Noa the German Shepherd can look forward to a wonderful Christmas this year thanks to holidaymakers Chris and Bob Thornton.
The couple were trekking in Spain on Christmas Day last year when they found the abandoned dog, which had been chained up and left to die.
Unable to ignore the plight of the starving German Shepherd, the couple released the dog, named her Noa and took her to the nearest vet.
reports that Noa was then taken to a rescue centre, but the couple were unable to forget about her and have since paid £1,000 to bring her back to the UK to live with them in Clawthorpe, Cumbria.
The couple found Noa outside a derelict cottage in the remote region of Mount Sagra, near Alicante.
A dead dog was chained up next to her and she had been left with nowhere to shelter from the sun and without food and water. Although she could see a nearby stream, she couldn't reach it.
Chris, a health visitor, told The Express: "I don't think she would have survived another night. She was very emaciated and could barely stand. She had a huge raw wound around her neck where the chain had cut in as she struggled to get free."
The following day, the couple returned to the spot with a Christmas turkey dinner for Noa. Not knowing how else to help, they drove off and went for a long walk - but when they returned, Noa was waiting by the car.
Chris says: "It was absolutely amazing she found us. There were so many turn-offs and ways she could have gone wrong."
That was when they decided to track down a vet.
The Westmoreland Gazette
reports that the couple travelled 20 miles to a vet, who treated Noa's neck and gave her antibiotics.
She then spent a year in an animal rescue centre while the Thorntons applied for passports and vaccinations.
The Express reports that the vets bill alone cost £600, and it then cost an additional £400 to fly her back to the UK.
But it was all worth it because twelve months on, Noa is thriving.
Chris told The Westmoreland Gazette: "She is quite stocky now, she has loads of strength. Everybody loves her, she is so popular. She loves long walks and she's spoilt rotten."
Click on the image below for some great places to spend Christmas in the sun...
- Deck the halls in Lanzarote
This Christmas, <a href="http://www.vintagetravel.co.uk" target="_blank">Vintage Travel</a> is highlighting a selection of properties for families and groups looking for a Christmas escape. <a href="http://www.vintagetravel.co.uk/villa_details.cfm?p_id=833">Cortijo de Cabreron</a>, for example, is a charming four-bedroom country cottage sleeping five with a private pool, 4km from the Costa Teguise. With private pool. The week’s rental starting 23 December costs £1095 (or £219 per person on full occupancy). Return UK flights and car hire extra. </p>
- Swap St Nicholas for St Lucia
Book yourself into East Winds Inn, St. Lucia through <a href="http://www.tropicbreeze.co.uk " target="_blank">Tropic Breeze</a> for a Christmas Special and get seven nights for five at this all-inclusive, boutique hotel. There's lots to keep you merry and bright, from a champagne and lobster grill night to free yoga and watersports. Departing 20th December from £2,999 pp saving £620pp (based on double occupancy). A superior room, flights from Gatwick and transfers are included.</p>
Book through TROPIC BREEZE (01752 880880 www.tropicbreeze.co.uk )</p>
- Get your baubles out in Bali
Set in acres of tropical grounds, the multi-award winning Como Shambhala Estate in Indonesia combines a holistic approach to wellness with a dedicated Ayurvedic doctor and yoga and pilates pavilion, along with mountain biking and daily morning walks. Programmes include rejuvenation, detox and ayurvedic treatments. Inclusive price: £2,415pp with <a href="http://www.healthandfitnesstravel.com/">Health and Fitness Travel</a>.</p>
- Say Happy Christmas in Hawaii
This year, <a href="http://www.bon-voyage.co.uk/spotlights" target="_blank">Bon Voyage</a> is offering seven-night Christmas holidays on the Hawaiian island of Maui, where visitors can bask in temperatures averaging 80 degrees and forget about the chilly grey skies at home. Departing Heathrow or Manchester on 23 December, prices start at £2095 per person (based on two sharing), inclusive of return flights and accommodation at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel, and a convertible car hire for cruising around the island in style. Christmas dinner is also thrown in.</p>
- I'm dreaming of a white Christmas...
