It was a typical day in 8th grade teacher Sarah Beasley’s Taos, New Mexico classroom — that is, until Beasley and her students looked up from their schoolbooks and watched a thin, shaking dog walk into the middle school classroom.
Beasley remembers what a surprise it was to greet such an unexpected visitor at Waldorf School that day.
“He showed up right at this classroom on Feb. 13,” Beasley tells The Taos News. “He came in and just sat down in front of me. He was skinny and dirty, and clearly had gone through rough times.”
Beasley and her students first responded with caution, but soon realized their new four-legged classmate was a sweetheart in need of a little TLC.
“At first I thought he was a stray. But he was super friendly,” remembers student Aydin Gates.
As the students and teacher gathered a bit of food to feed their new friend, Beasley tried to comfort the mystery Hound with a few gentle pats and some kind words. She remembers liking the dog right from the start.
“He was so happy, wagging his tail and following me around,” says Beasley. “He looked as if he belonged right here.”
As her new friend made himself at home, curling up beneath her desk for a nap, Beasley knew she needed to do what she could to locate his owner. From the looks of him, covered in dirt, ribs poking out, it was clear the dog had been through a lot, and Beasley wondered if there was someone out there looking for their missing dog.
She checked the dog’s collar and dialed the number on the identification tag. The person who picked up at the other end wasn’t the dog’s owner, but a breeder in California. After a short conversation, the breeder explained to the teacher that her classroom guest was a purebred Treeing Walker Coonhound purchased by a California hunter seven months prior. Both teacher and dog breeder were shocked the Hound had ended up miles away in New Mexico.
“The guy was baffled when I told him that the dog had shown up in Taos,” Beasley remembers.
The breeder agreed to try and contact the hunter who’d purchased the dog while Beasley waited anxiously. When the breeder called back a short time later, he had a sad story to tell. The sweet Hound who’d wandered into Beasley’s classroom had been on the loose since his owner’s tragic death in a hunting accident 36 days earlier.
Like most hunting dogs, this one was fitted with a GPS tracking collar, and when the breeder went online to check the tracking device, it revealed that Beasley’s new friend had travelled at least 972 miles on his own. Alone in the wilderness, the Hound made his way three times between Arizona and New Mexico, and even returned to the scene of his owner’s fatal hunting accident twice.
When the breeder asked the hunter’s widow, she told him she would prefer if another home could be found for the dog.
“I understand it,” Beasley says. “She had just lost her husband, had a 5-year-old child and a number of other dogs to take care of.”
For Beasley, the answer was a simple one.
“When I moved to Taos, I kept saying that the perfect dog would show up on my doorstep at the right time,” Beasley says. “Well, when all this happened, I couldn’t help but thinking that this was the perfect dog for me.”
So after talking with her landlady, Beasley was able to adopt the sweet dog who’d literally landed on her doorstep — or at least the school’s doorstep. The Hound’s original name was King Kong, but Beasley thought a new one might suit him better. To commemorate his brave adventures and his new life, Beasley decided to name her canine companion Indy, after Indiana Jones.
Indy is now thriving at his new home, putting on 10 pounds and getting a clean bill of health from the vet. Beasley even got permission to bring Indy to school with her, where he visits the students and takes naps under her desk.
“The kids love him,” Beasley says of Indy. “And he gets along with them all.”
Source: The Taos News