This story originally appeared at American Web Media.
Many dogs consider running and playing outside (especially with their humans) the high point of their day. Unfortunately, a German shepherd named Hershel didn’t get to enjoy this most basic canine pleasure after spending the first five years of his life locked inside of a cage.
The dog was desperate to see what was on the other side of the fence, but his cruel humans had essentially thrown away the key. The confinement was especially brutal because Hershel is a really big dog. He really needed some room to run.
When animal rescuers finally got wind of Hershel’s unfortunate living situation, the dog was rescued and moved into an animal shelter. But the dog, who’d spent his whole life locked in a cage, was basically bouncing off the walls. Few people were eager to adopt a dog with such boundless energy.
Finally, a nonprofit group called Save Our Shelterstepped in.
After hearing of Hershel’s unfortunate upbringing, the group arranged for the dog’s first beach outing. After being locked in a cage for five years, the dog expressed unimaginable glee upon seeing the ocean for the first time.
Hershel was also shown around other awe-inspiring locales to compensate for those wasted years he spent locked in a metal box.
“Herschel was able to see the snow for the first time, and he also got to give free teddy bear hugs,” the organization wrote. “As a matter of fact, that day got him enough awareness that now, we’re going on a little road trip to deliver him to his forever home.”