Every so often, it’s the shelter dog that adopts the humans.
Scout was a mutt and a stray and was kept at a shelter in Michigan until the pooch with no past decided he was tired of waiting to be adopted and went trotting out looking for someone to adopt, successfully escaping the shelter and its fences 3 separate times in pursuit of a permanent home.
From the Detroit Free Press comes the story of Scout’s adoption of an entire nursing home, and the invaluable partnership formed between the determined dog, the residents, and the nurses.
One day in mid-July, Antrim County Animal Control was called to Meadow Brook Medical Care Facility where they found one of their shelter’s dogs, Scout, curled up on the couch in the waiting room.
He had escaped last night from their shelter just down the road, and somehow managed to scale the 10-foot chain link fence, another 6-foot solid privacy fence, cross a busy highway without being run over, find the nursing home, go in through the front door undeterred and curl up on the couch to sleep.
It was a puzzling story, but without any satisfactory way of answering the question, they took Scout back to the shelter only for him to escape again a few nights later and turn up on the couch in the Meadow Brook waiting room. Then, a few nights after that, there Scout was again, and the staff felt they had a decision to make.
“I’m a person who looks at outward signs, and if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be,” Marna Robertson, the nursing home’s administrator, told the Free Press. “He did that one time, two times, three times, and obviously that’s something that you should pay attention to. And I asked the staff, ‘Well, he wants to be here. Would anybody like to have a dog?’”
Formally adopted by the nursing home, Scout, who the staff says clearly had been abused in his past life, quickly set about the business of making friends with the residents. A long-term/permanent care facility that houses dementia patients, elderly without any other family support, and those in the end-of-life stages, having the dog around has turned out to be a priceless addition.
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“To each and every one of them, it’s their dog,” said Jenni Martinek the nursing home’s household coordinator.
He patrols the halls in a manner that’s part security guard part professional greeter, routinely visiting those who are passing away, or popping in on residents who still have the energy to play with him, and always stopping by the rooms of those who keep dog treats in their walkers.
He’s not big, nor menacing, but if someone who doesn’t live there rings the doorbell he barks and jumps up on the wall just to let them know to behave.
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The speed at which he has adapted himself to all these roles is remarkable, and when paired with the fact that he simply kept showing up there, gives the staff and the residents the feeling like he was meant to be at Meadow Brook.
You can read the whole saga of Scout’s journey to Meadow Brook at the Detroit Free Press.
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