Abandoned Dog Found Living Inside A TREE TRUNK Has One More Surprise For Her Rescuers…

Dogs are a human’s best friend right? We hear all kinds of stories of the love and dedication that dogs have for their owners – saving them from drowning, protecting them from danger etc. They’re intelligent and loving animals and we revel in all the joy they’re able to bring us, simply by being their adorable, playful selves.

However, some dogs, either through trauma or a long-term lack of human contact, have not had the fortune of becoming a human’s right-hand dog and have been forced to fend for themselves. Get to know the very heartbreaking story of a dog who went through hell, and was eventually found living inside of a tree. But she had one more surprise for her rescuers…

The Story Of An Abandoned Dog

She had been abandoned for much of her life and had consequently made no connection with humans. Homeless and alone she had no choice but to live in a makeshift shelter, and so she transformed a mere trunk of a tree into her new home. It was very cramped, of course, even for the small dog that she was…

NEXT: Who was on hand to rescue our adorable abandoned pup?

Shirley Zindler is an Animal Control Officer in Northern California and through her work has found new homes for more than 300 dogs!

1. Who Is Shirley Zindler?

Shirley has written a book called The Secret Lives Of Dog Catchers, about the ins and outs of her work as an Animal Control Officer. She also regularly writes on “The Bark” which is a blog on everything canine! I think it’s fair to say, she’s very keen on dogs! She even has four dogs of her own. Find out how Shirley came to welcome a fifth dog into her home…

NEXT: Why was Shirley very concerned about a phone call she had received?

Shirley’s work as an Animal Control Officer often has her leave the office to save animals in danger…

2. Shirley Hears About The Abandoned Dog

Someone living in a rural part of Sonoma County in California called Shirley’s department to let them know that a forlorn-looking, emaciated dog who clearly didn’t have a home was living in the bark of a tree. The situation seemed like a desperate one, Shirley came straight away. The dog was very small and vulnerable and it is believed that she had made the tree trunk her temporary home for at least a week…

NEXT: Where exactly was this abandoned dog staying?

The tree was in a very green and leafy area, an area with very few houses. It seemed unlikely that someone was missing a dog…

3. Where Was This Tree?

The tree in question was a huge one that overlooked the valley. The dog was a small one so she could go in and out  relatively easily. It was definitely very cramped though. People nearby were sure they had seen a dog go into a hole in the bottom of the trunk which resulted in their call to Shirley’s office.

NEXT: Shirley would stop at nothing to free the dog from this awful situation…

Before Shirley had even met the dog, she felt determined to bring her to safety, at all costs…

4. Shirley’s Feels A Sense Of Responsibility

Shirley was worried that if they didn’t manage to get her out, coyotes would see the small, defenceless dog as prey. She had reason to believe that the dog was weak and emaciated, she definitely didn’t have the greatest amount of strength left in her. Shirley had worked as an Animal Control Officer for a long time and was able to save hundreds of dogs, why should this one be any different?

NEXT: She meets the dog who had been the subject of concern for several passers-by…

At first, Shirley was unable to see the dog through the small hole. Perhaps, the dog was no longer there. Or she was just really good at hiding…

5. Shirley Soon Feels A Pang Of Sadness

Shirley decided to lay on the ground right up close to the hole to get a better look and hopefully see the pooch she was desperate to save. But she still couldn’t see her! However, she then decided to use her flashlight, and it was only then that she finally saw the dog. The dog’s eyes were full or terror and trepidation – Shirley felt awful about this and didn’t want to do anything that might make her retreat further into the tree.

NEXT: So what did Shirley do next?

Shirley was at a loss as to how to save the dog when it was so clearly wary of humans…

6. What Action Did She Take To Get The Dog Out?

Shirley even tried using her work tools to reach into the hole to get the dog out safely, to no avail. She went further into the tree to escape what she thought was a sinister attempt to capture her.

NEXT: They FINALLY get her out!

It took hours for Shirley to get the dog to leave her shelter…

7. The Success

Eventually they managed to do it by tempting the starving dog with food. Shirley was determined to help the dog out of her unfortunate situation and it paid off!

NEXT: How exactly did she do it?!

It all came from a simple idea – an idea which proved to be successful…

8. What Method Did Shirley Use To Get The Dog Out?

She fit a long hose into the tree in the hope that the dog would be wary of being anywhere near the hose and retreat from it and hide nearer the tree’s knothole. The dog moved away from where she was hiding and did, indeed, go toward the knothole.

NEXT: What was used to coax the dog out from its hiding place?

Shirley reached through the hole with her dog treats at the ready…

9. The Tempting Treats

The starving dog finally gave in and started eating the treats from hand Shirley’s stretched-out hand. It was then that Shirley fit a leash over her head and pulled her out of the tree, to safety.

NEXT: How was her health at the time she was discovered?

