A Diamond in the Rough – Heartwarming Story Contest

This pet rescue story is an entry in the Most Heartwarming Story Contest, by Helen Woodward Animal Center. The Most Heartwarming Story Contest is open to any and all participating Iams Home 4 the Holidays pet organizations. The winner will win $500 for their facility or rescue! Your organization can become an Iams Home 4 the Holidays partner today. This story will now have an opportunity to be featured in the finalist pool in February, 2013.

Miniature Dachshund Once Neglected, Is Now Cherished

By Decatur Alabama Animal Services, located in Decatur, Alabama

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Diamond in the Rough | Helen Woodward Animal Center The once-beautiful, purebred Miniature Dachshund was so badly infested with fleas that her brittle hair was scratched off her tail and back, and her bald skin was dry and tough as old cauliflower. Her breath smelled like garbage, her teeth were rotten, and her filthy, skinny body didn’t even hit the 10 lb. mark.  Her nails curved like talons. She was at least 10 years old, shivering and scared; as unwanted and unloved as she was uncomfortable.

As she did her week of “hold time”, she was bathed and de-fleaed, fed soft, nourishing food that was easy for her to eat, and fussed over. The faint glimmer in those dark watchful eyes became a spark, and slowly she came back to life. She relaxed into a gracious little sweetheart, and made it through her adoption evaluation, more for her loving nature than her physical condition, but the optimistically named “Diamond in the Rough” had a chance.

Private donations paid for her dental and extraction of 15 teeth. No one could believe she lost so many as she ate like a little pig, chowing down very nicely even on dry food with the few teeth she had left. She filled out and her ribs disappeared. Her skin softened and her hair started growing back, shiny and red.  She became part of a play group and made friends, both human and canine. She was walked through the park every day by Super Volunteer Ken, whom she adored.  She went home on weekends for a “fur-lough” and was spoiled until Monday morning when she came back to the adoption floor, looking for her opportunity.

She thought her luck had changed when an adoption contract was placed on her and she went to the vet to be spayed. But then she waited in the recovery room for days and days, with a big bag full of toys fixed for her by the people at the shelter who loved her, but her potential new family never came back to get her. So she had to start over again.

Most people were not interested an older dog but shelter staff had faith the right person would come along and say, “She’s the one.”

That’s exactly what happened.

She now has a wonderful home with a soft bed of her own, a human mom and dad and a “big” Dachshund brother she adores.

Diamond in the Rough | Helen Woodward Animal Center

This happy little dog came back into the shelter for a visit recently, literally strutting in her warm pink sweater: eyes sparkling, perky, healthy, and full of spunk. Her forever name is just “Diamond”, like the little gem she always was but now everyone can clearly see.

Every week during the 2012 Iams Home 4 the Holidays campaign (Oct. 1, 2012 – Jan. 2, 2013), participating animal organizations are encouraged to enter heartwarming adoption success stories. Submissions can be made weekly by snail mail, fax or email, and at the end of each week Helen Woodward Animal Center and Iams will select a winning story to be featured on this very blog! After the campaign ends on Jan. 2, 2013, the weekly winning stories will be compiled into a pool and voted on by partnered organizations, your fans and the public. The story with the most votes will win a $500 donation for their animal organization and will be announced on Helen Woodward Animal Center’s blog in February 2013. For more rules and guidelines, please click here.

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