Shelter Dog Covered In Tiny Scars Gets His First Real Hug

Duncan’s face and body are covered in wounds and scars. His eyes beg for attention, writes thedodo.

Sarah Rosenberg, Atlanta's LifeLine Animal Project's community engagement manager, arrived just in time to give it over to Duncan.

"One look at his chewed-up face and I knew he'd been through a living hell," Rosenberg tells The Dodo. "However, his eyes were soft and warm, inviting me to hold him." "He melted into my arms as soon as I opened his kennel."

Duncan was found in poor condition on an Atlanta porch shortly after Hurricane Irma passed through. An animal control officer brought him to the shelter on September 14.

Duncan has a lot of old scars as well as some fresh new wounds — and, of course, no explanation for how he got any of them, though it appears that he can't protect himself due to a distinct underbite.

When Rosenberg arrived at work on that Thursday, Duncan had just arrived — it was a day devoted to cleaning and painting, preparing the shelter for animals who'd been evacuated.

Knowing Rosenberg's fondness for blocky-headed dogs, a coworker brought her over to meet Duncan right away.

Rosenberg was profoundly moved. Duncan seemed to pick up on it as well. As soon as his kennel was opened, Duncan tucked his battered head onto Rosenberg's shoulder, "so he could be cradled like a baby," she says.

"I held him for a long time, but he held me even tighter," explains Rosenberg. "I could tell he didn't know what to expect, but he accepted everything with grace and incredible sweetness."

That sweetness seems to last indefinitely. Duncan enjoys spending time in the sun. He has fallen in love with the children he has met.

"When dogs come into the shelter who have been abused or neglected, they sometimes don't survive due to injuries, starvation, or heartworms," says Karen Hirsch, a LifeLine Animal Project spokeswoman. "It's enormously rewarding and makes it all worthwhile whenever we can show an abused dog what it's like to be safe and loved."

Duncan is now up for adoption, and his rescuers are confident that he will make a very happy family.

"This sweet soul has a lot of love to give," Rosenberg says. "Those who give him a forever home will have a lifetime love."

Update 10/2/2017:
Duncan was adopted by a wonderful couple on September 26. Unfortunately, less than a week later he died of infections stemming from the wounds he’d been found with. Duncan died knowing great love, both from the staff at LifeLine Animal Project and from his family, who had far too little time with him.


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