For Cloud, a fifteen-year-old husky, life had always been lived outside and at the end of a chain. He had never been inside of a house, never felt the warmth of a fireplace, and never curled up on the couch with a loving owner. Instead, life consisted of surviving in freezing temperatures in an area covered with his waste. Life looked bleak for this senior dog until a fortuitous event brought his existence to light.
An emergency call went out concerning a home in New Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, when the roof collapsed on the rotted out house. It was there that someone noticed a senior husky tied on a chain in clear violation of the new law, known as Libre's Law, that states no dog should be left outside on a chain for more than thirty minutes at a time and can't be confined to an area full of waste. All this dog had was a small doghouse and a car roof for shelter, and the ground was littered with dog waste.
The Hillside SPCA was called, and volunteers quickly arrived on the scene. They explained to the dog's owners that they were breaking the law by keeping him outside in filthy, inhumane conditions. The owners then agreed to sign the dog, called Cloud, over to the SPCA.
“When we met Cloud we were in shock at his condition,” said Tricia Moyer, assistant shelter manager at Hillside SPCA. “He was a broken, sad shell of a dog. His fur was thickly matted. He had a large mass on his hind end and he was very thin.”
The dog was immediately taken to the veterinarian who confirmed that Cloud had a tumor on his hind end but was too old to endure surgery. Additionally, Cloud was deaf.
At the shelter, Cloud paced and slept, then woke up and paced again. Because he couldn't calm down within the shelter environment, Hillside SPCA contacted Eleanor Garrett of Senior Dog Haven and Hospice and asked her to foster the husky.
Garrett said, “She [Moyer] was pretty upset. She sees dogs in all kinds of conditions, but she said, ‘This dog wasn’t acting like a dog at all, he’s just a mess. He’s walking into things.’ I don’t think he’d ever been inside anywhere in his life, so he was just so out of sorts.” Garrett agreed to foster Cloud and brought him into her home.
Unfortunately, Cloud was no more comfortable with Garrett than he'd been at the shelter. “He wouldn’t stop pacing, he wouldn’t stop moving,” Garrett explained. “I had him in my house, and he was knocking things over. He was running into things, and I thought, ‘Oh no. This is going to be difficult.’”
Cloud did everything he could to avoid Garrett and her family, so Garrett tried to leave him alone for awhile. He wouldn’t interact with us, and if you tried to go over to him, he’d just hide in the corner,” Garrett said. “He found a spot in my laundry room next to my dryer. There were things next to it, and he knocked it all over — it was almost like he was trying to get behind the dryer to hide. He stayed like that for over 24 hours.”
Then one day, everything changed. “I was in my laundry room getting something, and all of a sudden, I felt this little swipe of a paw on my foot,” Garrett said. “I looked down, and he was swiping at me to try and sit down and pet him. So I sat down and I started petting him, and he started giving me kisses, and anytime I stopped, he would swipe his paw at me again.”
Cloud realized that Garrett and her children cared about him, and for the first time in his life, he experienced the love and compassion of people. “It was like he seemed to realize that we were friendly and we were safe,” Garrett stated. “Every day from that point, he just got better and better and better.”
With the help of Garrett, her family, and her six other dogs, Cloud learned to be a family dog. He did so well that he recently found a forever home with a loving couple. Kelly Somers and her husband contacted Garrett about adopting Cloud, and when they met the husky, it was an instant match! Cloud, now named Titus, wasted no time getting comfortable in his new home.
“They’ve created a bucket list for him, so they’re working on all sorts of things that he never got to do his entire life,” Garrett said. “He’s been going on walks — I don’t think he’s ever been walked before and he loves it. They got him a big orthopedic bed. Someone contacted them about doing a photo shoot. Somebody else contacted them and said they could offer a doggy massage.”
Garrett noted that “Really for the first time, it seems like [Cloud's] enjoying life.” Thanks to the selflessness of these rescuers, this senior husky now has a loving home in which to spend his golden years. Share Cloud's heartwarming story with your friends and family on Facebook.