Alex Scroggins intended to take the puppy named Lucky to an animal shelter after he rescued the stranded pet last week from the front stoop of a Conway home surrounded by the rushing floodwaters of the Waccamaw River.
Scroggins assured his roommate that the seven-month old mutt would only stay one night with them, and took responsibility for any damage the traumatized animal might inflict on the furniture or the carpet.
But after seeing how gentle and well mannered the Labrador-mix dog behaved, Scroggins said he didn't have the heart to take Lucky to a shelter and risk the animal being euthanized.
"He was kind of surprising, considering he had been left outside and mistreated, in my eyes, " Scroggins said. "I figured, here's my chance to give the dog a better life rather than put him in a pound where he might never get the chance for a good life, or any life at all."
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Neighbors told Scroggins that Lucky's owner had evacuated his Waccamaw Drive home two days before the puppy was rescued on Monday morning -- after historic rains began to swamp nearly the entire state.
Scroggins and several of his friends were in the river-bottom neighborhood that day floating his sister's belongings on a boat down the waist-high flooded streets when they spotted the stranded puppy crying, whimpering, and trapped against the closed and locked front door of its home.
"It was heartbreaking, " Scroggins said.
Lucky leapt from the porch and tried to walk through the rushing water to their boat and to safety, but when the water got too deep and the current too swift, the pup retreated to the porch.
"He would not have survived the current if I left him there, " Scroggins said.
Scroggins had already decided they had to rescue the dog on their next trip into the flood zone, after unloading the overcrowded boat that was piled high with his mother's and sister's belongings including a couch.
"I was worried though, if we kept going, he might try and follow us and he would have gotten swept away. I couldn't let that happen and decided then and there to make room on the boat for him."
Lucky and Scroggins have since become fast friends. The dog follows his rescuer without the need of a leash outside, never leaving his sight. When left alone while Scroggins is at work with C-Aire Compressors, the housebroken pup is content to sleep away the day rather than gnaw on the furniture.
Although the dog's original owner has since returned home, it doesn't appear he's made an effort to find his missing dog.
"The owner has had time to get him; he's back but he hasn't asked anyone about the dog and all the neighbors know I've got him. If he wanted to find out, he could have on his own, but the neighbors said he hasn't even asked about his dog, " Scroggins said.
"I'm not putting him out as a bad person -- I don't want to bash him so that he gets hate letters from all over the country -- but the guy didn't do right by his dog, " Scroggins said.
Scroggins said he had wanted a dog for quite a while, and now he has one.
When he takes Lucky to a veterinarian for a check-up, he hopes to find out exactly what breed of dog he has on his hands, which he suspects is part Labrador, part pit bull or pointer.
Although it was certainly lucky for Lucky that he is now literally a rescue dog, Scroggins said he's not a fan of the name, which was given to the pup by its previous owner.
"I hate the way he was left out there on his own. He could have been left for dead, or taken to a shelter and put down, " Scroggins said.
"The dog is in a better place now, and that's what matters. With me, I know he'll be taken better care of, " Scroggins said. "For now I'm just calling him 'Luck.'"