Dog Given Up For Being “Too Big” Gets New Life, New Job

Lupine was surrendered to an Arizona shelter because her owners decided she was “too big.” Now she will help teach the community that there’s no such thing!

Look at that face! In her new job, Lupine will be a "large-dog ambassador" to the community. Photo: Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA
Look at that face! In her new job, Lupine will be a “large-dog ambassador” to the community. Photo: Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA


Don’t judge a book by its cover is an old and apt adage, for rescue dogs in particular. Gorgeous, sweet, 70-pound Lupine had been at the Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA shelter since August.

Michael Morefield, spokesperson for the shelter, told the Dodo her previous owners explained they were giving her up “because she was ‘too big.'”

Of course, shelter staffers and volunteers couldn’t possibly disagree more, but sadly, due to misconceptions about big dogs with blocky heads (not to mention rental properties that restrict pet weights and entire cities that restrict breeds and “breed types” based solely on looks, dogs like Lupine are very often overlooked, despite how charming and goofy they often are.

Speaking of which, here she is, snuggling herself into her blankets at the shelter. How cute!


Until recently, Lupine seemed to be doing well — always cheerful, silly and outgoing.

But, she still wasn’t adopted. And as the weeks went on, Lupine seemed to be growing “more somber,” as Morefield puts it. “That was concerning to us.”

To try and cheer her up, Lupine has been hanging out in staffers’ offices for a change of scenery an gone on all kinds of field trips in service to the shelter. Here she is helping unload the truck with members of the Veterans of Activy Duty Military of Dusty Dawgs Motorcycle Group, who generously donated a bunch of supplies:



Over time, Lupine’s stellar behavior during all these events, with all kinds of people and animals, gave the folks at the shelter a great idea.

Lupine would make the perfect “ambassador” for large dogs just like herself, showing everyone what model citizens big dogs can be. She is presently being officially evaluated for the job. Once cleared, Lupine will begin a new “career” going out to schools and community events to show everyone that big shelter dogs with ginormous square heads are super-great, super-sweet, super pets!

Lupine lets those long legs stretch out! :) Photo: Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA
Lupine lets those long legs stretch out! 🙂 Photo: Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA


They hope she will be the voice that helps “the next Lupine” spend far less time in the shelter and find his or her forever home quickly.

What’s more, the new job comes with its own forever home. Lupine will live with the shelter’s education director.

“She will have constant enrichment, dog friends and a support network of people to help her be successful,” says Morefield.

34 thoughts on “Dog Given Up For Being “Too Big” Gets New Life, New Job

  1. Love this article. A subject that I’ve never run across (and I’m always reading articles on my favorite species. . . . . . .dogs). I know property owners do not like to rent to people if they have large dogs and of course, the breeds that are discriminated against (pit bull, german sheperd, etc).

  2. We’eve had numerous big dogs in our life. One was a 125 LB mutt, one was a 1/2 pit girl. When they died, we got another 1/2 pit girl. She plays and sleeps with our 2 Boston Terriers and a chiweenie. Makes me mad that people think animals are like trash, done with them, then just throw them away. People that do this, just get a pet rock.

  3. “Misconceptions about dogs with blocky heads”. it’s a fact that since 1982, 67% of all dog attacks are by Pit Bull’s. By obvious math, this means Pit Bulls account for more attacks than all other breeds combined, and over 82% of all deaths… I recognize “Pit Bull Lives Matter”, but statistics shows some form of change needs to occur, and I don’t think it is because the victims are fabricating the numbers… stop breeding for the sake of a powerful dog, and maybe people won’t get themselves into more than they can chew… Yes, I just did that…

    1. It is stupid, unloving and uneducated comments like yours that make obvious bias
      a revolving door for many of God’s creatures. If God loves them but criminals abuse them to death, what side are you on? Enough great people call them family members and would not want to miss them for the would.

    2. So what the hell have you done to help an animal? What is the point of your nonsensical post? Of course breeders are scum and wastes of air!! That is a given!! Anyone who breeds an animal is at the very least no better than someone that deals in the human slave trade!! These greedy piles of garbage are not fit to breathe the same air as my dog. And the idiot morons that “purchase” animals from breeders are just as bad!! In this age of social media and the world at our fingertips via the internet, there is NO excuse for ignorance!!!! Blaming this breed of dog is blaming is just like blaming the victim!! Anyone that doesn’t get that can kiss my behind!!!

    3. Not all Pit Bulls are Aggressive. I have a pit bull myself, and in all Honesty it all depends on the owner. If an owner is aggressive, and trains his dogs to be aggressive and attacks other dogs then that is on them. I know many Pit bull owners and their dogs are so sweet, and super playful just like mine is. Don’t be Closed minded.

