When most families decide to get a dog, they want to start with a puppy. But even older dogs need our help. Many of them have been pets in the past and many have lived their entire lives on the street. This story of a little Sheltie, named Toothless, will warm your heart.
Cody Leightenheimer and his wife, after experiencing two misscarriages, were having a difficult time. Then, Cody found a dog while he was at work. According to him, "I was working at a wood flooring factory a couple months after. I had an entire wing, basically, to myself. One day I was staining some custom furniture for my boss's getaway Florida home when I looked at the other end of the hangar length building to see a little puppy. I instantly wanted to abandon post and grab the thing for cuddles but I had work to get done. This pup wasn't having none of that though.”
“He walked up to me and stared at me with his huge eyes. I pet him and noticed instantly that he was flea covered, matted and not in the best physical shape. As I looked closer I realized that he had a lot of gray around his muzzle, ears and face."
"I got him chicken-ish fast food during my lunch because he was so thin that I could feel his bones. I started sending these pictures to my wife planning on pleading to bring him home. I didn't have to because she beat me to the punch."
"I thought that I would have to herd him away from doors all day until I could clock out and take him home. The little guy fell asleep on the floor and stayed there all day."
After they got him home and cleaned him up, they took him to the vet. Beside the dozens of fleas, he had a host of other conditions. He had stunted growth from malnutrition, cataracts and a small pupil from blunt force trauma, ulcers in his stomach that were causing vomiting and four oronasal fistulas caused from rotten teeth. He was also completely deaf.
He was identified as a Shetland Sheepdog between 8 and 12 years old.
"After a surgery on the fistulas, a strict medicinal regiment, months of spoiling and a family who loved him as much as two children and then some; Toothless (Nickname added by our Five year old daughter because of her love for How To Train Your Dragon) Rooster Cogburn was a dashing elderly gentleman in the vein of Sir Ian Mckellen and Christopher Plummer."
Cody and his wife Kasie gave "Toothless" the great life he deserved.
Once he had a warm place to sleep, he started having fun in the winter.
And loved dressing up.
He was the cutest Who in Whoville at Christmas.
And, of course, he was an avid napper.
And he had lots of opportunity.
Because of his medical conditions, the vet had given Toothless the prognosis of three months to one year to live.
Finally, on June 2, 2014: "I watched the greatest friend, most loving pet and the most heroic fighter I've ever met sink into a well deserved final nap while his mother and I held his paws."
Cody's final eulogy for Toothless: "I never thought I could love a pet as much as I loved him; as much as we loved him. Everyone who met him instantly loved him. His vets, our friends, a theater full of patrons when he performed a walk-on role in a play. He truly was one of a kind. We hope that we gave him enough good memories to wipe out any bad ones that came before."