Good things come to those who wait, but some have to wait longer than others.
Spud arrived at SafeHaven on August 16, 2016 via a lifesaving transport from New Mexico. A short, medium-sized, brown dog with a great smile and mellow personality, he quickly became a staff favorite. In less than a month, he was adopted, but then returned to the shelter just two days later. Within a week, he was adopted again, only to return to the shelter again a week before Christmas. Poor Spud. That had to be tough.
Then, on February 10, 2017, Spud was showcased at SafeHaven’s Pawscar Awards dinner and celebration at the Linn County Fairgrounds. The very next day he was adopted. And, on Valentine’s Day, he returned to SafeHaven. Again. Sometimes an adoption just isn’t a good fit. But, three times? Our canine Forrest Gump? Maybe, because, like Forrest, Spud didn’t let circumstances change who he was.
On March 10, 2017, Kandi and Mike Newcomer and their two children, Amandia, 12, and Ty, 10, arrived at the shelter looking to adopt their first ever dog. The kids had wanted a dog for years, but their parents wanted them to be old enough for the responsibilities of caring for their pet. The photo of a young Boxer on SafeHaven’s website had caught their eye. They played with the boxer outside for a while, but then came back inside. That’s when they walked past Spud.
After just a few minutes of getting to know him, the family knew Spud was the perfect dog for them. They hadn’t thought of adopting a mature gentleman of six years, or one who had been in so many different homes. Understandably, they had some concerns. But as Kandi says, “He felt like ours right from the start.” The Newcomers intend Spud to be their only pet, and that suits Spud just fine.
But it’s a big responsibility, being the only pet in a household. Kandi says she has some chronic pain issues and Spud seems to know when to plant himself by her side and give comforting nudges and kisses when she needs them. Their kids are “head over heels in love with him and plan their days around him.” Most afternoons, Spud helps Ty build forts or play games in the yard. In the evening, he sits in the chair with her husband, Mike, and watches TV while insisting on lots of attention. Every night he sleeps with daughter, Amandia, and takes well over half of the bed. Amandia doesn’t mind one bit. Kandi says it’s strange to remember life before Spud because he is so important to all of them on a daily basis.
If Spud changed the lives of his family members, they also changed his. When he first arrived home, Spud moved slowly and slept a lot. Just a quiet, mature gentleman with his favorite napping spot on the couch. But, now that he has figured out he’s finally home to stay, Kandi says, “He behaves more like a puppy. You wouldn’t believe how high he can jump! One of his favorite things to do is run through the house as fast as he can. We can barely keep up with him on walks now and he loves to get outside and run. When he first came, his tail was always down; we actually thought maybe there was something wrong with it. Now his tail is constantly wagging and he’s a big smiler. As you can tell, I’m a huge fan of his. He has absolutely completed our family and made a dog lover out of a person who was previously indifferent to them. It’s hard to believe how much my life was missing before he came along.”
No doubt, Spud agrees. But like Forrest Gump, he figured out that, “Life is like a box of chocolates.” However, biscuits are much better for dogs!