A Free, 500-Dollar Junkyard Dog

Recently, my son and hubby went to a junkyard to look at an old car, a Falcon Ranchero, they wanted to restore. I got the call about an hour later.

“We bought the car,” Hubby said.

“Good,” I lied. I mean, they really don’t need another car to work on. Isn’t two fixer-uppers enough?

“There’s something else I want to bring home,” Hubby said.

“Not another car, baby. We don’t have enough room.”

“Not a car,” he told me. “A dog.”

“You’re joking, right.” Really, I thought he was joking.

“No,” he answered in his dead serious tone.

“Aren’t you at a junkyard?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he said.

The absurdity of this rolled over me like a dump truck. “You want to bring home a junkyard dog?”


“No,” I counter, in my blunt voice.

“She’s a sweet junkyard dog,” he said.

Junkyard dog and sweet don’t belong in the same sentence. “No,” I repeated.

“She’s young.”


“She’s pretty.”


“She needs a home.” I could almost hear his heart breaking over the line and when I didn’t say anything, he added, “She needs someone to save her.”

Dang, that man always knows how to pull on my heartstrings, but a junkyard dog?

“Do you really want this dog?” I asked him.

“Yes,” he said

“Is she housebroken?” I asked.

“I don’t think she’s ever been inside a house.”

“Does she have fleas and ticks?”

“Of course, she does. She’s a junkyard dog.”

“Are you really serious?” I asked.

“She’s free,” he said.

I reminded him what they say about nothing being free. “She could cost as much as a couple of hundred dollars to take her to the vet.” I thought that would change his mind.

I was wrong, both about how much it would cost and about it changing his mind. So I threw in the towel. I mean, seriously, what were my choices?

A couple of hours later, son and hubby pulled up with this free junkyard dog. Of course, that was after they stopped at Whataburger and got three meal deals. One for the dog.

“You get to name her,” hubby said. And believe me in this household that’s an honor. They never let me name an animal.

I petted her, cautiously. She accepted my hand guardedly. She was covered in fleas and ticks. But he was right. She was sweet and soft as silk. And unlike any junkyard dog I’ve ever known, she’s completely meek and docile. I took one look at her and named her Lady.

Hubby and son bathed her and took her to the vet. An hour later, we had good news and bad news. She’s only seven to eight months old and doesn’t have mange or heartworms. That’s it for the good news. On the other hand, she was severely anemic, severely malnourished, has all sorts of worms, and had kennel cough.

And oh yeah, she’s no lady.  I don’t mean she’s a boy. I mean, she’d been playing with the boys. Yup, she was pregnant. However, the vet didn’t think she was healthy enough to carry the babies. As a matter of fact, the vet said she didn’t think she would have survived much longer. So after another few swipes of our American Express, we had ourselves a free, $500, spayed junkyard dog.

She’s adapting to her new lifestyle. At first, she ate food whole, chewing was optional—I mean what if someone decided to take it away from her? She now chews her food, enjoys her memory foam bed at night, and thinks sofas are much more comfortable that my hardwood floors. She much prefers gnawing on shoes or a pair of jeans to the sticks that she used to find outside. She finds it much more productive to steal the family pack of 96% ground round set out on the counter than to raid garbage-cans. (I still don’t know how she got on the counter, or how she ate all of it so quickly.) She decided the leftover grilled chicken on the table must have been hers. Why else would we have left it unattended for ONE minute? She’s certain that the cat food set out on the windowsill is hers, and not the kitties’. After one week, Lady has gained five pounds and hasn’t had one potty accident inside.

And the kitties? Well, she must have a little pointer dog in her, because she sees a feline, goes completely still, quietly raises and folds up one paw. Her tail goes straight and she stares at the varmint.

When we don’t do anything, she then looks at us as if to say. “I found it, now you shoot it. Hey, I did my job. You do yours.” Yeah, she’s still adapting, with a few scratches on her nose, to living with the felines.

But as she hangs out at her rescuer’s side, keeping him company as he works on his car, I have to admit, she’s the best five-hundred dollars my hubby has ever spent. She needed us; but in truth, we needed her, too.

So what about you guys? Have you ever taken in a stray?

15 thoughts on “A Free, 500-Dollar Junkyard Dog

  1. Twice, the first was a cat we named Oreo but he ran away. The second, was a puppy we found in the streets of Mexico. It was covered in flees, its tummy was distended (from starving or eating crap, I think). We took her in much to my mom’s dismay and since I found her I got to name her. I named her Lucky. We left her in the care of my family in Mexico till we can get her spayed and get her some paperwork to bring her to the U.S. She always slept with me in my room and she loved my dad so much. She died a couple years back but I loved her very much.

  2. All of our pets have been rescues and we’ve never once regretted it. I’ve also spent time volunteering with a Pit Bull / Rottweiler rescue and was constantly amazed by the dogs’ spirits. Animals are so wonderful and resilient, and it’s truly incredible how some of them pull through their rough beginnings and still turn out so loving and hopeful.

    Good for you and your family for rescuing Lady and spoiling her the way she deserves! And congrats on your new addition! 🙂

  3. My dad found my little kitty-kat Missy at his work, she’s so adorable! One of his friends from work was going to leave her for the rats, she was so small!! only 4 1/2 months old! So my dad took her home and gave her to me for my b-day. Since then we’ve only recieved a few scratches, nothing more. She was scared for a couple days but now she’s alright. Missy is the cutest kitty in the world and she got lucky the day my dad took her home.

