Home After 7 Years in Shelter – Heartwarming Story Contest

This pet rescue story is an entry in the Most Heartwarming Story Contest, by Helen Woodward Animal Center. The Most Heartwarming Story Contest is open to any and all participating Blue Buffalo Home 4 the Holidays pet organizations. The winner will win $1,000 for their facility or rescue! Your organization can become a Blue Buffalo Home 4 the Holidays partner today. This story will now have an opportunity to be featured in the finalist pool in February 2016. 

Seven Years Worth the Wait for Shelter Dog

Pirate in Shelter

Pirate’s shelter photo

By Texas Best Choices Animal Rescue, located in Quinlan, Texas

Visit their website  |    “Like” them on Facebook

Pirate came to our rescue in 2009 as a young adult. He was relinquished by his elderly owner, who was suffering from poor health. Pirate didn’t have a great life but was not abused, just neglected before he came to us. He was a beautiful merle Collie but just wasn’t very people-friendly. He was accepting of our staff because he knew them and we all took care of him. But when adopters would visit, he was standoffish and shy. Seven long years passed. Although he had a good life with a playmate and good food and shelter, of course, we never gave up on finding him the right home.

That day came this October with an inquiry from a retired military nurse and Vietnam vet. Gerrie drove about 3 hours to meet Pirate with her female Collie, Carrie, in hopes he would be the right dog for their family. She and her husband were both retired military officers and always had pets but had recently lost two of their three beloved dogs. We, of course, told her about Pirate’s shyness, but we always say most dogs will blossom when they learn to trust and become part of a family. Gerrie arrived and was a little hesitant at first with his shyness, but Pirate walked well on a leash and did fine with Carrie. So with our encouragement, she took him home. Well, blossom he did!

Lucky and Dad

Pirate (renamed Lucky) and his new dad

Here is a journal of the first few weeks for Pirate (now aptly named Lucky):

Home at last. Not a peep out of Pirate the whole time. Carrie hopped back and checked on him along the way. I thought I’d never coax him out of the crate….even with hot dogs! He is now in the backyard checking how many trees need to be wet on.  The house required a serious smell over. The hubby thinks he needs to be named Lucky. 

Lucky has continued his completely gentlemanly behavior. He has not even tried to challenge Miss Carrie for the senior dog position, just gently lets her do whatever she chooses. He is beginning to show a bit more vigor, steps more lively, even jumped off the deck last night when Carrie barked that she had heard something. (Squirrel? Possum? Raccoon? Who knows?)​ Oddly, he has yet to make a single sound…not a bark, whine or whimper. Surely in his misty history someone has not meddled with his vocal cords? I think I will ask Travis, my vet, to check that when he works on his teeth under anesthesia Thursday.  More as the situation develops….

Prayers are being said right now while under anesthesia, and we’ll keep ’em going for our boy! Yes, his vocal chords were damaged long ago and cannot be repaired.  I apologize if my report saddened you. You kept him going and put him on the website until I got there with two dog-sized holes in my heart to fill. He is a Johnson now, and no one will ever hurt or neglect him again. I really had expected him to at least have intestinal parasites to be dealt with, being in an outdoor run. You run a really clean operation up there. We are grateful and wish you and all your other charges the very best. Lucky is beginning to get the idea of “sit” and tends to stay there until I ask him to do something else…what a pleasure! 

Sending you two pictures of “my guys.” Do you think this pooch has made himself sufficiently at home? We had five grandkids (ages toddler, Aggie Junior to 3rd grader) here Friday, and I was worried it would be too much for him as he is shy with strangers. No worries, he was all entwined with the kids all day. We love this Lucky boy and think we are truly the lucky ones. Do have a blessed Christmas. ~Gerrie

During the 2015 Blue Buffalo Home 4 the Holidays campaign (Oct. 1, 2015 – Jan. 4, 2016), participating animal organizations are encouraged to enter heartwarming adoption success stories. Submissions can be made weekly by email or tagging stories with #LightTheirWayHome, and at the end of each week Helen Woodward Animal Center will select a winning story to be featured on this very blog! After the campaign ends on Jan. 4, 2016, the weekly winning stories will be compiled into a pool and voted on by partnered organizations, animal welfare fans and the public. The story with the most votes will win a $1,000 donation for their animal organization and will be announced on Helen Woodward Animal Center’s blog in February 2016. For more rules and guidelines, please click here.


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