If you've been around awhile, you might remember the RCA dog in their advertisements, that said "His Master's Voice," and shows him listening to the gramophone. If you're too young to remember it, don't worry. We've found the RCA dog's look alike! Meet Smokey, a dog in a shelter. But a dog with a difference.
Smokey's intake form at the shelter says he's five years old. For his whole life, he lived with just one owner. Sadly, when his family lost their house, Smokey was surrendered to the Franklin County Dog Shelter & Adoption Center in Ohio.
Although Smokey looks pretty happy in this photo, the truth of the matter is that he was extremely unhappy. For the first time in his life, his humans are missing. The shelter is a new, very noisy environment, and all he does is sit in his kennel. Fortunately, when she left Smokey there, his owner also left Smokey's favorite toy—a grey stuffed elephant.
It was so important to his former owner that she left instructions: Smokey had to find a new home along with his elephant. They were not to be separated.
But the dog who had always been friendly and happy was a changed dog. He started growling at people, and that immediately took him off the adoptable list and put him instead on the euthanize list. The staff knew that the stress of being left at the shelter was probably the reason for his unhappiness and behavior change. They put the word out to rescue groups.
Despite its being February, the month of love, Smokey's euthanize date was fast approaching. And then, the miraculous happened. Two volunteers from I Have A Dream Rescue Organization stopped by the shelter and saw him. Cupid was busy that day, because they fell in love with Smokey and decided to find a foster home for him so he could leave the shelter.
When word got out on Facebook about Smokey and his elephant, things kind of took on a life of their own. First, his story went viral on Facebook. Then the rescue group started getting calls about fostering Smokey. They used the good press to remind people that Smokey has other doggy friends who need homes, too. They are hoping Smokey's story will encourage people to go to a shelter or call a rescue group when they decide to get a new pet.
Smokey is a happy camper now, out of the shelter and living in his foster home. I Have A Dream Rescue Organization will take care of him until one of two things happens. First, and preferably, the family may reclaim him. If that's not possible, then he'll be put up for permanent adoption and start a whole, new life. With his elephant.
Where are you on the dog adoption scale? Is it a good idea? Have you adopted a pet from a shelter? What is your story? Let us know in the comments. We'd love to hear from you!