This heartwarming story comes to us from our friends at AOL.com.
Hooch had an incredibly rough start to life — but now, he’s making a huge difference in the lives of others.
The French Mastiff was rescued three years ago by Marley’s Mutts in California, and the organization’s veterinarians were horrified when they realized someone had cut out the sweet pup’s tongue and chopped off his ears.
Amy Klein from Marley’s Mutts told KTVU that while they can’t be certain, they believe Hooch was brutally abused to prepare him to serve as a bait dog in a dog-fighting ring.
A dog’s tongue is crucial to help them keep cool, and the serious injury also made it difficult for the gentle giant to be properly nourished.
As a result, Hooch was a staggering 40 pounds underweight.
Zach Skow, founder of Marley’s Mutts, told InsideEdition.com that they fed the pup initially with a feeding tube to help get his weight up. But eventually, they learned the best way to keep him healthy was to pour warm water on his dog food and feed him by hand.
Hooch also found a clever way to stay hydrated without his tongue. The pooch taught himself to dunk his whole head in his water bowl to take in liquids.
Due to the horrific abuse he suffered, Hooch was initially terrified of people. But with the love of rescuers, he now loves everyone.
Skow was so moved by Hooch’s story, he decided to adopt him and give him a forever home.
The pair now works together to help autistic children through their local Barks and Books program. Though Hooch isn’t a certified therapy dog, he’s a comforting presence for the children.
Since Hooch can’t swallow — drool is consistently dripping from his snout. When he dribbles on someone it’s known as “getting Hooched.”
Well, we don’t mind a little drool Hooch — you’re perfect to us!
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