He Lived In A Cage The First Year of His Life….

St. Bernards were bred to be big, strong working dogs and can grow to surpass 200 pounds. A family’s home and lifestyle should ALWAYS be a consideration before introducing a pet into the mix. Photo: Ryan Hamilton

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He’s a big, handsome boy with a friendly, sweet smile that says, “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.” And that’s not surprising, considering the relief that his life has been since his adoption.

Ryder the St. Bernard was sold, as many large purebred dogs are, to a person who hadn’t thought the idea all the way through. The man hadn’t even discussed the purchase with his wife beforehand and, his current owner, Ryan Hamilton, told the Dodo, there wasn’t much room for a big dog in their home.

The couple, not knowing what to do with Ryder, kept him in a cage. For the better part of a whole year.

Eventually, they realized it wasn’t the best life for Ryder and took him to a shelter so that the energetic pup could find a home well suited for him.

Hamilton’s wife had seen Ryder before — and fallen in love. She used to clean his former owners’ house. When she heard he was going to the shelter, she stepped in and decided to bring him home to their place — where several rescue dogs had already taken up residence!

“I got one look at this guy and just couldn’t resist, so Ryder never actually made it to a shelter, because we stepped in before they took him,” Hamilton said.

Ryder enjoys a swim with one of his many playful siblings! Photo: Ryan Hamilton

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At the Hamiltons’ three-acre property, Ryder quickly began to thrive. He runs. He plays with his five brothers and sisters. And he adores his new mom and dad, clearly grateful that they’ve given him the dream home he deserves — and more space than the once-caged pup knows what to do with!

“I don’t think he has a mean bone in his body and he’s always happy now that he is out of his cage,” Hamilton said. “He needs to be physically touching us as he follows us everywhere we go. He’s just a great big lover who craves attention.”

When Ryder’s parents to out to dinner, they love dog-friendly places where they can bring him along.

Ryder will never lack room to roam again (except when he plunks down into a tiny baby pool to cool off!). Photo: Ryan Hamilton

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“He just sits very peacefully and well behaved, besides trying to steal food off the table from time to time,” Hamilton said. “He’s the type of dog that when you take him out in public people just get one look at him and run over to love on him. He loves all the attention.”

His start was a rough one, but now Ryder has all of the space he needs and deserves, and will never have to be confined to a tiny cage ever again.

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