In November 2017 the Animal Rescue League of Iowa witnessed a very familiar sight – a family was leaving their dog behind. Shey’s family were moving and they didn’t want to take their 14-year-old dog with them. And the chances that such a senior dog is adopted are close to 0%.
Once Shey went through a vet check at the animal rescue, the staff there made several very unpleasant discoveries.
Shey suffered from a dental disease, due to poor maintenance of his teeth. As a result, Shey had only one tooth in his mouth that hasn’t started to rot.
Shey wasn’t neutered, even though he was a 14-year-old male dog.
Shey was deaf.
He was also half-blind.
With such conditions, most of which caused by the neglect of Shey’s previous owners, the staff at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa didn’t have much hope that Shey will find a new home. It’s a very familiar sight in rescues and shelters – an old dog that no one wants to adopt and that just withers away at the shelter.
“There wasn’t exactly a line out the door of adopters waiting to meet him.” wrote the folks at the Dodo.
And that’s when Tristan showed up.
The young boy didn’t seem fazed by all of Shey’s problems. Tristan and his mother were just looking for a cuddly, small dog. The staff at the shelter took the brave step to put the dog and the boy together, and they were a perfect match!
“Shey is super sweet and wants to be near people all the time,” Jessica Jorgenson, digital content coordinator for the rescue, told The Dodo.
“He understood that Shey couldn’t hear what was going on and might not be able to see things clearly, so he was very slow with his actions,” Jorgenson also said. “He was just very respectful of what Shey could and couldn’t handle.”
Tristan carefully took notes on his phone as the staff explained all the specifics of taking care of Shey. The boy even told the folks at the shelter that he has the perfect spot for the dog in his bedroom.
“He was so mindful of Shey’s special needs,” Jorgenson added. “Tristan is very mature for his age and asked a ton of questions.”
Despite spending several months alone in a shelter, the old pooch successfully found a new home – one full of love and care which he repays every day with a ton of love in return! It’s a rare occasion that a senior dog is adopted from a shelter, with most people choosing to instead buy young puppies and leave the lovely old dogs to die in shelters. Yet, when it happens, it’s a cause for celebration!