The UK’s ‘unluckiest’ dog has found a new home – after five years at an animal shelter.Star, a seven-and-a-half-year-old Staffie, was found by police tied up behind a derelict building in July 2013. He’s spent most of his life living at the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home after being rescued.
When he was found, he was underweight and showed signs of neglect, with nails so long they curled underneath the pad of his paw.
His story captured the hearts of millions through a desperate appeal to find him a home.
Over the years, the home’s staff worked tirelessly to help Star recover from his physical ailments and heal his mental scars.And now staff, who dubbed Star the UK’s unluckiest dog, said he has found a home with Graeme Webb, a professional photographer from Hawick, Scottish Borders. Graeme said: ‘After seeing Star on social media, and seeing he was still available after thousands and thousands of views, I thought to myself, “why is no one taking him?”, so I decided I’d go and see him for myself.
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‘When I saw how happy and friendly he was, I decided he was the one for me.’Following several visits with Star, the Home’s kennel staff were convinced it was a perfect match.
Graeme added: ‘When he arrived “home” he was a bit stressed, so that first night I slept on the sofa and Star slept on his bed next to the sofa.
‘Since then I’ve slept in my own bed and Star has claimed the sofa as his.
‘He settled in quite quickly really.
‘After a few days, he was more relaxed, but he is still reactive to other dogs, so we’ve been avoiding them as much as possible.
‘The only real issue I had was in my gallery where I have floor-to-ceiling windows.
‘Star would react to dogs walking past and wouldn’t settle, so I bought some opaque window film and put it along the bottom of the windows.
‘That instantly settled him down as he feels there is now a barrier between him and the other dogs.’
Graeme said Staffies often get a bad rap, but says any animal can behave badly if mistreated.
He said: ‘Star is such a friendly, happy, loving dog who wants company and cuddles all the time.
Stay consistent with training, play time and rest time for your pets so they don’t get too overwhelmed. Your calm and consistent demeanor will help your pet to understand that they can trust you. Once you earn their trust, understand the schedule, and feel secure in their safe place, both of your lives will be much easier.
‘Yes, he’s strong and he does react to other dogs, but you just have to be aware of that and understand why.
‘It’s a shame that whatever happened to him previously has caused him to react the way he does.
‘It’s a case of understanding his needs and working with him.
‘There’s nothing like the greeting I get when I walk down the stairs in the morning.
‘Eating is his favourite thing to do.
‘He also loves playing with a football, so we are either out in the back garden, or we go to a freedom field close by, where he can run around as much as he wants off the lead.’
Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home, director of operations, Lindsay Fyffe-Jardine, said: ‘Everyone at the Home couldn’t be happier that Star has finally found his forever family.
‘To see the way he looks at his new dad with such trust and love makes the long search for Star worth it.’