Jenn, known as @thatgoodnewsgirl on TikTok, shares something positive on the app every day. She recently highlighted a heartwarming story about a very persistent pooch, Scout.
A dog escaped from an animal shelter three times, making his way to a nursing home across the street.
The pup was living in a shelter in Michigan and managed to escape three separate times, scaling multiple tall fences and traveling a quarter mile in the process. Each time he broke out of the shelter, he went to the same place: Meadow Brook Medical Care Facility, a long-term medical care residence for seniors.
“He strolled right in through the automatic doors and made himself comfortable on the couch in the lobby,” Jenn said in her video. “A nurse found him and called the shelter who realized they were missing him.”
He was brought back to the shelter, but that didn’t stop him from returning the next night, and again a few nights later. After the third time, the administration at the care facility decided it was clearly kismet and adopted Scout.
“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 Detroit 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?'”
A post on the nursing home’s Facebook from December 2022 explained the story in deeper detail:
“Meadow Brook is located directly across the street from the Antrim County Animal Shelter. Back in the Spring of 2017, during the late evening when all was asleep, a black dog was found, curled up in a ball sleeping on one of the couches in our Front Lobby. We would call the Sheriff and he would come pick up this sad, black dog; an escape artist from the Animal Shelter.
A couple evenings later, again this black dog would be found sleeping on the couch. After the 3rd time, one of our employees adopted ‘Scout.’ Unfortunately, after a couple of months, Scout needed a new home. Instead of making Scout go back to the Animal Shelter, Marna Robertson, Administrator, said, ‘He belongs to Meadow Brook, he chose us!’
He quickly made this household his… We soon found out that Scout can open doors and later learned he could climb fences. Which would explain how he kept escaping the Animal Shelter.
…Scout truly brings joy to our residents, staff and visitors. This is his home. He chose us.”
Scout was determined to make Meadow Brook his home. Despite evidence of past physical abuse, he clearly feels safe and happy with his chosen family.
“He certainly has a penchant for the elders,” Robertson said. “He’s very in tune with what they need, especially our very vulnerable population. If they have dementia or if they’re dying, he knows that, and he will go and be with them and comfort them. He must’ve just felt like he needed to be here.”
The residents and administration love the pup, who was even granted the Resident of the Month award.
Adjusting to life in a retirement home is inevitably difficult, even in the best-case scenario. Scout is able to provide a much-needed sense of normalcy and comfort to many of the residents, some of whom left pets behind when moving to the facility.
“I think it reminds them of being home,” Rhonda Thomczak, an administrative assistant at the care facility, shared. “When you’re home you have your pets, and you don’t get to have that here. Having a dog around makes it feel like home.”
But more than that, pets are actually incredibly advantageous for seniors’ health.
According to American Humane, pet ownership can improve quality of life and benefit seniors in a multitude of ways.
Pet ownership for older adults can reduce distress, loneliness, depression, anxiety and symptoms of PTSD. Research has even shown that the bond between people and their pets is linked to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which helps to decrease the risk of heart disease.
Everyone involved in this touching story is undoubtedly a winner, from the residents to the canine himself. Scout is sure to get all the love and belly scratches he deserves as he lives out his days at Meadow Brook.
Audrey Jaber is a Boston-based writer and Assistant Editor for YourTango.
This article originally appeared on YourTango