He came a long way to happiness.

Kellan was found as a stray last winter, emaciated and so weak he could barely lift his head.  He was treated for some accompanying medical challenges by a shelter in Tennessee and responded to their care by showing a very sweet personality. But no one wanted to take him home from that shelter, and Kellan was one of the “Tennessee Three” dogs Top Dog Foundation brought up to TDF in February. He was still thin, but on the transport ride he barked to let us know he needed out at the very next exit, and then fell back asleep for the rest of the trip. That’s the kind of traveling companion you want.

If you are keeping a count, it’s 922 miles from Knoxville to New Germany, but it is not only the miles that will mark Kellan’s journey.

He spent some weeks with a wonderful foster, Lynn, who to this day tells us he “was a winner from day one.”  He flourished with Lynn, getting along famously with a kitten, two small dogs, and gaining weight and confidence.  He added on 58 miles moving to her home, with subsequent trips to our vets in Eden Prairie (some 60 miles round trip).

Enter Nicole and Allie. They were searching for a support dog for Allie as she navigated school and a teen’s life experiences.  Kellan and Allie found an almost immediate bond, and Kellan added another 78 miles to his odometer, moving home.

He has gained 28 pounds (so now he weighs more than 100), and is no longer thin. He sleeps upside down with happiness, and if you wish to search for his head, it is often on Allie’s lap. The biggest gift of all? Kellan has been certified as a therapy support dog, able to accompany Allie to school daily.

What could be better than that?

And if you are still keeping count, the journey is from emaciated and unable to lift his head to the capacity to lift hearts daily. At 100 pounds, and emanating sweetness, Kellan takes it all in a very big stride.

Along with Allie, he is still creating his story.

We look forward to the rest of the journey.

~ Mary Gustafson

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