The sad reality is that there are millions of stray dogs in America, with five stray animals for each homeless person. But, thankfully, one unloved pooch got lucky when a pet groomer was willing to spend hours in the middle of the night to transform him.
BGE Grooming in Oviedo, Florida, offers professional grooming using vegan and non-toxic products. What’s more, shelter and homeless dogs are always offered help free of charge. Owner Kari Falla has a deep love for dogs, and that’s why she saved one little guy from so much pain.
The neglected stray was found on a highway in Florida and taken to Orange County Animal Services. Although the center was shut for the night, volunteer Mary Dixon took photos of the dog and shared the images on a Facebook page dedicated to finding lost animals.
The post showed pictures of the animal and explained that he had no chip. Dixon wrote, “Animal Services is closed and will not accept the dog until tomorrow and no one here is able to keep it and he has nowhere to go please help.”
Luckily for the pooch, Kari Falla came across the plea for help and decided to take action. Falla noticed that the dog’s fur was horribly matted. It was clear that something needed to be done, so she immediately offered to help.
“Please pm me. I own a grooming shop in Oviedo,” she wrote. “If you can bring him to my shop I’ll meet you there. I’ll groom him tonight and keep him overnight.” An hour later, she commented again with a photo of herself and the dog, saying, “I’m on it. The dog is in really really bad shape and in lots of pain.”
From the Facebook pictures alone, Falla already knew that the dog had been in this awful condition for years. However, it wasn’t until she saw him in person that she realized he was the worst she’d seen. Undeterred, she opened her salon at midnight for a much-needed grooming session.
The dog’s coat was thick, tangled and riddled with fleas, making his movements awkward. And that wasn’t all. “When a dog is matted that badly, it can cause its blood flow to stop as well as bruising to the dog,” Falla told Inside Edition.
When the poor dog entered her salon, Falla was overcome by its strong smell. “You could tell it was extreme neglect,” she said. “It smelled like death.” So, along with “lots of love and care,” Falla gave him four baths; two to get rid of his fleas and two to soothe his freshly shorn coat.
The coat itself took a while to sort out. When Falla started to remove the dog’s matted fur, she realized it was “attached like a mummified cast,” so it took a lengthy two hours to complete. Once the mutt was all cleaned up, though, he looked adorable. But that’s also when Falla discovered something heart-breaking.
Falla guessed that the dog could be a Goldendoodle mix, aged around four. But her findings didn’t stop there. According to Click Orlando, now that she could see him properly, Falla realized that the little stray was also blind and deaf.
The dog was named Lucky – a fitting name for the situation he found himself in. Lucky was temporarily homed with loving foster parent Zachary Blair until a forever home could be organized for him.
And Blair has done some sterling work so far. First on his list was a trip to the vet where Lucky was neutered and his teeth cleaned. The pampered pooch was also given antibiotics and had eye laser surgery – all courtesy of Blair’s boss, who kindly footed the bill after hearing about Lucky’s plight.
Blair originally hails from Saint Petersburg, Florida, but now lives in Winter Park. Lucky’s new best friend is something of a jack of all trades: not only is he a dog lover, but also an anthropologist, writer, editor and more. Blair also has two other dogs in his care, Chi Chi and Max.
The foster parent said that the rescue required so many people to come together. “It really took a village,” he said. “A bunch of strangers trusting each other and working together to save an animal in the middle of the night.”
As of yet, the identity of Lucky’s original owner remains a mystery. Furthermore, it’s also not known if anyone is responsible for his neglect. However, Lucky seems to be doing well and is recovering from his surgeries. On November 1, 2017, Blair updated everyone on the story through his Facebook page.
“He is doing great!” he wrote. “He is such a little love puppy, very affectionate and doesn’t leave my side. The first couple weeks, it was like having a new born. Sleepless nights and early mornings, but he has finally settled into his new life and loves his new kennel/bed, sleeping through the night.”
Lucky has also bonded well with the little pooch Chi Chi. The pair play together all the time, and Lucky is finally a “happy pup,” according to Blair. His eyes are healing, his stitches have been removed and he has put on three pounds in weight.
Blair is still looking for a forever home for Lucky, urging people to direct message him on his Facebook page. Many have commented on how cute Lucky has become, while one person, Linda Simpson Payne, had said she is “interested in adopting Lucky.”
We all hope that Lucky will soon find happiness in his forever home. Where that will be is anyone’s guess, but thanks to everyone coming together he has been given a second shot at life. Kudos to the concerned woman who found the dog, the kind pet groomer who took him in, and, of course, the loving foster parent and his generous employer.