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Robbie Gay is a young boy with a massive heart. He had a horrific start to life, hospitalized twice with brain injuries before entering the foster care system. When he was finally adopted by his parents, Maria and Charles, he was so traumatized by his experiences that he was unable to cry.
However, the youngster found therapy in a most unlikely place — his local animal shelter. There he took comfort in caring for the older dogs who’d been left behind: “Because people don’t want older people and older dogs. They only want babies and puppies,” Robbie explained in a report by CBS.
His ability to empathize with the older dogs obviously comes from his own shocking experience, as his mom shared: “He knows what it’s like not to be loved and cared for.”
However, now in a safe and loving home environment, he’s able to open his heart completely to these unfortunate dogs, and “practice compassion,” as his mom points out. And it was this kindness that led him to find his own tears again when one of his foster dogs died.
Obviously, one of the difficulties in caring for these older dogs is that many don’t stay alive for long. But Robbie is insistent in staying with them right up until they pass away, as he quite rightly says, “I don’t think of when they’re going, I think of how they feel right now.”
Robbie is particularly unusual in that he not only wants to care for these aging dogs in their final moments, he also hopes to foster older children when he grows up. He truly embodies compassion and understanding, even if it leaves him heartbroken when his four-legged friends depart too soon.
Hopefully, Robbie will continue to harness his negative experiences into caring for others. Through his beautiful heart, may he continue to heal and feel loved with his wonderful furry family, and his human one, too!