Dog Too Sad To Lift Her Head Loves To Go On Walks Now
"The first couple of days that she was walking around on a leash, she didn't really know what it was."
Dogs have a gift for living in the moment.
But Gwen Stefani was weighed down by a lot of bad moments. In fact, when rescuers found her among 14 dogs at a suspected dogfighting operation in Texas back in August, her moments seemed numbered.
"When I walked up, the rest (of the dogs) were all jumping and wanting me to come pet them and love on them," Madeline Yeaman, of the SPCA of Texas, tells The Dodo. But I saw her and I immediately grabbed our veterinarian and said, 'Oh my gosh, please come take a look at this dog.' "She was at death's door."
The emaciated, severely dehydrated dog was found with a massive collar clamped to her neck. And that was attached to a heavy chain that led to an old car axle.
Without shelter under a merciless Texas sun.
"She had gotten so weak, she couldn't even move," Yeaman says. "When we got there, she didn't want to get up. She didn't want to move. We had to struggle to get her to stand."
At the time, the veterinarian who examined Gwen noted she had "almost no blood pumping through her veins."
She was already a skeleton, just waiting for those bright eyes to finally fade.
But just as the fleas that feasted on her frail body were hosed off with water, so too was Gwen's past rinsed clean.
She underwent a series of lifesaving operations. She made friends.
She got to know the world outside of the heavy chain that once defined it.
"The first couple of days that she was walking around on a leash," Yeaman says, "she didn't really know what it was. She hugged the wall because it made her feel safer to have a barrier against her.
"But as she kind of learned her little path of walking and learned that she was going to go outside and play, she began to get more excited and began to come out of her shell - and really just shine."
Gwen began to have the kind of moments that most dogs take for granted.
"A lot of the basic things that you think about for a pet dog is all new and foreign to her," Yeahman says.
Gwen's life didn't end with a whimper in a secluded Texas hellhole. Instead, it begins every day, with a bang.
"She's definitely not missing anything. She's got people loving on her all day long. She gets to go play outside all day long," Yeaman says. "It's amazing what a change of environment and care and people can make in a dog's view of the world."
Now, she just needs one more change in her environment. A forever home. Think you might be able to help? Visit Gwen's adoption page here. You can also call the SPCA of Texas at 214-742-7722.
And consider making a donation to the SPCA of Texas on September 22. That's North Texas Giving Day - an annual event that brings in donations for nonprofits in North Texas from across the U.S. The donations are not only matched by sponsors, but often multiplied. For more information on North Texas Giving Day, visit the website.
Watch videos of Gwen's journey to recovery on the group's Facebook page.