Couple Hiking In Europe Find Starving Dog, Now Lives Best Life In Colorado
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Couple Hiking In Europe Find Starving Dog, Now Lives Best Life In Colorado

A couple from Colorado went on a hiking holiday in Montenegro where a local stray dog decided to befriend them and refused to let them leave without her.

The poster, Shaylin, and her husband tell the heartwarming story in a video shared on TikTok earlier in June, under the username shaylingandhi, which has since gone viral on social media.

The viral clip shows a series of pictures of the pup, now named Cara, looking very skinny during their first encounter back in the European mountains, followed by pictures of her life now, enjoying her big sister status to the couple’s twins and their other dog.

Shaylin told Newsweek that she and her then-boyfriend (now husband) went on a three-day hike through Durmitor National Park, in Montenegro with his family back in 2016, and about four hours into the hike, they started talking about how they’d like to get a dog once they got back home to Colorado.

Then out of nowhere, a very skinny dog popped out of the bushes and onto their trail, and they couldn’t believe what had just happened.

“She was very scared/shy, but we offered her our leftover pizza since she looked like she was on the verge of death. She ate it right away and then immediately stopped being scared, in fact she followed us for the next 2 miles.”

Eventually, they came up to a shepherd’s hut and he told them that he recognized this dog as one he had been chasing away with his stick, arguing that she kept bothering his sheep.

“He talked about how he was always trying to get rid of her, so we decided to lead her away from there!” the poster added.

“Over the next three days, we hiked about 25 miles through the park and she followed us the whole time, sleeping outside our tent each evening. A few times she disappeared and just when we thought she was lost, she would find us again. We fed her throughout the hike and by the end, she let us tie a little collar and leash on her we made out of a small rope we had.

“When my husband’s parents picked us up they were shocked that we had a dog with us! But we were determined to take her home, because we didn’t think she would survive out there once winter came.”

The couple drove with her from Montenegro to Italy, where their flight home was from, and briefly stopped in Sarajevo on the way to get her vaccines and “pet passport” to be able to take her home.

“At home, we spent some time living in our van since we were planning on getting married the following year and wanted to travel together a bit first. Cara went to Alaska with us and during this time she gained weight, going from 26 lbs. to 42 lbs.

“To our surprise, she didn’t seem to have any lasting health issues despite how skinny she’d been. When we got home to Colorado, we bought a house and got married and she was our ring-bearer at the wedding.”

Soon they had twin daughters, to which Cara has been the most gentle and wonderful big sister for almost six years.

“She has slowed down a lot now that she is 9 years old, but she’s absolutely the gentlest and happiest dog we’ve ever met. She loves to lay with me on the couch and help me write (I’m an author, I write romance and women’s fiction novels). She is the best writing buddy anyone could ask for and we hope to have many more years with her.”

@shaylingandhi Rescue dogs make the best dogs ❤️🐕 #dogsoftiktok #rescuedog #montenegro #hiking #dogsofttiktok ♬ Positive background music such as play and games(1251730) – earbrojp

Each year 6.3 million pets enter U.S. shelters, which is an average of 17,260 a day, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The number of dogs and cats taken in by pet shelters hit 46,807 during January 2023, an increase of 1,744 compared with January 2022, the 24Pet ‘Shelter Watch Report’ found.

According to the Humane Society of Macomb, the most common reasons for dog surrenders include age, allergies, behavioral issues, clean-up, cost, moving, new pets, and shedding.

Around 920,000 surrendered animals are euthanized every year. Shelters are striving to minimize euthanasia rates by promoting adoption campaigns, spaying and neutering programs, and behavior rehabilitation.

The video quickly went viral on social media, getting viewers from across TikTok. It has so far received over 136,600 views and 16,400 likes on the platform.

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