The rescuers who saved the dog from its first harrowing situation of the year broke their hearts in a new way.

The rescuers who saved the dog from its first harrowing situation of the year broke their hearts in a new way.

Rescuers with Stray Rescue of St. Louis (SRSL) are used to saving dogs from distressing circumstances. But a pup they met recently, who turned out to be their first rescue of the year, broke their hearts in a new way.

It was a cold and windy day in January when the team discovered an emaciated dog taking shelter in someone’s front yard. The painfully skinny pup leaned against the house’s foundation as he watched the rescue team approach. He was unsure of them at first glance, but he soon realized that they were there to help him.

“[H]e was just waiting for someone … anyone … to be kind to him and help him,” SRSL wrote on Facebook.

The rescue team, led by Donna Lochmann, approached the dog slowly, calling out words of encouragement to the little guy. When they were finally close enough to pet him, the dog melted into their arms.

“We walked up to him, and he instantly came to us, so thankful someone finally stopped to help him,” SRSL wrote in a separate Facebook post.

SRSL couldn’t tell just how long he’d been surviving on his own, but they knew one thing for sure: The dog was as sweet as could be. Despite being abandoned and starving, the pup, later named Nico New Beginnings, was eager to give and receive love.

Lochmann showered the baby with cuddles and affirmations before attempting to take him back to her Jeep. The team initially thought they’d have to coax the boy to the car with the help of a leash, as they do with most of their rescues. But they were surprised to learn that Nico didn’t need any convincing at all.

“We didn’t even need a leash, he let us pick him up and put him right [into] the rescue Jeep,” SRSL wrote.

Lochmann drove Nico to SRSL’s headquarters, where he underwent an immediate medical evaluation. That’s when the team realized that he was only 32 pounds — half of what he should’ve weighed.

Due to his weight, the emaciated pup would need to be put on a feeding schedule, but he was otherwise healthy. And he soaked up every ounce of affection the team gave him. It wasn’t long before he developed a reputation for being obsessed with cuddles.

“If you open his doors, he just shoots out into your arms at lightning speed,” SRSL wrote on Facebook. “[H]e just can’t get close enough to us.”

The team kept an eye on Nico at their headquarters until they felt he was healthy enough to continue treatment in a foster home. Luckily, an adoring foster family stepped in right away to help Nico, and he’s been thriving in their care ever since.

The little guy still has a long road to recovery ahead, but he’s improving every day.

“He’s been slowly and safely gaining weight in his foster home,” SRSL wrote. “His foster mom says his favorite thing to do is give kisses! He’s the sweetest angel boy!”

Today, Nico can be found wearing one of many cozy sweaters in his foster home. His puppy-like personality is blossoming more each day, and he continues to be happier than ever before.

SRSL hopes to find Nico a permanent home as soon as he reaches a healthy weight again, but for now, they’re ecstatic to see him happy and thriving in a warm, loving home.

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