Sand Springs -
The Tulsa Boys' Home welcomed its newest (and perhaps most anticipated) resident Monday... One that is wagging his tail to be there!
Twister is a nearly one-year-old chocolate lab that survived the Moore tornado. His owners never came forward to claim him, so a training organization called A New Leash on Life sent him to a prison facility to receive training to become a therapy dog. Now, staff at the Boys' Home hope he will be a source of comfort for its residents.
"So many of the boys, they have anger issues that they're struggling to work with and it's just tough to be angry when you've got a little puppy licking your face," said Tulsa Boys' Home Youth Minister Jeff Johnson. He said he has become something of a "K9 Administrator" ever since he found an abandoned terrier on the grounds several weeks ago. He said the boys warmed to the terrier very quickly and wanted to keep it. However, the dog did not get along with the facility's horses, and staff found it a new home. Johnson said the boys continued to ask daily for a dog.
Staff learned about Twister and decided to adopt him. Twister will continue to undergo training sessions with professionals to advance his therapy training. Johnson said the boys are already assigned tasks on how to care for him.
There are 64 boys at the Tulsa Boys' Home. Some are there for treatment for substance abuse, some need placement outside the home, and some are wards of the state.
"Just goes to show like, can't judge a book by its cover too," said resident Nathaniel Keene-Harp, 18. He said Twister is energetic and does not show any signs of trauma from the storms. He said the dog will inevitably make the residents smile.
Trainers said Twister is likely one-year-old sometime around October 1st. The Boys' Home is working on planning a birthday celebration.
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Tuesday marks Tulsa Public Schools' eighth snow day and ninth day out of classes for the year. The district is deciding how to make up missed class time, and parents are wondering if their family vacations will be affected.