A Little Boy Chose to Adopt the Eldest Dog in the Shelter


Most potential parents who come into shelters to adopt a dog and welcome it into their home generally consider its age, breed, behavior, and weight. Some choose a young, perky dog that they can trust around their children at home. This is a sad reality for some elderly dogs abandoned at the shelter, such as Shey, a 14-year-old miniature poodle who was taken to Animal Rescue League of Iowa.

In November 2017, Shey was taken to the shelter since the family had to move to another state and could not take him with them. He arrived at the shelter deaf, half-blind, and almost toothless. Only one of his teeth was not completely rotten. Additionally, Shey was not spayed either, so finding potential parents to adopt him would be difficult due to his condition and his characteristics. If some of the younger dogs could not find a potential adopter, what more of the elderly dogs?

However, surprises come and good luck suddenly arrives on certain days. Some people who look to adopt shelter dogs sometimes see beyond minimal aspects. Without a doubt, one of those people is a young boy named Tristán Reese. He and his mother, Heather, visited the shelter one night looking to adopt a special dog.

Tristán and his mother walked into Animal Rescue League and informed the staff that they were looking for a dog that loved to give hugs. That was all. Tristán may not be more than 10 years old, but he knew exactly what he wanted in a special dog, and the staff had no doubt about it: Shey.

“Shey is super sweet and wants to be near people all the time,” Jessica Jorgenson, digital content coordinator for the rescue, said.

“Shey was very comfortable with Tristán from the beginning,” Jessica added. “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. He was just very respectful of what Shey could and couldn’t handle.”

Shey loves being around people and gives them hugs and cuddles. When Shey was handed over to Tristán, they immediately cuddled. While they hugged, Tristán eagerly listened to every instruction given by the staff about Shey, and he accepted with a smile. He took down all the dates of Shey’s vaccination schedule on his mobile phone.

“He was so mindful of Shey’s special needs,” Jessica added. “Tristán is very mature for his age and asked a ton of questions.”

Tristán’s mother, Heather, facilitated the adoption work. The young boy and his mother welcomed Shey into their loving home. Although Shey waited almost a year to find a family who would adopt him, it was well worth it when Tristán did everything to make up for lost time. His maturity and dedication to him made Shey understand that he was finally home.

“Shey is very content,” Jessica said. “Cuddling is his favorite thing in the world, and he snuggled right in with Tristán.”

Images credits: © Animal Rescue League of Iowa and Heather Reese/Facebook


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