Shelter dog refuses to be adopted without his food bowl

Staff from the animal rescue site have shared photos of one shelter dog who developed a strange habit of carrying his food bowl around everywhere he went, and the pictures will surely capture your heart!

A dog named Oliver was found as a stray in Memphis, Tennessee after he refused to leave a family’s backyard. Desperate for help, they contacted the nearest animal control office to ask for assistance in handling the elusive dog.

Oliver
Memphis Animal Services

The pup’s playful personality immediately showed when the officers arrived to collect him. Whenever one of them would get close, he would jump over the fence and run out of the yard, treating the whole situation as a game.

Oliver was relentless, so the team decided to set up a humane trap to capture him. Finally, after the long chase, the dog was caught and brought to Memphis Animal Services.

From the moment he arrived at the shelter, the staff instantly knew that Oliver once belonged to a home. He was extremely smart, and he was a big lover of food and treats! He knew that if he behaved well and listened, he would be showered with lots of them.

Oliver the shelter dog
Memphis Animal Services

Katie Pemberton, a community engagement specialist at Memphis Animal Services, told The Dodo“I met him the first day he came in, and he sat for me immediately before I even showed him I had treats. Then, of course, as soon as the treats came out, he was even more eager to sit. The more he got to know me, the more he would press himself up against the bars of his kennels to let me pet him.”

Apparently, Oliver loved food so much, that he quickly developed an attachment for the thing that held it – his food bowl! Wherever he went, the shelter staff would see him carrying around the container with his mouth.

“The very first night he got here, our field supervisor passed by his kennel in our ACO intake room and noticed him with his bowl in his mouth,” Katie said. “His cute trick was very effective because she gave him more food! Then when he moved to his permanent kennel, he kept doing it. He had his bowl in his mouth most of the time.”

Oliver the shelter dog
Memphis Animal Services

The staff from the animal rescue site surmised that the act might have been taught to him as a cute trick by his former owner. Another possibility was that he lacked food at one point in his life, and he was afraid of losing sight of his food bowl because he might not be fed again.

Throughout his days as a shelter dog, Oliver continued to carry his food bowl around with him everywhere he went, and the staff thought that it was extremely adorable!

They started taking pictures of him whenever he did it, and they posted the snapshots on their social media for everyone to enjoy.

Oliver the shelter dog with his food bowl
Memphis Animal Services

Unsurprisingly, Oliver captured lots of hearts across the country with his food bowl carrying trick!

“We received a very unusual amount of inquiries about Oliver after his photos went viral — I wish every dog had that many people interested in adopting them,” Katie shared.

Because of the photos posted by the animal rescue site, the huge amount of online attention that Oliver got led to his eventual adoption. On April 16, his new family arrived at the shelter to take him home, and of course, he’s not going without his food bowl!

Oliver with his new family
Memphis Animal Services

Now, Oliver wouldn’t need to worry about going hungry again, for his food bowl – and his heart – will always be full.