Couple Takes a Chance on ‘Aggressive’ Rescue, Finds He is a Cuddly Couch Potato


Sparticus’ story was originally shared in the Clear the Shelters Adoption Story Challenge on ShelterChallenge.com. Create your own free Shelter Challenge account and vote for your favorite shelter or rescue group to win cash and prizes. Every time you vote we’ll give an extra donation to shelters!


Sparticus is a one-and-a-half-year-old Great Pyrenees mix that lives in NEPA and was adopted through the Luzerne County SPCA during the COVID-19 Pandemic in May 2020

For a while, Matt, Sparticus’ dad, was looking at dogs to adopt, but never told me, Sparti’s mom. One day, I caught him looking at this beautiful dog with the most amazing smile on Facebook. That is when I insisted we dig deeper into Sparticus’ story on Facebook, and we noticed he had a lot of publicity, but hadn’t been adopted for about three or four months. We called to book an appointment and the first thing they asked was if we had any pets or children. As a young couple, we did not have children or pets. We went to meet Sparticus and as the doorbell rang, he jumped up at the door from their play yard and made eye contact with us through a few doors.

From the moment we made eye contact, it was love at first sight — for us anyway. When we walked into the play yard, Sparticus needed two leashes held by two staff members as we entered his territory. It took him a while to warm up to us and be able to approach us without showing aggression. But from the moment we gave him some treats, he felt safe. That same day we brought him home, but not without wearing his favorite staff member’s bandana, which we still have.


We knew Sparticus would be a challenge from the moment we met him, but we were in the middle of a pandemic, had extra time, and a lot of love to give to Sparticus to help him learn more appropriate behaviors.

The first three months were rocky. Sparticus was still in “puppy mode” and would bite for attention, bark at everything, and hated to be groomed and especially for his paws to be touched. Unfortunately, he was 90 pounds and did not know his strength and would become aggressive, especially when getting his nails done. We worked with Mary’s Hand that Feeds located in Shavertown for behavior training and Auntie Liz’s Diamonds in the Ruff in Mountain Top for grooming. As they say, it takes a village, and Sparticus sure has a village.

Fast forward four months and Sparticus is a loving couch bear that licks you for attention or just gives you the eye when he wants to play. He loves his neighbors, especially when they smoke meats. He can now have his nails trimmed at home, but only one or two a day. He loves to be brushed, especially his belly.

His favorite places to visit are Three Dog Bakery in Kingston, The Toyota Sportsplex, Grandpa Art’s, The Dog Park, and anywhere that serves ice cream.

Sparticus would also like to take this time to apologize to all drive-thru employees he has barked at in the past or in the future. The speaker really confuses him.



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