Determined Dog Escapes Shelter 3 Times, Picks Odd Forever Home

Now, 6 years later, Scout is a joyous part of the daily lives of seniors at Michigan nursing home
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2023 7:45 AM CDT
Determined Dog Escapes Shelter 3 Times, Picks Odd Forever Home
Scout, on "the couch where it all began."   (Facebook)

Nothing too exciting happens at the relatively calm Meadow Brook Medical Care Facility, a nursing home in Bellaire, Michigan, that cares for seniors with terminal illnesses and dementia—but despite that (or maybe because of it), a stray dog decided that was the place he wanted to make his forever home. Scout—an abused pup who escaped not once, not twice, but three times from the Antrim County Animal Control shelter not far from the nursing home—first showed up at the long-term care facility in 2017. He climbed over two fences, traversed a busy thoroughfare in the dead of night, sauntered through the nursing home's automatic doors, then "walked unnoticed into the lobby, hopped onto a couch, curled into a ball, and quietly went to sleep for the night," per the Detroit Free Press.

When an "astonished" staffer discovered Scout the next day, the local sheriff retrieved him and brought him back to the shelter, but over the next week or so, Scout made his way back to the nursing home two more times–at which point "the staff had a decision to make," per the Free Press. Their decision was to keep the friendly pooch, who in the years since has become a beloved companion to the seniors who live there. "I think it reminds them of being home," one worker says of the residents, who were "delighted" to welcome Scout into the mix. The dog "wanders the halls at will, lies down wherever he wishes, and visits residents whenever the mood strikes him," notes the paper, adding that Scout has even learned how to gain entry to rooms of residents who keep tasty biscuits waiting for him.

"He's a jail breaker," Marna Robertson, the facility's administrator, told WPBN earlier this year. "He can open doors and get out of fences. He's a very intelligent dog." Signs of Scout's mysterious and apparently troubled past sometimes emerge: Loud noises spook him, he's wary of nonresidents (especially strange men), and "his walk still has the slight hint of a cower," per the Free Press. And no one can figure out why exactly he chose the nursing home to settle down in—but home it now is, where he's very protective of the residents and even seems to sense when some of them are nearing their end of life. "He will go and be with them and comfort them," Robertson says. "He must've just felt like he needed to be here." "To each and every one of them, it's their dog," says the facility's household coordinator of the seniors. Much more here on this heartwarming story. (More uplifting news stories.)

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