Feral Dog that Didn’t Want to Be Rescued Rescues His Human Mom from Anxiety

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When Riley was found wandering the woods of Georgina, Ontario he was a feral dog that was completely terrified of human beings.  Flash forward to today, and Riley is an entirely different dog.  He’s got a very loving human mom now, and he actually helps her get over with her anxieties now.

According to his rescuers, Riley had absolutely no interest whatsoever in being brought to a shelter.  In fact, by the time he was brought to Georgina Animal Shelter, he was what most people would have deemed a lost cause.  However his rescuers and the people at the shelter absolutely refused to give up on him.




“He wasn’t even in the shelter for more than a week when I stumbled across his page on Adopt-a-Pet.com and instantly fell in love with him,” said Karlee Waldvogel to The Dodo.  Waldvogel is Riley’s new mom.  “It was his eyes that caught my attention and then his adorably dumb puppy face.”

She went to the shelter to adopt Riley and take him home, and at first was taken aback by the huge amount of energy he had.  He had zero training and never lived indoors before.  She knew this was going to be a challenge.




“I knew I was in for a long, hectic journey with him,” said Waldvogel.

As one would expect, things were difficult at first.  Riley had issues adjusting to his new home, had no clue how to interact with other dogs, and the whole living indoors and what is and isn’t acceptable for one to do thing was really hard for him.




However, Waldvogel stuck with it, and worked very hard with him every day.  Eventually, he was really learning what it meant to be someone’s dog, and all of the really great things that can come with it.  He’s turned into a big, goofy dog that’s actually very well behaved, and is just overflowing with love.

As beneficial as everything that Waldvogel has been doing for Riley is, the entire time he’s been helping her out a lot as well.  She has generalized anxiety disorder, which at times can bring panic attacks on that are downright debilitating.  She says that Riley noticed these emotional changes in her almost instinctively, and it’s as if he knew how to be a friend before he was a dog.




“From the start he was special because he instantly picked up on my anxiety attacks way in advance before me having them, so I am able to get somewhere comfortable or try to mitigate them,” said Waldvogel.  “He has helped and changed my life in so many ways by allowing me to be more confident and he pushes me to get out of my comfort zone.”

5 thoughts on “Feral Dog that Didn’t Want to Be Rescued Rescues His Human Mom from Anxiety”

  1. He is so very beautiful. I love this, a very happy ending to what could have been so sad.
    Good boy Riley ! 🙂

  2. Lord don’t I know it. I use a service animal because of my blindness, at first I did not want one then a friend talked me into getting one her brother was blind and had one. I thought okay another tool but he grew on me so much I found I was much more relaxed and more capable of doing things. I have a really bad case of anxiety along with depression and PTSD I was able to cut down on the meds I was using. The meds are not good for you and if you can get away from them your health is much better. My dogs have been my savior for many years now I got my first 28 years ago never had animals when we grew up. They sure are more than just a tool for the blind I have constant companionship and love. Not too many people want to be with the blind or have time for us. But what i also found is that the dog is a great ice breaker and people will take the time to talk with me about them and not talk “at” me. One of the best parts is that people when I need help now they won’t grab me and start pulling and pushing. They sure do open doors and give us with serious issues a better life as we give them better lives. We are just as dependent on them as they are on us.


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