Sammie the dog faced a very uncertain future after an anonymous person subjected him to the most despicable animal abuse imaginable. Yes, even after rescuers picked him up and took him to surgery, the pup must have undoubtedly been scared. Perhaps sensing his terror, then, a fellow rescue dog reached out and proved that the simplest gestures can provide the ultimate comfort.
Sammie didn’t have the best start in life. In fact, when the dog arrived at a shelter in Columbia, South Carolina, somebody had sprayed him blue, shot him in the head and dragged him behind a car. Yes, it seemed that the four-month-old boxer puppy had only ever known pain.
And after this terrifying ordeal, Sammie’s anonymous abuser simply left him to die. But when Sammie managed to hang on for three whole days, his suspected abuser apparently had a change of heart and brought him to a shelter.
Then his new handlers took the puppy immediately to a surgical animal hospital in Columbia that partners with Rescue Dogs Rock NYC. At the hospital, vets did what they could to try and treat the pup’s horrific injuries. Indeed, Sammie had a gunshot wound to his head and a crushed hind leg. “He cannot stand or walk and the suffering he has endured at the hands of evil makes us cringe to share the Earth with the person or persons responsible,” a Rescue Dogs Rock NYC spokesperson said in a statement in May 2016.
The vets gave Sammie skin grafts, and Sammie also needed treatment on his injured back leg. In fact, Sammie’s injuries were so significant that the medical team predicted that Sammie would lose the limb in question. And, according to the Rescue Dogs Rock NYC representative, if they didn’t raise sufficient funds for Sammie’s care, the shelter would most likely euthanize the poor pup.
“You cannot hear a story like this without becoming just a little bit harder,” the statement continued. “How, why, there are no words to make sense of this type of sadistic evil.” So, while Sammie’s future hung in the balance, he remained at the vets, where they placed him on an IV drip, antibiotics and pain killers.
Fortunately, the vets had another mistreated pup staying with them at the same time: a border collie called Simon. Like Sammie, Simon had suffered in his past, and the medical team had him in for treatment. Heartbreakingly, then, the pair had both experienced humans at their worse.
As if recognizing this parallel, Simon seemed drawn to Sammie. In fact, in an amazing scene, the boxer pup Sammie laid on an operating table, and one-year-old Simon decided to introduce himself in the sweetest of ways. Yes, he approached the traumatized canine and reassuringly placed a paw on the little wounded wonder.
Staff caring for both dogs didn’t fail to notice the simple gesture of solidarity. “The compassion and understanding between animals is beyond me,” Jackie O’Sullivan, co-founder of Rescue Dogs Rock NYC, told The Dodo in May 2016. Thankfully, somebody captured the amazing moment on camera.
“The picture really speaks for itself,” Stacey Silverstein, O’Sullivan’s co-founder, added in an interview with Today in May 2016. “You can see Simon comforting Sammie. It shows that animals have compassion and they feel.”
The staff at Rescue Dogs Rock NYC decided that Simon and Sammie’s sweet moment was too special to keep to themselves. So they decided to post the tear-jerking images on the organization’s Facebook page. Unsurprisingly, the album proved popular and soon amassed more than 4,000 shares.
Silverstein hoped that the amazing display of compassion would raise awareness of animal abuse in the United States. “We want to use this opportunity to educate others across the country,” she told Today. “It shows these two very neglected dogs in horrific circumstances comforting each other. Animals feel.”
And the pair’s instant bond only got stronger with time. Yes, during the following days, protective Simon would often check on his new friend as if to see how he was progressing. “Simon would go to Sammie’s kennel to comfort him and play with him and sit with him often,” Silverstein revealed in her Today interview.
While Simon was almost ready to be put up for adoption, Sammie’s road to recovery was far from over. Indeed, the boxer pup would likely need more surgeries in the future to save his crushed leg. According to O’Sullivan, the pooch would also need behavioral therapy due to his traumatic past.
In the meantime, the adorable images of Simon and Sammie’s first meeting went viral. Soon, adoption offers were flooding in for both dogs. Happily, then, a family in New Jersey snapped up the kind-natured Simon.
Although many of their fans were upset that Simon and Sammie weren’t rehomed together, Silverstein claimed that it wouldn’t have been possible. Speaking to Today, she said, “Sammie still has a long road to recovery. His condition is still pretty critical. The plan is for the orthopedic surgeon to evaluate him and then whatever needs to be done to save his leg will be done.”
By July 2016, though, Sammie’s bullet wounds had healed, and his spray-painted fur had returned to its natural color. But, after two surgeries on his hind leg, he was still not fully fit. “Due to being a puppy and all the duress on his little body and the trauma of the back leg, intense stress was put on his injured front leg which impacted the growth plate and has caused the leg to bend and go out to the side,” Rescue Dogs Rock NYC explained on Facebook.
So in August, Sammie went to New York for his third, and hopefully final, operation. Amazingly, it seemed like the surgery gave the pup a new lease on life. Photographs of Sammie at his new foster home showed the pup running around in the snow and enjoying time with his foster family.
It’s not certain what became of the wicked person who abused Sammie so badly. However, the organization had some suspicion that the person who originally dropped him off at a shelter may have been his abuser. Luckily, though, Sammie has been able to put his dark past firmly behind him.
Hopefully, Sammie will soon follow his old friend Simon’s footsteps and find his forever home as well. After all, their beautiful story shows just how important a simple act of compassion can be when in need. And no matter where he ends up, Sammie will know that somebody loved him.