“Until you lose your faith, you are ok. And we haven’t lost our faith yet.”
We were George R Brown, filled with Harvey evacuees, listening to Gary Singletary. Gary was gently petting his beloved dog Blue as he was telling his story.
A veteran Marine, Gary survived Hurricane Katrina but lost everything. His family then moved to Texas and started a new life. But when Hurricane Harvey hit their new home of Houston, they were again forced to flee. Their belongings were ruined.
Talking to Gary, we just couldn’t believe the losses he suffered. But Gary was not broken. He was grateful that his family, including Blue, was allowed to stay together at the evacuee shelter. “Can we take your photo?” Gary happily smiled for the camera. Blue was camera shy, but we caught the joyfulness of his wagging tail. It was August 2017.
At a crossroad
September brought new challenges.
Gary’s family now lived in a motel and his wife resumed work. But the motel did not allow dogs, so Gary slept with Blue in the back of his pickup. He was anxious to get to the VA office to discuss his job, but couldn’t leave Blue at the motel. Nor did he want to leave him inside the pickup in the heat. It was possible the family would relocate again to build their life from scratch – for the third time.
As Gary weighed his options, he continued to look at the Friends For Life business card he had picked up at George R Brown. It read “No Kill shelter.” What if there was a calmer, more predictable life for Blue? They had always considered Blue their baby. Like a proper family member, Blue had pet health insurance, was current on his shots and experienced plenty of affection. But there was a rocky road ahead. What’s the best thing to do?
By the time Gary reached out to us, he had made up his mind. With a shaking voice he explained his situation … the motel, the potential move, the desire do what’s best for Blue. Could we help find Blue home?
“That’s why we’re here,” we said.
A new home for Blue
The post-Harvey influx of animals was great. But so was the community response. With the help of amazing fosters, we managed to take in 4 x the usual number of animals. Blue was one of them.
This young pitty found a foster home with Tommy Nelson. Blue’s photo was posted on our website and we began scheduling him for adoption events.
And then, Tommy called.
There was no need to look for a home. Blue already had one. Tommy wanted to keep him For Life.
“I realized I wanted to adopt Blue when I noticed how loving and loyal he was. He took quickly to my life, friends, family, and quickly became best friends. He rarely would leave my side and is always excited to see me when I get home.”
In the world full of unexpected challenges and difficult choices, we are glad that we crossed the paths of Gary, Blue and Tommy. Life is better when we’re here for each other – and Friends For Life will be here helping people like Gary keep their faith.