Kasey Carlin now hopes people will see beyond looks in dogs, because "Every dog is a good dog. You just have to work with them, understand their limits, respect those limits and build that bond."
Trigger Warning: This story contains instances of animal abuse that may be disturbing to readers.
When dog behaviorist Kasey Carlin was expecting an abused dog to be flown in from Lebanon to the UK, she didn't expect the dog's injuries to be this extensive. This was about five years ago, and a lot has happened, since, but the poor dog was in a miserable condition at the time, reports TODAY.
But despite enduring such abuse, the dog was loving and kind. “There’s this little blond dog kicking her feet up high,” Carlin, 27, said. “The first thing she does when she meets anybody is she runs into them and rubs her body on them as a cat does. My brain couldn’t even process it. She’s just so friendly.”
Carlin then went on to detail the abuse the poor dog was put through. “They used a BB gun and used her as target practice. They had tied her up and shot her. She has about 200 pellets from her nose to her chest and some in her shoulders, but they’re all concentrated in her face,” Carlin said. “Then they pulled her eyes out. She had a broken jaw. They started cutting off her ears before somebody intervened. And she was heavily pregnant at the time.”
Unfortunately, none of her pups survived. Carlin first heard of Maggie —who was called Angie at the time—through a Facebook group. She wanted to help, but wasn't sure she'd be able to take her in, given how Carlin had just adopted a dog with behavioral issues. But somehow, she knew Maggie needed her help.
“Nobody wanted her,” she said. “She had six days before she was due to fly and nowhere to go, and they were going to have to delay the flight or she was going to have to go in kennels, but I couldn’t let a poor little blind dog go in kennels.”
Though Carlin's initial plan was to simply foster Maggie, with time, she knew she couldn't give her up.
She permanently adopted the dog who hadn’t received a single offer of adoption and started training her to navigate the world without sight. Though Maggie was more than delighted with the new setting, her past occasionally came back to haunt her in her sleep.
“She’d be in dreams, and she’d wake me up screaming. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard a dog scream, but it is horrific,” Carlin said, while wiping away her tears. “I used to have to go, ‘Maggie, it’s OK. It’s OK.’ But now there’s (a) difference between her dreams." With time, she's begun to heal, too!
"She’ll run in her dreams. These horrible nightmares that she used to have don’t happen often now — she had one maybe six months ago. She’s happy now.” Part of her happiness comes from the fact that she works as a therapy dog, mainly meeting seniors with dementia, but has also visited police officers, firefighters, and schoolchildren, to whom she spreads an anti-bullying message.
Time really does heal all wounds, because, in just five years, Maggie's changed into a completely new dog altogether. Now, Carlin hopes people inspired by Maggie’s story will consider adopting overlooked pets, particularly older dogs and those with disabilities.
“Nobody wanted Maggie, and now she’s got half a million people that would take her in an instant if I offered her up because she’s a good dog,” she said. “Every dog is a good dog. You just have to work with them, understand their limits, respect those limits and build that bond. Then they’re good dogs. … Maggie does all this good, and she’s just being herself.”
Cover Image Source: Instagram | Maggie the Wonder Dog (@maggiethewunderdog)