If there’s one thing we know to be true, it’s that dogs are too pure and good for this world and honestly we don’t deserve them. So the idea of anyone causing harm or ᴅɪsᴛʀᴇss to a cute little pup is incredibly upsetting. But one family did just this to their dog, ᴛʜʀᴏᴡɪɴɢ the ᴇʟᴅᴇʀʟʏ animal out like ʀᴜʙʙɪsʜ when they decided to move house. That is Athena’s previous family, who ᴄʀᴜᴇʟʟʏ ᴀʙᴀɴᴅᴏɴᴇᴅ her when she needed them the most.
One ᴜɴꜰᴏʀᴛᴜɴᴀᴛᴇpup in Nikolaevka, Bulgaria was ᴀʙᴀɴᴅᴏɴᴇᴅ by her supposed ‘family.’ Athena was a senior dog who’d spent most of her life with them. They were the only life she knew. It is a sweet, affectionate pup who spent most of her life living with her family in Nikolaevka, Bulgaria. However, one ꜰᴀᴛᴇꜰᴜʟ day, she discovered just how little they valued her love and her life. After being a faithful companion to her family for many years, Athena had grown into a senior dog and was looking forward to enjoying her gᴏʟᴅen years the same way she’d been enjoying her youth: by looking after her family.
The faithful pooch gave her family the best years of her life only to be ᴄʜᴜᴄᴋᴇᴅ ᴀsɪᴅᴇ during a move. The family ʟᴇꜰᴛ Athena behind when they went to live in a different home. They thought that she was too ᴏʟᴅ, and so, they just ʟᴇꜰᴛ her behind like she was a piece of broken furniture or some other unwanted item. The ᴄʀᴜᴇʟ family ʟᴇꜰᴛ the canine to live on her own and to make her life more ᴍɪsᴇʀᴀʙʟᴇ. They ᴛɪᴇᴅ the animal with a heavy chain leaving her with no option but to be at the same place. The heavy chain around the dog’s neck made her unable to go very far to find food or water. The ᴄᴀʟʟᴏᴜsɴᴇss ᴅᴇᴇᴘʟʏ impacted the dog. Not only was the ᴏʟᴅer dog ʜᴇᴀʀᴛʙʀᴏᴋᴇɴ, but she was also terrified of being alone. She sat by the side of the road, hanging her head, staring at the passing cars, and looking completely inconsolable. Athena looked completely dejected.
However, her sad story actually has a happy ending! Laurica Nagel, who volunteers for a dog ʀᴇsᴄᴜᴇ organization, heard the story of a dog ᴛɪᴇᴅ up in the middle of nowhere and went to investigate. She finds Athena and is ʜᴏʀʀɪꜰɪᴇᴅ to see the sad scene before her. Nagel rushed to ʀᴇsᴄᴜᴇ the poor pup and found her sitting by the side of the road with her head hanging low and her eyes filled with sᴀᴅɴᴇss and ᴡᴏʀʀʏ. She was ʜᴏʀʀɪꜰɪᴇᴅ to see the sight that greeted her: a ᴄʜᴀɪɴᴇᴅ-ᴜᴘ Athena with her head hung down in shame. The ᴅᴇᴘʀᴇssᴇᴅ dog had managed to sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴇ off scraps tossed to her by truckers but she was still extremely ᴍᴀʟɴᴏᴜʀɪsʜᴇᴅ and ᴡᴇᴀᴋ. Her fur coat was riddled with ꜰʟᴇᴀs and ᴛɪᴄᴋs. She’d even ʟᴏsᴛ vision in one of her eyes.
Nagel immediately got her to the ʀᴇsᴄᴜᴇ center for help. There, Athena received food and ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄᴀʟ ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ as well as a much-needed bath. But more than anything, she was able to receive the love and compassion that she deserved. As Athena began her ʀᴇᴄᴏᴠᴇʀʏ, the staff at the shelter then began to ᴡᴏʀʀʏ about how they were going to manage to get her a new home. They were already aware that ᴏʟᴅer dogs have a harder time finding forever homes because most people are interested in puppies. But, the ᴏʟᴅer dog got lucky after a family saw her picture on social media and decided to pay her a visit. They decided that they wanted her to be a part of their family. They were so proud of her for being a fighter and sᴜʀᴠɪᴠɪɴɢ all the hardship life had put her through. When they looked at her they didn’t see her as ᴏʟᴅ and useless, as her previous family had.
Now, she’s living her days with people who truly care about her, in a piece of land with lots of land for her to explore – a great change after spending so much time together with one place. She has a family who truly cares for her and will make sure that the rest of her life will be happy and filled with love. Rather than seeing Athena as a ʙᴜʀᴅᴇɴ, her new family saw her for the gentle and loving dog that she is. They were not about to turn their ʙᴀᴄᴋs on her the way that her previous owners had. They welcomed her into their family with open arms. Every single dog deserves to be loved. And all dogs are a life-long commitment which we should not take lightly.
We all need to remember that when we take on a dog we are agreeing to a whole life of care for our pet. They deserve us to give them our best because that is exactly what they bring to us.