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“He fell asleep in my hands and that’s when I started crying.”
Evie and Leslie Benson were driving home after a day of back to school shopping when they noticed cars swerving around a little brown object in the distance. Soon they saw him — a dog frozen in fear in front of an oncoming 18-wheeler truck.
“We closed our eyes, scared that we were gonna see this dog get hit by a car,” Evie Benson told The Dodo. “Luckily, the dog moved out of the way just in time.”
Having witnessed such a close call, Benson knew what she had to do.
“My fight or flight kicked in as I jumped out of the moving car,” Benson said.
Soon enough, the grateful dog was safe in their back seat.
He was dirty and very skinny, but despite his condition, the pup’s tail never stopped wagging.
“I was heartbroken just thinking about what this dog has been through and how scared and alone he felt,” Benson said. “The car ride was a breeze. Eventually, he fell asleep in my hands and that’s when I started crying. I wanted him to know he was finally safe.”
They brought the dog to the Goochland County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center, where he was quickly admitted.
The next day, Benson returned to check on him. She wasn’t sure if the pup would remember her, but as soon as she arrived, he jumped into her arms.
“We sat with him in the room and that’s when the emotions hit,” Benson said. “My mom and I both started crying … I joined him on the floor and he curled up in my lap and was content … he even laid on top of me and cuddled me.”
Soon, Benson came up with the perfect name for the dog — she started calling him Wags, because no matter what, he was always wagging his tail.
Benson still can’t believe that so many drivers saw Wags and didn’t stop to help, but she’s so happy he’s finally getting the care he needs. Though she’s off to college in the fall and can’t adopt him, she knows that Wags will find his family in no time.
“It breaks my heart that I can’t adopt him,” Benson said. “The SPCA has gotten so many calls and messages checking on Wags … I know he will have no trouble finding a home.”
Benson knows she will always remember the little dog in the road — and surely, Wags will always remember her, too.
“We made a lifelong connection and I love him so much,” Benson said. “I am glad I was able to save him and connect with him.”