It’s almost every kid’s dream to own a puppy or a cat. They long to love a furry friend that they can grow up with and spend hours playing together. With nearly 70 million stray dogs in the United States alone, and only half being abandoned at shelters, it’s better to give these homeless animals a second chance at life than to buy from a breeder.
However, while it’s encouraged that families adopt dogs from shelters, there are some risks involved. For example, some of these animals come with strange and unsettling behaviors that have been passed down through their previous experiences. And one family had to learn the hard way that it's not easy to figure out what's going on inside your dogs head...
The Strange Behavior
A couple decided that they wanted to adopt a friendly canine. Rather than going to a breeder, they decided to head on over to their nearest shelter and pick one of the dogs to take home.
They soon discovered that their loving Golden Retriever had a very weird habit that would leave them feeling very uncomfortable. This behavior carried on for weeks, leaving the couple more and more concerned. When they eventually found out why their dog behaved that way, their hearts broke and they learned how to love him the way that he needed to be loved.
It Was Time to Grow Their Family
To understand the gravity of the family’s story, we need to go back in time. The couple decided that they wanted to adopt an animal and take it home with them for a better life. They visited the nearest shelter, with their hearts set on finding a furry companion.
The minute that their eyes connected with one particular, happy dog, they knew that he was the one. That very day, they signed the papers and adopted the dog, naming him Jack. While the couple knew that they loved Jack, they had no idea how their story would unfold.
The Missing Piece of the Puzzle
At first, the couple had nothing to worry about. Jack fit their family like a glove and his sweet nature made him easy to love. It didn’t take the adopted pup long at all to get comfortable in his new home.
Yet, despite his happy and affectionate personality, there was one habit that would come to the surface once the sun went down. Little did his owners know that Jack had a certain custom that would give them cause for concern.
Jack’s Strange Habit Was Hard to Explain
Chances are that you’ve probably seen some dogs do some pretty strange things. It’s not unusual for dogs to encourage a giggle by chasing their tails or strike a nerve by erratically barking whenever a bicycle goes by.
However, Jack’s habit was particularly strange. It was something so unusual, that his family had never experienced it before. On the first night in his new home, Jack refused to lay in his dog bed in the other room. Instead, he spent the entire night by his owner’s bedroom door.
The Couple Did What They Could - But It Didn’t Help
The couple was perplexed by Jack’s decision to hover around their bedroom door. Why did he not choose to relax in the comfortable bed that they had bought for him? While they couldn’t explain his behavior, they decided to set boundaries and installed a childproof door. But you won’t believe Jack’s response.
The message was not clearly delivered to the adopted pup, and Jack continued to hover at the door, staring at his owners as they slept. He didn’t get bored and didn’t moan for attention - he just kept on staring.
Jack’s Behavior Went Completely Against the Norm
Although the couple was confused by Jack’s behavior, they did have a few ideas about what he could want. At first, they thought that he wanted to hop onto their bed and sleep with them, but they didn’t want to encourage this habit.
Then, they thought perhaps he wanted attention or food. But unlike other dogs who whine or beg, Jack remained completely silent, patiently watching his owners. He would stay awake the entire night and catch up on sleep by taking naps throughout the day.
In the morning, the couple woke up to find their newly adopted Golden Retriever hovering at their door - wide awake. They were incredibly confused by his strange behavior but decided that it wasn’t worth too much thought at first. After all, he seemed like a regular dog during the day.
Jack’s nature continued to be friendly and sweet, and his energy levels were still the same as what you’d expect from his breed of dog. But when the second night came around, the couple became even more disturbed.
Their Concerns Were Multiplied
On one hand, having your new dog stare at you while you sleep is a very strange situation to find yourself in. But the couple’s concern for their dog's extended past their discomfort with the situation.
They were also worried that Jack would get sick if he didn’t get enough sleep. His immune system would weaken and his energy levels would wane. The last thing that they wanted was for Jack to fall ill under their care. But they had a plan.
They Set up Hidden Cameras
A few nights passed with the couple anxiously trying to sleep while their golden canine stared at them from their bedroom door. With their concern increasing at an exponential rate, they decided to buy some hidden cameras and record Jack’s behavior.
