Abandonment is one of the cruelest things that can happen to a dog. Imagine living a life of comfort, in your home, with the people you know, love and respect and suddenly, one day take a trip with them, exit the car while you’re on a mountain you have never been before, turn around and realize that the car, you family and all you ever knew are gone. You are left in the middle of nowhere, with no food, no water, and no one to turn to.
In rescue, when we take on emaciated, starved, and sick dog, watching them go back to life and transform every day to healthy, beautiful animals is like a miracle. Seeing the tiny, little changes in a dog’s body and soul happening before your eyes every single day is amazing.
But the thing is that those dogs were not sick and emaciated to begin with. The used to be gorgeous, healthy animals. The hunger, the disease, and the disappointment kept transforming them every day to the bag of bones they ended up being. Witnessing a rescue dog grow healthy and strong is like witnessing the opposite journey too – the one they went through before getting here.
Every day a bit skinnier, every day a bit sicker, every day a bit more fearful and disappointed, every day with less hair, less healthy skin, less strength, until one day the ended up in your care and you got to witness their journey in reverse. Their journey in reverse.
I always wondered how Billy ended up to be the sad bag of bones we picked from the streets. Yes, he did turn out to be one amazing, gorgeous dog, but he was that already to begin with.
Since the first week I fostered him, Billy picked a spot in the balcony where he could enjoy the warm February sun. He just sat there. And that’s when I took that first photo. Every day he’d sit there, and every day I took a picture. I wanted to do a timelapse of his rescue, and then that idea crossed my mind of doing it in reverse.
I started adding one item per day in his corner. -a mat, a bowl of water, some pillow. As he grew healthier in time, more items were added there, making that corner look like a home. And for the last photo, after he had fully recovered, I sat there with him. Put these photos in reverse and you have one very sad story unravel before your eyes.
It’s the story of an abandoned dog. Of every abandoned dog that will wait for you, until it’s too late. He’ll wait until he loses everything. His health, his coat, his trust, his dignity.
Until this day, about two years later, I still can’t watch this video. It’s too sad. Although he made an amazing recovery and is one of the luckiest dogs ever, seeing him transform before my eyes from a gorgeous loving dog to a bag of bones is too much. Because somewhere in that reverse timelapse lies the truth. The truth about Billy before he got to me. And that truth is just too much.