Pony had been on his own for a long time. He’d been spotted by a group of cyclists for months, but at first they were sure he had a home. His coat was fluffy, he looked healthy and bright-eyed. But, as the weeks passed, he lost hair. He began to limp. He was struggling. He rapidly lost weight, the once beautiful Great Pyrenees was wasting away.
The cyclists reached out to the community for help, and got in touch with Safe Hands. We went to look for him ourselves with no luck, but let them know if he could be caught, he had a place with us. Finally, Pony was spotted, lured in with hamburgers and brought to The Safe House.
The sight of him when he arrived broke my heart. At just 77lbs he was extremely emaciated… I could almost encircle his waist between my two hands. He had mange, a large abscess on the side of his neck, and he couldn’t bear weight on one of his front legs. He was so thirsty he drank an entire bucket of water upon arrival.
We immediately got to work healing Pony’s body and his broken spirit too. The first time taking him outside was tough. It was clear he was afraid he wouldn’t be allowed back in if he left the comfort of the room we’d given him. After lots of coaxing,we finally got him out. He was elated when he was allowed back into the clinic and happily trotted right back to the bed. He slept for the rest of the day, exhausted from just trying to survive for so long.
That first night he could barely keep his eyes open, but he fought to stay awake to enjoy as much love as he could get. If I stopped petting him even for a moment he would press his big head into me or nudge me gently to tell me what he wanted. That night it rained, and as I sat petting Pony and looking at his weary, weak body, I was overcome with gratitude that he was safe and warm.
Over the next few days we continued to work on getting him back to health. His abscess was cleaned and drained, and he was diagnosed with both lymes and ehrlichia– tick-borne diseases that caused his limp. His ear canals are completely closed, either because he was born that way or due to serious trauma, so he can’t hear as well as other dogs. We worked on getting him to eat enough to gain weight, which was slow going.
Pony began to feel better and truly believe he was safe. As soon as he knew that his good fortune wasn’t going to end, his goofy personality started to shine. He kept us company while we worked outside, entertaining us by galloping around with plastic bottles he’d stolen out of the recycling. Soon he was healthy enough to head up to Minnesota where he was welcomed with open arms into his loving foster home.
His resilience is truly remarkable. Within 2 days of being in his foster home he was happily joining the resident dog on walks and playing in the backyard. He learned that couches are a great place for afternoon naps, and became a member of the Clean Plate Club. Pony is loved by everyone he meets, and it’s easy to see why; he is a gentle giant who loves to cuddle and be silly.
Earlier this month Pony joined us for Puppy Yoga! While this event is normally attended by pups much smaller than he is, Pony is so good-natured and sweet that we just had to have him there. He spent the hour making the rounds greeting everyone–human and puppy alike–making sure every attendee was having a good time.
He’s not quite ready for adoption just yet, he needs surgery on his ears still. We’re not sure how fixable his condition is and won’t know until his surgery. No matter the outcome, he will be loved and cherished now and forever. We’re so proud of him and will continue to cheer for our Pony Boy while he enjoys this new life!