Who doesn’t love a side-of-the-highway-in-pouring-rain rescue story?

By Charyn Pfeuffer
September 18, 2020
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Kim Sharpe Jones

Kim Sharpe Jones was on vacation in Montana a few years back, going with her husband, Kendall, to his family reunion.

“We were going from Glacier National Park to Choteau, Mont., which is in the middle of nowhere on the east side of the park,” Jones says. They were in the middle of the 10-day vacation, driving down a two-lane highway, where traffic would usually go 70 mph, in the pouring down rain.

“It’s raining pretty hard, and we saw the cars in front of us slowing down, then speeding up again, and we're like, ‘Oh! We better be careful. There's probably a cow in the road or something,’” she says. “As we get closer, we see this little dog chasing the cars, trying to get their attention, and jumping up on the side of the cars as they go by. So, the cars slow down, but they keep going.” 

The couple decided to help and slowed down. Sure enough, the small black-and-white dog started to run alongside their car. They pulled into a highway pullout. “We didn’t know what was going to happen next, but we knew we had to get her off the highway,” Jones says. 

It took them about 10 minutes to capture the pup. “She would squiggle around and then kind of submit, but if we tried to get too close to her, she would squiggle away,” Jones says. “She was running in circles around the car, wanting to interact with us. She was definitely friendly but also really scared.” 

So, Jones waited in the car. Kendall managed to scoop to dog up and shovel her in the front seat at her feet. He shut the door really quick. In the middle of nowhere with a dog with no collar or identification, they wondered: What now? 

“Kendall and I both at that time were thinking ‘This could be our dog,’ but we didn't want to say it out loud,” Jones says. 

As soon as they had a cell signal, they started calling local shelters and veterinarians. Everyone laughed and said they couldn’t take her. There was an overabundance of strays in the area, and the shelters were full. 

Kim Sharpe Jones

Then, the kindness of the universe came into play. “Our hotel let us cancel last-minute so we could transfer to a dog-friendly hotel,” Jones says. Then the couple headed to Bozeman, where Kendall had a writing gig. They were booked at a non-pet friendly hotel and couldn’t cancel the reservation, but they found a nearby kennel that could take the dog on short notice. 

The dog had no idea how to walk indoors and had clearly never encountered stairs. Strangely, she was potty trained and had been fixed. It appeared as if she’d been somebody’s pet, and they abandoned her.  

“I think her owner drove her intentionally out there to dump her because there's no way she would be out in the middle of nowhere like that,” Jones says. 

The couple wasn’t entirely sure if they were going to keep the dog until she got checked out by a vet, making sure she was healthy and not pregnant. Everything checked out OK. 

Jones could tell Lucy was a sweet little dog from the minute they found her. “We were going to figure it out,” Jones says. She jokes that she’s never done anything spontaneous like that in her entire life. 

Jones named the pup Lucy because that was going to be one of her baby names and it’s the name of one of the kids in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, she says.

Before the rescue, the couple had two border collie mutts who had died a few years earlier—within six months of each other. They’d been thinking about getting a new dog and perusing the pet rescue websites. Still, they were holding off until after their summer travels. “Kendall just kept saying, ‘I wish there was some serendipity,’” Jones says. 

Serendipity came knocking along the side of a highway.