Helping My Furry-Faced Buddy

Note: He is nuzzling all over me as I type this!

I got this sweetheart as a rescue three years ago. I never knew his backstory, but his foster folks assumed that his original humans were assholes. He was pretty rough--prone to bare his teeth and even bite if he got uncomfortable--but he showed a sweet side from the beginning, even licking my ear from the backseat as I drove him home the first time. He slowly learned to trust me, and I slowly learned to read his subtle signals. He wanted to be a lapdog-- and often was--though he'd snap often enough, and with such little warning, that it was honestly scary and disconcerting.

Yet after about a year and a half we got to where we could smoosh faces! I could pet him around the ears. Kiss him on top of the head. Oh, and roughhouse like madmen!  But he's never gotten fully comfortable with other people and occasionally does still turn against me. I stopped fearing him because a) I can see *something* in his eyes (sadness, joy, fear, gratitude) and b) I realized that a 14-pound dog honestly can't do much to me. Still, he's simply more unpredictably aggressive around other people. When he sees someone--stranger or known--he'll go right up to them, tail wagging. But, with little obvious warning he can get suddenly fearful and lash out.

He's got some trouble to his soul but also tons of love, playfulness, and--I swear--gratitude. And in the past year with him as my sole housemate, we've become just plain best buds. 

Well, I got too comfortable the other day, went to put my face up to his while he was still in nest mode on the bed, and oh man did he do a number on my nose! I was terrified in that moment not of the pain, but in thinking this meant he was unredeemable. Even if I couldn't keep him in my life, could he even be re-homed? Or would his path ultimately lead to being put down?

So friends pointed out one other option! A great board and train program--boot camp for troubled little dog souls. He'll be at the Columbus location of Heights Canine for four weeks. But here's where I feel really odd and a number of wonderful friends urged me to put ego or whatever aside and ask for help. I just cleared out my savings for a little fluffball with doleful eyes, and when my semester ends in a month, I will be severely underemployed. I would be forever thankful for any help you may be willing to give. For my part, I'll be tightening my belt for a good while, but with no regrets.

  • Rachel Freed  
    • $60 
    • 42 mos
  • Ann Heiss 
    • $100 
    • 42 mos
  • Melissa Steinmetz  
    • $50 
    • 43 mos
  • Bryan Kvet 
    • $25 
    • 43 mos
  • Shari Lyons 
    • $100 
    • 43 mos
See all


Matthew Phillips 
Brunswick, OH
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