      1. Pitt Bulls might not be more aggressive but their ability to kill and maim is greater than other dogs.

    4. When smaller dogs bite….no one reports them, Only when PIt bulls/large dogs {usually owned by stupid vicious people that are cruel to them, are they reported, ! Mostly without finding what occurred before the attack. Young to teenage children are often ‘making sport’ thinking it is funny to tease them. Just like people, they lose patience, especially with abusive owners and teasing from children.. We had a German Shepard/wolf dog that was the gentilest animal you have ever seen. Every day, on their way to school 3 high school boys teased him and at first he wagged his tail but gradually, he stopped and started barking at them. I had enough and one day I said if you want to pay with my dog, I will open the gate. They took off with no ma’am that’s ok. I then told them to stop teasing him., and altered their way to school. But this is one of the thoughtless ways young people get into trouble. STOP blaming the dog and check what is going on to cause it.

    5. You have obviously centered in on the “fact” about attacks being carried out by MOSTLY Pitties.The REAL fact is that those are the attacks that are being REPORTED.It has always BEEN this way,and it won’t change until people start reporting attacks by ALL breeds.GET YOUR FACTS before you turn loose the mob with the pitchforks!!!! ,MANY elderly people have adopted Pitties because they are SO loyal and loving dogs. YES,I did the research,and that is EXACTLY what I found. Pitties and Bull Terriers have gotten a really bad rap, because they ARE so loyal,they will do ANYTHING to please their “person”.And, YES, I have a Pitty, and a Pitt/Mastiff, and I totally defend their right to have a loving family-MINE,and I know hundreds of people who have adopted these breeds, and NO PROBLEMS. These dogs have a bad rap because “thugs” insist on getting this breed and TRAINING them to be aggressive, and those of us who have these dogs as part of our FAMILIES are trying VERY hard to educate people on how wonderful members of our families they really ARE.

    6. Here they are bred to be large and large-headed because they are used for hunting as well as family dogs. They are about the only dog that can take down a razorback pig. They used to be called the ‘babysitting dog’ for heavens sake. It’s irresponsible breeders that are at fault.

    7. No asshole, it’s the animal humans who get them and do what they do with them. You ever owned one? The shut the F up. I’ve had three, never a problem. Yeah, it’s idiot’s like you that
      know nothing, but no so much. Go away.

    8. No asshole, it’s the animal humans who get them and do what they do with them. You ever owned one? The shut the F up. I’ve had three, never a problem. Yeah, it’s idiot’s like you that
      know nothing, but know so much. Go away.

    9. So B, your little 67% comment totally negates the fact that Pitbulls were the most awarded and decorated with medals service animals during WWI and WWII??? I guess you are one of those flat earth know it alls that think scientist need to be taken out back and shot? did you even do any research beyond this 67% to find out if the owners of these dogs had any criminal past and/or training these dogs TO FUCKING FIGHT? DUMBASS!! ITS NOT THE BREED! ITS THE OWNERS!!! just like you…. its not your fingers fault for typing such bullshit, its your “lack of” brain that is at fault!! see how that works? do you even have a life? get a dog, name it life.. SO YOU WOULD HAVE ONE!!!

    10. Blame the idiotic, power hungry abusive owners for making the dog aggressive and mean. Don’t blame the dog or the breed. Yes Pit Bulls are powerful dogs, so are many other breeds. You have to MAKE a dog mean….you can make a chihuahua mean. It is people like you who spit out statistics without knowing the cause behind them that cause so many dogs to be homeless and or euthanized. I hope to hell you don’t have an animal.

    11. You might want to recheck your ratios. The dog with the largest bite ratio is the chihuahua. Let one get a hold of your ankle they fight not to let go. Let me tell you they can do some damage too. Size does not make a dog gentle or dangerous it is the animal’s training, how it is socialized, and believe it or not, trust. The animal knows when you are scared or nervous. That makes the animal scared and nervous. Trust your animal. Let it know it’s loved. Best babies ever. lool the big breed not the ankle biter.

  4. I feel sorry for those who don’t know the love of a pet. I also am very sad that people turn animals into the shelter. Makes me cry my eyes out. I am so happy that this beautiful girl has found her forever family and she gets to do what she does best: LOVE. Thank you to the shelter that has helped her so much. You are angels and so is Lupine!

  5. Lupine looks like my Boxer Molly. She is a sweet good tempered pup. Shes 7 and weighs 45# but in
    her heart she’s still a puppy and lap dog.

  6. It looks like she’s part boxer, which is an extremely playful breed, and mixed maybe with bull dog, which is an extremely goofy breed, or mixed with pit bull, which is an extremely loyal breed. Any of the above would make a great large breed pet.

    I’m glad she’s going to get her forever home, and will be able to be an ambassador for large breed dogs. Hopefully she can change some of the stigma behind short haired box-headed dogs being aggressive pit bulls. Not all stocky short-haired dogs are pit bulls, and very few pit bulls are truly aggressive!

  7. I adopted a large dog 4 1/2 years ago. He was 70 lbs, 7 months old bull mastiff. . Now he is 130 lbs and he is a “rock star”. Where ever i bring him people of all ages just want to pet him. My wife has accused me of loving my dog more than I love her.

