Scout, a stray mutt with no history, ran away from a local animal shelter and went into a nearby nursing home after climbing over two fences and crossing a busy highway. He ultimately walked into the lobby unnoticed and made himself comfortable on a couch, where he soon fell asleep.
It was a nurse who found him in the lobby the next morning. She immediately called Antrim County Animal Control, whose animal shelter is just down the street. It was then that they discovered that the pup had run away from the building the previous night.
The staff at the shelter had given the stray mutt a name but otherwise, knew nothing about the pup. They did note, however, that he had some behaviors characteristic of an abused dog. His chin also had some sort of round pellet embedded in it so they knew he was shot at once in the past, either with birdshot or BBs. While the pellets weren’t visible, you could feel them if you stroked his face.
After receiving the call from the nursing home, an officer came and returned Scout to the animal shelter.
However, just a few nights later, the black and tan-colored mutt was back in the nursing home lobby, sleeping on the same couch. Once again, he had somehow jumped over a 10-foot fence, scaled a 6-foot privacy fence, and ran across a highway in the darkness without getting hit by a car. He then presumably entered the front door and made his way to the same couch in the lobby.
The nursing home staff called animal control the next morning and he was brought back to the shelter.
Two days later, Scout was back sleeping on the couch at the nursing home for the third time. That’s when the facility staff knew they had to make a decision.
Making a Decision
Scout had made himself at home at Meadow Brook Medical Care Facility, a long-term medical residence that cares for seniors with dementia, terminal illness, and those with nowhere else to go. Located an hour away from Traverse City, the facility has 82 beds split between smaller sections.
The nursing home’s administrator, Marna Robertson, said it was impossible not to pay attention to the pup when he returned not once, not twice, but three times. She then asked the rest of the staff if they wanted to adopt the dog.
Shortly afterward, the facility formally adopted Scout. The residents were also delighted at the decision.
According to Rhonda Thomczak, the facility’s administrative assistant, having a dog in the building has “made it feel like home”.
Currently, Scout has free rein at the Gracier Hill household, which he shares with 20 seniors. He lies down wherever he wants, wanders the halls, and visits the residents whenever he feels like it.
He has also proved himself to be a smart dog as he’s already learned how to open the door handles by jumping up and using his paws. He also remembers which residents give him dog treats.
Earlier this year, the nursing home staff posted Scout’s picture on social media and asked for donations to the local animal shelter that rescued him off the street. Soon afterward, they received hundreds of dollars. One individual even dropped by to meet the dog in person after reading about their story online.