Dog who refused to leave owner’s remains during a snowstorm finds new loving home

A black cattle dog who guarded his owner's remains
Placer County Animal Services

Lisa Lomeli arrived at Placer County Animal Services looking forward to meeting a cattle dog named Baby Dog. However, the shelter staff warned her that the pup was traumatized because of a recent tragic event involving his former owner.

Last month, a woman named Shona reported her 69-year-old father, David Deshon, as missing. Two days later, on January 31, Placer County, CA sheriff’s deputies found Baby Dog lying on his owner’s chest, protecting his dead body. Apparently, David’s car got stuck during the snowstorm.

David, Baby Dog, and his other dog, Buddy, had been missing for several days. While Baby Dog refused to leave his owner’s side, Buddy found his way to a neighbor’s home, barking and clawing at the door until someone came to help.

When the rescuers arrived at the rural area near Sacramento, California, where David’s body was found, Baby Dog refused to leave his remains until a trusted neighbor was brought in.

Shona thinks her father’s car became stuck as he tried to maneuver the vehicle through an extreme snowstorm. The trio could have attempted to hike home, but they became lost and disoriented.

A cattle dog lying on the grass
Placer County Animal Services

Lisa happened to be neighbors with Shona, who sought her community’s help to locate her dad and his dogs. According to Lisa, Shona told her that it was comforting knowing that her father wasn’t alone during the final hours of his life.

As much as she wanted to take in the loyal dogs, Shona knew it would be unfair to them because she isn’t home most of the time because of work.

“She was telling me, ‘No matter how bad I want them because they’re a part of my dad and I love those dogs, if I can’t give them the attention they need, it’s not fair to the dogs. I have to think about what’s best for them.’ And that was very selfless of her,” Lisa told TODAY.

When Lisa heard of Baby Dog’s extraordinary loyalty, she immediately thought of one important person who could benefit from that kind of love: her mother, Peggy Morrill.

Lisa Lomeli with her husband Lawrence and Baby Dog
Courtesy of Lisa Lomeli

Peggy has been battling cancer during the pandemic. A few months before her diagnosis, she lost her own canine best friend, a black Labrador named Raelyn, who served as her constant companion. She longed for a new dog to shower with love but lacked the energy to find the right one.

Lisa thought the cattle dog would be perfect for her mom, so she asked Shona’s permission to visit Placer County Animal Services to meet the five-year-old pup. The latter thought it was a good idea and immediately set the meeting up.

On February 8, Lisa and her husband Lawrence came to the animal shelter to meet Baby Dog. Surprisingly, she didn’t experience any of the things that the staff warned her about. Although he just went through a traumatizing ordeal, the dog immediately became comfortable with her.

To the amazement of everyone at the shelter, Baby Dog came right over to Lisa and put his head on her lap. They took a walk together, and Lisa knew that she would be bringing Baby Dog to her new family soon.

The following day, Lisa and her husband picked up Baby Dog from Placer County Animal Services and drove him over two hours to her parents’ house.

A woman battling cancer petting her new dog
Courtesy of Lisa Lomeli

“He was totally letting them pet him and kissing them,” Lisa said. “My mom said he’s been amazing already. He’s never had an accident in the house. He learned how to use the dog door. He plays ball and has little places in their house where he likes to sleep. He just fit perfectly.”

Meanwhile, 10-year-old Buddy also found a new loving home after receiving treatment for a urinary tract infection. He was adopted on February 11 by a man who wants to give him everything that he needs.

“Both of these dogs are just the sweetest, most sensitive little guys,” Katie Ingram, the animal services manager at the shelter, said. “I think our staff really felt like this is one of those powerful moments where it takes the whole team and the whole community to come forward to help.”

A generous donor from Ohio paid for the dogs’ adoption fees and supplies.

After their traumatizing experience, we’re so glad to see that these dogs have found the loving homes that they both deserve! Share this story with your friends and family.

One Reply to “Dog who refused to leave owner’s remains during a snowstorm finds new loving home”

  1. this story makes my heart sing w/ a melody of sad- happy tears & the happy tale- tails endings !! I can’t stop crying ..thank you to all you amazing rescue peeps out there & to all good dogs & all dogs are good !! Love & light & life !!!
    Melinda Nix

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