Adopting and raising a happy, healthy dog always takes plenty of love and dedication — but for this dear pup named Scooby, it required a bit more of both.
Scooby, tragically, had been bred to be exploited and abused by a dog fighting ring. He was rescued in 2015 and his former owners were arrested, but the trauma of his upbringing had left an invisible mark on his spirit.
Among the signs of Scooby’s sad past was his seeming inability to use his voice. Likely coerced by fear to keep quiet as a puppy, Scooby remained too afraid to bark.
Thankfully, Scooby was later adopted by his new owner, Chris, who set out to help his spirit heal.
“Scooby was pretty much the shell of a dog when I first picked him up,” Chris told The Dodo. “He wasn’t house trained, he was completely locked inside of himself by a fear of being hurt. Learning to trust again is no easy task — for humans or animals.”
It would be a long, arduous process to teach Scooby it was OK to be a trusting, confident dog. But Chris never gave up hope of seeing Scooby reach his full potential.
“The path back to trusting for Scooby has been incredibly long — and [it] required a lot of patience,” he said. “Patience is the keyword here — Scooby required a very high level of patience and care.”
Meanwhile, Chris documented Scooby’s progress on a TikTok page dedicated just to him.
Chris had given Scooby a second chance at a happy life after all that he’d been through. But then he gave him something more.
Through patience, training and reassurance, Chris nurtured in Scooby the ability to express himself through sound.
“Scooby was silent for a long time — not a peep, not a whimper or a whine — literally zero noise from him,” Chris said. “My goal was to give Scooby back the things the dogfighters removed from him — his confidence, his happiness, his trust, and his voice.”
Here’s a video of Chris describing that journey:
Scooby has come a long way over the years since he was rescued, but in the act of uplifting him, Chris has been uplifted, too. Not long before adopting Scooby, Chris experienced a personal tragedy that had him feeling lost.
“I felt I needed a purpose — something in life to drive me and keep me focused,” Chris said. “Scooby gave me that purpose that I desperately needed, and in turn, I gave him what he desperately needed. So, this was really a ‘who saved who?’ situation. He became my responsibility and purpose and I never let that go. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Scooby, but I found a best friend and he did too, at a time when we both needed it most.”
Their fates now intertwined, Scooby and Chris have grown and learned from one another more than words — or barks — could ever tell.
But, in a way, Scooby’s newfound voice and wagging tail says it all completely.
Thanks to the love and dedication he’s received from Chris, Scooby is now more himself than ever before. And Chris is, too.
It’s been a challenge at times, of course. But seeing Scooby blossoming has made it all worthwhile.
“It can be nerve-racking to take in a dog with a troubled past, for sure — but the rewards for helping Scooby break out of his shell and turn into a ‘real dog’ have been worth more than all the money in the world,” Chris said. “Dogs with a rough background can absolutely be way more work than raising a dog from a puppy… but it’s so rewarding to watch — and I actually feel like I am throwing some good out into this world with the effort. Contributing kindness and love to the world — and setting an example for others who may be inspired to do the same thing.”