Norman, an American Staffordshire dog, was found tied to the gate outside the BC SPCA’s Burnaby animal centre in October. He had been abandoned and left out in the cold sometime after the centre had closed.
“When staff showed up to open, they were surprised and saddened to see a dog tied to our gate,” says Nicole McBain, manager of the BC SPCA’s Burnaby animal centre. “We didn’t know how many hours he had been there, but we knew he must have been devastated to watch his owner drive away and leave him there. Our hearts broke for him.”
Norman had no identification, so BC SPCA staff were not able to locate his owner. “It wasn’t a surprise given the circumstances we found him in that we couldn’t track down the owner and no one reached out to us while he was on stray hold,” says McBain. She adds that Norman quickly became a staff and volunteer darling as he was such a sweet boy with so much love to give. “We all celebrated his new beginning when he found a fantastic forever home!”
And who gave Norman his amazing forever home? A woman who had lost her beloved American Staffordshire just three weeks earlier and had been dealing with her own heartbreak.
“My boyfriend and I saw Norman on the adoption page of the BC SPCA’s website. We read his story and I just couldn’t stop thinking about him.” Robin contacted the Burnaby BC SPCA and set up a meeting. To say it went well, is an understatement. “He chose me as much as I chose him,” says Robin. “As soon as I walked into his kennel, he came right up to me and rolled on his back.”
Robin and Norman would soon be in a car making the drive to his fabulous new home with a huge yard, surrounded by trails. “When we got to the house, he was a little nervous walking on the hard wood floors. I am not sure if he wasn’t allowed to come inside in his past life and that is why he was nervous, but I was able to get him to the couch with some treats. He cuddled right up to me and I just let him decompress.” Robin says he is still hesitant about coming into the house and when he goes outside to the yard for some zoomies he won’t come back in unless he is invited.
It didn’t take long for Norman to bond with Robin. “He is so attached now,” she says. Robin adds that they go for walks on the trails every day. “His first walk, he was on alert the whole time. Now he stops and sniffs every tree.” She adds that the people who meet him on the trail always tell him how handsome he is. “Norman is so well behaved. He doesn’t pull on the leash and if I ask him to wait, he will slow right down or turn around and look at me.”
When it comes to some of the quirky parts of his personality that are beginning to show, Robin says Norman makes the funniest faces. “Another one of our favourite things about Norman is he can’t sit on the couch unless he is under a blanket.” Robin adds whenever Norman hears her boyfriend Mike come home, he will run to the front door and surf on the carpet right up to him. “Mike has gotten used to it and is ready to catch him.”
How will they celebrate the holidays with Norman? “I already bought him a stocking and toys,” says Robin. “We will be visiting lots of friends and family and Norman will be right beside us.” Robin feels so lucky to have him. “Going for walks, having his companionship when I work from home – it has all been so wonderful.”