...white sand, that is. Swap snowy landscapes for pristine beaches in the Maldives. At Vilu Reef Beach & Spa Resort, you can give yourself a proper Christmas present: spend the day in the Sun Spa or take one of Vilu Reef’s excursions, which range from local island hopping tours to safaris and sunset cruises. <a href="http://www.letsgo2.com/" target="_blank">Letsgo2</a> is offering seven nights at Vilu Reef Beach & Spa Resort from £2,139 per person (saving £1,000 per person) departing on 23 December. Price includes return flights from Heathrow, accommodation in a garden villa on a half-board basis, seaplane transfers, taxes and surcharges.</p>
- Make merry in Mallorca
Swim in secluded coves, explore tropical gardens, relax on the crowd-fee beaches and gorge yourself on local wine and food. Book a half-board seven night stay at Bon Sol, Mallorca for £1291 per person with <a href="http://www.classic-collection.co.uk" target="_blank">Classic Collection</a> and you'll get your fair share of Christmas treats too, including a visit from Santa, transfers to mass at Palma Cathedral and gala dinners galore. Flights included. </p>
- Be an angel in the Algarve
Surrounded by the natural Costa Vicentina Park and a beach on its doorstep, the five-star Martinhal Hotel is perfect for families wanting all the Christmas trimmings as well as some sunshine: the resort will be transformed into a Christmas wonderland with fairy lights, Santa Claus, yuletide food and festive cheer. With 25 per cent off stays of four nights or more between 21 December 2012 and 6 January 2013, rates during the Christmas period start at around £187 for a one-bedroom deluxe garden house <span style="line-height: 17px; color: rgb(42, 42, 42); font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">per house per night (based on two sharing). </span></p>
- Get a Christmas glow in Zambia
As well as enjoying thrilling game-viewing and birding, travellers fleeing to African shores who don’t want to miss out entirely can still get their fill of turkey and tinsel. The River Club, close to Victoria Falls, in Livingstone, offers a refreshingly ‘cool yule’ with a feast and locally sourced gifts for all guests. From £310 per person per night. <a href="http://www.theriverclubafrica.com/"><span class="s1">theriverclubafrica.com</span></a></p>
- The holly and the islands...
How about a nine-night guided walking tour of the beautiful Aoilian islands just off the north coast of Sicily? <a href="http://www.ramblersholidays.co.uk/page/aeolian-islands-explorer" target="_blank">Ramblers Holidays</a> is offering a fascinating trip which includes exploring Lipari (famed for its archeological sites), the beautiful island of Panarea and some quality time in Palermo. From £1,079 per person departing on 20 December, including return flights, transfers, half-board accommodation and the services of a dedicated tour leader.</p>
- I saw three ships come sailing by....
Try some floating festive fun aboard a private yacht exploring the Canary islands of Tenerife and La Gomera. Hire a luxury yacht with a crew who’ll whisk you from bay to bay and even do the cooking – so you can spend Christmas Day sitting out on deck in the sun, enjoying a lunch of roast turkey and all the trimmings, champagne cocktails and lots more treats. From 22 to 29 December, prices are £1,349 pp based on six sharing – private charter) including transfers, seven nights’ en-suite accommodation on board, fully-crewed service, daily breakfast and lunch, two dinners on board and drinks with meals, flights extra, with <a href="http://www.essentialsailing.com" target="_blank">Essential Sailing</a>. </p>
- Have yourself a Cuban little Christmas
Spend your festive break exploring the wonderful colonial architecture of Havana and Trinidad, wandering the famed tobacco fields in Vinales, climbing the beautiful Cuban mountain ranges and lounging on Baracoa’s laid-back Caribbean beaches. Prices for a 16-day package over Christmas with the <a href="http://www.adventurecompany.co.uk/" target="_blank">Adventure Company</a> start at £1,029 (excluding flights) for B&B hotel accommodation, city tours and excursions, and the services of a tour leader<span style="color: rgb(42, 42, 42); font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; line-height: 19px;">.</span></p>
- Party on in Parati, Brazil
How does a Christmas Day stroll up the beach in Parati, on Brazil's Emerald Coast grab you? Fancy spending the day snorkelling and diving rather than stuffing the turkey? <a href="http://www.dragoman.com/holidays/details/buenos-aires-iguazu-pantanal-and-rio">Dragoman</a> is offering a 19-day trip, Rio to Buenos Aires, departing on 23 December which involves an action-packed itinerary which also takes in the Igazu Falls. From £1107 per person. Flights extra.</p>
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