  8. I am a pitbull/mastiff owner and they get a bad wrap. Pitsbulls at loving and loyal. Pleas do more research on the breed and to b honest, all dogs can be mean and brutal even the little ones. Just like people they are all different with different attitudes and personalities. We are all different due to demographics, how we were raised, and our nationalities. The same goes for dogs, give them all a chanace.

  9. Just found a Pitt little boy and named him Jarah., its a biblical name that means giver of sweetness, honey, honeycomb. I Google for the name and Jarah, fits him perfectly. He is so sweet. He is just an addition to the family of several dogs. The problem it’s not with dogs it’s with us humans.

  10. I have Six Dogs; 5 are rescued Great Pyrenees because they are cute as puppies but grow very large (100lbs) and have to roam! They are not ‘city dogs’, they bark and love to protect a herd of any kind. We have cattle, goats, ducks & Chickens. There are coyotes and foxes in our area BUT…. We Do Not Lose Animals because of our ‘rescued Pyrenees’. Please don’t consider owning one of these gentle giants who also have ‘selective heariing’. They ‘obey when they want or are not on duty!

  11. Dogs are not evil or malicious. Those are human characteristics that we sometimes project onto dogs.
    Problem dogs almost always have problem owners. When we look at the stats regarding attacks by Pits and similar breeds, it’s very easy to forget that, most of those number have to do with the propensity for those breeds to be popular with certain “breeds” of humans, such as drug dealers, criminals, dog fighters, and other antisocial and generally irresponsible types. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of a mismatch. Sedentary, older, and less active people should NOT get breeds that require a lot of play and exercise, unless they have younger people, who can fulfill that role, living with them. My late grandparents had a series of Boxers over the course of their lives. the first one was great, but each Boxer, obtained after the eventual demise of its predecessor, turned out to be worse and worse; the last being the worst of all. My grandparents simply got older, and each replacement, young, energetic boxer had the misfortune to be stuck with a couple who were less and less able to give them the exercise that they needed. Result- Worse and worse behavior with each, successive dog.
    The owner and their situation need to be compatible with the temperament of the dog; otherwise, both suffer..

  12. No dog is born ‘bad’. Dogs who are trained to be aggressive are that way because of stupid humans who think it’s “cool” to have a vicious dog. Anybody who discriminates against an entire breed is short-sighted and pretty ignorant as far as I’m concerned.

    I have a rescue Akita/Lab (80 lbs), a rescue Malanois/Greyhound (75 lbs.) and a rescue Rottweiler (110 lbs.). Many people consider all 3 dominant breeds in my dogs to be inherently mean and dangerous. Truth be told the one I would be afraid of is the oldest, The Malanois/Greyhound is 14+ years, has arthritis, is protective and loving and would die for me without hesitation. The Akita/Lab is usually goofy but becomes very protective whenever someone comes onto my property – she won’t bite but her ruff stands up about 3″ from tail to nose and she rumbles instead of growls. Makes people think twice. The Rottweiler is the most gentle, kindest, most loving dog I’ve ever had. He thinks he’s a lap dog and regularly crawls up into my lap while I’m reading in the evenings. He also sleeps on my bed with me wanting to be touched for security. Has he hurt anyone? Yes, once – he was amped up after seeing some deer running by and I very foolishly went to our ‘play’ mode where he grabs my arm and pretends to pull me down. Bit a bit hard and I had a small wound … which he wouldn’t ever look at because he knew he’s screwed up. MY fault, not his – I should have known better and done it differently.

    Give the large ‘block headed’ dogs a chance … my bet is that you’ll find them to be loving, caring and protective … big babies for the most part.

  13. Dogs learn from their “owners.” If the “owner” is mean and aggressive, they the dog, will unfortunately be also. The good news is the dog can be retrained with love and kindness. Not so an “owner,” who will remain mean and aggressive, even if shown love and kindness. I believe all “owners” who train their dogs/cats to be mean should be put to sleep so the dogs/cats can be retrained and have a beautiful life. Actually the “owners” should be put to sleep as soon as it is discovered they are mean. I quotation mark the word “owner” due to the fact that more judges are classifying the dogs/cats as being individuals and now “owned.” Look up Oregon Judge changed the rights of pets and deluge your state with emails to do the same.

  14. p.s. thanks guys for taking her in, she is a beauty and looks show she is a flirt :~)
    and whoever said all dog bites should be registered I agree, not just big dogs.

  15. What a lovable doof! Lots of love to you Lupine-I can totally see how everyone falls in love with you!

  16. 70 pounds is NOT a big dog. 145 lbs is! We apparently live in a nation uneducated people who haven’t a clue about their lack of canine knowledge.

  17. Would these humans get rid of their children if they grew to big. Non human Animals should be part of our families, if you don’t think of them like that do not get one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.