A reporter from Atlanta, Georgia, named BJ Nemeth was on his way home from a work trip when he decided to pull over at a rest stop and get something to drink.
The last thing he expected to see was a pair of furry legs sticking out from behind the soda machine.
All he could think was “please don’t be dead.” He purposely took a photo on his phone with the flash on to light the area up, and that’s when the dog popped up and looked at him. She looked depressed and completely exhausted.
With the nearest exit over six miles away, BJ figured someone had driven the dog all the way out here and dumped her.
He tried calling some local rescue groups and vets, but it was late and no one was answering. But he knew he couldn’t just leave her behind.
So he spent some time trying to earn the dog’s trust. Maybe she’d get comfortable enough with him that she’d allow him to pick her up. He felt if he didn’t try to save her right here and now, no one would.
He bought a small bag of cheese crackers from the vending machine, and the dog started eating all the while keeping her eyes on him as she gobbled it up.
BJ started tweeting out photos and updates, and he decided to name her Soda-Pup. The dog finished eating and lay back down.
That’s when BJ saw his chance and snuck over to his car to grab a towel to pick her up with. He was able to place her in the vehicle with no problems.
Soda-Pup was still a little nervous, but she was starting to finally feel safe.
While driving, BJ felt the dog’s cold nose press against his elbow. He looked back and there Soda-Pup was, all smiles. This is when he realized everything was going to be okay. He just had to get her to a good place.
They drove all the way back to Atlanta without stopping and arrived at home around 3AM. BJ set up a room for the dog and made a vet appointment for the next day.
BJ’s own dog, Brisco, is territorial so he knew he couldn’t adopt Soda-Pup himself. But he was going to do whatever it took to find the sweet dog a home. He felt he at least owed that much to her.
The next day at the vet, it was determined Soda-Pup was about four years old. She needed vaccinations and to be spayed, and BJ was happy to cover her medical bills. The vet gave him a discount for stepping up to take care of her. 🙂
Soda-Pup was a little too healthy to have been a wild dog her whole life, but she had no collar or microchip. She was uncomfortable being on a leash and rarely went to the bathroom at first.
This time she definitely seemed like she wanted to go to the bathroom, but she didn’t like the pavement or the grass or the wood chips.
This would be so much easier if dogs could talk. pic.twitter.com/VA1UstRN5V
— BJ Nemeth Has Voted (@BJNemeth) May 23, 2018
Soda-Pup was a little shy, but she knew she could depend on BJ. It wasn’t long before she perked up and starting zooming around the house and wagging her tail!
He tried teaching her some tricks and bought some toys for her. She thanked him with kisses every morning. 🙂
That homeless and neglected dog living behind a soda machine really blossomed into an amazing pet under BJ’s watch. All she needed now was a forever home.
BJ turned to a trusted friend in Dallas, Texas, and she agreed to adopt Soda-Pup! They’d make the trip to the dog’s new home with BJ planning to stay there a few days for an easy transition.
If he didn’t already have a dog, BJ would’ve adopted Soda-Pup for sure. But he is already making plans to stay a part of her life by checking in for updates on all the new things she’ll be doing. 🙂
BJ also decided that May 22nd — the day he found her at the rest stop — would be her birthday. Now with the perfect home, he couldn’t imagine a better life for Soda-Pup.
“[The adopter] was recently widowed within the past two years,” BJ told The Dodo. “I really like the idea of her going to someone who needs her just as much as she needs them.”
Photo credits: BJ Nemeth
h/t The Dodo
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A friend of mine has a beautiful Dalmatian. Friendly, energetic and lovable, she was a perfect family pet… but she wasn’t the smartest pooch on the planet. See, she knew how to go through the pet door out into the garden, but she had no clue how to get back inside. It never occurred to her that the flap could swing both ways. So she would sit outside and howl until my friend would open the door.
Repeated demonstrations of the dual movement of the flap had no effect; it just did not compute. The dog breeds on this list, however, probably don’t have that problem. They’re widely considered to be among the cleverest canines in the world. Take a look and see if you agree.
1. German Shepherd
No surprise here. German Shepherds are the world’s best police dogs, military dogs, and some have even been movie stars (remember Rin Tin Tin?). Brave, loyal, smart and strong, they’re the total package.
Also on the list of the best family-friendly dogs in the world, the Beagle has an incredible nose that lets them sniff out just about anything. Born detectives, they’re not the most trainable pets, but they are smart. And hey, nobody ever accused Snoopy of being dumb.
3. Golden Retriever
A popular choice for assistance dogs for their easy temperament, natural intelligence and loyalty, Golden Retrievers are natural guides and also serve as great rescue dogs. Active and fun to be around, they’re wonderful family pets.
4. Border Collie
Border Collies are considered by many to be the geniuses of the dog world. Expert herders, laser-focused (they’re known for their intense stare), and incredibly agile to boot, they’re workaholics and excellent athletes. Just don’t expect to keep one cooped up in an apartment.
Did you know poodles were originally hunting dogs? They respond very well to training and are quick to learn tricks. So don’t let the fluffy looks and styled mane fool you! These dogs are among the smart canines around. Plus, they’re among the best dogs in the world for those who suffer allergies.
6. Belgian Malinois
A terrific military dog, the Malinois is a natural herder, tracker and worker. Smart, trainable and protective, these dogs require an owner who knows what he or she is doing. In addition to the military, Malinois are often recruited as guard dogs and police dogs as well.
Named for their butterfly-shaped ears, papillons are small, cute and pretty smart. They’re considered the smartest of the toy dog breed, with intelligence levels comparable to the über-smart border collie. They’re alert and focused pets, and loyal and lovable: an ideal friend for he family.
Sadly, Dobermans are known more for their ferocity than their smarts, but these are considered among the most intelligent dogs in the world, as well as one of the most effective guard dogs around. They’re outstanding students known to be affectionate and obedient.
Don’t let the wrinkles and dopey expression fool you! Bloodhounds have the keenest of noses, and are often used for trailing (so much so that their evidence can be used in court against you!). These are loving but strong-willed dogs, and are often used on search and rescue missions.
10. Australian Cattle Dog
You need a smart, determined and energetic dog to control unruly cows. And that’s just what the Australian Cattle Dog, or ACD, does. They’re intelligent enough to herd these much larger creatures, and while they need their independence and wide open spaces, they’re eager workers who know how to get the job done.
Did we miss your brainy dog on this list? If so, write in and let us know about it!