UPS drivers typically go on the same routes every day, so they form bonds with the dogs they meet. And some of them are even bring toys for their favorite dogs, and the pups reward them with kisses. So many special bonds were formed in this way, there is even a Facebook page, called The UPS Dogs. Here, drivers from all over the country are sharing their beautiful connections they make with the pups they meet on their ways.
It is also the case of Katie Newhouser, a UPS driver who had a great friendship with a gentle giant on her route, called Leo. Over the years, Katie also became close with Leo’s mom, Tina. Leo was found when he was a puppy and because he was very young and tiny Tina had to bottle-feed him. Leo thought of Tina as his mother, and the two formed an incredible bond. They did everything together!
“They were very very close and did everything together,” Katie told PEOPLE. “I don’t think that dogs ever forget anyone who they have been that close to.”
In July 2017, Katie found out in a Facebook post that Tina died. Devastated by the loss, the driver also was also worried about what would happen to Leo. Katie contacted Tina’s son, Cannon, and asked if he was taking the dog. But Cannon was an active duty Marine, and so he couldn’t take Leo in. Therefore, she decided to adopt him.
“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…. his owner passed away and now he lives with me,” Katie wrote on the UPS Dogs Facebook page. As the woman already had three dogs, she was a little bit worried about they would react when they’ll first see Leo.
“It was probably confusing for him at first, [but] he has adapted well,” says Katie. “He and his brother Moose are inseparable. Bailey, his sister, has taken a while to come around, [but] they actually play now … once Leo was introduced into the house, the whole vibe changed.”
And despite losing his beloved owner, Leo became familiar with his new family member, thinking about he was welcomed with open arms and a lot of love.
“Leo missed Tina when he first got here,” Katie said. “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.”