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Abandoned Senior Maltese Dog Slowly Recovers from Years of Neglect
Photo: Animal Haven
Astrid might have been kept in a confined space, got no exercise and experienced no affection from humans for a very long time…

A person surrendered Astrid, a 10-year-old dog, at the Animal Haven in New York recently but he could not provide the staff at the shelter any important details regarding the dog’s abandonment. All they could get from the man, who appeared to be homeless, was that the dog was left to his care following the death of a family member.

The pup was supposed to be a Maltese mix but she had no trace of that curly white fur that's common to her breed. Instead, Astrid was covered in filth, which turned her coat into a coarse matted brown texture. Her claws were also starting to curl because these were too long. It also seemed like the senior dog was in pain when she walked.

The pup was supposed to be a Maltese mix but she had no trace of that curly white fur that's common to her breed
Photo: Animal Haven

The shelter workers from Animal Haven did not hesitate to take Astrid in, especially after realizing that the man who surrendered her couldn't even take care of himself. The center's director, Tiffany Lacey, said that the man appeared to be in bad shape as well, but they knew they could take good care of the dog for him.

The Problems With Astrid

Mindy Liu, who volunteers at the shelter, saw Astrid on the day she was surrendered and knew right away that the dog needed to be taken from a shelter to a home. Mindy offered to foster Astrid until Animal Haven finds the dog a loving forever home.

One thing that Mindy noticed from Astrid was how she stiffened when touched by a human
Photo: Animal Haven

One thing that Mindy noticed from Astrid was how she stiffened when touched by a human. The dog's reaction indicated that Astrid was not used to affection and might not have been carried much as well.

Astrid also had this habit of spinning in place and because of her unusually skinny legs, Mindy believed that the dog might have been confined to a small space for many years and did not get much regular exercise. Astrid doesn't even know how her tail worked and would sometimes be startled by it. The dog also had this habit of nipping her tail.

Taking Care of Astrid

Still, Mindy took it upon herself to take care and prepare Astrid for adoption. So, after getting a haircut and a check-up with the vet, Mindy took Astrid home with her, where she's also raising three other dogs.

As a shelter volunteer, Mindy was aware that it going to be hard for a senior dog to adjust to a new environment, let alone an environment with three other pooches. Still, Mindy was determined to make fostering Astrid work.

As a shelter volunteer, Mindy was aware that it going to be hard for a senior dog to adjust to a new environment, let alone an environment with three other pooches
Photo: Animal Haven

Fortunately, Astrid did not have issues with Mindy’s other pets – China, Beatrix and Hanzo, so the four of them are getting along fairly well. Since staying with Mindy, Astrid's behavior has also slowly improved. From a scared dog, she’s now more observant and curious about her surroundings.

Astrid goes on regular walks the rest of the dogs, but since her legs tire out faster, the exercises still remains a challenge. Also, Astrid hasn’t completely let go of the spinning, as Mindy still catches her doing this from time to time.

Astrid goes on regular walks the rest of the dogs, but since her legs tire out faster, the exercises still remains a challenge
Photo: Animal Haven

When Dogs Keep Spinning

According to The Nest, spinning or circling could be a sign of severe stress or frustration in a dog. It can manifest when a dog didn’t get much love and attention from his owners or if a dog is dealing with a trauma or loss of a companion. However, it might also be a symptom of a cognition or vision problem, particular with senior dogs.

When Dogs Keep Spinning
Photo: Mindy Liu

Mindy, however, is confident that Astrid will fully recover with more time, love and affection. Apart from age, her weak legs, and timid personality, it doesn't seem like Astrid has other serious health issues.

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