For all her efforts to save the tiny dog weaving through Los Angeles traffic, there came a moment when Elaine Seamans thought all was lost.
She couldn’t even bear to watch as the panicked dog dove into multiple lanes of bustling traffic.
“I see these cars coming and a truck coming and I’m like, ‘Oh my God,’” Seamans tells iHeartDogs. “I thought the dog was going to get hit. I turned my back and covered my ears.”
And then came a cry of triumph from witnesses who had also stopped their car to help: “She made it! She made it!”
The chase was back on.
As founder of the At-Choo Foundation, Seamans has rescued and found homes for countless dogs. But none had literally thrown themselves in front of her car, like the 13-pound dog, who would later be named Butterscotch, did earlier this month.
Seamans had been driving back from the local animal shelter, where she volunteers much of her time. The dog had darted in front of her car, amid four lanes of traffic.
Narrowly missing the frightened animal, Seamans pulled over — and the chase began.
One near miss followed another near miss, as rescuer and dog played a deadly game of tag in traffic.
“Every time she looked at me, I got down to the ground,” Seamans recalls. “Then she took off running. So I took off running.
“Then she turned around, and I went back down to the ground.”
But every now and then, Butterscotch gave her would-be-rescuer a sign that she wanted so badly to trust her.
Like when she allowed Seamans to edge within arm’s length.
“I put my hand out,” she says. “She put her head in my hand.”
But getting a leash on the dog proved another risky undertaking, as the dog would take off again at first sign of the tether.
“I literally crawled,” Seamans says. “I laid down and put my hands through the bush. I pet her and moved her towards my body and eased her onto my lap. And that was it.”
Finally, the dog finally agreed to trust her rescuer.
“I was like, ‘Oh my God. I just won the lottery,’” Seamans says.
Then, when they were both safely in the car — the best kind of oh-my-God moment.
Butterscotch pressed her body against Seamans and rested her paw on the woman’s shoulder, as if to say, thank you.
She was that way the entire time,” Seamans says.
Seamans brought her back to the shelter, where staff soon learned, Butterscotch was really into hugs.
Who would have known — had not one woman taken the time to get out of her car and convince a traumatized dog that there are still humans worth hugging out there?
After the shelter’s mandatory holding period expired — with no one claiming the dog — Seamans networked with other animal rescue groups. She got in touch with Laura Dash, who runs Adopt Me Rescue. Another volunteer, Cathi Perez, picked up Butterscotch.
More hugs, naturally, ensued.
Now in foster care, Butterscotch is showing her gratitude the best way she knows how: hugs all around.
“She’s totally sweet,” says Seamans, who visits her there. “Of course, she’s going to be the perfect dog. It ended up perfectly.”
Want to stay updated on Butterscotch’s journey for a forever home? Follow Adopt Me Rescue’s Facebook page, where you can also make a donation to her ongoing care.