The underdog has triumphed.
Maui, an 8-year-old pit bull who had spent nearly a year at the Animal Rescue League of Berks County has scored a new home. He was adopted last Friday by Tom Bennethum of Grill.
One of Bennethum's tenants saw the Jan. 19 Reading Eagle article about Maui and mentioned it to him.
"She knows I go for lost causes," Bennethum said. "Every dog I've had has a sad story."
Just before Thanksgiving Bennethum had to put down Juda, his beloved Fila Brasileiro (also known as a Brazilian mastiff), and the year before he had to say goodbye to his pit bull mix Babygirl.
Bennethum, 51, said Maui is the fourth rescue dog he has adopted since 2003.
"He follows me around everywhere," Bennethum said, noting Maui's favorite spot is in a dog bed next to his recliner. "He's an excellent dog. He's not tearing anything up. As long as he can see me, he's happy."
Bennethum said he used to be an Eagles season-ticket holder before he shattered his ankles 16 years ago, but has not seriously followed them since. He will be tuning into the Super Bowl on Sunday, with Maui by his side.
While Maui has found a home, there are many other underdogs still in need.
Aria was originally pulled from a shelter in Houston during Hurricane Harvey in August by the ASPCA in New York.
The 50-pound mix came to Char-Wills German Shepherd Rescue in New Ringgold, Schuylkill County, in September and has been looking for a foster or permanent home.
Why is she an underdog? She does not like any cats and most dogs, she is heartworm positive and she is small as far as shepherds go.
"People looking for a German shepherd typically want one in the 70- to 100-pound range," said Diane Buhl, founder of Char-Wills Rescue.
Aria has received pretreatment medications, but needs a foster home so she can begin heartworm treatment, Buhl said. She needs to be kept quiet and inactive after receiving her first injection, which is virtually impossible in the shelter setting, Buhl added.
The rescue will pick up the cost of treatment, but she will need to make two visits to a veterinarian in Tamaqua.
Once she has recovered, Aria can show off something she has in common with injured Philadelphia Eagles running back Darren Sproles. She loves running with the ball. The rescue made a video of her playing fetch.
"She loves, loves, loves people," Buhl said.
Aria also is eager to learn and mastered the "sit" command quickly.
She just might win over fans like Sproles did with his permformance.Contact Susan E. Miers Smith: email@example.com or 610-371-5048.