Solo was an old stray dog who was too sick to keep up with the other strays on the streets of Los Angeles. Fortuitously, one day, he wandered onto a random woman’s porch, and that’s when his life suddenly transformed.
When the woman found the exhausted, aged dog, she named him “Solovino,” meaning “I came alone” in Spanish. Even after a few days, Solo was still there. That’s when she contacted Rocket Dog Rescue of San Francisco, who had Solo flown out to the Golden Gate city.
Since then, Solo has been placed in numerous foster homes, and, each time, his owners would return him to the rescue center. Solo had issues that nobody wanted to deal with. He was unwanted until, one day, Carol Messina saw Solo’s picture online and instantly fell in love with the old dog.
It is believed he was part of a roving pack of stray dogs but was left behind after he became too old to keep up with the others.
Messina was a huge Star Wars fan and loved the fact that his name was Solo, just like the famous scoundrel from the sci-fi classic.
“Then when I met him and saw how sad he was, I knew he was going to stay with me forever no matter what,” the Star Wars fan who already has a cat named Wedge told The Dodo.
Upon meeting Solo and seeing how sad he was, Messina knew she would care for the old dog forever no matter what.
Along with other great Rescue activities over the 3 day Petsmart adoptions weekend, it was my pleasure to help injured…
Having lived on the streets of Los Angeles his entire life, Solo was scared, quiet, and shy when he first arrived at Messina’s home. “He was the quietest dog I had ever seen,” Messina told This Dog’s Life. “He kept his tail between his legs 24 hours a day, even when eating.”
Messina came to realize Solo’s anxiety being around people and animals was due to a hearing impairment—he was nearly completely deaf. That also explained why he flinched whenever someone tried to pet him.
Solo’s rotten teeth were also a source of constant pain.
As Messina became attuned to Solo’s handicaps, she started switching on the lights before entering a room. She put a vest on him with the words “deaf dog” while they were out on walks to let people know to be careful around him.
She also got Solo’s rotten teeth fixed. Once his dental issues were solved, Solo suddenly turned into a different dog.
“He immediately and visibly felt better, and now that he is on arthritis meds as well he will run and play with me and get the zoomies, just like any other dog,” Messina said.
Messina did her best to make Solo feel comfortable. With her love and understanding, Solo gradually got acclimatized to his new life. He became a happier dog, who now loves running and playing around. He even has a new best friend, the neighbor’s dog named Bailey, whom he often visits.
“The people who live around us are always commenting on how he doesn’t even seem like the same dog anymore,” Messina said. “He didn’t smile or barely open his mouth even to pant for months, and now he smiles and rolls around and will run full-tilt across the lawn a dozen times a day.”
Thanks to Messina, Solo is able to enjoy his golden years in a loving forever home.
Meanwhile, Solo also gave Messina “a purpose for the first time” in her life. She now plans to start a rescue program in order to change “the lives of as many dogs as possible.”
“I’m very proud of his progress. It is the best thing I have ever done with my life, and he has inspired me to get more senior dogs who need hospice care,” she said.
It’s so true that there’s a reward for every kind deed we do in life!