One afternoon a woman came to the Humane Society of New York to say that she no longer had time to take care of her dog. The woman was well-dressed, polite; the dog, she explained, was in her car parked out front; could we take the animal that day? Our shelter was filled as usual but we agreed to meet the dog so the woman led the way to a clean blue sedan and opened the door. The dog was there, motionless on the floor. At first it appeared to be dead. The woman said the dog was a poodle mix but the animal in the car was a shapeless heap of filthy mats until it lifted its head and tried to turn towards the open door. The dog couldn’t see because tangled hair, thick with discharge, was plastered to her eyes. “She needs surgery on both eyes” the woman offered but she wasn’t sure what kind. Although we were at capacity we knew we had to relieve this animal’s suffering so we took her in immediately. The photograph above shows Dixie about ten minutes after her arrival at the Society. At that point we’d already removed the painful mats over her eyes, which appear cloudy because of chronic irritation and infection.The picture also shows bilateral cherry eyes (abnormal out pouching of glands). It took our technicians two hours to shave the hardened mats covering Dixie. Once they were gone our doctors began treatment for bacterial infections of the skin and sores caused by chronic pulling of knotted hair. Initially the prognosis for her vision was not good. Our doctors found damage to the corneas due to years of almost no tear production, inflammation and worsening, untreated cherry eyes. With aggressive treatment, including surgery, Dixie surprised everyone, making a better-than-expected recovery. She was an excellent patient and one of the kindest dogs we have ever had the privilege to help. Today, after extensive rehabilitation the little poodle mix is a well-cared-for member of a loving family.