Abused. Saved. Healed. – Hippo

This post contains some images depicting explicit animal abuse

“When the dog looks at you, the dog is not thinking what kind of a person you are. The dog is not judging you.” – Eckhart Tolle

In light of Hippo’s hopeful adoption this week, we wanted to highlight this loving canine and some of the people who have been close to him during his time at The Canine Healing Project. If we really took the time to write up everything we had experienced with Hippo, we would have to write a short novel. We will do our best to keep it to some of the best moments.

What will always be a mystery to us is exactly what Hippo endured before being rescued by Greenville Animal Care. We know that it was a gruesome scene they witnessed when they found him. He was on the side of the highway. Abandoned. Hurt. Possibly left to die. A metal carabiner had been thrust through the skin between his neck and chest and attached to a heavy metal chain fastened to the guard rail. We have no idea how long he had been on his own. The depth of evil it takes to do this to a living creature is almost beyond comprehension.

One would expect a poor dog like this to be so mentally scarred that he would never be able to function properly again. Hippo beat his horrible odds. In fact, he’s thriving in spite of them.

Since being adopted into The Canine Healing Project, poor, pitiful Hippo has transformed into a lovable, quirky dog with a big personality. His favorite things in life are fairly normal for a dog: playing with tennis balls and cuddling with humans. His other likes and dislikes are much more unique. Hippo does not like hardwood floors; he will do everything he can (including flying leaps from a couch) to avoid walking on them. He is also an accomplished tap dancer. Whenever he is excited, one can hear the sound of his little toes tapping on the floor. He is not a fan of pasta, but he will gobble up some tasty whipped cream. Surprisingly, he prefers to avoid bodies of water…apparently no one ever explained Hippo’s own name to him.

One of his most endearing qualities is his love for people with special needs. He always seems to give extra love and snuggles to anyone with even the slightest handicap. “I really like how he interacts with Cole and Owen.” Said Sydney, one of the Noble Dog Hotel employees. Cole is an autistic teenager who volunteers with us and Owen is Sydney’s autistic brother.

We at the Canine Healing Project and The Noble Dog Hotel are hopeful that Hippo will soon have his very own home and family. At roughly four or five years old, he has a lot of life and love still to give.

Here are some things that have been said about him by his friends at The Canine Healing Project and The Noble Dog Hotel:

“I love coming to work and seeing him. He makes my day.” – Reagan

“He is a testament to the ability of a dog to move past abuse and thrive.” – Taylor

“Hippo’s like my godchild. I love him to death and I would do anything for him.” – Megan

When asked what he meant to her, Haley just said, “Everything.”