When two women went walking near a dried-up river near Messina, Sicily, what they saw shocked them to the core. There, lying next to the carcass of a dead calf that had been eaten by vermin and insects, they saw a black garbage bag. They faintly heard an animal crying inside.
When they opened up the bag, they were devastated. It was a dog, whose legs had been cruelly bound with electrical wire and had been left for dead.
Dog rescuer Linda Li was called in and brought her friend Dominique Mastroianni. Li immediately saw that the dog was covered in ticks sucking its blood and that flies had begun to lay their larvae in its wounds. If they hadn’t found it when they did, the dog wouldn’t have made it much longer.
Li was completely outraged by the situation and posted disturbing pictures of Oliviero on July 31, 2014, to Facebook to let people know how cruelly this dog had been treated. “Where is God?” she asked, distraught about the sick mind of the human who had done this. “Sealed up in a trash bag and thrown in a landfill. And we don’t know what else” might have happened to Oliviero.
As a dog rescuer, Li understood that what the dog needed most urgently was rehydration. When she gave him some water to drink, he immediately perked up, eagerly licking the water out of her hand. What was even more incredible for this dog, whose hair and skin had been eaten away in places by pests, was that he started to wag his tail.
Oliviero questo è il nome che gli ho dato.
Posted by Linda Li on Thursday, July 31, 2014
When Li and Mastroianni took him to the animal hospital, the vets found “hundreds of ticks and larvae that were eating him alive,” as Li posted on Facebook. She was happy that Oliviero’s case got so much attention online and encouraged people to send money to the veterinary clinic that was covering the charges of his treatment and recovery.
Despite all the mistreatment he had suffered, Oliveiro was recovering. While at first he appeared to be paralyzed in his back legs, he eventually regained the ability to walk and was looking in great form just weeks after he had his brush with death.
Li helped foster him for a while before giving him to her friend Dominique Mastroianni. As the months went on, Oliviero got his strength back and found a new life in a loving home. Mastroianni shared on Facebook on New Year’s Eve as she and her husband began a New Year with the miracle dog: “To you, Linda, a special hug…. thank you for having confidence in entrusting me Oliviero, you reminded me of the person I am.”
Less than a year later, Mastroianni shared a picture on Facebook featuring Oliveiro with a beautiful coat and healthy look, sitting comfortably on the couch. She affectionately dedicated it to Linda Li. Li responded, “seeing it today I feel like [it] never happened what took place that [expletive] 31 July…. and as my daughter would say…. I heart you ♥.”
Oliviero……31-07-2014Oliviero……31-07-2018Quattro anni di te…..
Just recently, Dominique Mastroianni posted a beautiful photo of Oliveiro and imagined having a conversation with this amazing dog. “Don’t you remember when you were bound up under the sun in Sicily?” she asks. “Yes… but I pretend it was just a bad nightmare… it’s so long ago and now Domi and Beppe have been loving me for almost five years.”
For this dog who came back from the brink of death, the passing of time and lots of love have definitely healed all wounds.