One of the greatest things about dogs is their innate desire to show their owners loyalty. Any dog owner will tell you that their four-legged friend will stand by them through thick and thin, and that’s something you can’t say about many other species.
The problem, however, is that humans sometimes don’t reciprocate with the same level of loyalty. This was all too apparent one rainy afternoon in Dallas when an animal rescue worker named Marina Tarashevska saw a heartbreaking scene outside a vacant home that sent her on a journey she’d never forget.
Marina Tarashevska was the co-founder of Dallas DogRRR, a local dog rescue in Texas. She and the other employees at the rescue answered calls regarding dogs who needed new homes, but sometimes they cam across situations that required someone to step in immediately.
While Marina was out for a walk on a cold and rainy New Year’s Day, she saw a bunch of furniture and trash on the curb outside. From a distance it appeared that a family most likely moved out and left stuff they didn’t want anymore including a large blanket that caught her eye…
While Marina was out for a walk on a cold New Year’s Day, she saw furniture and trash on a curb From a distance, it appeared that a family moved out and left behind stuff they didn’t want anymore, including a large blanket that caught her eye.
Once she reached the blanket, her heart broke as she realized there was a dog clinging to it, shivering from the cold weather and looking at her with despair. Marina immediately knocked on a neighbor’s door to inquire about the pup.
She was told by the person she spoke with that the family left the day before and abandoned the poor dog out in the street with the rest of their unwanted possessions. So, Marina made a bold decision.
Being a canine caretaker, she knew there was no hope for the animal if she left her alone with the blanket. Clearly, none of the surrounding neighbors wanted to step in to help.
Marina had no idea about the dog’s history, which was a problem when trying to gain her trust. Was the family abusive? Did she have all her shots? She slowly approached anyway.
She was locking eyes with the dog, who appeared calm at first. But, once Marina got within a foot of the blanket, the dog sprinted off to the other side of the road. This task was going to be long and arduous, Marina realized
Since she knew the dog wouldn’t approach the blanket unless she was standing far enough away — and she had to get the animal to her house — she figured relocating the blanket towards her home would work. But, it had to be done carefully.
Marina didn’t want the dog to think she was taking away her safety blanket, so over the course of an hour, she inched the blanket onto her property. The dog watched from a distance the whole time and followed Marina back. The mission was almost complete.
Eventually, Marina approached the quivering animal and gently scooped her up. She didn’t put up any sort of fight, and she clearly lived through some kind of trauma. Marina named her new friend “Camilla,” and it was now time for her healing to begin.
Camilla was placed into a kennel Marina owned, and the poor animal curled up into a ball in the back, refusing to make eyes contact. Although she allowed Marina to touch her, it was obvious the dog was frozen stiff with fear.
Marina carefully examined the dog’s body looking for any signs the animal was abused or neglected, and she found fresh wounds in Camilla’s neck and ears. Worried, she took Camilla to a vet for a better understanding.
The vet told Marina they were fairly certain the wounds were caused by an embedded collar that was way too tight. The animal was most likely kept outside, where it developed a lack of trust towards humans. Marina now needed to reverse the damage.
The pooch had surgery on her neck to close up the wounds, and slowly but surely, she learned to get comfortable with the idea of being around people and other dogs at the Dallas DogRRR.
Within a few weeks, the work Marina and her fellow employees put in was paying off. Camilla was now sitting up instead of cowering in fear, and she approached people and nose-butted their hands, asking for attention. This was unheard of when Marina first rescued her.
Also, Camilla began playing with toys for the first time ever! The yard where she was kept previously was barren, and she likely paced aimlessly all day long. Now, however, she was realizing how awesome squeaky toys and tennis balls were!
Once Camilla was well-adjusted enough to leave the rescue center, a foster family cared for her until she was ready for the official adoption list. What was once a petrified pup was now a loving and capable canine thanks to Marina.
The thought of leaving your home and discarding a pet like it’s a piece of furniture is horrifying. Unfortunately, it happens all the time, but there are people who work tirelessly to rescue these special animals, like Eldad Hagar.
Eldad Hagar is the founder of Hope for Paws, an animal rescue group in Los Angeles, California. He’s dedicated his life to saving abandoned and stray pets—but despite his experience, some still give him a run for his money. Such was the case of one female Maltese-poodle mix named Oakley.
Oakley had trouble trusting people, and she managed to evade Eldad during the day. Unwilling to give up, Eldad returned at night with a new strategy. He had to be careful, though: if he scared Oakley too much, he ran the risk of her running away again—and she could die without help.
After several minutes of sneaking around the quiet parking area, Eldad managed to move right behind the frightened pup, ready to make his next move. It wouldn’t be easy, but he had to try…
Things got really intense once Eldad finally secured Oakley with his leash. Immediately, she became terrified and started trying to run away as fast as she could. Eldad tried as best he could to maintain control.
Amazingly, Eldad tried a technique that most people wouldn’t think of. He didn’t try to pull Oakley towards him or try to fight back against the dog’s resistance in any way. Instead, he patiently ran behind Oakley while still holding onto her.
All the while, Oakley was frantically barking, yelping, and growling at Eldad, but the rescue expert remained as patient as he possibly could. He wanted to wait for the little pooch to eventually wear herself out.
It worked! Whether it was because Oakley was exhausted, curious about the unusual situation, or even just starting to feel like she could trust Eldad, she stopped in her tracks and stared him.
