9 min read

Dog Who Was So Anxious Is The Best 'Mom' To Nervous Puppy Now

“Slowly we let them spend more time together, and day by day, our previously grumpy 2-year-old blossomed into a doting mother."

When Lisa Chaperon first laid eyes on Ohlin, she wept. The 12-week-old Staffordshire terrier mix was covered in mange, and he’d lost most of his fur. He also had a huge scab on his tiny head.

While no one really knows where Ohlin came from, people found him at a bus stop near Perth, Australia, and got placed in the care of Staffy and Bully Breed Rescue (SABBR), a local rescue group. The dog would need a lot of extra care, so the rescue group asked Chaperon, who volunteers for the group, if she’d foster him.

Rescue puppy with mange
Lisa Chaperon

Chaperon agreed to help, but she and her partner decided to only foster Ohlin for 10 days. As much as they wanted to keep him longer, they didn’t think their dog Luna would get along with him.

Rescue puppy with mange
Lisa Chaperon

Luna, a Staffordshire mix herself, had also been picked up as a stray, and whatever had happened to her in the past had made her a nervous dog.

“The day we adopted Luna, she wouldn’t get into our car,” Chaperon said. “The ranger had to come and lift her up.  Luna was quite excitable and it was clear that she’d had no socialization with other dogs. She didn’t like to be touched or brushed and she didn’t know what a bed was. She would tear through her beds and sit on the ground within the metal frames.”

Staffy rescue dog
Luna | Lisa Chaperon

It took about a year for Chaperon and her husband to be able to touch Luna, and around other dogs, she “lacked manners,” Chaperon told The Dodo.

“She was really unsure of what ‘play’ consisted of,” Chaperon said. “She was the typical bully, expecting that every dog would react kindly to her bounding up to them and pushing them. More often than not it only resulted in offended dogs so Luna would then counteract.”

Staffy rescue dog
Lisa Chaperson

When Chaperon brought Ohlin home, Luna “wasn’t very impressed,” so Chaperon kept them in separate parts of house. But when Ohlin started to feel a little better, Chaperon set up a supervised meeting between the two dogs.

Two rescue dogs sniffing each other
Lisa Chaperon

“Ohlin was so timid and really stayed close to us,” Chaperon said. “Luna would run up to him and use her back side to push him, and [Ohlin] went hiding underneath our water tank. She was curious, although too rough in play, and Ohlin was very unsure.”

But after a few days, something changed between them.

Two rescue dogs
Lisa Chaperon

“Luna began to lick Ohlin’s ears, and dote on him rather than ‘body slam,’” Chaperon said. “Slowly we let them spend more time together, and day by day, our previously grumpy 2-year-old [Luna] blossomed into a doting mother, caring for Ohlin as if he was her own.

Two rescue dogs sharing a bed
Lisa Chaperon

“We let them be, astonished at the new calmness that came over her,” Chaperon added. “Our normally crazy, anxious Luna had found a sudden peace with her new friend.”

Rescue dogs napping together
Lisa Chaperon

Soon Ohlin and Luna were sharing a bed and snuggling — they’d bonded in a way that Chaperon never expected.

Rescue dogs snuggling together
Lisa Chaperson

But this newfound peace didn’t last. Ohlin ended up getting parvovirus, a deadly disease that attacks and breaks down a dog’s intestinal linings. And with parvo came another bout of mange.

Rescue dog tucked into bed
Lisa Chaperon

Chaperon rushed Ohlin to the vet hospital, where he stayed for five days.

“We visited Ohlin in the hospital a few days later, and as we walked into the room our hearts sank,” Chaperon said. “This little dog, who had almost wasted away, was trying to raise his head in recognition at the sight of us, his two-legged friends. My partner and I sat there with him, resting his head on our open hands, letting him know everything would be okay and he would be home soon.”

Rescue puppy getting treated at vet
Lisa Chaperon

Luna was distraught, too.

“Luna was missing her new brother terribly,” Chaperon said. “Luna was clearly lost without him. She would continually search for him, and she was unsettled and acted very differently toward my partner and I — almost as if we had removed Ohlin from her life.”

When Ohlin was allowed to come home five days later, Luna was beyond happy.

Rescue dogs playing in yard
Ohlin playing with Luna after he recovered | Lisa Chaperon

“The moment he entered the house and Luna saw him again, you could see her happiness and relief,” Chaperon said. “At this moment, we knew that Ohlin belonged with us. He was so little, weak and skinny, but he was alive and needed our help more than ever.”

With love and care, Ohlin managed to fully recover, and Chaperon thinks Luna played a big part in Ohlin’s healing process.

Rescue dogs snuggling together
Lisa Chaperon

“Luna’s motherly love gave him something that he clearly hadn’t had before,” she said. “Ohlin also gave Luna a chance to heal and display a previously unseen nurturing side.”

Now Ohlin and Luna are inseparable, and one of their favorite activities is getting into as much mischief as possible.

Rescue dogs going for a walk
Lisa Chaperon

“They went through one couch and a lot of trailer wiring. They ate cucumbers, snow peas and [cantaloupe] growing in our garden, and dug holes and destroyed toys,” Chaperon said. “But they also enjoyed snuggling together and would form a love heart on their bed.”

This dynamic duo eventually became a trio when Chaperon and her partner adopted another rescue puppy named Suki.

Three rescue dogs
Luna, Ohlin and Suki | Lisa Chaperon

“Once again we were amazed at how Luna adjusted to Suki,” Chaperon said. “Through fostering, we knew [Luna] was comfortable with puppies and other dogs, yet she had never displayed that same affection we saw with Ohlin until Suki came through our door. There was no question that this motley crew belonged together.”

Three rescue dogs cuddling together
Lisa Chaperon
To keep up with the adventures of Ohlin, Luna and Suki, can you follow their Instagram page. Chaperon also runs WA Pet Project, a rescue group for dogs and cats, which you can support by making a donation.
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