The heartbroken dog only faced a wall and refused to be touched by anyone..
Most dogs usually do not do well or adjust themselves to suit shelter life, especially after living in a loving home for over a decade. One 10-year-old Golden Retriever mix named Rio was clearly shutting down – and ignoring others. It did not take long for shelter workers to realize that Rio was endangering both his physical and mental health. Hanging his head in the corner hour after hour, Rio mourns his owner day after day.
Since his arrival at the Detroit municipal shelter, he refused to eat and shuddered at the slightest human touch. Plus, the dog never turned away from the wall. Rio’s owner had suddenly passed away, leaving the dog all alone. Rio found himself in a shelter after that, in loud kennel without his loved one.
Employees at Detroit Animal Care and Control knew they had to act fast or possibly lose Rio forever, thus they phoned Detroit Dog Rescue for assistance.
By the time Rio entered the rescue facility, he had already earned himself a reputation as “the saddest dog in Detroit.” True to his nickname, Rio continued a downwards spiral towards depression.
Millman-Rinaldi said that Rio was not being “reactive” to anyone. “He was just facing a corner, wouldn’t look at anybody, wouldn’t respond to his name and was really having a tough time with losing everything he had ever known,” she continued.
Millman-Rinaldi agreed to foster Rio in his home, which would giving him back some semblance of normalcy and his best chance at survival. People would normally hesitate to take an older dog home, but not for field volunteer Ryan Callahan and his wife Tashia.
Despite caring for another canine foster as well as 2 other family dogs at the time, they decided to fetch Rio straight home from the shelter on a snowy night – right before Valentine’s Day. They spent some quality one-on-one time with him, enabling the once-depressed dog to soon have a special spark reignited in his eyes.
To ensure that Rio was comfortable and well settled, they made him his very own special area right in Callahan’s home office. For the past week, Callahan, who works from home, spends each day with Rio at his feet. Day by day, Rio relaxes a little bit more around him. Rio is now comfortable enough to rest his body weight on Callahan’s lap, and will even look at him lovingly!
After all Rio has been through, both Callahan’ and the team from Detroit Dog Rescue are carefully making sure to decide what the dog’s future may hold by understanding Rio’s pace. However, hopes remain high for the senior pup had refused lift his head a short while ago.
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