Dog Rescued From Near-Death Helps Pensioner, 69, Beat Lockdown Loneliness

December 17, 2020 Updated: January 20, 2021

A rescued dog that was on death’s door has made the perfect companion for a 69-year-old pensioner amid the lockdowns.

Felicity Hollings, from Norfolk, England, saved a cross-bred dog, Reuben, that was being eaten alive by microscopic mites when he was on the streets in Romania.

Epoch Times Photo
Reuben before rescue. (Caters News)

The elderly dog lover, who lives alone, praises her 2-year-old canine for keeping her company during the coronavirus lockdown.

“I was heartbroken when I saw a photo of Reuben on Facebook for the very first time,” Hollings said. “I couldn’t believe he was still alive.”

“He had really bad mange which left him without hair and covered in scabs,” she said.

Epoch Times Photo
(Caters News)

Hollings said she then donated some money toward the dog’s treatment. She also offered to foster the dog when he arrived in the UK.

“However, I instantly fell in love with his deep brown eyes and couldn’t let him go,” she said. “I adopted him after a week and I’m so glad I did.”

“Despite everything he has been through, he is so loving and trusting. All he wants to do is cuddle and play,” she added.

Calling her rescue dog an “eternal puppy,” Hollings said she would have been lonely without Reuben during the tough lockdown times.

“Reuben has kept me on my toes throughout lockdown. I don’t know what I would do without him,” she said.

Epoch Times Photo
Reuben after the rescue. (Caters News)

Reuben gave her an “excuse to get out” of the house during those tough times, she said. They go for walks daily, which Hollings says is a “great exercise” for both of them.

The dog was rescued by an animal charity based in the UK called REAN (Rescuing European Animals in Need). The charity relies solely on donations to cover the shelter and vet costs.

Reuben’s skin was treated in a local vet for US$474 (350 pound sterlings). He weighed roughly 22 pounds (approx. 10 kg) when he arrived in the UK in December 2019.

Epoch Times Photo
Felicity Hollings, 69, with Reuben (L). (Caters News)

Hollings said: “In England, they have nice shelters for the dogs with central heating, clean water, food, and beds. They’re looked after but the dogs abroad are on the streets and treated like vermin. It is unimaginable which is why I support the charity and foster when I can.”

Each dog that is rescued from Romania costs roughly US$396 (300 pound sterlings), Hollings said, adding that Reuben is worth every penny.

“I couldn’t believe how confident Reuben was when I first got him,” she said.

“He is like an eternal puppy who wishes he was a lap dog. He always tries to sit on me for a snuggle. I wouldn’t be without him.”

Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.