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A Love Story

There is a "package of love" waiting for someone who wants Valentines Day to be all year.

This is the story of Handsome.

On Friday, at dusk, Rachel was looking forward to a hot shower and calling it a week. She had been slogging through the coldest, ice and snowiest, windy weather Brooklyn has seen in a long time, walking dogs to help her staff stay on schedule though the winter weather. The temperature was in single digits and the wind bent tree limbs.

Her cell phone rang.

It was a client. She was calling Rachel because there was a knot of people gathered and no one knew what to do.

"Call 911"

"No, you can't do that. He'll be put down."

"Then call Animal Control."

"They'll euthanize him."

"Call the local precinct."

And so the conversation that Cathy Fendelman overheard went. Cathy didn't have an answer but she called Rachel, hoping she would.

"There is a dog chained to the fence of Ft. Greene Park across from the hospital.

He's tied so tightly that his front paws can't reach the ground. Every time an ambulance pulls out, sirens blaring, he shakes. I don't know how long he has been here but he is shivering it is so cold."

Rachel reversed direction to check this story out and there he was, a young, black and white pit bull emaciated, scarred and scared, shivering in the cold.

Cautiously Rachel approached him and he whined and wagged and just wanted to love. From the way he was tied with TV cable securing him there was no question he was abandoned.

He was abandoned, his back legs were scarred and he was very thin.

The cable that he was tied with was frozen. What is happening inside this little fella's body in this arctic cold?

With help, Rachel carefully untied the little fella, calling on her training as a pet CPR instructor to keep herself out of harm's way.

She put him in her car, turned up the heater and carefully did a very quick health and behavior assessment.

For all he had been through, he was very sweet and totally non-aggressive. She turned up the heater.

"How could anyone do that? But let's look forward and help this sweet critter!" she thought.

Assured that he was safe, the little fella slowly thawed out and cautiously climbed into Rachel's lap, settling after his dreadful ordeal.

"What do I do now?" Rachel thought.

One phone call to VERG (Veterinary Emergency Referral Group) and Mossey, their administrator said, "Bring him in!"

On the way to VERG Rachel fell in love with Handsome, as the VERG staff later named him. The vets and staff at VERG did too. He was a snuggler, a lover and a curious and eager little fella.

The vets figured he is a bit over a year old. Other than a few minor problems that they fixed up he was in pretty good health for what he has been through. They treated the open wounds, clipped his ingrown nails and shook their heads at how emaciated he was.

They offered to let him stay until we at BBark could get our proverbial ducks in order to find him a loving and permanent home. Or at least a foster home.

We then brought in our favorite behaviorist, Anthony Newman of Calm Energy Dog Training. Although he couldn't do a full assessment in the vet office his conclusions are:

Overall: super sweet, social, friendly, loving, sensitive dog who has never known a comfortable, stable home and who will thrive and relax with lots of daily exercise, socialization, and obedience work. Seems good with other dogs; Probably good with children; might not be good with cats.

So we may have one very lucky pup here for although abandoned from an obviously difficult back-story, Handsome has a chance for a great life.

We know there is someone who will give it to him. Our next steps are for VERG to neuter him, for him to get a good bath and then to a foster home for some human and doggie socializing.

We will be blogging and posting on Facebook about Handsome's progress as he puts on weight and learns what life can be really like. Please follow us.

When Handsome is ready for a "furever" home we know that the Brooklyn dog community will find him the best fit ever.

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