Kong was brought to the Lodi Animal Shelter (then transferred to PALS) after being found alone in a local park and after an unsuccessful attempt to find his owner. Kong was a good-sized boy, weighing approximately 75 pounds. He was obviously traumatized by something because he would not eat or walk and, thus, had to be carried. Despite many various attempts by the PALS dog handler, Pat Wakefield, and her team, Kong refused to eat or walk. Even the “neighboring” dogs could not persuade him by their friendly barking and jumping.

The offer of treats had no impact on his mobility – he simply wouldn’t budge. And, his lack of interest in food became a concern as be began to lose weight.

The other challenge was his size. As handsome as he was with his light brindle color and his mild manner, this Great Dane/Pit Bull mix would be expensive to feed and, thus, did not appeal to many of those looking to adopt a dog.

After about a month, though, a wonderful couple felt he’d be the right dog for them. They applied to adopt him but needed around another month to build a fence around their yard. Meanwhile, the PALS team worked with Kong to overcome his lethargic and complacent ways and to entice him to eat. They found that a diet of boiled rice and chicken appealed to his appetite! Only gourmet for this boy!!

Six weeks later, following the fence construction, a yard check by a PALS volunteer, and Kong’s neuter surgery, he went to his loving new home.

His new “parents” were thrilled to have him in their home and found that Kong would lay in the doorway between the kitchen and living room, keeping an eye on his new “mom” as she cooked dinner and on “dad” sitting in the living room. In time, he learned to identify that special phone ring tone signaling that his “dad” was on his way home from work. That got him happy and excited!! Clearly, love had become a two-way street!

Kong did well in obedience classes but his new “parents realized that Kong was fearful of some items being held in hands, a sign of physical abuse. They have been gently working to alleviate his fears, knowing that this type of fear may take years to overcome. They know that patience and love will heal those wounds in time.
Three months after Kong’s adoption, Pat visited her special boy and found that he happily remembered her and the tender loving care she had provided him at PALS. He proudly showed her his new yard and the large dog house his “dad” had built for him. He was running and playing and enjoying his new life. What a transformation!!

 His new name of “Warden” seems very appropo – he is the warden of his new yard and relishes in that responsibility!

Warden – you’ve come a long way, sweet boy! You’ve emerged from being a frightened homeless dog to a loved member of a special family. Thank you, Joe and Colleen, for making Warden happy and secure at last!