The first time we came to know Lee was when a neighbor approached me asking for assistance with a dog he had just acquired the night before. He said the dog was refusing to eat. I put together a delicious bowl of puppy pellets mixed with some tasty pet mince and went along to see the dog. When my eyes first fell on Lee, I knew this dog needed help and SOON. I offered Lee the food, but to my surprise, he refused it.

We made an appointment with Bergzicht vet and bundled Lee into the car and set off.
We met with the doctor who examined Lee. She took blood and ran some tests. Lee had a whole list of issues.

Lee had previously belonged to a teenage boy who had little or no knowledge of how to care for a dog and even if he had the knowledge, his family was too poor to afford to care for a dog, let alone a husky. Lee had endured years of neglect and extreme starvation. He had spent all those years chained up with little room to move around, no kennel and very little food and water. Once the boy realized that the dog had become ill, he decided to pass the dog on to whoever was prepared to take the skeletal dog, in this case, it happened to be my neighbor. Grateful that the dog was away from incompetent hands, we agreed to assist my neighbor to get Lee well again.

The vet discovered that Lee had a severe infection coursing through his body, his eyes where infected due to being stabbed in the eye (this was later confirmed to us), he was weak due to years of malnutrition and an overload of parasites, internal and external, his coat was matted and dirty and he had the start of mange. But that wasn’t all, Lee also presented with symptoms of TVT!

We were so determined to give this poor soul a chance at a good life and so Lee was given a whole pharmacy of antibiotics, pills and eye ointments and drops with careful instructions of how to administer everything. We were warned by the vet that it could go either way.

Well, after receiving his meds on time and getting two square meals everyday, Lee managed to overcome the infection and started gaining weight. He looked so much happier!
Then the unthinkable happened. The boy had decided to go and fetch his dog, since the dog was now obviously better and looking fatter. Heated arguments between my neighbor and the boys’ parents ensued. But in the end they took Lee back.

That’s when the real battle started. I went to speak to the boy about giving Lee to us but he would not hear of it. I kept trying, each time having to see poor Lee back on that chain with no food or water. He was loosing the weight we had fought so hard to put on him. Each time he saw me or heard my voice, his ears would prick and he would rise from the filthy rags he had been curled up on and he would look at me expectantly. I felt so helpless. Do I call the spca? Do I try to steal him back?

At last our break came. Through all my pestering and threatening the boy had decided to unchain Lee and that’s when Lee took the gap and ran. He ran and never looked back. After two days we found Lee. Some kind soul had found Lee collapsed by his gate and took the distressed dog in and fed him. At last Lee was safe. But was he really safe? What if the boy returned for Lee once he discovered that Lee was with us? I decided to confront the boy one last time. I told him in no uncertain terms that I had found Lee and that Lee would never return to him again. I gave him a R30 (which made him very happy) and sent him on his way.

After some deliberation, we agreed that still Lee was not safe here in the area. We decided to contact Husky Rescue who promptly agreed to take him to ensure his absolute safety. This poor dog had been through so much, he really needed and deserved all the goodness this life has to offer.

To see the positive change in this dog, not only physically but also emotionally, was something we will never forget.

After having an operation to fix his eyes and undergoing a few rounds of chemo, Lee is now a very happy, healthy and not to mention, stunning boy!

Thanks to Husky Rescue, he has found his forever home. A home where he will be loved and appreciated. Never again will Lee know the pangs of hunger, fear or pain of sickness. This is everything we could ever have asked for this special dog.

Through everything he has endured, he never lost faith in humans and never for one moment did he stop adoring the people around him. Somehow he maintained complete trust in humanity. That’s what I would call unconditional love. Thank you Lee, you are a beacon of hope for all the dogs out there who are still suffering in silence. May their suffering, too, be eased.
God speed Lee, you deserve the best.

Monica Thompson