After being given up by his owner, Sam was days away from being euthanized.
The thirteen-year-old, white German shepherd was scared and lonely. He’d lived a long life with his family, but when his owner deployed in the Navy, he was left without a home.
Every day, Sam waited for a family to adopt him— and every day, shelter visitors left with a young puppy or a kitten instead. Nobody wanted to bring a senior dog home, and eventually, the shelter decided to euthanize him.
A few days before Sam’s moment of reckoning, fate decided to intervene.
It turns out the German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County had recently received a call from a senior who was looking to adopt a white German shepherd.
The man was 93-year-old Navy veteran George Johnson— a bizarre twist considering Sam was given up when his previous owner deployed. Johnson’s old German shepherd had recently passed away, and the man was looking for a new companion.
The rescue didn’t have a dog matching that description— but they had heard about Sam in Arizona. The circumstance was so uncanny; they immediately knew it was meant to be. Years after leaving the Navy, Johnson was about to be a hero again!
When Johnson met Sam, it was love at first sight.
Somehow, the Petco Foundation caught wind of Sam’s story and awarded the rescue group that matched them a $25,000 cheque. Sam also received a holiday shopping spree to load him up with goodies for his new home. During an event at a local Petco, the two shared their story with the crowd. “[Sam]’s an old gentleman,” said Johnson.
“So I say this, two old dogs together, old sea dog and an old German shepherd and we’re going to hang in there as long as we can,” he laughed.
On top of the weird Navy connection between Sam’s owners, Johnson also noted that while Sam’s thirteen and he’s 93— in dog years they’re just about the same age! It was so lucky that these two were able to find each other. They really are the perfect match:
After adopting Sam, Johnson told Petco: “Sam has made a tremendous impact on my life … I’ve received a few medals, ribbons and commendations during my Naval career, but this dog fills my heart more than all of them put together.”
“I am honored to be Sam’s caretaker and companion, and I don’t know what I’d do without him.”
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