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August 3, 2022

The Story of Sonar

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Written by: josh

Many folks who are new to Marley’s Mutts do not know the story of our boy Sonar.  The story is now almost 8 months long, and he has had a journey in those 8 months that most humans would have never survived.  It is a story of pain, love, and triumph that is one for the history books here at the rescue.

In January of this year Zach was down at the Bakersfield Shelter picking up a few dogs when he found Sonar who had just been dropped off by someone.  A person of unimaginable cruelty decided to cut Sonar’s ears off with a straight razor to make him look mean when he grew up.  Sonar was in a severe state of shock when Zach asked if he could take Sonar up to the Tehachapi Veterinary Hospital.  The shelter agreed and Zach blazed up the mountain to have Sonar evaluated.  The first week was rough lots of antibiotics to stave off infections in his delicate state.  Medicated ear washing and lots of care got Sonar on the road to recovery physically, but mentally he was still very scared of humans (and you would be to if someone came up and lopped of your ears).

The staff of Marley’s Mutts is comprised of many folks, but Sonar’s first trusted friend when he got settled into the rescue was a 130lb Saint Bernard named Ludwig.  Ludwig and Sonar became inseparable, and because he saw that Ludwig was trusting humans Sonar slowly but surely began to do the same.

Besides Zach the most influential humans in Sonar’s recovery to trusting people began with his first foster mom Karisa.  Karisa began a long process of building trust with Sonar that went from him ducking every time you moved toward him to one where he would walk up and put his head in your hand.  The work that Karisa did with Sonar is a feat that took time, patience, and love.  And we will never be able to say thank you enough for what she has done.

As Sonar grew up with the rescue he started to pull at the heart stings of our trainer Lisa.  As Sonar grew up the bond between him and Lisa grew to the point were we knew that he was going to stick around.  We noticed just like Ludwig did with him, that Sonar had the ability to show new dogs to the rescue how to trust in humans again.  From there the rest is history.  Sonar lives with Lisa full time now and is the “liaison” to all the new pups that are brought the the rescue and teaching them socialization skills.  As well he is working on becoming a therapy dog to help children in need.

Like Marley, Sonar is going to be with us to see the course and to continue to help us rescue more pups and educate people on these amazing creatures that are called Man’s Best Friend




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  1. Rebecca

    What a story of tremendous courage and brave heart to come from such a humble little dog.

  2. Rachel E

    Great story! Sonar has been my favorite and it has been a pleasure to watch him grow

  3. Nancy

    OMG That is so terribly sad but with such a happy ending! How can people be so cruel! I am so happy he finally came around. Good job!

  4. Juanita Harvey

    Josh that was a Great Story. I have worked with Lisa & Sonar a few times now & I didn’t realize that his ears were just cut off when he was brought in. Once again Zach Our Angel is at the right place at the right time. What are people thinking. He is getting so big & not a mean bone in his body. The last picture of his says it all.

    Josh you are the best at capturing what others don’t see.


  5. KELLY


  6. Patrice

    All of you are amazing, the saying “You Rock” comes to mind.. but does not nearly say enough. I have been following Marley’s Mutts on facebook since I had to help my beloved Best Friends, Tequila and Moosie pass from this earth. I found Tequila as a puppy starving on the street in Mexico. She found her spot in my heart immediately and I was blessed by her love for almost 15 years. Moosie was a mini Doxie w/ the heart of a lion that someone gave to us when she was a pup, she was almost 12 when we helped her pass. I still have little Neno, he is almost 17 and has congestive heart failure.I am so inspired by all of you and the wonderful beautiful beings you save. Blessings to all of you… Thanks you so much for doing the wonderful, heartfelt things you all do.

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