Shelter Dog Story: Loofah

Loofah is a beautiful girl.

She used to have trust issues.

And she definitely required some training.

Today, she's a well-behaved love bug thanks to her new owner.

Ukelele volunteers at Petworks - the animal shelter located in Kingsport, TN.

She took Loofah for a Doggie Day Out. And it was love at first sight. Let's see how Loofah is doing...

Loofah ecstatically chewing on a tennis ball in her new backyard.

Love at First Woof

"She looked so sad by herself. We took her on a Doggie Day Out to the Greenbelt. We instantly fell in love with Loofah and her energy."

Doggie Day Out is a fantastic program.

Anyone can pick up a dog and take them for a fun vacation.

The animal shelter is a loud and stressful place, so the dogs could use a break.

Ukelele cried when she had to put Loofah back inside her kennel. It's a sad moment, no matter how many times you do it.

Loofah remained on Ukelele's mind. She begged her parents for two weeks. In time, she persuaded them to give Loofah a forever home.

Loofah receiving head scratches during a nice walk at the park.

Healing Past Trauma

"If my dad said anything to her, she would start shaking and pee on herself. She was scared of men and didn’t want them to touch her."

Loofah immediately trusted me.

But she doesn't automatically trust all men.

In fact, she was terrified of Ukelele's dad and boyfriend.

She also became nervous when men approached her during walks.

There's no telling why she was afraid. She was probably abused or neglected by a man in the past.

Pets can have traumatic experiences just like people. Like us, they need time to heal. Do your best to be patient.

Loofah used to hide in Ukelele's room when a man appeared. After receiving many treats for good behavior, she decided guys aren't so bad.

Loofah conquering her fear of men by hugging Ukelele's boyfriend.

The Fourth Time's a Charm

"Loofah did not like cats and had a history of separation anxiety. She was adopted three times and returned each time."

Dogs have unique quirks and personality traits.

Sometimes, a quirk can be a deal breaker. Ever been on a date? You know what I mean.

Loofah didn't last in her first home, because she made a habit of chasing the cat (who was there first and thus had dibs).

Her second home didn't last, because her separation anxiety was too much to handle... understandable when you have a busy schedule.

The third time wasn't a charm. Loofah got returned to the animal shelter yet again. She must have been so confused. No wonder she had trust issues.

The fourth time was a charm. Ukelele was determined to give Loofah the home she deserved. She invested many hours in training. Loofah became the best girl she can possibly be.

Separation anxiety is still an issue. When the family left for a trip, Loofah got nervous and pulled her hair out. So they tested her on a short boat trip. She did great. Now Loofah gets to take vacations, too.

Loofah enjoying a boat ride while sporting a fashionable pink life jacket.

Beating Breed Related Stigma

"Some people are scared of her and get on the other side of the sidewalk if they see us walking."

Pit bulls aren't the only breed with a stigma.

Loofah is a Rottweiler and German Shepherd mix.

Strangers often distance themselves as soon as they see her.

According to Ukelele, Loofah is a sweet angel who wouldn't hurt a fly.

She's never barked or behaved aggressively towards a stranger in all this time.

Some of Ukelele's friends and relatives expressed concerns since Loofah has Rottweiler in her.

But after they met her, those objections came to an end. They couldn't deny the evidence in front of their eyes.

Loofah sporting a pink bow (as "big and scary" Rottweilers do).

Why Adopting the Shelter Dog Was a Good Move

"She's my shoulder to cry on. I'm hers. I can't picture life without her. She showed me what true companionship is."

Both dog and human struggle with anxiety. So it's easy for them to relate.

Today, Ukelele couldn't imagine a life without Loofah. She's made every day so much better.

Life is tough. And this year's been even tougher than normal. Loofah has been a source of light in an otherwise dark world.

Loofah surrounded by presents on her first Christmas.

I hope you loved Loofah's story.

Click here to share this shelter dog story with your Facebook friends.

We could all use a heartwarming read. Plus you might inspire somebody to adopt a dog.

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