Sometimes good things come in gigantic packages. That’s what Meg Nakahara discovered when she met Pop, a towering Rottweiler mix, while volunteering at the ASPCA Adoption Center in New York City.
“When I turned the corner to one of the rooms, all I saw was a giant head looking at me! My first impression was, ‘OH my goodness! What a giant dog!’” she says. “I then read his bio and saw what a sweet guy he is. He's got such a handsome face and a sweet disposition—how could I not instantly fall in love?”
ASPCA team members knew that he’d need a special adopter. A Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) Agent rescued Pop from an abusive situation in 2006. The starved Rottie, then five years old, arrived at the ASPCA emaciated and in need of veterinary attention for arthritis and tummy issues. Though he was naturally sweet and mellow, his difficult life had also left him deeply terrified of strangers.
Although Meg would have been up to the challenge, the timing wasn’t right: Her apartment didn’t allow pets, and she was planning a move to Quincy, Massachusetts. Eventually, Pop got adopted by someone else.
Soon after she relocated to New England, Meg received a phone call from a friend at the ASPCA who told her that Pop had returned to our Adoption Center. Of course, Meg booked it down to New York to snatch him up.
Since then, Meg and her boyfriend, Ciaran, have helped Pop remember how to be a happy and playful dog, even turning him into a model of doggie obedience. “He does an array of tricks,” Meg notes, listing a litany of commands that include Wave Bye, Inside Voice and Eskimo Kiss. “He loves treats and will do pretty much anything for them, and, being a smart dog, he can pick things up pretty quickly.”
Now nine years old, Pop leads a charmed life filled with Kongs, snacks, his very own stuffed animals (which he loves to rip apart), romps in the snow, naps in the sun and trips to the off-leash park to play with his canine pals. “Pop is still the same mellow, sweet character I fell in love with when I first met him,” the doting Meg says. “There's not a day that goes by that I don't think how lucky I am to have this handsome, sweet dog by our side.”
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