The photo shows a senior Chihuahua peeking out from beneath a fleece blanket. He looks positively tiny curled on an over-sized cot inside a huge concrete kennel.
Once a beloved pet, Scooter suddenly found himself living at Michigan’s Humane Society of Branch County when his owner passed away.
Shelter manager, Jan Nageldinger worried about Scooter’s future. Would anyone want to adopt a shy senior with a bad hip? She was prepared for him to live out his days at the shelter, but hopeful the right family would come along.
One evening, as she was closing up, Nageldinger snapped the now-viral photo of Scooter snuggled in his blanket. She shared it to Facebook with the following text:
“Just went back to say goodnight and lockup. This is Scooter. He tucks himself in at night. I pray someone adopts this boy soon…”
The message was short and simple, but dog lovers across the internet sprang to action on Scooter’s behalf, captivated by the sad little pooch in the massive kennel. In a matter of days, the post was shared more than 3,500 times!
Soon it reached Jessica Lynn Howard, a long-time supporter of the Branch County Humane Society and adoptive mom to two of their former resident Chihuahuas. It was love at first sight.
“I saw Jan’s Facebook post, along with the rest of the world,” Howard told The Dodo. “My husband Tim and I were lying in bed and it … brought me to tears. Without hesitation I showed Tim and I said, ‘I have to go get him.'”
Her husband agreed to add Scooter to their pack, and the next day Jessica was on her way to pick him up!
Scooter instantly took his place among the four humans and five dogs of the Howard family – including three other Chihuahuas!
Not only does the family live on a spacious farm (aka: every dog’s dream come true), they also provide plenty of cozy blankets for Scooter to burrow in. He has occasional bursts of joyful energy, but according to Jessica, Scooter is “all about taking naps!”
He also continues to perform the nightly bedtime ritual that made him an internet sensation.
“When it’s bedtime … he still ‘tucks himself in,'” Jessica says. “I’ve tried to tuck him in but he would rather do it himself. He has to get the covers just right. It’s really cute watching him.”
In addition to Scooter’s happy ending, his story has helped raise awareness to the plight of senior shelter dogs.
“The good thing that came from this story was that people from … Italy, Puerto Rico, Canada and many, many, many states across the U.S. contacted us … willing to take in Scooter,” Nageldinger told The Dodo. “When Scooter had been adopted many of these people said that they were going to go to their local shelter and adopt a senior dog. So Scooter not only saved himself; I really believe that he saved the lives of other dogs all across the U.S. with his story.”
“If Scooter’s story can help inspire someone to adopt or to donate to the Humane Society of Branch County or their local shelter, it shows what one little senior dog can do,” she said. “He moved an entire world with just a single post! That is beyond amazing.”
H/T to The Dodo
Featured Images via Facebook/Humane Society of Branch County
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