A senior dog who was taken to an animal shelter after being discovered standing next to his late owner’s body has been given a second chance at life, all thanks to some Newsweek readers.

The story of Ajax, a 10-year-old Plott hound mix found loyally standing beside his owner—who had passed away several days prior—broke hearts last month. Ajax was taken to The Anti-Cruelty Society (ACS) in November, but Vice President Lydia Krupinski told Newsweek that he would wait by the doors in the hopes of reuniting with his owner once more.

He showed very little interest in other dogs, and he hadn’t received a single adoption offer by that point, so the shelter was concerned that finding him a home was going to be difficult. But in the days that followed, there was an outpouring of support for poor Ajax and many people came forward to offer him a loving home in which to see out his twilight years.

Among those generous dog lovers were Rory and Karen Quinn, who rushed to the shelter as soon as they came across his story.

Couple adopt Ajax
Karen and Rory Quinn pictured with Ajax the rescue dog. Ajax was taken to a shelter in November after he was found standing beside his late owner’s body.
Harrison Barnes

“In December, my husband and I decided to renew our wedding vows, and while I spoke with the priest inside the church, Rory was waiting outside scrolling through his feed,” Karen Quinn, from Chicago, Illinois told Newsweek. “Returning to the car, Rory looked at me and said we need to adopt this dog and he showed me Ajax’s story. My immediate response was ‘let’s go.'”

The determined couple arrived at the ACS before its doors even opened, and they waited for an hour before finally getting to meet Ajax. “When he was brought out to meet us, it was love at first sight—not only for myself but for Ajax too. He became attached to my husband and would not leave his side,” Karen Quinn added.

Having previously rescued dogs and supported them through their senior years, the Quinns know how important it is for an older dog to be surrounded by love and comfort. Their last dog, a Maltese named Mr. Belmont, passed away during the pandemic at the age of 14, and their family has felt incomplete ever since. They had discussed the idea of rescuing again, but the timing never felt right—until they met Ajax.

In that moment, it was clear that they could offer Ajax the loving home he so deserved, and that he too was exactly what the couple needed. That was his final day at the shelter, as he then went home with his new owners as part of a week-long trial to see if it would work out.

But Quinn didn’t need the full week to know that they were going to keep Ajax, and he had his new home just in time for the holidays.

Ajax with new owners
Ajax pictured leaving the shelter, and with his new owner, Rory Quinn. As soon as Rory and Karen Quinn heard about Ajax’s story, they just had to go and meet him.
Harrison Barnes / Karen Quinn

She continued: “Ajax is an older dog with plenty of life left to live. He loves riding in the car and he’s a gentle giant who enjoys walking in the forest and rolling in the leaves. He is family now, and my husband and I are both grateful that we were the pet parents who Ajax chose for adoption.

“We all get old and require help at some point in our lives. Many older dogs don’t get adopted, but I know from experience that older dogs are a wonderful addition to any family.”

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