Working in animal rescue is often heartbreaking for volunteers, but there are moments of sheer joy that would never be possible without their tireless efforts.
Joey Wagner is a marine from Nova Scotia, Canada, who enjoys volunteering at Baie Ste Marie Animal Society. Back in 2013, Joey received a call about a severely abused and neglected pit bull mix puppy who desperately needed some TLC. When Joey showed up he quickly realized the pup was hours away from death.
Joey and the rescue brought the puppy, who they named Mojo, to Parade Street Vet, PEI Small Animal Hospital where 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.”
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 enormous 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 he was finally able to find his forever home, Joey was first in line to fill out adoption paperwork. Naturally, the shelter approved the adoption because 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!
The second Mojo saw Joey, his little tail began to wag furiously. He simply couldn’t get close enough to his new dad, wriggling his whole body as he smothered Joey’s face with kisses. Joey 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!
It has now been almost seven years since Joey and Mojo shared their joyful reunion with the world. Mojo is now a healthy and spoiled member of Joey and Leta’s pack. His fur never fully grew back, but 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.
Seeing how Mojo reacted makes you realize how much animals understand. Mojo knew that Joey helped him when he was at his lowest. Their bond can never be broken.
Watch Mojo’s sweet reaction in the video below, and don’t forget to share.
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