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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