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How a Dog Found His Forever Home at a Michigan Nursing Home

Scout, 9, shares his first-doggy account about running away from an animal shelter and finding home

spinner image Scout laying on a couch
Scout at his post.

The question I’m asked most often is: How’d you do it? How’d you scale two chain-link fences at animal control, cross a busy highway in the middle of the night and find your way into a nursing home a quarter mile away? Let’s just say I was born to jump. And I’ve learned that to get what you want in this life, sometimes you’ve got to break the rules.

But the bigger question is, why here? What made me pick the Meadow Brook Medical Care Facility on that night back in 2017? And when I was caught and returned to the shelter, what made me escape again and go right back? And then once more the very same week?

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The short answer is, Meadow Brook has an automatic front door. And a very, very cozy couch in their front lobby. It felt safe, something I hadn’t felt in a long while.

I don’t want to get into my backstory. I’d been through some rough times before I got here. I’ve still got BB gun pellets lodged in my jowls. Not all humans are kind, but the ones in this place are.

spinner image Scout embracing a resident
Scout with a resident.

The nursing home’s administrator, Marna Robertson, decided to adopt me after my third jailbreak. I think she realized I’d just keep coming back till she did. And the residents welcomed me like one of their own. I know which rooms have snacks for me — I’m partial to Ritz crackers — and which residents don’t mind being woken up at midnight with a wet nose on their forehead. Some keep treats in the baskets of their walkers.

But I’m no freeloader. My friend Jenny Martinek, the household coordinator for the residence unit where I live, likes to tell people that I think I have a job. No, Jenny, I don’t think I have a job. I know I have one. I do security. No visitor gets in or out without going through me. And I’m not afraid to bark. 

spinner image Scout opening a door
Scout gaining entry.

I also make regular rounds to check on all the residents. I’m excellent at opening doors. I like to be where the people are — what can I say? They’ve actually changed a few knobs around here because of that.

On my rounds, I give everybody attention, but I try to spend more time with people who are feeling poorly. Jenny says it’s like I was trained to give comfort to people. It’s not training, though; it’s just what makes sense to me. Because this is my family now. And family looks out for family.

The world is unpredictable, and life isn’t always fair. But my story shows that if you find your people, you’ll be OK. So keep looking till you find them. 

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