From the bottom of their hearts, the couple was hoping that they would discover that Jack did sleep at night, and just happened to wake up at the same time as them. Could the tapes be the answer to the mystery as they gave insight to Jack’s midnight behavior?
No One Could Believe What the Recordings Revealed
The couple hoped that by installing hidden surveillance cameras, they’d be able to get to the bottom of Jack’s strange behavior. But after reviewing the recordings, they were left equally - if not more - confused than ever.
The video revealed that Jack spent the majority of the night silently watching his owners from the childproof structure at their door. He would close his eyes and get a few minutes of rest, but then wake up and continue watching his owners. Perplexed by his behavior, the couple decided to take a different approach.
What Did Jack Want?
The couple had never experienced such strange behavior before in their lives. They knew that adopting a dog would mean that the pup had a history, but they couldn’t make sense of Jack’s odd antics.
They spent countless hours discussing what jack’s intentions could possibly be. Was he carrying some form of emotional baggage from his years as a pup? Or was he previously some form of guard dog? Regardless of the reason, the couple decided to take matters into their own hands.
Plan Number One Was a Fail
Although the couple wasn’t sure why Jack was staring at them, they knew that his behavior had to stop. They pondered the situation and decided on a way that - they hoped - would stop Jack from creeping them out and actually get some rest.
That night, they shut their bedroom door. The childproof gate hadn’t worked, but perhaps closing Jack off completely might. However, when they woke up in the morning, they discovered that Jack was waiting for them on the other side of their door. It was time to test plan B.
The Way to a Man’s Heart Is Through His Stomach
The couple was at a loss and desperate to fix the situation. They considered that perhaps Jack's diet was wrong or that he needed to go outside. The couple mixed things up a bit, hoping that by changing his food he wouldn’t hover at the door.
Jack’s diet, choice of treats and even his dog bed was changed. The couple went above and beyond to make sure that Jack was comfortable and healthy. But still, Jack wouldn’t move from their bedroom door at nighttime.
More Healthy Habits Were Added to the Daily Routine
When the door, the food, and the dog bed didn’t work, the couple had another idea. Perhaps, if Jack was exhausted by nighttime, then he would sleep and not stare at them. So, they started to exercise the energetic Golden Retriever before bed.
The family ended up spending hours playing with Jack outside and taking him on long walks around the neighborhood. When they got home, Jack would appear tired out, and the couple was hopeful that he’d have a good night’s sleep. But when the lights went out, Jack kept on staring. After running out of options, it was time to get professional advice.
Even Experts Were Left Speechless
After trying everything that they could think of, the couple decided to take Jack to see a professional and headed down to the local vet. They were certain that, after chatting with an expert, they’d have an answer for Jack’s strange behavior. But they were wrong.
The vet didn’t have any thoughts to add to Jack’s situation. The dog was in perfect health and there was no biological reason that the dog should be staying awake all night. The concerned group was left wondering if Jack’s strange behavior was what brought him to the shelter in the first place - and that’s when they had an idea.
Could the Shelter Have the Answers to Jack’s Situation?
After exhausting all of their options, the couple had a light bulb moment. What about the shelter? Surely the shelter would have an idea about where Jack came from and what could have prompted his unsettling habits to form.
They decided to visit the pound and ask about Jack’s story. They were hoping that the visit would shed some light on the situation, but they couldn’t possibly have prepared for the heartbreaking story that they were about to learn.
The Answer to Jack’s Strange Habit
After arriving at the shelter, the couple prepared themselves to learn the truth about Jack’s past. However, they never could have expected the story that they were about to hear.
The couple learned that Jack had been abandoned just a few weeks before they had taken him into their home as their own. Before them, Jack was “cared for” by another family. The previous family had big plans which involved a baby - but not a dog. Rather than making it work, Jack was abandoned and left without any love or care.
Small Actions Have Big Consequences
The family that previously cared for Jack had no idea what their thoughtless and cruel decision would have on the dog. Rather than taking responsibility for the Golden Retriever that had come to rely on them, they decided to abandon him.
The abandonment left Jack frightened and the trauma left him scarred, but the worst part of Jack’s story was how his previous family said goodbye. His new owners had come to love him very much and when they heard his story, they couldn’t help themselves from crying.
