Happy Tail: Home was a long time coming for Lester


Nine years! That’s how long Lester was at Animal Welfare League of Clark County in Ohio. He was a very fearful dog, and though the staff worked with him to make him more appealing to potential adopters, no one chose Lester.

Lester shows his appreciation with a smile.

Lester shows his appreciation with a smile.

And then one day, the miracle happened. Someone called about Lester, after seeing his listing on Petfinder. The someone was Pete Zupan of Columbus, Ohio. He had Lester and other dogs on his “watch” list while he waited for things in his life to fall into place so he could adopt.

“I wanted someone big and fluffy and, like most people, I wanted a puppy, but I tried not to limit my choices,” Pete says. “When adoption month actually came, I decided to call about the dogs that were still on my list, including a litter of puppies I wanted to look at.”

He called the Animal Welfare League, and the person who answered was really surprised he was asking about Lester. “You know he’s probably 10 years old, right?” the person asked.

Well, no, he didn’t actually. “It took me aback,” Pete says, “but I thought about it for the night. I figured I should go see him at least and, if anything, I could go to see the puppies afterward.”

At the shelter, they brought Lester in. He was like “a very shy little bear, with some matted fur on his leg and fading eyes,” Pete says. “He came up to me when I sat on the floor and just looked at me, and then I petted him under his chin.” Lester gave an almost indiscernible tail wag and sniffed him. “I adopted him that same day.”

Now, six months later, Lester is doing amazing, according to Pete. “He has settled down and now sleeps either on his bed in the living room or inside my closet (his choice!) most of the day. When I get home he stuffs his head in my armpit and gives me a few tiny licks on the nose.”

They go to the dog park, where people admire Lester and ask what breed he is. Pete just says he’s his little bear. “I may not have him as long as a puppy, but he’s my first ‘forever’ dog and I’m so glad that I get to be the one to make the last years of his life comfortable and full of adventure.”

Pete Zupan has bestowed an incredible gift by providing Lester with a loving home for his golden years. It’s an exemplary act of kindness.