The first minute will break your heart. But it only goes up from there for this sweet old girl, Judith. Judith was an abused and neglected dog, originally called Judas by her abusive first family. They chained her up for 10 years, and were reported to have peed on her, along with denying her any creature comforts. She had no protection from the elements, no love or affection.

But finally, she was rescued from that hell. She was taken in, bathed, her matts shaved off, and given all the cuddles and love she could soak up (which was a lot). Judith was eventually taken in by a new family. A happy ending for an old dog, and one that is denied to many. She was only able to enjoy her new family for 18 months before she passed away of old age. But those 18 months were filled with love and family fun. Her horrible previous life was thoroughly behind her.

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The most wonderful thing about this story is how little the 10 horrible years of her life mattered to her once she was removed from that situation. It seemed instantly forgotten to her. She never regarded any of the new people she met with suspicion or fear. Everything was new and wonderful to her. Such an open and forgiving heart is rare to be found. We’re so happy for her in her new life. But Judith is only one of literally thousands of dogs across the United States with similar stories. Next time you have a chance to adopt an old dog and make their last years a little brighter, we hope you’ll remember Judith.

You might not get to keep an elderly dog for as many years as you would a puppy, but the love that they can give you and the lessons they might teach you are more than worth it. And if you cannot adopt right now, please consider donating here.