Heartwarming Resilience: Last Shelter Dog’s Playful Spirit Shines Through, Finds Joy with ‘Imaginary Friends’ as Sole Resident

Every year on Black Friday, the Metro East Humane Society in Madison County, Illinois, encourages local sponsors to cover adoption fees for all of their animals. This year was the most successful year yet. With help from Trouw Nutrition and the Dunn Family, the humane society adopted out 94 animals, including 64 dogs. Almost every dog in the shelter was adopted.

Every dog except for one.

“We were over the moon for all of the animals that were able to find their forever [homes], but truly everyone was pretty disappointed with Frito being the only one left,” program manager Ali Hillard told The Dodo. “She is a very lovely and deserving girl, so it was a shame that she was overlooked and no one came forward for her. We all know how special Frito is, so to see so many people pass her by was upsetting.”

With no one left to play with, sweet Frito ran around the shelter’s yard by herself. She played with “imaginary friends,” as the shelter wrote in a TikTok. Despite her circumstances, Frito refused to feel dismayed.

“She definitely did not let it keep her down,” Hillard said. “[T]he next day, [she] was prancing around in the play yard, living her best life with her stuffed toys.”

Metro East staff are confident that rambunctious, flexible Frito will find her perfect match soon.

“Frito is really not a picky girl,” Hillard said. “Her ideal forever home would be any home looking for a dog that is a healthy mix of both sweet and cuddly while also being super silly and playful! She likes other dogs and does well with older children!”

With any luck, Frito won’t have to play with her imaginary friends much longer. She’ll have a permanent set of family and friends all her own.


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