Time was running short for Donuts the rescue dog. He was a senior, and his medical tests came back as positive for cancer. Despite the shelter’s best efforts, the poor old guy was miserable without a family. And then one day, Donuts had a visitor who turned his life around.
Life is tough for street dogs, but even when they’re rescued, they still have to find a forever home. That’s not such a problem for younger animals such as puppies. However, if you’re a senior dog, it can be very difficult to stand out from the crowd.
Take nine-year-old Donuts, for example – the boxer dog/Labrador cross has a name to match his sweet nature. Yet, through no fault of his own, he ended up living at the Ark-Valley Humane Society (AVHS) shelter. What’s more, the lifestyle wasn’t a good fit for Donuts.
Susie’s Senior Dogs (SSD), an associate of AVHS, featured Donuts on its Facebook page. It hoped greater exposure would help him to find a home. “This handsome fella doesn’t have time to waste living all by his lonesome at the shelter,” it wrote on December 16, 2016.
SSD went on to describe how poor old Donuts’ health wasn’t up to the rigors of shelter life. Apparently, his senses were failing him. “He has vision and hearing loss and the concrete cell is hard on his old bones,” SSD reported.
As it was, Donuts needed to find a home pretty quickly. Because it turned out that he had not seen the end of his health issues, as his medical tests revealed.
Veterinarians found a growth on Donuts’ leg that turned out to be tumorous. Although AVHS had to wait for tests, doctors hoped that the tumor would be benign scar tissue called fibrosis. On the other hand, they speculated that the lump might also be cancer.
When the results for the growth came in, there was both bad and good news. The tumor did indeed turn out to be cancer. But because vets diagnosed it relatively quickly, SSD reported that Donuts still had a fighting chance of recovery.
To be more specific, the cancer was a form of sarcoma called hemangiopericytoma. SSD described the tumor as “grade one,” meaning it was still in its early stages. Nevertheless, it broke his carer’s hearts further to see the adorable Donuts without a human.
With Donuts’ health in mind, the search for his forever home became even more desperate. “Unfortunately, he does have cancer and has not been adopted,” AVHS reported. “We put another plea, even just a foster, but none of our fosters are able to [take him] at this time.”
In addition to Donuts’ health, the shelter couldn’t see why no one had adopted the adorable dog. By all accounts, he was gentle, affectionate and caring. Just like younger dogs, Donuts wanted a human of his own – someone to shower him with love and belly rubs.
“Donuts is an easygoing dog who has a ton of love to give,” SSD elaborated. “He’s a simple guy in that he doesn’t ask for much… just a loving family and a warm place to rest his head. Oh yeah, and maybe an occasional treat here and there!”
Moreover, even after all his veterinarian visits and medical tests, Donuts remained the perfect gentleman. He didn’t growl or snap at the doctors, and he didn’t make a fuss when they took his blood tests. And then one day, someone came to see Donuts.
On January 15, 2017, a young Colorado man called Matt Evans collected Donuts to whisk him away to his forever home! The two got on famously in what AVHS described as a “match made in heaven.” It overjoyed the dog’s carers to see Donuts happy.
In fact, they weren’t the only ones who were ecstatic to see Donuts go to a good home. During the campaign to find him a human, he’d gathered quite a social media following – so much so that his adoption went viral.
Not only did Donuts make an impression on the internet, he also became a media star in the USA Today. But for his good deed – and his good looks – Evans rode the waves of popularity. The singles crowd couldn’t get enough of the big-hearted hunk.
On a picture of Evans and Donuts, one viewer commented, “Is he taking girlfriend applications?!” Another wrote, “I’m pretty sure if you aren’t already taken, there is a line of ladies (myself included) on here that would love to meet you.”
Whatever Evans’s relationship status, no doubt the most unconditional love he received was from Donuts. And it looked like a new home was just the thing to ignite the fires of life in the senior dog. According to Evans, Donuts found a new enthusiasm for life after his adoption.
“He’s doing great and getting comfortable in the house,” Evans wrote regarding Donuts. “We just went on a long walk in Cheesman Park. He doesn’t act old, still chasing squirrels and full of life. He is the new mayor of Cheesman Park.”
Evans reported that Donuts had some trouble adapting to car travel, but perhaps old dogs can learn new tricks. On March 26, 2017, Evans provided SSD with a picture of Donuts at the Colorado Red Rocks Amphitheatre. He looks like he’s having the time of his life!