Tiny, Melbourne, Australia

Hi, everyone! My name is Tiny (I know what my name is, silly! :-)). I’m a Mastiff Rottweiler mix and I live with my mum & dad in Australia.

My previous ‘owner’ kept me locked up and used me to make puppies. I’ve had so many puppies I can’t even count. Then when I was about 2 years old he dumped me and 2 other dogs a shelter that offered emergency boarding. He said he’d be back for us in a week. He never came back but the shelter people said we were in such bad shape they wouldn’t have given us back anyway.

I was very underweight, covered in fleas & terrified. They fixed me up, I got de-sexed (that’s what we Australians call ‘spayed/neutered’), microchipped and for the first time in my life, had enough food to eat. Soon I was ready to find my forever home.

But there was a problem, I had no social skills and was terrified of people. I’d hide when anyone came to see me and if I was put in display cages, I’d bark because I was so scared. I had a mean bark and people stayed away. 🙁

For six months I stayed in the shelter, getting sadder and sadder. I didn’t want to eat much and never wagged my tail. The nice people at the shelter were really worried about me.

Then one day a lady and a man came to see me. They had been thinking about getting a dog for a while and had seen my photo online. I was so scared of them I wouldn’t look them in the eye. I took a few treats from them but when they came to close I would run away. They left me to go look at other dogs.

They met another really friendly dog but they kept thinking about me. I looked so sad in my cage. They could tell I was really scared and because I was so timid they knew my chances of getting a forever home were slim.

They had decided already that they wanted to bring home the dog that needed a home the most and they had no doubt that I was the puppy most in need. So…they decided to adopt me! The shelter people were so excited; They had really thought I was going to live at the shelter forever.

Once they got me home, the real work started. I freaked out when I got to my new home. I didn’t understand where I was or who these people were. I refused to come inside unless they brought me inside on a lead. Inside scared me so much — I’d never been in a house before.

They tried to feed me inside but I kept trying to bury my food in the carpet. Once outside I would eat but buried most of my food in the backyard because I wasn’t sure when I’d get fed next.

Over the next few days my new mum & dad tried to make me feel safe. They started to teach me about sleeping inside in a warm bed, playing with toys (I had no idea what a toy was) and that I would get fed at the same time everyday.

At first it felt hopeless, I was so scared of everything & wouldn’t respond to their calls or even take treats from them. Then about 5 days after I arrived at my new home, my mum called me into the house from the backyard and I CAME TO HER! 🙂 I even started to wag my tail! I finally began to understand that these people loved me.

That was a year ago and it’s only gotten better. Now I love going for walks with my mum & dad, and I eat all of my food every night. I love playing with toys, especially the squeaky ones my dad teases me with. My mum & dad have the nicest friends, they all pat me and give me cuddles and food. They are all really smart too, they make sure not to talk too loud around me and are always really gentle with me.

Some humans aren’t as smart as my mum & dad’s friends though. See, my mum & dad don’t eat meat and people think that means they don’t feed me meat. (Yeah, it is so silly.) My mum has explained over and over again that puppies need to eat meat, and just because they choose not to eat meat doesn’t mean they will deny me food I need. People make stupid assumptions about them without getting to know them. I know exactly how they feel. 🙁

Sometimes when we are out walking, people cross the road when they see me. They pick their kids or little dogs off the ground when I walk by. I never bark or cause trouble even when other dogs bark at me but people still seem scared. I look big and mean but really I’m just a sweet girl who wants hugs and kisses.

My mum, dad and I wanted to share my story; To show people that with love even the most abused animal can become a wonderful family member. That big dogs aren’t mean & scary they just want to be loved like any other dog.

That shelter animals make the best pets but you have to give them time. They don’t understand that you want to love them & keep them safe forever, humans have let them down before & you have to give them a chance to learn to trust again. The reward for your love & patience will be a loyal pet who will love you forever. Just like me.

Thank you so much for reading my story!

XOXO, Tiny

Parent: Kimberley