One Atlantic City man’s loss turned into a dog’s viral fame this Thanksgiving.
(Graphic language warning.)
Tony Bell had been looking forward to his mom’s baked macaroni and cheese.
He waited hours after work to drive to Atlantic City from his girlfriend’s Pleasantville home to get it.
He brought home two trays of food, including barbecued turkey wings, sweet potato pudding, cabbage and, of course, that macaroni and cheese.
But when he woke up, everything was gone but the cabbage.
JuJu, his young pit bull, had scarfed it all down.
So, Bell decided some tough love was in order.
Bell drove JuJu to the Atlantic County Animal Shelter in Pleasantville, where he rescued the pup whose owner was killed in Atlantic City earlier this year.
Think of it as a four-legged version of scared straight.
“I had my heart set on that mac and cheese. I was furious,” Bell said. “I took him over there to scare him into acting right. He knew where he was and knew he didn’t want to stay.”
The videos that followed quickly went viral.
“I explained to the guy checking the grounds I was bringing the dog there to teach him a lesson,” he said. “The dog was excited to walk around until I got in the car acting like I was going to leave, then he started barking.”
In two videos posted on Bell’s Facebook page, the dog whines outside the car, and runs around looking to get in.
The first had garnered more than 3.7 million views by Sunday evening.
He apologized for the foul language, “but that’s the relationship we have,” he said of him and JuJu.
In a second video, the dog is right outside the driver’s side window.
“What do you want, a window visit?” Bell is heard asking, referring to a visit at jail.
He then asks the dog if he apologizes.
As JuJu whines and lets out a couple of yelps, Bell gives in: “Alright. I accept that.”
That one had more than 1.7 million views.
Within the first 10 minutes of his post, Bell had 100 likes. Soon, it went viral.
He said he has gotten both positive and negative feedback. Some took believed his ruse — meant to trick only the dog, not those watching — that he would return the dog to the pound.
Bell said he would never give the dog up.
He took the pup — who he says is no older than 2 — as a favor to the family of the slain man as a favor, and decided to keep him.
“He’s a great dog,” Bell said. “I’ll never dump a dog or any pet for that matter.”
But next time, he may keep better watch over the leftovers.