Steamboat couple adopts dog that was Humane Society’s longest resident |

Steamboat couple adopts dog that was Humane Society’s longest resident

From left, Waylon poses with his new family, Joey and Tracy Colombo and his brother, Louie. The Colombos adopted Waylon, formerly Chunky Monkey, from the Routt County Humane Society last week after seeing that he was the nonprofit's longest resident.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

A dog that had spent about eight months at the Routt County Humane Society and earned the title as the longest inhabitant at the shelter, was adopted by a Steamboat Springs family last week. 

Formerly known as Chunky Monkey, the dog has a new name symbolizing a new beginning. 

Not long after losing the family’s cocker spaniel, Sully, in July, Tracy Colombo was already thinking of getting another dog. She and her husband, Joey, still had their 10-year-old chihuahua, Louie, but Tracy wanted to adopt another to be a two-dog household again. 

Tracy kept tabs on which pups were available at Routt County Humane Society, looking for a smaller dog to get along with Louie, but the shelter rarely had little dogs. She noticed a 5-year-old shepherd mix named Chunky Monkey was on the list for a while, but he wasn’t quite what she was picturing.

However, when she saw a Steamboat Pilot & Today article saying the medium-sized mutt was the shelter’s longest inhabitant ever, she knew she had to help him.

“It just made me so sad, and I was like, ‘Well, I’m going to go adopt him whether you want me to or not,'” Tracy said. “And so (Joey) gave in.”

The couple brought Louie to meet Chunky Monkey, who was advertised as being picky with his canine friends. The two got along well, though, so the Colombos were deemed a good fit.

“We’re super excited Chunky Monkey got adopted,” said Laressa Peters, director of operations at the Humane Society. “It was very rewarding. He was one who had been here a while. … When they came in, it clicked right away.”

Upon bringing him home, the Colombos decided to give their newest family member a different name: Waylon.

Waylon, formerly known as Chunky Monkey, was Routt County Humane Society’s longest resident before being adopted last week by the Colombo family.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Tracy said the name just came to her, and the couple likes that it has a Western ring to it.

“It was hard. Chunky was famous,” Joey said. “And it’s not a terrible name. It was a good name.”

A volunteer with the Humane Society saw Joey and Tracy walking the dog the other day and got out of her car to say hello. The couple suspects that might happen every once in a while. 

The Colombos hadn’t rescued before, but technically adopted Louie ahead of him being sent to a shelter. 

“We did buy from breeders before, but now through education, I don’t think we’ll ever do that again,” Tracy said. “We’re educated now.”

They both expected any rescue to have some quirks, and are learning Waylon’s oddities. He is timid, gets nervous around sudden movements and is hesitant around other dogs. They are working on leash training too as he gets to know his new family. 

“Tracy will say he listens about as well as I do,” Joey said. “So we’re working on that.”

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Waylon is adapting well to his new lifestyle as he hangs out on the couch, follows his mom and dad around the house, gets acquainted with the dog run in the backyard and enjoys the company of his brother.

“He’s great with him,” Tracy said. “I actually caught them playing.”

While the Colombos, who have been in Steamboat for 27 years, were the lucky pair to take the somewhat well-known dog home, they hope that Waylon’s story inspires others to adopt and consider animals they maybe wouldn’t otherwise. 

“Abandon less, adopt more,” Joey said.

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