How Nighttime Came to Be a Threat
With tears running down their cheeks, the couple came to learn about how Jack was abandoned. His previous owners had waited for the sun to set and slipped Jack a sedative. Once he fell asleep, they heartlessly took him to the pound - without even giving him the chance to say goodbye.
When Jack woke up he was confused and scared. He was in an unfamiliar place and had no idea where his owners were. The intention was to prevent a sad goodbye for both parties, but all that it did was traumatize the poor pup.
How Do You Not Say Goodbye?
Anyone who has ever owned a pooch will know how deep of an impact the furry family member can have. They are always waiting to lick you at the door after a long day, they lie at your feet with big eyes and they blindly run after the same stick - no matter how many times you throw it.
Knowing how loving and loyal dogs are, only makes Jack’s story even more heartbreaking and difficult to process. No wonder the poor dog had such a hard time sleeping at night.
The Couple Were Determined to Find a New Solution
When the couple learned the truth about Jack’s story, they were heartbroken. In the short time that they had owned Jack, they had come to love his adorable, friendly nature and energetic demeanor.
They were determined to find a solution that would make Jack feel safe and loved in his new home. They put their minds together to come up with a way to help their dog forget about the time that he was abandoned. And that’s when they had a brilliant idea.
The First Night Would Test the Plan
The family returned home from the shelter determined to make Jack feel loved and comfortable. They realized that locking him outside of their room had only added to his trauma, and they were willing to do whatever it took to make him realize that they loved him.
The first thing that the couple did was to move Jack’s bed from the other room into their bedroom. By speaking gently, they coaxed him into sleeping in their room with them - but you won’t believe what Jack did.
Old Habits Die Hard
At first, Jack was confused by the change of tone. Up until this point, he had been barricaded outside of the bedroom and was uncertain how to read the new situation. Instead of making him feel at ease, the new sleeping routine made Jack anxious.
During the first night that Jack spent in his owner’s room, he was nervous and clearly reluctant to fall asleep. He stuck to his old habits and sat in his bed, staring at his owners the whole night. He was petrified of being abandoned again.
Slow Progress Was Made
Eventually, after a few nights, Jack realized that his new owners had no intention of abandoning him. Slowly, he began to relax in their presence and became more comfortable with falling asleep.
With his dog bed close to the couple’s bed, he learned to trust his new owners and identified the genuine love and concern that they had for him. As the nights passed, he eventually became comfortable enough to sleep all the way through until the morning. The family had solved the mystery of Jack’s strange habits and helped him overcome his trauma.
A Story That’s Worth Sharing
After the breakthrough with their adopted pup, the couple decided to share Jack’s story with the rest of the world. They wanted everyone to know that every action has a reaction and that every decision carries consequences.
The consequences of abandoning a pet can be very traumatic for the furry animal. They also encouraged people who might be in the same situation as they were by providing ways to calm an anxious dog and love their pooch unconditionally. It should come as no surprise that their story went viral and touched people’s hearts across the globe.
More Voices Were Added to the Chorus
As the couple’s story was shared, more and more people identified with their struggle. Social media became a powerful tool in educating people about the reality of adopting dogs, and the emotional baggage that their pup may carry.
People began to share similar stories in response, further highlighting how complex canine emotions can be. Would Jack’s previous owners have abandoned him if they had known the distressing effect it would have had on him? Luckily, Jack was adopted by a couple who was willing to put in the effort to understand him - but it wasn’t easy.
Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day
Even if Jack’s previous family had loved him, their careless decision to abandon him without saying goodbye left him traumatized and hurt. When he was adopted by a new family, these traumas continued to haunt him, making him fearful of falling asleep in case his nightmare was replayed.
It wasn’t an easy road, and it took Jack a few weeks to get accustomed to the idea that his new family had no plans to abandon him. But eventually, he realized that they were dedicated to loving him forever.
Sharing the Load in a Different Way
There’s nothing that the couple can do to take away Jack’s past, but they can make sure that he feels loved in his present and future. Choosing to move Jack’s bed into their bedroom was the best decision that they could have made.
