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Seven years ago on Valentine's Day, my husband Chris called me outside to check out this emaciated, skittish, dirt-encrusted creature that was running around in our cul-de-sac. We managed to trap it in our garage and were abjectly appalled when we took stock of her many injuries: a collar growing into her neck, a huge indentation around her torso where a harness had done the same, caked in excrement, cuts and scabs literally everywhere, and worst of all, she was missing her left eye.
Even with two other dogs, we didn't consider giving her away. I told myself at the time that surely no one else would want the burden, but looking back, I think I just knew innately that we were the perfect family to give her the love and care she truly deserved. Many years, a new human sister, and an international move later, and we're still so lucky to have this ridiculously sweet puppy in our lives. Happy Gotcha Day! We love you, Ladida!