A ʜᴇᴀʀᴛʙʀᴇᴀᴋɪɴɢ photograph of a ʜᴏᴍᴇʟᴇss dog clinging to a ᴅɪsᴄᴀʀᴅᴇᴅ teddy bear captivated the ʜᴇᴀʀᴛs of the country but also sᴘᴀʀᴋᴇᴅ ᴄᴏɴᴛʀᴏᴠᴇʀsʏ in Houston surrounding sᴛʀᴀʏ animals in the city.
The pup was spotted by Yᴠᴇᴛte Holzbach, who helps run the Fᴏʀɢᴏᴛᴛᴇɴ Dogs of the 5th Ward Project in the Texan city. Holzbach spotted the dog a few months ago and was touched by it embracing the toy. She posted the photo online and was faced with such a huge outpouring of emotion that her charity tried to track him down, but could not find him. She said:” When I first saw this dog lying on this ᴛᴀᴛᴛᴇʀᴇᴅ and torn soft toy my first reaction was ‘oh how cute is that’. But then reality really sunk in once I started taking the picture.” Holzbach wrote on her Facebook page:” Here is a sᴛʀᴀʏ dog taking comfort in a ᴡᴏʀɴ out, ᴅɪsᴄᴀʀᴅᴇᴅ toy. How many of the dogs that we see are also ᴛʜʀᴏᴡɴ out on the street once they have served their purpose?”
The image went viral as people were profoundly sᴀᴅᴅᴇɴᴇᴅ by this sᴀᴅ image and wanted to know what happened to the dog. But although many people showed great sympathies, others questioned why Yᴠᴇᴛte didn’t sᴀᴠᴇ the dog, instead of simply snapping a photo and walking ᴀᴡᴀʏ. Holzbach said:” As one of the feeders we are always faced with the dilemma of deciding which dog to send out a ᴘʟᴇᴀ of help for. This dog absolutely ʙʀᴏᴋᴇ my ʜᴇᴀʀᴛ but it a dog that was in relatively good shape and unfortunately, the sᴀᴅ truth is, a dog in this condition would be much harder to find a foster for than any others we find in ᴡᴏʀsᴇ sʜᴀᴘᴇ . On one feeding route we may feed up to 50 sᴛʀᴀʏ dogs. Of those 50 dogs we are fortunate if we are able to ʀᴇsᴄᴜᴇ one because the sᴀᴅ reality is, there are not enough foster homes to put these dogs into. It is the toughest thing in the world for us to leave dogs like him behind so please don’t criticize us. We are a tiny group of volunteers who are simply trying to do the very best we can with what we have.”
After the image was posted the dog, named Teddy, was identified as one of several dogs local homeowner Calvin had been feeding. The 89-year-old told Holzbach that he had been ʀᴇsᴄᴜɪɴɢ sᴛʀᴀʏ dogs from the streets for years and the pup she saw cuddling a teddy was indeed one of his but it had run ᴀᴡᴀʏ. “It did not want to be ᴄᴏɴᴛᴀɪɴᴇᴅ,” said Calvin, who neighbours said would carry 50lb bags of dog food on his back to feed his ʀᴇsᴄᴜᴇ pups. The charity offered the pensioner assistance in getting the rest of his ʀᴇsᴄᴜᴇ dogs ɴᴇᴜᴛᴇʀᴇᴅ and taken to the ᴠᴇᴛ.
Holzbach posted an update to this tale last year with the sᴀᴅ information that animal hero Mr. Calvin ᴅɪᴇᴅ ᴀᴡᴀʏ in 2018, but his generosity and care toward these ᴘᴏᴏʀ dogs will never be Fᴏʀɢᴏᴛᴛᴇɴ due to Yᴠᴇᴛte and her crew. She wrote:” I hope that by uploading the image awareness has been aroused to the sᴜꜰꜰᴇʀɪɴɢ of the street dog. We are ꜰɪɢʜᴛɪɴɢ an ᴜᴘʜɪʟʟ ʙᴀᴛᴛʟᴇ and we can only hope that there will come a day when no dog will have to sᴛʀᴜɢɢʟᴇ to live on the street.”