When authorities were alerted to a remote part of the Californian county of Sonoma, they were in for a shock. For living in a tree all on her own was a frightened little dog – a dog they named Boo. “She was probably just dumped out in the area, far from any houses. We see a lot of pets abandoned like that,” said animal control officer Shirley Zindler, who discovered the dog. “Poor baby. She was like a wild little creature out there, trying to survive.”
It was unclear how long Boo – who authorities believe was dumped by a cruel owner – had been living alone in the tree, but she was clearly very hungry. Trees may offer shelter, after all, but they do not offer much in the way of food.
When Shirley Zindler and her partner arrived, Boo was spooked and ran for the safety of the tree. They knew they had to act … and act fast.
“She was scared to death — not used to people,” Shirley later told reporters. “It was a desperate situation, and we knew we had to get her out of there as quickly as we could.”
Using an old length of garden hose, the pair were able to patiently push the scared little dog towards them. It took them an hour, but finally Boo was within Shirley’s grasp, and she managed to grab Boo and gather her up in her arms. She then took her to the rescue center where Boo was washed and fed and given somewhere safe and warm to lay her head.
It soon became clear to Shirley that Boo has had very little contact with people, and she will take a little time learning to trust people again. “She’s fostered with me now and is starting to learn that people are OK,” Shirley says. “It’s been very slow, but she’s making progress. We measure our successes in the tiniest little increments, but they’re coming.”
It’s going to take a little time before this little pooch is ready to leave Shirley’s patient care and find a new home and owners that will love her, but she’s getting there.
“We will be able to find a home for her. It’s not going to be easy, but I’m optimistic since we are seeing progress,” says Shirley. “She’ll make someone a good companion if we can find the right match. I will foster her until the right match is made. It’s going to take someone very patient. She’s going to learn to bond with people, but it might take some time.”
Good luck, Boo. We’re rooting for ya!