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Abandoned dog melts Linda Walmart workers' hearts
CONTACT: Jamie Perkins at 741-9432.
An abandoned dog — found tied up behind the Walmart in Linda on Christmas Eve with a note — now has a couple of employees acting as guardian angels.
The 40-pound mixed-breed dog, when discovered, had been tangled in a rope fastened to another, smaller dog, and was unable to stand.
She was wearing a dirty pink sweater.
"I just felt really sorry for her. She was pathetic-looking and really friendly," said Richard Leighty, 70, who works in the store's garden department.
He has since named her Sadie.
The smaller dog escaped when another store employee, who initially came upon the scene late that cold Monday morning, attempted to untangle the animals.
After learning that the Yuba County animal shelter would be closed for the holiday, Leighty agreed to take her for the night.
"We were going to be closed Christmas Day, and nobody else was able to take her," he said.
He and Walmart personnel manager Jamie Perkins share foster-care duties for the dog, which Perkins said she estimates is just under a year old.
"The first time I approached her, I got the wiggle butt," Perkins said. Sadie won over a number of the store's employees, who were initially afraid to go near the strange dog, she said.
Perkins said she ran some quick temperament tests, and she passed with flying colors.
She has since arranged for Sadie to receive vaccinations and spay surgery from Chako, a pit bull rescue group in Sacramento.
A large bald spot on the back is beginning to fill in, and some minor wounds now are barely visible.
"She's really not very pretty," Perkins said, "but she hasn't met anything she doesn't like."
On Sunday, Perkins tried to keep the dog in a post-surgery state of calm in her Olivehurst home. But the excitable animal sought affection from members of her family and a house guest.
A few feet away, a large Persian cat was unfazed.
Leighty, a former rancher who once owned a local dog grooming business, was apprehensive at first about bringing Sadie home to other animals on his five-acre Arboga Road property.
"I didn't know how my dogs would react. They're usually very aggressive toward other dogs. But they took to her immediately." Introductions to chickens, cats and horses also proved uneventful.
"She attempted to chase a chicken at first, but I said, 'no,' and she immediately stopped and followed me," Leighty said.
"She gets to you. There's something about her that's really unique."
Leighty and Perkins are trying to find the dog a good permanent home, and to keep from getting too attached in the meantime, they said.
CONTACT Nancy Pasternack at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4781. Find her on Facebook at /ADnpasternack or on Twitter at @ADnpasternack.