An abused, injured dog was saved by an Arizona hot air balloon pilot while he was taking two couples out for a ride as part of their Valentine's Day celebrations.
While they were admiring the serene desert landscape a little white dog caught Jason Elkins', owner of Equinox Balloons, eye.
"This poor little dog was following us. He was coming over to us. He was limping up the road," Elkins told KPHO, a CBS affiliate.
Elkins took the dog, who he later named Chase, home with him that day and brought him to a local veterinarian where he learned the pup was shot several times with a 22-caliber gun.
Chase, who is named after the chase crew that follows hot air balloons until they land, is likely a 3-year-old American-Eskimo mix, the vet told AZ Central.
Elkins and his wife immediately fell in love with Chase and adopted him. Not only does Chase have a new safe home, but he also has loving animal siblings - a golden retriever and a cat, reported AZ Central.
"His [Chase's] spirit has lifted and we can now see a twinkle in his eye. That little tail wags like no tomorrow and it's almost as if he's smiling," Elkins wrote on a Go Fund Me page where he is raising money to help pay for Chase's medical bills.
When Chase fully recovers Elkins plans to make him the new mascot of Equinox Balloons and take him on balloon rides, reported KPHO.