Irie was a tiny bundle of matted fur when she was adopted by a nearby animal shelter. The panicked Maltese mix’s face and torso were wrapped in knots, rendering her unrecognizable. She required a makeover to rediscover her true self and perhaps locate a place to call home.
Irie was shaved by the shelter soon before Rhode Home Rescue took over her care.
They were all horrified by what they discovered beneath the hair.
Irie’s foster mother, Hillary Gillinder, told The Dodo that “Animal Control did a great job with her shave.” She allowed them to shave her for almost 45 minutes before becoming anxious. Once she got home, the rest had to be completed there and at my house in short spurts.
Irie’s past and how her fur became so matted were largely unknown, but everyone tried their best to remove the mess until her endearing face could be seen.
Irie still had some mats that needed to be removed with scissors after the large hair chunks were removed. Now that her hair is coming back, she will soon require another trim. She is still learning how to trust those who are close to her in the interim.
She is particularly scared of boy dogs and is extremely wary of men, according to Gillinder. “While we don’t know exactly what happened to her before she got to us, all we can do at this point is support her development and compensate for it with kindness and love.
The 11-pound dog is mostly calm but occasionally enjoys a stuffed animal or car ride. Gillander uses music to relax and reduce her stress.
Gillinder said, “I’m so proud of how far she’s come since I first acquired her. She began to avoid me and even barked at me from inside her box. She now follows me around wherever I go and enjoys jumping onto the couch and rolling about in the cozy blankets.”
Irie will eventually show her true self, but at least she won’t be burdened by mats anymore.
Thinking about everything she must have gone through is devastating, said Gillinder. She will have a more difficult existence than most canines. However, she is undoubtedly seeking adoption to find a forever home.