It was this decision - to bring Jack close to them during his darkest hours - that made the pup realize that his owners loved him. Eventually, both the humans and the dog could sleep all the way until the morning without concern.
Do You Have a Furry Friend?
Sadly, Jack’s story is not the only one of the type. There are countless abandoned dogs around the world, desperate for a home but haunted by their traumas. Jack’s story offers a valuable lesson to those who choose to adopt dogs.
It’s important to understand that each dog has a past, and their future will largely be influenced by how you respect this past. Dogs are loyal to a fault, and they deserve to be loved with the same loyalty in return.
Men Who Rescue Helpless Dog Realize They’ve Made a Dangerous Mistake
According to National Geographic, determining the difference between a jaguar and a leopard is a hard task. Getting animals confused is a common thing, especially if you’ve never seen a particular animal in person.
For three construction workers in Estonia, they dropped all instincts when they witnessed a creature drowning in the water. Being the kind people that they were, they had no clue what it was that needed saving but went without hesitation.
A Peculiar Discovery Is Made by a Few Guys
Rando Kartsepp, Robin Sillamäe, and Erki Väli had quite an eventful day. In Estonia, they were all working on the Sindi Dam. While they were going about business as usual, something peculiar caught their attention.
It was a cold day in early 2019 when they heard a strange noise. Hearing all kinds of sounds is a normal thing due to the type of business they were in, but this noise stood out. There was something unfamiliar about it. They all decided to investigate and figure out what it was...
Closing in on the Noise
The workers cautiously approached the Parnu River to investigate what was going on and see if they could do something. They wanted to uncover what the strange noise was and stop it once and for all. Once they got about 100 yards away from the mysterious noise, it dawned on them.
It was a scared and helpless animal that appeared to be drowning in the river! The situation unfolded quickly and the guys realized they needed to help the poor animal.
Not a Small Creature
No, it wasn't a raccoon or any small creature like that, but a poor dog who couldn't save itself! The situation was dire and urgent, especially because they didn't know how long the dog had been in the water. The clock was ticking, and all the guys knew they had to help immediately.
No creature should be trying to swim in this icy river on such a freezing cold day like this one. The poor dog was in a horrible situation, but luckily enough, the guys were there to save its life. They just needed to act fast before things got worse.
No Time to Waste
With their hearts filled with love and care, the men sprung into action to save the poor canine. It didn't matter that the water was freezing cold, they jumped in and swam out to sea towards the poor pooch.
The ice became thicker and colder, yet Kartsepp, Sillamäe, and Väli all persevered. They chipped away enough of a path to get the dog to safety. Although it was dangerous, it needed to be done. But were they fast enough? Was the dog still alive?
An Unusual Dog
After they got the dog out of the water and back onto land, the guys immediately wrapped a thick blanket around him to provide the warmth that he desperately needed. Kartsepp, Sillamäe, and Väli suddenly realized this wasn't just some regular dog they had just saved.
This canine was large, and after the guys did some further examination, they also noticed piercing yellow eyes and thicker-than-normal fur. This wasn't any old domesticated house dog, so what was it?
The Clock Is Ticking
The species was unknown, but the guys knew it was in pretty horrible condition. The clock was ticking as time was running out, and a thick blanket could only help him for a short moment.
The unusual needed medical attention as soon as possible. It was the only other option as the blanket wouldn't be enough. Hypothermia was just around the corner and the guys knew that they needed to act fast and take the animal to safety.
All the Necessary Help
In the pickup truck, Kartsepp, Sillamäe, and Väli moved quickly and laid the animal down inside. The poor animal was shivering uncontrollably to try and regain desperately needed heat. The guys made a smart choice and dialed the number of the local animal hospital.
After getting a hold of the vet, they were told to bring the animal in immediately. Pedal to the metal, the guys took off in their truck because time wasn't on their side. Racing down the road, they held onto the cold animal to provide as much warmth as possible.
A Race to the Hospital
With everyone packed into the pickup truck, they sped down the road to get to the hospital as quickly as possible. The animal was motionless and slept the entire way there.
Luckily, the icy cold animal was still alive and was breathing calmly with its head rested in Kartsepp's lap. Even though the animal was very weak, it was affectionate. This encouraged the guys to keep on and try to save the poor thing!
