To our pups, we are heroes. They love us will all their heart and we can do no wrong in their eyes.
That's a lot of responsibility, and it's important that we do not abuse the trust they put in us.
Unfortunately, there are people out there who think nothing of breaking that trust.
Like Athena's previous family, who cruelly abandoned her when she needed them the most.
Athena is a sweet, affectionate pup who spent most of her life living with her family in Nikolaevka, Bulgaria.
She loved her family dearly and thought they loved her just as much.
However, one fateful day, she discovered just how little they valued her love and her life.
After being a faithful companion to her family for many years, Athena had grown into a senior dog and was looking forward to enjoying her golden years the same way she'd been enjoying her youth: by looking after her family.
Unfortunately, her family had a different idea.
When Athena's family decided to move house, they chose not to bring Athena with them.
They thought that she was too old, and so, they just left her behind like she was a piece of broken furniture or some other unwanted item.
Poor Athena was heartbroken and afraid.
She was all alone, and to make matters worse, they had left her with a heavy chain around her neck.
She sat by the side of the road, hanging her head, staring at the passing cars, and looking completely inconsolable.
Luckily, word of the helpless senior dog eventually reached the ear of Laurica Nagel, a local dog rescue volunteer.
Nagel rushed to rescue the poor pup and found her sitting by the side of the road with her head hanging low and her eyes filled with sadness and worry.
Nagel discovered that Athena had managed to survive on scraps, provided by compassionate truckers, but the poor senior was weak, malnourished, absolutely covered in fleas and ticks, and had lost her sight in one eye.
Nagel brought Athena to a rescue centre where she received the care she needed.
She was washed, fed and treated and received all the love and care she'd been lacking.
But though her physical status was improving, the shelter staff were worried that they wouldn’t be able to find her a forever home.
Senior dogs have a difficult time finding new homes, as people are less interested in older dogs and more interested in puppies.
But Athena got lucky. A family spotted her on social media and knew that she was meant to be part of their family.
They were so proud of her for being a fighter and surviving all the hardship life had put her through.
When they looked at her they didn't see her as old and useless, as her previous family had.
No, they saw her for what she truly was: a sweet senior dog with a big heart and a strong spirit.
Now, Athena has been living with her family for several months, and she's happier than she's ever been.
Finally, she has a family who truly cares for her and will make sure that the rest of her life will be happy and filled with love.
Athena's story has touched many people, and she's received a lot of love and support.
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