This Dog Returned To The Same Shelter 11 Times Before They Discovered His Secret
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This Dog Returned To The Same Shelter 11 Times Before They Discovered His Secret

Over the centuries, we have taken wild canines and domesticated them to become man’s best friend.

Most dogs are overjoyed to be part of a human family.

They become bonded with the family and will do almost anything to stay with them, and many of them become protectors of especially the smaller members of the family.

But some dogs seem to be meant to walk the road of life alone. They never find their niche…yet, they are always searching.

Gumby, a white hound in Charleston, NC has become somewhat of a celebrity in his hometown for finding his niche in life in the most unusual fashion.

When he showed up at the Charleston Animal Society (CAS), shelter workers were certain they could find the perfect home for Gumby.

He was well mannered, beautiful, and had an outgoing and loving personality.

Since they pride themselves on a being a no-kill shelter, it is imperative that all animals that come through their doors find a home as soon as possible.

After all, the shelter needs to make room for the unending stream of unwanted animals that find their way to them.

Sure enough, as they had expected, Gumby was almost immediately adopted by a wonderful family.

The shelter workers said goodbye, wished Gumby good luck, and began to work on finding a home for the next dog in line.

But, then, the totally unexpected happened:

Wonderful, well-mannered, happy-go-lucky Gumby returned to the shelter!

Seems he wasn’t happy in his new home, and as unhappy dogs are wont to do, he had been quite mischievous.

So much so that the new family decided they wanted a different dog.

The shelter was disappointed they had to take Gumby back but their doors are always open. It’s what they do.

So, they put him back up for adoption. And very quickly, someone else was certain that Gumby was meant to be their dog.

But strangely, the same thing happened again!

Just a few days after being adopted, there he was again. Back at the shelter.

And again, the shelter managed to find a home for the seemingly fantastic dog…and again, Gumby returned. What was going on?

A couple of times he was brought to the shelter by animal control when he was picked up for being someplace he wasn’t supposed to be.

Eleven times Gumby left the shelter. Eleven times he came back. He never did anything terrible.

In fact, every person who brought him back did so almost in tears. He was loving and endearing…but just obviously very unhappy.

This isn’t an uncommon story for a hound actually. They are very willful and stubborn and if they are unhappy, they make sure everyone knows.

Hounds make one of the most wonderful pets possible….if they are happy.

The shelter decided they needed to figure out what it would take to make Gumby happy.

Finally, it dawned on someone that the one time they saw Gumby with tail wagging and happy hound smile on his face was when he was being returned to the shelter.

Gumby considered the SHELTER to be his owner! His home. His family.

He hadn’t become an escape artist in an attempt to get away from his new family.

He had done so in an attempt to get back to his old one!

So, the next time, and the last time, that Gumby was adopted, he became an official part of the shelter family.

His new adoptive family was the only family he’d ever wanted.

And Gumby’s tail wagged and his face had a satisfied smile again! He was home!

It wasn’t hard for the folks at CAS to justify adopting Gumby; they simply stated that he kept returning to them because he had work to do.

Work? What on earth can a cute little hound do at an animal shelter?

Well, for one thing, Gumby makes a great companion for dogs that come into the shelter and are heartbroken at losing their owners or frightened by all the changes, sounds and smells.

He has also become a blood donor for animals that come in sick and injured.

One of his first heroic saves was a litter of kittens that needed help. And Gumby was happy to help!

Gumby also has a job going with volunteers for canine behavioral seminars and other shelter-related PR events.

The staff at CAS were true heroes for realizing what Gumby needed.

Gumby is just surprised it took them that long to figure it out!

Welcome Home, Gumby! Sounds like you are finally exactly where you belong.

We should all be so lucky! 🙂

Source: Honest To Paws

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Benjamin Stephen Dutka is a journalist, writer and editor with over two decades of experience. He has worked with three newspapers and eight online publications, including the Norwich Bulletin, Hartford Courant,,, and PoiseMedia, Inc. He also won a Connecticut short story contest entitled Art as Muse, Imaginary Realms, and has a penchant for rowing, reading, video games, and Objectivism.

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