WATCH: Dog Saved One Day Before Euthanasia to Become Senior Living Center "House Dog"
"To think that this dog who never had anyone care for her, now has a community of folks looking after her is nothing short of amazing."
The day before six-year-old Journey was scheduled to be euthanized, Amy Creel sprang into action.
"Sadly, a lot of dogs find themselves in similar situations," Creel, of Knine Rescue in Ashton, Maryland, told Southern Living of the crowded shelter in rural Virginia where Journey ended up after her owner died. "Through no fault of their own, they wind up in a facility where there's simply no room. Older dogs are often the first to face euthanasia when this happens."
So, Creel and the Knine Rescue team reached out to the community and were able to arrange transportation for the sweet mutt who had spent her whole life in a cage.
Many people jumped in—someone drove her from point A to point B, then another person from point B to point C, etc. "The outpouring of support was amazing," Creel recalled.
But Journey's luck didn't stop there. It just so happened that the rescue was hosting a public adoption event at Sunrise Senior Center in Chevy Chase the day after she arrived. Older dogs are particularly difficult to adopt out, but Knine decided to bring her along anyway.
"To our surprise, this shy girl seemed instantly at home," Creel said. "She ‘introduced' herself to many of the residents, was happy to get petted, rolled over for belly rubs, and was particularly happy when given a treat!"
Journey made such an impression that after the event, the director of Sunrise Senior Center asked if she would want to live there as the "house dog." Her role would involve greeting people as they come in, wandering around the facility, sleeping with whoever needs company, joining folks in the walking club, hanging out in the Bistro at lunchtime, and taking lots of naps.
Creel said they were all stunned at the possibility that this could be Journey's forever home—that she would grow old there.
It was an easy decision.
"To think that this dog who never had anyone care for her, now has a community of folks looking after her is nothing short of amazing," Creel said. "We are so happy for her."