A neglected dog who arrived at a rescue centre with fur so matted it “looked like an Ewok” has been rehomed after being given a makeover.
Rupert, an 11-year-old Shih-Tzu was found wandering the streets after being abandoned and was in such a bad state that he could barely see.
Staff at the Blue Cross animal charity said he looked more like a Star Wars Ewok than a dog when he arrived at their rehoming centre in Burford, Oxon on November 1.
But after a two hour grooming session to shave off his thick dreadlocks Rupert was totally transformed and looked like a new dog.
And it took the adorable pooch just 13 days before he won the hearts of David and Doreen Connop who saw a photo of him online and “instantly fell in love.”
The couple offered Rupert a new home and he now lives with them in their retirement village in Bromyard, Herefordshire.
Gran-of-six Doreen, 70, said: “The photo of him where he looked like an Ewok was dreadful, absolutely dreadful. I was very sad for what he’d been through.
“He’s a lovely little dog. He’s been brilliant. We wouldn’t part with Rupert for anything, he’s just gorgeous.
It’s so upsetting to see how much he must have suffered before coming to us, but that will never happen again. For the rest of his life he will only know love.
“He is a very special little dog and we feel very lucky that he is ours.
“He’s put on a bit of weight now and his fur is lovely. He’s spoilt but in a good way. He wakes up when he wants and loves the garden and being outside.
“It feels like we’d done such a nice thing having an old dog.
“For an older couple like us it means we’re not committing ourselves to 15 years or more, and the fact that people don’t want older dogs and they just sit in kennels with nobody to love them is just horrific.”
Husband David, 71, a retired carpenter, added: “He’s like a puppy sometimes – he’s like lightning when he runs. I take him for a walk every morning.
“He definitely gets us out more which is important as I have to keep moving because of the problems I have with my leg.
“And as soon as I start putting my socks on he knows he’s getting a walk.
“He spent two weeks glued to the side of the television after watching a dog rescue programme – he thought the dogs were in there, he just couldn’t work it out.”
The Blue Cross said when Rupert first arrived at the centre his fur was so filthy, badly overgrown and matted that they struggled to tell what gender or breed he was.
Rupert, who was unchipped, also spent a week in a council pound after being found wandering the streets barely able to see through the clumps of fur covering his face.
Laura Crofts, from the Blue Cross, said: “Poor Rupert was in such a story state when he arrived with us.
“It was an appalling case of neglect, and we were worried that his little soul would be shattered.
“But as soon as he was groomed and cleaned up, and he realised that he was safe, we saw the bubbly, happy and affectionate dog he was.
“He just loves to be around people and he made us all smile here at the centre.
“We’re so pleased that he found such a wonderful home with Doreen and David.
“He really did deserve a happy ending and that’s exactly what he has found.”