One morning last month in Houston Texas, Caleb Schaffer — an elementary school teacher — came to work expecting to see kids waiting to get inside.
Instead, he saw a dog.
“He was sitting right outside the main door, and his tail started thumping when he saw me,” Schaffer shared with The Dodo.
Schaffer needed to get inside and get to work, so he passed the dog and went inside the building.
He later checked on the dog as he was worried the pup was sick and scared.
But much to Schaffer’s surprise, the dog was gone.
He had overheard someone had called animal control but the officers were not successful in capturing the dog.
The next morning, Schaffer arrived at the school — and was met with yet another surprise.
The same dog was waiting in front of the school doors.
The dog seemed to remember Schaffer.
“He was a lot happier to see me,” he said. “I started noticing how bad his skin was and how much it was torturing him. He was constantly scratching and whining. I felt bad, there was nothing I could do before school.”
But Schaffer once again headed into the school to attend to work. He felt bad and knew the dog was looking for help, so he told his students to keep on the lookout for the pup.
Once the school bell rang and the kids let out of class, Schaffer went straight to search for the Lab mix but alas, could not find him.
And so the very next day, can you guess who was waiting for him at the school’s doors?
“This time he ran up to greet me,” Schaffer said. “So I just walked back to my car, calling him, and he came. I was trying to lure him using tofu from my lunch, it was all I had! Finally, I just picked him up and put him in.”
Schaffer did not have a lot of time before school started and hurriedly drove the dog back home to his apartment where his wife watched him while Schaffer went straight back to work.
He then took the afternoon off so he could go home and help the dog but Schaffer could not keep him as his apartment only allowed two dogs and he already had two of his own.
So, Schaffer did the next best thing and phoned rescue group after rescue group, inquiring if they could take the dog in — who he decided to name Clive — but no one had room.
As Clive was in need of immediate care – Schaffer brought him to an animal shelter in Harris County.
“I figured some basic vet care at the shelter was better than nothing. He was really suffering,” Schaffer said.
Schaffer gave Clive a medicated bath once they arrived.
Schaffer then on Clive’s behalf, began to search for his new home.
And as time continued to pass, Schaffer was worried Clive would soon be euthanized.
But thanks Lucky Lab Rescue and Adoption, Schaffer was met with amazing news.
The rescue team had seen the video of Clive and wanted to save him.
“I was overcome with joy,” Schaffer said.
The rescue then arranged for Clive to be taken from the shelter to a couple in Austin, Texas, who would be fostering him.
“From the moment we picked him up, this boy was so full of life and had the most loving personality,” Stephanie Broughton, from Lucky Lab Rescue and Adoption, shared with The Dodo. “We knew he was very special.”
And when Clive met his foster parents, as you can imagine, he was ecstatic.
Following lots of love and care from the vets, Clive now is finally healed up and looking fantastic.
“He is perfect. He is awesome. And he is having a blast,” Clive’s foster dad, Justin Blackburn, shared with The Dodo. “You never know how great you can feel doing something just by fostering. Something so small can have such an amazing impact on a life. It just changes everything.”
But Clive will always be in Schaffer’s heart. He continues to share Clive’s story to his students to help teach them why it is so important to care for dogs correctly.
“There are so many strays everywhere here. It’s given me an opportunity to talk about spaying, neutering, heartworm prevention, and the reality of shelters,” Schaffer said. “I think the dog coming along, and how everything unfolded with his rescue, is the perfect way to bring up those issues and teach them a better way to treat animals.”
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