6 min read

Woman Goes Into Liquor Store And Finds Someone Who Needs Her Help

“He was sweet and he warmed up, and you could tell he was friendly. He was just nervous.”

On a stormy evening last week, Sabrina Wilkerson, a volunteer for Chihuahua Rescue of San Diego County, got a phone call from the owner of a local liquor store. A scared Chihuahua had taken refuge in the shop, and the little dog had been hiding there for the last two hours.

“The guy seemed like he really didn’t know much about dogs,” Wilkerson told The Dodo. “I said, ‘Is he friendly? Will you go near him?’ And he said, ‘No, I’m not going near the dog.’”

Stray Chihuahua standing in liquor store
Sabrina Wilkerson

The owner did send Wilkerson a couple photos of the Chihuahua hiding beneath some orange juice bottles. The dog was wet from the rain outside, and the owner had tried to drape a yellow towel over him.

Wilkerson hung up the phone and drove to the shop. When she got there, the Chihuahua was still hiding beneath the orange juice.

Stray Chihuahua hiding out in liquor store
Sabrina Wilkerson

“He showed us his teeth — he was just stressed out,” Wilkerson said.

Wilkerson managed to coax the dog out from his hiding place and get him into a crate. Then she drove him to an emergency vet for a checkup, and to see if he had a microchip, which he didn’t end up having. Then Wilkerson took him home for the night.

Rescued Chihuahua inside travel crate
Sabrina Wilkerson

“He was sweet and he warmed up, and you could tell he was friendly,” Wilkerson said. “He was just nervous.”

Wilkerson planned to foster the Chihuahua, whom she later named Austin, but he first had to go on a stray hold at the county shelter, per the local law. So the next morning, Wilkerson put Austin into her car and drove him to the shelter — but she made a big mistake in the process.

Rescued Chihuahua wearing tie around his neck
Sabrina Wilkerson

“I didn’t take him in a crate,” Wilkerson said. “I figured I’d just carry him in my arms. I don’t know what I was thinking — I’d never done this before with a stray.”

When they got to the shelter and Wilkerson opened her car door, Austin bolted.

Dog watching out window of car
Sabrina Wilkerson

“We tried to get him, and there were lots of us trying to get him … but he just disappeared and we lost him,” Wilkerson said. “It was devastating.”

Wilkerson made lost dog flyers and posted them around the neighborhood. By evening, she got the phone call she was waiting for — a woman had found Austin in the neighborhood, and ended up taking him to the shelter herself.

Stray Chihuahua snuggled up under a blanket
Sabrina Wilkerson

The next morning, Wilkerson raced to the shelter to see if it was definitely Austin in there, and she was relieved to see that it was.

“The woman’s name was Austin Walker, so I named him after her,” Wilkerson said, explaining the name choice. 

Stray Chihuahua after getting a bath
Sabrina Wilkerson

Austin the Chihuahua had to stay in the shelter for several days on a stray hold, but no one ended up claiming him — so Wilkerson picked him up and brought him home with her.

This time, Wilkerson’s keeping an extra close eye on Austin, and making sure he doesn’t get close to an open door.

Chihuahua sleeping on bed
Sabrina Wilkerson

“He seems to like to be out, so whoever adopts him needs to understand his story, and needs to be very careful with front doors … because once he’s out, he just wants to run,” Wilkerson said.

Besides his tendency to bolt, Wilkerson said, Austin is a sweet, affectionate boy who will make the perfect pet for someone.

Chihuahua getting a massage
Austin getting a doggy massage | Sabrina Wilkerson

“He gets along with our other dogs, and he’s a little bit curious about our cat,” Wilkerson said. “It’s interesting — he does seem to favor men. He loves my husband, Jonathan.”

“He takes a little while to warm up, but he’s a sweetheart when he trusts you,” she added.

If you’re interested in adopting Austin, you can get in touch with Chihuahua Rescue of San Diego County.