“She nuzzled her head right in my shirt” ❤️️
It’s not always easy to catch a scared, stray dog — just ask Donna Lochmann. The chief life saving officer for Stray Rescue of St. Louis has rescued many lonely pups, and, usually, it takes some time for them to trust her. But, the other day, Lochmann tried to save a dog in North St. Louis, and everything changed.
Lochmann received a call one day about a dog who’d been seen hanging around an industrial area, and she dropped everything to try to help her. When she got there, the callers had already corralled the dog into a fenced-in area; all Lochmann had to do was convince the dog to follow her to her Jeep.
At first, the rescuer tried getting close to the dog, but she quickly realized that her plan wasn’t going to work. The closer Lochmann got, the further back the dog would go.
“She was definitely looking for a way to get away from me, but there was no way out,” Lochmann told The Dodo. “She barked a couple of times, like a super-scared warning.”
As soon as she noticed the pup’s demeanor, Lochmann stopped closing in on her. This time, the rescuer decided to gain the dog’s trust from a distance by using two tried-and-true tools: her voice and delicious Vienna sausages.
“I knelt down so she didn’t feel so threatened and started talking to her,” Lochmann said. “I tossed one sausage over to her, and she ate it.”
The pup gobbled up the sausage chunk instantly, so Lochmann started throwing a few more pieces in her direction. She assumed the dog would eat the rest of the sausages with just as much vigor as she ate the first one, but, suddenly, she wasn’t interested in the food at all.
“I tossed some more sausages, but she just started creeping her way over to me,” Lochmann said. “She passed right by the other sausages. She was more interested in me than the food.”
Instead of inhaling the rest of the sausages, the dog walked straight to Lochmann and did something that shocked the seasoned rescuer.
“When she got to me, she nuzzled her head right in my shirt,” Lochmann said. “Then she rolled over and looked up at me.”
It only took one piece of sausage for the dog, later named Cutie Pie, to know she could fully trust Lochmann. In an instant, the once-scared pup was curled up in Lochmann’s arms.
“It was so sweet, the way she looked up at me as if she were saying, ‘Thank you!’” Lochmann said.
After a few minutes of snuggling, Lochmann gently placed a leash around Cutie Pie’s neck. She tried to lead the pup back to her Jeep, but Cutie Pie was hesitant at first.
“She was a little hesitant to follow, but as soon as we got to the Jeep, she jumped in,” Lochmann said. “She was ready to go then.”
Lochmann let Cutie Pie ride up front with her all the way to the shelter. The dog, who was once too scared to let anyone near her, started to come out of her shell right away.
Volunteers at Stray Rescue of St. Louis welcomed Cutie Pie into their shelter with open arms. They gave her a much-needed bath as soon as she got there, and the medical team evaluated her for any injuries and illnesses.
Luckily, the pup was given a clean bill of health, and she was able to go to a foster home shortly after.
“She wasn’t here very long,” Lochmann said. “She went straight to a foster home that she loves. She’s doing absolutely great.”
Cutie Pie loves her new foster home, and she’s gotten especially close to her new sibling.
“We’ve gotten videos of her playing in the backyard with her new dog sibling, just running and playing,” Lochmann said. “She’s getting to act like a regular dog.”
Even though Cutie Pie loves her new foster home, she’s still on the hunt for a forever love. Lochmann is hopeful that the right family will come along, but, in the meantime, the pup will continue enjoying every day to the fullest.
“She’s just super, super sweet,” Lochmann said. “And she’s finally happy.”
To inquire about adopting Cutie Pie, you can reach out to Stray Rescue of St. Louis via email, phone or social media here.
To help pups like Cutie Pie get the care they need, you can make a donation to Stray Rescue of St. Louis.