Nothing can compare to the connection that some humans have with their pets, especially when the pet has been through thick and thin with them. Some animals have the uncanny ability to understand when their owner doesn’t feel good or they’re going through a rough patch in their lives. When they do notice, they try to do everything they can to make their owner feel better, even if that means licking their face until they need a shower. This man made a promise to the dog that saved his life, but he never thought that he would have to follow through with it so soon after making it.On one hand, he has experienced a lot of incredible moments, but on the other, he’s also experienced tremendous pain. Fortunately, unlike many others, he didn’t have to go through the hard times by himself.
As a couple, they shared the same need to help other people and make a difference in their community. It’s quite obvious why they gravitate towards one another.
After they arrived at the scene, Justin realized that this call was very different from the ones that he had been on before. Justin actually knew the person who was in trouble.
Even though they gave everything they had, Justin and his fellow EMTs weren’t able to save the man. Sadly, they just ran out of options. Justin became overwhelmed with guilt, but he never expected it to take over his life the way that it did.
He was having a difficult time learning to cope with failing his friend in his time of need. Justin became consumed by the darkness, but, one day, he realized that it was time for a change and he needed some help getting through his depression.
Eventually, the couple thought about getting an emotional support dog to help Justin work through the healing process. Justin posted on Facebook, “We waited until we found the perfect dog for us.”
While they were looking through each of the dogs at the shelter, they stopped in front of one dog with short legs and pointy ears. The dog’s name was Shelby and she was staring right back up at them.
Justin fondly remembers the day that they met their little girl. He explained on Facebook that he looked at her in the shelter parking lot and told her “I saved you and now I need you to save me.”
Justin wrote on Facebook: “She pulled me out of the grips of hell. She’s my best friend and my shelter from the storm.” Justin and Shelby did everything together so it wasn’t really surprising that Justin wanted Shelby to accompany the family on vacations.
It should have been a weekend full of family fun in the mountains. But it turned into their worst nightmare ever. All of a sudden, Shelby became spooked by something in the woods.
Justin had spent plenty of time in these woods before, and he knew that they were unforgiving and deadly. He absolutely had to find Shelby because he couldn’t allow another friend to die under his watch.
Unfortunately, the darkness quickly approached and the sunlight turned into nighttime, so they had to call off the search. But that didn’t mean that they were giving up. Even though they set up food traps overnight, Shelby didn’t come back to the camp.
Justin wanted to believe that Shelby was going to be just fine, but after the bear sighting, Justin began to get worried that Shelby wouldn’t be able to survive if she had to go up against a merciless bear.
The Scott family decided to reach out to the non-profit organization called A Way Home For Animals to see if they could possibly do something to help find Shelby.
Babs immediately knew that she needed to do something to help, so she got in the car and drove to meet with Justin and his family.
They needed to find out where she was last so they posted signs, spoke with the general store owner and camp host, and looked for Shelby on foot. They made it very clear to contact them if Shelby showed up in the area.
He expressed his feelings in a message on Facebook: “Shelby, you sat by my side and laid in my lap until I could stand on my own. We will get you back; we will never give up on you. I saved you once, and we will save you again.”
Apparently, someone had spotted Shelby about 3.5 miles south of the campsite. Babs immediately began to survey the area to determine if there was possible water, food, or shelter spots in the area that Shelby would be drawn to.
She advised, “Unfortunately survival instinct is fight, flight or die, so dogs often run even from their owners when they are lost. They almost always return. STAY put. Don’t spread scent looking for them and wait quietly for them to decompress and come back. If you can’t stay leave scent items so they’ll continue to return looking for you.”
Babs posted to Facebook, “Shelby was often seen on camera within close proximity of time to when bears were seen. We strongly suspect she was following them for food source. Bears are afraid of dogs but leave a wreckage of trash and crumbs in their departure. This was just one of several bears that came through the campsite. One was a mom and cubs. 99% of the people I encountered shook their heads and looked at me sadly to say she would never survive. NEVER doubt a dog’s ability to do just that.”
They spent several days waiting for Shelby to make an appearance near the traps, but she never did. Days quickly turned into weeks, and Justin began to lose faith in finding his dog.
Someone had spotted her in the nearby area. Babs raced to the place where Shelby was seen to put out traps again. She was more determined than ever to reunite Shelby with her loving owners. After only 45 minutes, something incredible happened!
At first glance, other than being a bit dirty, Shelby seemed to be in great physical health. Babs was overjoyed to tell Justin that she had some good news for him!
Shelby couldn’t stop wagging her tail while she got kisses and hugs from her mom. She rolled over to get some belly rubs from her dad. Justin and his family couldn’t have been more happy to welcome her back home where she belongs.