Finally at the Hospital
After cuddling and speeding, the guys finally got the animal to the hospital without a second to spare. The veterinarians met them outside to help and were quick to get to work.
What was believed to be a canine, the vets carried it inside and slowly brought it back to health. This wasn't a dog though, and this wasn't a typical case for the veterinarians. This thing was far more of a threat than the three men could have imagined.
What Exactly Was It?
The veterinarians had to make a call because they didn't know exactly what they were dealing with, but one thing that was for certain was that this mysterious animal wasn't a dog.
A local hunter was called by the vets and the truth was finally uncovered. Even though Kartsepp, Sillamäe, and Väli had originally thought what they were dealing with was a canine, it was actually a wolf!
In utter disbelief, the three guys couldn't believe what they were hearing. It was even more unsettling when they thought about how they had just transported this wolf in their truck.
Even though it sounds shocking, one must keep in mind that the poor animal was in a life or death situation. It would've been a different story altogether if the wolf had been in better condition.
Ice Was a Lifesaver
In the freezing cold river, the wolf was basically sedated and very weak. The ice was the main reason why the wolf behaved so calmly and literally chilled out on the truck ride.
Luckily nothing bad happened to the guys who saved the wolf's life. But once again, the clock was ticking because this calm wolf wouldn't be so for much longer. This was a wild animal, not a domesticated house pet. What would the vets do next?
How Was the Wolf Doing?
The compassionate veterinarians were able to give an update on how the wolf was doing. The head clinician Tarvo Markson said, "We just kept the wolf in his room because he was so exhausted he didn't resist at all, at first."
"At first." The words hung in the air for a while. It would be naive to expect a wild animal to be tame for long. Once the wolf started to come back to normal, and the situation dawned on him, things began to feel like they could quickly become dangerous.
Back to Being a Wolf
As soon as the wolf began to recover, its natural and wild instincts soon followed. This was a young wolf, only one year old, so you can picture how it would act in such a small and enclosed space.
The little pup needed to be placed in a secure cage for the safety of everyone involved. This cage for the wild wolf would hopefully keep everyone calm, as the veterinarians didn't know what would happen next...
Protecting the Wild Animal
The wolf was fully recovered and back to its usual self by the end of the day. There wasn't any question that the wolf would be returned back to the wild. It was important, though, that the wolf remained safe, so a plan was made to protect the animal.
A GPS collar given by the Estonian national environmental agency was used as an extra precaution. It was important that the wolf wouldn't make the same mistake twice and put his life at risk again.
Returning to the Wild
And just like that, the wolf darted out from the cage and disappeared into the forest. As soon as the cage was open, the wolf dashed out. Free at last! The wolf was successfully returned to the wild.
Kartsepp, Sillamäe, and Väli waved and said their goodbyes as the wolf disappeared into the wild. Although a bittersweet moment, it made for an unforgettable story to share with their colleagues at work the next day.
A Happy Ending
Obviously, things could have turned out poorly for both the helpful guys and the wild wolf, but everything ended up being okay. So many different things could have happened, but luckily everything turned out just fine.
The Estonian Union for the Protection of Animals stated, "We're very happy with the outcome and want to thank everyone involved - especially the men who rescued the wolf. We'd also like to thank the veterinarians of the clinic who weren't afraid to treat the wild animal."
Not That Surprising
If something like this happened again in Estonia, it wouldn't be that big of a surprise to anybody. There is a pretty large population of wolves that live in Europe, so seeing them end up in dangerous situations is becoming more of a common occurrence.
Actually, Estonia's national animal only just became the wolf a few months before this incident happened. Having random people save the newfound national animal that is so loved and special isn't a story everybody had the honor to share.
A Month Later, Surprise!
Kartsepp, Sillamäe, and Väli were visited by the same wolf they helped save over a month after the incident. The wolf had built up a bit of a reputation by now and had been photographed by locals. It had been spotted around 70 miles from where they had released him.
Thankfully, the wolf recovered well and was able to return back to normal. It would've been a sad case if the little pup didn't make it, but luckily he fought to survive and is now thriving in the wild.