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Changing one’s name can signify a big change in someone’s life. It can mean a fresh start, a new family, or a promise of a better life. That was what happened to this four-year-old border collie who is now known as ZIB.

ZIB was once a neglected dog at a shelter in Claremore, Oklahoma, where he was known as Kong. Back then, he suffered from a painful skin disease and severe sunburn that he could not be touched. Luckily, the Border Collie Rescue & Rehab in Prosper, Texas, took him in and helped him get back to health. On their website, the shelter identified Kong as #387.

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However, for Curtis Hartsell, the name of the little white dog wearing a big smile and curious eyes did not matter. Upon looking at #387’s profile with one photo and a description, Curtis immediately fell in love. He talked to the pup’s foster mom, who told him about his temperament and personality. Curtis also shared a little bit about his life, and she said that it seemed like they were a perfect match.

Curtis, who works as a cyber threat intelligence analyst in Little Elm, Texas, initially worried if his active lifestyle would fit with owning a dog. However, something inside made him feel that things would work out. After applying, Curtis kept asking for daily updates. He felt that the pup was his from the very start and the shelter was only helping them reunite.

Several interviews and a home visit later, Curtis’ application was approved. On the big day, the fur dad decided to give the dog a fresh start by giving him a new name. Instead of Kong/#387, Curtis called his pup ZIB, after the famous Soviet space dog.

Curtis explained that the name was fit for his dog because like the original one, ZIB was once a lost dog. Someone rescued and nurtured him back to health, and the two of them are off to the stars together.

When the two of them actually met for the first time, Curtis got down in front of the pup before asking him if he wanted to come home with him. Then, Curtis told him that he will call him ZIB, to which he seemed to agree. ZIB looked into Curtis’ eyes, hugged him, and bowed his head. Curtis said that he will never forget that moment.

Now ZIB lives happily with his new loving dad. From someone who could not stand getting pets because of so much pain, he now can’t get enough of his dad’s touches and cuddles. However, ZIB’s life was not the only one that changed exponentially. For Curtis, it was ZIB who saved him, and for that, there is nothing he would not do for the pup.

Credit: Curtis Hartsell

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Cathy D. Evans
Life-long fan of all dogs including Finnegan pictured here. He's a Chinook about a year old with the most wonderful personality. Please enjoy this dog website and its content. “Dogs don’t rationalize. They don’t hold anything against a person. They don’t see the outside of a human but the inside of a human.” —Cesar Millan (dog trainer)

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