Foster Dog Overcomes Fear Thanks to a Few Unexpected Friends

Two bunnies helped this timid pup find his footing—and his new home!

Ana + Simcoe

For the past four years, our house has been a revolving parade of foster puppies. From Gabe the shepherd mix, to Marvin the teacup Chihuahua, to Fanny the 14-year-old “fospice” dog, FosterDogs NYC has helped us give more than a dozen dogs a place to be loved before going into their adoptive homes.

"Simcoe would just quietly watch the bunnies, hoping they'd come up to say hello."

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I have personally fallen in love with each foster dog that walked through our doors, and more than once we thought of adopting one. The problem was, we have two rescued rabbits, Chauncey and Nibbler, with huge personalities and full run of the house. How would they feel about a permanent roommate? The bunnies have always been in charge, and they needed a dog who would give them space and let them warm up on their own terms. Then came Simcoe.

It only took two weeks for us to know that Simcoe was the perfect dog for us. Part of a trio of foster puppies we were caring for (we were outnumbered by puppies!), he was the most timid and quietest of the bunch. While the other two puppies chased each other around the apartment, Simcoe would just quietly watch the bunnies, hoping they’d come up to say hello. He seemed to be afraid of just about everything: new noises, strangers, stairs. You name it, he was scared of it. But not the bunnies. They seemed to calm him down and slowly showed him that the world isn’t such a scary place. They explored the apartment together, then the backyard, and soon Simcoe was comfortable going on walks without them.

Flash forward six months later, and Simcoe the timid puppy has become our little explorer. He has come to love the outdoors and discovered a love of hiking—even climbing his first peak in Acadia National Park! He went swimming in Lake Simcoe, Ontario, and became our enthusiastic lifeguard, pulling everyone back to safety whenever he decided we’d had enough fun swimming.

Simcoe’s new love of the outdoors has made us healthier, more energetic people. He’s changed our lives for the better as our constant companion who is always up for the next adventure. The rabbits love having a new nap buddy after he’s exhausted himself at the park. Thanks to FosterDogs NYC, we were able to find the perfect dog to join our pack. We can’t wait for Simcoe to be a great foster brother for even more dogs in need.

Each year, Petco Love invites adopters to share the story of how their adopted pet changed their lives during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign, giving the organization that they adopted from a chance to receive a grant award. This story by Ana Pulido won FosterDogs NYC in New York a 2017 Holiday Wishes award.