Dog Stops Couple’s Car On A Dirt Road Before They Realize The Heartbreaking Reason Why

Oddly enough, driving on back country roads, miles away from civilization, can lead to some interesting encounters. Sometimes, it’s out in the middle of nowhere that you find some of the most unexpected things.

One afternoon, while Danielle Finley and her boyfriend were driving on a lonely dirt road in rural Pennsylvania, they noticed something in the rearview mirror of their vehicle that concerned—and frightened—them.

The confused couple carefully pulled over to see what the mystery object was. When they stepped out of their car, however, they received the shock of their lives…

When you’re out in the country and you’re miles away from bustling towns, you can sometimes encounter unusual things. One afternoon, a woman named Danielle Finley and her boyfriend were cruising along a dirt road in rural Pennsylvania when they experienced one such startling encounter that changed their lives forever.

Chris Baird / Flickr

Initially, the couple noticed a strange-looking creature trotting alongside the dirt road. Danielle swore it looked somewhat like a hyena, but she knew it couldn’t have been one. After all, they were in Pennsylvania, not the African Serengeti!

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To investigate, they decided to pull over to see what it was and if it needed their assistance. They both stepped out of the car… and once they saw what the mysterious creature was, their hearts simply broke.

It was a small Cairn terrier! When he saw Danielle and her boyfriend, he ran right up to the them as fast as he could and immediately started jumping for joy. Still, the couple couldn’t help but stare in horror at the dog’s physical appearance. He was missing tufts of fur, and it looked as though he hadn’t eaten in days.

Danielle Finley / Facebook


At first, Danielle was hesitant to touch the dog, whom they later named Phil. They already had two canines of their own in the car with them, and it appeared as though Phil had a skin condition. They didn’t want to spread anything to their animals or themselves.

Danielle Finley / Facebook

Still, Danielle and her boyfriend were animal lovers through and through. So they took a risk and scooped up the little pooch, placing him in the backseat of their car. They gave him bowls of food and water, which he licked clean within minutes. They then rushed to the nearest veterinarian for a thorough examination.

Danielle Finley / Facebook

They had assumed Phil was riddled with mange, a contagious skin condition caused by mites burrowing into the flesh, but the veterinarian actually came to a different conclusion. It was simply a severe condition that caused Phil’s hair to fall out and his body to develop rashes.

Danielle Finley / Facebook


There had been no reports of a missing terrier in any of the local newspapers, but the veterinarian told Danielle and her boyfriend that she was fairly certain the dog had belonged to someone up until fairly recently. In other words, he wasn’t a stray.

Danielle Finley / Facebook

Based on Phil’s ground-down teeth, the vet assumed he was most likely kept in a crate for most of his life. Whoever his owner had been probably kept him locked up for years—and then they dumped him on an empty back road when his health issues became serious.

Danielle Finley / Facebook


It was an unfortunate fact, but many areas in rural Pennsylvania were known for having some of the worst puppy mills in the country. Thus, it was highly likely that Phil once belonged to one.

Danielle Finley / Facebook

After the trip to the vet’s office, Danielle and her boyfriend decided they couldn’t just abandon him like his previous owner did—so they adopted Phil right on the spot! They started him on a special diet to help regrow his fur, and within a few weeks, the pup already looked healthier and happier.

Danielle Finley / Facebook

They were also incredibly lucky that their two dogs took to Phil almost instantly. The three now spend their days playing together outdoors, and Phil seemed to develop an especially strong relationship with Lily, the couple’s Boston terrier.

Danielle Finley / Facebook


Danielle’s boyfriend, although initially concerned about taking in yet another dog, now embraces Phil as one of his own. He treats all three of the animals as if they had been together from the very beginning.

Danielle Finley / Facebook

From the start, the couple never let Phil’s physical deformities prevent them from seeing his beauty. They were smitten with the Cairn terrier almost immediately, and now they can’t picture their lives without him. Thankfully, they won’t have to!

Danielle Finley / Facebook

Danielle and her boyfriend happened to be driving along that back country road at exactly the right time. Now, Phil the Cairn terrier has a bright new future ahead of him!

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