Man stopped for soda off highway and found dog hiding behind vending machine

"I was like 'Oh my God, please, please don’t be dead.'"
June 30, 2018 10:33 am Last Updated: June 30, 2018 10:33 am

Rest areas are meant to provide drivers with a spot to take a break from driving on a highway. Typically, motorists do not stay at one for long. Once they use the restroom, take a look in the visitor’s center, or get a bite to eat, they’re back on the road.

BJ Nemeth never planned to spend several hours at a rest stop in Alabama, but when he discovered a pair of furry legs sticking out from underneath a vending machine, he couldn’t leave.

BJ Nemeth was traveling home to Atlanta, Georgia, when he stopped at a rest area.

On his way home from a work-related trip, Nemeth made a pit stop to grab a soda from a vending machine at a facility along Interstate 85 in Alabama.

When purchasing his soda, he spotted a dog that looked oddly like his own pup, who at the time was at home.

“I was like ‘Oh my God, please, please don’t be dead,'” he told The Dodo. “I took a picture on my phone so the flash would light up, and she just leaned up and looked right at me.”

While purchasing a soda, he discovered a stray dog.

Nemeth decided to live tweet his attempt to win the stray dog’s trust.

“Poor little pup didn’t seem scared, but he was very cautious,” he tweeted after trying to get a closer look at the pooch. “He (She? I didn’t check.) didn’t seem comfortable with me getting too close.”

He used Goldfish crackers to coax the dog out of the corner.

Nemeth told The Dodo he worried the dog—which turned out to be a female—had been intentionally dropped off at this specific location because the rest stop did not see a lot of people. Also, it was several miles before the next exit.

As the scared dog ate Goldfish, Nemeth began calling organizations he thought would be able to offer assistance.

“I’m reluctant to bring a stray into my very small car for a two-hour drive to Atlanta, because of fleas, ticks, and disease,” he tweeted.

His attempts at finding someone who could help were unsuccessful.

After the dog ate, she fell asleep.

It was getting late and though someone did return one of Nemeth’s calls, it was unclear when, if at all, the woman would be able to come and pick up the dog.

By midnight, nearly three hours after he first encountered the dog, Nemeth made the decision to take the dog, which his followers appropriately nicknamed Soda-Pup, home with him.

Nemeth carefully picked Soda-Pup up and placed her in his car.

“After about 45 minutes of driving, I start feeling her cold nose touching my elbow,” Nemeth said. “And she was just sitting back there behind me, smiling as big as day. It was in that moment I realized, ‘OK, this will all be good. We just have to get her to a good place.'”

Nemeth continued driving well into the night before finally reaching his home, but once he arrived he knew it would be hard to bring Soda-Pup inside.

His dog, Brisco, can be territorial, and he didn’t want the two interacting.

After a long night of driving together, the two finally arrived at Nemeth’s home.

Once Nemeth figured out the temporary living arrangements—the two spent the night in Nemeth’s car before sneaking Soda-Pup inside his home the next morning—he worked on getting her used to a collar and leash, as well as a crate. He also made an appointment for Soda-Pup to visit a vet.

The vet treated Soda-Pup and spayed her. They also checked for a microchip in hopes of finding the dog’s owner, but didn’t find anything.

Soda-Pup eventually warmed up to Nemeth.

Although Nemeth was unable to adopt Soda-Pup, he did find her a loving home with a friend in Dallas, Texas.

“[The adopter] was recently widowed within the past two years,” he told The Dodo. “I really like the idea of her going to someone who needs her just as much as she needs them.”

A few days after Soda-Pup arrived in Atlanta, she was off to her forever home in Dallas.

Nemeth and Soda-Pup got in the car, once again, and the two drove from Atlanta to Dallas where the dog was introduced to her new family.

He spent a few days in Dallas to make sure the once homeless pup adjusted to her new life in Texas, but then it was time for him to hit the road.

On his way home, he stopped at a rest stop in Alabama and of course had to check behind the vending machines.

Soda-Pup has settled into her new home quite well.

You can follow Soda-Pup’s latest adventures on Twitter.