6 min read

Puppy Left For Dead In Cardboard Box Fights For Her Life

<p> <a href="https://www.facebook.com/1464040160499012/photos/a.1464081190494909.1073741827.1464040160499012/1464341543802207/?type=1" target="_blank">Facebook/Peach's fight back from the brink</a> </p>

Rain seeped into the cardboard box where she lay: alone, abandoned and on the brink of death.

When workers arrived at Animal Care Center in New York one dreary April morning in 2014, they found this box on the Manhattan sidewalk with a crying, nameless puppy inside. She was about 8 weeks old and in dire need of immediate medical attention. They called Second Chance Rescue (SCR), an NYC organization that responds to cases of severe abuse and neglect.

"She wasn't moving, but occasionally she'd let out a cute little breath," SCR volunteer Denise Diaz told the Dodo. Diaz borrowed her sister's car in order to race this young puppy to the animal emergency center. "She was in extreme pain and had the worst case of mange I've ever seen," said Diaz, also noting how the stench the dog's dying skin "lingered in my car for weeks. ... I could smell it in my mouth and in my stomach."

Bumper-to-bumper traffic along the FDR Drive slowed the car down to snail's pace for 40 minutes. Whenever the car came to a stop, Diaz peeked into the cardboard box, hoping to see the puppy still breathing.

"I promised her that this is the part where her life was going to begin," Diaz said, and she kept that promise. What could have easily been the last day of this helpless puppy's life marked the beginning of her incredible transformation.

An abandoned puppy gets a new name.

On that day, SCR began intensive medical treatment for the frail puppy. They gave her blood tests, fluids, medications, skin scrubs and a new name: Peach.

Wearing a sweater to keep warm, Peach opened her tired eyes.

"She went to foster care with one of our core volunteers who had been with the rescue for years," said Diaz. "Granny's the one who literally nursed this dog back to health."

Under the gentle, loving care of foster mother Granny, Peach's skin healed and her eyes began to show a certain playfulness.

Granny wanted to adopt Peach, but the senior development where Granny lived wouldn't allow her to keep the growing dog.

Diaz and the SCR team wanted to place Peach in a forever home, where she would have stability and joy in her life, so they searched through applications for the perfect parent.

Peach becomes Schultzie.

Of the many applications, one man stood out from the rest: Eddie. He's a father with children of his own, but he had plenty of room in his heart for this young rescue dog, whom he chose to rename Schultzie.

They absolutely love each other.

Since moving in with Eddie, Schultzie's become "a little minx," Diaz said. "She's a troublemaker, but her daddy sets her straight." Schultzie's wild side doesn't bother Eddie. In fact, according to Diaz, the two couldn't be more in love.

Here's a video of how Schultzie reacts when Eddie walks through the door.

For the past year, Eddie has regularly posted updates on Schultzie's very own Facebook page. And this August, Schultzie and the family celebrated one year together.

What a year it's been. Below are a few highlights.

Here's Schultzie dressed up for Halloween.

Schultzie's back in another sweater.

Eddie and Schultzie share a chair on Christmas.

Schultzie soaks in the sun.

The Dodo is joining the Huffington Post in celebrating Pit Bull Week, a week-long, community-driven effort to bust the myths and raise awareness about pit bulls, a maligned "breed" that often bears the brunt of dated, discriminatory legislation that can make it near impossible for these dogs to find a forever home.