Jessica Williams and her boyfriend, Jared, had just moved into their pet-friendly apartment. But she just couldn’t wait a few more months until her birthday to get a dog — she had to have one now. And it was even easier to justify that when she saw the saddest little face of a dog who needed someone right away.
The dog was Benji, a stray who was picked up in Los Angeles and taken to a big city shelter. A flea allergy caused him to lose most of his fur, and he was so nervous and scared of everything.
The poor little dog was not handling the shelter life well at all. He had been there for 10 days and would snarl and snap at people as they walked by. Jessica knew she couldn’t leave him there and had to get him out. So the couple made the six-hour drive from their home in Sacramento to Los Angeles.
When they arrived and told the staff about the dog they were interested in adopting, the workers were shocked. The staff knew the dog needed lots of care and training and even tried talking the couple out of adopting Benji. But Jessica and Jared didn’t want to hear any of that.
“The shelter also told us he wasn’t friendly and refused to take us into a calm waiting area to get to know him because ‘he wouldn’t be a dog that would come over to us to be cuddly.’ We knew that he had a high possibility of being euthanized and didn’t want him to die,” Jessica told The Dodo.
But when the couple met Benji, it only solidified their decision to take him home. They signed the adoption papers and readied for their journey. During the car ride, Benji was nervous as expected. But when they got home, the dog acted exactly the way the shelter described he would. He was withdrawn and didn’t seem to be interested in anything or anyone. But it was just a few days later when something amazing happened.
Something clicked, and Benji realized all of a sudden that he was safe. He started to play and enjoy life, and that sad little face turned into a very happy one! 🙂
In only three weeks, Benji has become a real member of the family. He loves to go on car rides and adventures with his new mom and dad.
Benji’s story just goes to show that sometimes all a shelter dog needs is one chance. It’s not fair to judge them based on their personalities at the shelter. A shelter dog just needs a reason to smile.