An elderly, hairless and blind dog who struggled to find a new home because potential adopters thought she was 'ugly' has found true love in Bedfordshire.
The hairless Chinese crested dog was rescued by RSPCA inspectors in Essex earlier this year and made headlines when the charity admitted that potential adopters were put off by her 'unusual' looks, and that some had said she was 'too ugly' to adopt.
Craig Horsler, senior supervisor at Danaher Animal Home in Braintree said:
But 28-year-old Rio Maye from Wilstead in Bedfordshire, says that for her, it was love at first sight.
She adopted the dog, named her Morticia, and set up an instagram account to show off her and Rio's other dog - a chihuahua named Pea.
Rio says she wants to raise awareness of the joy of adopting older pets.
Rio said: “Morticia settled in straight away, she was so thrilled with her new bed that she dived straight into it and rolled around in joy.
“We introduced her to Pea - her new best friend - and our horses. She spends lots of her time pottering through the fields and loves to walk through the hills and woods.
“She is almost completely blind but she listens to me talking to her and when I call for her she is incredibly alert. She has memorised the furniture and snack station but does have the occasional stare at a wall thinking it's a window - we try not to giggle!
“Mort loves nothing more than being right beside me, she follows me everywhere and when I return home from work she is overcome with excitement that she throws her paws in the air and jumps for me to pick her up and cuddle her!
“I take Mort everywhere with me and have recently purchased a pushchair as some days we can be out for hours. She loves the pushchair and we recently found ourselves at a festival where she enjoyed watching the band from the comfort of her shaded pram!
“She sleeps with me in my bed and is often spooning Pea. They are incredible friends as they both enjoy the quieter life.
“Morticia has a love for life that extends to everyone. I really am the luckiest person to have found her and hope for many more years of happiness. She's a huge part of my little family and we make sure every day is spent living life to the fullest.”
Rio added that her love of Morticia and Pea has given her life a new mission - to promote the rehoming of senior dogs.
The RSPCA hopes Morticia’s story will help to highlight the quality of life blind dogs can have this #InternationalBlindDogDay (23 August). The day was launched in 2017 by Cambridgeshire dog-lover Sarah Horne and her blind Jack Russell terrier Shammy.