At the end of the hallways, the moaning and crying of a young puppy begin to permeate throughout a Killeen, Texas veterinarian’s office. The paperwork from the person who had left him said that the dog had been stung by a swarm of bees, but even a first glance you could tell that was a lie. The skin around the poor little guys face was scabbing and looked to have been melted; his entire body reeked of gasoline. The unanimous conclusion was that someone tried to burn this dog alive.
Vet Tech Danielle Torgerson recalls the terrible shape he was in when he had arrived, “His lips were burned away, he had no eyelids, and his fur and skin were gone from his head down to his shoulders.”
This puppy was in such bad shape, everyone’s initial thought was that euthanasia would be the most humane action they could take; every vet that saw him felt he couldn’t possibly survive his injuries. But something within Danielle stirred, she was angry that someone would even think of doing something like this and wanted to try to do whatever she could to give this puppy a chance of having a normal life.
Danielle doubted whether this puppy would ever get that chance, but she was determined to do whatever it took to try. She told BarkPost, that is when she decided, “That puppy was going home with me.”
The first thing she had to do was to give her new puppy a name, she decided on “D’Artagnan, or Mr. D for short, after the captain of the Musketeers of the Guard who served Louis XIV.”
That began the long road of recovery for Mr. D, “skin grafts, reconstruction of his ears and mouth” he even had to have “Hair implanted in the areas where it was lost.” Unfortunately, his eyelids were unable to be saved so Danielle must give him “artificial tear drops throughout the day”
Not long after Mr. D began to have somewhat of a normal life again, Danielle says that he is a very loving dog that “even likes to snuggle with her cats.” He doesn’t look quite like other dogs, when they go on walks people often stop and stare.
Danielle isn’t coy with her words, saying, “He is kinda scary looking at first, like a werewolf, because of all of the skin grafts, but he’s just an adorable angel. And I know that because of me saving his life, [and] that he returned the favor and helped save mine.”
A book telling the full story about Mr. D and Danielle’s life together is available here.