Stay up-to-date on what's happening at the Regional Animal Protection Society

Big baby Balloo wins our hearts

This sweet guy will be looking for a forever home – after a little remedial work!

Big, handsome Balloo arrived at the RAPS Animal Shelter in October after having been found running at large in Richmond. Fortunately, Balloo had an ear tattoo that we traced back to his veterinarian. It took a bit of detective work to try to connect with Balloo’s humans as they had evidently very recently rehomed him. It was from his new home that he somehow escaped.

When pets arrive at the Shelter as strays, we have what is called a “Seven-Day-Stray-Hold” where every effort is made to reconnect the pet with their owner. In the end, it was decided the best chance for Balloo to find his perfect home would be through surrendering him into RAPS’ care. Sometimes families need to make incredibly difficult decisions to surrender pets they love when the situation or family dynamic is not allowing the pet to live their best life. Such is the case with Balloo.

Our RAPS Animal Shelter staff have really fallen for this big, strong and goofy boy and we have seen Balloo learn so much over the past eight weeks since he has been in our care. We know he has a huge capacity to learn and a desire to please so we are confident, with the right human parents, Balloo will blossom into the amazing dog we know he has so much potential to be!

When he first arrived, we quickly learned that Balloo is easily excited and with his strength and size at 1.5 years old, his puppy antics were hard to rein in. Ever heard of a bull in a china shop? Our staff have spent many, many hours getting to know Balloo and work on correcting, with positive actions and praise, some of the naughty puppy habits he has developed and working on his social skills and manners. He is full of playful antics that can easily escalate if not kept in check by a confidant person. Balloo can become “mouthy” when excited, that is, he will playfully nip at human ankles and coat sleeves. While Balloo might think he is playing, this is a behaviour we are working on discouraging as being playfully nipped by a boy his size is not an endearing behavior, that’s for sure.

While easily excited and full of playful puppy energy, Balloo’s listening skills are fantastic. He is becoming a pro at responding to corrections like “Drop It” and “Heel,” and he is easily distracted with treats and toys. Balloo continues to work on his listening skills and needs to be reminded to be slow, careful and gentle when meeting new humans… but he has made amazing progress in the eight weeks he has been in our care. And as playful, goofy and excitable as Balloo can be, he can also be a BIG baby… eagerly crawling into laps for love and attention from the people he loves.

As far as other doggy friends go, Balloo so far does not seem to be a big fan of other male dogs and is picky about which female dogs he is friendly with, as long as they are strong and confident like him. He also loves his food and will guard it passionately, which is another behaviour his new family should be aware of and commit to working on. For these reasons, Balloo isn’t the right fit for a family with young children and other pets. We want to set this big boy up for success as we know he has so much potential to learn.

Like so many dogs who come to us, sweet Balloo just needs a little time. We are grateful that RAPS is able to devote the time and resources to ensuring the success of pups like him – it is all possible because of your support!

If you are interested in Balloo, please call our shelter at 604-275-2036 or email us at info@rapsbc.com.