Mamba and Kevin
Mamba came to Silicon Valley Pet Project (SVPP) through Tricity Shelter, where he was surrendered by an owner who could no longer keep him. While at the shelter, it was clear that this young dog needed guidance and training. The shelter reached out to SVPP, and a foster family was found. The day Mamba was to be picked up, his life became even more complicated when he was diagnosed with heartworm, a condition that requires a difficult 4 months-long treatment to save a dog’s life.
Within a few days of his arrival at the foster’s home, Mamba’s need for additional support and help became clear. He is a high energy young dog who would be too much for a retired couple to manage on their own and that a team approach would be needed to properly help this dog. Mamba’s SVPP Foster Coordinator reached out to Kevin, who has experience training service dogs, to complete Team Mamba.
The first team meeting did not go well. At the introduction meeting between Kevin and Mamba, it became clear that this young dog had suffered more trauma than SVPP had been told, and that he suffers from a real and serious fear of men. Despite Kevin’s calm demeanor and experience working with dogs, Mamba showed fear through growling, lunging, and even nipping Kevin’s hand. Despite this very rough beginning, Kevin did not walk away or give up on Mamba. Over the course of the next two weeks Kevin went to the foster’s house every day, worked with the SVPP foster coordinator and foster family and VERY slowly, gained Mamba’s trust. By the end of the two weeks, Mamba was in love with Kevin!
Kevin and Mamba now spend hours together hiking, training, and playing together +and Mamba is making wonderful progress every day. Because of Kevin’s patient approach and his willingness to come back, day after day, to help this dog, Mamba now has a wonderful friend and male role model he can trust. And, thanks to the time Kevin spent, new men coming into Mamba’s life can gain his trust using the same techniques, but in a much shorter period of time, and Mamba can now enjoy his walks and hikes out into the world knowing that not all men are scary.
Kevin Johnson Started Coffee Companions Coffee Company to help dogs in need. Silicon Valley Pet Project is so happy to have Kevin as a member of our volunteer team and to benefit from his generosity toward our foster pups.
Mamba Java came about as a result of Kevin’s relationship with SVPP foster dog, Mamba. Despite a very rough start, Kevin and Mamba have bonded into a wonderful team, sharing long walks, hikes at local trails and hours training Mamba to help him build his confidence and skills to prepare him for a forever home where this beautiful, intelligent young dog will be safe and loved for the rest of his life.
Mamba Java reflects Kevin’s vision of helping and highlighting the journey of a rescue dog. Mamba is a special case. His foster journey is longer and more complicated due to his heartworm and behavioral needs. Kevin’s work with Mamba is helping this wonderful dog build his confidence and start to overcome his fears.
While working with Mamba, Kevin began to think about how Mamba’s qualities could be reflected in a coffee that would serve as a vehicle to teach people about fostering and the important work of saving rescue dogs.
The colors of Mocha Java coffee; the blacks, browns, and golds, are found in Mamba’s beautiful coat. The sweet taste notes of the blend are reflected in Mamba’s sweet personality and quirky, lopsided ears that bring a smile to everyone’s face. And the name? It just presented itself ☺
Volunteer, Foster Coordinator
Silicon Valley Pet Project