Daniel and his boyfriend Max were walking their dog Mekko when they came across a frantic woman who had found the creature you see above about to be cornered by police in Brooklyn and taken to animal control, where he likely would have been euthanized. The woman thought she might have recognized the dog as a pet from the neighborhood and stepped in, offering to take the dog so that the police wouldn’t.
She wanted to know if Daniel and Max recognized the dog — they didn’t — and she explained that she needed to get her infant home and couldn’t possibly keep the pup. She was planning to just leave him tied to the fence there, hoping his owner would walk past and see him. Daniel offered to take him instead, but realized while walking the dirty dog home that he may have gotten himself into a bit of a situation.
Daniel took the dog home and came to realize what a terrible condition he was in. He writes “it would have been difficult to even decipher this being as a dog at all—more like a pungent clump of matted fur with filthy street waste and poop clinging to its peripheries. When you have a weakness for dogs like I do, there’s something intensely heartbreaking about seeing stuff like this.”
Daniel sat down with the little white mess and groomed the pup himself, which took seven straight hours. During this bonding process, he found out the character of the pup he had undertaken. Daniel writes “this little pile of matted fur was kind, and sweet, and seemed to know that something good was happening to him. He seemed to trust me. About halfway through, when his head and the front half of his body were mostly uncovered, he began to lick my face and hands manically, as if suddenly possessed. Little gremlin-dog was becoming unearthed, and he was being super cute about it.”
There was a problem: Daniel and Max had adopted their first dog only six months earlier, and they didn’t see themselves as a two dog household. They decided to take the little dog to a shelter, but they got him checked out at a vet first. The vet said this little guy was between 9 - 11 years old and needed dental surgery, bad. None of the no-kill shelters would take a dog that old and in that condition.
Daniel and Max needed a solution because they were planning to leave for France for a long vacation and they definitely couldn’t keep this dog. Luckily, their friend Anna’s mom stepped in and generously offered to pet sit the dog during their extended trip, providing a “short term” solution to what was going to be a long term “problem.” Anna’s mom, Kristina, named the little dog Linus. The name would stick.
When Daniel and Max returned from France, the inevitable happened — of course. Maybe they could handle two dogs after all? Maybe the expensive dental surgery that Linus needed would be completely worth it? They had the surgery done — fifteen teeth pulled! — had the little dog neutered, and brought him home. Their dog Mekko spent the first few days pretending that Linus didn’t exist, but warmed up eventually. Now the two are best buds and adorable cuddlers.
Daniel writes, “And Linus is just the sweetest. He is my little shadow around the apartment and is so absurdly cuddly (Mekko is pretty cuddly, too, so I spend a lot of time cuddling now). Like a very tiny little old man in a lamb costume is how I like to think of him.”