Senior Shelter Dog’s Greatest Wish Is To Find A Human And A Home That He Can Love

Written by: Ellyn Kail

March 10, 2016


7-year-old Ezra was a stray, lingering on the side of the road for an entire month. A runner passed him day after day on her morning route, until after weeks of watching her, he followed her all the way home. She kept him for three days, but when he became violently ill, she surrendered him to the Hempstead Town Animal Shelter. This happened months ago, and ever since that day, Ezra has been searching for someone else to follow home.


When he was taken into the shelter, Ezra was suffering from a high fever and had to be treated with oxygen. His temperature went down, and his health recovered. Shelter volunteer John Esposito worked closely with the English Bulldog mix, gradually earning his trust.

John explains:

Ezra never really [had] someone anchor himself to.

He added that this dog’s greatest wish is to feel safe.


Ezra plopped down on the ground for their first few walks together off of the property, but with time, he learned that exploring could be fun. He sniffed around the nearby creek and sat by John’s side, his whole body leaning against the volunteer’s legs. Ezra takes his time to warm up fully, but once he trusts a human, he’s bonded for life.

John says:

Ezra is just a beautiful soul.

In January, Ezra was taken into a loving foster family and had a few happy weeks. For the first time, he had people he loved and a yard of his own. He came into his own and let the stress of the shelter fall off his shoulders. Probably due to the trauma he suffered as a stray, Ezra unfortunately had trouble getting along their small dog. For the wellbeing of both animals, the family had no other option but to return him to the shelter.


Since his return, Ezra has become what John calls “a shell of his former self.” All shelter dogs are fearful and confused, but Ezra’s situation is more serious. His heart is broken. Ezra has lost about a quarter of his body weight, causing his bones to become visible, and his fur is covered in dandruff. On his legs, he has sores from the stress.

To John’s dismay, the little black and white dog no longer feels safe enough to go off the property and visit the creek.


Another devoted volunteer, who happens to also be the person who fostered Ezra, still loves him deeply and has gone above and beyond to help. He comes to visit with hamburgers in hand, but Ezra simply cannot handle being back inside the shelter and is not putting on weight.

Whenever his volunteer friends walk down the shelter hallways to get Ezra out of his cage, the pup comes back to life, if only for a moment. He listens for them to open the lock on his door and plunges his head forward so that they can get the collar around his neck.


Ezra has spent his whole life in search of someone to follow. He needs his anchor, someone who will put in the time to make him feel protected. Ezra’s life on the streets taught him that nothing is guaranteed, whether that be food, a place to rest, or someone to love. John says that because of those experiences, he might take a bit longer than others to adjust to a home and to understand that he is no longer alone. One he does, it will all have been worth it.


Because he is sometimes fearful of strangers and some dogs, his ideal human is patient, understanding, and experienced. Ezra can be in a home with adults and children 17 and up; he has tested well with some bigger dogs but should be in a home without cats.


If you think you might be Ezra’s person, please contact the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter at (516) 785-5220 or via email at [email protected]

Written by: Ellyn Kail

March 10, 2016

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A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.