Bringing in 2018 with some wholesome goodness
is this 72-year-old Californian grandmother, Melani Andrews. She decided that she wanted to adopt a dog, but not just any dog, she had a plan to take home the least adoptable dog from her local shelter.
Melani had been through a lot of heartaches after losing her husband and then shortly after, losing her beloved pet Lola, a Staffordshire Terrier. In this tough time, Melani’s grandchildren convinced her that a four-legged companion was just what she needed to warm her heart again.
“I was feeling down and a little depressed,” she said to The Dodo. “My grandkids came over one night, and they said, ‘Grandma, you need somebody to keep you company. You can’t just sit around here all by yourself.
After a lot of thought and consideration, Melani agreed with her grandchildren’s suggestions of adopting but it wouldn’t be just any dog she brought home, he had to be a very special one.
“I wanted to help somebody — a dog — like Lola helped us, and so I told them I wanted the oldest dog they had, the one that everybody was passing up, and that I wanted to adopt him,” she recalls. “I don’t care if he’s sick, I don’t care if the shelter can help with bills. I don’t have a lot of money, but I’m sure I have enough to take care of a little dog.”
Melani went to Front Street Animal Shelter in Sacramento, California, to find her new love. That is exactly what happened when she met Jake, the 12-year-old terrier.
“Jake’s two friends ignored me, but Jake perked up and started howling,” Melani told. “So I said, ‘It looks like he wants to go, and I’ll take him.’”
Staff members at Front Street Animal Shelter were overjoyed to finally see their oldest dog ready for his forever home – after being brought in as a stray and having spent months in the shelter. But they had to tell Melani about Jake’s condition.
Jake, the senior dog, was partially blind, completely deaf and suffered from terminal skin cancer. Unfortunately, the doctors were unsure of how much more time he had.
“They informed me that he had cancer and he had a limited amount of time,” she said. “And I thought, ‘We’re going to make his time as good as we can make it.’”
Along with the staff, relations coordinator Bobby Mann was completely thrilled to hear that Jake was finally going to receive the love and attention he deserved.
“It was amazing because she was one of the few people who actually gave this dog an opportunity, and you could just tell from that picture of how excited that dog was to have an opportunity to get out of the shelter,” the coordinator said. “He was one of our longest-standing residents. We were hoping that someone like her would come along, and give him the life that he deserved.”
Jake was obviously still nervous when Melani first adopted him from Front Street, barking his caretakers goodbye as he left. But after only a few minutes, he became comfortable and settled in with Melani perfectly.
“He laid his head in my right hand, and I drove with my left hand,” she said. “It was like he was saying, ‘OK, let’s see how we do together.’ It was really cute. I’ve never had a dog do that to me.”
“You could tell by the way he came into the house that he’d been living in a home. He hadn’t been living on the streets for very long. He knew to crawl up on the chair, turn himself around, lay down and go to sleep, just like you see a cat on a chair.”
Now the two companions are living happily and enjoying every moment they have together.
“Every day I laugh a little bit more. It’s not so lonesome. I think [he] knows that I love him because he’ll come over to me and he’ll rub up against me and ask me to rub his backside. And then he’ll nose me with his nose. And a dog that doesn’t know that somebody loves him wouldn’t be doing anything like that.”
“The way he’s taken a turnaround here, I may end up having him for a year — maybe two if I’m really lucky,” she said. “But when he goes, I’ll know he went happy.”
In the end, you could say that Melani didn’t only save Jake, Jake saved Melani too.