Year after year a dog named Lazarus was kept outside, all alone in a dirty, drafty barn stall. His owners seemed to have all but forgotten about him and beyond food and water he received little other care, let alone attention and love. It was only when his owner became terminally ill and asked a neighbor to feed Lazarus that anyone knew what terrible conditions the poor dog was being held in.
When the neighbor stopped by with his girlfriend, a groomer named C (who prefers not to be named), they were shocked to discover the level of neglect and squalor that Lazarus had been forced to endure. Dirt and feces had built up so much that the barn stall door had to be dug out just so anyone could even reach him. In the middle of all this filth was Lazarus, who appeared to be a giant mound of dirty white fur. Knowing that something needed to be done right away C called in her friend, fellow groomer Jessica Kincheloe, and they set about rescuing the dog.
After obtaining the owner’s permission, the women freed Lazarus from the squalid barn stall and set about shaving off his fur. By the time they found him he had been neglected for so long that his fur had completely matted up. This made it nearly impossible for him to move and the heavy, knotted scruffs of hair were tugging and pulling at his skin, causing him debilitating pain and suffering. They had to shave him entirely and took off an incredible 35 pounds of fur. By the time they were done Lazarus looked like a completely different dog, and felt like one too.
You can see him in the accompanying video taking his first steps after having his coat shaved. He’s kinda wobbly, unsteady, and unsure of himself because not only is he 35 pounds lighter and finally able to move without pain, he’s also not used to attention or love. After checking him out it was discovered that his tail had been broken and his muscles were severely under-developed. This was caused by the heavily matted fur which made movement awkward and difficult for him.
While his recovery going forward will be focused on gaining physical strength, much of it will also be emotional. Lazarus is not used to people, being indoors, or the fast hectic pace of life, but he’s working on it.
He was eventually taken in by the Big Fluffy Dog Rescue and placed in a foster home with one of their rescue workers in Virginia. According to the rescue group, ‘His eyes are getting brighter, he is starting to see affection and is slowly becoming steadier on his feet. He has yet to make a peep and can become overwhelmed easily, so we go at his pace on everything.’ Slowly but surely he’ll come around and settle into his new surroundings.
After being neglected and deprived of love for the past 7 years of his life, he’s just beginning to learn how to trust people. As sad as that may be, Lazarus has been given a second chance at leading a normal, love-filled life, and there’s hope that he can now live the rest of it in comfort and peace.
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