In reality, the secret was literally pretty tiny.
Hope for Paws is an awesome rescue organization in Los Angeles that works to take dogs off of the streets and into their forever homes. They’ve reached higher levels of popularity because they often produce videos of their rescues and the results, which start off heart-breaking and leave you crying tears of joy.
When the organization got a call about Petunia, a scraggly dog that had been living alone on the streets for several months, they sprang into action and went to find her.
They had received word that she often visited a park where locals would feed her, but they didn’t know where she usually lived. Rescuers Eldad Hagar and Lisa Arturo headed to the scene and were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of her in the parking lot.
When they approached her, Petunia took shelter under a nearby truck, making it harder for them to reach her. Eldad Hagar, founder of Hope for Paws, told The Dodo,
“I laid flat on my stomach and crawled under the truck. Petunia wagged her tail nervously, but I knew we would be cool. At one moment this closeness made her nervous, and she got up to leave. That’s the moment when I grabbed her leg.”
Just to be clear, Hagar does not recommend that anyone grab an unfamiliar dog’s leg, but he said that since he has rescued so many dogs before, he knew this was the right thing to do in that moment. Normally, not only could the dog bite their rescuer, but they could also hurt themselves in the process. Hagar explained on his Flickr account,
“This is NOT a good move because she could have bitten me in order to get away, but that’s a risk I was willing to take for her safety. Petunia kicked sand to my face as she was struggling, so I just had to pull her from under the car.”
Petunia got so scared that she peed on Eldad, but he didn’t mind and claimed that the 5 seconds of stress between grabbing her leg and pulling her out would be worth the lifetime of happiness ahead of her. However, when Lisa came to put the leash on her, the two realized that Petunia was lactating and likely had puppies nearby. This is likely why she was so nervous, because she was scared of being separated from her baby.
A local employee said that Petunia had a puppy that she hid in the bushes and, sure enough, there she was. She was named Petals to match her mom’s name. To be sure that this was the only puppy, Hagar put Petunia down and played a video of crying puppies to see if her maternal instincts would lead them to the location of more puppies, but she continuously led them to where Petals was.
The 3-day-old puppy was reunited with her mom and, other than a small ear infection on Petunia, the two had a clean bill of health. For now, Petunia will raise Petals and eventually they will find their forever homes. Hagar said,
“Both Petunia and Petals are doing great. Little Petals hasn’t opened her eyes yet, but it should happen in the next few days. She is gaining weight and is quite happy to have her mom.”
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