Every time Leo the pitbull saw UPS driver Katie Newhouser pull her big brown truck into his condo complex, the sweet pup absolutely lost his mind.
“Whenever I’d turn up at the complex, he’d apparently go crazy, and he’d want to come down and see me,” Newhouser said. “He just took a liking to me for some reason. He’d always come up and lick me.”
Leo would also jump into her truck. “He would sit there and sniff around,” Newhouser said. “When I had to leave, he didn’t want to get out.”
Katie finally met Leo and his owner Tina officially one day when they were out for a walk.
“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.”
This routine lasted for more than a year — Newhouser would arrive, Leo would race out to her and cover her with kisses.
But last October, Leo’s world would change forever.
“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.”
Katie tried calling Tina’s cell phone number, but every call went straight to voicemail. Finally, Katie checked Tina’s Facebook page and realized the tragic truth… Tina had passed away.
Katie contacted Tina’s son, Cannon, and offered to watch Leo when he left for Marine Corps.
“I said [to Cannon], ‘I’ll take Leo until you can come back and get him from your training,’” Newhouser said. “And he said, ‘That’s fine.’ And then I picked him up that following Saturday.”
“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 had a really hard time those first weeks after Tina passed away. Katie would often wake up in the middle of the night and hear Leo whining and crying, missing his owner.
Thankfully, Leo has two new siblings to spend time with and lots of love from Katie. After a few weeks living in his new home, Leo began to settle in for good.
Katie stepped up for Leo when no one else would. She took the pup in, loved on him and helped assure him that he was home forever.
Our hearts go out to Leo, but we’re sure glad that he found Katie.
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