Dog Waits by Home for Owners to Return — for Three Years

Chen the Chow was abandoned, but he wouldn't believe it. Now, he has the home he deserves.


Three years ago, Chen the Chow’s owners abandoned their house in Atlanta. They abandoned Chen the Chow, too, but he didn’t know it — or he refused to believe it. Since then, he’s been living outside the empty home awaiting their return, according to

“He was waiting and waiting for his people to come home,” Lisa Renstrom of Chap’s Chow Rescue said. “He absolutely would not leave that house. The people on either side would throw rocks and try to chase him away. He would not leave.”

Neighbors saw the dog every day outside the Gwinnett County home, and they didn’t like it. He slept in the carport. He wandered the yard. He scavenged for food in a nearby Kroger grocery store through the woods, but he always came back to the house. He would not leave.

Finally, one of the neighbors told Renstrom about the dog, and she took action. Over a period of weeks, she gained the trust of the dog by offering food. Then she took him into her care at Chap’s Chow Rescue and set about finding him a forever home.

It didn’t take long. Ben Rupp of Ohio had been scouring sites looking for a new dog. He had just lost his own Chow of 13 years, named Goldie. Ben believes the dogs looked similar, and he felt a connection. He immediately booked a private plane and flew to Georgia.

“His features are very similar to my old dog,” Rupp said. “The pictures and the story, it all came together.”

It came together for Renstrom, too. Although she had grown fond of Chen, she said goodbye to him on the tarmac. The loyal, faithful dog, who spent three years alone waiting for his owners to return, who refused to believe he had been abandoned, now has the home and the owner he deserves.


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