Heartwarming Embrace: A Stray Dog Seeks Solace in His Rescuer’s Arms

Tamara Johnston had spent the entire day helping dogs in Songkhla, Thailand, and was hot and exhausted. But when Johnston, the founder of Thai Street Paws Rescue, stopped at a local store to buy a cold drink, she saw a 2-month-old puppy on the road.

The puppy’s stomach was swollen, although the rest of his body was emaciated. He was also covered in fleas and ticks, and had a scared look in his eyes.

Person holding head of emaciated puppy
Basil the puppy at the vet after being rescued

“I asked the locals if he had an owner and where his mother was,” Johnston said. “They explained to me that the mother is not here… and that her sister recently died after being hit by a car. He didn’t have an owner, but he walked between houses and tried to eat everything he found, which wasn’t much.

Person holding head of emaciated puppy

While Johnston sees a lot of stray dogs in Thailand, more than he can actually rescue, he knew he had to help this pup, now named Basil. “Among all the stray dogs in the area, I didn’t think he was feeling well,” he said.

Sick and skinny puppy lying on vet table

So Johnston picked him up, took him to his car and drove straight to the vet. Basil snuggled into Johnston’s lap during the car ride and no longer seemed afraid.

Woman holding dog on her lap
Basil snuggling on Johnston’s lap in the car

“Honestly, I think it was a big relief for him,” Johnston said. “It was almost like he knew someone was going to help him. He didn’t move, he just snuggled into my arms and fell asleep. He knew he was safe.”

Puppy sleeping on woman's lap

He stayed in Johnston’s lap the entire car ride.

Puppy lying on woman's lap

At the vet, Basil received fluids and medications to make him feel better. “Basil was an amazing kid, so well-mannered,” Johnston said. “But I think he was so tired from being so sick and had no energy.”

Woman carrying puppy in her arms
Johnston taking Basil to the vet clinic

Basil will remain at the vet for several more days. Once he feels better and has been vaccinated and spayed, he will go to live with Johnston or one of Street Paws Rescue’s Thai volunteers until he finds a forever home. Johnston hopes someone in the U.S. will adopt Basil.

Woman holding puppy in her arms

Until that day comes, Johnston will enjoy every moment he spends with Basil. “He reminds me a lot of a baby kangaroo and seems very grateful to have found him,” Johnston said.

In addition to Basil, Johnston currently cares for 100 other dogs, most of which live at the Street Paws Thai shelter. However, Johnston and his team are working to build a larger shelter and are also trying to expand their foster network so they can rescue more dogs.

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