This story is part of the Believe in Wonders series, from Wondercide, about rescued animals who have miraculously survived and thrived.
Panama City Beach, FL is home to Funland Arcade and Snack Bar. Built in 1953, this arcade is a nostalgic place for parents to bring their children (and grandchildren) for amusement the same way they did as a kid. It’s a place for family enjoyment and food, which is what made Seymour attempt to make this place his home. But an arcade is no home for a stray dog.
Shoo! No dogs allowed!
Seymour wasn’t much to look at when he first showed up at Funland. This Corgi/Black Lab mix was a smelly mop of ungroomed black hair who just wanted to be around people. Every day he came by hoping to find a little love, and maybe a scrap of food if he was lucky.
But he was a nuisance to the arcade. The employees tried to shoo him away - they couldn’t just allow a stray dog to approach their customers begging for food. And how could they be sure he was safe around children, a key demographic for them? So they shooed him away every day.
A gallery owner takes a stroll
Not far from the arcade, a gallery owner lived in a home attached to the art gallery. He went for a stroll one Saturday on the beach, and he stopped by the arcade for a quick bite to eat. As he walked up, his eyes caught sight of the dog licking whatever flavor might be left behind in an empty can of Beanee Weenees.
Perhaps it was because he had an “artist’s eye” that this particular sight made him pause and wonder about the dog. He hadn’t been searching for a four-legged companion, but something inside him wanted to know that this pup would be okay. When he asked an employee and found out they had been trying to get him to stay away, Chris decided he couldn’t leave this dog behind.
Seymour gets a makeover
Chris took the dog back to his home. He gave him a bath to clean him up and help get rid of his fleas. He named him Seymour – it seemed fitting since he found him by the sea. Regular feedings helped Seymour fill out so his ribcage wasn’t noticeable, and his fur smoothed out and shined.
The gallery has a mascot
The new and improved Seymour still loved the company of people as much as he always had. Clients entering the gallery were greeted with his smile and wagging tail. He never met a stranger or anyone he didn’t want to be fast friends with.
Long gone are the days of begging for scraps and dodging the dog-catcher. Seymour finally had a home with a kind companion and a job where he could love on all the people he could find.
Seymour’s Faves & Pet Peeves
Favorite toy? Seymour's favorite toy is any dried up sea creature, mullet, sea cucumber, crab, etc., that he would find during walks on the beach.
What makes his tail wag? His favorite thing was being door greeter at the gallery. Every first Friday of the month we hosted a curated exhibit of local art, and Seymour was always there to greet patrons at the top of the stairs.
Favorite spot? Top of the stairs!