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Shelter Dog’s Convinced That Owner’s Abandonment Is All His Fault

Written by: Julie Hunt
Julie Hunt is an avid dog lover and writer for, and has a background as a veterinary technician. She rescued a beautiful former bait dog named Rory.Read more
| Published on May 14, 2024

Dogs who end up in shelters spend their days in seclusion. The constant loud noises and solitary living affect their mental and physical well-being. Dogs who were surrendered by an owner have an especially hard time. When the person they love most gives up on them, they often blame themselves. This was true for Arthur, a shut-down shelter dog who needed someone special to show him that his circumstances weren’t his fault. Thankfully, Rocky Kanaka visited Arthur to better his chances of being adopted.


Arthur, a one-and-a-half-year-old mixed breed, spent his early life as a stray from an unclaimed litter. He felt fortunate to be adopted shortly after arriving at the shelter. Sadly, his joy was short-lived as his adoptive family returned him to the shelter, unable to continue caring for him. This turn of events deeply affected Arthur.

He became extremely depressed and anxious, and he wouldn’t make eye contact with humans. However, a remarkable person, Rocky Kanaka, decided to spend time with him inside his kennel. Rocky’s visit marked a milestone in Arthur’s life.


Arthur was in the sallyport, a transitional area in the shelter, providing Rocky the perfect chance to meet him. Initially, Rocky sat at a distance, respecting Arthur’s need for space in the unfamiliar surroundings. As Arthur continued to avoid eye contact, Rocky attempted to win his trust by offering him a treat. Arthur sniffed the first treat placed before him but didn’t eat it. The same happened with the second treat.

Then, Rocky held out a treat in his hand. To his delight, Arthur took it and ate it. Rocky was thrilled because anxious dogs typically don’t take treats from an open hand, which can heighten their anxiety.


Despite this progress, Arthur still looked away. Learning that Arthur had been surrendered by his previous family, Rocky was heartbroken. He decided to reassure Arthur with positive words, affirming his worth.

“I think that you are a good boy and you deserve love and I am sorry that your family left you behind because you did not deserve that. You deserve love, and hugs, and treats… Guess what, today starts the first day of your new life. It’s going to be amazing. I know it’s a little scary right now, but if you trust me, we are going to help you find a home and a family that loves you as much as you love them, okay?” Rocky expressed to Arthur in the YouTube video below.


Encouraged by Rocky’s kind words, Arthur began to open up, even allowing Rocky to pet him. As Rocky continued to offer encouraging words, Arthur’s demeanor visibly softened. With time, it is hopeful that Arthur will fully emerge from his shell and find a family that will give him the loving life he deserves.

Rocky’s patience and empathy are commendable, showcasing the importance of a gentle approach with animals who are trying to understand their circumstances. If you are interested in adopting Arthur, you can visit Rocky’s page for more information.

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