In August 2017, the Texas-based rescue organization Border Collie Rescue & Rehab decided to bring in a sweet dog named Kong. The one-year-old Border Collie had had a tough life. He had been living in a shelter in Oklahoma, and he suffered from fur loss, a painful skin disease, and sunburn that turned his skin bright pink.
The pup was shy at first, but after Border Collie Rescue worked with him, he started coming out of his shell.
His skin began healing, and his fur started growing back. Once he started feeling better, Border Collie Rescue made Kong an adoption profile on their website. They also announced his adoption on their Facebook page.
A man named Craig Hartsell saw Kong’s profile, and he immediately knew that Kong was the perfect dog for him.
“I looked through his profile and just immediately fell in love with his single picture and the description they put on the page,” Hartsell told The Dodo. “His foster mom described his temperament and personality and I described my life to her a bit and she said we sounded perfect for each other.”
Hartsell put in the adoption paperwork, and after a few interviews and a home visit, the adoption was approved. When he was signing the official adoption papers, Hartsell decided to change Kong’s name to ZIB, who was a famous Soviet space dog.
“The original was just a lost dog running around base that they sent to space for successful flight,” Hatsell said. “I felt this was fitting for my ZIB because he was just a lost dog until someone picked him up and helped nurture him back to health. Now he and I are off to the stars together!”
Hartsell went to pick up Kong/ZIB from his foster home, and Hartsell’s friend shot an incredible photo of the two of them.
Hartsell told The Dodo about the moment that led to this photo:
“I was handed his leash … I got down in front of him and gave him his new name and asked if he wanted to come home with me,” Hartsell said. “‘ZIB, I’m going to call you ZIB. Do you like that? How would you like to come home with me, ZIB?’ He was sitting in front of me, looked into my eyes and then hugged me and bowed his head. It was adorable; I’ll never forget that moment.”
ZIB has made an incredible transformation. When he first got to Border Collie Rescue & Rehab, his skin was too painful to be touched. Now, he cuddles with his dad every chance he gets!
Hartsell loves having ZIB in his life, and he can’t imagine life without him. He says:
“I cannot even begin to describe how much happier and fulfilled I feel. Knowing that this poor puppy was once neglected and all he wanted was to be loved — and that I get to give him that love every day now, it’s incredible.”
ZIB’s first year was rough, but now, he has an incredible home with an owner who loves him more anything else. We’re so glad that these two found each other!
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