Remember a little dog named Axle? He got his unusual name after getting attacked with an axe, and was left to die in Bradenton. He was rescued and vets put him back together.
He looks great now, but his injuries were so severe, we couldn't even show you them on television.
Axle leaves his foster family and returns to the Manatee County animal shelter Wednesday, where you can see him in person or online -- and maybe, make him your new best friend.
"That's it! Heel! There ya' go! Good boy! Good boy!," said dog trainer and foster mom Trisha Antonelli, the owner of Dawg Phonics. To see Axle in motion, running with her at a good clip, is nothing short of a miracle.
Axle is a 2-year-old Amstaff Terrier with a hint of pit bull mixed in, who weathered an unbelievably cruel attack a few months ago.
Today, Axle has seams from the stitches that are still visible on his forehead, between his eyes, and on his legs. And today, Axle is healed and happy.
"He's so lucky he doesn't have any breathing problems, no brain damage, no sight damage," said Antonelli. "He see and smells everything fine, only cute thing he has is a little old man snore when he sleeps, but it's really cute."
Antonelli owns and runs a canine training school called Dawg Phonics and has been fostering and coaching him. Axle even earned his doggy diploma back in January.
"He knows come, sit stay, down, heel, off, he's competely house trained," Antonelli said.
This graduate's also off-leash trained, staying within a foot and a half of Antonelli, unless she "frees" him.
"Axle be free! C'mon bubba!," said Antonelli, which sent Axle running toward her with his tongue wagging. He loves to run and be challenged.
"He's a dog that needs to be working and he likes to work," said Antonelli. "If not, he gets in trouble, just like kids."
So the ideal owner is somebody active, who wants to own only one dog.
"But a lot of people interested in him have multiple dogs and that's not a good environment for him," Antonelli explained.
Axle wears his 'Adopt Me' vest and has become an internet sensation in Manatee County.
"He's been quite the celebrity," she laughed.
The response to Axle online has been amazing. Everybody is interested in the outcome and how his progress has been, how his obedience is going. They love him, but nobody's interested in actually taking him home she said, so we need to get him a good forever home.
"He could possibly be your new best friend!," she said rubbing his ears.
If you'd like to adopt Axle, you have to fill out an application and there is a screening process. You can find the application at: http://mymanateenokill.org/
And to learn more about Axle's training during his foster period, click on this link: www.dawgphonics.com