Abbey Boyd first met a shy dog named Ted one early Saturday morning at her local animal shelter, where Boyd is a volunteer.
“He wouldn’t let me take him. Nobody could walk him for a day,” she said.
The dog was timid and scared, and he didn’t seem to want to warm up to anybody. Then Boyd tried something different. “I fed him cheese-flavored bacon strips to try to get him to love me,” Boyd told CBC.
Right there and then, Ted must have fallen in love. He started to pay attention to Boyd, who didn’t think it was that big of a deal. She went on to ask the maintenance guy to build Ted a bigger kennel because the one he was in was a bit small.
The next day, Boyd got up early in the morning to go to work at the airport. When she came back home later in the morning, she noticed a dog sitting on her deck, barking at her.
She didn’t immediately recognize the dog and was wary of approaching at first.
“Finally, I got up the gumption to just walk by him,” she said.
Still a bit timid, he ran past her to another part of her property. It took a try or two, but Boyd eventually lured him closer, and then she recognized a nick on the dog’s nose.
“That’s when I realized it had to be Ted.”
Boyd called the local SPCA shelter and found out that Ted had busted out of his kennel and escaped through the chain-linked fence. Then he made a 3 to 5-mile journey from the shelter to Boyd’s house—trekking past several suburban communities, plus ponds, lakes, and the airport to come to Boyd’s neighborhood.
But how Ted found her exact house and why he decided to come to her was a mystery that completely baffled Boyd.
“It’s just, it’s the weirdest, the most amazing thing that’s ever happened.”
Ted is a German Shepard and Akita mix, both breeds with a keen sense of smell. German Shepherds are a common police dog breed, and Akitas were historically bear hunters and good trackers.
Cheryl Sadler, an Akita breeder of 35 years, told CBC that these breeds “are more of a one-person dog.”
“They bond with one,” Sadler said, and Ted must have imprinted on Boyd.
Boyd said it could have been a “complete coincidence,” but that’s not what she believes.
“Everything’s a sign when it comes to animals,” said Boyd. “I can’t ignore a sign like that. He showed up at my house, out of how many people [that] live here? All the dogs. All the smells. He chose my house. Where I am.”
Since then, the two have been on many walks together, and Ted always stays close.
“It’s kind of put a new spin on my life,” Boyd said. She is in the process of adopting Ted and moving to a new apartment that allows for pets.
“[I’m going to] build my bond with him that apparently, he senses more than I do. [He’s] literally sitting on a platter ready to be loved and taken care of.”
“He’s coming with me,” she said. It looks like Ted has found his person!