Bones the Bulldog was a Christmas present to John Russo from his mother in 2008, according to a story from ABC News.
Although John had broken up with his ex-girl friend, she agreed to take care of Bones when he left for deployment to Afghanistan in 2009. But when he got home he found that the ex- had surrendered Bones and moved away so he had no way of contacting her to find out where Bones had been taken.
During the next few years John often looked at websites showing adoptable animals.
And then one day …
when he went on the website, incredibly there was 5-year-old Bones, safe and up for adoption at the Flagler Humane Society in Palm Coast, Florida.
John immediately drove there wondering if Bones would remember him.
When she saw me she lost it and I knew right then and there she remembered me after four years of not seeing me.
Shelter worker Katrina Geigley described the scene:
It was very heartwarming. When they brought her out to see him he just knelt to the floor and we were all just bawling our eyes out. We've never seen this dog be so ecstatic to see someone. She ran and gave him this huge bear hug and was whining and jumping all around. If my job has ever been worth it, it was in that moment.
Usually whenever you lead Bones somewhere she’s more than happy to just go along with you on the leash, but whenever we tried to take her away from him to do an exit exam, she just sat there and would not budge. It was the most adorable thing I've ever seen a dog do. She was like, ‘This is my man. I am not leaving him.’ It was really amazing. I've never seen anything like it. We did an adoption and he took her home. He said he wasn't leaving without her.
According to shelter coordinator Jeffrey Ritter:
Russo’s ex-girlfriend actually went to a veterinarian to have her euthanized and the doctor wouldn't do it so he told her to surrender her here, so we took Bones in. She was really depressed when she got here.
John and Bones have settled into a routine, as John is working toward becoming a firefighter. Even though Bones doesn't have Dalmatian spots, I'm betting she has a future as a firehouse mascot.