“She jumped up on him and ran up to him… he had a big ol’ smile on his face.”
Kris Robinson was sitting in the Senatobia-Tate County Animal Shelter’s front office when she noticed someone walking across the yard. A young man was crossing the lawn, closely followed by a dog.
“He told the dog to stay outside, and she just sat down,” Robinson, the shelter’s acting director, told The Dodo. “He came in and asked if you could take my dog.”
Robinson explained that the shelter was full, but she could see the teen needed assistance — and a little luck. “He kinda dropped his head and said, ‘I don’t have a place to live.'” I’m currently living under a bridge, and I simply cannot afford to care for her… I hope she stays when I leave to look for work, and so far she has been there when I return, but I’m just worried about her.”
Robinson noticed how attached the dog, Jada, was to her father, so she took his information and had him fill out a relinquishment form. “She really clung to him,” Robinson said. “He was kind of stepping around, and she was clinging to his leg.” “She’d get close to him and sit down — she was terrified.”
Robinson noticed the teen wiping his face as he walked away from the shelter, where he had left a bag of dog food. Robinson brought Jada into the office to decompress, but she was clearly perplexed as to why her father wasn’t there.
“She got up on one of the chairs and looked out the window,” Robinson explained. “I went in the back to clean, and when I checked on her, she was just laying there with her food.”
By the next day, Jada was feeling more at ease around Robinson, but Robinson knew that no one could ever replace Jada’s father. She decided to share the dog’s story on Facebook in order to gain some community support. But she had no idea how much attention her post would receive.
“I wanted to draw attention to what this kid did and his character,” Robinson explained. “He didn’t want anything for himself; he just wanted to make sure [Jada] was okay.”
Soon, offers to foster the dog came in from all over the country, but Robinson knew they could do better.
Robinson contacted a local family, who offered to house both the teen and his dog, but the young man was hesitant to accept the offer. “I had contacted him and told him, ‘Look, these people want to help you,'” Robinson explained. “‘What do you mean?’ he asked. Do they plan on adopting her? ‘May I see her first?’ “I told him, ‘No, buddy, they want to help you.'”
When the teen returned to the shelter with the family to pick up Jada, their reunion couldn’t have been more heartwarming.
“She ran up to him and jumped on him,” Robinson explained. “He was just adoring her with a big ol’ smile on his face.”
Jada and her father have finally found a place to call home — together. Jada is receiving the medical attention she requires, and the teen is able to concentrate on his studies.
“He’s finishing up high school, and then he’s going to take some classes at a local city college and go to the dentist — things he’s never done before,” Robinson explained.
Robinson is overjoyed that there is now one less dog in the shelter and one less child on the street.