Several years ago, my parents and I were driving through Kittrell, NC- on the way to see how the rebuilding of our river house was coming along. One of the worst things to witness, as a kid or at any age, is a dead dog laying on the side of the road.
To our dismay, this day we witnessed at least two that had been hit within only a span of several miles. My mom and I were in absolute tears while my dad worked to concentrate on the road. I started to squint and cover my eyes, taking precautious measures so I would not have to witness this devastation any longer.
"What is that?" My dad hesitantly commented, while pointing at the mysterious object. Reluctant to look up in fear of seeing yet another dead animal, I slowly lifted my head from buried within the palm of my hand. "Oh my god!" My mom exclaimed. I finally looked up to realize what was going on… as soon as we were already passing the little moving blob, making its way onto the highway.
"IT'S A DOG – TURN AROUND!!!" I screeched, hysterically pleading my dad to illegally move our vehicle in the opposite direction. "NOW! RIGHT NOW! PLEASE – IT'S GOING TO GET HIT!" I had never seen an old Tahoe U-turn that aggressively.
We pulled off to the side of US-1 N where I cautiously made my way out of the vehicle, trying not to spook the young animal. To my surprise, the tiny black fluffy puppy comes sprinting to jump into my arms. I sat there on the gravel, miracle dog-in-lap, resting my back against the SUV's tire while my parents watched in wonder. I securely held the puppy until it finally stopped shaking.
It was love at first sight.
I swaddled the few-month-old severely malnourished puppy in a clean dry towel and cradled him dearly, as we journeyed a couple miles down the road to the nearest house. While inquiring about the situation, we quickly learned that the area was a popular place to drop unwanted pets. My heart broke right then and there. I was never going to let this one go.
We immediately brought him to the vet where they studied and checked him out. They came to the conclusion that he is mainly a German Shepard Akita mix, including some other breeds. He needed shots and a bath, plus a lot of love, attention, and care. I was more than prepared to take on this responsibility.
My parents contemplated the idea of this for a moment but agreed it was a last resort, not knowing how he would get along with our black lab, Pungo. They proceeded to send out emails, put up flyers, phoned farms, and went on great lengths to try and find a good home for him... but I was not going to let anyone take my baby. Being the mischievous teen I already was, I thankfully knew all the family passwords.
I deleted every single email, voicemail, and notification that came through- regarding my dog. My parents were shocked that not a single person had reached out to show interest in the puppy.
Fast forward through a lot of barking and five years later... "Kit" Kittrell Hunter, commonly known as "baby," "child," or "angel" (by me) is still the love of my life and my absolute best friend. I appreciate him now more than ever. He is happy and healthy, a playful brother to Pungo, and my parents are almost just as attached to him.
Saving him was the best thing that could have possibly happened for the both of us.