This is Jet
Jet’s owners brought him into their vet and told the front desk that they wanted to “donate” him.
When they were informed that “donating” a dog was not a thing they left. They returned five minutes later and said that they wanted to euthanize him. “He’s old, he pees in the house, and we are going on a trip and he can’t come,” was the reason that was given.
I was working “on the floor” at the time and I was vaguely aware of this interaction going on, and I asked one of the staff if the owners just wanted to surrender the dog to animal control so that he could go to the pound? We do get this request from time to time, and while we don’t like taking them, it is better than the pet being put to sleep.
The answer came back that yes, that was what they wanted to do. The handed over his leash, patted him on the head, said “goodbye puppy” and walked out the door.
Jet was brought back through the hospital and what I saw was a sad, confused, lost, and in poor shape twelve year old dog that nobody wanted.
It broke my heart.
I told the staff to get the reference number from animal control when they came to pickup. Two days later I went to the shelter and picked up Jet and took him home.
In cases like this we require that animal control take legal possession before any staff member, including me, adopts them.
Jet was in pretty poor shape. He was thin, his coat was coarse and in clumps. The photo above, unfortunately, does not really show how bad he looked. He got on fine with my other dogs, however, so he had a home. Initially, I thought that we might be putting him down in a few days due to ill health – I was pretty convinced he had diabetes. But I wanted to give him a chance.
His first night at my house, Jet did indeed pee in the house.
It was the first and only time he did this.
The next day I took him back to work and got him medically checked out. Much to my surprise, he received a clean bill of health.
Today, Jet looks a lot healthier and at times looks like the world’s happiest dog.
He eats well, regularly goes to an amazing dog park, sits on the couch to watch movies and, from time to time, sleeps on my bed.
He has his own instagram and goes on lots of adventures.
(Yes, that’s Jet and Jill Sobule)
I have no idea how long we have together, but there is not a day that goes by when I don’t think, not how lucky Jet is, but how lucky I am to have him in my life.
(This originally appeared on Quora in answer to: Have you ever adopted a pet from a shelter?)