An abandoned dog discovered living inside tree trunk in a remote countryside area of California now has a much warmer, loving home after being adopted this past weekend.
Boo, a Chihuahua mix believed to be less than a year old, was found "tiny, starving and pregnant" inside the hollow tree last April in Sebastapol, according to Sonoma County animal control officer Shirley Zindler.
"I think she was dumped there, and she was desperate to find shelter, so she got inside through the split at the bottom of the trunk," Zindler told ABC News today. "She'd probably never been handled, and she was very afraid of people, so it took over an hour to coax her out. But my scrambled eggs I was having for breakfast that morning did the trick."
Shortly after the rescue, Boo went into labor, but she was in "poor condition" and delivered a dead puppy, so she had to get an emergency surgery to remove the rest of the litter that didn't survive, Zindler said.
Zindler then temporarily took Boo home after a week had passed since Boo had first come to the shelter, she said.
"She stayed with me for about a month, which was how long it took to start getting her to trust people and be handle-able," she said. "Boo still has a long way to go, but she's a lot more comfortable now. She didn't want to be touched much at first, but within a few weeks she started getting really cute. She'd wag her tail, give kisses and start doing silly things like rolling around on the back."
Meanwhile, adoption requests poured in from all over the country, Zindler said, adding that she encouraged people from farther away, such as New York City, to adopt pets in shelters locally in their areas.
After many days of reviewing applications and meeting potential adopters, Zindler said she believed Kim Stohlman was Boo's perfect match.
"She has a cat or two and another small dog, who's also very shy, which told me she's done this before and knows what she's doing," Zindler said.
Boo was welcomed into her permanent new home this past Saturday, where she's been making amazing progress -- all documented on her new Facebook page called "Life of Boo."
"She slept for an hour by my hip and let me hold my hand on her back and side and then she stretched and rolled and woke with my hand near her tummy and didn't fret at all," Stohlman wrote on Facebook Thursday. "Then the other dogs barked and the moment was gone and she shot off the bed and went to join the other dogs!"
Boo even did a new "happy dance" this week, showing he's adapting well to her new home.
Stohlman told ABC News today she's "extremely happy" to have Boo in her family. She added she hopes Boo's recovery and success story will inspire people who want to get a pet to adopt rescue pets from animal shelters and to be responsible by making sure to neuter and spay their dogs.