16-Pound Belgian Malinois Makes Phenomenal Recovery

“Her will to live was amazing and I felt a connection with her the moment I saw her,” dog rescuer Eduardo Rodriguez explained. “We’re inseparable now.”



When Barilla, or Spaghetti, was found, she was staring death in the face.  Just a puppy, she had been so badly starved that every major bone in her body was jutting through her skin – she only weighed 16 pounds. But with love and care, she is now a completely different dog – healthy and absolutely exuberant…. and adopted.

Eduardo Rodriguez, the owner of a rescue center in Granada, Spain, fell in love with the skeletal, 10-month-old puppy as soon as she was brought in.  She got the name Barilla because her legs were like noodles.  She was so deprived of nutrients that she could no longer support even her frail frame.  She eagerly scarfed down some kibble.

“She’d been so starved of food and water when we took her in that all she could move was her head and her tail,”  Rodriguez said. “She didn’t have any muscle mass.  I’ve been rescuing dogs since I was a child and I’m used to seeing them in a bad way but I’ve never seen an animal in such a terrible state as Barilla.”


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“The vet said we were lucky we got her when we did because she might not have survived another night. We put her on a drip for six hours before we started feeding her.  We made her a type of harness to help her walk so she could gain muscle mass because she couldn’t support her own weight.”

It is very likely that Barilla has spent her whole life locked up, and has been purposely starved for at least several months.  Because she is not microchipped and no one has come forward to claim her, finding her abuser will be difficult, but police are trying.

Over the last few months, Spaghetti has put on weight.  She had so longed for a human’s love, and now she is receiving it – in abundance.  Today she’s like a new dog, and Rodriguez has even decided to adopt her.


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“I’ve got five dogs at home with Barilla, but she’s the first proper companion I’ve had since my old pet boxer Turco died in an accident five years ago. Her will to live was amazing and I felt a connection with her the moment I saw her.

“Her recovery has been staggering. From the third or fourth day she was eating five or six times a day and putting on two pounds a day in weight. She’s now up to 46 pounds and is on the road to a full recovery.

“I look back at photos of her after we rescued her and pictures of her now and she looks like a different dog.  We’re inseparable now. She’s so intelligent and obedient. The first day I saw her I told my colleagues I was going to keep her and that’s the way it’s been.”


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67 thoughts on “16-Pound Belgian Malinois Makes Phenomenal Recovery

  1. Wow, this is an amazing story! What a recovery. She is such a beautiful girl! Really shows you how resilient and strong dogs can be.

  2. How heartbreaking that this sweet dog was so mistreated. Her recovery is amazing. Those who made this possible are saints in my book.

  3. What an amazing recovery. She is absolutely gorgeous. 16 lbs. what an evil monster to do this to this beautiful girl. So glad she was found in time.

  4. Sorry for this awful experience babygirl…but look at you now..real love and grit..you are gorgeous! And to the humans that loved her through it..you are wonderful.

  5. we have an adopted Belgian Malinois mix… he is a wonderful boy, but potential owners must know what they r getting into with this breed and any other high energy working breed dog

  6. Ironically I was watching this video as a cycling instructor who rescues dogs – our newest edition came in as a 10 lb. pitbull mix Mom. She’s now 30 pounds, happy, healthy and very social. The irony comes in that I had the song ‘I Will Survive’ playing as I watched this and it warmed my heart knowing the love we give to these creatures and how they show just that. Thank you all for what you do for our four legged babies and keys keep doing our work for the voiceless innocent cause’ with us – they will survive!!!

  7. Wow!! What the hell is wrong with ppl???! This is absolutely disgusting! Why would anyone intentionally starve an innocent t animal…I sincerely hope the bastards who did this r caught and PUNISHED to the fullest extent of the law. Shame on whoever did this!! May God have pity on ur soul!!

  8. Laurie Nelson Reibenstein: I’m assuming this is the dog you were telling me about. I didn’t open it because I don’t want to cry this early in the morning!

  9. Hey Justine Frease Kocherer I know a woman moving across country from Milw she has a four yr old German Shepard that cannot go with if you know anyone looking to adopt …

  10. I want to just beat the shit out of the person that would something like that to such a beautiful animal,,, plus I think she has a GREAT name….

  11. How can you sick people do this shit to these animals
    My pets our my world I would give up anything and make myself go with before them
    Seeing thing s like this just breaks my heart that a poor puppy has to go through this she didn’t pick this
    My god

  12. There will be NO MERCY for those who have not shown Mercy to others and that includes animals. But if you have been Merciful, God Will be Merciful when he judges you. – James 2:13

  13. I have a Belgian Malinois. They are gorgeous, strong, loyal, wonderful, loving dogs. How in the world could someone do this to a pup or any dog? Thanks God Barilla is ok and with humans that will make sure she never suffers like that again.

  14. I would love if the person that did this was treated the same way. I would even volunteer to starve their ass myself. Belgians are my favorite breed being a former dog handler of a Belgian.

  15. I just rescued a puppy who came to my doorstep. After this week’s Houston floods many pets that were tied up on back yards ended up drowning and on the streets the ones who managed to ran away and are now wondering on the streets. I cant imagine any dog or animal go through any kind of trauma. Yet people leave behind defenseless poor dogs to Gods Mercy. I pray that many people take matters in their hands to give a second chance to these angels.

    As for “Estrellita” the puppy who appeared at my doorstep hungry infested with fleas, one blind eye and lacerations. She will be my angel for now until i find her a good for ever home.

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