PHILADELPHIA (WIS) – A friend’s photo of a college student and her newly-adopted dog has gone viral – and their love story is even more endearing once you hear it.
Kayla Filoon is a 20-year-old sophomore at Temple University in Philadelphia and has always loved dogs. Most college students don’t have time for the responsibility of owning a dog, but Filoon could not help it.
“I have been tempted to adopt a dog before. There were a few who I had really fallen in love with, however, it had never been the right time or circumstances,” Filoon said.
From the first time she saw Russ, a 4-year-old pit bull brought into ACCT Philly, she said they both knew they would be in each other’s lives.
“I look over to see Russ still sitting there, gazing at me as if he knew I was going to be his mommy some day,” Filoon said. “I couldn’t resist so I took him out and that is when I fell in love!”
Russ did have some issues, however. The former stray was underweight with an injured tail, an eye infection, irritated skin, and kennel cough. But Filoon gravitated to him as she walked dogs for the city’s largest animal shelter and control center. She used her time there as a stress reliever.
Their bond began when she would take Russ out of his kennel and walk him, give him treats, and give him attention. A trip to Chick-fil-A and a song on the radio – “A Sky Full of Stars’ by Coldplay – fueled Filoon’s decision to adopt Russ, she told TODAY.
She says he has not left her side since.
Their inseparability shows in the now-viral photo of Russ pressed up against his mom as she does her homework. Thousands of shares and likes on Facebook and animal advocates laud Filoon’s adoption of this sweet and loving dog.
Kayla’s aunt, Jamie Holt, shared the photo on Feb. 6.
“He is always that snuggly and wonderful! In the beginning, I had thought that he was just so sweet and cuddly because he had been drained from being on the streets and in the shelter,” Filoon said. “However, two weeks later and he is still constantly lying with me, cuddling me, and just loving me! It is a shame because when I walk him around campus people seem to look nervous and even walk to the other side of the street, but only if they knew how sweet this boy really is!”
She says Russ also loves to cuddle with her six roommates when she’s in class and really just wants to be loved and sheltered.