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Street Puppy Who Lost His Family Can’t Stop Cuddling His Rescuer

“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.”

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

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

Person holding head of emaciated puppy
Basil the puppy at the vet after being rescued | Thai Street Paws Rescue

“I asked the locals if he had an owner and where his mum was,” Johnston told The Dodo. “They explained that the mum isn’t around ... and his sister was recently killed by a car. He had no owner, but he was hanging out between houses and trying to eat whatever he could find, which wasn’t much.”

Person holding head of emaciated puppy
Thai Street Paws Rescue

While Johnston sees many street dogs in Thailand — more than she can realistically rescue — she knew she had to help this puppy, who is now named Basil. “Amongst all the stray dogs in the area, he just looked unwell to me,” she said.

Sick and skinny puppy lying on vet table
Thai Street Paws Rescue

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

Woman holding dog on her lap
Basil snuggling on Johnston's lap in the car | Thai Street Paws Rescue

“I honestly believe it was a huge 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
Thai Street Paws Rescue

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

Puppy lying on woman's lap
Thai Street Paws Rescue

At the vet, Basil was given fluids and medication to make him feel better. “Basil was an amazing boy — so well-behaved,” Johnston said. “But I think he was so tired from being so ill and had no energy.”

Woman carrying puppy in her arms
Johnston carrying Basil into the vet clinic | Thai Street Paws Rescue

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

Woman holding puppy in her arms
Thai Street Paws Rescue

Until that day comes, Johnston will enjoy every moment she gets to spend with Basil. “He reminds me so much of a baby kangaroo and he seems so thankful I found him,” Johnston said.

Besides Basil, Johnston currently cares for about 100 other dogs, most of whom live in the Thai Street Paws Shelter. However, Johnston and her team are working to build a bigger shelter, and also trying to expand their foster network so they can rescue more dogs.

To help Basil and the other rescued dogs in the care of Thai Street Paws Rescue, you can make a donation.