When Pushkar the street dog was found on the side of the road, he was so sick that passing people actually thought he was a boulder. Moreover, by the time help reached him, he had almost given up on life. And heartbreakingly, not even the warmth of a human’s touch could bring joy back into his heart.
Animal Aid Unlimited is a charity based in Udaipur, India. The organization takes in sick and injured strays and provides them with emergency care. And since opening in 2002, the center has treated more than 45,000 animals.
One day in 2015 a team from the charity were making their rounds in the Indian city. But as they were driving along the road, something caught their eye. A mysterious-looking lump was lying off-road in the sand.
Initially, the team mistook the shape for a heap of stones. But as they approached in their van they noticed it was actually moving a little. They could just about make out the outline of a dog, although the creature was barely recognizable as an animal.
Unable to just drive on by, the rescuers immediately pulled over. And upon closer inspection, they could see that the poor pooch had a serious case of mange. In fact, the parasitic skin disease had caused much of the dog’s hair to fall out.
More distressing, however, was the dog’s demeanor: the animal looked like he had completely given up on life. He lay hopelessly on the roadside, curled up in a ball with his head resting dejectedly on his paws. The poor little pup simply didn’t have any energy left to fight for his life.
“When we found Pushkar, a street dog, curled up in a ball on the side of the road, it looked like he was just waiting to let nature take its course to die,” the Animal Aid Unlimited posted on their website in 2015. “He was emaciated and suffering from severe mange. He had lost all of his fur and his skin was sore and bleeding from many places.”
It was clear to see Pushkar was in desperate need of medical attention. Moreover, the team couldn’t risk leaving him in case he ran off, and so it was decided they would have to try to take him in now and then. All the rescuers had with them was a net, however, and so they used that to scoop the dog from the side of the road.
The dedicated team transported the dog back to the shelter, but their hard work was far from over. All the canine could do was lie on his mat in the corner of his kennel. Poor Pushkar was so exhausted that he didn’t even move when staff touched him.
With no other plan of action, someone tempted the dog with biscuits until curiosity got the better of him. Eventually, he managed to muster all his strength to prop up his body. He gave the food a sniff and finally took a bite.
“When we got him back to the Animal Aid hospital, one of our care-givers, Amrita, sat with him and tried to feed him biscuits and pet him,” a spokesperson for the organization explained. “It was obvious though that he hadn’t been shown love or kindness in a very long time. He painfully flinched even before Amrita had even touched his forehead.”
In fact, Pushkar was so unused to being touched that at one point he tried to shake off someone’s hand as though it was an insect. This dog was going to need a lot of care and attention if he was ever going to open up. But luckily for him, he was now in the best possible place.
The Animal Aid Unlimited team began by treating Pushkar for dehydration, hooking him up to an IV drip. They also rubbed ointment into his painful, cracked skin. And in a matter of days, the animal had begun to heal.
But while Pushkar was making progress on the outside, he was still broken emotionally. The center released footage of a staff member washing the creature with ointment, and he looks clearly fearful of his caregiver. In fact, at one point he even seems to edge away from her loving hands.
However, the dog finally gave in to his rescuers’ kindness. Just two months after his rescue, Pushkar had transformed into a healthy and happy pooch. Moreover, he now seemed to enjoy when those around him doted on him.
A video documenting his incredible recovery showed Pushkar covered in a new coat of beautiful thick, white fur. And now that he had it, he certainly wanted to flaunt it. In fact, he offered himself up for strokes at every opportunity.
In the heartwarming footage, a smile appeared on Pushkar’s face every time he was touched. The transformation was amazing considering that just a few weeks prior, the animal didn’t even understand human kindness at all. And the difference was simply beautiful to see.
An Animal Aid Unlimited spokesperson described Pushkar’s metamorphosis as “truly incredible.” As such, they decided to share his incredible journey in the form of a YouTube video. And since the organization posted it in 2015, more than 11.5 million people have viewed the moving footage.
The video has also attracted a barrage of kind comments from animal lovers. “Thank you for helping these dogs. I love you guys, you are awesome,” one YouTuber posted. Meanwhile, another user said, “I wish there is more good people in the world like you.”
It’s not known what became of Pushkar following his recovery. If he was deemed fit enough he would have been placed back on the treats. Otherwise, he will have gone to live at the organization’s sanctuary. But no matter what happens, Pushkar is twice the dog he was before. Because not only did Animal Aid Unlimited give the pup his health back, they also restored his faith in mankind.