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Severely Malnourished Dog Couldn’t Move Until He Witnessed His Injured Friend Walk

Written by: Molly Weinfurter
Molly Weinfurter is a writer for iHeartDogs, and she’s passionate about helping animals in need. She volunteers for Bailing Out Benji and a local dog rescue.Read more
| Published on March 22, 2023

Sadly, not all humans are in a rush to save dogs in need. A large white dog with cropped ears was lying beside a fence for three weeks before someone in the neighborhood called for help. The pup stayed as close to the fence as possible to avoid the sun, but he was unable to get up and walk to a better-shaded spot.

Someone claimed he had an owner who sometimes stopped by to give the dog food, but that owner clearly didn’t love the poor dog. The pup was so malnourished that he could barely move, and he was covered in ticks. So, rescuers quickly removed him from that situation and brought him somewhere he could heal.

Dog abandoned near fence

Dog Struggles to Move

When rescuers arrived, they immediately gave the large dog food and water. He cried as if he hadn’t seen those necessities in a long time. He gobbled up all the food and drank as much water as he could, but sadly, he was so weak that even lifting his head was a struggle.

If that dog had laid there for even a few more days, he might not have made it. So, rescuers took him into their care and brought him to an animal shelter in Moscow. They named the pup Arhat.

Severely malnourished dog

Rescuers kept giving Arhat food and water as much as he needed so he could regain his strength. Yet, even after getting some energy back, the pup seemed unable to walk. After meeting with a veterinarian, they learned that his vertebrae had developed unevenly, making it difficult for him to use his back legs. It was something that surgery couldn’t easily fix.

Arhat’s issues were congenital, likely from a breeder who cared more about the dogs becoming large than being healthy. However, vets believed that Arhat would be able to walk with enough exercise, so animal lovers got to work on his rehabilitation.

Malnourished dog meets friend

A Miracle Happens!

Humans helped support Arhat to see if he would use his back legs, but every time, he would just stand still. He spent most of his time lying near his food bowl because that’s all he knew. But then, when he met Tagir, another dog at the shelter, his attitude changed.

Tagir walks with a little bit of a limp, but he doesn’t let that hold him back. Whenever he walked past Arhat’s enclosure, the giant dog seemed curious about the other dog. After that, Arhat kept trying to walk out of his enclosure just like he’d seen Tagir do. So, someone obtained a wheelchair for the giant dog to help him get used to standing upright.

Rehabilitated dog walks with friend

RELATED: Starving Mama Dog And Her Malnourished Newborns Saved Just In Time

In addition to the wheelchair, Arhat’s rescuers tried other methods to strengthen his muscles, such as putting his food bowl a little out of reach and having him crawl toward it. It was heartbreaking to see him struggle at first, but soon enough, he made great progress. After ten emotional months, Arhat put on some weight and began walking like his canine friends.

Now, Arhat looks like a completely different dog. He’s strong enough to go on walks, and he seems less fearful of the world. All of this is possible because of the kind humans who took Arhat in and helped him get back on his feet.

Dog wearing sparkly hat

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Featured Image: YouTube

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