I had just started a temporary job at a dealership. I was sad and depressed because it had been 6 months that I graduated college and I still hadn’t found a job in my field. I didn’t really want to work at the dealership but I had no choice, I had to pay the bills. Now, I know, that I HAD to work there. If I hadn’t, I would have never found her.
The day was 12/23/2015, it was just like any other day. I was in an office, full of men, small and dingy, answering phones, and dealing with customers. I didn’t work in the part of the dealership with the fancy break room or the big windows. I worked in the collision department, way in the back end of the dealership. As I was placing the phone back on the receiver, something in the parking lot caught my eye. There was a small dog running around, I told my boss that I was going to try and catch it. It had a collar and I could call it’s owner. Not only that, but the dealership was right next to a busy freeway feeder road.
I ran through the rows of trucks and cars. The little brown dog was nowhere in sight. I then went to the back area, where the mechanics were, and a man was exciting his truck with a small, damp, white dog in his arms.
“Are you looking for this dog?” He asked
“No, I saw another small brown dog. I was trying to catch it but I lost it. Why is she wet?” I asked
“She had been roaming our lot this morning and I caught her. She was covered in mud and poop. I went home and gave her a bath. Do you want to keep her?” He asked
I thought about it for a few seconds. The dog was shivering and looked malnourished.
“Yes.” The word left my mouth.
“Okay! I already have 3 dogs. I can’t take another.” He said happily.
He placed her in my arms and then gave me a dry towel to wrap around her. Now, I had a dog. I went back into the office and told my boss that I was taking the rest of the day off and taking her to the vet. He was not pleased but he also didn’t want a dog in the office.
I took her to a nearby vet. She was chipped but the chip was not registered. The vet tech said that they would contact the chip manufacturer and see who issued that chip and if they have the owners info. I was sad because I told myself that if the owner is found, I would obviously give them the dog back.
As we waited for the pup to get checked out she cuddled on my lap and went straight to sleep. She was skinny and bruised and missing fur. I already started to love her. The vet said she was under weight and was about a 5 year old Maltese mix.
I took her home, I still lived with my mom at the time, and she acclimated quickly. My family dog took her in and they became quick friends. I still had the thought in the back of my mind about her owner calling me. I know it’s messed up but I prayed that the owner would not be found or that the info was wrong.
I felt that she was my Christmas present. I had been so down about my career and not finding the job I wanted, and she made me forget that. I didn’t want to name her yet but my sisters convinced me. I named her Yuki, Japanese for snow.
I started noticing that she flinched and cowered a lot. If I made a sudden movement she cowered or ran away to another room. If my mom or I swept, she would freak out and run away from the broom. My mom said that maybe she escaped her previous home because they hit her. She compared her to our family dog, another rescue, but she never flinched or cowered. I told my mom that it could be possible but we can never know for sure and every dog is different.
One day a day or two before New Years Eve, I was on the couch watching tv with Yuki. She was snuggled close in her little Christmas sweater. My phone rang, and my stomach fell. I knew it was the owner. The conversation went like this:
Them: “Hi! Is this the person who found Sugar?”
Me: “I found her bruised and malnourished in a car dealership.”
My heart was hurting. I didn’t want to give her up.
Them: “That’s weird. We don’t live near any car dealership.”
Me: “I’m attached to her already.”
I blurted out. I didn’t want to lose my little Yuki.
Them: “Oh! Well do you want to keep her? We just had a baby and really don’t have the time.”
Wow. Just like that? No wonder she escaped, I thought.
Me: “Yes! Thank you! I will keep her safe.”
Them: “Great! Okay happy holidays!”
And that was that. She didn’t ask me anything, not even how she was doing, nothing. I was shocked but also so relieved! I looked down at Yuki and kissed her fluffy head.
“You’re safe now.” I said. She looked up with her brown eyes and perfect doggy eyeliner (as my sisters call her super dark eyelids) and she licked my face.
Best Christmas gift ever.
Her previous owner never contacted me again, never asked about her well-being. My theory is that they neglected her after having a baby and she left. She escaped to freedom and ended up finding her furever home.
It’s been almost 7 years that she has been with me. She found me when I was at one of my lowest points. Not only with my career but with myself. I was struggling with my self image, and personal life. She helped me and distracted me from all the problems. She is my first daughter. She has taught me and is still teaching me how to not be selfish, how to care for another being and them caring for you. Till this day, she still flinches and cowers. Not as much as before but when I sweep, it’s still there. I don’t want to know what she went through or if she was actually hit before. But all I want her to know is that it will never happen with me, she knows she is loved and has her forever home.
Yuki, my little girl, thank you for escaping and rescuing me.