Unlike buying a young puppy from a pet store or breeder, adopting a dog from a shelter comes with the possibility that this won’t be forever — not in the same way that a puppy you raise is part of your life for as long as they live. Adoption requires a big heart and a degree of empathy that understands pasts can’t soon be forgotten.
Many dogs who end up in shelters have suffered through abuse and neglect, the affects of which can create emotional and physical aftershocks that last a lifetime. But that’s why adoption is so important. It’s critical that we show these animals the love they deserve, even if it’s only for a short while. Such was the case for Tad the pit bull who finally found love in Jolene Mercadante’s home after dealing with a heartbreaking life.
Tad was extremely young when he found himself in a shelter, but he’d endured neglect from the time he was born. What’s worse is that he was adopted once and returned six months later, nearly starved the death. Vets weren’t sure he’d make it, but the young dog fought on. Soon after being returned, he met Jolene and it was love at first sight.
The moment she laid eyes on Tad, she knew she had to give him the family he always deserved. She already had two more pit bulls and a Boston terrier at home and she just knew that they’d take him under their wing and teach him how to play.
It was a long and difficult road, but eventually, it appeared that he was on the mend. With each dog, he formed a special relationship, and with Jolene, he created a bond that will stay in her heart forever. Finally, after years of abuse, he was able to run and play. He was able to eat like a champion, bound through the yard with his new siblings, and curl up on Mom’s lap at the end of a fun-filled day.
He was where he belonged. Tragically, however, the family was dealt a crushing blow when Tad suddenly succumbed to medical problems sustained as a result of months of starvation. He passed away and took a piece of Jolene’s heart with him.
But at the end of the day, she finds comfort in the fact that in his final months, he felt peace. He felt safety, love, and happiness. Jolene chatted with The Dodo to tell her beloved Tad’s story, and it’s a tribute to a wonderful dog that will warm you.