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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

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Can someone give Tala a loving home?

Tala the Labrador cross looks like any other cherished family pet as she plays happily with her owners.

But this loveable dog’s survival is down to the love and dedication of a Cumbrian couple who overcame tough odds to give her the life she now has.

It is almost a year since Karen Stephens and George Fulford first saw a very different Tala.

Emaciated and terrified, she had been thrown from a car on to the main road to Paphos Airport in Cyprus.

The couple, enjoying a holiday on the island, believe Tala had been used by breeders and then callously discarded.

But Karen, 63, won the stray over by offering her biscuits and then the couple handed Tala into a local animal rescue centre on the island.

They were so touched by her plight that they went through the long and expensive process to bring Tala back to their home at Raughton Head, near Dalston.

A year on from her ordeal, Tala is barely recognisable as the timid dog she was.

But as George is now battling lung cancer, the couple want to find her a new long-term home.

“She’s absolutely gorgeous,” said the retired engineer. “She was all ribs, and had a rough nylon cord that was tightly embedded around her neck. She was very frightened and hungry.

“We got her over her in April and while she was still frightened she has become fabulously happy living with us.”

Gradually, Tala’s confidence has grown and she now enjoys her life with George and Karen, sharing the house with cats Mara and Max and a collie called Skye.

Tala now loves chasing balls and has overcome her fear to water to enjoy swimming in local rivers.

George said: “I’m still getting treatment for my cancer, which seems to have stabilised but I’m 65 and Tala will probably live for many years and needs plenty of attention.

“We’ll miss Tala badly but we want to make sure we can enjoy what time we have left together as much as possible so we’re trying to find her a new loving home.”

Karen said: “Since she’s been in Cumbria, Tala has come on in leaps and bounds – literally.”

Anybody who is interested in taking her on should contact George and Karen on 01697 476591.

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