Dog Neglected For Years Finally Gets A Haircut That Uncovers His Real Identity

It’s recommended you get a hair cut approximately every eight to twelve weeks if you’re looking to keep your hair bouncy and healthy. That period when hair is riddled with split ends and looks lifeless has most people running to the salon; but what if you were forced to give up on grooming all together?

While people can take themselves to Supercuts whenever they want, dogs rely on their people to keep their coats in shape. It’s more important than you’d think because neglected fur can become infected fur. One dog in Tennessee was desperate for some maintenance, and he was starting to worry it was too late.

On any given day at a private barn down south, you’re bound to be greeted by sunshine, comfortable silence, and a rustic ambiance. Joyful, peaceful sightings of sheep, cows, and chickens all make up the countryside experience. 


However, one Tennessee barn holds an ambiance much darker, one that exudes pure gloom. That barn housed a dog who probably wouldn’t speak too highly of life on the farm.


That dog is Lazarus. The sweet Pyrenean mountain dog lived a life of neglect and discomfort throughout his first seven years. We could only imagine the fear that plagued the poor pup, who sported a pretty gnarly hairdo. 

Life With Dogs

The Tennessee pooch spent those years cooped up in the smelly, filth-coated barn, having no room to run and no sky to see. He was left alone to fend for himself, unintentionally fencing himself in with his own waste. 

 He must’ve been particularly uncomfortable: Pyrenean Mountain Dogs have double coats of fur, with a dense, fine undercoat. Without proper grooming, matting can lead to skin issues, and unfortunately, Lazarus endured extreme matting.


The matting was a surprisingly weighty mess. Lazarus’ fur overgrew to an incredible mass, weighing an astonishing 35 pounds.  His life was at stake, and help needed to come sooner rather than later.


Grievously, the dog’s owner reportedly suffered from a mental illness, having called a relative for immediate assistance, so the owner was no help to Laz. Little did the helpless pooch know, he was about to encounter the best day of his heretofore sad life. 

Soon enough, after the owner’s relative made an urgent phone call, a diligent rescue team of volunteers from the Big Fluffy Dog Rescue, which included two groomers (who must’ve anticipated the challenge of their career), came to liberate Lazarus. 


To the horror of the rescue team, there was a tremendous amount of dirt and feces blocking the door to Lazarus’ barn stall; so much so that the team had to shovel a path to save the poor furry angel. Lazarus was so close to freedom. 

Rural Revolution

When they could finally tend to the struggling pooch, the team immediately became aware of some health problems Lazarus had been facing, which hindered his ability to get around with ease.


The matted fur, like a swarming, restricting ivy plant covering the building, tragically made it impossible for him to walk. The mutt must’ve dreamed of running free in a sunny field, chasing cats and butterflies; but would he ever be able to?


Jean Harrison, the owner of the Big Fluffy Dog Rescue, said: “He had no muscle mass and was unable to move around, let alone walk.” Although the news was alarming, the team just had to start buzzing off some of that nasty, dead fur without hesitation. 

Angus Post

It took hours to groom Lazarus, who initially cowered from the rescue team’s touch out of pure fear. Once his neck was free from the fur prison, however, he warmed up, realizing that the group of strange humans had good intentions. 


“He calmed down and seemed to realize it [the grooming] was making him feel better,” Jessica Kincheloe, one of the dog groomers, said on behalf of Lazarus. 


Rest assured, after cutting off all of Lazarus’ impeding fur, he was a new man, or rather, a new good boy. We think he looks rather dapper in his new ‘do.

Angus Post

Jean Harrison mentioned that he, unfortunately, didn’t have typical dog mannerisms down pat. “Lazarus doesn’t know how to be a dog,” she said. “He doesn’t exactly know how to behave like a dog.” He’d soon learn though. 

Jean voiced that the still-shy Lazarus “approached a freshly grilled steak cautiously, which made us sad.” Dogs shouldn’t have to be grateful for food, she said, nor should the innocent creatures ever have to suffer. But Lazarus’ suffering was now over. 


