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Meet “Gumby”, the escape artist dog who ran away from his adopted family 11 times to return to the shelter. Unbelievable, right?
When he was just 3 or 4 years old, the Charleston Animal Society welcomed him and provided shelter from the streets. He was handsome, healthy and a very friendly dog. The institution believed he would be adopted quickly.
However, they were wrong. Gumby’s first adoption lasted 3 days, his second only 6. His next two years were spent getting adopted and running away, to return to the shelter.
Every time he was adopted, he would escape and run back to the shelter.
His adoptive families didn’t know what to do; they didn’t understand why he kept running away. One of the staff at the Charleston Animal Society figured out that Gumby has a very special skill—he is empathetic with the unique ability to comfort new dogs experiencing fear and anxiety.
“He knows he has work to do,” Behavior Team Leader Donya Satriale said.
So, the Charleston Animal Society adopted Gumby who now serves as the “Ambassa-Dog”. He helps with behavioral demonstrations and helps new dogs adjust to life at the shelter.
This turned out to be the best fit for Gumby as he was adopted into a no-kill shelter. Otherwise, he might have had a different future.
Not only does he comfort other dogs—he also helps kittens with eye infections.
“Gumby gives back! Remember Gumby the white hound who returned to the shelter 11 times and now is our playgroup King?” the Charleston Animal Society wrote on their Facebook page. “Well, he is now a blood donor for kittens with eye infections! We draw his blood every two weeks [to] extract the white blood cells from his blood and administer [it] to the kittens’ eyes! (Healing eye drops) The serum from his blood has healing properties! Opie will heal faster.”
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