There he was. A little black fluffball of a dog, looking more bat than dog with his large ears and tiny body. His name was Igor. Dropped off that morning by a concerned citizen who found him wandering as a stray in the city, volunteer Amy Thompson eyed Igor carefully as she considered how she could help him settle in and adjust to kennel life.
A queen of “snarky little dogs,” Amy was used to helping tiny, fear-reactive dogs overcome their terror. “It took three people and bite gloves to get a collar on him,” she remembers. Staff and volunteers also quickly learned to leave Igor’s leash on when putting him back in his kennel, or suffer the toothy consequences. “What was Igor’s past like? What would his future be?” Amy wondered.
Fast forward a few months, and little Igor is living it large in Amy’s house as a foster dog. “Truthfully, it wasn’t until after his neuter that things began to really come around. He was one of those that neutering helped a lot. His attitude became less guarded and more friendly. As weeks went by, I could slowly touch him more and more. One day, in the lobby of the SPCA, he rolled over for a tummy scratch and I just went for it,” Amy laughs. “I scooped him up and held him. He just looked at me and I just looked at him. From that day on, I could touch and hold him.”
It was at this time that Amy decided to bring Igor into her home as a foster dog. “He took to my husband right away!” she exclaims. True to his snarky little self, he continued to detest a lot of petting and rebuffed anyone else’s attempt to pick him up or cuddle. Yet Amy, and her patient husband, Dave, continued to give Igor his space and show him that humans can indeed be trusted.
Believe it or not, there is a market out there of adopters who want to bring snarky little dogs into their homes. Rachel Velez and her husband Joseph were just such adopters. After the passing of their beloved little dog, Rachel began to look for a furry addition. Upon browsing the SPCA website, she spotted Igor’s photograph. The little dog piqued her interest, so she met with Amy and Igor at the shelter. Amy explained all about Igor, his highs and his lows. Intrigued, Rachel scheduled a meet and greet with Igor, Amy, and their other dog, Tonna, at their house. “The meet and greet went very well,” Amy explains. “He did not need to adjust, he fit right in.”
“At first, Igor was very timid. He would come to my husband, Joseph, for a treat,” Rachel explains, but he would not do much else, other than sit by the door and stare. “Now, he’s a momma’s boy,” Rachel laughs. “I wanted him right away. I knew I could handle his personality,” she goes on to say. “We had rescue dogs before, including one that had a snarky attitude…though not as snarky as Igor.”
His nickname is now “Little Man” and he enjoys cuddling in her lap or lying by her feet. Though, to be sure, he still has his quirks. “If [while he is at my feet], I bump him or move around, he gets grumpy,” Rachel explains. “He likes his routines. If there is a change to his routine, he gets grumpy.”
“We just re-assure him,” she says. Igor rewards them with kisses and cuddles, as well as plenty of laughter. He sings along with Georgie the parrot and enjoys making his rounds of the neighborhood to visit family members. “He took to my brother right away,” Rachel proudly adds.
“It just goes to show that there is someone out there for every dog, ” Amy affirms. Indeed, saving them all is a cause that supporters and staff strongly believe in and work for. Thank you for bringing new life to little Igor.