There is an old cliche that dogs hate the mailman, seen throughout newspaper comic strips; cartoon images show mail carriers being chased off by ornery guard dogs.
That was, of course, before friendly UPS drivers were taking photos with the pooches they encountered. The Facebook page UPS Dogs encourages drivers to post pictures of the pups they encounter on a daily basis.
While adorable dogs can be found in every post, none has inspired like the post made by driver Katie Newhouser, who manages the Facebook page, on May 4, 2017.
Katie Newhouser, a UPS driver in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, was always excited to see Leo, a loving pit bull on her route.
“This is Leo…he would always start barking as I pulled into the condo complex……He would always jump into my truck when I stopped,” Newhouser wrote in a post on Facebook.
Newhouser got word in October 2016 that Leo’s owner, Tina, passed away. Moving trucks cleaned out the apartment before she was able to find out where the dog was going.
For several days, Newhouser called local shelters, trying to find out what happened to him. She learned that Leo was at Tina’s son’s house, a temporary solution as he was going to be deployed by the military soon.
The UPS driver decided to foster Leo until a long-term solution materialized. With three dogs of her own, she wasn’t looking to add another.
“The whole vibe in the house changed as soon as we brought him home,” Newhouser said.
“He is the biggest, most lovable dog that you will ever meet,” Newhouser said via Action Jax News. “He was instantly running around the yard with my dogs.”
The transition was smooth, though not seamless. Leo was showing signs that he missed Tina.
While he spent his day running around with the other pups, he spent his nights howling with despair.
“He would whine at night before he would fall asleep. It was heartbreaking, really. He still does every once in a while. I know he misses her,” Newhouser said.
Newhouser and Leo developed a close bond. She no longer wanted to be his foster home — she wanted to keep him forever.
Families can come together in a number of unexpected ways. Newhouser wasn’t planning to adopt a dog, but Leo needed her and she rose to the occasion.
The two were lucky to find each other, and she is undoubtedly glad she opened up her home to him.
Now, Newhouser’s Facebook page is filled with photos of Leo and all of his canine companions. He is as loved as he’s ever been, and with some dog cohorts to romp around with all day, never lacking in entertainment.