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'He chose me as much as I chose him': Dog found tied to Burnaby shelter gate adopted

Robin and Norman on the day he was adopted. (Courtesy: BC SPCA) Robin and Norman on the day he was adopted. (Courtesy: BC SPCA)
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A dog named Norman that was abandoned outside a BC SPCA shelter in October has found a forever home.

Staff found the American Staffordshire tied to the gate outside the organization’s Burnaby animal centre one morning, having been left at the shelter sometime after it had closed for the night.

“We didn’t know how many hours he had been there, but we knew he must have been devastated to watch his owner drive away and leave him there. Our hearts broke for him,” recalled manager Nicole McBain in a Friday release.

The dog had no identification meaning staff couldn’t find his owner, and nobody showed up to claim him, so he was put up for adoption.

As fate would have it, the dog needing a new home was adopted by a woman who had lost her American Staffordshire three weeks prior.

Robin spotted Norman on the BC SPCA website and “just couldn’t stop thinking about him,” she said.

She set up a time to meet Norman, and it was immediately a perfect match. “As soon as I walked into his kennel, he came right up to me and rolled on his back,” Robin recalled. ““He chose me as much as I chose him.”

Robin and Norman after his first "pup cup." (Courtesy: BC SPCA) She speculates Norman’s former owner didn’t let him inside, because he was nervous walking on her hardwood floors at first, and is still hesitant about coming into the house after playing in the yard.

“I was able to get him to the couch with some treats. He cuddled right up to me and I just let him decompress,” Robin said of their first day together.

The pair are now bonded, and they enjoy going for daily walks on the trails surrounding the house. “His first walk, he was on alert the whole time. Now he stops and sniffs every tree,” Robin said. “Norman is so well behaved. He doesn’t pull on the leash and if I ask him to wait, he will slow right down or turn around and look at me.”

“Going for walks, having his companionship when I work from home – it has all been so wonderful,” she continued.

Robin said Norman’s quirky personality is beginning to come out. He makes funny faces, won’t sit on the couch unless he’s under a blanket, and surfs on the carpet to the front door whenever Robin’s boyfriend Mike comes home. “Mike has gotten used to it and is ready to catch him,” she said.

To celebrate the holidays in his new home, Robin has bought Norman a stocking filled with toys. “We will be visiting lots of friends and family and Norman will be right beside us,” she added. 

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