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Grateful Dog Saved from Euthanasia Immediately Snuggles to New Owner During 'Freedom Ride'
Photo: Schenley Hutson Kirk
As if knowingly, the beagle Gregory could not help but show his affection and appreciation to the man who saved him from death.

The photo of a grateful dog by the name of Gregory has gone viral on the Internet recently as he was shown cuddling with his rescuer when they drove off from a dog shelter.

Gregory, a 2-year-old beagle, seemed to know that the man who came for him saved his life and he made sure to express his gratitude by snuggling up, as he took his freedom ride in the man's car.

Saved Beagle Gregory Story
Photo: Schenley Hutson Kirk

The man's name is Joe Kirk. He runs the Hound Rescue and Sanctuary with his wife Schenley Hutson Kirk.

Joe dropped whatever he was doing and drove to two hours to the Franklin County Dog Shelter in Ohio to pick up Gregory. He knew that he shouldn't waste any time after seeing the beagle's profile in a “rescue only” list with a schedule of when he was to be put down next to his name.

Gregory the dog before his euthanasia
Photo: Schenley Hutson Kirk

Gregory only had two days left before he was to be euthanized.

A Real Sweetheart

Used to transporting rescued dogs in crates, Joe told Today.com that he allowed Gregory to sit at the back of the car because he had a feeling that the pup has been in cages far too long.

Gregory the Beagle is going to his new home
Photo: Schenley Hutson Kirk

Within minutes, Gregory snuggled towards Joe and rested his head on his rescuer’s shoulder. Joe said that Gregory did not stop touching and cuddling him for the rest of the two-hour car ride back home. The rescuer also said that Gregory behaved as if they have been friends for years.

Joe could not resist taking photos of his first few moments with a real sweetheart. So, he took some selfies with Gregory to send to his wife. Schenley posted the photos on their Facebook page, which received thousands of likes and shares.

What Happened to Gregory?

Gregory might have been a hunting dog for his previous family, as most beagles usually are in this part of southern part of Ohio. Joe said that growing up, he saw plenty of beagles tied to a tree and could only wander off and get their exercises during the hunting season.

Gregory the almost euthanized Beagle
Photo: Schenley Hutson Kirk

Staff members at the shelter found Gregory astray about a month before Joe's rescue. Initially, they assessed that the beagle was in good health because he still had a solid built and form, and he also had a energetic and friendly demeanor.

Further tests, however, showed that Gregory was positive for heartworm. Unfortunately, the infection is common among shelter dogs and some facilities cannot afford to provide regular treatment.

The Dangers Of Heartworm

Heartworm, a parasitic roundworm, is transmitted to the dog through one process only: a mosquito bite. But not all mosquito bites are harmful and heartworms could only develop if the mosquito is a carrier, meaning it has previously bitten another dog with heartworm.

Because it's not easy to detect mosquito carriers, vets suggest that dogs must be given heartworm medication regularly to prevent an infection. A year's worth of heartworm preventive medication can go from $5 to $15 per month. Cost for treating an infected dog, however, could run around $400 to $1000.

Gregory's Recovery And Adoption

Naturally, the Kirks have committed to treating Gregory's heartworms not just because he showed gratitude for his rescue, but also because he deserves to get the best care. Gregory will also undergo a round of antibiotic treatments.

Beagle Gregory has recovered and been adopted
Photo: Schenley Hutson Kirk

A couple based in Ohio have also expressed their desire to adopt Gregory. As soon as he gets an all clear from the vet, the Kirks will set up a meeting for him and his future owners. Joe and Schenley have also taught the dog a few commands. The beagle has come to understand the words “sit” and “stay.”

Joe also said that Gregory is generally a well-behaved dog around the house…and he's still quite the affectionate pooch.

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