A six-week-old pup covered in hot oil in Thailand suffered severe burns to her face before being rescued by volunteers.
Just weeks after Yvonne Porter’s mum suddenly passed away, the 57-year-old fell in love with the abused dog online, and was one of thousands of people who applied to give her a home.
Now, Yvonne, from Stourbridge, West Midlands, has shared how the life-changing dog – named Molly – helped her grieve for her mum, and gave her something to focus on.
She said: “My mum just went to bed and never woke up. She’d had a bad heart since she was a little girl, but I took her death really hard and was suffering from depression.
“I was away for work when I got a phone call from my dad crying. I thought my cat had died, but my boyfriend told me it was my mum.
“Molly was the best thing that happened because I had to focus on something.”
Molly was rescued by Soi Dog Foundation, an animal rescue charity operating from Phuket, Thailand.
The pup spent five months recovering from her burns in their kennels before flying out to the UK to live with Yvonne.
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She added: “I’d been following Soi Dog for a long time and I needed something to take my mind off everything else and she certainly did.
“There were times where I thought ‘Jesus, what have I done?’. I’d never had a rescue and at times it was really hard.
“She was such a scared little puppy. The first two nights she howled so loud you must have heard her miles away. She wouldn’t sleep and was walking around all night and scratching. We couldn’t get near her, and she made no eye contact with us at all.
“Slowly each day she came closer to us, and one night while we were watching TV, we heard a scratch at the door and she just came in and sat on the sofa opposite us but still wouldn’t look at us.
“It was a big step and I could have cried! From that day she started to bloom.”
Molly wouldn’t leave the house for six months, and is still terrified of bikes and prams with wheels – likely as a result of the oil being tipped on her by a vendor.
Yvonne said: “On her first walk, we only got as far as the corner of our street; she was shaking so bad we came back. Each day we did a little bit more. It was about four months before she started to walk properly, but she was still so nervous and quite often we had to come home.”
But now, you can’t get the pup out of the pub, where she loves meeting new people and getting lots of attention.
The 57-year-old events freelancer said: “She soon discovered the pub where she met lots of other dogs and realised she had lots of treats there, so she is a real pub dog now. Each day her personality grew. She is such a gentle, loving dog. She has lots of holidays and loves the beach. It was hard work but worth it.
“Sometimes she dreams and cries and touches her face where she was burnt, and it’s heartbreaking.
“She’s the most beautiful loving dog but it took us years to get her where she is now.”