Dog That Lived in Shelters for Five Years Finally Finds a Home

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Achilles is a brindle pitbull who was surrendered to a high-kill shelter in NYC when he was just a puppy. He lived in shelters for about five years, without proper socialization or even walks. He made his way all the way up to Lagrangeville, NY, where he was rescued by Town & Country K9 ResQ.

At the farm, he was able to run and have a much better life. He was finally safe and was able to learn how to be a dog. I was living in an apartment with my wife at the time and followed his story on Facebook for about a year, and I was amazed that he wasn’t adopted. I felt a connection with Achilles during that time, and my wife and I agreed that if we got a house and he was still available, we would certainly inquire about him.

That time came, and I inquired about Achilles to only be told that he had been adopted. Though I was selfishly sad, I was also happy that he found a home after so long. Months later, I saw that the shelter posted a video of them training dogs for adoption, and I noticed Achilles holding “place” like a good boy in the background. I watched the video over and over again, because I couldn’t believe that it was actually him. He wasn’t showing up on the dogs available for adoption on the website, so I decided to call the shelter again.

I was told that Achilles was returned a few days after being adopted. Unfortunately, he was not given time to properly decompress and get used to his new home, so he was back at the farm. My understanding is that Achilles was the shelter’s longest resident when my wife and I scheduled a visit (not sure if he still holds that record). I believe that Town & Country had him for about two years and they never gave up on him. They were transparent with Achilles’ history and were open about potential problems after his first experience in a home after so many years.

PHOTO: VICTOR CUEVA

In collaboration with Allied Dog Training, my wife and I were given free handling lessons to properly care for Achilles. We drove almost one hour each way from our home to the farm to visit Achilles twice per week for a period of two months. We made sure that we bonded with him and that he was comfortable with us before we took him home. This plan was developed with Town & Country in coordination with Allied Dog Training. Everyone was just rooting for Achilles and we felt like we could provide a loving home for him.

We were also nervous about what to expect with him, and Town & Country let us have Achilles overnight two weeks prior to adopting him. He did great that night, though he didn’t really trust our cat at first. When we finally adopted him, it took him about two weeks to decompress. It was tough at first. He wasn’t eating and would just curl up in a corner. He just seemed depressed and we weren’t sure what was wrong with him.

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During that time, Town & Country and Allied Dog trainers made themselves available to help us to guide us through this rough time. It took Achilles several weeks to understand that he found a forever home. We could see that he missed the farm, because that was the best place he had experienced all his life, but we finally made the breakthrough after several weeks.

It has been slightly over a year since Achilles came home, and we are still in touch with Town & Country and Allied Dog Training. They truly love and commit to the pets that they rescue. They don’t give up on them until they find the right adopter. We love Achilles, and he loves being in his new home. We know he had a rough early life and he wasn’t getting interest because he is a pitbull that needed a lot of patience and commitment.

He currently loves his daily walks, his memory foam bed in his own bedroom, and he loves to cool off in his pool in the summer. A few months after we had Achilles, my wife became pregnant with our first child. We were nervous on how both of our pets would react to this new family member, and they both have done great!

PHOTO: VICTOR CUEVA

Town & Country and Allied Dog Training made themselves available to guide us through the process of introducing our baby daughter to Achilles. We board Achilles with them when we have gone on a week-long vacation and they came to get him from our house (one hour away) when we got admitted to the hospital for the birth of our daughter. I don’t know who else would have done that for the pet that they rescue.

It was of great relief to us to know that he was well cared for during our hospital stay as the pandemic started in March 2020. Achilles loves his little sister and we finally have gotten to the point where Achilles and Eddie (our cat) respect each other and can be in the same room. He is finally living the live that he very much deserves and I will be forever thankful to Town & Country K9 Rescue for not giving up on him and for all the support that they gave us as adopters with Allied Dog Training.

Story submitted by Victor Cueva.

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