Rescue dog always leaves half of his food in bowl

PawMyGosh reports that a year ago, Joice Lamas and her husband adopted a dog named Otávio from a rescue group who took him in from an abusive household where many dogs were neglected.

Otávio was fearful of humans at first, but Joice was determined to change that. She told The Dodo: “From the first moment we saw him, we’ve never been apart.”

In the months after bringing Otávio home, the couple saw him blossom right before their eyes. He has learned to trust and cuddles instead of turn away in fear.

But a heartbreaking remnant from his past still remained.

Although dogs, unlike finicky cats, are known to eat any and everything, Otávio would only eat some of his food, always leaving half of the food in his bowl.

Joice suspects it’s because of Otávio’s past household where he and the other “many” dogs were abused and neglected. Otávio likely had to ration his meals or set aside some of the food for the other dogs.

Either way, it was heartbreaking.

Joice said: “It’s sad. I always tell him, ‘It’s OK if you eat everything.’”

Joice hopes that in time, Otávio will learn that he can leave that part of his past behind: “I know he will never be without anything in life — not food, not love. We try to make him as happy as possible.”

Joice said it’s one of the challenges of adopting a formerly abused dog: “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!”

See also “Animal altruism: Why homeless cat would only accept kibbles in a plastic bag,” because the cat was bringing food back to her kitten.


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TravisRichard SmithLanaDr. EowynToni Recent comment authors
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Glad the pup found a great new home.


Bless every four legged creature God made…we love them all, especially the doggies and kitties.


Happy Tails Rescue Association chiming in here….as a Rottweiler Rescue Sanctuary having saved hundreds of these big, lovable black pooches for a couple of decades we find that almost every rescue dog will never eat all of his food. We attribute this behavior for the same reason, that on the street or with neglectful humans they never knew when their next meal would service so they would always save some for that rainy day.


What a sweet little guy! “A rescued animal is much sweeter, more grateful and affectionate than others. They’re simply incredible!” I think that is true. All my cats were adopted after they had fled other homes. Not one ever left our yard to roam as outdoor cats often do. They knew where they had it good, and were safe and they weren’t about to explore anywhere else. Our last two rescues had definitely been abused and it took years for them to finally trust. But it is true, once they did trust , there is nothing like the love and… Read more »

Richard Smith
Richard Smith

I agree that a lot of animals are more godly than people. It saddens me greatly when they are purposely abused by self-centered people.


I have a 10 year-old shephard pit mix that has never gone hungry a day in her life. But when her dog food tote gets low she starts burying pieces of food in the yard. She does the same thing with treats. I usually give her 2 at a time. She’ll eat one and bury the other one.