Imagine living your whole life in captivity, without being able to step foot outside a tiny enclosure.
Well, that’s what life was like for Atlas for over a decade. This 16-year-old dog had barely set foot or walked freely throughout his entire existence, all due to irresponsible human beings who put him in there in the first place.
Atlas knew nothing about being a dog. He had never felt love. He never had a companion. And, he never, ever got the chance to share his lovely personality with someone.
All he ever knew was to wait for a little mercy during his meals, and that was about it.
This is how Atlas’ story unfolds…
From A Small Box To A Spacious Yard
Somebody in the neighborhood noticed this tiny pooch living a horrible life, and they just knew they had to do something about it.
They informed Hitchcock Road Animal Services, from Salinas, California, about the dog’s condition, and the animal control team immediately went out there and confiscated him from the owners.
The dog was later transferred to Peace of Mind Dog Rescue, from Pacific Grove, California, who made sure to give him the makeover he desperately needed.
It took the team around five hours to cut all the mats off of him. On top of all that, he couldn’t walk due to his nails, and his back was hunched due to the sitting position he was in for the last decade. Unfortunately, his tail had to be amputated.
“He was in horrific shape. It took 6 people a total of 5 1/2 hours to trim all the mats out of his fur. He was so badly matted that his tail became necrotic and had to be amputated,” the POMDR team wrote on their Facebook.
Eventually, the dog, at the time, named Dapper (later, Atlas) transformed into a brand-new boy.
Even though he was already deaf and partially blind, it was more than evident that he was so relieved to finally have all the mats trimmed, and now – he was ready for a new life!
Learning How To Be A Dog For The First Time Ever
Dage Baker’s friend told her Atlas’ story, and she immediately knew that she had to take him in, at least on a foster basis.
This giant-hearted woman who fostered many dogs over the years welcomed Atlas with arms wide open into her loving home. For the first couple of days, he was reserved and shy, which was completely normal, considering his traumatic experience.
But then, his true character started to show!
Despite the fact that he was already in the autumn of his life, Atlas slowly started to adapt into his new family. He trembled every time he went out in a spacious yard, and even though his senses were significantly low – he didn’t let that get in the way of having fun!
“It’s fun to watch his personality come out… I think that this is new lease on life, he’s a puppy again, or maybe he’s just realizing: -Oh, this is what life is!,” Dage told The Dodo.
He was absolutely in love with the ear scratches that his mom gave him, and he just adored taking naps in comfy places!
Dage and Atlas spent six wonderful months together, and they made sure they counted!
You Will Be Remembered, Sweet Atlas
Sadly, after only 180 days of love and freedom, sweet Atlas crossed the rainbow bridge.
His mom was devastated to part ways with her tiny lovebug, but she was glad that he had been given the chance to live his final months surrounded by the people who loved him.
“We are sad, and yet honored to have been given the chance to show him what true love feels like… I thank you all who followed his journey and rooted for him. I know he left us with his heart full of love,” his mom wrote.
After all the hardship he’d been through, Atlas was given the gift of love, and he embraced it with an open heart. And, if we can say one thing with certainty, it’s that he will always be remembered by his loving family!