Leon, a turkey originally from Oxnard, CA, recently decided that the only thing more patriotic than Thanksgiving was the chance for every man, woman, and fowl to embrace the American dream. Having heard tale that ours is a country in which an individual can grow up to be whatever they want to be, our hero took to the streets in order to pursue a new vision for turkey-kind. Having decided he’d prefer the destiny of a lap dog over that of the guest of honor at a Thanksgiving feast, Leon commenced to baffle authorities, who found him roaming the streets of Southern California in search of a forever home.
It wasn’t until he was placed in an animal shelter which was generally reserved for animals of the furrier, cuddlier variety, that Leon’s tale reached the ears of the folks at the Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary in Stockton, CA. Upon learning that the staff of the Northern California shelter was enamored with his story, Leon wasted no time in road-tripping up to introduce himself in early November of 2016. As soon as he arrived, the affectionate fowl commenced to turn on the charm for the staff of Harvest Home, making their decision to declare him a forever resident of the Sanctuary an easy one.
During a recent interview with The Weather Channel, Leon urged his interpreter, Christine Morrissey, to share the proof he's been busy presenting that lap turkeys may even be superior to the traditional lap dog. “They’re not gonna jump on you, they’re just gonna give you love, like this guy,” pointed out Christine, who is also the Sanctuary’s manager.
Christine reports that Leon not only fits right in at the Sanctuary, which is dedicated to educating the public about the huge emotional capacity of farm animals, but that he has also proven to be quite the ladies’ man.
When even ABC News found themselves unable to resist Leon’s magnetism, Christine expanded on Leon's adorable relationship with the staff during a resulting interview. “He just took to people immediately,” she explained to the station’s visiting camera crew, “He wanted kisses on his head and hugs.”
As it turns out, Leon’s lap dog-like ambitions don’t end there, as he regularly enjoys belly rubs and can often be found inviting himself into the laps of all those he deems cuddle-worthy.
Not only does Leon seem to be thoroughly enjoying the fruits of his decision to become a die-hard cuddle bug, his additional hobbies include photobombing, greeting visitors to the Sanctuary, and patrolling the grounds in an attempt to stay current on all the latest goings-on. Sanctuary volunteers revealed that Leon is also a fairly vocal guy, as was demonstrated when he peeked in on a planning committee for an upcoming fundraiser. When greeted with his name, the suavely feathered little man responded by singing all those present the song of his people with a nice, full-throated gobble.
So what’s next for our bold little hero? As it turns out, Leon arrived at the Sanctuary just in time for their annual November turkey party which, rest assured, is not of the traditional variety. Rather than being served as dinner, the Sanctuary turkeys are treated as honored guests and are generally joined by about 120 non-turkey eating friends.
His new friend Christine assures admirers that Leon is safe from the Thanksgiving fate of turkeys everywhere and shall live out the rest of his days in the protection of the Sanctuary, where he is eventually expected to join the flock of about ten other turkeys in residence. Though none of Leon’s future flock mates were available for comment on whether they too plan to someday learn the art of the lap-turkey, fingers are crossed that they will find themselves as powerless against Leon’s charming persuasion as his new human friends.