Brenda and Bob Chambers were looking for a pet following the loss of their beloved border collie last November.
Two weeks ago, they brought home Buddy, one of the rescued Gabbs dogs taken to El Dorado Animal Service in South Lake Tahoe.
"We think a path led us there," Brenda Chambers said. "We went to Douglas County and Carson City; every other dog we inquired about had been adopted."
Buddy is the Chambers' fourth rescue dog.
"He was a little shell-shocked," she said. "He was at the shelter with another Gabbs dog, but nobody took a second look at him."
She said Buddy was so timid that he appeared unfriendly.
"We decided he really needed help, so we took him in," she said.
Buddy is making progress.
"He will let me pet him, and he will go out on a leash. And I think we have him housebroken again," she said.
Buddy seems to be taking his time warming up to Bob Chambers.
"He will go with me on the leash," he said. "We're just taking it one step at a time."
Buddy had an appointment with a veterinarian on Friday. The Chambers hope to learn more about his age and health.
"It takes patience and time," Brenda Chambers said. "We see there is a real sweet dog in there."
The Chambers have a cat and Molly, a 10-year-old border collie that was pining for her old companion before Buddy came home.
The Chambers said they hope other people will take a chance on the Gabbs dogs, or other pets filling up local shelters.
"We have rescued dogs before, but never from such dire circumstances," Brenda Chambers said. "We've had the best luck with dogs, we're happy we've taken him in. Buddy is a very handsome dog."