Man’s Daily Visits to Fearful Shelter Dog Build Unbreakable Bond

Alva, a dog who found a home in 2020, sadly returned to Austin Pets Alive! in 2022. She suffers from wobbler syndrome, a spinal and neck condition causing physical limitations and fearfulness. The staff feared Alva might never find a permanent home due to her defensive nature.

Enter Joe Rotunda. Smitten by Alva’s Instagram profile, Rotunda was undeterred by her fearfulness. Determined to earn her trust, he decided to visit Alva daily, fostering a deep connection.

For two months, Rotunda’s consistent presence at the shelter helped Alva open up. He patiently sat with her, talking and showing her that she was safe with him. Rotunda’s dedication reflected his growing affection for Alva.

After collaborating with the rescue’s training team and earning Alva’s trust, Rotunda was ready to bring her home. He made considerable changes to his living space, including a ramp and safe zones, to accommodate her needs. Their journey of training and bonding continued at home, with Alva making remarkable progress.

“People often say it’s hard work, but Alva has enriched my life more than I could imagine,” shared Rotunda. Alva’s newfound joy in exploring and playing, once thought impossible, is a testament to their unbreakable bond.

With Rotunda’s support, Alva’s indomitable spirit shines. She has become a source of inspiration for him. “Every encounter with Alva is a gift of inspiration,” Rotunda expressed. “Her spirit is infectious, and she faces life’s challenges with unwavering strength.”