After a long four months, a man and his dog were reunited in Baltimore, Maryland, last week.
The Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) posted about the reunion on Facebook on Monday.
The man — who was unidentified by the shelter — and his dog, Barak, were apparently separated in October after an explosion in Baltimore destroyed their home, according to the post.
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Barak was taken to BARCS while his owner, who suffered “life-threatening burns” had to be taken to the Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center, where he was put into an induced coma, according to BARCS.
“However, on his ambulance ride and at the hospital, he kept telling the EMTs and doctors that he wanted his dog,” BARCS wrote on Facebook. “He was begging that Barak be saved and returned to him.”
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According to the Facebook post, shelter officials learned that Barak’s owner was expected to be in the hospital for at least a month, which would have been a challenge during normal times.
“Up until recently, guaranteeing a month-long hold or longer — even for an emergency — wasn’t always easy or even possible,” the shelter wrote. “BARCS is an open admission shelter and the looming threat of running out of kennel space has always plagued our organization.”
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However, the shelter’s foster program had a “huge expansion” during the pandemic, which opened up space at BARCS and allowed the shelter to care for Barak as long as needed.
“Even though Barak’s return date to his dad was unknown, we made the pledge to care for him for as long as needed,” BARCS wrote on Facebook. “Barak wasn’t a candidate for foster, but at the shelter, he had a daily plan of long walks, playgroup romps, in-kennel enrichment, training sessions, and cuddle time thanks to our dedicated volunteers and staff.”
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Though the shelter wasn’t clear how long Barak’s owner was in a coma, the man did survive and was eventually released from the hospital.
However, that led to another problem — he had to find a new place to live.
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According to BARCS, the man’s first place didn’t allow dogs, but the shelter stayed in touch and promised to keep taking care of Barak until his owner could find a home for both of them.
“We stayed in contact with Barak’s dad frequently as he put the pieces of his life back together, all the while facing the daily heartbreak of missing his best friend,” BARCS wrote. “We assured him that, no matter what, Barak would stay at BARCS until they could be reunited.”
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Finally, at the end of January, the man was able to find housing that allowed for dogs, according to BARCS.
When he was able to pick up Barak last week, BARCS said the man “hugged and kissed his very best buddy, with all those around him watching in tears.”
“Keeping this family together was worth the resources and worth the wait,” the shelter wrote.