The other day, a man in St. Louis, Missouri, was stepping off the bus when he noticed a dog sitting at his stop. He greeted the pup, whom he’d never seen before, then started walking towards his house. As he got to his yard, the man realized that someone had been following right behind him the whole time.
“This dog just kind of followed him home,” Donna Lochmann, chief life saving officer for Stray Rescue of St. Louis (SRSL), told The Dodo. “So he put him in his backyard to contain him, and then he called us.”
Without hesitating, the dog followed his new friend into the fenced-in yard then waited for his rescuers to arrive.
When Lochmann and her rescue partner, Natalie, got to the man’s home, they expected to find a scared and defensive dog in his yard. They walked up to the fence with a leash in hand, prepared for the dog to resist their rescue efforts, but, to their surprise, he was more than willing to go with them.
“He was an absolute sweetheart of a dog right off the bat,” Lochmann said. “We were able to leash him up right away, and he went right with us.”
Lochmann and Natalie brought the pup, whom they called Orville, to the Jeep. Typically, newly rescued dogs enjoy their freedom rides from the back seat, but Orville wanted to hang out in a different spot.
“He rode up near Natalie and me most of the way back,” Lochmann said. “He was just a happy boy.”
Orville’s smile stretched from ear to ear as he rode to the shelter with his rescuers. After having been alone for so long, the sweet pup was finally getting the love and care he deserved.
As he walked through the shelter’s doors for the first time, Orville’s tail whipped to and fro behind him. His initial reaction to meeting his new group of friends — the clinic’s veterinary team — was just as sweet as it ws unexpected.
“The moment we got Orville to the clinic, he climbed in Molly’s lap,” SRSL wrote in a Faceboook post. “He is beyond adorable, [and] we’re so happy he’s here to get the help he needs.”
Orville’s new friends cleaned the pup’s wounds, fed him his first of many nutritious meals then got him settled into his new kennel.
The team at SRSL couldn’t figure out where Orville lived before he was rescued, but it was clear that he was finally where he needed to be. He had a long road of healing ahead of him, but the resilient pup’s spirit was still intact.
“He was just a super nice and grateful dog from the beginning,” Lochmann said.
Today, Orville can be found hanging out with his favorite humans at the shelter. His health has improved significantly since his first day with them, which means he’s finally ready for a forever family.
Even though he’s currently available for foster care or adoption, nobody’s shown interest in taking Orville home just yet. His friends at SRSL know that the perfect family will find Orville soon, but they’re more than happy to be the recipients of his incredible hugs until then.