Megan Mannarelli-Martin and her husband had not taken a vacation in years, but recently, they finally managed to find the time. The couple runs a special needs rescue called Rafiki’s Rescue, and it’s hard to step away from that. They even brought three of their rescue cats with them just to make it work. With the car packed and the cats settled in, they set off on a road trip, excited to relax and recharge.
Apparently, though, rescue work follows them everywhere, because four hours into their vacation, they spotted an abandoned dog running in the middle of a very busy road.
At that point in the trip, they were far from anywhere, so it seemed very likely that the dog, later named Kevin, had been dumped. They knew they couldn’t just leave her there, and immediately went into rescue mode.
“Kevin was terrified when we saw her, but was very interested in being rescued,” Mannarelli-Martin told The Dodo. “It took an hour to gain her trust. I could not chase after her if it would cause her to become more frightened and run back into the middle of the road. So I sat in the center road divider and let her come and go up to me for an hour before she finally got close enough that I was confident enough to snatch her up.”
Once Kevin was safe, they got her settled into the car and scanned her for a microchip. Since she didn’t have one, they checked local online forums and contacted local shelters in case she had a family out there looking for her. In the meantime, they decided the best thing to do was to take her with them on vacation.
They stopped to get all of the supplies they’d need to care for her and then continued on their way. Kevin was understandably scared, but the more time she spent with her rescuers, the more she relaxed, and before long she’d transformed into the sweetest, most excitable little dog.
“She settled in remarkably fast given the circumstances,” Mannarelli-Martin said. “She was very, very scared that first night but also clearly grateful to be safe. By the third night, she was jumping with excitement when she saw us.”
Kevin went from fearing for her life in the middle of the road to exploring Sequoia National Park with some strangers and their rescue cats, but it didn’t seem to faze her one bit. She was just so happy to be included. She loved every stop on the road trip, especially as time went on and she let her guard down even more. After everything she’d been through, the couple couldn’t believe how wonderful she was. It was like they were meant to find her.
“Kevin is a super lovebug,” Mannarelli-Martin said. “She is so joyful and just wants to be loved and cuddled.”
The road trip has since ended, and Kevin is now all settled into her foster home. She’s doing so well and loves playing with her foster siblings, cats and dogs alike. She’ll soon be ready to find her forever home — unless she becomes a foster fail.
“She will be up for adoption in the next couple of weeks after her last vaccines — that is, if I can give her up,” Mannarelli-Martin said. “We are quite attached.”
Megan Mannarelli-Martin and her husband had been trying to get away from rescue work for a few days. Instead, they found themselves in the right place at the right time to change Kevin’s life.