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Success Stories

August 6, 2022

Baloo

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Written by: Zach
A few of you have recently inquired about Baloo’s story, so here’s a little refresher. An animal control officer buddy of mine turned be onto Baloo because she didn’t want to euthenazie him and that was really the only option for him. I’ve known Julie (the officer) for a long time and she’d stick her neck out for me so I’d figure I’d stick my neck out for this dog. All we knew is that he was an owner surrender and that he was PETRIFIED of nearly everything! People, places and things- all of it scared him. And with a dog of this size, strength and potential, that can be very dangerous. July got a leash on him, which was not easy, and we practically dragged him-nails screeching across the floor- out to the parking lot. Loading him in the truck was sketchy because he was on the verge of fear-striking at any moment. Once again, Julie took charge and we shoved his big, black butt in to the back seat of the truck. From there, I drove him back to Tehachapi, all the while keeping one eye on the road and one eye on Baloo to make sure I could defend myself should he decide to make a move. He was so scared and so unpredictable that it really was that sketchy, that dangerous. Baloo has many scars on his face, on these scars tell the story of a dog that was not treated very well and who is clearly suffering from PTSD. Once back to the rescue, our problems multiplied.
He was VERY aggressive with the other dogs and could not find a happy place, or even a semi happy place; he was all fear , all the time! I took him on a run that night which he responded to but as soon as we were back to the house he climbed back into his shell and became reactive and impulsive. His first impulse is to run, but that is sometimes overruled by the impulse to strike- and when Baloo strikes, it leaves a mark.
One day, Baloo’s original owners called to tell us that he was not a lab mix but a Brazilian Mastiff that cost a pretty penny. They offered no other insight into his life other than that they turned him in because he was not good with their kids. I have a feeling that they and the kids were not very good to him. Brazillian Mastiffs need to be socialized and loved or else they will fall back to their default behavior which is fierce protectiveness, weariness of strangers and and a potential to inflict considerable damage. We set out to make up for lost time and lost love by putting Baloo through as many situations as possible- a crash course if you will. But it was not easy, Baloo’s troubles would continue: he mauled Tug (completely my fault for leaving them alone) and nearly killed him; and he was reacting aggressively with people, sometimes unprovoked, as if to test them. He had one very bad incident where he bite someone in the face, but he was backed into a corner and approached in the wrong manner. Baloo knew this person well and didn’t recognize them with a hat on, so when she went in for a kiss- Wham!
He is no longer that reactive dog incapable of affection. Baloo relishes affection and love and accepts it with open paws from friends as well as strangers. Baloo has not reacted negatively to another dog in many months; in fact, Baloo has become the example of calm energy and helps the newcomers to adjust. I could go on for pages about all that Baloo and I have been through and how deep our love for one another is, but I think most of you know that by now. He is my PAL and my protector and I am exactly that to him! We’ve got eachothers back and most of the time each others best interests at heart.
Baloo can regress occasionally into the fear that plagued him for so long but they are fleeting moments that last for no longer than a breath and he is aware and confident that everything is all right and that he need not be afraid. Baloo is a perfect example of extreme rehabilitation; of what love, boundaries, structure, exercise, assertiveness and discipline can do for a dog. Baloo used to be one heck of liability but he has turned out to be an incredible asset and an example of why we don’t need to give up on a dog. Most of the time, they have it in themselves to change, if you have it in yourself to be patient and learn with them. People helping people, helping doggies- POWERFUL STUFF!!!

Baloo would be best placed in a home with no kids
If you are interested in adopting Baloo please email adoptions@marleysmutts.com and include Baloo’s Name in the subject line


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9 Comments


  1. Candye Anderson

    I would not normally comment like this but looking at Baloo stirred something inside me. This could be the story of Blue, a neopolitan mastiff who was my heart for almost 7 years. He was truly an old soul with a touch of human. Kind of like a wise old warrior. I rescued him about 2 months after I ended a relationship and moved into a new(old)house. He was about 18 months old. Blue, the house and I began a journey together that ended in February 2010 when I had to put him down becasue of bone cancer. His spirit still fills a huge part of that home. I know exactly what you mean when you talk about the look in his eyes. That’s what moved me to take on a dog that out-weighed me and was scared of loud sounds, thunder and anything out of the ordinary. By the time he left this earth, the neighborhood kids could run and fall all over him to try to get big slobbery kisses. He was truly the most amazing dog I have ever owned (or owned me). I hope Baloo finds someone who will love him and help him learn what it is to be that special.


  2. Judy Stevens

    Candye, what a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it and sincere condolences on your loss. We miss them forever, don’t we.

    Judy


  3. Michael howard

    Me my wife and four children have intantly fallen in love with baloo. To be short we want him bad. I called zacks number but unable to reach him also the mailbox on that number is full so we are unable to leave a messege. We have big house with plenty of yard for him. We also have owned another mastiff out heart soul SAKI. A dog we rescued from parvo and brought back to live. On short again someone please contact us our children are excited and cant wait to meet him. Call anytime. 7603730801. Or sarah at 7603730202 thanks again


  4. Michael howard

    Please contact me and my children immediatley we would love to meet and adopt baloo we have plenty of room and have owned a mastiff before our heart snd soul saki girl who left us. We have benn looking for a mastiff to rescue for quite some tome. 7603730801


  5. Judy Stevens

    Contact Zach and let him know of your interest.


  6. Zach, I am in love with Baloo! If I could fit that big boy in my small house, I would. Props up for all you do!!!!


  7. Lilly Nicola

    Hey Guys!!!
    It was great meeting Baloo. You guys truely work magic there. Hope to see him again soon!


  8. heather lea

    Has Baloo been adopted? if he is still looking for a home, please let me know.

    thanks!


  9. Elizabeth Siddall

    Love this beauty!! Is he still available.



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