  4. No I have not, but I love animals definitely dogs. It was real cool of you to take her in and I would do something like this! My next dog will definitely be from a shelter, or at least I hope…. ;D

  5. Congrats on your new family member! My life is dedicated to animals. I am a groomer and dog trainer whom works with a vet. I have 8 dogs, 3 being rescues. I also have 4 cats which are rescues. Sadly I see the description your new pet as had to live through and I see so many that even have to be put down due to the circumstances people have left them in. This story is very inspiring and I am so glad she lucked out, as well as you all too;) In a time of need or even inspiration you can never be disappointed in the love of a pet. They help us put life in a better perspective. You said it best ” She needed you, and you needed her”. I hope you have many joyful years with her. I may have a large brood of dogs but each have there own uniqueness and they sure mind me better than my own kids lol.

  6. I haven’t taken home a stray or I don’t think I have but if I found one I would definitely take it in. My parents joke that I will someday take home a person because I am just like that.

  7. In 2006, two Shar-Pei puppies were dropped off at the vet in a box. Someone just left them there and ran away. The vets took them in and looked after them. Unfortunately, they couldn’t keep them forever, and they would of had to put them down. 🙁 One of the vets asked his friend if he wanted a puppy for him and his family. He said yes and he took one home for his wife and children. But there was still one left. The man who adopted one of the pups asked his co-worker, (my dad), if he wanted a puppy for his family. My sisters and I had been asking for a dog for at least a year! We had begged for one and we promised that we would care for it and love it!! So when my dad was offered a puppy, he said yes. When he came home from work one day, he told my mum, my sisters, and I to follow him into our backyard. When we got onto the grass, laying there was the most adorable, innocent, ball of wrinkles we had ever seen! My dad had secretly went around the house to the backyard and put him there before coming inside. We named him Rex after a German Shepard my dad had when he was a kid. Rex is now almost 6 and still acts like a puppy. He is the cutest thing in the world and I love him with all my heart!!

    Congratulations on the new addition to your family.

  8. We took in a stray. My father was a firefighter and one day while taking out the garbage at the firehouse, he found a dog eating a moldy pork chop from the dumpster. She was so skinny, part Rotweiler and part Pit Bull. My father, being the softy that he was, immediately took her inside the firehouse and started feeding her the food that my mom had packed for him. After giving her that and about 3 cans of Dinty Moore Beef Stew that he found in the cabinets, she rested right at his feet in the common room. When my Dad left after his shift, she left as well and we got phone calls from other firefighters saying that the dog had come back every day to look for my Dad. Sure enough, when he went in for his shift 3 days later, she showed up. Only this time, she had a rope tied around her neck so tight that she choking/coughing. The rope was so tight that it did permanent damage to her vocal chords and left scarring. My father was furious and took her and walked her up and down the street where the firehouse was located asking anyone if they knew who the dog belonged to. He finally found a young girl who said that she belonged to a family a few houses down, but they had moved to Florida. The people had tied her up outside and moved away. My father called my mom immediately…asking if he could bring her home. We already had a German Shepard at home so my mom said that we couldn’t do it. I convinced her to drive me down to the firehouse so we could meet the dog. I fell in love immediately. She covered my face in kisses and was the sweetest baby. When we left, I begged my mom the whole way home to change her mind. She didn’t. Fortunately, the dog didn’t really care. When my father went to his truck the next morning after his shift was over, he opened the driver side door and she jumped right in. After a trip to the vet to make sure she was healthy and numerous ads and flyers around asking if she really did belong to someone, we (and our German Shepard) accepted her into our family. She blessed us with 11 years of love and trained us very well. She was one of the greatest blessings of my life. She found us and filled a void that even we didn’t know was missing. I miss my sweet Cassie girl everyday.

  9. All 3 of the dogs my family has taken in have been strays. Our middle one was ONE day from being put down at the pound when we got her! There are two things that we (my family) have learned from having so many dogs. First, they REALLY enjoy company. It is cruel to only have one dog if there isn’t someone in the house with them. Second, “junkyard” dogs or other mistreated dog are really the BEST pets. Why? Because they are so thankful to have a loving home. We can open our front door and they won’t do a thing. They almost never want to get in the car because they are worried they won’t come back. 😀 YOUR DOG IS SO CUTE THOUGH!!!

  10. My family and I mostly take in animals from the SPCA. We got our little kitten, named Jersey, from the SPCA. We got a boxer-cross doggy (My baby) from “Ugly Mutts” They rescue dogs from the streets. We got another puppy from a store. Poop puppy was dying. I couldn’t leave him! I begged sooo much. He almost died 5 times from different illnesses (But he is safe and sound now!). We also took in 2 horses that needed a retirement home!! And finally, we have a few stray kittens at our barn! 🙂 I love animals sooo much! <3 0:)

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  13. Awww Lady is soo cute!!!!!!! I never took in a stray because my mom is scared of dogs and cats I was too at first but I learned to love them. I like dogs better but id be too scared to come by a dog almost the size of a horse and that bites!! But my uncle has two dogs Mississippi and Lil Black he had way more dogs but he sold some of them or they died which was sad!!!!! Anyway super sad and good story

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