Seneca Krueger fostered an adorable but traumatized dog named Zelda and helped her regain her trust in humans. After parting ways, the woman was shocked to find out how the dog walked 40 miles to be with her, the only person who ever made her feel loved.
Krueger is a psychotherapist and a professional dog fosterer. Her specialty is to restore abandoned dogs’ faith in humans. Out of the 30 dogs she fostered in the past 12 years, Krueger says Zelda’s case was the hardest.
When the woman first got the Zelda, the poor dog spent all day pacing back and forth and hiding from her. She was on anti-anxiety medications, but they didn’t seem to help her much. Little by little the ever so patient woman helped Zelda regain her trust in humans.
Surprisingly, Zelda was calmer when she was on a leash, so Krueger began to tether-train her. The woman walked around the house with Zelda tied to her for days. It wasn’t long before this method started to prove itself as being helpful. The woman successfully weaned Zelda off the medication, she almost stopped pacing altogether and came out of her hiding spots more often. After two months, the much-awaited moment had arrived. Zelda wagged her tail for the first time! When Krueger saw it, she was the happiest person on earth.
After spending four months with Krueger, Zelda began to play, bark, and trust the woman. She still struggled whenever someone new came to visit, or when she heard an unexpected noise, but there was no comparison to when she first arrived. With mixed feelings, the woman knew that her job was done. It was time to say goodbye.
Even though she’d done it 29 times before, parting ways with Zelda was unusually hard for the woman. She had to stop several times on the 40-mile drive because she couldn’t fight the tears. She said that for the first time ever, it felt like she was giving her own dog away. Saying goodbye was hard, but the selfless woman, who only had the dog’s best interest in mind, knew that it was for the best.
Ten days after dropping Zelda, Krueger got a call saying that she escaped. She didn’t think twice before running to her car and beginning to look for the pooch. Krueger was worried sick for her Zelda, as it was the peek of the winter, and temperatures were far below zero. She reached out to the people of a pet search organization called START (Search, Track, and Retrieval Team). The START volunteers set feeding stations and cameras around the area of the dog’s disappearance. It wasn’t long before sightings of the dog started to arrive. Unfortunately though, no one managed to catch the pooch, and she disappeared again.
Fast forward two months and Krueger received news that someone spotted Zelda in Minneapolis, exactly halfway between her new home and Krueger’s. It was at that moment that the woman knew that the dog escaped in order to be with her. Conveniently, the adopters gave up on the pooch soon after that, which made Zelda available for adoption again. This gave Krueger the motivation boost she needed. She knew that Zelda was coming for her.
Two weeks later, someone saw Zelda near Krueger’s house. The woman placed feeding stations around her house and scattered dirty laundry on her front lawn, hoping that the smell would attract the pooch to her home. A couple that lived closeby called Krueger after a couple of days, saying that they caught a stray that looked similar to Zelda. After more than three months of false hopes, the woman didn’t want to get her hopes too high, only to be disappointed again. She rushed to their home, where she saw a tiny, terrified dog that didn’t quite look like her Zelda. The volunteers of START came and scanned the chip, and left the woman speechless.
It was Zelda! The sweet dog walked for 97 days, and over 40 miles, to be with the only woman who ever made her feel loved and appreciated. Krueger burst into tears and apologized to Zelda for not recognizing her. The pooch, who didn’t hold a grudge, was simply happy to be with her mommy again.
Now Zelda follows her mother everywhere. Krueger said that she’s her ‘velcro dog’. Even the other doggos in Krueger’s pack are happy to have Zelda back.
Watch the two’s unbreakable bond in the video below:
Share this heartwarming story with your friends and family!
H/T – The Dodo
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