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Frank Gray

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Dusty is moving to a new home now that her current owner is moving to assisted living.

Abandoned dog Dusty moving to new home

Syria is crumbling.

Libya has become a land of lawless bandits.

But Dusty, it appears, has found a home.

And, depending on where you live, Dusty may be the most important.

We’ve written about Dusty a few times over the years. Dusty is the dog that was dropped off in the middle of nowhere in 2009 by someone with a car or truck with a loud muffler, and for six months, the dog, a shepherd or shepherd mix, stood vigil at the very spot where he was dropped off, waiting for his owner to return.

Dusty’s story wasn’t unusual. People dump dogs in the country often. They usually end up dead, killed by coyotes, which are becoming more common, or shot by country dwellers, who often kill strays.

But Dusty somehow survived, sleeping under the same tree through the spring, summer and fall, watching passing cars for his owner and surviving on food left out by a woman who noticed him and would watch him play when he thought no one was watching.

Eventually, neighbors managed to corral the dog, which proved to be a big, brilliant and obedient animal that had survived buckshot wounds and the other hazards of life that people don’t realize exist in 21st-century Indiana.

The dog was eventually given to an elderly man in a semirural area of Allen County, who described the dog as the smartest and gentlest dog he’d over seen in his life.

But last month, that man encountered unexpected health problems and is going into an assisted living center.

And he can’t take Dusty with him.

The prospect of losing the dog was troublesome for the man and his family, but the thought of Dusty not having a good home was even more devastating.

We wrote about that problem last week. Well, one week on, it appears Dusty has a new home.

The owner’s daughter says the last week has been horrible for her, as she made arrangements to move her father, take care of legal issues and at the same time try to find a home for the dog.

Luckily, she was helped out by two women who had helped rescue Dusty in the first place.

The two women contacted – or tried to contact – perhaps 60 people who had called or sent emails to The Journal Gazette in response to last week’s column about the dog’s impending plight.

“They went through a lot of work, but they love this dog,” said Tina Clark, the daughter of the current owner.

They called prospective owners, looked at their homes and property, and even checked into their relationships with veterinarians.

As of Saturday morning, they had found a new home for the dog: A couple with some land in the country, outdoors types who have another dog, which, by the way, has its own couch.

And they’re not as old as Dusty’s current owner, which is a relief for all involved.

“The dog deserves to not have to take care of someone,” Clark said. “He can be a dog and have fun and play.”

Frank Gray reflects on his and others’ experiences in columns published Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. He can be reached by phone at 461-8376, by fax at 461-8893, or by email at fgray@jg.net. You can also follow him on Twitter @FrankGrayJG.

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