A one-eyed senior dog had a close brush with death when she was found alone on a busy, four-lane highway. Luckily a Marine Corps veteran with a heart for animals in need would come to her rescue.
Daniel’s older brother provided all the inspiration he needed to become one of the few and the proud.
“I joined the Marines in ’94, straight out of high school,” he says. “I wanted to follow in my older brother’s footsteps. I was a mortarman.”
These professionals provide indirect fire in support of various infantry units. They are an essential asset to any combat force.
The Marine Corps veteran has long since separated from service. Currently he works as a forklift driver and manages a mobile home park as well.
Still, Daniel finds opportunities to enjoy his family – two- and four-legged – despite holding down two demanding jobs.
“When I’m not busy with work I enjoy spending time with my family and three fur babies,” he says.
Two of Daniel’s canine family members are Shih Tzus. However, an unplanned addition of a one-eyed senior dog would bring a welcome spark to their daily routines.
Saved from near certain death
Bobby Jo is not the type of pet who people line up to adopt. At eight years of age she is considered a senior, among those most overlooked at shelters nationwide.
In addition, the Boston Terrier has just one eye with extremely limited vision, which makes her even less desirable to most prospective adopters.
Despite being nearly blind, the one-eyed senior dog had a habit of getting out of her home. Whether these episodes were due to lax oversight, neglect, or abandonment is not known.
One early spring day in 2022 the old dog was discovered where she should not have been – and she was in mortal danger. Bobby Jo had been found in the median of a busy, four-lane highway.
A Good Samaritan rescued Bobby Jo and brought her to our partners Blount County Animal Shelter. Since 2014 the organization has made more than 130 matches through our partnership, offering veterans in our program fee-waived adoptions.
Staff contacted Bobby Jo’s family with the amazing news that she had been found alive and well, but they did not want her back.
However, fate would soon deliver brighter fortunes to Bobby Jo. It seems that she and Daniel had crossed paths once before.
“We dog sat her one afternoon when she got loose from her previous owner,” he recalls.
Daniel discovered Pets for Patriots and our companion pet adoption program for veterans through Blount County Animal Shelter. He learned from them how the old dog he met once before was now in need of a safe, permanent home.
“She got loose on a second occasion,” he shares, “and when we found out they weren’t going to get her that was all it took.”
Special dog, special dog dad
In early March 2022 Bobby Jo became an old dog with a new life. She adds a touch of welcome energy to Daniel’s household – in spite of her age.
The Marine Corps veteran admits that he has become more active since her adoption. Caring for a mature, special needs pet often requires more deliberate involvement in the animal’s everyday activities, from walks to mealtime and everything in between.
“She keeps our other dogs entertained,” he says, “and I get more exercise now with her being an older pet.”
As a Boston Terrier Bobby Jo is one of many bracycephalic dog breeds. These are animals with short snouts that makes them more susceptible to various breathing problems, like snoring.
Luckily, Daniel finds his noisy new charge quite charming.
“She gives me a run for my money with her snoring,” he says. “My wife has to look over at me and make sure it’s not me doing it sometimes.”
It takes a special kind of person to adopt a special needs animal, even more so when that pet is older. It is nothing short of a miracle that Bobby Jo – a dog who can barely see – escaped the dangers of a high speed, highly trafficked road.
Bobby Jo’s previous guardians were unable to assure her safety and, ultimately, refused to take her back.
But this one-eyed senior dog is now living her best life thanks to a concerned citizen, a shelter that provided refuge, and a compassionate devil dog with a soft spot for animals in need.