A woman named Holly Brookhouser and her husband, Chris, were adopting Marcelo, a child from Congo. Her friends were concerned though and asked her what if the child didn’t like dogs or cats. See, the Brookhouser residence was full of rescued animals, including dogs, cats, a bunny, and a hedgehog.
Holly remained optimistic and believed that everything would be okay, especially after seeing a video of Marcelo and his foster mother with a puppy in the background. However, when Marcelo arrived and the dogs ran to welcome him, he screamed.
Marcelo was two years old when he moved into his new house in Centerton, Arkansas. He was afraid since he left everything he knew to move to an unfamiliar area with completely new surroundings, and he only spoke his native languages, French and Lingala. Having studied French in college, Chris was able to assist Marcelo in understanding things over the first few days. However, Marcelo occasionally exploded and yelled at his new family in Lingala.
He was also terrified of dogs. At first, Marcelo did not want the dogs near him. This included Mini, a senior Chihuahua mix weighing 10 pounds, and Davey, a senior terrier mix weighing 20 pounds. Marcelo would walk away from the dogs or attempt to swipe at them without making contact if they were sitting on the couch with him.
Mini was usually pleasant and had a submissive disposition. Holly believed that Mini would win Marcelo over with her charm. But Holly had to keep Davey away as he can be temperamental around youngsters. The family, including Macy, the Brookhousers’ teen daughter, then spent an entire day on the terrace playing with the dogs so that Marcelo would become accustomed to the new norm.
By being in a casual environment and spending time with family who engaged with the dogs, Marcelo realized he could trust everyone and lowered his guard. And around two weeks later, the family was on the patio, and Marcelo attempted to pet the cats. However, the cats were rather wary around him.
However, Mini was there and Holly asked Marcelo if he would like to hold the dog. Marcelo responded with a ‘Oiu’ (which means ‘yes’ in English) and that was the end of the boy’s fear of dogs. The boy held the dog and even gave it pets. Soon, he declared that Mini is his dog.