After four years of living outside in Yukon, Canada, Diesel the dog no doubt thought that this was just the way life was. Thankfully, though, one heartbroken neighbor saw his plight and contacted an animal rescue center. But when rescuers finally arrived, they realized that his condition was even worse than they had thought.
Yukon, in Northwest Canada, is one of the coldest places in North America. In fact, temperatures there have been known to plummet to -76 °F, and they regularly drop below -4 °F. So it goes without saying that the place is pretty unforgiving during the winter.
And while most people would likely batten down the hatches and get cozy in their homes during extreme cold snaps, others are forced to make the odd trip outside. However, their situation is nothing compared to that of Diesel the dog. After all, Diesel was made to live outside in the freezing cold for an incredible four years.
Indeed, Diesel’s owner chained him up and left him out in the elements all year round. Yes, the dog would be outside come rain, shine or snow. And it wasn’t just the near-Arctic conditions that the poor pooch had to endure.
In fact, according to a neighbor, Diesel’s vulnerability had allowed other animals to attack him. For instance, the poor dog had received a nasty kick to the head from a horse or a bison. The nieghbor also claimed that the dog was living in his own muck and was never given a drink of water. “He is matted terribly, he stinks something awful and his eyes and nose don’t look all that healthy – he’s always leaking mucus from both,” the neighbor added.
So, in an act of desperation, the neighbor contacted Animal Advocates Society in January 2009. They explained to the animal rescue charity that Diesel had been bought as a puppy. Unfortunately, though, the owner had become unable to control the boisterous St. Bernard-Newfoundland mix when he grew large. Consequently, the owner left the dog chained up in the garden.
“He is tied up near a dog house,” the neighbor revealed in a letter to the Animal Advocates Society. “I’ve never seen him use the [dog] house – he might not fit in it anymore… He seemed a very sweet dog until he was relegated to a life on the end of a chain.”
The letter further explained how Diesel’s owner had contacted the neighbor, asking for help in finding another home for the desperate doggie. “He realized that the life [Diesel] is living is no life for a dog,” the letter stated. In fact, the owner had apparently told the neighbor some very disconcerting news. “He said he is going to shoot Diesel if I don’t get a home for him,” the neighbor revealed.
Of course, Animal Advocates Society had no choice at this point but to help. When rescuers got to Yukon, though, the temperature was freezing. In fact, heartbreaking images of the scene show Diesel warming his front feet in turns by holding each paw, one at a time, against his body. Worse, it turned out that the injuries caused by the kick to his head included many broken teeth and a split tongue.
So, with no time to lose, the rescuers broke Diesel from his shackles and flew him south to their base in British Colombia, Canada. Once there, Diesel was taken to a vet, who removed a benign tumor and took X-rays of his broken jaw. Then, after receiving medication for an infection, inflammation and diarrhea, Diesel was scheduled to be neutered.
What’s more, a foster home took Diesel in within days of him being rescued from Yukon. And it was then that the pooch received his first pampering in many years: a much-needed groom and a bath. Later, after getting comfortable in his new surroundings, the dog began to open up and show off his personality.
“In the car on the way [to the dog spa], he sat in the passenger seat with his chin resting on his foster Dad’s lap. He loves to be petted and doesn’t like to be alone. He is a real sweetheart,” a blog post on the Animal Advocates Society website revealed. “The light is coming back into this wonderful boy’s eyes.”
Diesel also received training on how to act around other dogs and humans, and he quickly began to build up his strength. So, with his confidence much improved, Diesel showed the world that he was a happy and playful pooch. Thankfully, the docile dog was having fun at last.
As he recovered, too, Diesel discovered a new passion for life. Indeed, he developed a love for many things, including bacon, long walks through the snow-covered hills of Maple Ridge and belly rubs. Given a chance to shine, Diesel was turning into the perfect pet.
“The sudden weight lifted from his neck must have been liberating but scary at the same time,” Animal Advocates Society said in a statement. “When he arrived he was unsure; so many new sights, smells and people, yet he still had a smile spread across his slobbery face.”
The statement continued, “He is loving his new unchained life. He sits, stays, comes, shakes a paw and kisses on command, he is comfortable with other dogs, even in groups.” It also affirmed, “He has never shown any aggressive characteristics. He is wary of strangers but once introduced, he is trusting and cuddly.”
“He has so much love to give and isn’t shy about showing it,” the statement added. Indeed, Diesel’s transition was like something out of a fairy tale. “The once questionable giant who people were scared to get close to, is now a beautiful friend and loyal companion,” the statement read.
And images of his new life appear to confirm the rescue charity’s claims. Yes, it seems that Diesel is now free to roll around in the grass and chill out with some fellow four-legged friends. He’s even learned to enjoy the snow, which once no doubt brought only misery during all those years outside.
After five fun-filled years at his foster home, however, Diesel sadly passed away in January 2014. The dog had been suffering from an old-age related cancer. “He died peacefully and happily,” Animal Advocates Society announced.
“He did not take with him the time when he suffered so much; he only took with him all those years of love and happiness and fun and comfort,” the organization added. So the down-and-out dog, who had been relegated to a life in the biting cold, finally got to experience the warmth of love.