Big Mac would have a difficult time finding a family, it was obvious when the puppy came at the McKamey Animal Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The big dog wasn’t adjusting well to the shelter setting and was wary of meeting new people.
It was clear that he didn’t immediately trust everyone, said Lauren Mann, the shelter’s advancement manager, to The Dodo. “We’re not really sure what his living environment was like before coming to us,” she said. When given snacks and allowed to roam free in the play yard, the dog warmed up.
Big Mac was surrendered by his owner in December of last year because they “didn’t have time for him and they were moving,” according to Mann. The shelter needed someone patient and caring who could show the abandoned dog that humans weren’t so bad.
But time passed, and soon Big Mac was the longest resident at the shelter.
After 260 days, a miracle took place: Big Mac left the McKamey Animal Center for good.
One of the volunteers at the shelter had agreed to foster him in her house, but after falling in love with the once-fearful dog, she decided to adopt him permanently.
The first night he spent in foster care, according to Mann’s coworker, “he slept for like 12 hours straight, just really opened up, and wanted to play with her other dog and even wanted to play with the cats.” He “truly made a 180″ and was all-around a fantastic dog.”
The shelter worker’s dog even helped Mac learn how to trust again.
“Her resident dog took him under his wing, and when they were out for a walk and he’d get a little scared, her dog would be like, ‘No, it’s OK,’” Mann said. “And he’d show him that it was OK and people could be trusted.”
When Big Mac left the shelter for the last time to go home with his new mom, Mann and her team wanted to do something special to commemorate the occasion.
The shelter staff gathered together at the entrance to give the longest resident a standing ovation as he walked out of the building for the last time.
You can watch the adorable video here:
“His new mom was surprised that he handled it so well, which shows that he’s doing a lot better with stranger danger,” Mann said. “He was just ready to go … he didn’t really care about treats or pets or anything. He was just ready to go home.”
Now, Big Mac is part of a loving home and has a new family who will never leave his side.