dog mix, just five months old, was brought in by a good samaritan. Found wandering the streets, the pup’s initial days at the shelter were marked by fear and apprehension. His defensive barks echoed through the halls, a clear sign of his unease. Also, a strong smell of cigarettes clung to his fur, further alienating potential adopters.

Taking the time to sit with him, Rocky aimed to understand and comfort the young dog. Recognizing the dual challenge of the dog’s strong odor and his timid behavior, Rocky recommended a visit to Mel, the shelter’s trusted groomer. A fresh bath, Rocky believed, would not only rid the pup of the cigarette smell but also boost his confidence, enhancing his chances of finding a forever home.

Mel, known for her gentle touch and keen intuition, took the young Cattle dog under her wing. She christened him “Timmy,” drawing inspiration from his timid nature. With utmost care, she bathed Timmy using a special lavender shampoo, designed to neutralize odors and soothe anxiety. The transformation was evident; Timmy emerged not only smelling delightful but also radiating a newfound confidence.

News of Timmy’s makeover spread and soon, multiple interested adopters were interested in him and he had a few holds on him. Despite his initial timidity, Timmy’s endearing looks and puppy charm were undeniable. After much consideration, Rudy, a kind-hearted individual, emerged as the lucky adopter. With a loving home and a fresh start, Timmy’s journey from a scared stray to a cherished pet serves as an inspiring tale of resilience and hope.

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Auggie Was Returned To The Shelter Because He Was Too Big!

Auggie, a 2-year-old Shepherd mix, stands out with his poignant story. Once a cherished member of a family since his puppy days, Auggie found himself abandoned at the shelter. The reason? He had simply grown too big for his previous owners’ liking. Such a turn of events can be disheartening for any dog, and Auggie was no exception. Having spent a month in the confines of the shelter, he yearned for the warmth of a loving home.

Recognizing Auggie’s plight, Rocky decided to spend some quality time with him. Settling down in Auggie’s kennel, Rocky was immediately taken by the dog’s friendly nature. Auggie’s sweet disposition shone through. Rocky couldn’t fathom why anyone would abandon their dog.

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As fate would have it, a couple visited the shelter, their interest piqued by a video Rocky had made about Vince, a one-eared German Shepherd. The couple shared that they had lost their 15-year-old dog over the summer. They felt it might be time to consider adopting again.

Their meet & greet with Auggie was filled with tail wags, gentle pats, however, life often throws curveballs, and despite the promising interaction, the couple felt they weren’t ready to adopt just yet. While this might seem like a setback, Auggie’s journey is far from over. With his endearing personality and the continued support of individuals like Rocky, there’s no doubt that Auggie’s perfect forever home is just around the corner.

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When I Saw Mia’s Eyes They Spoke To My Soul

A dog was spotted roaming around near the freeway for almost three weeks. It took the persistent efforts of a kind samaritan to safely bring her to the dog shelter. Recognizing her apprehension, Rocky decided to spend time with her. Hoping to provide her with a sense of identity and comfort, he affectionately named her Mia. Rocky aimed to give her the exposure she deserved, ensuring she found the right forever home.

In her eyes you could see all of the pain, all of the fear, all of the heartache.

Rocky Kanaka

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What stood out about Mia were her captivating eyes. They told a story of resilience, hope, and a longing for love. However, Mia faced a challenge that many dogs in shelters encounter. Her sleek black coat, while beautiful, made her less noticeable, especially when she retreated to the back of her kennel out of fear. Statistically, black dogs often get overlooked in shelters, a phenomenon known as “Black Dog Syndrome.” But Mia’s beauty was undeniable, and Rocky was determined to highlight her charm.

As Rocky interacted with Mia, he discovered her gentle nature. She was not only receptive to treats (These are the treats I use), taking them directly from his hand, but also showcased her intelligence. Mia knew tricks; she could obediently sit on command and even shake hands with both paws. These gestures indicated that she had once been a cherished pet, trained and loved.

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However, the trauma of her past experiences was evident. The distant barking of other dogs in the yard made her visibly anxious, a testament to her time on the streets. Despite her talents and Rocky’s efforts, Mia was still in search of a family to call her own. Yet, with her endearing qualities and the continued advocacy of individuals like Rocky, there’s hope that Mia’s perfect forever home is on the horizon.

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Giggles Was Returned To The Shelter Because She Was A Puppy!

While touring the helter, Rocky stumbled upon Giggles, a lively 2-month-old Terrier puppy. To his surprise, he learned that Giggles had been adopted but was soon returned to the shelter. The reason? Simply for exhibiting typical puppy behavior. Such incidents highlight the importance of understanding and being prepared for the responsibilities that come with adopting a young dog.

Rocky, recognizing the need to raise awareness about puppy behavior and the commitment they require, decided to spend time with Giggles. His intention was not just to comfort the young Terrier but also to use her story as an example to educate potential adopters. Puppies, with their boundless energy and curiosity, require patience, training, and understanding as they navigate their new environment and learn boundaries.

Despite her brief adoption experience, Giggles remained hopeful. News came that there was a hold placed on her for another potential adoption. However, in an unexpected turn of events, the interested party never arrived.

Giggles’ story serves as a reminder of the commitment and understanding required when adopting a puppy. While they bring joy and liveliness, they also demand patience and consistent training. Rocky’s hope is that Giggles finds a forever home with individuals who appreciate her youthful exuberance and are ready to guide her as she grows.

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