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Alligator Tag: Rescue Dog Chihuahua’s Unexpected Florida Adventure



Quick Smiles:

  • Jonathan, the globe-trotting rescue dog, had a true Florida experience – an alligator!
  • A surprising escape tale, this beloved Chihuahua and his owner were followed to their front door by a gator!
  • Despite the riveting encounter, Jonathan and his owner, Amanda, carry on their world-traveling lifestyle undeterred.

When one mentions “Florida,” the image of a Chihuahua engaging in a real-life game of tag with a roaming alligator may not immediately spring to mind. However, Jonathan, a senior Chihuahua mix, is no ordinary dog. Rescued by his owner, Amanda Klecker, from a kill shelter a decade ago, this petite adventurer had a distinctive encounter during a recent Florida visit.

Klecker shares how travelling with Jonathan is her “favorite pastime.” The duo were in Orlando for the Global Pet Expo and to visit Klecker’s grandmother when the incident took place. Klecker mentioned, “They were draining the ponds on the golf course in my grandmother’s residential area for maintenance work, and I suppose when the water levels drop, the alligators start moving around.”

The unwelcome guest emerged while Jonathan was out on a relaxing walk. A vigilant neighbor alerted Klecker about the lurking danger, exclaiming that a gator was taking it easy beneath her hired car. Swiftly reacting to the situation, Klecker swiftly gathered up her pet and bolted for the safety of the front door. Astonishingly, the alligator doggedly pursued them, arriving at their front step.

The persistent gator curiously circled half the house before eventually taking his leave. Klecker uploaded a video of the encounter on her TikTok account, jestingly pointing out that while people romanticize about Florida’s Disney and natural beauty, she and her dog found themselves being “pursued by an alligator that accompanied us back home”.

The video illustrates a series of dramatic moments, from Klecker taking Jonathan towards safety to the alligator following them, and finally its withdrawal.

Jonathan’s journey is nothing less than inspiring, transitioning from a kill shelter into a life filled with adventure and luxury in New York City with Klecker. Originally named Johnny, Klecker renamed him to Jonathan after recognizing his distinctive personality, expressing: “Upon meeting him, I realized his personality was more Jonathan-like.”


Jonathan’s series of adventures and extraordinary experiences have gathered a significant online fan base. Klecker says, “Before his rescue, Jonathan might have only seen the inside of a cage. So, showing him as much of the world as possible makes the experience even more rewarding.” Jonathan is now renowned as the most well-traveled rescue dog, providing an encouraging narrative about shelter animals.

Jonathan’s alligator encounter astonished his online fans, with the video garnering an impressive 714,000 views since it was posted on April 22. In response to a user’s comment, Klecker jokingly remarked that the gator was “quite literally a follower.”

Klecker concludes with actionable advice for pet-owners dreaming of taking their pets on vacation. Stating that Jonathan always travels with her in the cabin, she suggests owners familiarize their pets with their travel containers, making them feel “luxurious and safe” at home before embarking on a journey.

She adds: “Our pets are part of our family, and vacations feel complete when the whole family is present. As long as your dog is healthy and comfortable with the travel, it’s a wonderful experience.” What’s next for Jonathan? Celebrating his 10th “adoptiversary”!


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