This dog's name is Rudy. Rudy was taking his magical bath for medical reasons -- because he'd lived through hell, and his skin had been wrecked, and some good people were trying to make him feel better. Rudy only lived about five months more after this video was taken. They were a great five months. They'd just started making up for the horror that had come before. They might inspire someone else to do some good for a dog who could really use it. This young dog had been discovered half-dead in a bucket, covered by a sheet, in New York City, in November 2014. Rudy's skin had been burned, he had gaping wounds. He was also emaciated, and covered in feces, and had a broken leg, Rudy was understandably terrified, as well -- even once he moved out of the municipal animal shelter, and was taken in by a rescue group that specializes in helping the worst-off animals. Courtney Bellew, director of the Northeast chapter of Special Needs Animal Rescue Rehabilitation (SNARR) said:
He ducked his head in fear whenever I would go to touch him, but was so grateful I was there and showing him a kind hand. At the time, I was truly shocked and heartbroken.The bath video was taken in February 2015. By then, Rudy had been in foster care for around four months. He'd had daily lavender-infused baths, during that time, to try to heal his skin. As you can see from Rudy's relaxed demeanor, and the easy-going way he accepts those many biscuits, he'd grown more accustomed to being treated well. He'd started to understand that humans could be good, and kind. He'd made best friends with a little lamb, who was also in the care of his veterinarian foster parents (who have remained anonymous). But all this care couldn't save him. Rudy died in July. Rudy had Cushing disease and a fractured leg that never properly healed. He had slipped discs in his back, which may or may not have been related to his abuse but were debilitating and painful either way. Bellew told BarkPost:
He lost complete use of all four of his legs, yet his foster mom and dad continued carrying him and caring for him. When they no longer felt they could manage Rudy’s pain and he let them know it was time, they made the excruciating decision to let him go. We were all devastated.Bellew said it's been "bittersweet" seeing Rudy's bath video going viral, half a year after Rudy's death.
I love that his adorable little face and this sweet video won the hearts of so many, and brings smiles to people’s faces. But it makes me incredibly sad to know that we couldn’t give Rudy more time on this earth as a spoiled and loved boy.She'd like for some of the millions of people, who've loved watching Rudy eat biscuits while taking a bath, to be inspired to help other dogs get that same hard-won shot at a good life -- maybe by donating to SNARR, or opening their own homes to a foster dog. Some of the dogs SNARR is now helping include Bear, a dog who was thrown from a truck and then hit by a car, and Reya, a puppy mill survivor and the victim of botched eye surgery. Then there's Bradley, a little pit bull pup with severe scoliosis whose body is so contorted he can't walk. At least not yet. Bradley has a neurosurgeon on his case, who, Bellew says, is:
...going to be doing an innovative spine stapling surgery to try and help straighten Bradley’s spine as he grows. We are very hopeful that he will one day be able to run and play.Indeed, there's a lot of loss when you've devoted yourself to working with animals who have suffered the most. But there's a lot of hope. That's what Bellew likes thinking about when it comes to Rudy. Not that he didn't make it, but that he tried - that they all tried.
I would like Rudy remembered exactly how he is in his video. Relaxed, happy and very loved. A beautiful boy with a beautiful and fighting spirit.Find out more about the animals S.N.A.R.R. Animal Rescue Northeast is caring for on the group's Facebook page. And if you know a special dog, or an extraordinary rescue group, get in touch at [email protected]