The Story of Possum

When Possum arrived at a local shelter late last fall, he was a shadow of what a healthy pup should be. Abandoned and wandering the chilly streets of Minneapolis, he faced the harsh reality of survival. Thankfully, fate led him to the shelter, where he spent three weeks before becoming a cherished member of the Ruff Start Rescue family. At just 10 months old, he tipped the scales at a mere 34 pounds.
Despite a rough start to his short life, Possum remained as sweet as can be in his foster home. He was a pleasure to have around, bringing an abundance of love into the home. Possum showcased a gentle temperament, a quick grasp of learning, and a sociable nature with everyone he encountered. These endearing qualities caught the attention of Ryan, an adopter on the lookout for a service dog.
After a challenging and traumatic career as a prison guard with the Nebraska Department of Corrections, Ryan battled PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Returning to Minnesota in 2012, his psychiatrist recommended a service animal, leading to the addition of a pup named Pepsi in 2013. Sadly, in 2022, Pepsi lost the battle to cancer, leaving Ryan once again without a companion. Struggling with declining mental health, Ryan turned to Soldiers 6, a local nonprofit offering specially trained K-9s to honorably discharged veterans, police officers, firefighters, paramedics, correctional officers, and 911 dispatchers.
On December 19th, Possum, now a healthy 48 pounds, thanks to his foster family’s care, found his new home with Ryan. Renamed Kraken, he embarked on a training journey with Ryan and Soldiers 6.
As we celebrate #ChangeAPetsLifeDay today, we are deeply honored to share the story of Ryan and Kraken. It serves as a poignant reminder of the incredible potential within rescue animals and the profound connections they can forge with their human companions given the chance.