The police received a call one day from a group of neighbors who were concerned about a dog in their neighborhood. They believed he was being abused.
When the police arrived, they found Phoenix baring all of his teeth, ready to bite anyone who got too close. Somehow, they could get him into a carrier and take him to a nearby shelter.
The shelter owner had worked with aggressive dogs before, and he knew Phoenix was only trying to protect himself. The only human touch the dog had ever known was painful.
The owner used a heavy glove to pet Phoenix. However, the dog wasn’t ready to be handled. He snapped at the glove and wouldn’t let his rescuer get too close.
However, the shelter owner gave it time. Hours later, he reached back in, and Phoenix allowed him to pet him and rub the fur under his chin. Phoenix needed to see that this human wanted to love him.
Finally, Phoenix gives in, lets his guard down, and rests his head on the owner’s glove. He gives in to the love and appears relieved to no longer be on high alert to protect himself.
Now Phoenix is thriving at the shelter. He’s even being friendly to cats though it was reported he didn’t like them. He allows all humans who come to the shelter to pet him and no longer needs to bare his teeth. Instead, he enjoys all the attention and love he’s now getting.