Before Hurricane Irma hit Florida, people throughout the state started preparing their homes and yards for the incoming storm.
Even people who weren’t in evacuation zones knew they should remove debris from their yards, board up their windows, and get their houses prepared for rain and flooding.
One woman started getting her yard ready when she noticed a skinny white dog across the street. She called to the dog, who quickly ran over to her house and walked right onto her porch.
The woman told the dog’s story on Imgur, where she touched thousands of people’s hearts. She wrote:
While I was out prepping our yard for big Irma badness here in central Florida I saw this sweetie across the street. I called to her like I would any dog and she cautiously walked over.
Even looked both ways before crossing the street. She’s a smart cookie.
She let me pet her a bit but looked pretty nervous at any loud noises or if I moved too fast.
I went inside and got her a bowl of dog food and some water.
She scarfed it down with such ferocity. She went through three bowls of food and two cups of water before taking a breath.
And each time I went back into the house she waited patiently for me to come back out.
She got pretty snuggly after being fed. As fast as even putting her paw on my arm and dragging it back to her chest whenever I paused for a moment.
Look at that smile. I knew I couldn’t leave her outside with the storm coming so I held the door open and asked if she wanted to come in.
She hesitated for just a second and then trotted inside to meet my doggo and two cats.
That’s when I really got a good look at her. She was filthy and smelled to high heaven.
Almost every bit of her fur was matted with dirt or feces. She wouldn’t let me touch her ears but I could see massive matts behind them that had to be so painful too.
I even discovered that she had sat in tar at some point and she was very cautious of me going anywhere near that side of her body.
I got her calmed down and just sat on the bathroom floor with her for ages. She finally let me check her ears and feet.
I didn’t notice until then that her paws were bleeding. (She’d left bloody paw prints in the living room for me to find later.)
So I attempted the first bath. It didn’t go so well. She was a nervous wreck. She trusted me enough to pick her up and put her in the tub but as soon as the water came on she barked and cried.
Only managed to clean the top of her back before we both needed a break. So she came and sat on the couch with my doggo Arthur.
He didn’t take his eyes off her for the longest time but eventually, they snuggled together to nap.
The look on her face when I said it was time for another attempt at a bath. This time I took the hair clippers to her first. She hated the noise but allowed me to cut away most of the matts.
I still couldn’t go anywhere near her ears though even with just scissors. It took four hours of cutting and scrubbing. To get her to a reasonable state.
The hardened tar was so difficult to get off her backside. I ended up needing to shave away so much of her fur before it was all said and done.