Puppy Rescued on a Whale-Watching Trip Becomes ‘The Littlest Whale’

This story was originally shared on The Animal Rescue Site. Submit your own rescue story here. Your story just might be the next to be featured on our blog!

My daughter and I were taking a road trip down the Baja Peninsula in Mexico to go whale-watching and stopped in a small town for lunch. We tried to get directions to the beach but got lost and ended up in a pretty remote area and we had run out of road.


As I was turning the car around, I noticed something moving in the bushes. I got out of the car found a tiny puppy. Teeny tiny! Super skinny and covered in fleas and ticks with some sort of gooey nonsense in her eyes. She could not have been more than five or six weeks old and completely alone!

We looked for a while to see if mom and litter mates were nearby but nothing. We had some cottage cheese and turkey in the cooler, so we fed her and gave her some water. She looked up at me with those sweet puppy eyes and that was it – I was taking her with us!

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In an effort to contain the bugs, we cleaned out the cooler, put some paper towels in it and sat her down. We drove to the town’s grocery store and bought food and flea shampoo and went behind the store to bathe her at a spigot. She was not happy, but we began the long process of getting all of those fleas and ticks off her.

We went on our way after visiting a garage sale that miraculously had a small wire crate and a collar and leash! When we finally got to a hotel, we had a chance to feed her, play with her and thoroughly enjoy our new little passenger. She came with us to the whale camp and was a huge hit with the other whale-watchers!


We decided to name her Ballena, which is Spanish for whale. She is seven years old and 65 pounds now and the love of my life and constant companion! She is also a registered, working therapy dog visiting patients at a local behavioral health hospital once a week! I think bringing that puppy home from Mexico was one of the BEST ideas I ever had!

Story submitted by Michelle Malka Steinberg from Phoenix, Arizona.

Ballena’s story was originally shared on The Animal Rescue Site. Share your very own rescue story here!

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