Senior animals can be challenging for shelters that are trying to get them adopted. Many people want puppies or kittens. By adopting an animal as a baby, you get to raise them from scratch and impart your personality to them. Because of this reason, senior dogs and cats are not popular at animal shelters and seldom get adopted quickly, which puts them at risk of euthanization if they’re residing in a kill shelter.

When no one wants to adopt a senior dog, the animal can spend weeks or months in the shelter. This can be very hard for the animal as shelter life is certainly not easy for any animal. They don’t get much attention from people and hardly have much contact with the outside world.

Seven-year-old Charlie, a Shih Tzu, learned what it meant to be a senior dog in an animal shelter. For weeks, no one seemed to want to bring Charlie back home and add him to their family unit. But it was even harder for the shelter to get Charlie adopted because the old dog had some physical problems that the owner would need to deal with.

After months in the shelter, Charlie was finally adopted. However, his good luck was not meant to last because the new owners decided to return him to the shelter after finding one small problem with the dog. Charlie had likely injured one of his spinal discs during his youth, and vets believed that it was just something he was going to have to deal with until he met his end. However, the injury made it impossible for Charlie to walk upstairs by himself.

The new owners didn’t want to carry Charlie up and down stairs every single day. According to them, they weren’t able to bend down to pick up the senior dog every time he wanted to use the stairs. Because of this small reason, they decided to return Charlie to the shelter and let him go back to waiting for someone to come and bring him to a new forever home.

Although he had almost been adopted forever, Charlie found himself back at the shelter and was thrown back into the wringer. Despite being so close to love, he was back at square one with one no in his life except for the kind volunteers who cared for him and the other animals at the shelter.

Charlie’s mood began to sour, and this made it even harder for the shelter to get him adopted. He began staring at the concrete walls and refused to interact with the other dogs. Charlie was depressed.

Then his luck changed. A special person came into the shelter and wanted to spend some quality time with Charlie. This person was Mackenzie Purdy, and she wanted to give Charlie all the love she could muster.

“He was a bit older, and he walked a little funny, so I had a feeling that not many people would be interested in him,” Mackenzie said to The Dodo. “So many people won’t be interested in the dogs that don’t come to the front of the cage at the shelter.”

Nevertheless, Charlie remained standoffish. Then Mackenzie decided to bring her other dog, Baxter, for a visit, and Charlie and Baxter hit it off like long-lost friends.

“Charlie was wagging his tail more, and Baxter was interested in him,” she recalls. “They told me I could come the next day to bring him home.”

Now Charlie has a forever home with Mackenzie and Baxter.