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Nursing home staff adopted a dog that kept sneaking out of the shelter to visit

Nursing home staff adopted a dog that kept sneaking out of the shelter to visit
Posted at 4:30 AM, Sep 11, 2023

About six years ago, Meadow Brook Medical Care Facility in Bellaire, Michigan got a new resident. It was an adorable, 65-pound mutt named Scout — and he checked himself in, more or less.

Scout had been living across the street at the Antrim County Animal Shelter, where he’d landed after shelter volunteers rescued him as a homeless stray.

“Somebody obviously abused him,” Heather Belknap, the shelter director, told the Washington Post, explaining that the dog had some of the nervous behaviors of a mistreated animal and arrived with pellets (possibly from a BB gun) in his jaw.

But one night in 2017, Scout managed to escape the animal shelter, scaling a six-foot fence. He crossed the highway, walked through Meadow Brook’s revolving front door and plopped down on the couch in the lobby. Though the visit ended in his being returned to the animal shelter, he made his way back to the medical facility three more times in just a few days.

“He was pretty relentless in his pursuit to be here,” said Stephanie Elsey, a clinical care coordinator at Meadow Brook Medical Care Facility.

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A staff member took him home, but he didn’t get along with her other dogs. So, the staff got together and decided to adopt him. They checked to make sure that none of the residents had an allergy to dogs and that they would be willing to share their home with a canine. They were game. And now, Scout is the facility’s resident pet.

He’s been getting famous lately, being featured by many news outlets. This prompted Scout’s fundraising page on Facebook to post a few pictures from the nursing home:

“He’s just a perfect dog,” resident Shirley Sawyer, 82, told the Washington Post. “You can pet him; you can talk to him. He comes in and lays down with you [and] he doesn’t do a lot of barking.”

In fact, Sawyer told the paper that the residents have come to think of Scout as their own. “It’s very nice to have a dog,” she said. “It makes it more like home.”

Though Scout gets along with everyone, including the 20 or so residents, he tends to follow around his primary caretaker, Jenny Martinek, who’s the facility’s household coordinator. But he often spends his nights curled up next to residents.

“He feels that he’s protecting everybody,” Martinek told the paper. “He’s always on duty.”

The nursing home hosts an annual fundraiser to bring in donations of food and supplies for the shelter Scout escaped from. They can’t adopt every animal there, but they can help keep them in kibbles! Here’s the information from Meadow Brook’s Facebook page if you’d like to contribute:

Now that is one very good dog!

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