Sometimes, good things really do come to those who wait. Leo the dog had been waiting patiently at Dogs Forever, a shelter in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for more than two years before he finally found the person who would give him his forever home.
It was a long 900-day wait between when he was rescued from a kill shelter in Sioux City on Aug. 10, 2017 and Christmas Eve 2019, when David Evens discovered the lovable pup online. He soon came to meet Leo, and eventually decided to adopt him.
Previously, Leo had a difficult time connecting with potential owners due to his anxiety, which resulted in some behavioral issues. But from the moment Evens laid eyes on him on the Dogs Forever website, he was determined to forge a relationship with Leo.
Here’s a shot of Leo while he was waiting on his forever home from Dogs Forever’s Facebook page:
Evens went so far as to work with a trainer in order to help Leo relax and adjust. By March 2020, Leo had made enough progress and was ready to return with Evens to his home in Urbana, Iowa.
For Evens, the time it took to bond with Leo was worth the wait. And, as with many dog owners, he feels he needs his canine companion just as much as the pup needs him.
“I went through a breakup and needed an animal to spend time with,” he told KCRG. “No loneliness now.”
Check out the perfect pair together in this tweet from the news outlet, which notes that they’ve been “putting smiles on each other’s faces”:
Meet Leo, a very good boy who spent 900 days at Dogs Forever in Cedar Rapids after barely avoiding euthanization at a different shelter in Sioux City. He was finally adopted by David Evens, of Urbana, and they've been putting smiles on each other's faces. https://t.co/Ie3F4Sue5H
— KCRG-TV9 (@KCRG) May 27, 2020
Not only does he now have a best friend, Evens says that Leo’s also adept at keeping birds and rabbits out of his yard.
Linda Reynolds of Dogs Forever was impressed with Evens’ dedication to the dog that others saw as too difficult.
“He said he was willing to put a fence in, he was willing to put the kennel inside,” she told KCRG. “We asked him to work with Mike, our trainer, for a month. He worked with him for three months.”
As you can see from this photo of Leo looking dapper in a green bandanna for a picture posted to Facebook for National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day on April 30, 2019, he cleans up pretty well too:
What a heartwarming story!
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, more pets than ever are in need of forever homes. If you have room in your heart for a pandemic pet, contact your local animal shelter or adoption organization. Especially during these difficult times, both pet and owner can benefit from the bond.
“Animals provide invaluable comfort and companionship, especially during times of crisis,” Matt Bershadker, president and CEO of the ASPCA, told Glamour.
We think both Evens and Leo would agree!