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A stray dog kept showing up at a nursing home — residents finally adopted it

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

Now the story of a daring dog in Michigan. Detroit Free Press reporter John Carlisle recently introduced readers to Scout.

JOHN CARLISLE: Nobody knows anything about him. He was just picked up as a stray. The only clue to his age is that he has a little bit of gray in his face.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

As some of us have. Scout was a resident of the Antrim County Animal Shelter until he broke through the security perimeter.

(SOUNDBITE OF ADAM CLAYTON AND LARRRY MULLEN JR'S "THEME FROM MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE")

HEATHER BELKNAP: Turns out he can climb chain-link fences. So he climbed the seven-foot-tall chain-link fence.

FADEL: Heather Belknap, director of the animal shelter, says Scout headed for a building across the freeway.

BELKNAP: He would have crossed M-88 highway, which - it's a two-lane highway, but it still can be pretty busy.

INSKEEP: Jenny Martinek found Scout the next morning, sleeping on the couch in the lobby of the Meadow Brook nursing home.

JENNY MARTINEK: When he first came here, we put his bed in my office.

FADEL: And then the nursing home returned Scout to the animal shelter. But the next day, Scout came back. They returned him again, and he came back again, the very next day.

STEPHANIE ELSEY: For some reason he was just drawn over here.

INSKEEP: Stephanie Elsey also works at Meadow Brook.

ELSEY: Scout being here makes it feel much less like an institution and more like a loving family home.

FADEL: Scouts started roaming from room to room, visiting residents, getting his black-and-tan head scratched. Jenny Martinek says he's particularly good at comforting residents who aren't feeling well.

MARTINEK: We had a resident that he was really close to, and he would go into his room at night and put his cold, wet nose on our resident and wait for him to wake up.

INSKEEP: Oh, man. The dog is so popular, people are resorting to bribery to get his attention.

MARTINEK: A few residents keep dog biscuits in their walkers or in their bedside tables, and he knows where he can go to find them.

FADEL: And Scout is so much a part of Meadow Brook now that the nursing home officially adopted him.

MARTINEK: I can't imagine my life here without him. He is just a part of every part of my day.

INSKEEP: Some strays have to wait to be found, which is rough. Scout found a home on his own.

(SOUNDBITE OF SAXON SHORE'S "ANGELS AND BROTHERLY LOVE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

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