Couple Goes To Shelter To Take Home The Dog No One’s Ever Asked About
"It was love at first sight. The thought of leaving him there was not an option."
The wait was killing Padre.
One day, the old boxer would be barreling around the grounds of the animal sanctuary, exalting in life.
Another day, and he would have a steady limp. Days later, someone had to help him get around with a wheelchair.
And a sling.
After being surrendered by his family and brought to Dog Tales Sanctuary and Rescue in Ontario, Canada, Padre developed a condition called degenerative myelopathy. It relentlessly assaulted his central nervous system, leaving him less able to move every day.
And, every day, a little less adoptable.
Potential adopters kept passing him by. Padre, who stood facing the glass of his kennel, looking out for every new visitor, ended every day in disappointment - and began every new day with a little less control over his body.
"It seems that when people see Padre they see work, and they see heartache, rather than seeing the incredible spirit, and the unlimited amount of love and kisses that he has to offer," Clare Forndran of Dog Tales told The Dodo back in June, when Padre had already been there for almost 200 days.
"Our biggest fear," she added, "is that a dog as special as Padre could die in a shelter."
But late last month, a family came to the sanctuary looking only for Padre.
Erin Winn and husband, Josh Weichel, had seen a video of Padre that moved them to tears. They wanted to be his family.
But when they arrived at the sanctuary, he was nowhere to be found.
"We went down every aisle looking for Padre and he wasn't there," Winn tells The Dodo.
They were just about to leave when Weichel asked a staff member if she knew a dog named Padre. Well, everyone knew Padre.
He was out for a walk with his guardian angel, a volunteer named Stav Laloudakis who had been taking special care of Padre from the moment he arrived. Along with a lot of selfies.
"She's been like his angel," Winn says. "She was there like three or four times a week, hanging out with him, bringing him on walks, giving him treats."
Padre's new family promised him even more. Like everyday love. For the rest of his life.
"It was love at first sight," Winn says. "The thought of leaving him there was not an option."
So, last week, the couple brought Padre to their home in Burlington, Ontario.
Padre's disease is degenerative, meaning over time it will sap his strength. But his heart is already feeling the regenerative power of family.
"He just loves people," Winn says. "He's so affectionate. He will just lie with you and cuddle with you.
"It was instant bonding."
If you would like to support Dog Tales Sanctuary and Rescue and its mission to save countless dogs like Padre, consider making a donation here.