A Stray on the Interstate

Last week the vet’s office had a walk-in with a stray dog.

A college student was on her way back to college in Florida.  She was traveling from the upstate on I-95, and saw a dog on the side of the highway, like he was sitting there waiting for something. 

She drove five miles to the next exit, got off there, crossed over the interstate, headed back north to the next exit, got off there, crossed over again, and headed back south until she got to where she saw the dog the first time, and there he was, still sitting like he was waiting for something.

She scooped him up, and googled the nearest vet’s office, and made her way to our office.  I called the local shelter to report a missing dog, and we determined that the dog was found in a location outside our county, so they would not take him in.  The facts were looking like the shelter that served the location was in a county north of here, about an hour’s drive in the opposite direction that the student was traveling.  That particular shelter has enough room to house about 11 or 12 dogs, that’s all, and they have a very high kill rate, like more than 90%.  And indeed, if the location was determined to be yet again a different county, the shelter there has been having serious parvo outbreaks.

The dog, potentially known as “Gator”, had a woven nylon collar that was too large for him, so someone had threaded the collar through the buckle, doubled it back on itself, and sewed it together with wire.  A spring clip was dangling from the buckle, like it had been attached once to a tie-out line, and the buckle itself was worn thin from the friction of the spring clip wearing away at it. 

The vet gave him an injection to combat shock and some sub-cutaneous fluids to relieve his dehydration, and offered him some dog cookies to see if he could eat.  He was hungry alright.  The dog was so exhausted that he didn’t want to stand, but when we put him on his feet to determine where the damage was, we found that he could not put all his weight on his rear right leg.  He collapsed back on the table. 

The student and I talked about the options for the dog.  She did not want to send him to a kill shelter, and she wondered if he would get along with her cat.  I told her he probably had heartworms, intestinal parasites, fleas, and a possible broken pelvis.  She said that once her mother saw the car in front of her hit a dog and keep going, and that her mother pulled over to pick up the dog, and that’s what she thought of when she saw the dog sitting by the side of the interstate, like he was waiting for something. 

The vet holds an ordinary pair of hemostats so that you can get a frame of reference for the size of the dog. "Gator" weighed less than 20 pounds.


The student paid the bill, and took the collar off the dog.  She handed me the collar to throw away, and asked if I would call the shelters to report him missing. 

I said, “Sure, I’ll take care of that for you.” 

And they went on their way to their new life together.

Tags: ,

3 Responses to “A Stray on the Interstate”

  1. Kariann Says:


    I am so glad she kept him! Gator is so sweet. I showed Oliver the pictures and he wants him. 🙂


  2. Linda Smith Says:

    I love that girl………….hope they have a happy life together.


  3. Becky Says:

    Gator’s sweet eyes and the part about her mother really got to me. God bless that college student. I love her too!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: