Over the weekend and continuing into this week, the people of Houston and its outskirts have been battered by an unrelenting storm. Conditions are extremely serious, with deep floods displacing hundreds of thousands of people.
It's a serious, serious storm:
“We are not out of the woods yet,” Elaine Duke, the acting Homeland Security secretary, said, according to The Washington Post. “Harvey is still a dangerous and historic storm.”
Conditions are terrifying, and seeing the difficulties of the city under the circumstances has been heartbreaking. That may be why this photo of a self-reliant dog has gotten so much traction. Taken in a town called Stinton, near Corpus Christi, the image shows waterlogged streets and one lone, resilient pup trekking through the street with an entire bag of dog food:
It turns out the dog's name is Otis, and this is a story with a happy ending. Otis belongs to the grandson of a man named Salvador Segovia. Segovia's grandson and his parents left Stinton when the storm hit looking for shelter, but Segovia stayed and agreed to check on Otis. He told the Boston Globe that he left Otis in a screened in porch with food and water, but noise from the storm must have scared him so he burst out. Poor pooch!
‘‘I stuck my head out yelling and yelling, and no Otis,’’ Segovia said. ‘‘The following morning, I got out and kept yelling, circled the block and everything, and nothing. We didn’t know where Otis was.’’
Tiele Dockens, who snapped the viral pic, ended up following Otis to see if he was okay, and went with him practically to his front door. She saw Segovia out searching and pointed Otis out to him.
‘‘This lady comes by and tells me, ‘Is that your dog coming down the road?’” Segovia said. ‘‘And I turn around, there comes Otis, and he’s carrying food!’’
Otis then set down the food and took a rest—he'd had a wild night.
Apparently, Otis is fairly well-known in the small town, and often runs off alone, even stopping in at the local Dairy Queen for a free burger.
‘‘Otis is a smart dog,’’ Segovia said. ‘‘He knows where to go pick up a treat.’’
Segovia thinks Otis got the bag of food at the local lumber and building supply store, because the owners there often feed him.
‘‘I’m thinking he picked up that dog food and he knew where it was,’’ Segovia said. ‘‘Nobody was there to feed him, and he picks up the dog food.’’
May Otis serve as a mascot to Texas in this time of serious trouble. He made it home, and we all hope every citizen of the city will as well.