The dog owner “hugged and kissed his very best buddy, with all those around him watching in tears,” a shelter said of the reunion

By Naledi Ushe and Nicholas Rice
February 10, 2021 04:21 PM
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BARCS Animal Shelter
Credit: BARCS Animal Shelter

A dog dad was reunited with his pet Barak after nearly four months of separation.

The owner, who has not been named, and his dog were separated in October after an explosion in Baltimore wrecked his home and left him with "life-threatening burns," BARCS Animal Shelter said in a statement.

"It was by a miracle that they narrowly survived the disaster, which resulted in other fatalities," the shelter said, adding, "Barak was transferred to BARCS and his dad to shock trauma where he was put into an induced coma for life-threatening burns."

According to EMTs and doctors that treated the dog owner, he kept "begging that Barak be saved and returned to him."

"A few days after Barak arrived at our shelter, we learned that his dad's expected time in the hospital was at least a month," the shelter said. "Up until recently, guaranteeing a month-long hold or longer — even for an emergency — wasn't always easy or even possible. BARCS is an open admission shelter and the looming threat of running out of kennel space has always plagued our organization."

Luckily, the shelter was able to accommodate because the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic resulted in more people fostering animals, which gave them more open kennel space than previous months.

"Even though Barak's return date to his dad was unknown, we made the pledge to care for him for as long as needed," BARCS said.

The shelter added, "Barak wasn't a candidate for foster, but at the shelter, he had a daily plan of long walks, playgroup romps, in-kennel enrichment, training sessions, and cuddle time thanks to our dedicated volunteers and staff."

After months in a coma, the dog owner faced the challenge of finding a new, dog-friendly home because his was destroyed.

"The first place he landed wouldn't allow for dogs," the shelter explained, but they "stayed in contact with Barak's dad frequently as he put the pieces of his life back together, all the while facing the daily heartbreak of missing his best friend."

They added, "We assured him that, no matter what, Barak would stay at BARCS until they could be reunited."

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Barak's dad finally found a dog-friendly home in January and was able to reunite with his companion.

"He hugged and kissed his very best buddy, with all those around him watching in tears. Keeping this family together was worth the resources and worth the wait," the shelter shared.