Sheryl Smith has been rescuing and rehoming animals for years, and tends to gravitate toward the ones everyone else has given up on. When she first heard about Shiro, a partially blind and deaf dog who’d been in two shelters and 12 foster homes, and had been adopted and returned four different times, she knew she had to help him. His anxiety was crippling, and Smith quickly decided she and her family would adopt him themselves so he would finally know what it felt like to have a forever home.
“He was a handful but everyone else had given up on him and we weren't prepared to do that too,” Smith, who adopted Shiro in 2018, told The Dodo. “He still to this day cries in the car because he thinks he's being dropped off somewhere else.”
Even though Shiro still struggles, he’s come so far from when his family first met him. Because of everything he’s been through, the sweet pup has a soft spot for other animals in need, and from the moment he joined his family he took to comforting all the other rescue animals who pass through his home.
“Just after his rescue l rescued a pregnant dog who was too sick to care for her pups, so Shiro climbed in with them and started cleaning them,” Smith said. “He's done that with every rescue I take in. He will just sit patiently with the feral cats/kittens and bonds so strongly with them, they trust him before they trust me.”
Recently, Smith found out about a tiny feral kitten, later named Tiny Tolley, who was sick and struggling, and immediately went out to find her and take her in. Smith couldn’t believe how skinny and sickly the poor kitten was, and quickly set about trying to nurse her back to health. If she had been left alone for much longer, she wouldn’t have made it — and Shiro could sense that from the moment she arrived.
“Shiro never left her crate for a second,” Smith said. “He knew she was so sick and so scared and that she needed to be comforted.”
Slowly, Tolley began to gain her strength back, and yet Shiro still refused to leave her side. As she cuddled in Smith’s lap, Shiro came over to help too …