Sometimes a dog needs to make some big moves to get adopted.  Cocoa, a Dutch Shepherd mix with possibly some Pitbull, German Shepherd and hound, is one of those stories where it took some time, work and many miles to find her forever home. Originally from a shelter in California, she was shipped to Seattle as a puppy for a new start.  Unfortunately, Cocoa somehow became stray at 6 months old and was found at Elliot and 4th Ave. with her left paw mending from a break.  She was then adopted briefly but returned and then lived the Seattle Animal Shelter for close to 8 months before SAS volunteer Lauren began fostering Cocoa.  

One of Cocoa’s challenges was separation anxiety.  She escaped through doors and jumped over baby gates.  She couldn’t be left alone so Lauren juggled schedules and organized volunteer sitters to help.  This was one of the challenges to overcome to help get Cocoa adopted.  They worked on her separation training and dog reactivity to make her more adoptable by attending Growly Dog classes at Ahimsa as well as a session with a Separation a Specialist from Ahimsa.

As a super smart dog, Cocoa taught herself how to open the fridge, baby gates and doors.  Her intelligence was matched by her cuddliness and friendliness as a 62lb lap dog.  Lauren also noted she had a few curious traits like lying down in her kennel to avoid time outs or licking something and then her tongue just freezes.   “Sweet and strange, just like her,” said Lauren.

She loved agility play too.  While with Lauren, Cocoa got to take trips to the Zoom Room to jump through hoops and run up and down skinny ramps and tubes.  She loved to go on long walks and find treats.  She also enjoyed playing with her puppy friends, running after balls and eating.

Some of the special moments Lauren shared with Cocoa were driving in the car together and hiking.  After four months living with Lauren, Cocoa eventually befriended her cat and soon they were sleeping together and the cat would come up to Cocoa for licks and love, which Cocoa was happy to share.  They also played hide and seek.   

When asked why Cocoa was in foster care so long, Lauren replied, “She can look kind of intimidating.  She looks big and has that bad leg.  She was just waiting for the family who’d appreciate her differences and would be willing to put in a little bit of time and effort for a really good dog.”  

Lauren’s commitment as a foster parent helped Cocoa find her forever home with a new family in early July, and  SASF is happy to be able to support the SAS Foster Program and foster parents like Lauren as they help animals prepare for their forever homes.