Meet the burly ex bodybuilder who was at such a low he tried to commit suicide before his life was completely transformed by opening up his home to tiny dogs.
Bobby Humphreys, 48, from Boonsboro, Maryland, was devastated when last New Year’s Eve his now-ex-wife left him for somebody else that she was already in a relationship with.
The combination of no comprehension, closure, or understanding as to why things had got as bad as they did and the guilt of her blaming him for everything pushed him to the edge and left him with no faith in humanity, and he attempted to end it all by committing suicide.
Lifesaver: Former bodybuilder Bobby Humphreys has revealed how he was saved from a brutal battle with depression by adopting more than 50 tiny dogs
Heartbreak: Bobby, from Maryland, was left devastated when his wife left him for another man, and he was pushed to attempt suicide
Helping hand: The former bodybuilder had lost the will to live when a close friend stepped in and asked him to care for her son’s dog Lady, who he formed an immediate bond with
It was then like a guardian angel his best friend Connie stepped in and everything began to turn around.
Bobby told Jam Press: ‘One person above all, Connie, kept me on this planet. A true friend that was always there.
‘In fact, she wouldn’t leave me alone long enough to do what I wanted to do. She literally just wouldn’t go away no matter how much I told her to.
‘She had lost friends to that before and wasn’t going to lose me.
‘She became so close to my situation and I trusted her so much that I would ask her to watch the house while I was out of town for work. So I entrusted her with a key.’
After Connie helped Bobby get through that low point in his life, he was still extremely depressed – and once again she stepped in to provide comfort in the form of a personal favor.
‘She was moving in between homes in her new place and she could not keep her son’s dog, Lady,’ he said.
‘She asked me if I would mind temporarily keeping her until she could find another place. Of course, I accepted. Lady is a special case who did not like people very much, especially men.
‘I was warned about her at first and she was placed in a kennel in my house when I was at work one day.
‘Unfortunately, that kennel was placed right underneath my television that I sit at when I get home so it only took me about 15 minutes of watching this poor girl sitting in the kennel before I decided that I was going to let her out because I could not stand seeing her there.
Support: Bobby’s friend Connie (pictured) stepped in to help him in his time of need, offering support and help when he was at his lowest, while also asking him to care for her son’s pup
Dark place: Even when he was at the top of his game, Bobby says he was ‘treated horribly’ by society, and by the people in his life
Comfort: After caring for Lady, Bobby knew that he needed to get his own chihuahua, and in his quest to find one, he learned more about how many of the dogs need good homes
Message: ‘I know what it’s like to not have anyone there to protect you or be there for you so I made a promise that once with me, they’d never feel that way again,’ he said of his dogs
‘Lady came with me and literally made me whole again with unconditional love and affection.
‘Connie came over to check on her an hour and a half later that evening and could not believe her eyes when she found Lady in my lap and we have been inseparable ever since.’
Left with the feeling that Lady had saved his life, Bobbie went to find his own version of the pup.
He said: ‘During my quest, I saw how badly chihuahuas are treated.
‘I too was treated so horribly by people in my life and this society that I tried to commit suicide.
‘Again, one of them saved me, and I know what it’s like to not have anyone there to protect you or be there for you so I made a promise that once with me, they’d never have to feel that way again.
‘Those that have known me for years, know that through my adult life, that not only am I an animal lover but that I’ve owned nothing but very large dogs – Rottweilers to be exact.
‘They are beautiful animals and just nothing but big lapdogs.
‘I actually would poke fun at any of my guy friends who happened to date someone who owned a small dog. I had truly just never had given one a chance.’
Bobby’s first adoptee was a chihuahua called Kira, that he found on Craigslist who went from trying to bite his hand off to sitting on his lap.
He has now rescued over 50 pups since opening his Big Guy, Littles World Sanctuary.
Work: Bobby has since rescued more then 50 small dogs, and even started his own animal rescue, Big Guy Littles World Sanctuary
Brave: The former bodybuilder also ran a successful hardwood flooring business, but he gave it all up in order to dedicate himself to his animal sanctuary
Fear: Bobby admits that he was nervous about what people might think when he decided to become a full-time dog carer
Nerves: ‘I was concerned about what people would think. Would they think I am the male version of the crazy cat lady? Would they think I’ve gone completely insane?’ he said
Bobby said: ‘I have an incredible relationship with a local animal control who is in charge of my kennel license and they adore what I do, they just simply asked to take some of the pressure off of them because of my social media status.
‘This is a full-time job at all levels. A typical day starts at 7:30 am and we finish around 9 pm.
‘We sleep there, we eat there unless I am taking the dog to vet appointments which gives them one on one time or for other various reasons such as rescuing them, we are interacting with them all day long every day.
‘I went from doing this myself with only the help Connie to officially having five full-time staff members including two that live there full-time.
‘We have tried to develop systems for everything to make it both efficient and comfortable for the dogs. Of course, that is a constantly changing entity of its own.’
As well as being an ex bodybuilder, Bobby also used to have a successful hardwood flooring business but he left that behind to pursue the purpose closest to his heart.
He added: ‘I have to be honest with you, I was very nervous about this.
‘I was concerned about what people would think. Would they think I am the male version of the crazy cat lady? Would they think I’ve gone completely insane?
‘I can tell you this, almost every single friend of mine, not even just the close ones and every single family member as well, have been nothing but supportive across the board of me doing this.
‘To see my mother’s face when she told me when she was so proud of what I was doing is a moment I’ll cherish always.’
But the dog-lover has no regrets.
He said: ‘As far as hobbies go, all the different aspects of this industry and everything that needs to be revamped about it from the shelter system to breeders to everything else is going to keep me busy enough over the next several decades that I’m never going to have to worry about losing interest.
Praise: In the end, Bobby’s fears were unfounded, and he said that his family and friends were all incredibly supportive of his new career
Heartwarming: ‘I can tell you this, almost every single friend of mine, not even just the close ones and every single family member as well, have been nothing but supportive,’ he said
Fan club: Bobby frequently shows off his gorgeous dogs on Instagram and people love them – and the great work that the ex bodybuilder does
‘I do try to get away from time to time but it seems that most of my trips end up coinciding with rescuing a dog.
‘I have made several to Puerto Rico for this purpose and I’m going back to be filming a documentary here in the coming months.’
Bobby has big plans for the future of his sanctuary.
He said: ‘First and foremost, I need to have a monstrous following behind me so that when I go to make changes that I have an army behind me to back me up.
‘I am developing a prototype for a new sanctuary that I want to start setting up in areas around the country to help handle the epidemics in those areas.
‘Eventually, I’d like to get into the dog food industry and slowly try to revamp that. The way that dogs are treated in the world, is nowhere near as good as it should be.’
Bobby frequently shows off his gorgeous dogs on Instagram and people love them – and the great work that the ex bodybuilder does.
One person wrote: ‘Heaven on earth to me! Thank you all at Big Guy Littles World for all you do!!!’
Someone else said: ‘Keep doing the good work you do cuz those little guys need a big sweet caring kind-hearted guy like you.’
Another person wrote: ‘You are amazing! The little misfits are so lucky to have lots of love.’
‘Squad goals,’ added someone else, commenting on a snap of lots of the chihuahuas cosying up together.