Editor’s note: We’re happy to report that Mr. T has been adopted! There are many more dogs hoping to find homes, too. Check out these adoptable pups here.
Mr. T almost died when he was just fourteen months old. He had been surrendered by his family to a large shelter and was scheduled to be euthanized. A few hours before the puppy was going to be put down, someone posted a picture of him on Facebook. He had a big smile on his face.
Beth Marzo, the dog coordinator at Forgotten Friends rescue in Long Island, doesn’t look at photographs of dogs on euthanasia lists. It’s too painful. But Mr. T was different. He didn’t look afraid or dejected; he looked trusting and hopeful.
“He had no idea this was to be his last day on earth,” Beth says.
Although her rescue was filled to capacity, Beth and her team saved Mr. T’s life. She’ll never forget the day he arrived from the shelter, bolted straight to her feet, and peered up at her as if to say, “I know you will help me. Thank you.”
Mr. T, now fifteen months, had a rough start in life. Beth can tell that before he was surrendered, his family left him outside all day. He didn’t even know the basics, but learning was one of his favorite things. More than anything, he wanted to make Beth proud.
After years in animal rescue, Beth has had her fair share of heartbreak, but this big puppy has helped to heal those wounds. No matter what happened to him and no matter how badly he was betrayed, he never lost his faith in humankind.
Mr. T’s story is a sad one, but Mr. T is not a sad dog. His tail is always wagging.
When she’s sad, Beth now thinks of Mr. T and his goofy smile and willingness to wear a funny hat. She doesn’t know what the future has in store for him, but his joy is contagious.
“Mr. T has taught me that we can all be as happy as we make up our minds we will be,” she says, “He trusted mankind to do the right thing when in reality he was on his way to his death.”
Beth has never once regretted looking at that euthanasia list and pausing for a moment to look at the lanky brown dog known as “Mr. T.”
This dog has given Beth the strength she needs to continue. “If Mr. T did not crumble on the day he was meant to die,” she explains, “we can all keep saving lives without giving in to hopelessness and despair.”
That’s the thing about Mr. T. When your spirit wavers, he’ll pick you back up. He’ll remind you of the beauty that can be found in sniffing the grass, practicing obedience commands, and being with someone who loves you.
“If Mr. T finds a home, he will make his family proud,” Beth wrote in a letter to me. “Until his last breath, he will love them unconditionally.”
If you think you might be the person for Mr. T, please contact Forgotten Friends of Long Island at 516-719-0808 or via email at .You can fill out an adoption application here.
Forgotten Friends of Long Island is able to save dogs like Mr. T only with help from donations by the public. You can chip in here.
Header images via Forgotten Friends of Long Island