You'll forgive Tigger for taking a while to settle into his new situation at the shelter. They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks. But it turns out, you can always break a dog's heart. And 16 years is a long time to suddenly have the rug pulled out from under you.
In fact, when Tigger's family dropped him off at Carson Animal Shelter in Southern California, he looked a lot like a rug — a weathered, urine-soaked doormat. Except for the wide, terrified eyes peering through tattered fur.
"It was completely fear-based," Kelly Smíšek, founder of the Frosted Faces Foundation tells MNN. "That wasn't a medical condition. That is why he was shaking."
It seemed that someone had used this toy poodle up and left him at the shelter because it was time to be euthanized.
But Tigger would end up spending only one night on that cold concrete floor.
Kathy Scheffer, who supports Frosted Faces, saw the video of a Tigger trembling at the shelter. She asked Smíšek to take him in.
"I actually did say no to her originally," Smíšek recalls.
After all, an organization that relies on donations can only make so many shelter interventions. And Smíšek had a feeling someone would step in for Tigger.
"All these dogs that look sad and have these really sad videos, they end up getting rescued. That's no big secret," she says.
"But it was weird that I couldn't stop thinking about him," she adds. "I realized Tigger's video touched me so much..."
And so, a day after he was dropped off at the shelter, Tigger was ushered out of his kennel — and given a new leash on life with the Frosted Faces Foundation.
But first, perhaps, the most pent-up pee that ever human or animal delivered.
Then came food, a warm bed and a walk — that surprisingly saw the little dog revealing signs of a strut.
"We don't tend to introduce our new dogs to other dogs right away," Smíšek says. "But he happened to walk across another dog and started wagging his tail.
"He was so happy. He lifted his head, he puffed his chest out trying to be all dominant."
Gratitude for his rescuers came in the form of a steady shower of kisses. But it was high time for another kind of shower. Or at least a bath.
Tigger's day at the spa was desperately needed. And soon, all that painfully matted fur fell away. A new dog seemed to leap from the old.
He may not have many years ahead of him. He's very old and in the final stages of renal failure. But whatever time is left to him won't be spent alone and encased by concrete.
The Frosted Faces Foundation is looking for someone to give Tigger the ending he deserves — with a real family.
"We rescue dogs to vet them, learn about them and then we have them live at Frosted Faces Foundation until we know as much about them as possible so we can make the best placement," Smíšek explains.
"We're not a sanctuary. Our goal is family. We want to see that he gets placed."
It turns out, you can teach an old dog new tricks. Like how to love and trust again. And maybe the best trick of all awaits: the one where, at his old age, Tigger learns what a real home looks like.
Think you might be the one to teach him that?