Looking at all the wonderful animals at ARK, it’s tough to know that some of them had rather rough starts to life.

For instance, take the beautiful all-white Lope (pronounced “Loh-pay”). Upon hearing this 8-year-old’s origins, the lyrics of Three Dog Night’s “Easy To Be Hard” sprang to mind: “How can people be so heartless? How can people be so cruel?”

It’s true that, when he was younger, Lope had been left to starve to death in a locked storeroom. Luckily, he was rescued, However, unsurprisingly, the experience left the pup traumatized and confused with lasting trust issues.

“When Lope first came to ARK he would growl and bark at people he didn’t know, and he behaved badly with other dogs,” says ARK staffer Hiroki Ito. He adds that, with stability and love, Lope has shown himself to be a great dog once he gets to know you. He will show those whom he trusts a humorous side that’s as playful as a puppy. He’ll tug at your sleeve, dance in circles and race away. He’s eager to be seen and eager to have others share in his joy.

“Once he started to trust me, he really changed,” says Ito. “Of course, the change didn’t happen overnight. It took time and work, but it was really worth it. I know ARK isn’t the easiest place to get to, but I would love for people to come a few times to really get to know some of our dogs. You’ll see things that you wouldn’t on only one visit.”

Ito adds that “you may see some bad behavior too, but that can be part of the charm!”

If you are interested in adopting Lope, email ARK at Tokyoark@arkbark.net or call 050-1557-2763 Monday to Saturday (bilingual) for more information. Tokyo ARK is an NPO founded by Briton Elizabeth Oliver. It is dedicated to rescuing and rehoming abandoned animals. All animals are vaccinated, neutered and microchipped. Prospective owners are requested to undergo a screening process. Web: www.arkbark.net.

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