Jessica Ellis
November 07, 2015 11:46 pm

It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, and no dog knows more about that than Lana, a 1-year old Labrador mix whose sad story went viral last week. The runt of a 13 puppy litter, Lana was rescued early in life by Mighty Mutts and Rescue Dog Match, two incredible dog rescue services in Toronto, Ontario.

Despite several months of training to wean her of some defensive habits, Lana was returned to the rescue after her food-guarding behavior concerned her new owners. Dahlia Ayoub, owner of Mighty Mutts, spoke to The Dodo about the reasons for Lana’s return:  “She snapped at the mom. And they decided because they have kids in the house to bring her back to boarding.”

According to the ASPCA, food or resource guarding is particularly common in dogs from larger litters. When food is scarce, puppies need to develop defensive and even aggressive behaviors to ensure proper nutrition. Far from being a bad dog, this behavior shows that Lana is simply a product of her environment and has some trust issues- and who among us doesn’t? Nevertheless, young children are particularly at risk for injury in this type of situation; her family acted responsibly in returning Lana in the hopes of finding her a more appropriate home.

Of course, Lana didn’t know any of this. Clearly miserable upon returning to her lonely boarding facility, Lana refused to move or even come out for walks. Her story, as far as she knew, had taken a tragic turn with no recovery in sight.

That’s where the Internet stepped in. Shortly after Mighty Mutts and Rescue Dog Match posted a photo of the despondent Lana on Facebook, her story began to go viral as she was named “the saddest dog in the world.” Offers were soon pouring in to provide a new home for the grieving dog. As of today, Lana has been placed in a foster care with an experienced handler and Rescue Dog Match is sifting through over 2200 applications for her adoption. Sometimes, it’s a dog-help-dog world, too!

Related reading:

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Images via Mighty Mutts