Dustin Kelley was at his local shelter to check out the rescue dogs when one of them caught his eye. Unlike most of the pups that were barking and begging for attention, one golden retriever was doing nothing but sit in the corner of his kennel.
At that time, Dustin had no plan on adopting a dog. However, after finding out that the sad-looking pup will be euthanized the next day because of overcrowding, he quickly had a change of mind. The shelter explained that they were not keen on having Dustin take the dog named Zeus home. That was because he has this habit of baring his teeth, making him “unadoptable.”
According to the shelter staff, Zeus had “aggressive behaviors” and that includes his smile. It was also unlikely that Zeus would be a very good dog since he was not trained and antisocial. However, Dustin was already drawn to Zeus, so he chose to take him home. Dustin thought that if it turned out that Zeus was not a good fit, at least he was able to give him a good life for a few weeks.
After Dustin filled out the adoption papers, the staff brought Zeus to the lobby for him to take the pup home. That was the first time Dustin saw Zeus’ smile and, admittedly, it freaked him out a bit.
Zeus remained to be that sad dog even after spending three months at his new home. However, when Dustin finally earned his trust, Zeus started to smile all day every single day. That was when Dustin realized that Zeus does not bare his teeth because he is mad. Instead, he is excited.
Dustin believes that Zeus finally realized that he was not giving up on him, so the pup started to open up and let his personality shine. Five years later, that big smile became Zeus’ lovable trademark. According to Dustin, everyone loves his dog’s smile. Strangers often laugh and give Zeus lots of affection whenever they see it.
Typically, Zeus is the highlight of the day whether he is at the vet, groomer, pet store, or café. When people see him coming, they would yell and say that the smiling golden is back. Then, everyone would rush out to see Zeus.
There could not be any more perfect dog for Dustin than Zeus. According to him, Zeus was there for him during the worst days of his life. He smiled because of the pup’s smile. And, although Dustin adopted Zeus, for him, his dog was the one who rescued him.
Credit: Dustin Kelley