Frightened Shelter Puppy Learns To Trust Again — And Everything Begins To Change

Moksha Badarayan believed her dog Jadzia — or Zia, as she likes to call her — needed a friend. A dog friend, that is. So Badarayan started scanning dog adoption sites, looking for a match.

Her eyes landed on a picture of a tiny, black and white puppy called Ansel. “He looked adorable,” Badarayan told The Dodo. “So sweet.”

But Ansel wasn’t an ordinary puppy.

Scared shelter puppy finds a home
In early 2023, when Ansel was only about 9 weeks old, he was badly injured on the street. When rescuers found him, Ansel was suffering from a painful wound wrapping around the entirety of his neck.

Luckily, Ansel got the medical care he needed, but he was traumatized by what he’d been through. Sometimes, he shook and cowered when people approached him.

Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue

Zach Skow of Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue took Ansel into foster care, helping Ansel to feel more confident and secure. Slowly, the timid pup learned to trust people again, eventually becoming so comfortable at Skow’s house that he began stealing Skow’s slippers and jumping on the couch.

But Ansel’s biggest transformation had yet to come.

In June 2023, Badarayan adopted Ansel and took him home to live with her, Zia and her boyfriend, Chris Alvarado. Badarayan changed Ansel’s name to Phoenix in a nod to the puppy’s “dismal” past but bright, new future.

At first, Phoenix and Zia “tolerated each other,” Badarayan said. But it didn’t take long for that to change.

“Zia would show him things,” Badarayan said. “She would walk around, and he would follow her.”

Rescue dog makes a friend
Moksha Badarayan

Badarayan and Alvarado taught Phoenix to use the doggy door, which he was initially scared of. But with a little coaxing, Phoenix grew to love it.

“He’d go in and out,” Badarayan said. “We kept hearing the doggy door go. He was practicing.”

Soon, Phoenix was fully relaxed in his new home. The once scared puppy rescued on the street was now a completely different dog.

Moksha Badarayan

“He was just a fun little puppy, jumping around all over the place,” Badarayan said. “So much enthusiasm for life. He wanted to do everything and try everything and climb everything.”

Phoenix and Zia also really began to play together.

“They are notorious for ‘going at things’ together,” Badarayan said. “They will tear toys apart. One will take one end, and the other will take the other end, and they will have a field day.”

Moksha Badarayan

Badarayan credits Zia for helping Phoenix turn into a “happy-go-lucky” dog. But she said Phoenix also helped Zia blossom.

“Zia was quiet and sort of reserved and meek,” Badarayan said. “And Phoenix really got her to come out of her shell more, which is what we were really going for.”

Moksha Badarayan

When Badarayan adopted Phoenix, she initially believed he’d remain about the same size as Zia, since both dogs were part papillon. But Phoenix eventually got bigger — Zia is about 9 pounds, but Phoenix grew to be 16 pounds. But this hasn’t stopped the two dogs from remaining best friends.

“As he kept growing, I was a little worried,” Badarayan said. “But he’s very gentle. He’ll bring her toys, and if he’s pulling too hard, I can see him think, ‘Oh, oh, it’s too hard. OK, I’ll be gentle.’ And he will let her win sometimes.”

“I love watching him and Zia play and having a great time every day,” she added. “That was our main goal, and we’re reaching that goal right now.”

To help other dogs like Phoenix, you can make a donation to Marley’s Mutts.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2023 Baomoira - Theme by WPEnjoy