The pit bull mix had a hard time meeting new people—until his person showed up.
All shelter dogs deserve a happy ending, and after waiting for more than 1,350 days at a Pennsylvania shelter, Coco has finally gotten his.
The 6-year-old pit bull mix arrived at Main Line Animal Rescue in August 2019 after his owner surrendered him. For four long years, he failed to find his forever home because of his initial shyness, says Kimberly Cary, social media coordinator at Main Line. This caused Coco to sometimes have difficulties meeting new people and forming a bond immediately.
“He required many meets with potential adopters, and unfortunately, most did not want to move forward with him after learning that,” she says.
But anyone who got past the initial awkwardness was able to meet who Cary describes as “the most loyal, loving dog.”
“When you were ‘in’ with him, you were one of his trusted people and he was the most incredibly sweet boy,” she says. “He also had the most endearing, silly, stubborn side. His stubbornness added to his tremendous charm.”
At Main Line, that was the case when this special boy spent time with his favorite staff and volunteers. From swimming and hiking adventures to home visits, he cherished time with his friends at the shelter above anything else, Cary says.
He wasn't especially anxious in the shelter, but around new people, Coco would still show signs of nervousness or discomfort with his body language. Cary says it was “very obvious” if he was feeling uneasy. It was hardly uncommon behavior, she adds. Dogs in shelters—even the best ones are loud and can be a tough environment for dogs—can be fearful, anxious, and frustrated.
“Shelters can be very stressful environments for some dogs. Shelters are meant to be a short stop in the journey for a homeless dog to find their forever home,” she says.
To help show Coco new people were OK to love and trust, one of his trusted friends would accompany them on walks so he could build a friendship with them.
He required a dedicated adopter who’d take the time to let him go at his own pace and readjust to life in a home after spending so many years in a shelter.
Then one day, that dedicated person arrived at Main Line wanting to meet Coco, saying she wanted to rescue the pittie who needed the most help. To Cary, it was “one of the best days ever” considering how long he’d waited to get adopted.
“This is why we urge people to adopt from their local shelters and add a rescue dog to their hearts and home," Cary says. "There is truly nothing as amazing as the love of a rescue dog.”
Today, Coco is doing great in his new home and meets people very easily now—an incredible difference from the stressful shelter environment. Coco’s mom had previously rescued a shelter dog who’d been there for many years also, so, sadly, it didn’t surprise her Coco was overlooked for so long.
“So many amazing, loving family pets wait and wait in shelters for no good reason,” Cary says. “We hope that Coco’s story can inspire people to pay attention to long-term residents at their local shelters or to the shy dogs. They are just waiting for someone to give them a chance.”
Read the original article on The Spruce Pets.