It’s heartbreaking to think someone could just abandon their own pet. But when a dog was ditched by his owners and left to fend for himself, he found an unexpected buddy on the road.
The miraculous friendship was discovered by Dan O’Grady, truck driver from Akron, Ohio. In February, he was out on the road, heading down a highway in Jacksonville, Florida.
He was accustomed to these long stretches of highways—but suddenly, he saw something that really caught his eye:
A Jack Russell Terrier was abandoned on the side of the road.
O’Grady was worried about the dog—being on the edge of a highway was a dangerous place for a small animal. So even though he had a job to do, he knew he had to turn the truck around and get the dog to safety.
When he finally got back to the dog, he was relieved to see it was still there, safe and sound. However, the dog was also surprisingly reluctant to be rescued by the driver. When O’Grady approached the terrier, he would bark and run into the woods.
O’Grady realized the dog was trying to get him to follow him.
The dog led O’Grady through the woods.
They stopped at a bush, and O’Grady realized what the dog wanted to show him.
Hiding under the bush was a rabbit. But it wasn’t wild rabbit—it was a domesticated white pet bunny.
The rabbit was bony and malnourished, as if it had been barely surviving for weeks. Like the terrier, it was likely a pet who was abandoned on the highway by its owners—and evidently, the dog wasn’t leaving without his friend.
So O’Grady took the two pets on the road with him.
Back on the road, he dubbed the rabbit “Interstate” and the dog “Highway,” and the pair of strays became his traveling companions.
O’Grady did his best to care for the two pets on the road on such short notice, and he fed Highway some sandwich meat and picked up a salad for Interstate at a truck stop.
However, he knew that he wouldn’t be able to take care of them for the long haul. He decided the best thing for them would be to go to a shelter. He stopped at the first one he could find, and they agreed to take the dog. O’Grady parted ways with Highway, who was soon adopted from that shelter in Georgia.
But that shelter wasn’t able to take in Interstate, since they did not accept rabbits. But O’Grady remembered seeing rabbits at a local shelter back in Ohio—the Humane Society of Summit County.
He bought a cage for Interstate and hit the highway for another road trip.
When O’Grady reached the Humane Society, they were happy to take Interstate in. They worked to get him adopted, and restore him back to full health. The shelter workers were stunned by the story—how these animals had survived after being abandoned, and how the dog refused to leave the rabbit behind. But they also praised O’Grady for going out of his way to rescue them:
“Dan O’Grady literally went the extra mile to rescue Highway and Interstate,” they wrote in a Facebook post.
“We depends on good samaritans like Dan who rescue injured, abused and abandoned animals.”