It’s never too late to help a dog in need. Whether they’re newborns or the oldest dog in the kennel, they’re all better off for our help. But let’s face it, most of our attention goes to the pups. And for good reason. They’re cute, can’t look out for themselves, and we want to protect them from the harsh world before anything bad happens.
But what should we do about the ones that don’t get rescued? The ones who’ve lived out there in the harsh world, maybe their entire lives? How can we help them? Well after reading this story about Toothless the dog, I think I have an idea. And a new hero…
One day, Cody Leightenheimer found this little guy. According to him, “I was working at a wood flooring factory. I had an entire wing, basically, to myself. One day, I was staining some custom furniture when I looked at the other end of the hangar length building to see a little puppy. I instantly wanted to abandon post and grab the thing for cuddles but I had work to get done. This pup wasn’t having any of that though. He walked up to me and stared at me with his huge eyes. I noticed instantly that he was flea covered, matted and not in the best physical shape. As I looked closer I realized that he had a lot of gray around his muzzle, ears, and face.”
“I got him some chicken-ish fast food during my lunch because he was so thin that I could feel his bones. I started sending these pictures to my wife planning on pleading to bring him home. I didn’t have to because she beat me to the punch.”
“I thought that I would have to herd him away from doors all day until I could clock out and take him home. The little guy fell asleep on the floor and stayed there all day.”
When they got him home, they cleaned him up, removing dozens of fleas, and brought him to the vet. His impressive list of existing conditions were: 1. Stunted growth from malnutrition. 2. Cataracts and one small pupil from blunt force trauma to the head. 3. Ulcers in his stomach causing vomiting. 4. Four oronasal fistulas in his mouth caused by his teeth rotting out of his head. 5. Completely deaf.
And they landed on him being a Shetland Sheepdog, an age of somewhere between 8 and 12 with a weigh-in of 7.3 lbs.
“After a surgery on the fistulas, a strict medicinal regimen, months of spoiling, and a family who loved him as much as two children and then some; Toothless (nickname added by our five year-old daughter because of her love for’How To Train Your Dragon’) Rooster Cogburn was a dashing elderly gentleman in the vein of Sir Ian McKellen and Christopher Plummer.”
Following this, “Toothless” was treated like royalty, living the good life he deserved, protected by Cody and his wife Kasie.
No longer living in the cold, but occasionally enjoying it instead.
And playing dress up…
The cutest Who in Whoville 😉
Of course, his favorite thing to do was nap.
And he sure got plenty of opportunity.
All this time though, Toothless Rooster Cogburn was given three months to one year to live. He made it to one year before he got too sick to grace his new owners with his awesomeness for one more day.
Finally, on June 2, 2014; “I watched the greatest friend, most loving pet and the most heroic fighter I’ve ever met sink into a well deserved final nap while his mother and I held his paws.”
According to our hero, “I never thought I could love a pet as much as I loved him; as much as we loved him. Everyone who met him instantly loved him. His vets, our friends, a theater full of patrons when he performed a walk-on role in a play. He truly was one of a kind. We hope that we gave him enough good memories to wipe out any bad ones that came before.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Please share this heroic story with others below.