Adopted Boy Wants To Save Old Dogs Who Need A Home
Along with giving them love, he's teaching others a lesson in compassion.
Robbie Gay knows what it's like to be an outcast.
The 8-year-old was adopted in 2018 by Maria and Charles Gay after years of being abused and mistreated before he was placed in foster care. He was even hospitalized twice due to brain injuries.
Finally being part of a loving family did wonders for Robbie, but his mother noticed something odd about his behavior – he couldn't cry. Even after all that he had been through, or perhaps as a result, he seemed unable to express sadness.
The Gays said Robbie was a "holy terror" before they adopted him. Maria Henry Gay/Facebook
That changed earlier this month when one of the family's dogs, an elderly poodle named Buffy, had to be put down. When Robbie found out, he insisted on being there for the procedure so that he could hold Buffy until the very end. After the dog passed peacefully on his lap, he broke down in tears.
Maria said she comforted him the best she could and told him how proud she was of him for being brave for Buffy and making sure she wouldn't suffer.
His response was enlightening.
"I know how it feels not to be loved or cared for and I don't want any animal of mine to ever feel that way," he said. "It's only sad for us when they go to heaven. It's a happy day for them."
Maria and Charles have always been advocates for adopting shelter dogs, but Robbie has made it his mission to care for the older dogs that no one else wants. For him, it's simple. He knows how they feel.
"People don't want older people and older dogs. They only want babies and puppies," Robbie told CBS News.
Read about another animal lover who started a dog hospice to care for lonely, aging pets: Woman Starts Dog Hospice for Abandoned Dogs
It has been proven that older children and pets often have the hardest time getting adopted – a truth that is not lost on Robbie.
"He is so aware that it could have gone totally differently for him. And in these older dogs Robbie has found a place to practice compassion," Maria said.
The family currently has six adopted senior dogs, who they lovingly refer to as "old people." While Robbie and his parents know that they might only get a few years with the dogs, they take comfort in knowing they'll be showered with love during their final days.
Robbie is happiest when he's hanging with his "old people."Maria Henry Gay/Facebook
The family's most recent addition is a Shih Tzu mutt named Molly with a mean snaggletooth. Molly belonged to one of their neighbors who had to move into an assisted living facility. Robbie, of course, welcomed his new "old person" with open arms.