Ithaca, NY -Coco is a 9 year old, 13 lb Shih Tzu who has such a compelling story. This sweet boy is a true survivor! From Coco’s foster mom:

“I don’t know who can abandon their dog after 5 years at such an awful place but there he was. …On the kill list at NY ACC. With less than an hour to spare…Amsterdog Rescue pulled him for me to foster. The following evening I met with transport to pick him up. The van door opened and as I looked inside the crate I literally felt my heart stop. There he was…this tiny, smelly, sad little guy. There was no hope in his small body, no excitement about the adventures that may lie outside the van and he didn’t even lift his head.

He was completely shaved due to heavy, painful matting. He was riddled with infection. Underweight. Both eyes were completely filled with thick green film. His ear had a tumor the size of a small orange, it was broken and oozing. The smell was horrific, as if he were decomposing while still alive.

First thing arriving home he took a bath. While drying him he licked my face. This was the first response he had to any of this. I wondered how long it has been for him since he felt a kind hand. He slept all night and was off to the vets first thing in the morning.

The vet didn’t have good news. The tumor looked as if it were cancerous, it was outgrowing his skin and he would probably loose his entire ear as well as need ear canal reconstruction. He was blind and suffered an awful skin problem ALL DUE TO NEGLECT. As the vet continued to look at the tumor, he was crying out in pain. The minute she took her hands off he started kissing her face ridiculously. Even with all his pain… All his suffering…. He just wanted love.

Other than being fixed, there were no signs he has ever been cared for at all. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know if we should just let him go peacefully or if he wanted to fight. I decided to let him tell me. We put him on heavy doses of antibiotics, eye drops and with it being a Friday I was going to see how the weekend went. He slept, ate, itched, and slept more.

By Monday the smell was gone. He was even wagging his tail. By Tuesday he started following us around and I realized he could go up stairs and most likely see shadows of things. He slept most the days away for the next week and a half but the time he was awake, he was happy. The craziest thing… His “cancerous tumor” was shrinking and shrinking fast. Couldn’t wait for the vet to see him at his follow up and boy was she shocked.

His tumor had shrunk to nearly nothing and guess what? It’s not a cancerous tumor at all! New diagnoses? Swollen lymph-nodes!! His beautiful fur was growing back. He was spry, walking around the vets and giving kisses to all that would accept. We started another round of antibiotics and began another medication of eye drops. She said this may restore some of his sight. By day 2 of the drops… It was clear….

He could see and he loved what he could see! He walked around the yard independently for the first time. He sniffed the chickens, tried greeting the neighbors dog and was stealing toys from his foster brothers doggy bed. He was alive.

Tomorrow is his next vet visit and I’m sure it will be a happy one.”

Once a sick, sad, lost, unwanted pup….now a boy with a new beginning ahead of him.

Please share little Coco’s story. Help him find his fur-ever home. Coco is neutered, housebroken, up to date on shots and microchipped.

For additional photos, please visit Coco’s Facebook page or contact us for information or fill out an online application. And thanks for caring about this really special dog!