Living in a kennel in a backyard shed. No toy and no bone. No food and no water. Lying in a pile of her own feces, scared and alone.
When twin sisters Ashley and Brooke Gibbons found "Arctic" in a backyard shed on July 7, she was smelly, dirty and trembling.
"I led my sister and friend to the back shed and opened it. The smell made us all step back. We opened the kennel and Arctic wouldn't come out. She was terrified," said Ashley.
The girls made attempts to lure Arctic out of the kennel.
"I stuck my hand in the kennel and she snarled and barred her teeth. After a few minutes, she looked up at me and I told her she was okay," said Ashley. "She sniffed my hand and started walking out, practically jumping in my lap."
Once Arctic was out, the girls were made aware of the full extent of her abuse.
Arctic had a broken leg, sores all over her body from living in her own excrement as well as being malnourished. She also had behavioural issues stemming from months of abuse.
The dog's previous owners were friends of Ashley's, who had two other dogs and a child. Ashley said the owners had told her that Arctic was beginning to show signs of aggression and had bitten their child, so they began kennelling her.
Arctic's owners moved back to Ontario, without the dog. Ashley said she was made aware of the dog via text message.
"I received a text that said 'she's in the shed. Go get her.'," she said.
Since they had rescued Arctic, the dog has improved every day. Brooke has been looking after Arctic at her home, where she gets the attention she needs.
"She's on a high calorie diet and eats three times a day. We go to the dog park regularly to build muscle in her leg," said Brooke. "There's always someone around. The last thing we want to do is have her think she's being abandoned again."
Arctic is a timid dog but warms up to people quickly. Although she is only in her first year of life, and having gone through an abusive living situation, Ashley and Brooke say it hasn't seemed to affect her personality.
"She's a super sweet dog and likes to play. She's doing extremely well," said Brooke. "I don't understand how someone could treat a dog like that. Once she was out of the shed, she growled a bit, but then showed so much love, it was unbelievable."
The twins are in the process of helping Arctic find a good home as both girls have dogs of their own.
Arctic should be in a home that will make her a member of their family - which is what every dog deserves more than anything. She deserves a home filled with memories of pure love, and warmth, and good food, and fun. And the time before doesn't count at all.