Four years ago, I found Leo at a shelter in Greenbelt, Maryland, more than an hour's drive from my home.
A friend with an SUV drove across the Bay Bridge to pick up this yellow Lab I'd found after many phone calls. We drove inside the fenced-in shelter area and opened the back door of the car. A staffer brought him out to meet me and Howard, the shelter supervisor, came out with the paperwork. Howard kept saying, "If you don't want him, just bring him back."
He had a history of TWO failed adoptions! In both cases, he was given less than 24 hours to settle into his new home.
I've adopted dogs before and knew that wasn't fair. I promised Howard I would keep him updated on our progress. Then we looked around for the dog. Where? Oh, where? He had already jumped into the SUV and was sitting quietly, ready to go home!
Within six months, Leo qualified as a Pets on Wheels therapy dog to make visits to hospitals and schools. He was named the Reading Dog for Kids at the St. Michaels Library. It's wonderful to watch a child's reading confidence grow as Leo quietly listens to a story.
We weathered the pandemic and so much more, together. Like everyone else, he gained weight. He was 67 lbs when he first came home. Now, he's approaching 90 lbs ... of course, it's all muscle. No, really!
When we go for walks, it's not unusual to hear someone call out "LEO!" They love his controlled excitement at seeing friends... because everyone is his friend.
He loves to sit on the porch, push his treat ball around, and go for walks with his black Lab buddy, Louie. Right at 6 o'clock, he hovers over his dinner bowl. He doesn't want to miss the moment his kibble and frozen green beans appear!
His favorite place to be is curled up on his bed next to my desk while I'm working on a new book! I love having Leo in my life!
(Pssst! He was the inspiration for Ghost in the In Time series!)
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