First featured in this column in January of this year, Hercules had come to ARK in a state of severe neglect. He was nearly starved, with no muscle, a horribly scruffy coat and dull eyes that reflected no joy.

Wonderfully, Hercules was rescued by a family of heroes. He was adopted by the Hongos of Saitama: father Tsuyoshi, mother Tomoko and daughter Tokoha. And, it is very clear from photos now that the old dog is nowhere to be seen and the new Hercules is huge, gorgeous and, best of all, happier.

This stunning 10-year-old Siberian husky deserves his name now. Tomoko says she clearly remembers the day they found Hercules at an adoption fair.