It’s exhausting to be outside for just a few minutes on a hot summer day, let alone for a full 24 hours. That’s why when a Good Samaritan noticed a mysterious animal lying on a sunny hillside for three days straight, he knew something wasn’t right.
“She tought that [the animal] it was a coyote at first,” rescuer Suzette Hall told The Dodo. But when the woman got closer, she realized that she was actually looking at a dog.
The woman recognized the dog from several Facebook posts, written by neighbors who had seen the dog in different places over the course of two weeks. But no one had reported her “missing,” only “seen.”
With the heat rising and the dog still refusing to come off the hill, the woman reached out to Hall for help.
By the time he got there, the sun was beating down on the exposed hill and only getting stronger. “It was really hot that day,” Hall said. “I felt so dizzy, but I thought, ‘She’s got to be hotter.'”
Watch Hall approach the dog for the first time here:
Hall grabbed his trap and a giant jug of water, then headed up the steep slope. The closer he got, the clearer the dog’s condition became.
“You could tell he hadn’t had a drink of water in days,” Hall said.
When he finally got to the dog, Hall set up his trap with treats and filled a large bowl with water.
“He drank all the water,” Hall said. “But she wasn’t going to fall for it. She would go in a bit and then lie down in the sun.”
After a while, the dog began to realize that Hall was there to help him. “Every time she would start going down to check on her, she would start wagging her tail,” Hall said. “She knew I was there. She was starting to trust me.”
Hall was eventually able to get close enough to the dog to talk to her, but still couldn’t catch her. And the lure in her trap still wasn’t enticing enough to make the dog go all the way to the back.
So, Hall walked off the slope for a few minutes and came back with some fresh treats, which finally worked.
Walking toward the trap, Hall got a better look at the dog and realized that she was much younger than she appeared.
“She’s a little Malinois puppy,” Hall said. “[She’s] about 7 months old.”
Although she was shivering in the trap, the frightened cub couldn’t help but wag her tail as Hall approached her. So Hall gave her a name that reflected both her history and her personality.
“I called it Sunshine because it was so hot and because it’s a bright sunshine,” said Hall.
With the help of four kind-hearted firefighters, Hall was able to get Sunshine off the hill and finally out of the sun.
It was a triumphant moment for Hall and the Good Samaritans who helped her, but Sunshine couldn’t shake her fear.
“She’s so scared,” Hall said. She will let you pet her, but she just shivers. That is typical of spending a lot of time on the street.”
You can see Sunshine’s behavior after her rescue here:
No one in the neighborhood knows where Sunshine came from, but Hall suspects from his behavior that the dog has been there for a while, possibly his entire life.
“She is so unsocialized,” Hall said. “I think she never had a home.”
After the rescue, Hall took Sunshine to the vet, where the pup is decompressing in his own private space. According to Hall, the vet techs at the clinic have been showering Sunshine with love, which has helped her become more comfortable around people.
As soon as she’s done decompressing, Sunshine will go home to an experienced foster parent, one who has helped dogs like Sunshine flourish in the past. From there, she will be adopted into her forever home.
And, while she’s still waiting for her happy ending, Sunshine’s rescue from the brutal sun after three scorching days is a success in itself. “She is a total miracle,” said Hall.