Every great hero seems to come from harsh beginnings. Consider Harry Potter, a boy who had to live under a stairwell under the cruel hand of his aunt and uncle. His life was miserable, but it was that misery that gave him the wherewithal to do great things at Hogwarts academy.
We love Harry Potter not only for who he is, but where he came from, because despite those harsh beginnings, he was able to make something of himself. The reason why this is important is because the subject of this story is also someone who came from very harsh beginnings.
While there are many animals and pets who are loved by their owners, there are many others who are left with truly horrible people who don't know how to properly take care of a pet. That's what happened to the hero of this story, a cute little puppy by the name of Lionheart.
In April, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Richmond, Virginia was brought a poorly neglected dog who has since bounced back in health. The SPCA was given the dog by its owner who could not take care of it. They have since renamed him Lioonheart. Robin Starr, the CEO of the SPCA said, "We realized what a terrible case of neglect it was. We realized how badly this little dog needed us, so we took him in immediately."
Believe it or not, for two years Lionheart had lived under a bed. As you could guess, the dog was neglected which is why it was stuck under the bed. At 7-years-old, the dog had intense matting of the fur which prevented him from being able to do even the most basic tasks like seeing, walking or even eating.
A Dog in Severe Need of Help
Robin Starr described what it was like when she first met Lionheart. "I saw him when he first arrived, and I could not tell which was the front end and which was the back end. You couldn't see anything. I am sure he was in great discomfort." The owner told them that the dog was a poodle, though no one could even tell because the dog was in such disarray. The first job was to shave the dog down. Dr. Angela Ivey, the veterinarian at the SPCA said, "Normally, we do bloodwork and everything on them, but you couldn't even get through the mats to find a vein."
"He needed his teeth cleaned - they were horrible - and he needed to be neutered, and then we got all of his bloodwork and everything done at the same time. We quickly got him neutered and his teeth done so that the massive task of shaving him down could be accomplished under the same anesthesia."
A Whole New Dog
As tests were done on Lionheart, the veterinary team found that he had hookworms as well as other conditions. As Starr explains, "He'd gotten the hookworms outside, but he had apparently been under the bed, literally nonstop, for two years, so he clearly had the hookworms for all that period of time." The good news is that Lionheart didn't let his traumatic past shape his personality. After getting shaved and treated, he bounced with energy.
Luckily Lionheart now has a new life with a new family. He's even been given a new name for his new life. He is Cody now. While Lionheart definitely tells his story of perseverance and recovery, it's time he takes his new form as the happy healthy Cody. Even though this dog had rough beginnings, he's happy now and that's all that matters.
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