Happy Tails | Arlo

Every single animal that comes through our shelter has a story. Some are complex, many are sad, but all of them get better the minute they arrive at the Virginia Beach SPCA. Arlo arrived at the VBSPCA in December 2021 when his previous owners moved and could not take him with them. Just a few days later, Ali and her husband, Steve, stopped by the shelter in hopes of adopting a dog. When they saw the two year old Basset Hound heading out for a walk, they knew they had to meet him. As Ali says, “Bassets in general are hard to resist!” We recently caught up with Ali, who filled us in on how things are going from Arlo’s perspective as well!

How is Arlo doing in the home?

Arlo is fantastic at home! His first few nights were a bit bumpy as he needed reassurance that we were still there when he would wake up at 2am or so, but he had only one accident and settled into a routine very quickly. We are lucky to have a fenced-in backyard, and he spends lots of time roaming and following the smells of squirrels that run all over our yard.

What sort of activities do you and Arlo do together?

Arlo loves other dogs and is amazing at matching energy levels of all kinds and ages. This means we try and take him everywhere. We especially love the farmers market, where he always grabs attention and pets from every being willing to say hi.

Does Arlo have any funny quirks?

One of Arlo’s silliest traits is looking up at you over his back. He doesn’t turn his head, he just lifts his chin until he’s looking at you upside down. All his Basset wrinkles fall the other direction and it must feel good or funny to him – he does it so often. He is also very true to his breed: when he catches a scent, he barks at the ground to alert us. He doesn’t bark when we get home or for much else, but we know when he’s got a smell trail to follow.

How has Arlo enriched your lives so far?

It’s truly like Arlo has been with us his whole life. He just fit right into our routines and loves to be right next to us wherever we go. He is a great pick-me-up on a stressful day and makes me get up from my desk and go outside, even if it’s just for a minute. Dear friends of ours recently lost their 14 year old Pitbull and we were hit pretty hard by it. But Arlo helped their dog play a bit more in her last few months and enjoy her toys again. He has provided us all unconditional love to heal from the recently stressful times and keeps us social, even if we don’t really want to be.

Why do you think people should consider adopting a shelter pet?

Arlo isn’t our first rescue and every pet comes with their own personality and traits to adjust to, but each time it feels like they know you rescued them. They are grateful and know that you just want to love them. There is a pet for every lifestyle – talk to the staff about personalities, know what traits you don’t think you can handle, but most of all stay open to considering the unexpected. Treat the pet well and you will receive more than you expected in return.

A note from Arlo:

My parents really needed me. They needed someone to get them outside, to play more, and to bring more joy to every day! When my new friend (the 14 year old Pitbull mentioned above) passed away, I cuddled everyone as much as I possibly could. They needed all the hugs I could give. Also, who was going to protect the backyard?!

Shelter pets are the coolest – you choose us and we choose you back! We may take time to warm up to you, but once we know we’re there to stay, we’ll love you forever!