Couple Pulls Over For ‘Dead’ Dog On Side Of Road
Everyone thought the tiny dog lying on the side of a Georgia road was dead.
When Terri Skidmore and her boyfriend, Mike Aziz, drove past that somber scene last July, they saw the driver who hit the dog staring over his seemingly lifeless body.
"I kind of assumed the dog was dead," she tells The Dodo. "I couldn't get him out of my head. So I told my boyfriend, 'Let's just turn around and let's see.'"
When the couple pulled up, the man who had hit the dog was already gone. But an older couple was at the scene.
Aziz called out from the car window.
"Is he dead?"
The couple replied, "He's still breathing."
When Skidmore approached the animal, she realized he wasn't just a small dog.
"I saw baby teeth," she says.
Skidmore tenderly plucked the gravel pits from the puppy, tended to his road rash and made him as comfortable as she could. He was emaciated, infested with parasites, unconscious and in shock.
"I had no idea how severe his injuries were," says Skidmore, who is a veterinary technician at BluePearl Veterinary Partners, "but he was completely unresponsive."
Then she bundled him in her jacket as the car barreled down the highway to the local veterinary clinic.
Once there, the puppy finally got some good news. Although he was severely emaciated - X-rays found the stones in his stomach he had tried to eat in his desperation - the puppy had no internal injuries.
His leg, however, had suffered a grievous break and would need extensive surgery.
And then, more good news.
It so happened that another friendly stranger - Jason Flatt, founder of Friends to the Forlorn Pitbull Rescue - overheard the puppy's story while he was at the clinic.
"You don't find people who are willing to do this every day," he told the couple. "Because you were willing to help this puppy, we're going to help you."
Flatt not only raised the funds that were needed for the dog's surgery, but also paid for all of his care for the first year of his life, including his vaccinations and neutering.
Skidmore and Aziz named the puppy Marcus, after Marcus Luttrell, the former Navy Seal who wrote "The Lone Survivor."
At their home in Braswell, Marcus connected with his new siblings - a silky terrier who was saved from a puppy mill and a rescued German shepherd.
"He's a funky goofball," Skidmore says. "That's the best way to describe him. He's just a practical joker. He's got this zest for life you don't see in most animals."
Maybe that's because Marcus knows you don't usually meet your guardian angels at the side of a Georgia road.
And he's going to stick with them for life.