Senior Dog Who Spent 14 Years In Shelter Gets To Sleep In New Bed For First Time

For more than a decade, Stewart has dreamed of finding his forever family. The 14-year-old dog first entered the shelter when he was about 1 year old and has lived there almost his entire life. Stewart needed a hero — someone who could see he was worthy of unconditional love. And, maybe, something soft to sleep on at the end of a long day.

After two failed adoptions and returns, Stewart began to worry about spending the rest of his life in a shelter – and he hit the jackpot.

A dog looks out through the kennel door.
Natalie Snyder

Stewart entered the animal shelter in 2008, but he’s not the only one who has spent most of his life there.

“It really breaks my heart to know there are 14, 10, 8, 5 year old dogs out there, like Stuart,” Emily Wozniak, a former Strays, Inc. employee, told The Dodo. “So I posted his story [on TikTok] Hope to find him a home. “

The video garnered a lot of attention from the collie mix, especially from a woman who lived five hours away.

A golden dog looks sad as his mother pets him.
Natalie Snyder

“The first time I discovered Stewart was through that video showing his admissions documents,” Stewart’s mom and founder of Repo’s Rescue, Natalie Snyder, told The Dodo. “Stuart has a lot of potential candidates for adoption, but I knew he would be a great fit for my family.”

Snyder couldn’t resist and drove to see Stewart. But once there, Stewart’s availability suddenly disappeared because the shelter felt that Stewart had spent most of his life with them and that he should be there for the rest of his life. Still, she and the rest of the community pushed for adoption because she knew she needed Stuart as much as he needed her.

“A day later, when I got home, they called me,” Snyder said. “They allowed him for adoption and I could take Stewart home.”

Watch Stewart’s story here:

Now, Stewart’s life has been turned upside down. No more snoozing on concrete or uncomfortably loud noises.

“He loves his orthopedic bed and exploring the backyard to watch birds,” Snyder said. “It’s very exciting to watch him transform and experience life in his own way.”

Two dogs are lying on the bed together.
Natalie Snyder

Slowly but surely, Stewart learned to trust the opportunity, allowing him to live the rest of his life in peace. Snyder enjoys every moment with her new partner, knowing he’ll never have to worry about finding a home again.

“Stuart made me believe in the goodness of people,” Snyder said. “He showed me what I was capable of and, more importantly, what he was capable of. It made me proud to see him get up every day and try new things, despite his past being brave. He is a fantastic dog .”

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