Cast into a city gas chamber to be euthanized with other unwanted or unclaimed dogs, it appeared the roughly year-old Basenji mix had simply run out of luck -- and time.
But this canine had other ideas.
When the death chamber's door swung open Monday, the dog now dubbed Quentin -- for California's forbidding San Quentin State Prison -- stood very much alive, his tail and tongue wagging.
Animal-control supervisor Rosemary Ficken had never seen such a survivor, and she didn't have the nerve to slam the door shut again.
This 30-pound animal, she believed, beat the odds and should live on.
Best New Blog finalist - 2003 Koufax Awards
A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.
Lo alecha ha-m'lacha ligmor, v'lo atah ben chorin l'hibateyl mimenah.