Lazarus, estimated to be a seven year old Great Pyrenees, hadn’t left this barn stall since he was a puppy. Fortunately, a concerned dog lover made the call that saved Lazarus’s life.
You cannot imagine the squalor in which this dog lived and there are no words adequate to convey the horror.
When a good-samaritan was asked to feed Lazarus, after his owner become terminally ill, he was in absolute shock. The man called his girlfriend, who is a professional dog groomer, for help. When she arrived, the woman, referred to as C., “had to shovel feces to even be able to open the door to get him out.” Behind the door lay a large, matted, mud and feces covered dog, almost unrecognizable as a family pet. Lazarus appeared as though no one had ever cared for him in his whole life.
The person who owned him simply threw his food and water to him [over the door].
Though Lazarus had spent his entire life in these conditions, C. knew that the dog would be in better hands with a rescue than with his neglectful owner. So, she swore to do everything in her power to help him.
C., and another groomer named Jessica, offered to take Lazarus into their care until a rescue could be found. The owner, physical unfit to continue “caring for” the dog, handed him over without a fight.
Ultimately, it “took a village” – according to Lazarus’s foster mom – to free this dog from his horrendous conditions. Eventually, word about Lazarus reached Big Fluffy Dog Rescue, and they didn’t hesitate to help. On September 4, 2016 he officially joined “Big Fluff.”
Once Big Fluffy Dog Rescue had Lazarus in their care, they immediately enlisted the help of C. and Jessica for their grooming expertise. What many new dog owners don’t know about Great Pyrenees is that they need to be brushed often to prevent matting. Over the past seven years, Lazarus had never been groomed.
To the horror of everyone involved in Lazarus’s rescue, the dog had grown a mass of hair so large and so matted, that he had to be shaved entirely.
What was left when they were done is astonishing!
Lazarus had to be sheered like a sheep. Great Pyrenees are traditionally herd guarding dogs, and were developed over the years to look like sheep to unsuspecting predators. Unfortunately, Lazarus’s previous owner didn’t understand his grooming needs – or any needs really – and the dog was left looking more sheep than dog.
Once sheered, the mass of hair and matts was weighed at over 35 pounds – one quarter of Lazarus’s body weight.
Lazarus was understandably nervous at first but calmed down after the clippers were away from his neck.
After his haircut, Lazarus appeared to feel a strange, new sense of freedom. Though he didn’t immediately bounce around like a puppy, his rescuers could tell that he felt lighter – 35 pounds at least!
Lazarus was cautious of everything he encountered; many things he was experiencing for the first time. Big Fluffy Dog Rescue wrote in their Facebook post that Lazarus suffered a solitary confinement unlike any other dog they had met.
Not once before this picture was taken has this dog walked on grass or seen the sky above him.
This big guy warmed up to his rescuers after some slow introductions. He was unsure of human touch and was nervous by all the fuss around him, but learned to appreciate affection. Treats too, of course!
He was OK with the human touch, but didn’t seem familiar to it. He warmed up to us really quick. Especially after offering treats!
He took his first freedom ride home with Amanda Charsha-Lindsey.
After a couple days, Lazarus began to realize that these strange new humans were here to take care of him and would cause him no harm. That’s when they true Pyrenees shone through!
Hidden under all that fur was a beautiful, sweet, smiling boy, who just wanted to share his love with the world. Though he was old, neglected, and never knew the kindness of a human being, he was willing to give these dedicated heroes a chance at friendship.
These after pictures truly melt our hearts.
It appears some personality has emerged, and stubbornness has reared itself. We have a smiling Pyr folks.
Lazarus is currently in foster care, and will remain there for months, or even years, until he is ready to find his forever home. Until then, he is in the capable and caring hands of his foster mom, Amanda Charsha-Lindsey.
Amanda is working on Lazarus’s potty training, as he doesn’t quite understand the concept of going to the bathroom outside. He had grown so accustomed to soiling himself, that he has little bladder control.
Lazarus also appears to have masses on his body, as well as a broken tail. He will be receiving veterinary care for his ailments, and will be tested for heartworm and other parasites. Fingers crossed he gets the all clear!
For now, let’s focus on this gorgeous, smiling boy, who is finally able to live the life he deserves!
Thank you, Big Fluffy Dog Rescue, Amanda Charsha-Lindsey, C., Jessica, and everyone else involved in Lazarus’s incredible journey. You have given this boy a second chance unlike any other.
Congratulations, Lazarus! Keep on smiling!