May 12, 2015 12:31 PM EDT


Pegasus the Great Dane puppy was born into the cruel system of backyard breeding. Weak and disabled, she was rescued from that world at just 4 weeks old, reports The Dodo.

Due to the numerous health complications that come with reckless breeding, Pegasus and the other puppies were given a short life expectancy. Sadly, Pegasus’ brothers and sisters did die, but she continued to live on.

One of her rescuers, Dave Meinert, decided to take the tiny pup under his wing. Others warned Meinert that Pegasus would likely die young or grow to be deaf and blind, but the animal lover was determined to help the puppy live life to the fullest.

“For me, she had already been born. Nothing was going to change that,” Meinert told The Dodo. “By rescuing her, at least I could be certain she’d be looked after and not discarded or left to die like many of these dogs when the problems start.”

To help document this journey with his new furry friend, Meinert, with help from an animal therapist, filmed Pegasus using a treadmill for five months, which he calls The Pegasus Project. The treadmill helps the puppy overcome some of her disabilities, while the video allows us to watch this beautiful dog grow.

Today, Pegasus is alive and thriving. While she will have some extra obstacles in her life due to her harsh beginnings, this pup appears to be handling them in stride.

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