Smokey was adopted as a young puppy by a family who showered him with tons of toys. But it was a stuffed elephant with large ears that was his absolute favorite. Despite the fact that he could have easily torn it to shreds in minutes, he was always extremely gentle with it. He even took it with him on walks and slept with it every night.
He lived in a loving home until he was five, but then everything changed.
His owner lost his job, and they started to struggle. They downsized their home, but it still wasn’t enough. It became difficult to keep Smokey fed. So they decided to see if anyone they knew would be able to take care of him. But no one was able to accommodate such a large dog.
When they found out that they were going to lose their house, they tried even harder to find him a new home. But finally, they had to face the facts that they could no longer care for Smokey. They made the extraordinarily difficult decision to surrender him to a shelter. They dropped him off with his favorite toy, and said goodbye forever.
Smokey was shattered. His heart was completely broken. After losing his people and having to adjust to life in the shelter, Smokey started to suffer from severe anxiety. He had no interest in playing or interacting with any of the shelter volunteers. He simply laid in the corner of his crate, clutching his elephant in his mouth.
The shelter scrambled to get him adopted as soon as they possibly could as accommodations for intaking animals were extremely limited. The photos of him with his elephant drew attention from potential adopters, and the shelter was extremely hopeful that he would be adopted soon.
But every time a family came to see if they connected with him, he would hide in the corner. When they tried to approach him, he was so scared that he would growl. Since he started to show signs of aggression, the shelter was forced to take him off the list of “adoptable dogs.” Unfortunately, this essentially put him on death row, and he was headed towards being put down.
The shelter didn’t have the space or ability to accommodate a dog that they couldn’t get adopted. So the date was set. He had to be adopted by then or he would be euthanized. But the shelter wasn’t going to give-up. They didn’t want Smokey to die.
So they started to search for other rescues that could take Smokey. They knew he would do so much better out of a stressful shelter environment. Thankfully, I Have A Dream rescue organization swooped in at the nick of time to save him. They promised that they would find him the perfect foster, and that they were willing to be incredibly patient to find him the forever family of his dreams.
As soon as he moved in with a foster family, everything changed. All the stress he was feeling in the shelter seemed to melt away. Suddenly, he had so much energy and was willing to play. Much earlier than they expected, the rescue decided to make him available for adoption again.
But first, they wanted to reach out to his former family and see if they were able to take care of him again. Unfortunately, they still weren’t in a fitting financial position to take him back. They were just so grateful that he was saved from being put down and that he would be able to live a lovely life.
The pictures of him clutching his beloved stuffed elephant made him very popular on social media. So it wasn’t long after he was officially up for adoption that Smokey, with his favorite stuffed toy in tow, found himself a wonderful new forever family.
See Smokey’s heartfelt story of hope below.
Featured Image: YouTube