When 21-year-old veterinary assistant Jessie DeFreitas of West Sussex first laid eyes on a puppy named Honey, she couldn’t believe what she was seeing. She was both shocked and appalled by what was being shown to her.
The puppy had been brought into the vet’s office where Jessie worked by her then-owners. Everyone instantly recognized that the puppy was in terrible shape.
“Everyone at the vet knows I’m a huge animal lover. When I was told we had a new dog, I had to see her. She may have had mange, but she had beautiful eyes.”
The poor baby was virtually bald after losing her fur because of mange, a skin disease caused by mites.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) defines mange caused by parasitic mites as a “horrible, painful” skin disease common in puppies and dogs that are neglected, abused or who are strays. It can be treated by medicated shampoos, topical applications and oral medications.
“These dogs appear to be beyond hope — hairless, with skin covered in sores or with thickened, hard, crusty patches.”
Eyes are considered windows into the soul and Honey had the deepest eyes full of hurt. The brown pools reflected suffering. Jessie had to do something.
“The vet said if the dog wasn’t signed over to the office, she wouldn’t have survived. ‘She needed constant care. I asked to foster the dog. My mum asked if I was sure because we already have four cats and another rescue dog at home. But everyone knows I love animals. At the vets, I’m constantly asking about people’s pets.”
The poor baby’s spirit had been crushed from mistreatment. She was in pain both physically and emotionally.
But Jessie vowed to save this little girl however she could.
As Jessie lavished attention on Honey, the pup snapped back with nips, uncertain of how to react to tender loving care and nourishment.
“When we first brought her home, she was a playful biter. Her original name, Honey, didn’t fit her at all. To me, Honey is sweet and she is not. My mum named her Terra with an ‘a’ because it fit her better – she can be a little terror.”
As Terra slowly bounced back from the mange infestation, her fur grew back luxurious and thick. And she became more confident in the love she was being showered by Jessie, she morphed into a completely different puppy. The change was unreal!
“She’s recovered really well. You can see it in her eyes – she’s become happier and happier.”
Gone is the physical pain and the hurt from being neglected. Today she has a brand new attitude, a brand new outlook on life and the sweetest disposition.
“She’s amazing. She’s just the kindest and sweetest thing.”
In fact, Terra could pass as a puppy model, she looks so amazing now. Her transformation in just three short months is nothing short of a miracle! People may have once turned her away but now she’s showing everyone just how cute of a puppy she is.
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