Dog stories just melt our hearts. There is something about dogs that makes them so special, and adoption stories are the best. Unfortunately, sometimes there are tragic circumstances that cause dogs to be alone. When an owner dies, the dogs are usually heartbroken and distraught.
One story about a dog finding happiness after his owner died is going to make you cry happy tears. Pit bulls don’t have the best reputations, so finding people to adopt them can be tough. It can be even harder when the dog is left alone after an owner dies. However, this pit bull named Leo was adopted by the last person you would think.
Click ‘Start Slideshow’ to read the story behind Leo and his new owner. It’ll melt your heart.
UPS Drivers Love Dogs
This may come as a surprise to you, but UPS drivers love dogs. Sure, there is a stigma that all dogs hate mailmen and all mailmen hate dogs, but this definitely doesn’t ring true with UPS drivers. In fact, many UPS drivers carry around dog treats in their trucks because they love them so much!
We don’t blame them because dogs are absolutely adorable. UPS drivers are known for loving dogs so much that there is actually a dedicated Facebook page where they can share photos and stories of the dogs they have encountered on their routes. It is very popular, and it is where the story of Leo and Katie Newhouser’s story was first shared with everyone. They never believed that it would go as viral as it did. With a heartwarming story like this one, you can never share it enough.
Click ‘Next’ to see how Katie met Leo in the first place! It’s a great beginning to a lovely story.
Katie Newhouser’s Job
Katie Newhouser has always loved being a UPS driver. She has worked for them for 15 years, which has brought a lot of different experiences in her life. Her route was the same almost every single week, so she often saw the same people more than once. One such place that she frequented often was a condo complex.
With so many people living in this condo complex, she was delivering packages to them almost daily. Because of this, Katie Newhouser developed some wonderful friendships with the people who lived there. She knew them by name, and they knew her as well. It was while she was delivering packages to this condo complex when she had first met the pit bull named Leo and his owner Tina.
You won’t believe where Leo was found as a puppy. Click ‘Next’ to find out!
Leo and Cannon
Leo is a beautiful pit bull with a grey, brown, and white coloring. He is always smiling, but it wasn’t always like that. Cannon, Tina’s son, was the first person to find Leo. He found him and couldn’t let him go. When he showed his mother Tina the cute pit bull puppy, Tina was shocked.
Leo was much too young to be separated from his mother. He had absolutely no teeth, and he was barely bigger than her hand. Lots of people get rid of puppies before they are supposed to because they don’t want to care for them any longer. This is extremely unsafe, and Leo was suffering because of it. Tina knew that she had to keep this dog and help him to survive and be loved.
It isn’t every day that people form such a wonderful bond. See how Tina reacted to Leo by clicking ‘Next.’
Leo and Tina
It wasn’t long before Tina fell head over heels in love with Leo. She had to bottle feed him from the start, so it helped to create an unbreakable bond between the two of them. Leo loved Tina like a mother, and the two quickly became friends.
What was supposed to be Cannon’s dog quickly turned into Tina’s dog. They formed a relationship that was much different than the average human and dog relationship. Tina really loved Leo from the bottom of her heart, which is why what happened to her is so tragic. Throughout the years, these two were inseparable.
Was it love at first sight? See how Leo acted toward Katie when they first met by clicking ‘Next.’
The first time Katie Newhouser met Leo, she was shocked at how calm and adorable he was! Leo quickly became obsessed with the UPS driver. Whenever she had to deliver a package to the complex, Leo would be scratching at the door and waiting to come see her. There were many times that Leo just jumped up into the truck and gave Katie tons of kisses.
It was one of Katie Newhouser’s favorite part of her day, and she was overjoyed when she got to deliver a package to the condo complex because she knew that she would get to see Tina and Leo. Tina and Katie became quick friends because they bonded over their love for Leo. They would talk a lot about their lives, so Katie was familiar with Tina, Cannon, and Leo. It was like another family for her, and it was one that she got to see while on the job. All of this was made possible because Leo couldn’t help but give Katie love when he saw her! Katie said that there was one time that Leo was in his car and he saw the UPS truck. Leo barked the whole time until Tina let him come see Katie. That’s when they knew that they had formed an unbreakable bond as well.
You’ll never believe how Tina treated Leo. Click ‘Next’ to find out how!
