On the outside, these two abandoned dogs couldn't be more different.
There's Smalls, an eight-year-old Poodle mix with white fur, and right beside him, you're guaranteed to find his best friend, a dark-colored Great Dane mix aptly named Biggie. It doesn't look like the two dogs have anything in common, but a shared experience has helped them forge a lifelong friendship.
A few weeks ago, Biggie and Smalls were found tied to an old fence post in Southeast Portland. Both were obviously abandoned, and it was clear they'd suffered years of neglect and abuse. At only 50 pounds, Biggie was extremely emaciated. Next to him, his friend's long white fur was a mess of dirt and mats. Underneath Smalls' tangled, dirty fur, he also had a dislocated knee joint and a severe case of dental disease.
Both dogs needed immediate medical care. Staff at DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital started with Smalls to remove the painful mats in his fur. It took over an hour to shave his thin frame, but when they were finished, he looked like a different dog. When his mats were finally gone, veterinary staff led Biggie back into the room.
The big dog sniffed the air and let his powerful nose reunite him with his friend. He leaned in toward Smalls as if offering comfort, and that's how the dogs spent the remainder of their appointment.
Biggie and Smalls refused to be separated, and it was clear to staff that the two dogs were worried about each other's well-being. Technician assistant Lorri Schinderle said:
"I got teary just thinking about Biggie's worried expression when he walked in the room looking for Smalls. They were so attached. You can tell they they were meant to be together. Biggie didn't leave Small's side, and he wouldn't stop kissing and loving him."
After initial tests and treatments, veterinarians at DoveLewis sent the rescued duo to Multnomah County Animal Services with a hopeful prognosis. They received a few more weeks of treatment while they gained weight and confidence before finally being put up for adoption.
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Shelter staff knew they wanted the dogs to be adopted together, but it isn't often two dogs of different sizes and breeds are picked as a pair. Their chances weren't good, but they defied the odds.
A family looking to adopt noticed the strong bond Biggie and Smalls shared, and they knew separating them was out of the question. The family agreed to give both dogs the best chance at a new life.
They survived a traumatic experience thanks to the work of rescuers and veterinary staff, but it was their resilient friendship that really carried them through. They're both enjoying new lives in a loving home.
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