Hurricanes are a stressful thing to prepare for.
Between the intense winds and the torrential rains, the felled trees and storm surges, everyone is affected – homes and businesses alike.
After a devastating Hurricane Harvey left Houston and the surrounding Gulf Coast areas reeling in August, Florida residents were more than a bit cautious – and more than a bit frantic to get everything done – as the equally-powerful Hurricane Irma bore down on the peninsula state just a few weeks later.
One Florida resident, though, found time for more than just hurricane preparations.
Imgur user amiawifeorasword was getting her house ready for the oncoming storm when she spotted a stray dog on her street.
The dog, though clearly what the user described as one that looked like it had been on the streets for a long time, was “a smart cookie.” When she called to the pup from across the road, it cautiously made its way over to her yard, even taking the time to look in both directions before crossing the street.
The woman went on to describe their first encounter, having forgotten all about her preparations by this point.
An animal lover at heart, she immediately felt the urge to help out with the seemingly-lost canine:
“She let me pet her a bit,” the woman wrote, “but looked pretty nervous at any loud noises or if I moved too fast.”
It took three bowls of food and two of water for the sweet-tempered stray to feel satisfied, highlighting just how long she’d likely been on the streets before her Good Samaritan called her over.
Each time a new bowl was retrieved, she sat patiently waiting for it on the porch—and while she seemed hesitant and far from the bounding, exuberant animal one would expect to have come from a loving home, she was exceptionally well-mannered and accepted all the love and snuggles the woman was able to give her.
But once brought inside, her rescuer was able to truly see the extent of neglect the newfound stray had suffered.
She was filthy, “smelling to high heaven” and covered in mud, feces, and tar. That part was by far the most heart-wrenching; it took multiple baths, haircuts, and ultimately shaving most of the fur to get the majority of the tar off of the poor pup, who had sat in the substance long enough ago that it was seemingly stuck there for good.
While there was still plenty of hurricane prep to get completed, the kind rescuer took the dog in, going as far as to take her to the vet and get her chipped.
The rescuer’s family immediately took her in as their own, all the while trying to locate her original owners—just in case, based on her kind behavior and gentle mannerisms, the young puppy (estimated to be less than a year old by the vet) had been lost and was desperately being sought after.
It took plenty of navigating to find the original owners, but the woman was ultimately successful.
That story, though, was just as heartbreaking.
The original owners of the pup had lost their apartment not long after getting her, and a move to a new town rendered her first family unable to bring the dog along.
They gave her to a trusted friend, but that family gave her away after a brief period of time as well—and her final owners, unable to keep her as well, let the young dog out of their truck along the side of the road one day and never looked back.
It was estimated that she’d been wandering on her own for over a month when she made her way into her current family’s hearts.
It didn’t take long for her new family to make up their minds to hold on to their newest member – and the last they updated, she was snuggled up with them, waiting out the storm of the century.
It’s a heartbreaking journey for the puppy, now named Amaterasu (or Amy for short), has managed to truly find a forever home. At the very least, there’s a huge happy ending at the end of this story.