Our drooly boy proves that adopting a shelter dog means you'll need plenty of experience. And maybe some towels.

Dec. 8 story update: Just hours after we published news of Basher's adoption, the Cornwall RSPCA announced on Facebook that poor Basher has been returned to them.

"All of our hopes were lifted recently when Basher was offered a home, but sadly it didn't work out," the post reads. "The couple that took him on had experience with his breed and tried their best for him, but he just didn't cope in their home."

Bringing a new pupper into your home can be a daunting experience. No matter what a dog's personality might seem to be during a shelter visit, you never truly know how they'll adapt to your home and lifestyle until they're actually there. So while first-time pet owners are strongly encouraged to do their research before taking the leap with a new puppy, Basher's story shows that even experienced dog owners can run into roadblocks.

"The Cornwall RSPCA [mentioned] that Basher was kind of a maniac in his new home," says Jenna Stregowski, RVT and Daily Paws' pet health and behavior editor. "This is not surprising since he grew up living in kennels. Some dogs take longer to adjust than others; some never adjust. I think the RSPCA is right to recommend a new home where Basher can be gradually introduced to home life. It sounds like he will need a lot of exercise, training, socialization, and trust-building with his future owner."

portrait of a large black dog drooling, nicknamed The Dribble King
Credit: Courtesy of Rspca Cornwall Branch

While there's no tried and true benchmark for what makes a person an "experienced" dog owner, there are certain traits that all experienced owners share, including the ability to know which breeds of dogs are good fits for their lifestyle.

Some final bits of advice that Stregowski suggests for all pet owners, regardless of experience level:

  • What you see is not necessarily what you get.
  • Talk to the staff at the shelter to learn as much as possible about the pet.
  • Visit the pet multiple times in the shelter to get to know one another.
  • After adoption, gradually transition the pet to the new environment. It can take weeks or months for a pet to feel comfortable. You won't truly know the pet's personality until the pet has fully adjusted.

In the meantime, if you happen to live near Cornwall, have a lot of space for a big, active dog, and have a lot of patience and love for a pupper who needs plenty of both, the RSPCA might have the drooly boi for you.

Original story: Sometimes, when it comes to finding pups a forever home, it's not about finding just any home, but about finding the right one. For giant cane corso Basher and his friends at the RSPCA in Cornwall, England, it might have taken a few months and a solid social media drive, but the right family for him seems to have been worth the wait.

The shelter writes on social media that Basher came to the RSPCA as a transfer from another facility after he was picked up as a stray. Right away, RSPCA staff could tell how sweet and friendly he was toward people, but it was obvious he was going to need a very specific home to be happy.

Not only was he just the biggest of bois—Basher weighs in at over 130 pounds and measures nearly 6 feet tall when on his hind legs—but he needed to be in a home without any other pets. Because of his size, homes with children were deemed a challenge as well.

But finding homes for every dog, regardless of their needs is when shelters like the RSPCA persevere, and the good folks of Cornwall weren't about to give up on this doggo. Nicknamed "the Dribble King" because of his big, drooly jowls, Basher was the focus of several social media posts and videos. As word spread around the UK, several families made inquiries, but none of them came to any fruition. Until, that is, Nov. 29, when the RSPCA happily shared the post they'd been waiting two years for: Basher was going home.

"You all did it!!!" the overjoyed Facebook post reads. "By sharing Basher's story far and wide, he now has the most wonderful home lined up for him."

Though it can always be bittersweet for shelter workers to say goodbye to such a big-hearted doggo, everyone knows that Basher was finally headed to the one place that we know every animal deserves—a loving home to call his for the rest of his life.

"Thank you to everyone who shared Basher's story," the post concludes. "He now doesn't have to spend another Christmas in kennels."