In the spirit of election season, we are asking you to rally your support around Gus, a sweet basset hound/corgi mix who has experienced some trauma in his short life, and is learning to trust people again. Gus has a heart of gold, the most soulful brown eyes, and a gentle spirit that deserves to be loved and nurtured. He is still a young pup at only a year old, and while shy around new people, he is a very loving and affectionate boy once he gets to know you.
We don’t know a lot about his background, but it’s apparent that Gus was not treated well in his last home. His owner surrendered him to the shelter with another dog, saying the family no longer had the means to care for them. He was thin, had scars on his back from possible burns, and was fearful of people. As such a timid pup, Gus didn’t do well in the chaotic shelter environment, so Mutts Matter was called in to help.
After meeting Gus, we knew we had to find the right foster home to help with his rehabilitation and bring him out of his shell. Thankfully, two of our awesome foster parents, Travis and Laura, stepped up to help. When Travis came to pick Gus up, he was shut down; he was shaking, wouldn’t walk, and was so scared that he had to be carried to and from the car. He was unsure of who these new people were and what was happening to him.
When they arrived home, Gus met the rest of his new pack: Bubba and Ruckus, two pit-mix pups who he warmed up to right away, and the family cat, “Little Kitty.” (Click here for a video of Gus and the pups) He was initially shy around Travis and Laura, and stayed on the landing or hid behind the couch, cautiously watching his new family. They gave Gus his space, while Bubba and Ruckus helped him feel secure and showed him the ropes. He quickly found a protector in Ruckus, and Bubba became his source of comfort and consolation. Gus is still a bit frightened of Little Kitty, who rules the roost, but he’s getting more confident every day.
Now that he’s had some time to settle in, his tail wags constantly and he follows Travis everywhere. He’s always raring to go when it’s time for a walk, and he loves to romp and play in the yard with his pack. When he’s not snuggled up next to Bubba or Ruckus on a dog bed, he finds comfort cuddling with his foster parents on the couch.
Gus is learning to assert himself too. When Laura brought out a bunch of toys for all three dogs to play with, Gus patiently and quietly gathered up every one of them and stowed them away safely in his crate. He’ll take them out one by one to chew on and play with, and naps with them surrounding his body. These are probably the first toys that sweet little Gus has ever had, and he really appreciates them. He’s also learning how to be a dog, and what it’s like to feel safe and be part of a family.
In less than three weeks, Gus has come such a long way. He walks great on a leash now and has learned how to sit in his defined spot to wait for his food. He’s starting to let his family know when he needs to go out, and has had very few accidents. He is a very respectful pup in the home, always waiting to be invited on the couch or into bed, and wants to play by the rules. Travis says Gus is a very smart dog, and that “once he understands what you want, he goes with it, and wants to please you and be part of the pack.”
Despite what he’s been through, Gus is such a sweet and gentle dog who doesn’t have an aggressive bone in his body, and will be great companion pup for the right family. He needs a loving and patient family who will continue his rehabilitation, and understands that he will need some time and space to settle in and trust his new surroundings. He needs a calm and stable home, regular exercise, and he does best when he’s on a routine. Another dog in the home is a MUST – Gus feels most secure when he’s around other dogs, and they help him build his confidence.
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