ROGERSVILLE — A stray Hawkins County dog may have have lost a leg on Nov. 16, but she gained a new name, a new family and a new home in South Carolina.
Will Greer didn’t just save the life of “Carolina” when he spotted her limping along Highway 11-W that day.
He looked into Carolina's eyes, fell in love and decided to give her a new life with him and his family in Charleston.
Greer was on a business trip that day driving on 11-W near Rogersville around 1:30 p.m. when he spotted an injured dog limping across the highway.
Carolina gets rescued
“I turned around and went back, and she had made it into someone’s front yard,” Greer told the Times News Tuesday. “I pulled over and got out and got her to come to me. She just kind of laid down, and you could tell her (left front) arm was hurt pretty bad. She wasn’t putting any weight on it at all.”
Greer loaded Carolina into his rental car, and then searched on his phone for the nearest animal shelter.
It just so happened that the Hawkins County Humane Society, located on 11-W on the far east end of Rogersville, was less than a mile from his location at the time, and that’s where Greer took her.
HCHS manager Sandy Behnke and her staff are experienced in dealing with injured animals, and it was obvious when they examined Carolina that she needed medical treatment immediately.
Behnke and her staff like to give their incoming animals names that are relevant to their situation. Because the man who brought her to the shelter was from South Carolina, they started calling her Carolina.
Who paid the vet bill?
The HCHS is currently very low on funds and has no money to pay an emergency vet bill. Shortly after Carolina arrived, Behnke went on Facebook and pleaded with the public for donations to help her.
Misti Lynn Race of Russellville agreed to pay the $50 examination fee required for the dog to be seen by the vet, and Greer transported Carolina to Rogersville Animal Hospital.
Dr. John Slaughter determined that Carolina had suffered permanent nerve damage and would never recover the use of her left front leg. It would have to be amputated.
Greg and Julie Bradley of Kingsport subsequently agreed to pay Carolina’s entire vet bill.
Why did the Greers adopt Carolina?
“As my wife said, I looked into her eyes,” Greer said. “We’re both animal lovers. We work with a Boykin Spaniel rescue group here in South Carolina called ‘Operation Little Brown Dog,’ so we are very much animal lovers. We just wanted to make sure she was taken care of.”
Before he left the vet’s office, Greer decided he was going to come back for Carolina after she had recovered and take her home to Charleston.
“We stayed in touch with the vet and with the Humane Society, and my wife (Susanne) and I decided to come back up and get her and bring her home,” Greer said. “We did that about a week ago, and she’s been with us ever since.”
What’s Carolina’s life like now?
“She’s a big baby, and she’s perfectly happy to be palling around with our Boykin Spaniel, Molly” Greer said. “She’s running and playing, and if you don’t watch her in the backyard, she’ll dig a hole with her one good arm.”
Greer said Carolina is surprisingly fast. She and Molly became fast friend and they love to run and play together. They have to keep a close eye on Carolina, however, because she’s still healing.
“We just had her stitches taken out (Monday) and she’s doing well, according to our local vet here,” Greer said. “They think she’s a year-and-a-half-year-old Australian shepherd, Labrador mix, which is known as an ‘Aussidor.’ She’s a great dog. She can run fast. Aussidors are herding dogs, very alert, very smart. We’re kind of surprised that no one claimed her.”
Greer added, “We don’t know her story or what happened to her, but we’re definitely very thankful and feel that it was providential that I was there at the right time. We want to thank everyone at the Humane Society and the donors who helped pay the bill for her surgery and the folks at the animal hospital who took care of her so we could come get her.”
Although Carolina’s story had a happy ending, the HCSO is currently filled to capacity with dogs and cats that need a good home. For more information, call (423) 272-6538 or visit the Hawkins County Humane Society Facebook page.