This ole’ dog was living life wild and free on the streets of Los Angeles, running with the pack and no boundaries.
His carefree lifestyle came to a halt when sickness and 11 years on the streets caught up to him.
Facing a dire fate on the streets, he decided to take a nap on a random front porch.
That decision changed the course of his life with a surprising cascade of events.
The woman living at the house where he was napping noticed the old dog and took pity on him. She decided to call him “Solovino,” Spanish for “he came alone.” After a few days, she called Rocket Dog Rescue.
The organization decided to take in Solovino and whisked him off to Rocket Dog Rescue in San Francisco.
It was at first a turn for the better as he was sent to a foster home quickly.
Then returned. Then fostered. Then returned, again.
After a year and a half of this cycle, no one could figure out why people returned the likable, lovable old dog.
Until Carol Messina came across his picture online and fell in love with the old guy right away.
“Then I saw that his name was Solovino, and being a HUGE ‘Star Wars’ fan (I have a cat with a ‘Star Wars’ name as well) I immediately thought, ‘Well, his name is Solo!’” she told The Dodo. “Come to find out, that’s what his foster dad had been calling him!
“I knew it was fate,” Messina said. “Then when I met him and saw how sad he was, I knew he was going to stay with me forever no matter what.”
But real life isn’t as magical as a Hollywood movie.
Turns out the street-wise, carefree Solo had become wary of anyone and anything around him.
He appeared not to trust this “forever” home would turn out any better than previous stops.
“When he first came to live with me, he kept his tail between his legs for months,” Messina said. “He was very non-reactive to dogs and people and cats, and flinched anytime anyone tried to pet him. I very quickly learned that his hearing was much worse than his foster thought, as were his teeth.”
Unable to hear and constant pain in his teeth made Solo’s life miserable. He couldn’t hear people approaching and attempts to pet him only increased his anxiety.
Messina wanted so much to ease his pain that she postponed her own small surgery to get Solo’s teeth fixed. She also made a special harness with a message on it that lets people know Solo is deaf so they don’t surprise him when trying to pet him.
Solo is like an all-new dog with the pain from his teeth lifted and folks watching out for him.
Solo is back to running around everywhere he can, playing with any dog he meets and greeting people with his lovable personality.
The old dog still faces a future with health issues, but he certainly has a forever mom to care for him.
Solo once wandered off the streets of LA, and the events that followed in his life not only saved him, but possibly more senior dogs like him.
“I’m very proud of his progress,” Messina said. “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.”