Lifestyle & Human Interest

Dog Saved Hours Before Being Euthanized Now Lives in Senior Living Center


Journey the 6-year-old rescue dog hasn’t seen much of the world during her life. Her past consisted of her being locked up in a cage most of the time, until her owner passed away and she found herself at a shelter in Virginia.

Being a middle-aged dog, she was earmarked for euthanasia. The supposed hound mix was unknowingly spending her last few days, once again, locked up and unloved.

A Maryland-based rescue, Knine Rescue, had just arranged a large transport of 17 shelter dogs from West Virginia, but they weren’t quite done yet.

Journey wasn’t the only one on the short list, and she wasn’t even the original reason for Knine Rescue to visit her shelter. Another hound-looking mix named Spec was also at risk, so Knine Rescue arranged a way to get him to safety.

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“Literally, when the transport pulled up, the transport that we had arranged to pick up this other dog,” Amy Creel, board member and adoption coordinator for the rescue, told KABB. “I get a call and they said is there anyway you can take a second dog? I thought, we have no where to put her.”

“I was actually really reluctant, but something just told me to take her. I can’t explain it,” Creel told KSTU. “It was literally the day before she was scheduled to be put down.”

After picking up Spec and Journey, they took them along to a planned visit at Sunrise Senior Living of Chevy Chase. The rescue watched a transformation take place for Journey.

“We just brought Journey along for the ride because we had nothing else to do with her. She was really shy when she first arrived, not surprisingly,” Creek said. “When she walked into the senior center, it was like she belonged there. It was the weirdest thing. She just walked in and was instantly comfortable, her tail started wagging and she was going up to people.”

“It was like as soon as she walked in the door she came alive again.”

People noticed. One of those people was Kathy Tyler, the executive director for Sunrise Senior Living — and she made a request: That Journey live with them at the center.

Journey was the perfect addition. She was calm, not too small to trip over, not too big to cause problems and she could provide unparalleled companionship to the seniors who lived there.

“I think because she’s a little bit older, she’s not going to jump up on any of the seniors,” Creel explained. “She’s not a trip hazard. She’s very calm, very gentle.”

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“I am convinced she’s also a match because of her history. She understands on some deeper level what it’s like to be lonely and to need comfort and companionship.”

Creel reflected on the whole situation, saying how “amazing” it was that this last-minute change of plans in the form of a 6-year-old dog turned out to be the perfect solution for the seniors who needed a furry friend.

“It felt like it was meant to be,” she said.

“Dogs can come from these terrible situations and yet they are willing to try and love again,” she added. “Dogs encourage me to be in the moment. I feel like at a senior living facility, that is such a valuable lesson for everyone to be reminded to live here and now.”

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