KING goes home

Fam­ily adopts miss­ing New­ton County man’s dog

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - KAYLA ROBINS krobins@cov­news.com

Hope­fully, King’s days of need­ing sav­ing are in the past.

He was the sole sur­vivor of a num­ber of dogs thought to have been thrown over a bridge on Hwy. 138 when he was six months old. He sur­vived eu­th­a­niza­tion through gassing, the sole re­main­der of about 10 dogs. Then, he re­turned alone four days af­ter go­ing on a walk with his owner, Robert “Bobby” Weaver, who has not been seen since that day in Septem­ber 2013. And with Bobby gone, King, who sur­vived so many times, needed help once more.

Now King has three dogs to play with and a fam­ily that pre­vented him from be­ing eu­th­a­nized again. When An­i­mal Med­i­cal of Cov­ing­ton Inc. gave King a tem­po­rary haven af­ter Weaver’s grand­mother, Eve­lyn Weaver, moved to In­di­ana and was un­able to care for the last thing she said she had of her grand­son, King needed sav­ing one last time.

“I read the ar­ti­cle in The News (from May 8, 2014), and some­thing said to me that is Bran­don’s dog,” said Cyn­thia Ballew. “I went to meet him be­fore I told Bran­don just to make sure.”

Her hus­band, Bran­don Ballew, said he was un­cer­tain about adopt­ing a pit­bull be­cause they have “such a bad rep­u­ta­tion.”

But they had to put their first dog down in May af­ter having him for 14 years. So they went to An­i­mal Med­i­cal, jok­ing about adopt­ing an­other dog. They cur­rently have Shelli, a 14-year-old black lab, Happi, a three-year-old Chi­huahua, and Princess Leia, a five-month-old Chi­huahua-yorkie mix.

“He shat­tered all the myths,” Bran­don Ballew said. “It’s al­most been too good to be true. I liked him from the first day I met him.”

Now about 70 pounds — he’s lost about 10 since tak­ing up res­i­dence with the Ballew fam­ily – King still acts like a large, ex­cited puppy.

He no longer eats peanut but­ter and jelly sand­wiches, but he still loves his treats, Bran­don Ballew said. He kept get­ting King toys, but he would eat through them all. Fi­nally, Bran­don Ballew found a bone that he has loved and not de­voured. And he likes play­ing with a soc­cer ball, which both Bran­don and Cyn­thia Ballew said was great since their whole fam­ily plays soc­cer.

“Ev­ery­body who meets him falls in love with him,” Bran­don Ballew said.

While King has a new, lov­ing home, full of soc­cer balls and diet dog food, and does not show any signs of his past trau­mas, the Ballews ac­knowl­edged their gift came from a tragic cir­cum­stance.

“Ideally, we’d love for him to be re­turned back to his orig­i­nal owner be­cause that would mean he’s safe,” Bran­don Ballew said. “Ob­vi­ously, we love him, and we’re glad we have him. But it’s some­thing great for us that’s come from a bad sit­u­a­tion.”

He said if Bobby Weaver were to be found, he would re­turn King to the man who fought at least twice to save him.

New­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice Sgt. Cort­ney Mor­ri­son said there were no new up­dates avail­able in the search for Weaver between the time of the last News ar­ti­cle in May and present.

In May, Eve­lyn Weaver of­fered a $4,000 re­ward for in­for­ma­tion lead­ing to Bobby Weaver’s lo­ca­tion or to the ar­rest and con­vic­tion of those re­spon­si­ble if foul play was in­volved in his dis­ap­pear­ance. Con­tact De­tec­tive Digby at 678-625-1448 or sub­mit anony­mous tips by call­ing 678-6255007 or email­ing anony­mousti­pline@new­ton­sh­er­if­fga.org.

He shat­tered all the myths. It’s al­most been too good to be true. I liked him from the first day I met him. — Bran­don Ballew King’s new owner

Dar­rell Everidge/The Cov­ing­ton News

Bran­don Ballew and King.

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