Kimberley Slown brought home a formerly abused dog named Niya from the Gibson County Animal Shelter in Trenton, Tennessee.
She was abandoned by her former owner, and was completely terrified and depressed in her kennel at the shelter. Slown has had rescued plenty of dogs through her organization, Arrow Dog Rescue, and knew she had to do something to help this poor girl.
Niya had a gash above her eye and one on her nose, too. They believe the one on her head was from getting hit with something, while the one on her nose could be from using a can as a muzzle.
When it was time for Slown to pick up Niya from the shelter, she barely moved. She was so terrified that they had to carry her into the car. She kept her tail between her legs, and as soon as they arrived at the house, she went to lie down in the corner.
She slept all day and night, too scared to interact with anyone. But on the second night, something amazing happened. Slown was asleep in the middle of the night when all of a sudden she felt breathing on her hand. She woke up to see Niya’s face leaning on her. She began petting her immediately and talked to her. She stayed there for more pats and leaned in closer.
She then went back to her bed. But a few hours later, she came back for more affection. “It was overwhelming,” Slown told The Dodo. “I was crying.”
Niya still has a long road ahead of her, but she is finally starting to trust people again. She has enjoyed her moments with her rescuer, and is finally getting to feel what it’s like to live like a dog is supposed to.
She smiles during car rides, and gets to snuggle in a real bed. Niya will only get more and more comfortable and friendly from here on out.
In a few months, she’ll be ready for adoption. You can follow her progress here.