From there, Lazarus was taken into a foster home in Virginia, where he would embark on his arduous recovery journey, as well as receive heaps of “good boy” pets and kisses. He had a lot of pain to overcome, but more importantly, he had a lot of happiness to look forward to. 

It would take weeks or even months for the pup to regain strength, muscle mass, and a little self-esteem prior to getting adopted by his forever family. But until then, Lazarus still had sights to see and steaks to devour…

The Dodo

As expected, Lazarus was adopted in no time. His family clearly takes proper care of his precious (high maintenance) coat and gives him tons of TLC. We think he deserves all of the love and steaks the world has to offer.

Rescuing dogs like Lazarus isn’t always easy, but it’s always rewarding. In fact, some rescuers would say that it’s the toughest cases that are the most rewarding. That’s something Chris and Pam of the Michigan Humane Society know firsthand. 

Michigan Humane Society

Michigan experienced unseasonal rainfall the summer of 2017 and it caused state-wide flash flooding that crippled the state. Humans and animals alike needed all the help they could get.

So when the rescuers received a call that 12 dogs, 11 puppies, and their mother, endangered by the raging storms, they had no idea what to expect when they arrived on the scene.

They chose to stream the rescue on Facebook Live as a “unique opportunity to show people what their support makes possible, and what [they] do every day.”

Michigan Humane Society

When Chris and Pam got there they couldn’t believe what they found. The mother had been separated from her puppies, who all needed immediate assistance if they were going to survive.

The 11 puppies were stuck inside of a hole. It appeared that there was no foul play involved and that the mother simply placed them there to protect her puppies from the storms.


Unfortunately, in doing so, the mother unknowingly put her babies in danger since the rising flood water eventually entered the hole. The rapidly moving water was now posing a threat to drown them all.

Chris and Pam quickly set a trap to distract the mother so that they could get clear access to the hole. Chris immediately got down on his hands and knees to see if he could find the puppies…

They could hear the puppies, but upon further inspection of the hole, the rescuers realized the puppies were deeper in the ground than they had thought.

Chris was able to easily rescue the first three puppies as they seemingly moved to the front of the hole, but the rest of them were out of reach. Pam took the three puppies to the van, while Chris thought of another plan.

Michigan Humane Society

Chris began to dig his way into the hole. He was careful not to dig too fast since that could accidentally injure one of the puppies, or cause the hole to cave in. However, Chris needed to act fast or the rest would drown.

As Chris dug further he tried to talk to the puppies to coerce them out. Chris can be heard in the Facebook Live video saying, “Hi guys, it’s your Uncle Chris, come out and play.”

Michigan Humane Society

Chris attempted to lure the puppies out with food now that the hole was widened. Luckily this enticed five of the puppies to peep their heads out to take a whiff, allowing Chris to grab them. But what about the rest?

There were still three chatty puppies stuck inside! Chris went head deep into the hole as an attempt to grab the three remaining puppies. Finally, Chris was able to rescue all 11 puppies from underground.

Michigan Humane Society

The mother sensed that these kind humans had saved her puppies and allowed the team to rescue her along with her babies. All twelve were taken to the shelter to be warmed, cleaned, and vaccinated.

Michigan Humane Society

Word of this Facebook Live video quickly went viral. People were dying to know what happened to these stormy puppies and applications came flooding in to adopt them and their mother.

Michigan Humane Society

Twelve lucky families were soon selected to adopt the pooches! It only seemed fitting that adoption day was filmed, just like the day they were rescued. It was the perfect epilogue.

Michigan Humane Society

All of the families were seated in a room and handed a piece of paper with a number on it corresponding to the order they got to pick their new family member…

Michigan Humane Society

One by one the puppies met their “furever” families to start their new lives. The mother, Raina, was adopted also that day, proving that it wasn’t just the puppies who touched the rescuers.

Michigan Humane Society

The Michigan Humane Society felt it was important to share this rescue story with the world to shed light on the amazing work they do and that none of this would be possible without their loving community.

Michigan Humane Society

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