Featured here in March 2013, then-7-year-old miniature pinscher Goblin had lived a horror story of abuse and neglect. At the time of his rescue, near-starvation had robbed him of all his fur and his ability to walk. That nightmare is now over and Goblin, rechristened Happy, is in the caring hands of Kazuyo Fujiwara of Tokyo's Hachioji.

The two are inseparable. "Happy is a bit of a star at the local cafes and restaurants, because he's always with me wherever I go," Fujiwara says.

When she first took Happy in, Fujiwara says she had been worried about one thing — "whether I'd be able to get up early for walks" — but her love for the dog wins that battle.

"I'm still not good at it, but when I think that it's for him, I can get up!" And the regular exercise has resulted in fitness improvements for both of them. Happy revels in being on the go, now that he is healthy and properly cared for.

"He's great in that he doesn't mind moving around. Trips to the homestead and traveling — he loves it." The little fellow makes friends wherever he goes, spreading love and warming hearts. "My parents," Fujiwara says, "weren't keen on the idea of a dog when I first got him, but now they adore him and call him their 'canine grandson.' "

Many other cats and dogs are available for adoption. Please email ARK at [email protected] or call 050-1557-2763 Monday to Saturday (bilingual) for more information. Tokyo ARK is a nonprofit group founded by Briton Elizabeth Oliver. It is dedicated to rescuing and rehoming abandoned animals. All animals are vaccinated, neutered and microchipped. All prospective owners are requested to undergo a screening process.