A selfless man has driven nearly 3,000 miles across the country to rescue a sweet pit bull from getting euthanized.
Georgia-based truck driver Mario Rodriguez had recently lost his dog named King and the loss has been weighing on him ever since.
“It felt like a part of my soul left with him. I couldn’t save him, but I’m gonna save a couple for him,” Mario expressed in an interview with The Dodo.
One day, Mr. Rodriguez was on the way to California with his truck when his wife forwarded him a link about a pit bull that was looking for a new owner.
Hickory the pit bull looked much like King which is why Mario instantly picked interest in him. Without wasting any time, Mario embarked on a 2,800-mile journey to save his buddy.
“Everyone in our family grew up with the breed, and we raised our kids with the breed as well,” Mario shared. “They are such lovebugs. Looking at Hickory’s picture, I could tell he just wanted to be loved.”
As the truck driver added, he needed to act fast because Hickory was about to be put down. “I told my wife, ‘I need to go get him. I’m on a mission to rescue this dog,’” he said.
During his 2,800-mile ride to New York, Rodriguez kept on calling the shelter because he was worried that they wouldn’t wait for him. Each time, the staff kindly informed him that they will wait and that Hickory will be happy to meet him.
After six days, Mario finally made it to the shelter where Hickory was staying and the staff led him straight to the dog.
“I parked my truck and rushed inside,” Mario recalled. “As soon as Hickory saw me, he literally almost jumped through the kennel door. I said, ‘That’s it, buddy! We’re going home!’ He started wagging his tail going crazy. He immediately started jumping on me, licking my face.
“It just looked like he was expecting me. It was so weird. We had an instant connection. I’ve never had a dog get attached to me that quickly in my whole life.”
As if destiny had plans for Mario’s family, Hickory instantly connected not only with his new owner but also with his two other pits.
“They immediately just started playing like three little kids,” Mario added. “It was a sight to see.”
Speaking of his beloved pit bull’s new life, Mr. Rodriguez said:
“He’s seeing so many things he’s never experienced before. We’ve stopped off places all the time, like to the park, or to farms out west where he’s met some horses. He’s barked at cows on our way down the highways … He’s really having fun.”
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