Golden retriever Suehiro was featured here in March 2013. Abandoned when his owner left Japan, Suehiro’s photo came to the attention of Mark and Joan Norbom (seen here with Suehiro), who decided to adopt him.
“When he came to live with us, he weighed 19 kilos and I could put my hands around his waist. The poor little guy had never been inside the house and had no idea about house training,” says Joan. “We were warned that Suehiro was protective of anything in his mouth and disliked being handled by the collar,” which Joan believes was an instinctive reaction to earlier abuse.
And to be honest, it was touch and go in the early days, after Joan was bitten numerous times. The Norboms, however, stuck with him, working with a trainer in Tokyo.
“At first, no one thought Suehiro could be trusted, but he is now a full member of the family and he has also already given so much back,” says Joan. “He is constantly by my side, loving me every minute. Yes, it took some effort and probably the belief that Suehiro too had the right to a peaceful life and a bit of love. And we were right; after a few months, our adopted pet was a real blessing in our lives.”
Now 8 years old, Suehiro has come a long way. He weighs in at 28 kg and is living a life far from Japan, in the state of Connecticut. This summer, Joan says, “He will visit our summer house in North Carolina and enjoy some time on the beach.”
It’s a dream story that wasn’t always dreamy, but Suehiro is now truly sitting pretty.
Many other cats and dogs are available for adoption. Please email ARK at Tokyoark@arkbark.net or call 050-1557-2763 Monday to Saturday (bilingual) for more information. Tokyo ARK is a nonprofit organization founded by Briton Elizabeth Oliver. It is dedicated to rescuing and rehoming abandoned animals. All animals are vaccinated, neutered and microchipped. All prospective new owners are requested to undergo a screening process.