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Happy Tail: Shelter life was all he knew until a road trip changed everything



Read Rex’s Happy Tail in Michael’s own words.

Rex, a German Shepherd, Labrador and Bassett Hound mix, never knew anything but shelter life. His mother was dropped off at a Tennessee facility two days before Rex came into the world.

Quickly transferred to another shelter, Rex was put on a transport for New Hampshire in an effort to get him to a part of the country where shelters weren’t so overcrowded.

Eventually he came into the care of the Salem Animal Rescue League in Salem, NH, where his photo and description were put on Petfinder then jettisoned far and wide.

A year and a half earlier, the Walsh family dog, Bootsie, was killed in an accident. The whole family was devastated but Jamie, now seven, had a particularly rough time.

“She spent many nights crying for her beloved Bootsie,” says Jamie’s father Michael Walsh.
“My wife and I really had a hard time deciding whether or not we should get another dog and possibly put her through something like that again.”

Eventually, though, they decided to begin looking on Petfinder to find
another rescue dog near Methuen, MA, where the family lived. “We
knew what we wanted and knew that we would find our match.”

And indeed they did, as soon as they saw Rex. “He was so cute. I
immediately showed him to my wife, Cathy, Jamie and my son, Michael,
who is 11. We all fell in love with Rex,” Michael Sr. says.

He picked up the family on his lunch hour and they headed to the
shelter. “We spent about 45 minutes with Rex and decided that he was
coming home with us.” Along with Rex came his best friend, a stuffed
animal called Mr. Hedgehog.

“Rex and Mr. Hedgehog made the long journey from Tennessee together, and they were buddies,” Michael says.

The journey may have been a long one — from Tennessee to New Hampshire
to Massachusetts — but it was worth it. Rex and Mr. Hedgehog finally
know what a “real, forever home” means.

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