Worried neighbours had seen Khan escape his previous home numerous times, and called RSPCA SA for help.
This underweight Staffy cross was desperately in need of a loving home. His elderly owner could no longer care for him, and he was at risk while he roamed loose. Luckily, someone noticed the situation and took action to ensure this eight-year-old dog didn’t come to harm.
Once in RSPCA SA care, his lovely, soft personality soon won over our dedicated dog care team. They felt confident it would win over a lucky owner, too.
Khan met his new owner, Nathan, thanks to lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic
Finding himself working from home, Nathan thought the time was right to search for a new canine friend. He had decided to go with his first instincts when choosing the dog he would take home, and recalled having an instant emotional reaction when he met Khan.
“Khanie puffed out his ample white-furry chest and his tongue slipped to one side of his mouth – in that moment it felt like I was being reunited with a long-lost friend.
“I had this overwhelming feeling that I wanted to show him a new, happy life with a big backyard and lots of toys, especially after seeing how thin he was.”
Khan now lives with Nathan and his partner, Emma. Nathan’s retired parents frequently visit them, and warmed to Khan so much that they bought an Irish Setter, Riley, to be his friend!
Nathan and Emma taught Khan to trust them, and researched dog behaviour to understand him better
Nathan tells us, “For the first few weeks I would sit and talk to him while he ate his meals, as he would become disinterested in food without my encouragement. I think those moments really built our bond.”
Khan was anxious around other dogs in the beginning. Nathan recalls that Khan would work himself up to the point where he couldn’t be distracted or take treats, which made it hard to walk him.
“I read lots of materials, talked to people and watched tutorials to help me understand his behaviour, and we began walking him before 7am and/or after 9pm to minimise dog interactions.
“One full pandemic year later, Khanie has shown marked improvement in his behaviour, especially since Riley was introduced to him,” says Nathan.
Once Khan felt at home, he started to show his true colours
As soon as he arrived at his home, Khan promptly got to work sniffing, surveying and learning about his new territory; a grassed yard and a cemented courtyard and garage.
“He immediately became best friends with all of my friends and family,” says Nathan.
“They were so enamored by Khan that he quickly learnt to reap the rewards of a lap-dog.”
A hearts-winner and fundamental member of the household
Khan has a strong hunting instinct and insists on being let out of the house late at night and early in the morning to patrol for rats and mice.
“Emma’s favourite feature about him is the little folds of skin on his ankles and the way he sleeps with his back and front legs up in his face,” says Nathan.
“The most adorable thing, however, has got to be that after he’s had a bath, he gets super excited and rolls around in his bed.”
The benefits of adopting rescued animals
Nathan is keen to encourage other people to explore the possibility of providing a new home to rescued animals.
“If you feel like you’ve got extra love to give, if you have the drive to learn about their behaviour and adapt, and the patience and perseverance to enrich their lives, then adopting a rescue animal may be right for you.
“There are definitely challenges, setbacks, confusion and frustration at times, but the information to help is out there.”
You can find loads of information and tips on pet-care and training on RSPCA’s knowledgebase.
If you’re considering opening your heart and home to a rescued animal like Khan, head over here to see all of our animals currently available to adopt.