A Tail of Transformation | Mojo’s Adoption Story
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For this Tail of Hope, we had the chance to speak with Mojo’s parents, Teigan and Trevor, to learn about their life with Mojo and how he’s worked to put his past behind him to live more confidently.
Saved From the South
Mojo’s story begins in Arkansas. He and his brother were surrendered to KL Animal Rescue in Cedarville, Arkansas. In early October 2022, Hopeful Tails stepped in to transfer them up north so that they could have the opportunity to find their forever homes.
For a short while, Mojo, about ten months old at the time, stayed in a Hopeful Tails foster home, but luckily, he would not need to wait for long before his forever family found him.
Forever Family Found
Enter Teigan and Trevor. The couple was searching for a friend for their dog, Bama, and didn’t have a specific type of companion in mind, just one that was a little bit grown as their lifestyle wouldn’t be fit for the demands of a puppy.
They searched online and happened upon Mojo’s photos from Hopeful Tails. “We kept talking about how cute he looked in each of his photos, and we knew we had to meet him,” Teigan shared. So, they decided to stop by later that week during Hopeful Tails’ regular Friday open viewing from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the rescue’s building in Joliet.
Mojo captured their hearts, even though he was scared. Teigan described that night: “He hid under the desk and wouldn’t come up to either of us. We could tell he was terrified. Even in the play area, getting him to come to either of us was tough. But we saw something special in him and applied for him that night.”
Mojo’s Gotcha Day was November 25, 2022. He had found his forever family! But his story was just beginning. Mojo, with the love and unconditional support of his new parents, was about to embark on a journey of transformation and work hard to overcome his past wounds.
Embarking On A Journey of Healing
That first night Teigan and Trevor brought Mojo home was challenging. He was anxious, didn’t want to eat, and couldn’t sleep. While distressing for his new parents, they understood that Mojo needed ample time to adjust. After all, his environment was completely different from the street and shelter life that, until now, was all he knew.
Teigan laid beside Mojo on the floor to help calm and comfort him. She also took a gentle approach to feeding him directly from her hand. That night solidified Mojo’s bond with his new mom. “He has trusted me since that night and we share an amazing bond. He was scared of everyone but me at that point,” Teigan said.
The couple quickly sensed that Mojo likely had a traumatic experience with a male at some point during his young life because he would bark and growl at men, and displayed those behaviors especially toward Trevor. Mojo would run away from his new dad, be scared to go outside with him, and didn’t want to be fed meals by him, either.
The world outside of his new home seemed scary, too. Teigan noted Mojo would always have his tail tucked when they took him out of the house and he would sometimes shake. He was very fearful of meeting new people and just wanted to stick by his mom’s side.
The couple wanted to help Mojo feel more comfortable and secure in his daily life, so they signed him up for classes through Petsmart. After just one class, Mojo displayed a small level of trust with Trevor, which was heartening to see. Outside of class, Teigan and Trevor worked with Mojo at home using the tips their helpful trainer provided. Teigan noted that Trevor showed incredible patience and love for Mojo to help him feel like he can trust him.
With each class that followed, Mojo grew in his confidence, comfort around other dogs (especially his friends in class), and overall trust in humans. He was no longer hiding under stools and became excited to go into Petsmart, socializing with other dogs and doing tricks for his trainer, Bobbie. “Everyone in class was so amazed and proud of Mojo,” Teigan said, “We started bringing him everywhere with us, along with Bama, to help him socialize more and continue building trust with other people.”
An Incredible Transformation
Today, Mojo is somewhat of a social butterfly – a complete 180 degree change in a matter of months. He loves attention and thoroughly enjoys going up to people at the dog park to get pets. He also loves to cuddle with his dad and enjoys playing with him in the backyard. They even have a special “high-five” that they share together.
The couple is still working on getting Mojo completely comfortable with going outside for his dad, though, but are sure that will come in time. Teigan and Trevor work with Mojo every day in order to continue building his confidence.
A Bright and Happy Future
When asked what they love most about Mojo, Teigan had this to share – “It would have to be his love for all other animals. He loves making new friends with any animal. He even sits at our rats’ cages whining because he genuinely wants to meet them. And when he sees a dog he knows, major wiggle butt kicks in. Mojo has such a sweet soul and that extends to people now, too. He is so gentle, cuddly, and loving.”
Mojo isn’t afraid to ask for affection, either. He loves to nudge if he wants to be pet and flops onto his mom and dad, letting them know when he wants to cuddle.
Today, in his new life and newly found confidence, Mojo’s typical day includes lots of cuddles and pets, playtime with his sister, Bama, running around outside or going for walks, and watching dog TV. But Teigan and Trevor think his favorite activity is probably visiting Cherry Bomb for ice cream pup cups.
Teigan’s Advice For Future Adopters
“Sometimes the shy/anxious dog turns out to be the most loving/best dog for you,” Teigan shared. “It takes time, patience, and lots of love to show a traumatized dog that there are safe people and that they can live a life free of fear and full of love.”
She added, “Don’t judge dogs based on their behavior at a shelter or rescue. They are different in a home environment, especially when consistent training and effort is invested to help them adapt and grow.”
“Mojo has been such a blessing, and he is living proof that no matter what traumas you go through, you can still learn to love and trust others. You can overcome anything and everything.”
Mojo loves his new life, having worked hard to overcome his past, and lives it to the fullest with Teigan, Trevor and Bama.