Stuart had a dream of finding his forever family for more than ten years. The 14-year-old canine spent practically his entire existence in the shelter after entering there when he was just a year old. Stuart was in search of a hero—someone who could recognize his worth as a recipient of unwavering love. And perhaps something comfortable to sleep on after a long day.
Stuart began to fear that he would spend the rest of his days in the shelter after two failed adoptions and returns. However, things turned out to be very different for Stuart.
Stuart entered an animal shelter in 2008, but he’s not the only one who’s spent the majority of his life there.
Former employee at Friends of Strays, Inc. Emily Wozniak told The Dodo, “It absolutely crushed my heart to realize that there have been dogs there for 14, 10, 8, 5 years, like Stuart.” So, in an effort to help him find a home, I posted his story on TikTok.
The video brought the shepherd-heeler mix plenty of attention, especially from a woman who lived five hours away.
Natalie Snyder, Stuart’s mother and the creator of Repo’s Rescue, told The Dodo, “I first learned about Stuart through the video showing his intake documentation.” “Stuart had a lot of possible adoptive parents to choose from, but I felt he’d be right for my family,” she said.
Snyder couldn’t resist and drove to meet Stuart. But once there, Stuart’s availability suddenly vanished because the shelter felt Stuart had lived so much of his life with them, he should live out the rest of his days there. Still, she and the rest of the community pushed for the adoption, knowing she needed Stuart just as much as he needed her.
“They called me a day later when I was back home,” Snyder said. “They allowed his adoption and I could bring Stewart home.”
Watch Stuart’s story here:
In the present, Stuart’s life has seen a significant improvement. No more uncomfortable noises or sleeping on the concrete.
“He loves his orthopedic bed and exploring the backyard watching the birds,” Snyder said. “It’s very emotional to watch him transition and experience life on his own terms.”
Slowly but surely, Stuart’s learning to trust this chance he’s been given to live out the rest of his days in peace. Snyder’s taking in every moment with her new companion, knowing he’ll never have to worry about finding a home again.
“Stuart makes me believe in the goodness of people,” Snyder said. “He’s opened my eyes to what I’m capable of and even more so, what he is capable of. It makes me proud to see him get up every day and try new things, and be brave despite his past. He’s a truly wonderful dog.”