Dogs are some of the most special, trusting, loyal creatures in the world.
As a lifelong dog lover, it breaks my heart to see these wonderful animals in any kind of pain or discomfort, since we all know that what they deserve most is a good belly rub, followed by a nice game of fetch with a lovingly handmade dog toy.
Most people seem to agree on this count. Dogs have such sweet and charming dispositions, it’s hard to wish them anything but perfect, tail-wagging joy.
Of course, not every dog gets a good start in life. Some pooches seem like they may never get the happy life and cherished forever home that they deserve.
Fortunately, there are tons of good people out there working to make happy endings for dogs in tough situations.
Among those good people? The Humane Society International, an animal rescue organization that stepped in to make a huge difference in the life of a sweet and silly mastiff named Waldo.
Scroll through the gallery below to learn more about Waldo’s heartbreaking origins and his incredible recovery!
Waldo began his life in a tragically tough situation.
He lived on the Yulin dog meat farm in South Korea, where he was badly mistreated.
If he had remained on the farm, he most likely would have ended up butchered for his meat.
When rescuers liberated Waldo from Yulin in April of 2016, he was in bad shape.
The big mastiff was skin and bone, with his ribs showing starkly through his coat.
Healthy male mastiffs generally weigh at least 160 lbs., but poor Waldo looks far thinner.
The poor pooch had sores on his legs and a badly infected eye.
Even more worrying than his health concerns? His downtrodden body language.
In these pictures, Waldo is hunched and shrinking. He looks terrified, and his tail is between his legs — a sure sign of canine unhappiness.
Just three months later, Waldo looks like a whole new man!
Gone and forgotten are his slumped posture, his tragically skinny frame, and his infected eye.
Now, Waldo stands tall and proud, with his tail waving happily in the air.
He’s still on the slim side for a mastiff, but he’s putting on weight and healthy muscle rapidly.
It helps that he’s getting plenty of food, fresh air, and exercise in his foster home.
Instead of stuck cramped in a cage all day, he’s free to run and roam on a beautiful horse farm in Virginia.
Of course, in addition to demonstrating his credentials as a noble and proud mastiff, Waldo is also exploring other sides of his personality.
So far, he seems to be have established a good connection with his playful goofball side.
Just look at that agility!
Waldo is also making wonderful social connections with his foster family.
While some might say this giant pooch is “as big as a horse,” Waldo knows that’s not true because he knows plenty of horses personally.
Living happily on the Virginia farm, he’s had plenty of opportunities to befriend his family animal residents, as you can see in the picture above. If you ask us, Waldo looks like he’s in doggy heaven!
Does this sweet story touch your heart? Make sure to SHARE Waldo’s amazing transformation for fellow dog lovers!