After Italian greyhound Lou ended up at an animal shelter, the unfortunate canine seemingly struggled to adapt to his new surroundings. The other dogs there scared him, and he just couldn’t get over his shyness. When Lou was rehomed, however, his new owner took on the task of cheering him up – but would he succeed in his plan?
Lou was adopted by Peter Sohn, a New York City-based fashion designer. He gained a BFA from the Parsons School of Design in 2006, and at the time he attempted to raise Lou’s spirits he worked for the women’s fashion company Adam Lippes.
However, Sohn was told when he picked up Lou that the dog had become very cautious in his dealings with others; the animal was notably wary when around fellow dogs at the facility. And the shelter also revealed a sad explanation for Lou’s seeming withdrawal from others.
Certainly, Lou’s behavior was out of the ordinary for those of his breed. Italian greyhounds are known to typically be extremely friendly towards both people and other dogs, although they can be somewhat reticent when it comes to showing affection to those they don’t know. They are also usually highly intelligent and sensitive in nature.
But as Sohn found out when he adopted Lou, the animal’s intense fear of others around him may have been because of experiences that he had had in his past. And such news may very well have been upsetting for Lou’s new owner to hear.
In a 2014 post on image-sharing site Imgur, Sohn commented on Lou’s temperament at the time of the adoption. He explained, “[Lou] was super timid and afraid of other dogs. The shelter informed us that he had come from an abusive owner and had lived a pretty sad life.”
Abuse against animals comes in many forms, and hitting, shouting, imposed isolation, early separation from their mothers and a lack of a healthy grooming or feeding routine can all potentially impact dogs for life. Sadly, a number of dogs that end up in shelters have themselves been victims of abuse.
Furthermore, anxiety towards strangers and other dogs – a trait expressed by Lou – may also be a common side-effect of mistreatment. With enough time, care and attention spent on them, however, abused animals may learn to love and trust those around them again.
But when caring for a dog that may have previously been abused, it is advised not to expect big changes in their behavior immediately. To begin with, provide the dog with lots of exercise and a lot of affection. Never force them to do anything they don’t want to do, either; instead, instill confidence in them and set aside a safe space for them in which they are able to spend down time.
Sohn’s solution to the problem, though, was to allow Lou to experience a completely new and relaxing environment. As a result, he took the dog for a visit to the beach in Amagansett in the Hamptons, New York. And given how Lou would apparently adapt to his surroundings, it may have been the perfect choice.
What’s more, Sohn chronicled Lou’s visit to the Hamptons in an Imgur post that has now been viewed nearly 200,000 times. And judging from the photos of the greyhound that his owner posted, the trip seems to have had a big effect on Lou.
According to Sohn, Lou hadn’t ever experienced the beach before; in snaps of the dog on the sand, though, he seems to be more than satisfied. There were some other new experiences in store for Lou during the trip too. These included making a friend – a big step for such a formerly timid animal.
You see, in the Hamptons, Lou met Buddha the bulldog. And, as it happens, Buddha was pretty much the perfect companion to teach Lou that not all dogs are scary. Indeed, after a while – and a little sniffing – Lou began to relax around his new canine friend.
Sohn explained in his Imgur post, “Lou was usually very afraid of other dogs. But Buddha, like his name implies, is a dog of peace and tranquillity.” Buddha’s quiet demeanor appeared to have had a pacifying effect on Lou, moreover, as the two canines seemed to hit it off.
After that, Buddha seemed to act as a sort of tour guide. He and Lou ventured into a grassy area, where the pair of dogs then found the best lounging spots to lay out and catch some rays. Meanwhile, Sohn caught the buddies’ chill-out time on camera.
Sohn further revealed on Imgur, “Everywhere Buddha went, Lou had to follow! [Lou] had never laid out on a lounge chair before.” Not only had the dogs become friends, then, but they had seemingly become inseparable too. The Imgur post continued with several pictures of Lou apparently enjoying himself in the sand.
At least, Sohn was convinced that Lou had appreciated his time by the shore, as he would later write that the dog was “so happy to feel the sand between his paws.” The animal’s owner added, “We had never seen Lou act so free and open! Amazing what a weekend at the beach can do.”
Another picture shows Lou “soaking in the rays” and looking altogether contented. But it seems that an exciting day at the beach tired the greyhound out. Sohn also commented, “After a long drive home, Lou went straight to his bed and passed out, dreaming of the Hamptons.”
But after viewing the images of Lou on his trip, some Imgur commenters worried that his belly had turned an overly pink shade. One individual said in response, for example, “Such a happy dog, but [he] looks like he needs some after-sun cream. Be aware that animals with sparse fur do need suncream.”
Still, another Imgur user wanted to commend Sohn for his actions in helping Lou find a little bit of happiness. “Lou looks like a completely different dog; he looks so happy with his new chum. You can always tell good, kind owners by their animals. Bravo,” they wrote.