KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Suzette Hudspeth and her dog, Ceasar, are inseparable. Just ask their neighbors.
In her neighborhood, Hudspeth is known as Ceasar’s mom. She’s constantly asked how he’s doing. Everywhere she goes, he goes.
Outside of her 26-year-old daughter, Ceasar’s the only family she has in town. He’s a service dog, and he’s stuck with her through thick and thin for 11 years.
In November 2021, as the weather was rapidly changing from hot to cold, Hudspeth was struggling to manage her mental health, epilepsy and her finances after her father died.
She ended up losing her housing and found herself sleeping in cemeteries, but she didn’t want her pet to suffer. So, she started looking for help.
She realized she might need to give up Ceasar until she could get back on her feet, and she was terrified she would never get him back.
“He’s not just a dog to me,” Hudspeth said of Ceasar. “And he didn’t ask for what was going on.”
Hudspeth found a program at KC Pet Project that would help take care of Ceasar while she took the time to find housing.
And then, if things went according to plan, it would bring them back together.
“I almost backed out at the last minute and was going to go back to where I’d been staying,” Hudspeth said. “He was strong, so I had to be strong.”