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Top Happy Ending of 2012: Dora the Shih Tzu

Thursday, December 27, 2012 - 3:45pm
4 shih tzus being held

As 2012 draws to a close, we’re thinking back on some of our favorite rescue stories of the year. One of them has to be Dora’s.

On a chilly day last holiday season, the ASPCA rescued Dora, a starving, matted little Shih Tzu with a severely injured tail. Back then, she was weak, terrified and emaciated. 

But slowly, Dora began to gain weight and strength. She started to gain confidence, too, and as 2012 began, Dora’s spirited personality started to shine through.

That’s when world-renowned designer and architect Robert Couturier learned about Dora. A steadfast ASPCA supporter with three Shih Tzus of his own, he was deeply moved by her story. Within a week, he became her new foster parent.

“She slept in my arms the whole time on the way home,” Robert remembers. “It was as if she could finally sleep, and that she knew nothing bad was ever going to happen to her anymore.”

At his Connecticut country house, Robert introduced Dora to his boyfriend, Jeffrey, who fell in love with her immediately. Then he gave Dora a toy. She took it to her crate and looked at him with wide, cautious eyes, as if to ask: Is it OK for me to keep something of my very own?

“Of course it’s OK,” Robert told her, his heart breaking a little. He scooped her up and carried her with him all evening, just as he does now whenever they are together.

These days, Dora sleeps between her guardians’ pillows and enjoys playing with her favorite canine sibling: five-year-old Hercule, who fell head over heels for her the first day they met. “He’s her knight,” Robert jokes.

In October, Robert and Jeffrey adopted Dora. That makes it official: For the first time in her young life, Dora was home for the holidays.

If Robert’s acts of kindness don’t melt your heart, we don’t know what will. We’re so glad these two found each other!

If you’d like to help animals like Dora—those who are still out there, waiting to be saved—please give to the ASPCA here. (Psst: Give before January 1 and you’ll snag a last-minute tax break.)

And if you’ve got a great 2012 rescue story of your own, tell us in the comments!