Kindhearted UPS driver adopts dog she met on her route after owner dies

(INSIDE EDITION) - A kindhearted UPS Diver in California has adopted a friendly dog that she met along her route after his owner passed away.

Katie Newhouser formed a bond with the pit bull, Leo, as he would often greet her during one of her stops in Rancho Cucamonga.

Newhouser said Leo would hop in her truck when she drove into his owner Tina’s condo complex. So when she found out Tina had died, she wanted to step in and help.

“When I found out that Tina had passed away, I was in shock and disbelief,” Newhouser told InsideEdition.com. "I got to know Tina through Leo. As is the case with many of my customers that I have become friends with, I generally will know the dog’s name before their name."

Tina’s son Cannon, who had adopted Leo when he was just a puppy, was away and Newhouser didn’t want Tina’s mom to have to worry about Leo.

“I let him know that I would take care of Leo until he returned. They had enough to deal with,” she said.

She took Leo into her home, but said it was very rough for the canine in the beginning because he had been so close to Tina.

“He would whine just before falling asleep at night," Newhouser said. "I really do feel that he was missing Tina."

Eventually, however, Leo began to bond with one of Newhouser’s other dogs, Moose, and that helped him adjust.

Newhouser said Tina’s family eventually agreed it would be best for Leo to remain with her permanently as he had already bonded with her five other dogs and seemed happy.

"I feel that this was the best-case scenario for him. He knew me already and I feel as though there was a huge bond already between us,” Newhouser said. "He always is the first to greet me at the door when I come home and the one who is always closest to me when I sleep.

Newhouser said she believes all things happen for a reason and that Tina can now know her best friend is taken care of.

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