Never Left Her Side
Tina took Leo everywhere with her. They were truly the best of friends, and Leo never left her side. Since Tina was living alone, Leo was the only thing she had. Tina’s son Cannon was a marine, so he wasn’t home very often. Whenever Tina wanted to go somewhere, she was never alone because she brought along Leo.
Most people were okay with this, but there were some people that gave her grief regarding her decisions. They wanted Leo to be muzzled when he was out and about because of his breed. Even though Leo was just about the sweetest dog you’d ever meet, people were afraid of him since he was a pit bull. This was really hard for Tina because she knew that Leo would never hurt a fly. The pit bull stigma runs so deep, but Tina was trying to fight that by bringing him around the outside of the condos frequently.
Katie and Tina became fast friends by doing this. Click ‘Next’ to see what it was!
Fighting the Stigma
Tina and Katie became even closer than before when they bonded over trying to fight the pit bull stigma. Katie Newhouser is a dog lover through and through, so she wanted to do everything she could to help her friend’s dog. They were trying to fight the stigma as much as possible.
Tina didn’t want to have to muzzle Leo when he would go outside for a walk or to the bathroom. It wasn’t fair that every other dog breed could go outside without a muzzle but Leo would have to have one. Because of this, Katie Newhouser was helping Tina file a motion for equal and ethical treatment of Leo. Leo had never had an incident with anyone at the condo complex, but people were still scared since he was a pit bull. While Tina was sympathetic for those who were afraid, she didn’t want to put a muzzle on her dog.
Everything seemed perfectly normal when Katie came back. Click ‘Next’ to see what happened!
Trying to Reach Tina
In October of 2016, Katie took a vacation. She wasn’t gone very often, so this vacation was much deserved. On her return back to work, she delivered a package to the condo complex that Tina lived at. When Katie pulled in, she saw Cannon pulling out with a truck full of Tina’s furniture. Katie assumed that Tina was moving, so she waved and decided to try calling her friend later that day.
Katie called Tina’s phone but it went to straight to voicemail. She didn’t think much of it because Tina could have just been busy. However, when she tried calling the next day, the same thing happened. Katie was beginning to worry, so she checked her friend’s Facebook page.
Click ‘Next’ to see how Katie found out her friend had suddenly passed away.
The Shocking News
Katie was unprepared for what she found on Tina’s Facebook page. What was usually filled with beautiful photos of Leo, herself, and Cannon, was now filled with posts from all of her Facebook friends. Unfortunately, these posts were anything but ordinary.
Tina’s Facebook was now filled with condolences and past experiences that people shared with each other. Katie quickly gathered that Tina had passed away very suddenly. She was heartbroken for her friend, and she knew what she had to do. Picking up her phone again, she dialed the number of Tina’s son.
Would Cannon keep Leo with him? Find out by clicking ‘Next.’
Figuring Out a Home
Cannon was miserable when his mother, Tina, died. He was a marine, so he knew that he couldn’t keep Leo. There was a lot of guilt surrounding this decision because he knew how much Leo loved Tina and how much Tina had loved Leo. Cannon wanted to do right by his furry friend, but everywhere he called wouldn’t take him.
Cannon was once again facing the same old pit bull stigma. None of his friends wanted to take care of a dog, and Cannon knew the dangers of sending a dog into a home you weren’t familiar with. He started to feel very discouraged because he wanted to find the perfect home for his mother’s dog. When everything looked like it was going to fall apart, a miracle happened.
Katie knew what she had to do. Find out what she does by clicking ‘Next.’
Talking to Cannon
Cannon was friendly with Katie Newhouser, but he didn’t know her as well as his mother did. The one thing he did know was that Katie had loved Leo, and Leo had loved Katie just as much. When Katie called Cannon, he was overjoyed. The decision to send Leo over to Katie felt like it was meant to be.
Katie had called Cannon to try and take the burden off of him of finding a good home for Leo. She knew that Tina would want the best home for him, and so she offered to try and find a home while keeping Leo at her house. Cannon agreed, and Leo was quickly sent over to her house. No one would have guessed that Katie and Leo would ever be together. Their meeting just three months prior was nothing short of a miracle. They had UPS to thank for putting them into each other’s lives.
Welcoming Leo into her home wasn’t as easy as it seems. Click ‘Next’ to read more about it!
Katie had agreed to foster Leo until they could find a new home for him. While she would have loved to keep him, there were already a lot of animals running around the house. The fostering went pretty smooth.
