Will rescue dog Gilbert become Ma'am's best friend?
PUBLISHED: 16:59 12 March 2015 | UPDATED: 16:59 12 March 2015
A dog, once dubbed one of the loneliest in the country, is hoping to have a brush with royalty after finding happiness at a new home in Beccles.
Gilbert, a six-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier cross, spent more than five months at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in London, so sad and lonely that he had forgotten how to wag his tail.
But thanks to the love and care of Janet and Ian Bevis, he is now a pampered pooch and is hoping to be chosen to meet the Queen when she visits Battersea later this month to open new kennels.
The animal shelter is running a competition to find former residents with the chosen dog getting the chance to meet Her Royal Highness.
Mrs Bevis, 66, who entered Gilbert into the contest, said: “He is such a lovely dog, he deserves to meet the Queen.
“The staff at Battersea are super, but he hated every minute of his time there and would sit in his cage and cry all the time.”
Gilbert’s life took a turn for the better just before Christmas last year when Mrs Bevis’ husband Ian spotted a picture on the Battersea website of dogs needing new homes, with a caption dubbing him the loneliest dog in Battersea.
The couple rang up, filled in an application form and they were asked to go and meet him on December 22.
Mrs Bevis said: “They brought him out and said we were the chosen ones since they had more than 500 people who applied to rehome him, but we were chosen because we were at home all day, had no other dogs and were in the countryside.
“We took him home there and then and he immediately went to sleep in the car, which was good because the traffic was terrible getting out of London at 5pm three days before Christmas.”
As well as a new home, the couple gave the dog, previously known as Gizmo, a more fitting name and he is now known among his friends as Gilbert of Beccles.
Mrs Bevis said little was known about Gilbert’s earlier life, except that he was brought into the shelter after being found on the streets.
His new home is a far cry from his time in London and he has settled in to daily life with Mr and Mrs Bevis and loves his walks, games and treats.
Mrs Bevis said: “He doesn’t really like other dogs, but he loves people and he fell in love with my grand-daughter.”
He is also not afraid to show his mischievous side, with Mrs Bevis adding: “He has eaten my gloves, and he had his eyes on a new pair of my gardening shoes.”
The winning dog is set to be announced later this month.
Have you got a story or event from the Beccles area? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01502 712060.