As This Abandoned Dog Cowered In The Corner Of Her Cage, A Veterinarian Made An Emotional Decision

After being mercilessly dumped on a country road, Graycie the dog was understandably frightened of everything. So when vet Andy Mathis found her cowering inside her cage one morning, he opened the door and made an emotional decision.

Granite Hills Animal Care is a veterinary clinic in Elberton, Georgia. And according to the establishment’s Facebook page, staff there aim to provide, “Compassionate care for four-legged family members.”

Vet Andy Mathis established the clinic in 1994. Growing up on a farm in southern Georgia, Mathis had been around animals his entire life. As a result, he appeared to have a deep understanding of, and compassion for, the creatures that roam our earth.

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Through his work, Mathis hoped to gift his patients with “long, healthy and happy” lives. On his website, the vet explains, “As a pet owner/parent, it’s what I want for my pets. They are family members. As a veterinarian, it’s what I want for your fur kids and family.”

However, Mathis’ compassion extended beyond just his paying customers. In fact, in 2016 when a woman found a dog in “bad shape, on a dirt road out in the country,” the vet took the animal into his care. And he went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that the pooch made a full recovery.

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Describing how the dog was found, in 2016 Mathis told ABC News, “She was dumped in the middle of nowhere. She had a collar, so she was owned by somebody at some point. Whoever was feeding her wasn’t feeding her enough. She was 20 pounds when we found her and probably should have weighed 30 to 35 pounds.”

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When the dog, later named Graycie, arrived at Granite Hills she was emaciated, hypothermic, anemic and dehydrated. She had also suffered a vaginal prolapse. In fact, Graycie was in such a state that Mathis feared he would have little choice but to put her down.

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However, the vet refused to give up on the dog and instead gave her chance to recover. During her first week at the clinic, Graycie made baby steps towards getting better. She began to eat and sleep a little, but she was still extremely nervous around people.

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Mathis decided that if Graycie was ever to make a full recovery, she would need to learn how to trust humans – especially those who were trying to help her. The vet had noticed his patient would only eat when she was alone in the room. So, he decided that meal time would be an ideal opportunity to try and bond with the reluctant pooch.

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So one morning Mathis poured himself some cereal in a dog bowl. He then climbed inside Graycie’s cage so that they could enjoy breakfast together. What’s more, the vet decided to film the encounter for his social media following.

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In the video, which Mathis shared on Facebook in 2016, the traumatized dog can be seen cowering in the corner with the vet beside her. However, Graycie soon plucks up the courage to eat some food from Mathis’ hand.

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The kind-hearted vet continues to hand-feed the dog, while simultaneously munching on his own breakfast. After a while, Graycie is confident enough to eat directly from the bowl. And as she laps up her food, she finally appears to be totally relaxed in Mathis’ presence.

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Towards the end of the video, Mathis reaches out to give Graycie a pat on the head. And the dog accepts the sign of affection without so much as a flinch. With a job well done, the vet takes a large glug of coffee and proudly watches the pup wolf down her breakfast.

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After wrapping up his filming, Mathis shared the video of his breakfast with Graycie online. And it didn’t take long for the footage to gain momentum on social media. In a matter of days, the video had clocked up more than six million views, much to the surprise of Mathis himself.

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In a follow-up post to his viral video, Mathis wrote on Facebook, “Wow! I take a nap for an hour or so, and come back to find Graycie’s video being shared and with lots of views. I’m flattered that you’d take the time to watch and share her video. Truly.”

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While Mathis was clearly taken aback by the reaction to Graycie’s story, he did appreciate the attention it garnered. “There [are] a lot of dogs like her out there, so by sharing her story it brings awareness [of] other pets [that] need homes,” the vet explained.

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As for Graycie, she still had a long road to recovery ahead of her. As a result, Mathis encouraged her new-found fans to donate money towards her treatment. In the meantime, the vet did his best to get the dog ready for adoption.

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Before Graycie would be ready for a family, though, she needed to overcome a number of hurdles. “She’s got to learn to trust people, walk on a leash, poop outside, figure out if she likes other dogs and cats,” Mathis told the HuffPost site in 2016.

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Unfortunately, more than two years after her rescue, Graycie remained at Granite Hills Animal Care. A urinary issue, as well as some remaining behavioral problems, meant that she was not yet ready for adoption. However, that’s not to say that she wasn’t happy.

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In fact, as one fan put it, Graycie had already found her family – and that was Mathis. “Graycie is home,” Sallye West wrote. “She is safe, well loved, well cared for and happy. She has her own room, and girlfriends to visit with. [The pooch] is in an environment that allows her to grow and be loved. [And although] she does not go outside, as long as Doc and staff are OK with that, we should be too.”

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