An 8-year-old German shepherd mix name Higgins drifted off to sleep Tuesday night for the first time in more than six years in a bed that was his very own.
The pooch found his “furever” home after being up for adoption 2,381 days — that’s six and a half years — at the Humane Society of Preble County in Eaton.
“I wanted him to get out of there and have a home for himself,” the 22-year-old said. “I wanted to give him a chance to live out the rest of his life in his own home.”
While many look past older dogs at shelters, Reed and his family have always known their value.
Reed’s mom, Michelle Reed, has adopted hard-to-place dogs from the Preble County shelter in the past.
“(People) don’t realize how much character an older dog has,” he said. “They just want the cutest (puppy) possible.”
Leslie Renner, the executive director of the Humane Society of Preble County, said that it warmed her heart when Reed walked in and said he was taking Higgins home Tuesday.
She got choked up talking about the possibility that he might not have gotten his shot to live with a family.
“It is sad to think,” she said.
Renner and her staff watched Higgins go from pup to senior.
He first arrived at the shelter as a puppy and was adopted out.
“He came back as a stray a year later and nobody came looking for him,” she said.
The shelter adopted out about 30 dogs a month.
Renner said Higgins remained in the shelter longer than any other dog in its history.
“When (dogs) get to be a couple of years old, people overlook them,” Renner said. “That is too bad because people miss out on some awesome dogs, and he was one of them.”
Higgins doesn’t like cats and would rather not hang out with other dogs.
Having a German shepherd’s mug probably didn’t help Higgins’ case either.
“He just has this serious expression on his face, and I think people were intimidated,” Renner said.
Reed says Higgins is settling in and even has his own area in the house.
Higgins knew exactly what to do when Reed told him it was bedtime.
“He’s a really sweet dog,” he said.