Dogs are extremely intelligent animals and they can display a full range of emotions. Like humans, the dogs often show their emotions with their bodies or facial expressions. You’ve seen dogs look quizzical, angry, or fearful but what about grateful? That was the tone expressed in this amazing viral photo of a newly-adopted shelter dog.
15. Kayla Fillon
Kayla is a college student in Philadelphia. She volunteered at her local animal shelter and walked dogs. One day she was struck by the quiet demeanor of one such dog, a pit bull named Russ. Looking at Russ’ face, Kayla knew she loved this dog.
Russ was just 4 years old, but he was sickly. He had been found as a stray and had a kennel cough, a common respiratory virus. Not only did he have the cough, but also had an eye infection and a skin infection. Kayla also noticed he was underweight, but none of these issues mattered.
13. The Pup Stood Out
Russ was looking sweetly at Kayla and she was smitten. He had had only been at the shelter for two weeks when Kayla spotted him. She said, “I thought he was adorable. I need to take him now.”
12. Calm and Cool
Kayla came back to check on the pup after she walked her other charges. Russ spotted her and had a strange reaction. Kayla told Today.com, “He was very still and watching as if he knew I was going to be his mommy one day.” She decided to walk him like she had the other dogs.
11. A Special Dog
Russ’ behavior was unusual to Kayla. Not only was he not barking or cowering from fear, he was just sitting in his kennel like it was the most natural thing in the world. She took him out to the shelter yard to play with him and marveled at how well he behaved. He even took treats gently from her. The two walked for 45 minutes.
10. Falling in Love
This brief interaction was all she needed. “I fell in love,” she said to Today. She couldn’t get the pup off her mind and even told her mom about him. She knew she had to take Russ home and decided to go visit him the next day.
9. Hanging Out with Russ
The next day, Russ and Kayla went for a drive. She stopped by a local Chick-fil-A restaurant and snagged the two of them some snacks. He happily sat in her lap and the two listened to music. One song in particular told her that adopting Russ was the right decision.
8. Sky Full of Stars
That song was Coldplay’s “Sky Full of Stars,” a track from their 2014 album Ghost Stories. The lyrics hit Kayla with their poignancy, especially the opening lines of “‘Cause you’re a sky, ’cause you’re a sky full of stars /I’m gonna give you my heart.” It was a sign: Russ had to be hers.
7. Adopting Russ
Kayla drove Russ back and decided to put in an application for adoption. The shelter was overcrowded and she knew that she needed to move quick to adopt Russ. Overcrowded shelters have to euthanize animals to make room for more strays.
6. A New Life for Russ
The application was approved and she took home her new love. Russ quickly found a great new life with his new mom and her six roommates. She was able to help him find relief for his skin issue with some medicated baths and the kennel cough is gone. Kayla snuggles with him in bed and he often can be found walking around the campus with her. The pup also developed one sweet habit…
5. Cuddle Buddies
Russ loves to cuddle with his mother and stays close by her side. It’s a great image for pit bull lovers to see, especially since the breed is a controversial one. Speaking to Today.com, Kayla said, “The bond we have is incredible. He does not leave my side.” The two had no idea how amazing their relationship and bond would be but soon, one photo would say it all.
4. Love Bug
Kayla described her pup as a “love bug” and yes, photos show he definitely is! Even if she was working on homework or watching TV, Russ needed to be right there with his mom. “There was a whole other sofa open, and we had his bed on the floor, but he didn’t want to lie anywhere else. So he ends up positioning himself, and I look down, and I think, “Oh my gosh, look at him.”
3. Studying Together
It was an ordinary night and Kayla was studying for school. Her major is human resource management and she was in the middle of doing her homework. Russ had been glued to her side since his adoption and this night was no exception. Jamie Holt, Kayla’s aunt, snapped this sweet photo and didn’t anticipate the reaction it would get.
2. Going Viral
After sharing the photo, Jamie was surprised by how quickly it went viral. She attached an important message: “And THIS right here people is why you should adopt!!! My niece and her newly adopted ACCT Philly dog of less than 2 weeks. Talk about being grateful. There are just no words to truly describe the sweetness in this photo.”
1. The Internet Reacts
People were thrilled to see the love between these two and commented on the beautiful relationship. People said things like “my heart melted” and “dogs are full of unconditional love.” Kayla was grateful to see the photo go viral and it drew a lot of attention to the shelter ACCT Philly. Now Russ’ fans can see the dog’s happy life at his own Facebook page and maybe adopt a dog of their own at a local shelter.