A very good boy is searching for a forever home.
Chewbacca, a year-old mastiff mix, is ready to trust again after being abandoned in a field off Highway 20.
The young dog is up for adoption by the Whidbey Animal Improvement Foundation. Getting him there was a long process, as he was wary of those trying to help him at first.
Chewbacca, affectionately dubbed “Chewie” by the shelter staff, was discovered by a Coupeville resident in a field near Morris Road and Highway 20, where he had been left with a bag of dog food and a bowl of water. Shelter manager Shari Bibich said Chewie was terrified and emaciated, weighing in at around 70 pounds when he should have exceeded 100 pounds.
The resident who discovered Chewie spent the better part of a day out in the field with animal control workers, offering the scared puppy food and trying to convince him to approach them. Bibich said the resident sat in the field with Chewie for hours after animal control had to leave.
Around 11 p.m. that night, Chewie finally approached and curled up right in the resident’s lap.
Once Chewie displayed some trust for the resident, it was easier to help him. The resident called the sheriff’s department, and law enforcement was able to transport the dog safely to the shelter.
Bibich said Chewbacca was terrified when he arrived, but after working with shelter staff, his playful and affectionate personality has started to break through.
“He has really turned around,” she said.
The once-traumatized dog is gaining confidence that he won’t be abandoned again, Bibich reported. He is high-energy and wants to play all the time.
Chewbacca, now consistently nourished and weighing in at more than 100 pounds, also loves to snuggle and is determined to be a lap dog.
“He doesn’t know his own size,” Bibich laughed, saying shelter staff have been working to convince Chewie he cannot, in fact, fit in most people’s laps.
Shelter staff are working to find a life-long family for Chewie. Bibich said the ideal owner for the excitable young dog would be an “experienced dog owner who can really give him the time to adjust to his new home and help him work on his house manners.” Someone who can be home often with Chewie as he adjusts would be preferred.
Chewie loves children, cats and other dogs, but should probably be placed in a home with pets who won’t be intimidated by his high energy levels and children who are big enough to play with him safely.
Chewie was almost adopted earlier this month by a wonderful family, Bibich said, but the adoption didn’t work out through no fault of Chewie’s or the family’s.