A pit bull named Hercules and his best friend Muellas, a blind rat terrier, have beaten some remarkable odds. They've been adopted. Together.
Jodi Hamilton, spokeswoman for Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control in Indiana, says these two had more than a little downside after being brought to the shelter in February by an owner who'd lost his job.
Their breeds, for one, aren't everyone's favorite. They're also both 8 years old, so hardly the adorable puppies many folks are clamoring for.
"The fact that they have to go together, and one of them's blind," hampered their chances, says Hamilton. "With this pair, they had all of these strikes against them."
Hercules and Muellas became well-loved around the shelter, where staff and volunteers were charmed at the way they stuck close. They'd sleep together, for example. And Muellas would follow Hercules around, right at his hind leg; Hercules, in turn, would stop periodically to push his nose into Muellas' little body, to make sure he knew that his bodyguard was still on duty.
It was as if he was saying, "'Hey, I'm still here!'" says Hamilton.
But as of late March, there were no leads on a family to take them in. And after more than a month in the shelter, the dogs were showing signs of stress. They were getting grumpier and more territorial.
"Something's got to happen because this isn't good for the dogs anymore," Hamilton says she thought.
That something did happen: on March 31, a local TV station did a story on this odd, adorable couple.
"We saw them on the news," says Chris Wilson, who, with his wife and eight kids, decided more or less on the spot that they'd adopt the pair. "We'd been wanting a dog for a while."
Wilson, his wife, and the four youngest children went to the shelter the next day. And any reservations that anyone might have had about a blind rat terrier and his favorite pit bull becoming part of a noisy, busy family were immediately gone.
The kids and the dogs got on famously, from the first second.
"It was like those dogs had lived with children their whole life," says Hamilton. "We know that there's the perfect family for every dog or cat."
And it wasn't just the humans who were thrilled when the Wilsons arrived. The dogs were, as well.
"I swear to god they were smiling. I know that I saw it," Hamilton says. "That moment. That big, big happy moment. This is why we do it."
Wilson tells The Huffington Post that Muellas is still keeping close to Hercules, Hercules is still looking out for his tiny buddy, and everyone is still smiling.
"We didn't do wrong by getting these dogs," he says. "It's like they've always been here."
Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control has lots more pets available for adoption! Check them out on Facebook.
And get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have an animal story to share!