RAOK – Video captures moment vet shares tearful reunion after getting his dogs back

James Pack reunites with his beloved best friends, Bailey and Blaze. Lindsay Carrothers photo

Fate, timing and the generosity of strangers led to a joyful reunion between two dogs and their owner, who was forced to give them up during a lengthy, months-long hospital stay and recuperation.

The dogs’ owner, a Vietnam-era combat veteran identified as James Pack, suffered a heart attack last September and ended up having a prolonged and unexpected stay in the hospital while he recovered.

While Pack was convalescing, his two dogs, Bailey and Blaze, had no one to take care of them.

In the beginning, the First State Animal Center and SPCA in the man’s hometown of Camden, Delaware, stepped in to help; however the situation was only meant to be temporary.

Under normal circumstances, dogs taken in for safe-keeping while their owners are sick or incapacitated were only supposed to be held for five days. Because of Pack’s special circumstances, the shelter ended up holding them for 20 days total, until they heard he might not survive his medical ordeal. Eventually, they made the difficult decision to sterilize the pair and place them up for adoption.

When Pack was finally released from the hospital, he was elated to hear his beloved pets had not yet been adopted by a new family.

imageWhen he showed up at the Petsmart where his dogs were being cared for until their adoption, the dogs reportedly immediately recognized their best friend and enthusiastically greeted their master, whom they hadn’t seen for months.

The dogs couldn’t contain their excitement. “They greeted him with massive kisses and wagging tails,” Petsmart adoption counsellor Lindsay Carrothers said at the time.

Unfortunately, when Pack went to retrieve his dogs, the veteran learned it would cost him $250 in adoption fees to get his pets back. There was no doubt, Pack wanted his dogs back and the dogs wanted to go home with him, but because he didn’t have the full amount necessary to pay the required adoption fees he had to go home without them.

Pack reportedly told Petsmart employees he needed time to gather the required adoption fees and he begged store employees to hold his pets for him.

“This man was willing to sell his car to get the money,” according to Carrothers.

Towards the end of their shift, Petsmart staff members and others recognized the financial difficulties Pack was having and they decided they wanted to help. Together, they paid the dogs’ adoption fees, half of which the manager of the business waived, and even bought Bailey and Blaze essentials, such as food, ooys and other dog-care supplies.

The next day, when Pack came back to the shelter with a small portion of the required fees, he told Petsmart staff he needed a more time to gather enough money to retrieve his best friends.

imageImagine the veteran’s surprise when he was told by Petsmart employees that wouldn’t be necessary because Bailey and Blaze’s adoption fees and all other associated costs had either been paid or waived.

Pack’s beloved pets were once again his to take home.

Pack was so thankful for the unexpected turn of events and the generosity of those who helped him, he started crying, while Marie Lindsay, a Petsmart employee filmed the touching scene. “He was so thankful he shot a kiss to God for the blessing,” Carrothers explained in a previous interview.

But the story didn’t end there.

Donations for the appreciative vet and his K9 companions haven’t stopped. Supplies and support have been flooding in for the dogs, and for their special owner — everything from gift cards for gas and food to more goodies and supplies for Bailey and Blaze.

imageL a  previous interview, Carrothers said she was proud to be part of reuniting such a kind man with the dogs who had become such an integral part of such a touching story.

The incident touched not only those who were there at the Petsmart that day, but many others as well. Once the video of the reunion was shared on social media sites the story took on a life of it’s own.

“It had everyone in tears,” Carrothers said about that special day. “You could just feel the love those dogs had for him, she explained. “And there shouldn’t have been anything, especially money. that should’ve stood in his way to getting his family back.”

***All photos shared by Lindsay Carrothers***


Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

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One comment

  • Please contact me Trevor Montgomery I would love to share a story of a young man 20yrs old lives there in Riverside who deserves to be acknowledged on his many RAOK he does for the homeless there. He works at Food 4 Less on Van Buren and doesn’t own a car or even bicycle he walks or gets a ride to give care Ockham to homeless and Christmas & Easter baskets. He has impressed so many by his selfless acts. Please contact me at Boley.Deborah@gmail.com