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‘Ugly dog’ tugs couple’s heartstrings and finds forever family

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Posted at 1:51 PM, Dec 15, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-15 14:40:24-05
Tristan and Derek leaving the shelter for the last time. (PHOTO:  Melissa Ashley)

Tristan and Derek leaving the shelter for the last time. (PHOTO: Melissa Ashley)

RICHMOND, Va. – Do you remember the “ugly dog” featured on Facebook earlier this month? The folks at Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society said Tristan, a nine-year-old Doberman/Rottweiler mix, had been at the shelter for nearly a year after his owner passed away.

“Can you believe that visitors who see him at his shelter have the nerve to call him ‘ugly?’ He’s been looking for his home since January. He needs a human!” Susie’s Senior Dogs wrote on Facebook.

Well, a Mechanicsville middle school teacher saw the CBS 6 Facebook post about Tristan and said she had to do something.

Melissa Ashley,  Tristan and Derek outside

Melissa Ashley, Tristan and Derek outside the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society. (PHOTO: Melissa Ashley)

“We saw the story about an ‘ugly’ dog on the CBS 6 Facebook page and though we were not looking for another pet, the story, and his pictures tugged at our heartstrings.  When we researched the dog on the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society website and saw that his name was Tristan (the same name as our nephew), we thought it was meant to be,” Melissa Ashley wrote in an email. “Derek [Melissa’s boyfriend] and I can’t believe how lucky we were to find Tristan and to be chosen to be his forever family!”

Tristan resting in front of the fireplace on his new bed.  (PHOTO:  Melissa Ashley)

Tristan resting in front of the fireplace on his new bed. (PHOTO: Melissa Ashley)

Ashley said Tristan has gotten along great with their 14-year-old lab mix Yanah.

“Though Tristan has more energy than Yanah, they are enjoying each other’s company and snuggled up on their bed together as soon as we brought him home.”

Tristan and his buddy Yanah exploring the backyard. (PHOTO:  Melissa Ashley)

Tristan and his buddy Yanah exploring the backyard. (PHOTO: Melissa Ashley)

Ashley said Tristan’s brother Aiden was still available for adoption at Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society.

“Social media is a powerful tool that is available to us in finding homes for the companion animals,” Gloucester Mathews Humane Society Executive Director Nichola Redmond said via email. “Digital networking, social media, eblasts and links to a variety of websites, is a big part of how humane work is done now. It used to be call who you know and tell them about an animal that needs a home that you though was special, now it’s share it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.”