5 min read

Shelter Dog Who Was Terrified Of Everything Is SO Different Now

“He’s made our home feel complete and brought so much laughter into our house” ❤

Like most dogs, Phoenix came into the shelter with a sad story.

In July, someone found the young pit bull tied up in the woods in Quebec, Canada, with burns and blisters all over his body. He ended up at a local shelter and was placed on the euthanasia list.

Scared dog in shelter kennel
Litters ‘n Critters Rescue Society

Luckily, Litters ‘n Critters Rescue Society, a rescue group in Halifax, Nova Scotia, pulled him out in time — but he clearly needed a lot of care.

“He was in really, really bad shape,” Shelley Cunningham, founder of Litters ‘n Critters, told The Dodo. “He was very withdrawn and sad.”

Sad looking dog standing in vet office
Phoenix at the vet after being pulled from the shelter | Litters ‘n Critters Rescue Society

Phoenix went to the vet for medical treatment, and then he was placed in foster care with Lori Teale and her husband, who’d previously adopted a dog named Echo from Litters ‘n Critters.

Sad looking dog sitting on blanket
Litters ‘n Critters Rescue Society

“He was terrified of everything when we first brought him home,” Teale told The Dodo. “Loud noises would cause him to shake uncontrollably, or he would shut down completely. Even the smallest things would scare him — curtains moving, a cat passing him or something he didn't notice was suddenly in view. Phoenix was terrified of sudden movements or if you raise your hands with him near or even slightly raised your voice. He would shut down immediately and pancake to the floor.”

Sad looking dog sitting on blanket
Litters ‘n Critters Rescue Society

One thing that didn’t scare Phoenix was Echo — and when Teale and her husband saw how well the dogs got along, they decided to adopt Phoenix.

“The initial meeting could not have gone any better,” Teale said. “Within the first 24 hours, they were following each other and we knew we couldn't separate them.”

Dog sitting on floor together
Phoenix and Echo spending time together | Lori Teale

Echo has played an important role in helping Phoenix gain confidence and start enjoying his new life.

“I believe it was the confidence of Echo that really helped him settle down and get comfortable,” Teale said. “I give her all the credit, honestly.”

Dogs playing together
Phoenix and Echo playing together | Lori Teale

Phoenix is now a totally different dog from the one at the shelter. Not only has he lost his fear, but he craves attention from Teale and her husband, and loves nothing more than to snuggle in bed with his new family.

Smiling pit bull
Lori Teale

“Whenever we come home, he gets so excited to see us,” Teale said. “He tries his best to smile and pulls his lips back to show all of his teeth as he wiggles uncontrollably bouncing between husband and I. He has become my little shadow.”

Pit bull relaxing on couch
Lori Teale

“We were worried that he wasn't going to bond with either of us,” she added. “Turns out we were very wrong!”

Teale couldn’t imagine life without Phoenix, who has become a valued member of the family.

Rescue pit bull sitting in front of rescue sign
Lori Teale

“I will never regret adopting him,” Teale said. “He’s made our home feel complete and brought so much laughter into our house.”

To help rescue more dogs like Phoenix, you can make a donation to Litters ‘n Critters Rescue Society.