Imagine spending eight years with a family you adore. They're all you know of the world, and they provide you with safety, love and affection. Then, one day, your family simply leaves. They put you outside, drive away and you never see them again.
Would you give up hope? Go into a deep despair? Larry, a yellow Labrador retriever, had nowhere to go when his family moved away and abandoned him. The 8-year-old dog curled up in the dirt of a landscaping business parking lot across the street from his old home. And for months, Larry lay there and waited, with passing truckers occasionally stopping to give him food scraps.
When one delivery driver realized that Larry's family was never coming back for him, she created a profile for the dog on Instagram. That's when Sasha Abelson, president of Love Leo Rescue, caught wind of the story. Abelson reached out to local volunteers, vowing to take care of Larry if she could get him to the rescue.
Volunteers coaxed Larry into their car, then drove him two hours to Love Leo Rescue's Los Angeles location.
Larry's time spent living outside had taken a toll on his body. His belly was bloated, even though he had gone for months without having a regular supply of food and water. Larry was also missing patches of hair on his legs and was having a hard time walking.
Larry may not have been feeling great physically, but he still managed to wag his tail for his rescuers.
The rescuers took Larry to the vet the next day and learned that he had Cushing's disease. The condition is caused by a benign tumor on a dog's pituitary gland, and Larry was tired and uncomfortable.
Luckily, Cushing's disease is treatable with medication, so Larry stayed at the vet clinic for a month and-a-half as he started his new medicine. Abelson noted that Larry was somewhat sad and depressed during that time, and because he was a bit reactive to other dogs, rescuers weren't sure if Larry would be able to live in a home with another dog.
As Larry's medication began to take effect and his belly shrank, he also began to feel better – and his true personality emerged. Larry revealed himself to be highly social with other dogs, and he was brought to a doggy day care where he could spend time with other dogs and enjoy more time outdoors.
With Larry feeling better, it was time to start the hunt for a new home. But there were a few factors that could make rehoming Larry a challenge. Because he had Cushing's disease, his new owner would have to be willing to cover the recurring expense of Larry's medication. Plus, because Larry had been abandoned, he was very anxious about being left alone.
Larry has gone into forever homes three times now, but he's also been returned to the rescue three times, thanks to some bad luck. Still, even though his first family abandoned him, Larry remains happy, grateful and is a people-loving dog in search of his forever home.
When Larry meets new people, he knows just how to ask them for some attention. He pushes up against people affectionately and ask them to pet his head and scratch his ears.
Larry may be older, but he still has plenty of energy and loves to be taken on walks. Although some dogs carry a bad experience with them for the rest of their lives, Larry is sweet and forgiving. Now, he just needs to meet the perfect family who realizes how special he is.
Abelson is confident that the right fit is out there, and she's willing to wait with Larry until that perfect family comes along.