Written by: Steevie
Our quest to find a pup to add to our lives showed up when we stopped by a local shelter. They had a feisty little guy named Tony who was an overweight, “personality challenged” rat terrier chihuahua they asked us to foster for a weekend to learn his habits and true traits. He had been transferred from a Sacramento shelter where he was roaming the streets prior to being in lock up. Since being transferred to the Seattle area, he had been in a kennel 80% of the time and the other 20% was all about food time for him.
When we saw him in the kennel the first time, he barked and growled at us. Not a great start and later that day he bit my wife’s nose when she got too close. My immediate response was to send him back but we figured it was just a defense mechanism since he was a street puppy and in a kennel for the past 8 months. I would be grouchy too!
The shelter had given us dry dog food, pretty generic, that they called “high grade” food and a few toys for Tony. I fed him the dry food but we found him obsessed with the fresh fruits, veggies and meat we were enjoying. I had been Paleo for about 3 years then and figured what was working for me would work for him. Tony weighed in at 15 pounds when he found us and the folks at my CrossFit deemed him Tony Balogna, the little sausage king. He looked and acted like he was maxed out weight wise. We started feeding him raw meat with some carrots. He loved it and he seemed to mellow out a little. We chalked it up to settling with us a bit since we now fully adopted him and him us.
I started running with him a little everyday and we stuck to the Paleo food choices. He lived for his carrots and an apple wedge here and there made him very happy. Now and then a little avocado would supplement his raw meat and carrots. We noticed his personality really changing. He wasn’t cranky anymore and he was playful too. This was not the same dog anymore. Tony had transformed into a loving, playful and happy dog. A simple diet change and a little more playtime made him a brand new pup. We were shocked that in 6 months he had lost 8 pounds. He looked sleek and relaxed so much that the folks at the shelter didn’t recognize him when we dropped in to say hello.We live in Arizona now and Tony lives for our weekend hikes. He stays in step with the big dogs and he is always friendly to new people. This was so amazing for us, that we passed this along to another friend who had a “personality challenged” pup from the same shelter. They are also finding their pup is adapting and blossoming to become a very fun dog to have around. This has been a life changing for us all at my house and has given Tony a whole new life! We love that little guy, he really is little now, and he loves us. If you find a cranky mutt at the shelter, I urge you to try Paleo with them and see the results.