The way he still cries for his owner at night is heartbreaking 😢
Most of us don’t appreciate just how many animal hazards delivery people face on a daily basis.
But the job isn’t all just risk! Getting to pet all types of fur-babies each day seems like quite the perk.
In 2016, UPS driver Katie Newhouser met made a new friend at a condo complex in Rancho Cucamonga, California – a pitbull named Leo. Every time she was delivering to his condo, Katie was greeted by Leo.
“Whenever I’d turn up at the complex, he’d apparently go crazy, and he’d want to come down and see me,” Newhouser told The Dodo. “He just took a liking to me for some reason. He’d always come up and lick me.”
Whenever it was time to go, Leo got super sad. He even got to the point where he was hopping in the truck with her so she couldn’t leave! Now that’s a serious friendship.
The driver got to know Leo and his mom Tina because she always dropped by to say hi to the dog.
“I saw Tina walking Leo and stopped to pet him,” Newhouser said. “That’s how I started talking to Tina. That’s actually how I’ve started talking to most of my customers. If they’ve got a dog, I’m stopping.”
But in October of that year, everything would change.
“I was on vacation, and when I came back to work, I went to the complex,” Newhouser said. “When I was pulling in, I saw [Tina’s] son Cannon pulling out with furniture in the back, and I thought, ‘Oh that’s weird.’ I just waved to him and he waved to me. And I didn’t think anything of it, because she was looking to move because the association of the condo was giving Leo a hard time because he was a pit bull, and they didn’t really want him there.”
Unfortunately, Canon wasn’t moving furniture because Tina had found a new apartment – his mother had passed away unexpectedly.
It wasn’t until Katie called Tina that she discovered the news. Tina truly had passed away and Katie had no idea what had happened to Leo.
She got the devastating news when she looked on Tina’s Facebook page.
Newhouser’s thoughts went to Leo and she decided to get in touch with Canon.
He told her he had joined the U.S. Marine Corps and was shipping off for training soon – and that meant Leo wouldn’t have a home.
Newhouser knew exactly what she was going to do.
“I said [to Cannon], ‘I’ll take Leo until you can come back and get him from your training,’” she told The Dodo. “And he said, ‘That’s fine.’ And then I picked him up that following Saturday.”
Even though she already had three dogs, there was no way that she was letting Leo get stuck in a horrible shelter.
“I knew he had nowhere to go, and I didn’t want him to end up in a shelter, and with somebody who was not going to be good for him.”
When she first went to pick him up, she was nervous that he wouldn’t recognize her without the UPS truck. When she arrived, it became obvious Leo didn’t need any truck to know when his friend was visiting.
He recognized his friend immediately.
“He ran up to me, and started barking at me, just like he does when I’m in my UPS truck,” Newhouser said. “Then he immediately hopped into my truck. He loves going in the car, so I think he just thought he was going for a ride. But you could tell that he was confused.”
Leo did an incredible job of adjusting to his new home! It took some work, but he eventually was doing well and paying with his new housemates. There was one piece still hurting inside him, however.
But late at night, Leo would cry out for Tina.
Every dog misses a good owner, regardless of the kind of situation they end up in.
Leo does still occasionally cry at night, but overall he’s happy where he is and is now an integral part of the family.
Newhouser’s post to UPS Dogs – where delivery drivers photograph encounters with furry friends on their daily routes – went completely viral. Even now, three years later, people still love dropping encouraging comments.
Like most stories, there is still some pain, but everything turned out ok in the end!
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