Trooper: A Dog Adoption Success Story

A shy Pit Bull mix finds a home.


Trooper: A Dog Adoption Success StoryTrooper, a 11/2-year-old, 65-pound German Shorthaired Pointer-American Pit Bull Terrier mix, arrived at the Northern Arizona Second Chance Center for Animals without any social skills. Named after his first owner’s position in the Marines, Trooper was relinquished when his owner was sent to Iraq.

"He was very, very timid,” says Second Chance’s Diane Jarvis. "This huge dog would cower in the back of his kennel.”

A volunteer dog trainer came in to work with Trooper, and everybody at the rescue made an effort to help socialize him by petting him and giving him treats. Within one month, Trooper was comfortable with women, but still shy around men. "Everybody loved him,” Jarvis says. "He had these big beautiful eyes.”

Two weeks after their honeymoon, Seth and Jane Muller walked into Second Chance rescue. "We didn’t want a puppy,” Jane says. "We wanted a larger dog, but not huge. Shorthaired and housetrained.” As she looked around, her husband saw Trooper. "This dog with these beautiful amber eyes was staring right at me,” Seth says. "I felt like he was picking me. I called Jane over and said, ‘I think this is our dog.’”

Jarvis recalls that when Seth walked up to Trooper, he didn’t walk away. "For whatever reason, he trusted me,” Seth says.

Today, Trooper, renamed Tanner, spends a lot of time hiking with his owners. "He loves to go outside,” Jane says. "But he also mellows out. He is a really sweet dog.”

Jennifer Quasha is a DOG FANCY contributing editor and author of Don’t Pet a Pooch While He’s Pooping: Etiquette for Dogs and Their People (BowTie Press, 2004, $8.95). She lives in Connecticut.


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Bella's mom   lapeer, Michigan

4/22/2015 3:09:03 PM

A friend gave me a large puppy five years ago and said he was told she was a German shorthaired pointer mixed with pit! So today I decided to google this dog.....and omg here she is!! Looks just like my Bella :) she is so sweet and mellow, and loves to hunt!

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Corrine   Cleveland, OH

12/30/2011 6:18:36 AM

My first dog was a pure breed English Bulldog ( which pure breeds are wonderful), I only do "second chance" dogs from Rescue groups, they seem to know they were given another chance in life, and only want to please you in every way possible.

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Sylvia   Farmington, NH

5/26/2010 6:12:04 AM

We have rescued pitbull terriers from various shelters since the early 90's and have 5 at present of both sexes!! Have learned alot from them and about them. We are definitely partial to this breed. My husband and I are in our early 70's and have had other breeds but these are the best!!

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Cynthia Marston   Sweet Home, OR

4/14/2010 8:24:22 AM

i rescued a pit mix who was abandonnd and he started awhol chain of events. 1st he neded dog socialization so i got him a puppy...then decided he needed an older dog to set a good example so got him another dog who was 2. in the meantime while looking for the older dog found another youngster i really wanted...soooo now i have 4 and believe it or not there is more order and balance with the 4! the rescue remains the hard to train but he's getting there. i KNOW if he was to be put in a shelter he'd have gotten worse with his stuff and end up lost to the world. i did this because i have a big house, 2acres and am home most the time and there were thousands of dogs up for adoption everywhere!

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