When Rupert arrived in our care, his fur was so badly overgrown and matted that we couldn’t even tell what gender or breed he was.
The poor boy had been found wandering the streets alone, confused and barely able to see through the filthy clumps of fur covering his little face. All the knots pulling tightly on his skin must have been causing pain too.
What a relief it must have been for the shih tzu when he was finally clipped and bathed. But he then had to spend a week all by himself in the council pound to see if anyone claimed him - nobody did.
Always safe now
And so Rupert, who is about 11 years old, returned to our Burford rehoming centre in Oxfordshire which set about finding him a home where he would always be safe.
Within days, David and Doreen Connop came across Rupert’s profile on our website. They struck up an instant bond with him when they visited the centre, and soon took him home.
The couple had been feeling lost after the death of their elderly dog Herbie, also a shih tzu, and wanted another pet to help mend their broken hearts.
Rupert has done exactly that, and in return, the Connops have taught him what it means to be truly loved.
“He’s our life”, said Doreen. “We wouldn’t part with him for anything, he’s just gorgeous.”
The couple, who are both in their 70s, were adamant that they wanted to rehome an older dog, a decision they say is filled with reward.
He’s our life. We wouldn’t part with him for anything, he’s just gorgeous.” Owner, Doreen Connop
“We were absolutely devastated when Herbie died. We only rehomed him three years earlier but we just felt that we’d done such a nice thing having an old dog. For the time we had him he wanted for nothing,” Doreen said.
“So we thought we’d do it again and that’s how Rupert came along. I’d choose an old dog any day. 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.”
Rupert took no time at all to settle into his new home in a Herefordshire retirement village, where he’s not just a hit with his owners but also the other residents he meets and greets on his daily strolls.