Sometimes, all it takes is love and patience for someone to open up and show their true self. As it turns out, the same goes for our animal friends.
Clementine was just two days from being put to sleep when Chelsea Elizabeth Cossairt saw her photo online.
Clementine is a shelter dog who was found by animal control roaming the streets of Southern California. The homeless dog was in a terrible condition when she was ʀᴇsᴄᴜᴇᴅ. She only weighed 45 pounds, half of her fur was gone, and she had five concurrent ɪɴꜰᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴs.
Due to her numerous health issues, she was put on “ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ row” at the shelter, but something in the tiny photo spoke to Cossairt’s heart. So she submitted an application and immediately received a call from a rescue.
“The person at Ginger’s Pet Rescue was floored and in tears that we were interested in her,” Cossairt told The Dodo. “She told us that of the hundreds of applications they’d received for dogs in the previous few weeks, not one had been for Clementine.”
The rescue worker explained that, given Clementine’s condition, the dog had a long and unpredictable road ahead of her. But Cossairt already knew she’d do anything to help the abandoned dog heal.
When Cossairt meets Clementine for the first time, she realizes that the dog clearly did not know what love is before.
“Clementine was absolutely ᴛᴇʀʀɪꜰɪᴇᴅ of people and wouldn’t look anyone in the eyes,” Cossairt said. “She shook all the time, hid behind furniture and sat facing the wall for months.”
“She had ᴅᴇꜰᴇᴀᴛᴇᴅ, empty eyes,” she added. “She never looked at our faces and she bowed her head whenever we walked over to her or near her.”
But Clementine did trust other dogs, and immediately gravitated to her new furry siblings, Moose and Maple. The dog feels comfortable around them. It was then that Cossairt saw a glimmer of the happy dog Clementine could grow to be.
After many appointments with the vet and months of treatment for allergies and ɪɴꜰᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴs, Clementine finally started feeling better. She stopped shaking, and what’s more, she gained the courage to look her owners in the eyes.
Seven months later, Clementine changed into a completely new person. She became more playful and active than ever. She likes to look deep into people’s eyes when they pet her and she will make them pay attention to her. However, towards strangers, she is still wary and ꜰᴇᴀʀꜰᴜʟ when they approached.
“She’s so sweet and such a gentle girl,” Cossairt said. “We could tell very early on that she just wants to love and be loved in return. She’s loyal and protective of us, and she follows us around everywhere.”