RESCUE TAILS / Bodhi Finds His Family

-Contributed by FKSPCA Staff

Our Animal Control officer received a call about a dog tied under a house, and no one seemed to be home. The caller provided water and assumed the owner would return. It was quickly apparent that wasn’t the case. The owner had moved and left the dog behind!

Upon arrival, the officer discovered a large furry dog, who seemed very happy to see someone. He was brought to the shelter, and we performed our medical intake. He appeared to have no obvious health concerns and was in decent shape, despite his recent predicament. Although cautious at first, he was willing to engage with our staff. Animals are considered property and private property laws apply, therefore, we needed to follow the appropriate legal procedures before we could find a new home for him. We suspected abandonment, and there was no one to contact. We waited to see if anyone stepped forward to claim him. No one ever did. Eventually, he was named, neutered, and up for adoption.

Bodhi attracted much interest; he was both beautiful and sweet. But being a very large young dog, he also had strength and energy. We thought he might be a Great Pyrenees mix, which was ultimately confirmed through DNA tests. Pyrenees are large livestock guardian dogs selectively bred to protect flocks of sheep and other animals from predators and intruders. Pyrenees can be gentle giants but also formidable adversaries if the need arises. Finding the right home for a dog like Bodhi on our tiny islands could prove challenging. Open spaces are limited, and most houses are small. Yet, Bodhi needed a family of his own.

When Anna arrived to meet Bodhi, we learned that she and her husband Chris had a similar dog, who lived a long life with them. Anna was well-versed in managing a larger dog and laughed about constantly dealing with dog hair. She seemed perfectly accepting of it all. We were very excited that this could be the home for Bodhi.

Then, we learned she had six young children and a seventh on the way. WHOAA!! This was big news and a potential game changer. A large adult dog with an unknown history going into a home with many small children brought us up short. Would this be a responsible adoption? Would we be setting everyone up for safety and Bodhi for success? We were facing a tough call, considering children are the #1 victims of dog bites.

So, we met the rest of the family, a few at a time. With each meet we grew more comfortable with the idea. First, Chris and Anna were smart, observant, and calm. The kids were great—gentle and totally respectful of Bodhi. Anna noticed Bodhi’s body language. When he needed a break, she counseled her children appropriately and wisely. For all those reasons and the fact that the children had lived successfully with their other big dog, we began to think this might just work for our big furry boy. We dove in with a big YES!

Bodhi went home with Chris, Anna, and the children and then the updates started coming in after. The decision was proving to be the right one. This large, loving family gave our big, beautiful Pyrenees mix the home and the job he needed. He is their guardian and protector, and they are his. Bodhi has found his “flock” in the Florida Keys!

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