What happened next was actually quite beautiful. Eldad stopped and sat with Oakley and spoke softly to her, asking if they could be friends. “It’s okay,” he said to her as he reached out to touch her…
Sure enough, this method seemed to work absolute wonders. Oakley calmed down, and she even allowed Eldad to pet her! His patience was starting to pay off, and the tiny, frightened pup was starting to trust him at long last.
“You smell like you’ve been on the street for a long time,” Eldad said as he gently loaded Oakley into the passenger seat of his car. Still, he kept petting her and showing her affection. Finally, it was off to get her some much-needed help.
Eldad brought Oakley right into the shelter. Despite the fact that she no longer resisted and had calmed down considerably, she still must have been nervous and frightened by the new surroundings. Sitting still just showed how much she trusted her new pal.
Eldad told Oakley that he needed to give her a bath, and she was willing to accept it. Sure, she seemed a bit uncomfortable with the experience, but she still allowed him to do what needed to be done!
There was no telling how long Oakley had been out on her own in the streets, so the bath must have been long overdue. The dirt just washed right off of her! Boy, it must have felt amazing to be clean again.
Eldad told Oakley repeatedly that she was a “good girl,” and she certainly deserved to hear it. Despite her initial behavior when Eldad was trying to catch her, she was really showing how sweet she was at heart.
“You’re going to be white in a few seconds, okay?” Eldad said softly to Oakley as he gently scratched her chin. Indeed, the little dog looked totally transformed by the bath. Just wait until you see her all dried off!
Taking a bath must’ve been somewhat foreign to her, but that bath was exactly what Oakley needed. Once the little dog was finally clean and dry, it must have almost felt like a sort of rebirth for her.
By the time that pampering was all said and done, Oakley looked like an entirely new dog! Her white fur was soft and fluffy again, and she finally looked like she was supposed to. Check out those adorable eyes!
Eldad brought Oakley to his own home for some well-earned rest and relaxation. Once there, he continued to reestablish the sense of trust that she’d clearly lost as a stray. It was a delicate process, but Oakley was a willing learner.
In time, Oakley not only proved to be happy and healthy but also as playful as just about any dog out there. Each and every day, she became more confident and comfortable in her new surroundings.
Strays often can’t tell when someone’s trying to help them, and so they quickly become aggressive or scared. Rescuers like Annie Hart from Rescue From The Heart and Eldad Hagar from Hope For Paws know this all too well…
When Annie received an urgent call about a homeless poodle who’d been hit by a car in South Los Angeles, she immediately enlisted in Eldad’s help. Together, the two rushed to find the dog, hoping it wasn’t too late.
Annie and Eldad finally spotted her hunched along the side of a busy road. They knew they’d have their work cut out for them, but this dog’s behavior shocked even them…
Despite the dog’s injuries, she didn’t seem to want to fight them. Instead, she did something quite different, and it quickly brought her rescuers to tears. It simply wasn’t what their staff were used to seeing…
Layla, as she was later named, seemed so resigned to her fate that she sort of just played dead. It was as if she’d said, “I give up.” In response, Annie was eager to show her that she and Eldad meant no harm.
Once Annie felt like Layla was ready, she gently secured a leash around the poodle’s neck. Once again, whether it was because she trusted Annie or was just so weak, the homeless dog just didn’t seem interested in struggling.
Even once she had properly fastened the leash, Annie didn’t want to rush Layla just yet. Rather, she continued to sit with the pup for a few moments longer. But then little Layla did something even more precious…
While she was already clearly a calm dog, Layla decided to show off just how much of a love bug she was by offering up some wet kisses! Obviously, this was far from the usual routine for these animal rescuers—and it affected Annie in a way she didn’t expect.
In the midst of this bittersweet moment, she couldn’t hold back the waterworks. Here was a dog who had suffered terribly and desperately needed help, but she still managed to show so much affection.
Still, as powerful as those initial moments with Layla were, her story was just getting started. After a few more minutes, it was time to pick up the stray dog and take her to the hospital.
She was as calm as ever as she rode shotgun all the way there. What she didn’t know was how much of a transformation she was about to undergo…
Once Annie and Eldad arrived at the hospital, Layla, still in desperate need of help, continued to display all the love she’d shown them before. She might have been frightened, but she never showed it!
One of the first tasks on the agenda at the hospital was to almost completely shave her fur, which was matted and filthy. From there, they discovered their first real challenge…
As the medical staff soon learned, Layla’s intestines were severely damaged, and her life was in immediate danger. They had no choice but to keep her at the hospital for the next two weeks and pray that she pulled through.
Luckily, Layla was not alone. Every day of her hospital stay, she was visited by a foster family who was prepared to care for her until she could find her forever home.
Apparently, these daily visits—as well as the constant and attentive care from the hospital staff—did the trick! Not a day went by that Layla didn’t grow stronger, healthier, and happier!
Soon enough, after those few challenging weeks of treatment and recovery, Layla was starting to let her personality shine through. Finally, the sweet, fun-loving dog beneath was on the up-and-up!
Layla may have been missing her signature curly fur, but she wasn’t going to let something like that stop her from appreciating the new and improved life ahead of her. As always, she was more than happy to shower everyone with kisses.
Finally, Layla was ready to head home with her foster family. Eventually, she’d need to find herself a forever home, but for the time being, she was going to be well cared for at long last!