It’s never too late to help a dog in need and give it the love it deserves. Most of the time we hear about puppies being rescued, but older dogs can benefit from it just as much. The story of Toothless proves just that. This is the tremendous bond that formed between Cody Leightenheimer and the dog he gave a second chance… and the life it deserved.
“I was working at a wood flooring factory a couple months after. I had an entire wing, basically, to myself. One day I was staining some custom furniture for my boss’s getaway Florida home when I looked at the other end of the hangar length building to see a little puppy. I instantly wanted to abandon post and grab the thing for cuddles but I had work to get done. This pup wasn’t having none of that though. He walked up to me and stared at me with his huge eyes. I pet him and noticed instantly that he was flea covered, matted and not in the best physical shape. As I looked closer I realized that he had a lot of gray around his muzzle, ears and face.”
“I got him chicken-ish fast food during my lunch because he was so thin that I could feel his bones. I started sending these pictures to my wife planning on pleading to bring him home. I didn’t have to because she beat me to the punch.”
“I thought that I would have to herd him away from doors all day until I could clock out and take him home. The little guy fell asleep on the floor and stayed there all day.”
They took him home and cleaned him up, removing dozens of fleas. A visit to the vet resulted in this list of existing conditions: 1) Stunted growth from malnutrition. 2) Cataracts and one small pupil from blunt force trauma to the head. 3) Ulcers in his stomach causing vomiting. 4) Four oronasal fistulas in his mouth caused by his teeth rotting out of his head. 5) Completely deaf.
They learned that he was a Shetland Sheepdog, somewhere between 8 to 12 years old. He weighed 7.3 lbs.
“After a surgery on the fistulas, a strict medicinal regiment, months of spoiling and a family who loved him as much as two children and then some; Toothless (Nickname added by our Five year old daughter because of her love for How To Train Your Dragon) Rooster Cogburn was a dashing elderly gentleman in the vein of Sir Ian Mckellen and Christopher Plummer.”
Cody and Kasie treated Toothless like royalty, giving him all the care he needed. 🙂
Getting to occasionally enjoy the cold as opposed to living in it…
…And playing dress up!
Awww, so cute! 🙂
He was involved in many activities…
…Including his favorite: napping!
There was plenty of time for that. 🙂
But Toothless Rooster Cogburn was given three months to one year to live. He made it to one year before getting too sick to carry on.
“I watched the greatest friend, most loving pet and the most heroic fighter I’ve ever met sink into a well deserved final nap while his mother and I held his paws.”
According to Cody, everyone’s new hero: “I never thought I could love a pet as much as I loved him; as much as we loved him. Everyone who met him instantly loved him. His vets, our friends, a theater full of patrons when he performed a walk-on role in a play. He truly was one of a kind. We hope that we gave him enough good memories to wipe out any bad ones that came before.”
I’m sure the memories made with Cody and Kasie were the ones Toothless remembered most. Such an incredible, bittersweet story to share with everyone.