She weighed a minuscule 7lbs when she was first found…

10. The Dog Was Quite A Character

She was also in a state of total anxiety – mentally and physically exhausted. Another Animal Control Officer decided that the dog should be named Boo. The name came from the character, Boo Radley, in To Kill A Mockingbird. Boo was a lonely character who left gifts in an opening of a tree…

NEXT: Was Boo a victim of animal abuse?

Shirley was pleased that the dog was finally safe, however, soon after she was found, it seemed likely that she had been severely mistreated by humans…

11. Boo’s Trauma

She didn’t trust humans at all! In a post for “The Bark”, Shirley wrote, “She struggled in my arms, eyes bugging in terror and trying to bite.” Perhaps she had been subjected to terrible abuse before she escaped to find shelter in a tree?

NEXT: Boo’s abandonment is a drop in the ocean…

Shirley commented that Boo’s “ribs and hips were clearly visible” and that “back at the shelter the dog submitted miserably to handling.” What had happened to her before being abandoned?

12. Dog Abandonment

The tree where Boo was found is in the surrounding area of a place where people tend to abandon their dogs. “We see a lot of pets abandoned like that,” Shirley reported to The Dodo. “Poor baby. She was like a wild little creature out there, trying to survive.” Is it possible that Boo’s previous owners had left her in this rural area to fend for herself?

NEXT: Was the dog completely alone in the tree bark?

Boo was estimated to be less than a year old,  however…

13. Boo’s Pregnancy

The abandoned dog was pregnant when she was found living in a tree trunk. Going into labor was a very tough experience for Boo after everything that she had already been through. She even needed an emergency surgery to get the puppies out.

NEXT: What happened to Boo’s puppies?

Unfortunately, they didn’t survive the ordeal…

14. The Emergency Surgery

Shirley said Boo was “scared to death” and had an unsettling time when she went into labor. Unfortunately, all of the puppies were stillborn. According to Shirley, “Boo was traumatized and overwhelmed”. It would have been so lovely for Boo to have had the pleasure of being able to care for and bond with her puppies while she was recovering. It could have made all the difference…

NEXT: Who then decided to foster Boo? 

Shirley has decided to foster Boo until she finds a more permanent home for her…

15. The Relationship Between Boo and Shirley

Considering Shirley was the one who managed to get Boo to come out of the tree bark and was the first one to care for after she was abandoned for so long, it’s for the best that Boo lives with her while she develops the ability to warm to other humans and trust them again!

NEXT: Boo’s trauma wasn’t all that it seemed!

Boo seemed to be so frightened of humans, that Shirley had even used the help of an older dog called Patty in the hope that she could coax Boo out of the tree…

16. Did Boo Ever Have A Human Family?

“She didn’t seem to have had any positive interactions with people so I took her home to foster her while she recovered from surgery and learned to trust”, Shirley commented. Shirley believes the reason Boo was so mistrustful and wary of humans was because she had not being exposed to humans during the “critical stages of puppyhood”. Perhaps, she hadn’t been abused by humans after all…

NEXT: What did Boo do to show she now trusted Shirley?

Patty, on the other hand, had spent many years in the care of humans and trusted them completely. She was happy and confident but had also been abandoned just like Boo.

17. The Beautiful Moment

“Her sweet, calm presence is helping Boo learn that she is safe,” Shirley said of the relationship between Boo and Patty. Patty, like Boo, had previously also had to fend for herself. She was definitely a good influence on Boo and in time, Boo has become less wary of people. Shirley experienced an amazing moment when Boo fell asleep on her lap – she trusted Shirley enough to do this! It’s a far cry from the colossal mistrust that she had felt for her when she was first rescued. However, there’s still so much more progress to be made…

NEXT: How can you find out about Boo’s progress?

Shirley has been posting updates on Boo’s progress, on her Facebook page, “The Secret Life of Dog Catchers”. One of her first posts stated the sad yet understandable fact that Boo “got no joy from human contact”…

18. Boo’s Progress

Shirley also wrote that she is sure that Boo will “bond with people at some point” but that it would be a “long slow process”. Considering how far Boo has come, it will be exciting to see where she’s at in a year’s time!

NEXT: What are Shirley’s thoughts on the potential new owner?

Shirley quite rightly stated that it will “take a very patient and dedicated adopter” to make Boo feel like part of the family…

19. The Very Best For A Special Dog

I can only say that I really hope that when Boo does find a more permanent home, her new owners will not take for granted the difficult life she has led and how this will come to affect her later in life. She was a tiny, defenceless homeless dog, pregnant at a young age, with little access to food and water. It’s actually a miracle that she managed to survive…

NEXT: Shirley, the incredibly kind and compassionate heroine of the story!

Shirley is one of those people that the world definitely needs more of…

20. Thank You To Shirley Zindler

Without Shirley’s dedication and perseverance, who knows what Boo’s fate would have been. She could quite easily have starved to death and been eaten by the coyotes, the very thing that Shirley dreaded. Fortunately, Boo was given a second chance at life – she’s less than a year old and has so much left to live and experience. Hopefully these new experiences will be positive ones!

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