When Valia from The Orphan Pet met the dog in person, he looked even worse than his photo. Somewhere beneath the layers of dirt and feces-saturated fur was a dog. He used to live with an elderly woman, but when she died, someone emptied her apartment and left him on the pavement. It wasn’t clear how long he went without care. Months? Years?
Valia had received a text asking for help for the dog. The saddest part was, as Valia observed upon seeing him, that it was challenging to feel anything other than revulsion. The stinking mass on the pavement was motionless and silent, but when Valia offered him water, a small tongue came out and licked her hand.
Valia took the dog home and named him “Julian” before taking him to the vet. Throughout the entire ordeal, the dog did not react or move, but Valia knew that there was a dog under the matted fur and filth.
Amazingly, Julian allowed them to shave him without the need for anesthesia. He remained motionless and quiet for four hours while they removed his “dirt armor.”
Julian, who turned out to be a poodle, is an elderly dog with a heart condition and is partly deaf and blind. He is not the most well-behaved dog, but Valia believes that’s fine, saying, “Some dogs don’t have a happy ending. Some rescues get an imperfect ending.”
Valia also noted that Julian may not be the best dog, but he is the best version of himself. “It’s okay for him to be himself,” she said. He is perfectly imperfect.
Julian is currently under the care of Save a Greek Stray, and Valia shared that he is still looking for a home. She added, “What puts most people off is not his fussy character but his age and his heart condition.”
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