Warning: This article includes content some readers may find disturbing.
When Matilda desperately needed human help, the poor dog was ignored simply because of how she looked—her breed.
Wandering the streets alone and in agony, Matilda would have been rescued much faster had she been almost any other breed. But unluckily for Matilda, she was born a pit bull—a breed with an undeserved reputation for aggression.
Valia Orfanidou, a volunteer in various rescue organizations and shelters in Greece and who runs the YouTube channel and a blog called The Orphan Pet, filmed Matilda’s moving story.
“I have to admit that she must have been one of the poetically sad dogs that I had ever filmed on the examination table,” Valia said in her video.
The experienced animal rescuer believes that Poor Matilda was ignored simply based on the way she looked. With no one willing to step in, Matilda was forced to wander the streets alone, fending for herself as best she could. Eventually, Matilda caught a break when George, a rescuer from the group called SCARS, came to her aid.
Talking about how our brain reacts after we label someone as just another “stereotype,” Valia says in the video that on seeing Matilda for the first time at the vet’s clinic, she herself thought her terrible wounds resulted from her being involved in dogfighting. But soon, Valia and others realized Matilda is far from aggressive.
“In her pain and in her resignation, there is a beauty shining through. It became difficult to imagine her fighting. And the truth is she hadn’t been fighting,” Valia said.
The team then experienced Matilda’s nonstereotypic nature and learned that the wounds were not due to dogfighting; the poor dog was “simply very sick.” The clinical examination revealed that Matilda was suffering from a skin disease called leishmaniasis.
The vet began the slow process of treating Matilda’s painful skin condition. Soon, it became clear that Matilda the Pit Bull was a warm, sweet, and loving dog despite her ordeal on the streets and being shunned by society. Far from resenting humans as you might expect after such a raw deal, Matilda was quite the opposite. All she wanted was a human touch and some love.
While she was undergoing treatment, Matilda was fostered by George, the rescue group’s dog trainer. In her new foster home, Matilda’s real character began to shine through; she fitted in well with his other rescue dogs. They became firm friends and would spend hours playing together and snuggling up. Love and acceptance gave Matilda a completely new life, transforming her in the process.
Understandably, George fell head over heels for Matilda. He officially adopted Matilda, and she got her forever home. But what happened next amazed everyone. Matilda began to thrive even more and became a mentor to other rescue dogs.
Matilda’s ability to read cues from humans and other traumatized stray dogs gave her incredible patience. Quickly, she became the mommy dog to all the other newcomers and showed them the ropes.
“Everyday, she was becoming less pit bull and more Matilda,” Valia said. “Matilda who relaxes next to her friends. Matilda who plays like a puppy. Matilda who sleeps cuddling up. Matilda who comforts the newcomers (dogs) … Matilda who is always there and is the one to be trusted the most.”
Matilda’s empathic ability was outstanding. She was the go-to for helping even the most troublesome dogs learn to behave appropriately. The rescued mutt is now a canine mentor for other dogs and teaches them how to play without fighting, how to relax and fit in with the surroundings. Her boundless energy has helped turn previously unadoptable hounds into doggo success stories.
“She is such a mentally healthy and stable dog that she is the first one to be trusted with the newcomers. While George is teaching them the human rules, Matilda is teaching them the dog rules.”
Matilda is a heartwarming success story of overcoming the odds and showing that appearances can be deceptive. Matilda proved that anyone who spends the time to get to know her soon sees more than her breed.
Pit bulls may have a bad rep, but Matilda is the embodiment of just how wrong stereotypes are.
Matilda is one special dog that amply demonstrates that what is inside is much more important than outward appearance.
Watch Matilda’s story below:
(Courtesy of The Orphan Pet)
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