Rusty didn’t seem sweet or playful at all when Jared Piper first met him. He was chained up in a yard in Phoenix, Arizona, barking at passers-by all day. But one day Jared decided to stop and say hello.
It turned out that Rusty was just lonely, and intensely craving some human affection. Jared began to stop by every day, and Rusty grew friendlier and friendlier, wagging his tail for treats and laying his head along the fence.
But Rusty’s conditions were deplorable: Jared had never seen him off the chain, he had flies all over his body and a tumour on his belly. Jared knew he had to get Rusty somewhere safe.
One day as Jared was stopping to hang out with Rusty, his owner came out of the house. She coolly told Jared that Rusty had been chained up for 10-15 years … it was all he knew.
Jared told her he wasn’t leaving without Rusty. At first, she struggled, telling Jared that Rusty would bite or attack him, but he was insistent.
Finally, she handed his chain over the Jared and the two left together. Rusty didn’t bite, he wasn’t even scared — he just walked victoriously along with his rescuer.
At the vet’s office they had to cut Rusty’s collar off his neck since it hadn’t been unhooked for so many years.
Even though Rusty was seeing and sniffing new places and people, he wasn’t defensive or aggressive. He took everything in as though he were totally ready for a new life.
And then Rusty enjoyed his very first bath. It took a long time to scrub off the dirt and motor oil that was caked into his coat.
Jared couldn’t adopt Rusty himself, but he gave him a place to stay while they looked for an adoptive family. In the meantime Rusty got all the medical care he needed and became a healthy, happy dog.
And then, amazingly, Jared found the perfect family for Rusty. A big house with a huge yard to run around in, loving humans and lots of doggie brothers and sisters. It was essentially paradise for Rusty.
Rusty probably had no idea what he was missing out on for the 10 or so years he lived chained up in a dirty yard, but as soon as he got a taste of the good life, he was hooked.
Now he has what every dog deserves — a loving, happy home. And it’s all because someone stopped to check on an unfriendly-looking dog chained up in a stranger’s yard.
No dog should spend his whole life chained up outdoors — dogs rely on interaction with humans for their sense of safety and community, they need our love.