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When a scrawny stray dog hopped up into Bill Shaver’s car it’s safe to say that the man was slightly taken aback.
Shaver had been in the middle of a long trek home to Missouri after ending a fishing excursion in Arkansas when he suddenly had to pee.
As fate would have it, Shaver pulled off at the next rest stop to ditch the past few day’s garbage and quickly relieve himself.
The hurried Shaver figured that it wouldn’t take him more than a few minutes to handle his business and decided to leave his driver side door open and the car running, but he had no way of knowing his rush to urinate would end up being an act of destiny.
When the lone traveler returned from the restroom, he was shocked to find that a scrawny dog was patiently waiting for him…in his car.
Apparently, when the stray dog saw Shaver leave his car door open she viewed it as an open invitation jump in for the ride.
After recovering from his initial shock of walking out to find a strange dog waiting for him in his car, Shaver began to take a closer look at his new road buddy.
Upon inspection, the dog lover found that there wasn’t much to this poor wandering stray at all. She was severely malnourished and it was clear just from the look of her that she was starving, so the shocked driver fed her the only food he had left-a Rice Krispie Treat.
After watching the dog Hoover her treat like she might never eat again and taking in her cowering body language, it became clear to Shaver that this dog had been searching for someone to take care of her.
Fortunately for this stray dog, Shaver and his wife, Angela, have a soft spot for animals in need of some rescuing.
When push came to shove, Shaver just couldn’t turn his back on the dog and so after checking to make sure there were no signs of ownership on the dog, he snapped a quick photo of his fated travel companion and sent it to his wife.
In an interview with The Dodo, Angela said the decision to adopt this newfound furbaby was a no-brainer for the two animal lovers.
“I asked him what our new dog’s name was. We decided to call her River because of where she found him.”
Just like that, this stray dog now had a name and was headed for a home and family waiting to welcome her with open arms.
When shaver pulled up with the new family dog in tow, his wife and son were waiting out front to greet them, but River wasn’t about to get out of the car that just liberated her from homelessness.
The family said that River wasn’t refusing to leave the car out of fear, but because, they thought, it had become her safety bubble when she and Shaver first bonded…she knew it was a safe place for her.
After a while, her new human [Bill], scooped her up in his loving arms and carried her into the house where, one-by-one, she was carefully acquainted with the new members of her pack.
The Shaver family is pretty big when you count all of their pets they’ve rescued over the years. In addition to River, they care for their four other dogs and one cat.
Angela recalls what it was like for River to spend her first night in her new home with her new family.
“Once they all decided she was OK, he [Bill] brought her in for a bath. 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.”
When River woke up the next day she got up and began to poke around, slowly adapting to her new world.
The cautious dog even played with the other pets a little bit, so long as they didn’t stray too far from her new humans.