Shey, a 14-year-old miniature poodle, was dropped off at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa in November 2017 for the most heartbreaking of reasons: his family was relocating and they weren’t taking him with them.
Shey was at the shelter for four months, waiting for someone to come and get him. He had dental issues and had never been neutered, so the rescue booked surgery and vet treatment for him. Only one of his teeth was not completely rotten.
Because he was deaf, half-blind, and toothless, there wasn’t exactly a queue of adopters eager to meet him.
But none of it mattered when a young boy called Tristan came in one night last week. He and his mother were seeking for a tiny dog who enjoyed cuddling, and the shelter staff believed Shey would be a good fit.
“Shey is really loving and always wants to be around people,” Jessica Jorgenson, the rescue’s digital content coordinator, told The Dodo.
Tristan grabbed a seat, eager to meet his new possible buddy. The smile on Tristan’s face as the staff placed Shey in his lap was one of sheer joy.
“From the beginning, Shey was quite comfortable with Tristan,” Jorgenson added.
Tristan hung on every word as the adoption staff went through some of Shey’s special needs, clearly eager to do everything he could for the adorable little dog nestled up in his lap.
“He realized Shey couldn’t hear what was going on and might not be able to see things well, so he moved slowly,” Jorgenson explained. “He was just mindful of what Shey could and could not manage.”
Tristan even brought out a calendar on his phone and began noting down when he’d need to bring Shey to the vet for future vaccines while reading Shey’s medical history. He also told the staff about the special location he had put up in his room for him.
“He was very sensitive to Shey’s special requirements,” Jorgenson continued. “Tristan is a really mature young man who asks a lot of questions.”
It was a no-brainer, given how ready the little boy was for a dog — and the fact that he was so responsible about adopting a senior dog was an added bonus.
Shey has clearly discovered a new favorite spot to be now that he is at home with his family: in Tristan’s arms.
Although Shey had to wait months for a family after being abandoned, Tristan is doing everything he can to make up for lost time.
“Shey is quite happy,” Jorgenson stated. “He cuddled right up with Tristan, which is his favorite thing in the world.”