In 2015,Shirley Zindler’s department atSonoma County Animal Services received a call from a concerned neighborin a rural area of California.
The caller said she heard noises coming from inside a large oak tree and that a small dog was livinginside.
The tree is located in an area Shirley describes as a “common dumping ground” for unwanted pets.
When Shirley arrived at the scene, she shined her flashlight into the hollow hole of the tree.
There, she found a skinny and semi-feral chihuahua living inside the trunk.
The dog, a chihuahua,was absolutely terrified andrefused to budge.
With coyotes and other predators looming nearby, Shirley knew the dog needed to be pulled out of that tree as quickly as possible.
She could tellthe pup had never been handled by humans before.
Finally, Shirley was able to reach her hand through the hole with a treat. The dog was so famished that she gobbled it up.
After several hours of hard work, two patient animal control officers and two neighbors topulled her to safety.
The dog was skin and bones but her belly was rounded because she was pregnant.
She had been living inside the tree for at least a whole week.
An officer gave her a fittingname: “Boo,” after the character Boo Radley fromTo Kill A Mockingbird.
In the classic novel, Boo leaves gifts for children in the knothole of a tree.
Boo, who was less than one-year-old, was transferred back to Shirley’s shelter for a nice warm bath.
After Boo was fed, the rescuers realized just how timid and hesitant she acted around people.
“She thinks the world’s out to get her,” Shirley told The Huffington Post.
Boo soon gave birth, but sadly, none of her puppies survived.
Shirley continued caring for Boo, bringing her to work to help her get accustomed to people.
It was a very slow process, and Boo was highly reluctant to be held and handled.
Boo felt comforted by her leash, and she insisted on dragging it around at all times.
Boo also developed social skills by spending time with other rescues.
“There’s nothing like a happy, confident dog to help a fearful dog come out of their shell,” Shirley said.
Shirley absolutely lovedBoo, but with four dogs of her own, she knew Boo needed one-on-one attention.
Shirley was flooded with hopeful applicants who wanted to provide Boo with a loving home.
She took extra precaution to choose just the right family.Boo needed a patient home, willing to give her the time she needed to fully trust again.
…And that’s exactly what she got.
Boo found her forever homeon May 23, 2015, with a family who lives just a few miles away from Shirley.
It didn’t take long for Boo to open up. She and her mom are inseparable!
Boomay have been a tough case, but she wascompletely worth it.