Knox was pulled from Apple Valley Shelter in January 2016. The vet told us they had to use a catchpole and muzzle when they had to handle him. Not a good beginning. We drove him to our friends at THE ZEN DOG. He immediately curled up, his back to us, refusing even a hot dog. After the first week, the owner reported he has NEVER seen a dog more shut down than Knox. He wouldn’t look anyone in the eye. He didn’t want anyone to pet him. He didn’t care about food. Knox just wanted to curl up and die. Several weeks went by with little progress. We all wondered if he was too far gone for us to help, yet no one wanted to give up. We could all see it in his eyes. There was someone still there. One day, he started barking for his food. Even though that was annoying, Zen was elated! Knox had found his voice. Zen started socializing him with other dogs but he wasn’t interested in playing. They kept trying him with different dogs but wasn’t really engaging. Then, one day, they put him in with a rescue puppy and.. lo and behold! We had lift off! We knew Knox was finally ready to go into a foster home.
A very special family stepped up to foster. Kristie and Nathan have a dog, Bodie, who had been a lot like Knox when they adopted him. They knew what to do to help show a painfully shy and scared dog what love was. They fed Knox the healthiest supplements and food, showed him the utmost love and security, and even consulted with an animal communicator to understand his background and needs. A gentle sweet dog began to emerge and after about 3 months, he was ready for adoption. We warned all of our applications that we didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings but we and his foster parents would be very picky about the home for this special soul. Along came Meg. One of the reasons we fell in love with her application was because, when asked how many hours on average will the dog be alone, she wrote: “I’m allowed to have my dog at the office which is the main reason I would get a dog as I don’t believe in leaving dogs alone, much like children.” Knox, now named Matisse, has found his forever home. Meg writes "Matisse has exceeded all expectations!!! He is not only a hit at home but my office has fallen completely in love with him. I want to adopt him permanently and be his safe haven."
Update: Matisse has received his canine good citizen certification is is working toward becoming a certified therapy dog.