BRADENTON--Seeing Axel run into her arms is a moment his new foster mom thought she may never see.
"His face looks amazing [and] the scars are minimal," said Trisha Antonelli, who will foster Axel for the next few weeks, "by the time he's two and a half he's not going to have any scars possibly."
Back in November, Axel was found with gaping, infected head wounds, after someone mutilated him with what authorities think was axe.
However since then, his wounds have healed nicely; it's progress vets were hoping he would make.
"He's doing awesome," said Dr. Luke Berglund, "obviously he had some problems when he came in, but he's healed up really nice."
Axel's first stop after leaving the vet was, of course, the Lucky Dog Cafe in Bradenton.
Owners there shared his story online, leading Axel to become quite the internet sensation.
"Right after we got the call we set up the Facebook page and within the first twenty-four hours we were viral," said owner Sheri Clinard, "we've had posts from Finland, Switzerland, England, Spain, South America, and all over the U.S."
And while Axel's physical wounds have mostly healed, it's going to take a lot longer to heal the emotional wounds of those who've come to love him.
"Its really heart-wrenching to see such a loving dog be hurt so bad," said Erin Bloch.
And while they say that time heals all, Antonelli knows a lot of puppy love can only speed up the process.
"He just needs time, somebody to slow down and show him what's expected of him and how to be a good dog," she said.