Tina said, “The whole vibe in the house changed as soon as we brought him home. He is the biggest, most lovable dog that you will ever meet. He was instantly running around the yard with my dogs.” This was unusual because her dogs weren’t always the most kind to newcomers, but it seemed like it was all working out.
What was the excuse Katie used to stop herself from adopting Leo? Find out by clicking ‘Next.’
Three Other Dogs
Every time Katie thought she wanted to keep Leo, she reminded herself why she couldn’t. She had three other dogs running around her household and two cats. It was already an animal shelter in her home! While she didn’t mind fostering him, she knew adding another dog to the mix would be a lot of work.
The biggest surprise was how well Leo seemed to fit right into her family. It could be that the other dogs loved Leo because Katie became a softie with them all. She started mixing in some chicken with their food, and all the dogs went crazy for the additional protein. Whether it was because Leo was a nice guy or the fact he scored them some human food, we’ll never know the true reason behind their friendship.
Would Katie give in to her adoption desires? Find out if she does by clicking ‘Next.’
Couldn’t Give Him Up
Every sign was pointing to Katie to keep Leo. She kept on telling herself that it would be too much work for her to keep him, but in the end, Katie just couldn’t give him up. Not only was he too cute, but he had such a lovable personality that Katie didn’t want to see him go.
Katie told herself that finding a home for him would take a lot of time, and she could end up feeling uncomfortable about who she gave him to. To prevent any additional problems, Katie Newhouser adopted Leo. Pit bulls are hard to rehome, but Katie didn’t have a problem with it all. She shared her story on the UPS dog lovers page because she wanted to inspire others to throw out the stigma that surrounded pit bulls. They are nothing but lovable creatures!
The story doesn’t stop here. See how hard it was for Leo to adjust by clicking ‘Next.’
A Big Adjustment
However, it wasn’t all paradise when she adopted Leo. Leo had a pretty big adjustment to the new home. He was used to living all by himself, so he had to learn to share the attention. Leo also used to be fed human food, but Katie doesn’t like when dogs beg at the table. It took a whole week for Leo to stop begging for the food on the table.
Thankfully, Leo eventually stopped begging for human food. While he does occasionally get some chicken mixed into his dog food, he no longer eats at the table and is fed as much human food as Tina used to feed him. It was a big adjustment to change from being the only animal to one of four dogs and two cats in the household. However, Leo loved it.
Click ‘Next’ to hear the heartbreaking story of how Leo grieved his past owner Tina
Katie Newhouser shared her grief over the loss of Tina with Leo. When Leo first came to their household, he would whine every night. It just about broke Katie’s heart knowing how much he missed Tina. This lasted for quite some time, and Katie began to worry he would never be happy again.
Dogs know when they lose someone, and Leo was grieving the loss of Tina like no other. It took a while for Leo to start to smile again and play around with the other dogs. However, Leo eventually began to be happy again. Katie mentions that Leo still gets sad sometimes. She can tell when he is having a hard day or missing Tina. Dogs don’t ever forget the people who mean most to them. Katie continues to love Leo through all the sadness and happiness.
Leo had it hard and couldn’t catch a break. Find out what happens to him by clicking ‘Next.’
Another adjustment that happened when Leo came to live with Katie was how often he would become sick. Katie wasn’t used to her other dogs getting sick, but Leo couldn’t shake the sickness he had. Leo spent a lot of time at the vet those first few months because he kept on having bad ear infections. He would be put on antibiotics, but Leo kept on getting them.
When Leo broke out in a rash on top of the ear infections, Katie felt horrible for Leo! She took him to the vet again, and finally, there were some answers given. They found out that Leo had an undiagnosed food allergy, so Katie changed his dog food. When that happened, Leo got much better, and he has been a happy camper ever since!
How is Leo now? Find out how he is doing with his new home by clicking ‘Next.’ It’s adorable!
Leo and His Siblings
No one expected that Leo would forever be living with the UPS driver that he fell in love with, but fate has a funny way of interjecting itself into our lives. While the loss of Tina was tragic for everyone involved, it brought together an amazing and beautiful story.
Today, Leo is happier than ever. He still misses Tina, but he is adapting wonderfully in his new home with Katie Newhouser. His favorite thing is to tease his sister Bailey by tapping her playfully until she chases him around the house. Also, Leo has a new best friend named Moose. He really enjoys being around the other dogs, and it has helped him to be an even better dog. It’s a good thing UPS drivers love dogs, otherwise who knows what could have happened to Leo.