Dogs dramatic make over – from ball of carpet to perfect pooches

As the kennel supervisor at Hillside Animal Rescue in Norwich, I’d seen rescued animals in some pretty poor states…but never anything like this before.
‘You can’t even tell they’re dogs,’ I gasped as the volunteer approached with what looked like two bundles of old matted carpet.
They wouldn’t have looked out of place on a rubbish dump, their fur so matted and thick you couldn’t even see if they had eyes, legs or a tail.
If you searched hard enough you could just about make out a small brown nose – the only real clue as to what was underneath all that matted hair, entwined with carpet and debris.
But with no way of knowing what we’d find underneath – their prognosis was bleak.
Tears pricked as we rushed them straight to the vet. But it was impossible for them to treat the dogs – Towser and Bobby – without first trying to shave back some of their hair.
Because they were so distressed – neither could see nor likely hear because of the fur – they had to put to sleep first – we could only pray that they would make it.
As we waited for news I learned that Towser and Bobby had been found at the home of an elderly gentleman after he’d been taken into hospital.
But instead of feeling angry, I just felt sad when I heard how the dogs had been well cared for and loved until three years earlier when his wife had died.
It sounded as though he hadn’t been able to manage looking after them without her – but hadn’t wanted to give them up either  – perhaps his last link to her. It was heartbreaking for everyone.
But there was some hope at least when we heard that both Towser and Bobby had been shaved successfully.
We were relived to find that they both had all their limbs, a tail and eyes – we’d just not been sure before they’d been clipped.
But both had severe skin infections and more alarmingly the vets had noticed after clipping her that Towser’s stomach was oddly shaped and hard to touch.
But they’d have to wait before they could sedate her again to operate on her and find out why.
While Bobby recovered, Towser was taken into surgery and again we were warned it was touch and go for her.
Finally there was news…Towser had been suffering from bladder stones. The fur down below had been so heavily matted that the poor little thing hadn’t bee able to relive herself.
It meant the build op of urine that she hadn’t been able to pass had formed into heard stones in her bladder.
The vet had been astonished to remove more than 200 – the reason her stomach was so hard and distended.
‘Can you imagine the pain she would have been in,’ I gasped as my manger Wendy Valentine lay them all out and snapped a photo of the stones to show the rest of the staff.
Thankfully Towser came round from the surgery and was soon back at Hillside with Bobby where I could keep a close eye on them.
Because they’d gone from being so furry to bald I put them both in little coats to keep them warm.
Gradually over the week they both began to trust us. Towser had showed signs of being aggressive, but now it was clear it was just because she’d been so scared because she couldn’t see.
She preferred the safety and sanctuary of her crate – but I kept it in the staff room so she could enjoy lots of human company.
Meanwhile Bobby was brave enough to go for a walk and was soon playing and making friends with other dogs in the sanctuary.
We suspect that he’s the younger of the two, being around nine, while Towser is about 11.
We don’t know if they are related but they’ve certainly been brought up together and are really close.
We’re so proud of how well they’ve both done.
They came to Hillside looking like balls of carpet and it just under two weeks they’ve undergone such dramatic transformations you would never recognize them.
They bring a whole new meaning to the term fur babies.
We love them and hope to find them new adoptive parents who will dote on them as much as we do.
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