For Dr. Andy Mathis, livestreaming video of rescue dogs from the time they enter the door at Granite Hills Veterinary Clinic until the day they are adopted is nothing unusual.
The Elberton veterinarian has had quite a bit of success in taking rescue dogs and transforming them into lovable pets that can be adopted.
Then came Graycie.
Graycie was a medium-sized short-haired gray rescue dog taken in three or four weeks ago.
And Graycie wouldn’t eat.
One Saturday while making his rounds to the animals, Dr. Mathis got the idea to go inside Graycie’s pen and have a little breakfast with her.
This was not something uncommon for Dr. Mathis and according to the vet, nothing out of the ordinary for his staff.
“I didn’t do anything my staff doesn’t do on a regular basis for these animals,” said Mathis. “I just happened to be the one who was on camera Saturday.”
Mathis had already begun taking videos of Graycie so the camera was already running when he made the decision.
He edited the video to start after he had sat down, highlighting him sitting in the cage eating breakfast and hand-feeding the skittish puppy.
“I put it on my Facebook page on Thursday and it got 400 hits,” said Mathis.
A few hours later the number jumped to 600.
Mathis placed the video on YouTube and before Saturday was over more than four million people had fallen in love with Graycie and her benevolent human.
The phone at Granite Hills has not stopped ringing since the video went viral.
“I’ve had calls from all over the United States, from England, Japan and several other countries,” said Mathis.
In fact, during the interview Mathis received a call from Austin, Texas.
The good doctor was as kind with the caller as he is with his animals, thanking them for their concern.
The two have appeared on the “Today Show,” he went to Atlanta to film a segment for “Headline News,” and clips of the video have been broadcast on stations across the United States and around the world.
“I’ve had calls from “Fox and Friends” and others, but I think I’m going to have to turn them down,” said Mathis.
The reason is simple.
“This is not the end of the story,” said Mathis. “This is the beginning. The end comes when Graycie is jumping around and playing and can be placed in a new home. That’s the story.”
Along with the countless phonecalls from people wanting to praise Dr. Mathis for his compassion, numerous callers from around the nation have also offered to adopt Graycie.
“I’ve been offered $2,500 for her,” said Mathis. “But she’s not ready.”
Mathis tells everyone who calls, regardless of their location, the same thing.
“There are a thousand dogs just like her out there needing adoption,” he said. “Some of them are within a 10 minute drive from where you live.”
Mathis also has a charity fund set up for those wishing to support his work with rescue dogs.
“If it had not been for people donating to the charity fund, it’s likely I would have had to put her down,” said Mathis. And now, more than four million people who have seen Graycie are glad he did not as well. While numerous outlets have shared Graycie’s YouTube video, the original can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31hTYEgVNJs