8 min read

Homeless Dog Without Fur Is Completely Transformed With Love

“I couldn’t just leave her there.”

Andrea Kyle had no idea her life was about to change when she got in her car after work on a cold day in November 2016. As she started to drive home, she spotted a dog on the side of the road — and immediately knew the dog needed help.

“She had a harness on, and I thought that she might have a tag and I could find her home,” Kyle, an independent dog rescuer based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, told The Dodo.

But when Kyle stopped the car and got out to have a closer look, she saw that the dog was in bad shape — her body was covered in mange, which had caused her to lose most of her fur. One of her eyes was also injured.

Dog coverd in mange
Sweet Pea shortly after the Kyles found her | Andrea Kyle

“I couldn’t just leave her there,” Kyle said. “I called my husband and said, ‘What do we do?’”

Kyle and her husband already had three dogs of their own, and they regularly fostered dogs for a local rescue group called Route 66 Pet Rescue. But they both agreed to take this new dog into their care — if they’d taken her to the shelter instead, they feared that she would be put down since she was so sick.

But there was one big problem — Kyle couldn’t get the dog into her car, no matter how hard she tried. Thankfully, someone noticed that Kyle needed help.

Dog with mange in t-shirt
Sweet Pea after Kyle took her home with her | Andrea Kyle

“I saw this woman drive by, and I thought, ‘Oh, maybe it’s her dog.’ And I was like, ‘Hey! Is this your dog?’ But she said, ‘No, I just saw you, and I want to help you,’” Kyle said. “I had to like push her into the car, and the lady had to come and push the door behind us.”

Once inside the car, the dog tried to hide, and found a way to squeeze part of her body beneath the driver’s seat. Kyle did her best to comfort the dog, whom she started calling Sweet Pea, as she drove them both home.

“I reached out … and stroked her ear and started singing to her,” Kyle said. “I thought that was the least I could do because she was scared and sad.”

Dog's face with mange
Andrea Kyle

When they got home, Kyle and her husband gave Sweet Pea a much-needed bath and took her to the vet. Besides having a bad case of mange and an eye injury, Sweet Pea, who was estimated to be about 6 months old, had fleas and a belly full of worms. The vet gave her some medication, but it would take several weeks for Sweet Pea to get better.

To keep their other dogs safe, Kyle and her husband initially thought to keep Sweet Pea in their garage — they set up a nice area for her with a bed, pillows and space heater. But their plan was quickly thwarted.

“By the next day, she’d already wormed (no pun intended) herself into my husband’s heart, and she demanded to come inside,” Kyle said. “She would not go back into the garage. So we made her a bed in an office to quarantine her.”

Dog lying on couch
Sweet Pea wore clothing as her body healed from the mange | Andrea Kyle

“She was really happy in the house,” Kyle added. “Every time we’d go to check on her, she’d just wag her tail as hard as she could.”

Sweet Pea eventually got better, and grew in a coat of golden-brown fur.

Dog with golden fur lying on couch
Andrea Kyle

“She’s just so cuddly and soft and she smells so good,” Kyle said. “We don’t really give her smelly baths or anything like that. Her fur just smells so good.”

She’s also become friends with Kyle’s three other dogs, Rufus, Sneaker and Genie Bear, and learned how to play with toys.

Dogs relaxing on couch
Andrea Kyle

“We bought her a little moose, and a couple days after we got her, she started playing with the moose,” Kyle said.

Kyle admits that Sweet Pea has become a little spoiled — but neither she nor her husband have a problem with that.

Dog cuddling with woman
Andrea Kyle

“She ruled us right off the bat,” Kyle said. “Obviously, she’s been neglected and maybe abused, so we’re going to be so nice to her. So we were like, ‘Oh baby, whatever you need.' So she was like, ‘So this is how it is around here,' so she was owning us. She went from being this sad, neglected puppy to being Queen of Sheba.”

Smiling dog leaning against person
Andrea Kyle

Kyle and her husband absolutely adore Sweet Pea, and they couldn’t imagine their life without her — and they recently shared Sweet Pea’s story in Pittie Nation, a closed Facebook group for pit bull lovers that's tied to The Dodo’s Facebook Watch show, called Pittie Nation.

“We don’t have any kids, and she’s probably the closest to a kid that I’ll ever have,” Kyle said. “She’s so smart and she’s got so much personality.”

Thinking about adopting? Then meet Dodo Adoptbot, an interactive guide for new pet parents. Get started on Facebook Messenger or text HOME to 38349.