Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Monika with owner, musician Simon Tilyar and her two little boys. Image caption Tilyar said she encouraged her dog to swim at first
One of Russia’s most famous rescue dogs has a new lease of life after she underwent two surgeries to replace the prosthetics that she’d worn for four years.
Minika is a four-year-old black Labrador on her travels around Russia before being retired as a show dog.
Her owner and former Moscow radio producer Simon Tilyar said she was an unsung hero of the animal welfare world.
“Dogs do not care whether I wear make-up or not,” Ms Tilyar told the BBC.
But when she was found injured by the side of the road in Russia’s southern Krasnodar region in 2014, she underwent surgery for wounds on her face and legs.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Monika’s legs have been restored
“I don’t think she had ever been trained to walk without a crutch or walk without it or even play without it,” said Ms Tilyar.
Minika was flown to the Prosthetic & Orthotic Institute in Moscow to undergo the first of two surgeries, to replace prosthetics that had worn out over four years.
Though Mr Tilyar’s philanthropic mindedness takes precedence over his own fitness, she needed mobility.
“I was so happy when I found out that she had become so flexible and comfortable after these operations. And it has changed her life,” said Mr Tilyar.
“People, who don’t have dogs, are now begging me, ‘Would you have a dog?’
“I’m going to send them the same programme on YouTube and they will follow my adventurous dog, who just wanted to get out and play,” he said.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Monika
Ms Tilyar hopes that her dog’s story will inspire more dog lovers to come up with fresh ideas for a place to rehabilitate a traumatised animal.
Russia has a national task force that deals with unwanted animals in shelters and gets rescue dogs to new homes.