Sometimes all a dog wants is simply to be loved and something as simple as a name change can make all the difference in the world. Such a move can signal that it is time to move on from past hurts into a new life with a new family. One dog, named ZIB, was able to experience that transformation.
But it wasn’t always that way for the border collie. For ZIB life started way differently.
A tough life
Originally named Kong, ZIB led a rough early life. Before coming to the shelter in Claremore, Oklahoma, he had led a life of neglect. When he arrived at the shelter, the dog who would become ZIB was suffering from a skin disease that left him in pain. Also, he was suffering from a sunburn that was painful to the touch.
Getting the help he needed
Eventually, ZIB was taken in by Border Collie Rescue & Rehab located in Prosper, Texas. It was there that he was nursed back to health as well as becoming known first as #387 on the organization’s Website.
Seeing him for the first time
When Curtis Hartsell first saw the white border collie, he immediately knew he was the one.
“I looked through his profile and just immediately fell in love with his single picture and the description they put on the page,” Hartsell told The Dodo. “His foster mom described his temperament and personality and I described my life to her a bit and she said we sounded perfect for each other.”
Working as a cyber threat intelligence analyst at a local credit bureau in Little Elm, Texas, Hartsell had been searching for a dog to adopt that fit in with his active lifestyle. Looking at the dog on the screen, he somehow knew it would all work out and so he put in an adoption application.
The application was just the first part of the process. Hartsell had to go through several interviews and a home visit, but finally, the big day arrived.
“I asked for daily updates through the adoption process and felt as if he were mine from the very beginning and these people were just helping us get reunited,” Hartsell said.
Getting a new name
As a way to mark their new life together, Hartsell renamed the dog ZIB, after a famous Soviet space dog.
“The original was just a lost dog running around base that they sent to space for a successful flight,” Hartsell said, explaining where the name came from. “I felt this was fitting for my ZIB because he was just a lost dog until someone picked him up and helped nurture him back to health. Now he and I are off to the stars together!”
An immediate connection
After arriving at ZIB’s foster home, Hartsell’s friend was able to capture a sweet photo of the two’s first meeting.
“I was handed his leash … I got down in front of him and gave him his new name and asked if he wanted to come home with me,” Hartsell remembered the moment. “‘ZIB, I’m going to call you ZIB. Do you like that? How would you like to come home with me, ZIB?’ He was sitting in front of me, looked into my eyes, and then hugged me and bowed his head. It was adorable; I’ll never forget that moment.”
A new life together
Now, the two spend all of their days together. ZIB, who once lived a life filled with pain, can’t get enough of cuddling with his new owner. In return, ZIB has improved Hartsell and his wife’s life immensely.
“I cannot even begin to describe how much happier and fulfilled I feel,” Hartsell said. “Knowing that this poor puppy was once neglected and all he wanted was to be loved — and that I get to give him that love every day now, it’s incredible.”
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