Negra was unceremoniously left at the Baldwin Park shelter in Los Angeles, a silver-faced boy with what seemed like a bad attitude — not that any animal lover would blame him for the grump. The reason listed for his surrender? “Owner problems.”
According to his rabies certificate, Negra was 20 years old.
Elaine Seamans, founder of the At-Choo Foundation, an organization devoted to finding medical help, safety and love for shelter medical dogs who are in need of care that the shelter is unable to provide, heard about Negra. She went to pay him a visit, on the way contacting a San Fernando-based sanctuary called Love Always to see if they had room for an 8-pound Pomeranian mix. They specialize in hospice care.
“They were sort of on board,” she told MNN. “They were like, ‘Let us know what you find out.'”
She found him lying on a kennel bed and figured at his age, he wouldn’t be fussy to handle.
“I put my hand down, like, ‘Hi you want to smell?’ And he snapped at my hand.”
Negra, it seemed, had about had it with people. Again, who could blame him?
“His little lips were quivering like, ‘I’m gonna get you.'”
She plied him with baby food, sometime Seamans says often works like magic. Negra was unimpressed.
She covered him with a blanket, pulled him into her lap, and began petting him — slowly and gently.
“Next thing you know I’m able to pet him without him trying to bite me,” Seamans says.
He came out of the blanket on his own terms, nestling into her lap, and voluntarily escalated the affection. The poor, little guy was starving for it.
“He pushed up against my chest and moved up a little further to put his head on my shoulder,” Seamans says. “My eyes got a little teary.”
Seamans got Negra out of the shelter that very day and, once the medical results came back, he was harboring a happy secret along with his genuinely sweet disposition. Despite a missing tooth or two in back and a silvery face, he was perfectly healthy. Odd, to say the least, for a dog who was supposed to be 20.
What’s more, he was super spunky!
The shelter got in touch with the shelter staff, who called Negra’s former owners. There had been a mistake on the paperwork. Negra was only 8!
So the dog who was supposed to live out his life among the ducks and pigs and super-senior residents of Love Always was able to find a happy forever home instead.