Driving along a fairly busy road, with two children in the back of the car, is not the easiest experience. The hot summer day seemed to make the air still and heavy. The children fidgeted more than ever and were beginning to become a little tetchy. Having had to turn to snap at them for the umpteenth time, Sue only had a moment to swerve the car.

At first glance she had thought there was a bundle of filthy rags, lying in the middle of the steaming hot road. Just as she swerved she realised that, whatever it may be, it was moving and it was alive. As she was stepping out of the car she insisted to the children that they stay still and behave. She would be back in a couple of minutes.

Walking over quickly, dodging the relentless traffic, she realised that the heap was actually a small dog. As she bent down she saw the dog trying to lick any moisture out of the tar on the road. Quickly she ran back to her car and grabbed an old blanket. Acting as quickly as possible, without scaring the children, she moved to the front of the vehicle.

Striding back to the dog again she noticed no-one else had stopped to help or even inquire what was going on. As she bent down to pick up the little dog, she noticed the fleas literally jumping on his tired little body and a nasty smell.

Still, she somehow managed to put such things aside and bundled the little dog up, carrying him as best as she could to the back of her car. As she laid him on the back seat the girls looked around in wonder. They loved dogs but had never seen one quite like this before.

Although he was a medium sized dog, he weighed only 7kg and was painfully thin. He was starving and dying of thirst. He looked as if he might be a fluffy sort of dog, normally. However, at this moment in time, his ears were stiff with untreated ear infections, which had leaked wax and dirt onto them. He had a nasty painful wound on his back leg, which was smelly and infected. Much of his fur was lost through the flea infestation.

All in all he was a very sorry looking dog.

Now six weeks down the road I met this little chap at a local show, were there was an animal rescue display. He was one of many other neglected and mistreated dogs there that day. By now he was totally bald from top to tail, having had to have all his fur removed. As he was being treat with steroids he was fattening up quite well.

For a dog that had suffered more than we can know, he was a sociable little guy. The ears had painstakingly been bathed, by the rescue members, until eventually they had softened. His tail it seemed was going to have to be amputated, as the feeling had not yet returned, and did not seem likely to.

It was September now and still warm.

On the whole the little dog was white with the promise of black patches, as his fur grew back. As the day was warm you could see the pinkness of his flesh, which made him look cuter than ever. Months later that little guy came to live with us. In fact he is my InfoBarrel Avatar.

Initially, we always had to have a light on outside, at the back of the house, or he was too scared to go into the the garden. He was frightened of traffic men in general, but especially young men wearing baseball caps or motorcycle helmets. Having said this though, he had come on in leaps and bounds with all the kindness the rescue staff had shown him.

He was quite a little star in our town, at one time, traveling in the front of the rescue van and going everywhere with them. I guess that's one of the things he does not like about us. We do not drive and he has no transport.

Still he has travelled on buses and trains so I suppose that will suffice.

He now has a female companion rescued from traumatic circumstances also. She is much tougher, perhaps as she was only about nine months old by the time she was saved. Our little guy has been with us for quite a while now. He still has a few fears, but men are not one of them. With an owner like my husband there is no fear of that.

Our little dog is a lovely looking shaggy crossbreed, with a loving and sociable personality. We have yet to meet anyone who has not fallen in love with him instantly. For the purpose of this essay I have changed the lady's name. It is a factual essay though, although I have skipped over many of the highs and terrible lows in these two dogs lives.

Our little chap now has health problems due to an enlarged heart and is one medication and TLC. For now he still has a good quality of life and I am thankful for that.

One thing it does try to show however, is that, no matter how traumatic a start a dog has, it can be turned around, and you could end up with a great pet. You may need a little more patience, and a little more money, as ta rescue animal's health may not be the best but you could get a little treasure, or two. Who knows.

Oh and by the way he kept his tail and it never stops wagging.