For stray dogs living on the streets, life is never easy because they struggle in finding food and a safe place to sleep every single day. They must try to survive in the bad conditions of life without human care, so many dogs don’t last long. However, the dog in this story managed to survive for over 11 years on his own as a stray on the streets of Los Angeles.
Although life wasn’t always easy, the dog was happy and healthy. But as he got older, he began to slow down and couldn’t make it anymore. Even though he didn’t want to, he had to quit trying. So, he decided to wander the streets in hopes that someone would come to help him.
When he wandered onto a random porch, he curled up and took a nap. The woman who lived in the house walked outside and saw him sleeping on her porch. Thankfully, instead of kicking him off her porch, she took him home and named him Solovino, which is Spanish for “he came alone.”
After a few days, she contacted an organization called Rocket Dog Rescue to help him find a forever home. A few members of the rescue organization picked him up and flew him out to San Francisco for a better life.
At first, the organization had trouble finding the perfect home for Solovino, and they had to move him into a foster home. But thankfully, a woman named Carol Messina fell in love with the dog after she saw a picture of him online. So, Messina adopted him and shortened his name to Solo.
“As soon as I saw his face on their site, I wanted to love him,” Messina told The Dodo. “Then I saw that his name was Solovino, and being a HUGE ‘Star Wars’ fan (I have a cat with a ‘Star Wars’ name as well) I immediately thought, ‘Well, his name is Solo!’ Come to find out, that’s what his foster dad had been calling him! I knew it was fate. Then when I met him and saw how sad he was, I knew he was going to stay with me forever no matter what.”
When Solo first arrived in his new forever home, was nervous and shy. He was a bit wary around people, and did not seem to trust that Messina would be able to give him the happy and safe life.
After a while, Messina finally discovered Solo had some health problems, which one of them was that he was almost deaf. He also had dental problems that caused him to be lethargic and in constant pain. So, Messina used her savings to fix Solo’s teeth, and now he’s a much happier and playful dog.
“When he first came to live with me, he kept his tail between his legs for months,” Messina said. “He was very non-reactive to dogs and people and cats, and flinched any time anyone tried to pet him. I very quickly learned that his hearing was MUCH worse than his foster thought, as were his teeth.”
Messina also found ways to help ease Solo’s anxieties caused by being deaf and older. She bought him a vest that says he’s deaf, so people won’t pet him when they’re out. She’ll also always flick the lights on and off when she comes into a room, so Solo won’t get spooked if she comes up behind him.
“The people who live around us are always commenting on how he doesn’t even seem like the same dog anymore,” Messina said. “He didn’t smile or barely open his mouth even to pant for months, and now he smiles and rolls around and will run full-tilt across the lawn a dozen times a day.”
Now he has a very good life with Messina, the one he has always deserved. Thanks to Messina, Solo’s golden years are turning out to be the best years of his life!
“I’m very proud of his progress,” Messina said. “It is the best thing I have ever done with my life, and he has inspired me to get more senior dogs who need hospice care.”
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