This week’s Wagging Tail Wednesday is a heartwarming story about first-time dog owners Karli and Haiyang and a very special dog, Sherman (formerly known as James Brown). Even in just reading their story, you can see how much the love and affection of a rescue pup’s new parents can help even the most timid of pups blossom and thrive.
Karli and Haiyang found Wags and Walks via Karli’s time volunteering at Wags Club. Before Wags, Sherman clearly had few positive experiences with humans; he was found on the streets alongside his brother, but Sherman has an inexplicable energy that Karli and Haiyang felt from the very first moment they met him.
They say you just “know” when it’s the right time to adopt a dog, and that is definitely the case for Karli and Haiyang when they adopted Sherman in October. They had wanted a dog (their first one!) for quite some time, but hadn’t yet found the right fit. When they met Sherman for the first time at an adoption event in Mar Vista, they had already scoped him out online quite a bit.
When they arrived at the adoption event, Karli and Haiyang saw many many cute and friendly dogs, but the only one who stood out to them was Sherman. He and his brother were hiding in the back corner under a table, and his fosters were trying - and failing - to get him to come out and socialize. Karli and Haiyang said they were drawn to Sherman immediately; they felt deeply sad that Sherman was sad, but he seemed so gentle. He had the sweetest face and eyes and was so unique looking, and from first sight, they just knew he had to be a part of their family.
Like with all adoptions, Karli and Haiyang’s journey with Sherman has been a unique one full of its own series of challenges and surprises. As Sherman is a very shy dog, Karli and Haiyang have been slowly building trust with him.
While they were on vacation this past February, Sherman got away from his sitter and ran away during a horrible rainstorm in L.A.. Karli and Haiyang were away in Cambodia and felt inconsolable that Sherman was lost; they felt helpless. Thankfully, due to their friends and kind people in LA, Sherman was found and made it home safe and sound.
Their biggest surprise with Sherman came from a different moment together in their early months as a family. Late one night, Karli was home alone with Sherman. Sherman is a very quiet dog and they had never heard him bark or growl for 5 months before this moment, but when Haiyang came home unexpectedly, Sherman started barking at him...loudly!
They had never heard his voice before, and while they knew they were adopting a sweet and gentle soul, they didn’t know they were also adopting a guard dog! They were able to see the their growing bond by Sherman’s protecting Karli and the house in that moment.
Karli and Haiyang have learned so much from their time with Sherman thus far, and while they have had their challenges, much of what they’ve learned is how wonderful of a dog he is; he just needs some extra love. Everyone who meets Sherman comments on how gentle and sweet he is, and he even takes his treats gently!
Karli and Haiyang love getting to know Sherman’s personality and building trust and their relationship with him. They especially love coming home to his smiley face and watching him play with his toys. Some of Sherman’s favorite things are throwing around his stuffed penguin...and stealing the dish towels off the counter and playing with them!
Karli and Haiyang can’t imagine a time when Sherman wasn’t a part of the family; they take him everywhere with them - the beach, road trips, breweries etc! Sherman has expanded their family in the best way possible, and they love him more than they could ever imagine.
As with their story, adopting a new pet is just the beginning of your journey. Each of us has our own unique experience, and so does every dog. Learning each other’s habits and triggers takes time and patience, and Karli and Haiyang are doing exactly what you’re supposed to do - learning and absorbing every experience and giving Sherman all of their love...and receiving his love in return.
We at Wags and Walks are so lucky to be able to foster these forever bonds between amazing humans like Karli and Haiyang and wonderful, deserving, loving pups like Sherman. If you’re looking for your doggy soul mate, visit our website to see our available dogs and fill out an adoption application.
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