Woman Works for Years to Save Stray Dog, Finally Succeeding

This story has been shared as part of the Fur Fam Story Contest. You can submit your own tale through December 5th. Voting will run from December 6th through December 31st. Three grand prize winners will receive a $500 prize, plus $2000 in cash and supplies for their favorite shelter. Share your story here!

Webster and Bandit are a father and daughter team. Webster is a beautiful border collie who is now 17 and was a stray. We live on a golf course in Mesa, Arizona. I saw him running on the golf course one day and tried to get him to come to me. I figured a dog like this got away from his owner and someone was looking for him. He avoided me, but I was persistent.

I kept seeing him almost everyday and followed him to a home a few blocks away. The homeowners claim they did not own the dog, he just kept coming around because they had a female dog in their yard that Webster came to see. They were not feeding Webster, so I started to bring food to him every morning before I left for work. This went on for almost two years.

DOGS. PHOTO: ADOBE STOCK/KAZANTSEVAOV

I put up posters and talked to people in the area but no one knew who he belonged to. One morning, I heard my neighbors yelling. They had a female pit bull, and Webster had jumped their fence to get to her. Needless to say, 11 puppies later, I got Bandit, his daughter. Webster was still on the run, but he got used to me coming around and feeding him.

One morning when I went to feed him, it was cold and raining. I found him trying to keep dry under some wood; he was soaked and shaking. He let me get about two feet from him when he started to take off. I moved away, leaving the food. After that, I told my husband that I could not do this anymore, I needed to get this dog. I called every resource I could to find some help, but they all told me that I had to catch him first before they could help me.

We finally got in touch with Border Collie Rescue, who got in touch with Southwest Wildlife. They offered to rent me a trap in order to catch Webster, so that is what I did. The next day we set out with the trap and chicken nuggets to lure him. It only took 30 minutes.

Webster did not seem upset nor did he freak out. He just sat calmly in the trap until I got him home. I had set up an area in my garage where he had plenty of room to move around with a warm clean bed and food/water. I would go out every day to talk with him, hoping he would come to me. Then after three days, he finally let me touch him… I cried. It did take him about three months to get used to my husband. I introduced him to his daughter and I really think he knew who she was. They got along like two peas in a pod!

PHOTO: DAWN SPROUT

I have had him for 12 years now and he has been my best friend. I still have his daughter, too, she protects him now since he is deaf and going blind. They will both be with us until the end.

This story was submitted by Dawn Sprout, in support of AZ Center for Animal Rescue and Education. (AZ CARE) To share your own submission for the Fur Fam Story Contest, click here!

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