When Gumby was first picked up off of the streets, he was four years old. Shelter volunteers didn’t think he would have a problem being adopted. After he recovered from malnutrition, he was lovable and energetic, making him the perfect pet for families looking to add a cute pet to their lives. However, home after home returned with one complaint:
He won’t stop trying to run away.”
No matter how hard they tried, the adoptive families gave up after several days of constantly chasing after the dog. They had kept him fed, kept his water bowl full, given him comfortable places to lie down and lots of cuddles and rubs…but it never mattered. Day after day, he would escape until they couldn’t keep chasing after him.
Several times, he ended up back on the streets or back at the shelter, and volunteers wanted to find out why he kept at it…
They sat down with all of his records and eventually got down to the bottom of it! Gumby, it turns out, is happiest when he is comforting other dogs. Being at the shelter was his happy place because he could ease the minds of dogs that had been rescued or surrendered, bonding with them in a way that the volunteers weren’t able to.
Instead of trying to find a home for him, the volunteers put him to work greeting and comforting the shelter’s newest animals. The difference he made was finally recognized, and he hasn’t tried to escape since!