When Valentine set foot inside her first real home a year ago, the nervous dog didn’t know what to do.
The dalmatian/pit bull mix had spent her young life giving birth to puppies in a hoarding situation. She had no idea what comfort or safety could mean for her.
“She was very timid when we first met her,” Ashley Moses, Valentine’s mom, told The Dodo. “She wasn’t opening up to us, and we couldn’t get a feel for her personality during our meet-and-greet with her. You could tell her spirit was crushed, and she looked so sad.”
Moses and her fiancé weren’t sure they could handle a dog like Valentine, but they knew they had to try.
“From the moment I saw her picture, I knew she was our dog. It sounds cheesy, but it was love at first sight,” Moses said. “After we adopted her, we both opened up with the doubts we had about adopting her. Could we handle a dog like this? What if she never opened up? We’ve never rescued — what do we do with a scared dog?”
Watching Valentine’s uncertain reaction to her new home broke Moses’ heart. She hoped Valentine would know right away that she was safe, but the young dog was not ready to trust after all she’d been through.
“It took some convincing to get her to come inside with us,” Moses said. “She was so scared, confused and did not want to move from the foyer of our home.”
“She was terrified, but we lured her in with tons of treats,” she added. “She remained very closed off, sad and did not want to interact with us very much the entire night.”
The next morning, Moses expected the rescue pup to be withdrawn but, instead, was greeted with grateful licks. It was as if, overnight, Valentine’s personality had completely changed.
Valentine realized that she was home.
“She was 100 percent a different dog,” Moses said. “She was jumping, playing, kissing me and overall very excited … It was a crazy moment because we were not expecting her to open up so quickly!”
Over the next few months, Valentine’s parents helped her overcome fears from her past life — such as walking down stairs and going out in the rain. And now, Moses and her fiancé couldn’t be happier that they took a chance on Valentine and trusted their intuition.
“She is the happiest girl who loves to play with her toys, loves all food, and most of all, her family is her favorite thing,” Moses said. “She is the most expressive, funny dog ever. We’re so proud of all the progress she’s made … and we can’t wait to love her forever.”
And Valentine feels exactly the same way.