When Valia Orfanidou saw a picture of a skeletal dog on Facebook, she was convinced it was from a horror movie. The dog in the photo was covered in mange, and he was so thin you could see each of his ribs. The dog was living next to a railroad station in Greece, and it was clear that he was not going to live long. Valia decided that she would try to nurse this poor dog back to health.
Two volunteers traveled seventy kilometers to get the dog, who Valia later named Billy. Billy was scared, but he quietly went with the rescuers. The volunteers and Valia met up that night at a veterinarian’s office in Athens. When Valia saw Billy, she was shocked at how sick he looked, and she was sure the vet would say that they should put him to sleep.
To Valia’s surprise, when the vet examined Billy, he said that the pup was simply suffering from a very contagious but treatable form of mange. So Valia took Billy home and quarantined him in one of her bathrooms. Billy was still nervous, but he laid down on a blanket and ate the food that Valia put out for him. Then, the exhausted pup slept for hours.
Over the next couple of weeks, Billy’s mange healed, and he slowly became more and more comfortable at Valia’s house. He ate four times a day, and when he wasn’t eating, he was usually sleeping.