Bobby Humphreys is not the kind of guy you would ever imagine with a tiny dog by his side. In fact, in the past, the competitive bodybuilder from Maryland has mostly owned Rottweilers. With his rather menacing stature, Bobby certainly fits the stereotype of the 'tough guy.'
“It’s very well known that while I’ve always loved all animals and even had small dogs in the house growing up from my grandmother from time to time that I was a big dog guy,” said Humphreys. “Rottweilers were my companions, guardians, 120-pound lapdogs.”
“I’d actually make fun of close friends whose girlfriends had tiny dogs when I saw them walking around carrying them for their girls,” he added. “Looking back, that was very immature of me.”
Bobby's story (and his reputation) changed drastically on New Year’s Eve 2016 when his then-wife walked out on him. Only a week later, Bobby severely injured his shoulder at the gym, requiring reconstructive surgery.
Bobby was desperately trying to get his life back on track whilst recovering from surgery, but his depression was very difficult to cope with.
Soon after, Bobby's friend, Constance Rogers contacted him asking a favor.
“She messages me one day saying, ‘Do you mind if Lady stays with you for a little while?'”
Bobby wanted nothing to do with Lady the Chihuahua, but he wanted to repay his friend who had helped him during his difficult time. So, although hesitant, Bobby agreed to take care of the tiny dog.
One day, Bobby came home from work and found Lady in his living room, peering out of her kennel at him.
Connie came over to check on Lady later that night she was totally amazed at what she found.
Lady was in Bobby’s lap! Over the next few months, Bobby and Lady became best buddies!
Bobby's depression had gotten so bad, there were days he couldn't get out of bed.
“It was pathetic. The only thing keeping me going was spending time with her. It’s weird, it’s sad but she healed me,” he said.
“There were times when my friend would come check on her dog at 11 in the morning only to find both of us still upstairs in bed. She would then become the drill instructor and make me go to work. That’s not the part that fixed me though, it was all the attention and love from Lady.”
“I was not terribly particular but I either wanted one that looked like her which would be a deer head fine and color and perhaps not the most perfect specimen as Lady had some things wrong with her due to eating some chemotherapy medicine and almost passing away.”
That’s when Bobby found Kira, a one-year-old Chihuahua with some food aggression issues.
“She was chocolate and tan which was close enough and I saw her living conditions. I saw how easy it is for people to sell dogs on Craigslist and how little they really care about where the dog goes.”
Next came Harley and her sister Quinn. “[When] I found Harley, [she was] only six weeks old,” Bobby said.
“Harley reminded me so much of Lady, I had to have her.”
“As they went up to get Quinny from upstairs, the daughter of the breeder let it slip that Harley and Quinn were the results of improper line-breeding or more directly, inbred. My actual thoughts were these dogs are so ugly that nobody is going to buy them or they are going to get cast aside, as one of the horror stories you read on Facebook. I had to have them.”
“A hoarding case here, a shut-in there. A bait dog. A dog found on the side of the road. A dog with an extension cord tied around his neck. The more this progressed, the more I loathed society.”
“I made a promise to each and every one of them that they would never have to experience abuse, neglect, abandonment or the pain of loving someone that would not give you love in return no matter how much you tried.”
Bobby has a simple philosophy. He takes the dogs nobody else wants, shows them how special they are and lets them live whatever life they choose.
“[I] call this place the island of misfit toys, based off the old 60s Rudolph Christmas claymation cartoon. Starting with myself, we are all the rejects. The ones nobody wants. The ones that don’t look perfect. The ones that don’t fit. So, if you hear us refer to this place as the island, now you know why.”
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