Heroes do exist, maybe they don’t wear capes or fly, but they do other amazing things. One of those heroes is Dustin Kelley.
Kelley decided one day to check out the dogs at his local shelter when one caught his eye. He saw a Golden retriever named Zeus who was not like the other animals, he was just sitting in the corner of his cage, hanging his head.
Even though Kelley didn’t really think of adoption, however when he found out that the sad-looking dog was scheduled to be euthanized the next day due to overcrowding, he changed his mind.
The shelter didn’t really want to give Zeus to Kelley saying that the pup was basically “unadoptable” due to his habit of baring his teeth.
“The shelter told me that he had ‘aggressive behaviors’ like, meaning his smile. They also claimed that he likely wouldn’t be a very good dog because he was untrained and antisocial. But I was drawn to the sad boy in the corner of his kennel, and I said I’d take him home and if he turned out to not be a good fit in my home at least I gave him a few weeks of life“ said Kelley to The Dodo.
After Kelley saw Zeus’ smile for the first time, he was surprised. It was not what he expected.
“The shelter attendant took him out of his kennel and brought him to the lobby so we could leave. Not going to lie, it definitely freaked me out a bit at first.”
The pup was first very shy, traumatized, and wouldn’t even wag his tail let alone smile, however after some time he got used to his new family.
„After those first three months, he started to smile all day every day, and that’s when I realized he was showing his teeth because he was excited, not because he was mad. I think once he finally realized that I wasn’t going to give up on him and that this was his home now, he really opened up … and his loving, goofy personality started to shine.” states Kelley.
And today, five years later, Zeus’ smile has become his lovable trademark.
“Everyone loves it! It usually makes strangers laugh, and they want to give him tons of affection once they see it. He’s typically the highlight of the day at his vet’s office, the groomer, pet store, Starbucks, and other places we frequent. Once they see him coming they’ll yell to their coworkers, ‘The smiling golden is back!’ And everyone will rush out to see him.” concludes Kelley.