Odin was rescued in October 2018 from a pair of breeders who had completely neglected to care for him and several other dogs. The poor dog had been chained up and ignored, and it showed. He was in absolutely horrendous condition when he was picked up by rescuers from Southern Pines Animal Shelter and Southern Cross Animal Rescue of Mississippi, and they knew they needed to get him to a vet and then into a loving foster home as quickly as possible.
When Odin’s then-foster mom, Sydney Schelkopf, saw him for the first time, she could hardly believe her eyes. He barely even looked like a dog, let alone the fluffy Alaskan malamute he was supposed to be.
“Poor Odin looked like he was taken straight out from a nightmare,” Schelkopf told The Dodo. “He was emaciated, almost completely hairless, covered in wounds, with cracked and broken teeth, and incredibly weak. He had a putrid smell to him from his horrible skin infections. Basically whatever could be wrong, was with this poor guy!”
When Odin first arrived in his new foster home, he had no idea what to do or how to act. He seemed incredibly confused, as if he’d never had that much freedom to walk around and explore before. It seemed as though Odin had never been allowed to just be a dog before, and that broke his new foster mom’s heart.
“I honestly don’t know if Odin had ever been inside a house before,” Schelkopf said. “He sniffed around the whole house and kept looking back at me like, ‘What’s the catch?’ For weeks after I got him, he would just lay in a spot. I couldn’t get him to play with toys or act like a ‘normal dog.’”
It took some time, but slowly, Odin began to realize that there was no catch. This woman had agreed to take him in and love him, even if just for a little while, and for that, Odin was eternally grateful.
Initially, Schelkopf was only planning on fostering Odin — but it soon became clear that Odin had found his forever home, and he wasn’t going anywhere.
“The second night I had brought him home, he was brave enough to come to bed with me,” Schelkopf said. “He climbed onto the bed and just threw his bony body on me, looked up at me with such heartfelt eyes and sighed in such a loving embrace. I knew Odin had finally found where he needed to be.”
Once Odin officially became a foster fail, there was still the matter of getting his health in order. He was such a mess when he first arrived at his new home, but with a whole lot of care and love, Odin slowly began to transform …
While Odin still has some health hurdles to overcome, his new family is actively working on them, and his mom hopes that soon, he’ll be able to run and play for as long as he wants and go on as many adventures as his new mom can possibly take him on.
“He is currently undergoing heartworm treatment which has been a huge battle,” Schelkopf said. “We have our good days and our bad days. Once all our heartworm treatment is done, we are going to have some corrective surgery on his teeth. Unfortunately, a lot of them are in bad shape, and we are going to do everything we can to get them as best as we can!”
In the meantime, Odin is loving cuddling with his mom in bed, playing with his new siblings, giving his opinion on absolutely everything and finally just being able to enjoy being a dog. He loves his new life so much, and his new mom can’t wait to see what the future holds for him.
“Odin is such a fun, loving and goofy guy,” Schelkopf said. “He has become completely accustomed to the spoiled life.”