Tommy’s family was eager to adopt a new dog. However, they were looking for a female. As they waited for the dogs to be brought in to meet them, a shelter worker asked if they wanted to say “hi” to Tommy, a shelter favorite (and a male!). The family agreed. They didn’t expect what happened next!

“When it came time for him to go back out, he laid down on the floor trying his best not to leave us; she had to literally drag/slide him on his belly out of the room,” Jenna Termolen, Tommy’s proud mom, told The Dodo. “He had chosen his new family and was not willing to give us up. After meeting the other dogs, the boys all decided that he was the one.” It was fate!

Tommy and his family lived in Illinois until they planned a big move to Upstate New York. Tommy would have to leave all his doggy friends behind that he had made in their neighborhood and he was pretty sad about it.

One day, once they were settled into their new home in New York, Termolen got a call from her son while she was out running errands. Her son said there was a large, shaggy dog that appeared in their house. Of course, Termolen was alarmed. She came home to see Tommy taking the strange dog on a tour around the house. Termolen located the dog’s collar and found that the dog’s name was Jackson and he lived right down the road.

They brought Jackson back to his house, and while his family was a bit embarrassed that he had escaped and wandered into someone else’s home, they weren’t that surprised. It had been obvious that their dog was longing for a new friend.

This was not Jackson’s last visit.

Jackson continued to make his way back to the Termolen family home, eager to see Tommy. Each time, he was walked back to his house… But then it became pretty obvious, Jackson wasn’t giving up on hanging with his new playmate. The visits continued and the Termolen family couldn’t refuse their friendship any longer.

“Usually when he comes for a visit, he stops by the front door first and gives one or two polite barks,” Termolen said. “If no one answers the front door, he will either try to go through the garage if it is open or go around through the backyard to the back deck, and will give barks at each door. I usually just let him in the house or let Tommy out.”

Their friendship has continued for the last few years. Tommy is now 16 and Jackson is only 5 but that doesn’t stop the pair from meeting up. “Now it is more like a wellness check as Tommy is really starting to show his age,” Termolen said. “Jackson comes in, has a drink, checks to see if Tommy has leftover food, they follow each other around the house and basically just hang out for a bit. They have a nice, sweet friendship. It will be heartbreaking when it is over. I am not sure I will able to maintain composure when Jackson visits and Tommy is no longer here to greet him.”

Tommy’s health is declining. In fact, his vet is shocked he’s still here. Maybe his resilience has to do with his incredible friendship with Jackson… Seeing his best buddy really adds some pep to his step.

Aren’t dogs the best?