This Stray Was In Hurricane Irma’s Path When She Found Unexpected Refuge With Just Hours To Spare

When Hurricane Irma started menacing its seaboard in September 2017, Florida residents began to batten down the hatches. However, as the winds gathered pace, there was still one stray dog roaming the streets. But, just hours before the full force of the storm hit, the little pup unexpectedly found herself a safe refuge.

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The months between June and November is hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean. In an average season, the area can expect to experience about 12 tropical storms or hurricanes, each varying in intensity. With this in mind, some of these dramatic weather events turn out to be more damaging than others.

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In August 2017, The National Hurricane Center began monitoring a storm called Irma that had formed out in the ocean. It started out as a low-pressure weather system but meteorologists looked on in alarm as it soon intensified into a hurricane. In a matter of days, Irma had stampeded through the Caribbean, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake.
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By September 5, experts had labeled the storm as “extremely dangerous.” And, by the time Irma reached the coast of Florida five days later, the storm was classified as category-four and was blowing 130-mph sustained winds. As a result, those in the Irma’s predicted path began to prepare themselves and their homes for an intense battering.

The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency warned Florida residents to “prepare for a potentially life-threatening situation.” In a statement on its official website, the agency advised the state’s citizens to prepare for evacuation. And, in the meantime, it was suggested folks secured their house as best they could and gather in vital supplies.
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As a result, one central Florida woman – known only as Amiawifeorasword on Imgur – began following the government department’s advice. However, as she ran through the checklist of her chores and errands, the woman noticed a stray dog roaming around her street. Concerned, she called the mutt over to her porch. But little did the Imgur user know that she would fall almost instantly in love.

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The woman found the dog to be friendly but noticed that loud noises seemed to scare the animal. She was also looking more than a little under fed. So the kind stranger went inside to fetch the animal some food and water. The hungry dog wolfed down three bowls of food and two cups of water, scarcely pausing for breath.
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After her feed, the stray was in a tactile mood. She allowed her new friend to indulge her with some petting. After a while, the dog would even go so far as to drag Amiawifeorasword’s arm back towards the task whenever she stopped stroking. All at once, the woman realized that she simply couldn’t bring herself to leave the poor stray outside at the mercy of Irma.
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As a result, she accepted the animal into her home alongside her own dog and two cats. She also got a good look at the stray and the pitiful state she was in. The dog was stinking and her fur was matted and covered in dirt and feces. Furthermore, it appeared she had sat in tar at one point which had solidified on her rear end. Refusing to let the animal suffer any longer, Amiawifeorasword attempted to calm her down so that she could give the stray a well-needed bath.
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At first the dog was extremely wary of the water, but – after some protesting – the stray allowed the compassionate human to clean her. However, her fur was so matted that Amiawifeorasword was forced to cut most of it away. In the end, she left the poor pooch practically furless. Nevertheless, the rescued animal was much more comfortable for it.
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Following her bath, the hungry pup enjoyed yet another bowl of food and had a little run around her new friend’s garden. After that it was time to batten down the hatches and hold tight for the onslaught of Irma. But, once the raging storm had done its worst and passed over her home, Amiawifeorasword took the dog to a vet.
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It was there that she discovered the animal was most likely a husky-wolf mix. She also learned that the dog was incredibly young – perhaps less than a year old. However, the vet said it was clear that the stray had been fending for herself for some time. As a result, the mutt was severely malnourished.
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The vet also discovered that the dog had no microchip identification. Consequently, Amiawifeorasword turned to social media to try and track down the stray’s owner or discover what had happened. After putting out lots of virtual feelers, eventually she pieced together the sad story behind the loving dog she had come to cherish.

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A family from elsewhere in her city contacted Amiawifeorasword to let her know that they were the dog’s original owners when the animal was just a pup. Due to unfortunate circumstances, the family had lost their apartment and were unable to take the puppy with them. As a result, they had given the dog to a couple they trusted. However, they too found themselves unable to look after her and the pup was given away once more.
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Another person then came forward to tell the Imgur user that the dog had then been her boyfriend’s pet. He had dumped the pup by the side of the road when he could no longer afford to keep her. According to the girlfriend, he assumed that a good Samaritan would come along and pick the dog up. But, instead, the poor animal was doomed to roam the streets for a month before Amiawifeorasword found her.
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So now that she had found the dog and rescued her from the fury of Irma, Amiawifeorasword was unwilling to let the mutt go. So she named the one-time stray Amaterasu – or Amy for short – and adopted the dog into her pet family. And it didn’t take long for Amy to adjust and settle herself into her new, loving lifestyle.
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“She makes a perfect addition to our family,” her delighted new owner said, as she relayed the abandoned dog’s story on Imgur. “She’s a snuggler. Pretty much anytime I sit down she wants to be in my lap. And she howls outside the bathroom door while waiting for me.” Amiawifeorasword also got her new pet chipped – so Amy would never be a stray again.
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In the end, Hurricane Irma went down as the strongest Atlantic weather system since Wilma struck in 2005. Irma caused widespread damage across the Caribbean and Florida, destroying countless homes and claiming 132 lives. With so much misery caused by the storm, many people online found hope and inspiration in Amy’s story.
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While the storm had ripped so many lives apart, for one dog it appeared to have helped to piece hers together. Consequently, Amy’s story went viral, receiving almost 400,000 views on Imgur and attracting more than 1,200 comments. Moreover, many people were so touched by the dog’s happy ending that they wanted to donate cash towards her recovery.
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Amy’s story is a fine example of how communities can often band together when the going gets tough. Her new owner could have easily left her out in the storm to concentrate on keeping her family safe. Happily, however, Amiawifeorasword brought her into the warmth of a loving home and in return Amy melted her heart.

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