A Chihuahua who found refuge in a liquor store during a storm has a brand new life thanks to a rescue volunteer. But it almost didn’t work out that way.
Sabrina Wilkerson volunteers for Chihuahua Rescue of San Diego County. Recently, she received a call from the shopkeeper, who told her a scared dog was hiding in his store.
He sent her a few photos, showing the wet dog huddled under orange juice bottles. The owner had tried to put a towel over the dog, but didn’t want to approach him in case he wasn’t friendly.
Sabrina headed to the store and when she got there she could tell the dog was stressed out. She told the Dodo that he bared his teeth at her, but she managed to coax him into a crate and take him to the vet to get him checked over and look for a microchip.
He wasn’t chipped but he was okay health-wise, so Sabrina took him home.
“He was sweet and he warmed up, and you could tell he was friendly,” she said. “He was just nervous.”
The next morning she headed to the county shelter so the Chihuahua could be put on mandatory stray hold and if he went unclaimed she intended to foster him.
But that’s when things took a dramatic turn. She made a mistake – one that she has never made before. Not wanting to take him in a crate, she carried him in. But as soon as she opened her car door, the tiny dog sprinted off.
She and some other volunteers desperately searched for him, but he had disappeared. Devastated, Sabrina distributed lost dog flyers around the neighborhood and a few hours later she got a call form a woman who found the dog and brought him to the shelter.
When Sabrina went to the shelter she saw it was the same dog and decided to name him Austin after the woman who found him.
After a few days, Austin was cleared to go home with Sabrina, where she kept a close eye on him.
“He seems to like to be out, so whoever adopts him needs to understand his story, and needs to be very careful with front doors … because once he’s out, he just wants to run,” she said.
But Austin soon settled in and Sabrina discovered a few things about the sweet dog. For one he loves blankets. He loves to steal them and snuggle into them. For another, he’s a bit shy.
But Austin doesn’t have to worry any more. He has found a home with a couple – Kate and Irina – who have experience with shy dogs.
“They were perfect when they came to meet him tonight. He was a little barky at first, but warmed up quickly with some treats & allowed them each to pet and hold him,” Sabrina wrote.
“The guy [Austin] has had a hectic couple of weeks and who knows his story before that. They understand that he’s going to need some time and patience. Once he has some consistency and stability, I have no doubt that he will turn into a confident, happy, loving little boy.”
She knows Austin will get plenty of TLC as Irina works from home, and she’s already received a heartwarming update from them.
“So we’ve learned that not only does Austin love blankets….now he’s stealing clothes. Kate is at work today and he found her jean jacket to lay on. He misses her. So cute!!! Such a sweet boy!”
Sabrina says she will miss him, but is relieved he has found a home. “I live for these happily ever afters! My heart is smiling.”