A sweet, small dog spent his first eleven years on the streets of Los Angeles. Life wasn’t always easy, but for the most part, the dog was happy and healthy. But as he got older, he started getting sick, and he couldn’t make it on the streets anymore.
The pup found a nice porch, and he curled up and took a nap.
The woman who lived in the house walked outside and saw the pup sleeping on her porch. Thankfully, instead of kicking him off her porch, the woman let him stay put. She named him Solovino, which is Spanish for “he came alone.”
After a few days, the woman decided to call a rescue organization to take in the pup.
She chose Rocket Dog Rescue, an organization based in San Francisco that specializes in finding homes for dogs who would be euthanized at a regular shelter. A few members of the rescue organization flew down and picked up Solovino.
At first, Rocket Dog Rescue had trouble finding the right home for Solovino.
Over the next year-and-a-half, the well-tempered but skittish pup went in and out of a few different foster homes. Until, finally, a woman named Carol Messina saw a picture of Solovino online. Right away, she knew that he was the perfect dog for her.
“As soon as I saw his face on their site, I wanted to love him,” Messina 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.”
Messina adopted Solovino and shortened his name to Solo. At first, the dog was nervous and shy around his new owner. He was a bit wary around people, and it took him a long time to trust anyone.
After a while, Messina finally discovered why Solo was so nervous: he was almost deaf.
Since Solo was so old and ill, Rocket Dog Rescue hadn’t realized that he was also deaf. This is was why he was so nervous around people—he couldn’t hear them coming up behind him. Plus, Solo’s teeth were also causing him pain, which was another reason why he was so withdrawn.
Messina got Solo’s teeth fixed, and he immediately became more outgoing and cheerful!
Messina bought Solo a vest that says he’s deaf, so people won’t try to pet him when they’re out. She’ll also always flick the lights on and off when she enters a room, so Solo won’t get scared if she comes up behind him.
“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 is planning to move to a one-story house so it will be easier for Solo to get around, and also so she can adopt more senior dogs in the future. Thanks to Messina, Solo’s golden years are turning out to be the best years of his life!