This is Jax — a longtime shelter resident who desperately wanted a home but was constantly overlooked by visitors. His friends at the Regina Humane Society were heartbroken every time they saw someone walk past Jax’s kennel. They knew Jax was an amazing dog, so they decided to do everything they could to make his biggest dream come true.
When Jax first came to them, the person dropping him off didn’t share many details about the pup’s history, but it was clear he hadn’t been loved in a while.“He was very thin, so it seemed like he may have been on his own for a little bit,” Bill Thorn, the Regina Humane Society’s director, told The Dodo. “He was very, very hungry when he arrived. We made sure that he had all the food he needed.”The shelter’s vet team gave Jax a full medical screening and cleared him for adoption not long after he arrived. But, a few days after his adoption ad was posted, Jax came down with pneumonia. The pup was taken off the adoptable list and went immediately into care.
After weeks of treatment, Jax was finally deemed healthy enough to find a home. His friends at the humane society posted his picture again and encouraged visitors to meet him, but, still, no one showed interest.
Jax had no idea why people were constantly looking him over, but Thorn had a hunch: Jax would bark whenever he saw someone walking towards his kennel, and his deep bark would scare them away.
“It wasn’t anything aggressive,” Thorn said. “He was really suffering from something known as barrier frustration. He’s a super nice dog, but there was a barrier in his kennel, and he couldn’t get to people to be with them. He just wanted to be petted, but it could often be off-putting for people.”Jax’s caregivers put a sign on his kennel explaining why he was barking and just how sweet of a dog he really was. Still, no one showed interest in Jax, so the staff decided to try something different.
“We brought him up to our front reception area for a while to get him out of his kennel and kind of show his true colors,” Thorn said. “During that time, he became a bit of a staff favorite because we all knew how nice of a dog he was, but we just had to get him into a place where he could show that.”
By the time he was brought up to the reception area, Jax had already earned the title of a ‘long-timer’ at the shelter. On average, dogs stay at the Regina Humane Society for 10-12 days, but Jax was there for months. With each day that passed, the shelter’s staff fell even more in love with him.
They did everything they could to bring as much attention to Jax as possible, but, still, nothing.
“He was even sponsored, so his adoption fees were covered, but he still sat until it finally happened,” Thorn said.
On March 3, 2023, Jax’s dream finally came true. A man who had experience with big dogs like Jax visited him at the shelter and instantly fell in love. Finally, Jax found his perfect match.
On Jax’s last day at the shelter, his friends decided to do something special for him.
“When we all found out that he was going home, we all gathered in our front area to send him off,” Thorn said. “Little did we know he would stop at each staff member along the way and say his goodbyes.”
Jax couldn’t leave the shelter without giving every single one of his friends a kiss goodbye. He was excited to finally have the family of his dreams, and he wanted to thank them for doing everything they could to make it happen.
When he got to the end of the line, Jax ran up to his new dad and melted in his arms.
The shelter staff was sad to see Jax go, but they quickly realized that their goodbye was more of a “see you later!” Since being adopted, Jax and his dad have visited the shelter multiple times just to give everyone a big hug again.
When he’s not dishing out kisses at his beloved shelter, Jax can usually be found making friends with everyone he meets on walks or cuddling up with his awesome dad at home.
Thorn and his team still think about all the time Jax spent in the shelter, but they know, in the end, it was worth it.
“It took a while, but we found the right person for Jax, and that’s what it’s all about,” Thorn said.