WEATHERFORD - On the floor of a veterinarian's office, technician Rhonda Sears clings to a badly injured small dog.
"That's a good dog. That's what a good dog looks like," she whispers.
The dog tucks her tail, but stays close.
"You don't ever have to be afraid again," Sears tells her.
It's amazing that the dog was spotted and survived. A passerby saw her Monday morning in a pasture on Baker Road about seven miles south of Interstate-20 in Parker County.
She had several deep incisions on her body, and black electrical tape wrapped tightly around her muzzle. Her swollen tongue dangled out of the front of her mouth. She could not drink or pant to cool herself.
"Her muzzle is still swollen where the tape was restricting it," Sears said.
Rescuers, civilian and law enforcement worked for hours to catch her.
"I've seen lots of things," Deputy Karen Kessler said, "but I've never seen someone intentionally do an animal like that, then take it to the country where it had no hope for survival, then throw it out."
She's already drinking and eating on her own, although the vet said she might lose part of her tongue.
"She'll give you kisses, in spite of how bad it hurts," Rhonda Sears said. "She'll try to kiss you. She trusts us. I don't know what kind of human being would do this."
Sears decided to name her Hope.
"We were going to call her Angel, but she's so full of hope," she said. "Got so much hope."
The dog appears to be a pug mix, who probably had a litter of puppies about six months ago.
Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said it's such a cruel act that he has made it a high-priority case. Anyone with information should contact the Parker County Sheriff's Office.
The vet says Hope will recover, and adoption offers already are pouring in.