A janitor had to do something slightly outside of his job description one cold evening. The floors might have been gleaming and the cobwebs swept away, but nothing could have prepared him for what happened next and the note that held such a devastating message.
In his account of the story, the janitor was working in a school in Detroit, Michigan, when he was suddenly called to the rescue. All the children had left for the day, and the school was empty, but the janitor wasn’t alone for long. There was a rapping at the door, but who could be visiting the school at such a strange time?
The janitor recalled what happened, saying that he had rushed straight to the window to see who the visitor was. Instead of someone waiting patiently at the door, he spotted a young boy sprinting away. He went to open the door and was greeted by something wholly unexpected.
There waiting for him was a cardboard box with a note stuck onto its side. The biggest surprise of all was what was inside: a puppy, abandoned to its fate. The glossy black pooch was sat in the box, vulnerable and scared. Why anyone would have wanted to get rid of such a cutie was a mystery, until the janitor read the note that explained everything.
The note read, “Sorry it didn’t have a home, and it was cold so were going to give it to you. Please do let it go find it a new home. Thank you.” It seemed that someone hadn’t known what to do with the puppy and had left it, hoping that a kind soul would rescue her. The janitor wasted no time in taking steps to ensure the puppy’s safety.
The janitor contacted a teacher at the school straight away, knowing she had a soft spot for dogs. She then came and collected the puppy and took her home. Once she had the puppy back home, she and her boy decided on the puppy’s new moniker: Snowflake. A strange name considering her black, glossy fur, but this was the start of her new life, and now she had a new name to match.
Snowflake’s stay with the teacher was short. She got in touch with the Detroit Pit Crew Dog Rescue and asked it to take Snowflake under its wing, so that the pupper could receive proper care and treatment. The crew there were only too happy to help out.
Detroit Pit Crew Dog Rescue is a non-profit dedicated to rescuing stray pups in Detroit. Once they are taken off the street, every dog is immediately taken to the vet for any treatments or vaccinations. They are then given refuge in a foster home or a shelter. The volunteer team are constantly on the streets, trying to save any and all doggos in desperate circumstances.
Theresa Sumpter, the founder of Detroit Pit Crew Dog Rescue, shared her thoughts on why the young boy might have abandoned Snowflake in the first place. She told The Dodo, “I guess this child had wanted a better life or a home for the puppy. We’ve never been able to make contact with him, but it looked like he was trying to take care of the puppy.”
In fact, the state of the box Snowflake was left in suggested that the boy wanted her to go to a good home. Sumpter told The Dodo, “In the box was a blanket for the puppy. There was some dog food and some slices of lunch meat. He actually poked holes in the box so the puppy could breathe.”
With all the comfort she could ever desire, why would Snowflake want to leave her box? Not only was it snuggly, she knew it to be safe and was reluctant to come out. She was a bit more than seven weeks old, so Sumpter let her stay in the box to avoid upsetting her and gave her another blanket.
However, she couldn’t stay in the box forever, no matter how cozy it was. She had to be taken out to be vaccinated and dewormed. These vaccinations should be administered once the puppy is eight weeks old, to keep the puppy protected against parasites such as roundworm and hookworm. They are vital as a puppy’s immune system has not developed fully at this stage.
Now that Snowflake was fit and healthy, it was time to put her up for adoption, but Sumpter had reservations. She said, “We never know what the backstories are with these dogs. So for safety’s sake, we have her on stray hold just in case someone comes forward and says, ‘Hey, that’s my lost puppy. I didn’t know what happened to it — it got out of the yard.’ And maybe the child picked it up, and the only thing they knew to do was put it in a box and take it to the school.”
They had to keep Snowflake at the center until her story was confirmed. When it came to her breeding too, the team were stumped. They began calling her, “Heinz 57 Detroit Special,” owing to her various characteristics. She appeared to be a mixing pot of all kinds of breeds, including terrier and chow.
Snowflake arrived at the rescue center during the busiest time of year. Sumpter revealed that the number of dogs rescued during winter almost doubled because every dog’s case was considered “urgent,” due to harsh conditions. To put it in perspective, in winter 2017, the shelter rescued 29 dogs in the space of two weeks.
It was now time to find Snowflake a foster family. The center advertised Snowflake’s availability to be adopted on their Facebook page, saying, “Snowflake available for adoption!” The post received more than 2,000 reactions and nearly 1,000 shares. Attached to the post was an adorable snap of Snowflake in her Christmas getup.
The post also attracted some wonderful comments with people saying how much they wanted to adopt the cute pupper. One user wrote, “If there wasn’t a distance cut off I’d be there adopting her today. I live about an hour and a half away in jackson county though.” Another wrote, “Oh she is such a doll!! I don’t live in Macomb county, but if I did, I would fill out adoption papers.”
Others simply wished her well, with one user saying, “Snowflake is Beutiful, I love the Santa coat, sweater and the Christmas picture is so adorable,..prayer she will get loving family members AND furever HOME.” Another wrote, “What a cutie patutie! ! :-) All dressed up for Christmas, I wish I lived closer. Good luck sweetie hope Santa brings you an awesome loving family.” It looked like Snowflake was taking the internet by storm. A snow storm!
Just three days before Christmas, 2017, the center posted a very exciting update. It read, “Hi my name is Snowflake and I am happy to announce that I have officially been adopted!!” Judging by the photos, it looked like Snowflake has a (much) bigger housemate to contend with. The comments poured in, congratulating Snowflake’s new family and giving thanks that she had found a forever home.
Sumpter was delighted with the result. She said, “She’s doing wonderfully. They have some dogs there that are really mothering to her, so she’s enjoying life in her foster home.” With Snowflake around, it looked like this family were going to have a white Christmas after all!