The other day, a woman in Medellín, Colombia, walked to her local grocery store and saw a single dog standing in front of the entrance. This didn’t seem unusual at first — the store has a dedicated “pet parking” area out front, where shoppers usually leave their dogs briefly. But as Christina Farley walked closer to the pup, she could tell right away that this situation was different.
Unlike the other dogs she’d seen in the pet parking area, this pup didn’t have a leash or a collar. And she was clearly uncomfortable.
“She was just staring out at the street, frozen,” Farley told The Dodo. “She wouldn’t move from that position.”
At first, Farley worried that the dog was too scared to be touched, so she greeted her from a distance, then went inside. When she exited the store shortly after, she found a Good Samaritan petting the pup.
“She was letting people pet her, bus she wouldn’t move,” Farley said. “She was just so unresponsive.”
Concerned, Farley sat with the pup for over two hours while shoppers and employees walked in and out of the store. Everyone stopped to greet the dog, but no one seemed to know where she’d come from.
“We started to think that she was just dumped there,” Farley said.
Farley and a store employee set up food and water for the dog, but she refused to touch it.
“She wouldn’t eat or drink, she wouldn’t explore around,” Farley said. “You couldn’t lure her anywhere.”
While trying to convince the dog to eat, the group of Good Samaritans called every shelter they could find. Unfortunately, every shelter was completely full. After almost three hours of trying to help her, the dog was still frozen in fear with nowhere to go.
Finally, a young woman walked by, and, after hearing the dog’s story, she offered to foster her temporarily. The woman wasn’t able to keep the dog long-term, but she could shelter her while they searched for a forever home.
The only problem, then, was that the dog still wouldn’t move.
Another woman walking by with her small dog overheard the conversation between the two rescuers, and offered a solution: She’d take the harness off of her dog and put it on the stray pup.
As soon as the harness was clipped around her neck, the abandoned dog’s demeanor completely changed.
“Instantly, her tail started wagging, and she immediately walked with us,” Farley said. “It was bizarre. That’s how we knew for sure that she was a house dog.”
To their surprise, the once-frozen dog trotted gleefully by her rescuers’ sides as if she was never stuck in the first place. They walked her to a local dog park to see if anyone recognized her, but, again, nobody knew her.
When no one at the park claimed the dog, later named Princesa, her new foster mom took her home. That night, Princesa played excitedly in the woman’s home until it was time to go to sleep.
Within a few days, Princesa’s foster mom found the perfect forever home for her. Now, she’s living her best life in the Colombian countryside with an amazing, loving family by her side.
Once frozen in fear, Princesa now runs around her spacious home every day. She finally has a family again, and the sweet girl is happier than ever because of it.
“She lives outside of the city in a wide-open country farmhouse,” Farley said. “It’s the perfect life for her.”