“(Mike) thought that maybe it had been hit by a car,” Wanda Phillips recalled. “When he approached it, the dog went to hollering and everything.”
The couple couldn’t get near the animal. They went to a nearby animal wellness center, where they were told that if they brought the dog to the facility, they would be responsible for the bill. Staff at the facility suggested the couple first spend an hour or so trying to find the dog’s owner.
That’s when Wanda decided to go to the business across the street from her home and see if someone there had information about the dog. They didn’t, but the owner of the business decided to walk across the street and see just what was going on.
“She came over to see him. The dog started wagging its tail,” Wanda said. “She seen its leg and she went all to pieces. She said, ‘I’m taking it on to get help. It’s not going to lay here in pain.’ ”
And the woman, who declined to be named or interviewed for the story, went to get her car.
“When she got back, he crawled to her car like he knew she was going to save him,” Wanda said. “It was just meant to be in my yard. He knew we’d get him help. You can’t let little defenseless animals suffer like that.”
The woman, who is being called “the Good Samaritan,” took the dog and brought him to the Appalachian Animal Hospital in nearby Piney Flats.
The dog, now dubbed Radar, spent the weekend at the facility. When the Good Samaritan returned Monday, she discovered Radar needed a very specialized surgery to fix his broken leg. Locally, the surgery could only be done by Dr. Ken Chamness, a veterinarian at Jonesborough Animal Hospital who specializes in orthopedic surgery for animals.
The initial vet stay came with a price tag of more than $500. The surgery, once completed, would cost another $1,000.
“She wants to give it a good life,” Wanda said. “I just felt really bad because it was in our yard and she game over and helped it, and it was a $1,500 expense.”
Janet Meek, a friend of the Phillips family, decided to help by starting a Facebook page encouraging people to donate to Radar’s medical bills.
“Nowadays, the good old neighborhood vet costs an arm and a leg,” Meek said. “This is $1,500 that a total stranger (to the dog) is responsible for. We’ve got to raise all we can.”
Meek, herself, owns two three-legged dogs she adopted from shelters.
“I love them like family,” she said. My kids, who are grown, think they’ve been replaced — and they might be right.”
Meek called the woman who saved Radar “one of the most unselfish people in the world” for her willingness to get the dog the necessary care no matter the final cost.
“She has never asked for anything,” Meek noted.
Radar went under the knife on Wednesday.
Lindsay Hensley, a vet technician at the Jonesborough Animal Hospital, said the pup did “really well” and was already on the road to recovery.
“He’s really sweet. Once you get him out and love on him, he’ll give you kisses,” Hensley said while feeding Radar some treats Thursday afternoon.
The dog, probably less than a year old, was able to get around with relative ease despite his splinted and bandaged right front leg.
Hensley said the staff at the animal hospital isn’t sure what exactly happened to Radar to cause his injury, but said the leg likely had been broken a few weeks prior to him being rescued.
While well on his way to living a full and healthy life, Radar’s permanent home remains up in the air.
The Good Samaritan reportedly has fallen in love with the pooch, but isn’t sure her cats will feel the same. She did, however, pick up Radar from the animal hospital and bring him back home with her Thursday afternoon.
“The more she does, the more attached she gets,” Wanda said.
To donate to Radar’s medical bills, call the Jonesborough Animal Hospital at 753-5868. For more about the dog’s journey, visit the Pup Radar Needs Help Now event on Facebook.