When you see Otávio today, you’d probably say that he is just a regular dog – playful and always wagging his tail like a true happy pup. This joyful demeanor would naturally make you think that life has always been like this for him, full of nothing but fun and love.
However, that is far from the truth. The fact is, Otávio endured a rough life during his younger years.
Early last year, Joice Lamas and her husband adopted Otávio from an animal rescue site. This same organization was the one who saved the pooch from an abusive household where several dogs were being neglected.
Now, under the care of Joice and her husband, the pup is certainly in good hands. He is being taken care of by a loving family, and the physical wounds he acquired from being neglected have already healed. But because of his horrible past, Otávio was understandably fearful of human contact initially.
When she saw him, Joice knew right away that she wanted to help the poor dog. She told The Dodo: “From the first moment we saw him, we’ve never been apart.”
Since taking the dog home, Joice saw him transform before her own eyes. From being the pup that cowered in fear whenever someone reached out to pet him, Otávio now loves to snuggle. However, despite this massive improvement, there are still remnants from his past that Otávio still hasn’t managed to let go of, which is particularly observed from how he eats.
No matter how much food Joice puts on his bowl, Otávio would always leave half of it untouched.
As for the exact reason why the dog does this, Joice is not a hundred percent sure. But she reckons that it might have come from Otávio’s past as a neglected dog. Meal times could have been very scarce during that time, so he learned to portion what he was given – or, maybe, he got used to leaving food for the other hungry dogs who were with him.
Joice said: “It’s sad. I always tell him, ‘It’s OK if you eat everything.'”
Hopefully, in time, Otávio completely recovers from his dark past and understands that he has a different life now – a much better one, in fact, that he wouldn’t have to worry about a single thing because he has a family who loves him very much.
“I know he will never be without anything in life — not food, not love,” Joice said. “We try to make him as happy as possible.”
And judging by Otávio’s pictures, we think his family’s attempt at making him the happiest dog in the world is clearly working. Just look at that smile!
Joice admits that caring for a dog with a rough past can be challenging, but seeing how they change and improve every day makes all the struggle worth it.
She said: “They need patience and a lot of love, because they can take longer to adapt. But it is remarkable how love changes animals. A rescued animal is much sweeter, more grateful and affectionate than others. They’re simply incredible!”
As it turns out, it is not only humans that can be humbled by a difficult past. Otávio had a tough life before he was rescued, and this showed from the way he limited himself during his meals – even when he wasn’t being restricted at all.
It is a sad situation if you think about it, but the beauty in it lies in knowing that Otávio is now in good hands. And no matter how long it takes for him to completely recover, his owners will surely be patient with him and celebrate him when the time comes that he is fully liberated from the dark shadows of his past. Right from the comfort of your own home, you could browse an animal rescue site and find out how you can help in your own little way.
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