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12.21.2023

Gizmo’s grand adventure: Touring the country and providing emotional support



When Gizmo arrived at PAWS, he’d already been through a string of traumatic events. His beloved owner passed away, and soon after his human sister who took on guardianship lost her home. She’d been struggling to care for him, but made the heartbreaking decision to bring him to PAWS when he developed an acute case kidney failure. It took several days of intensive care with PAWS’ medical team followed by weeks of treatment before he was healthy enough for adoption, and even then, he would require close care and a prescription diet for the rest of his life.


Meanwhile, adopter Shao started his search for a new companion after losing his beloved pup of many years. With special medical needs and an uncertain future, Gizmo might have seemed like the least likely match. But as we know, love can find us where we least expect it! Here’s what Shao shared:

“I lost my previous pup and best friend a year ago. He was a rescue from a puppy mill also had serious health and behavioral issues. Over the years, Dexter and I became inseparable. I was absolutely devastated when Dexter passed. Knowing that Gizmo’s lifespan could potentially be shortened by his complicated medical past gave me pause about adopting him so soon after losing Dexter, but as soon as I met Gizmo at the shelter, I knew we needed each other. From the first moment he curled up in my lap, I could sense he would be good for my mental health and would ease my anxiety. My girlfriend is a physical therapist, and I was about to embark on the Moulin Rouge National Tour with her. Having Gizmo by my side would provide me with the companionship I needed while being on the road and away from home for so long.”


“After a full checkup with our vet, we got the green light to begin on our epic adventure to tour the country with Moulin Rouge. We departed New Jersey and drove to the Midwest, through the Rockies, and to the Pacific Coast. In the past six months, Gizmo has gotten to experience the high mountains, deserts, beaches, historic sites, and national parks in and around the cities Moulin Rouge is traveling to. And what a journey it has been!


Gizmo has also gone through a dramatic physical transformation on this grand adventure. No longer the emaciated gremlin I first adopted, he is now at a healthy weight and has boundless energy for hiking and playing fetch. As glamorous and exciting as tour life may seem, many of the Moulin Rouge company members traveling with us miss their families and pets at home. Our human tourmates are grateful I can share the comfort and emotional support that Gizmo provides with cuddles and playtime.”


“Perhaps it is fate that brought us together, but one thing I do know for sure is that none of this would have been possible if PAWS wasn’t there to save Gizmo and provide the opportunity for us to meet.”