A Seattle family made a 1,200-mile trip to San Diego, California to pick up their new four-legged friend, Harvey, after falling in love with his “silly grin” caused by a facial disfigurement.
Sherry Lankston and her two sons began their journey to the Golden State last week after seeing a message from the San Diego County Department of Animal Services about an animal up for adoption whose face has an endearing lopsided smile.
Harvey, a one-and-a-half-year-old Husky, was posted Feb. 10 by the Southern California Animal Service saying the pup was looking for a good home and family.
Lankston, who used to live in San Diego, responded to the post saying she knew what needed to be done.
“I saw that silly grin and knew we had to meet him. It’s been a few years since we were able to visit our friends and favorite places in San Diego, so why not? Road trip,” Lankston recalled CBS8 San Diego.
Harvey the husky was adopted by a Seattle family who drove from Washington to pick him up
Harvey is already adjusting to his new family and has gotten used to his new fur friend, River
This is Harvey, a one and a half year old husky who was recently adopted from San Diego
Sherry Lankston and her two sons made a 4,200 mile round trip from Seattle, Washington to San Diego, California to pick up the husky
“Harvey is a calm and gentle husky who gets along well with other dogs and loves treats,” reads the post from the San Diego animal shelter.
Harvey has a facial defect that doesn’t bother him, but gives him a crooked smile. I think it makes him even more likeable. He also walks like a dream on a leash,” the post continued.
The hilarious and adorable photos caught Lankston’s attention and asked how Harvey would fare with cats, dogs and her kids.
Joy Ollinger, the humane officer who created the post, said she believed Harvey would be great with other animals and would be good with children as well.
Then the idea began to boil for the Seattle mom, who replied that she was “easy to convince” to take the ride.
“We’re in Seattle right now, but I can easily be convinced to visit our friends in San Diego and bring home a love bug,” Lankston replied. “I wasn’t actively looking for a new furbaby, but this guy’s sweet face has me swooning.”
Luckily, Lankston said her kids were out of school in the middle of winter and they were more than interested in picking up a new fur friend.
Within days, the Lankston family packed up their car and hit the road, not knowing if Harvey had been captured.
The mom documented the family’s road trip in a series of posts, all with “#HarveytheHusky.”
Lankston and her sons kept her Facebook friends and followers updated along the way
The family trekked through the historic winter storm to reach San Diego for the pup
This is the Lankston family on day three of their multi-day trip from Washington to California
The disfigurement of the pup’s face gives him a unique and endearing grin
The family picked up the husky from the shelter in San Diego on Saturday morning
‘Here we go. Heading to San Diego,” she wrote on Feb. 19. Day 1 Operation meets #Harveythehusky. (Note: If he’s adopted before we get there… I’ll still be happy.)’
Lankston added a selfie of herself in the car with her kids and her other “friendly dog” to show how serious the mission was.
She continued to share updates along the way until they reached San Diego, even as the family got stuck in the middle of the winter storm that hit California.
But finally, the family arrived in Southern California on Wednesday and set out to find their new lover.
The family met Harvey mid-week and instantly fell in love, according to Lankston.
“There’s nothing sad about an animal finding its forever home. We will be very happy for him and enjoy visiting our friends and soaking up the sun before heading back north,” Lankston shared.
Harvey was supposed to go home with Lankston and her family.
Lankston and her son picked out Harvey the husky early Saturday morning.
Social media users applauded the devoted mom for her efforts and thanked her for adopting the sweet dog.
‘Yes!! What a loving family!! Thank you for adopting this sweetheart,” someone said.
‘Now that’s a real loving family! I’m sure it was well worth the 2,600 mile drive. Something I would have done. Thanks,” wrote another.
“God bless the family of love shown with their actions on the journey to get such a beautiful husky, it deserved a loving home and family,” said another Facebook commenter.
This was the original message from Joy Ollinger and the San Diego County Department of Animal Services
Harvey was described by Ollinger as a “quiet and gentle” husky
The pup will now be in good company alongside his new human brothers and the family’s other dog
As of Sunday, February 26, Lankston and her sons are still on the road.
The family is making the 1,000-mile trek home through Northern California and is focused on welcoming their new pup to their family when they get back.
Ollinger now says she hopes the story inspires others to look at the available animals.
“Shelters are bursting at the seams with amazing animals that would make excellent pets,” Ollinger told CBS 8.
The real heroes in this story are those of the San Diego Dept. Or Animal Services,” Lankston said. “They are currently understaffed and have SO MANY sweet loving dogs that need a chance.”