It is often heartbreaking for volunteers to work in animal rescue. However there are moments of sheer joy that would never be possible without their tireless efforts.
So is the case with Joey Wagner, a marine from Nova Scotia, Canada, who enjoys volunteering at Baie Ste Marie Animal Society. Joey received a call back in 2013, it was about a severely abused and neglected pit bull mix puppy who desperately needed some TLC. Joey quickly realized the pup was hours away from death when he showed up.
The rescue and Joey brought the puppy to Parade Street Vet, PEI Small Animal Hospital. They named him Mojo, and he was treated for severe dehydration and demodectic mange. At 3 months old he’d lost all of his fur and was covered with mite bites. Malnutrition and deplorable living conditions worsened his mange, and the pup was whimpering in pain as Joey oversaw his care.
“When Mojo was surrendered it was a fast process and a very emotional time,” Joey wrote on Facebook. “We had many people request to adopt him however because his health was severe it was not considered.”
Immediately, Joey and his wife Leta fell in love with Mojo as he struggled to survive. In spite of the way he’d been mistreated, Mojo was loving towards humans and showed an great capacity to forgive. He became a beacon of hope for people who heard about all he’d overcome. “Mojo’s will to live was enormous!” Joey recalls.
When the dog he was finally able to find his forever home, Joey was first in line to fill out adoption paperwork. Of course that the shelter approved the adoption, since Joey had been with Mojo every step of the way. Still, on the day that Joey showed up to bring Mojo home no one could have predicted the puppy’s ecstatic reaction to seeing his rescuer again!
As soon as Mojo saw Joey his little tail began to wag furiously. He simply couldn’t get close enough to his dad wriggling his whole body as he smothered Joey’s face with kisses. The man couldn’t stop grinning as Mojo showed him how thankful he was for getting a new lease on life.
“He definitely remembers you,” the vet told Joey as the delighted dog climbed into his arms for more hugs and kisses. We’ve never seen a more grateful puppy before!
Now, almost seven years after Joey and Mojo shared their joyful reunion with the world, Mojo is still a healthy and spoiled member of Joey and Leta’s pack. Even though his fur never fully grew back, he doesn’t seem to mind. More importantly, the Wagners have continued to use his story as a way to drive donations and awareness for animal rescues.
You will realize how much these animals understand after watching the way Mojo reacted. Mojo knew that Joey helped him when he was at his lowest. It seems like their bond can never be broken.
To watch Mojo’s sweet reaction, click on the video below.