7 min read

Man On Road Trip Gets Out Of Car — And Comes Back To Find A Dog In The Front Seat

“I asked him what our new dog’s name was."

On his way home to Missouri after a fishing trip in Arkansas, a man named Bill stopped at a rest stop to throw away some trash and use the bathroom. He wasn’t planning on being very long, and so he left the car running with the door open — and when he returned, he was shocked to find a dog sitting in the front passenger seat. 

The poor dog was just skin and bones, and Bill quickly offered her a Rice Krispie Treat, the only food he had on him at the time. Watching her devouring the snack and cowering in his car, Bill knew the dog had been looking for someone to help her, and decided he had to oblige. She seemed so eager, and there was no way he could turn that sweet face away. 

stray dog
Angela Shaver

He and his wife have a tendency to take in stray animals in need and the poor dog had absolutely no signs of an owner or a family, and so he texted her a picture of his new traveling buddy, and she was in immediate agreement with his decision to keep the dog.

“I asked him what our new dog’s name was,” Angela Shaver told The Dodo. “We decided to call her River because of where she found him.”

stray dog
Angela Shaver

Shaver and her son came out to greet their new dog as soon as the pair of travelers arrived home, but River refused to get out of the car. She wasn’t scared of her new family, but seemed to feel safe in the car, as it was probably one of the first places she had ever been shown kindness and love. 

Eventually, Bill carried River out of the car, and she was introduced to her new dog siblings one by one so she wouldn’t be too overwhelmed. The family already had three rescue dogs and one rescue cat, and were more than happy to add another one to the pack. 

stray dog
Angela Shaver

“Once they all decided she was OK, he [Bill] brought her in for a bath,” Shaver said. “She was covered in mud, blood and ticks. After she was dried off and some ticks picked off, she got a good meal. Bill made her a bed on the floor in our room next to the space heater. She slept there all night.”

stray dog
Angela Shaver

River woke up in her new home the next morning and cautiously began to explore. She ran around outside with her new siblings but never strayed too far from her parents, slowly easing herself into her new life. Her family noticed right away that she appeared to be housebroken, meaning she may have had a family at one point in her life before she’d ended up as a stray. 

“We had one accident in the house the first night,” Shaver said. “But it was near the door. She had to go, but didn’t know how to tell us.”

stray dog
Angela Shaver

River’s new family took her to the vet to get checked over, and discovered that she had tapeworms, heartworms and wounds on her neck and face that looked as if they were from some sort of fight. The vet gave her medication and got her all cleaned up, and River remained calm and sweet throughout it all. After whatever she’d been through, it seemed she was just grateful to finally be safe. 

stray dog
Angela Shaver

River is now settling in extremely well with her new family, and is already beginning to thrive. There are still some things she’s unsure of, such as playing with toys and roughhousing with her siblings, but she’s taking it all one day at a time, and her family loves watching her confidence grow with every new day. 

“She runs in the yard and chases nothing with Winston, sits for cookies with Ginger and hogs the bed with Butters,” Shaver said. “The cat was very unpleased for the first few days, but is finally coming around.”

stray dog
Angela Shaver

When River hopped into that car, she chose her new life, and both she and her family could not be more overjoyed with that decision.