A picture is worth a thousand words - and one picture of rescue dog Henley indeed speaks volumes. One look at this dog and you feel an immediate sore in your chest. The most obvious thing is poor Henley's fear. Henley was afraid - terrified, in fact.
And the thing that terrified him most? Men.
But one day one man came along who wanted to make a change in Henley's life. And at first, Henely dared not even look at his rescuer...
No one really knows how the 4-year-old dog's life began. But once at a North Caroline shelter, it became clear that Henley was terrified of men. Clearly, a man had hurt him badly in the past.
Henley had been horribly treated, then left to basically rot in his doghouse. He had deep marks around his neck from the chain that had grown into his skin. He had desperately tried to free himself from the rope. He was excrutiatingly skinny and had parasites.
But Henley was lucky. Just days before he was to be euthanized at the shelter, he was grabbed by staff from Rescue Dogs Rock NYC and moved to a foster home in New York.
Henley was flown to New York. Pilot Paul Steklenski from Flying Fur Animal Rescue offered to fly him in his aircraft, specially adapted to transport dogs. The only problem was that Paul was, of course, a man. Henley froze with fear as soon as he saw the man.
"It was the most difficult transport experience I've ever had," Paul told The Dodo. "To have a dog, a pup, so abused, so tortured, that you couldn't comfort him before the flight — it's the absolute worst feeling anyone in transport will know."
They managed to get Henley onto the plane. Once in New York, Paul unloaded Henley and continued on his way. But when he turned around, he saw Henley sitting there looking out at him, seeming to be grateful for Paul's gesture.
Paul couldn't get that image out of his head.
A few weeks later, he decided to visit Henley in his new foster home. He was hoping the dog would remember him and understand that he would never harm him.
And he did.
Not only did he not fear Paul, he was ecstatic to see him! He'd at last understood that all men were not evil.
"Now he looks amazing," Paul says. "He's got a great foster home."
Henley is certainly in good hands at last and hopefully, he will soon have his very own forever home.
Good luck little Henley!