Meet Solo, a stray who spent his whole life wandering the streets of Los Angeles.
Around the age of 11, he finally became too old and ill to run around the streets with the other dogs. As a result, ended up staying on woman’s porch until someone helped him.
The elderly dog was living all alone on the woman’s porch when she discovered him and gave him the name Solovino, which means “he arrived alone” in Spanish.
The woman called the Rocket Dog Rescue since Solo was still residing on her doorstep after a few days. The rescue center agreed to adopt in and therefore flew him to San Francisco.
Solo was soon put in a foster home, where lived for a year and a half. He was adopted out several times, but each time he was brought back.
Nobody seemed to be able to figure out why the adorable puppy wouldn’t settle down all until one day, Carol Messina stumbled across his photo online.
Messina, Solo’s new mother, told The Dodo, “As soon as I saw his face on their site, I wanted to love him,” Messina, Solo’s new mom, told The Dodo. “Then I saw that his name was Solovino, and being a HUGE ‘Star Wars’ fan (I have a cat with a ‘Star Wars’ name as well) I immediately thought, ‘Well, his name is Solo!’ Come to find out, that’s what his foster dad had been calling him! I knew it was fate. Then when I met him and saw how sad he was, I knew he was going to stay with me forever no matter what.”
Solo was quite fearful when he arrived in his new permanent home. After a lifetime of living on the street, he was understandably distrustful of people.
“When he first came to live with me, he kept his tail between his legs for months,” Messina said. “He was very non-reactive to dogs and people and cats, and flinched any time anyone tried to pet him. I very quickly learned that his hearing was MUCH worse than his foster thought, as were his teeth.”
The rescue and Solo’s foster parents were unaware that Solo was essentially deaf and that his teeth were in terrible condition because he was already quite old and ill.
He had a lot of nervousness surrounding people and being petted since he couldn’t hear them coming, and because he was in so much pain from his teeth, it was difficult for him to be thrilled about anything. Once his teeth were fixed, though, Solo drastically changed.
Nowadays, Solo enjoys playing and running around, and he even enjoys making new dog pals. He seemed to have embraced the fact that this is his life right now and it will never change and he is so much happier today.
“The people who live around us are always commenting on how he doesn’t even seem like the same dog anymore,” Messina said. “He didn’t smile or barely open his mouth even to pant for months, and now he smiles and rolls around and will run full-tilt across the lawn a dozen times a day.”
Messina remarked, “I’m quite proud of his development. He has motivated me to adopt other older dogs that require hospice care since it is the finest thing I have ever done with my life.
“I’m very proud of his progress,” Messina said. “It is the best thing I have ever done with my life, and he has inspired me to get more senior dogs who need hospice care.”