Most people are thinking about themselves or their children when they search for a pet. They are looking for a new family member to bring joy and companionship into their lives, and so it is often their own needs that are considered first. However, adopting a pet can have much greater effects than the happiness that is brought to the owners.
One aspect of adopting a pet that is often overlooked is the incredible transformation that can occur in the animal itself. This is especially true if the animal is found at a shelter, as they often have suffered abuse or neglect. Even when people think about the benefits of adoption for an animal, they usually focus on the support for the animal’s health. However, finding a family can have effects on the mental as well as physical health of animals like dogs. Being welcomed into a loving and caring family can completely alter a dog’s personality, allowing it to flourish and express itself fully.
Such was the case for a dog named Tyrion. This dog, who should have lived a life filled with play and love, was instead wandering a Los Angeles highway scared and alone. Further, his health was in dire straits, as he was covered in ticks and had numerous infected areas. However, it was not just his health that was lacking. Due to his terrible condition, Tyrion’s happiness took a backseat. In this challenging period, he was not a dog that wanted to play and have fun; he was simply trying to survive.
When he was first rescued by Hope for Paws and a couple of off-duty animal control officers, Tyrion was predictably hesitant. He had clearly never experienced the compassion that dogs should all know, and so he was withdrawn and sullen. Just like people, animals require affection and support to develop confidence in themselves. Luckily, through a great deal of support at the shelter and a foster home, Tyrion began to experience this care. Over time, he began to open up. However, the real transformation began when he was adopted.
His new life began with his new mom Lisa Kendall, as well as her husband and two daughters. In this environment, Tyrion began to show his true personality, goofing around with the young girls and lounging whenever he could. His new family was especially pleased to find that he is an excellent dog off-leash. While one may have assumed this tick-infested dog walking the highway would have been aggressive, Tyrion proved himself to be loving, kind, and well-behaved. In addition to his new family and home, Tyrion received a new name: Amos.
Amos is a wonderful case study in the power of compassion to change the life of an animal. Even a dog with a volatile and dangerous past like Amos, whose days were spent risking his life while walking along a highway, can become a loving and sweet dog with the right support. Not only should his new family be commended for this transformation, so should the services which saved him. Shelters and foster homes are an invaluable resource for at risk animals. Perhaps cases like Amos can encourage people to support these services and adopt animals. One day, hopefully every dog should find a loving and caring family to live with.
Photos via Diana Lundin