When the volunteers at Stray Rescue of St. Louis (SRSL) rescued a stray puppy from a local cemetery last year, they knew he was special right away.
On the outside, the puppy was completely bald, and his pink, wrinkly skin was inflamed. But inside, he was one of the sweetest boys SRSL had ever known, and they were determined to give him the life he deserved.
First, they had to take care of his debilitating skin condition and sore paws.
“He came in so neglected, so invisible, so painful and so, so sad,” SRSL wrote in a Facebook post.
The team started the pup, later named Kamper, on daily medicated baths and nourishing food. It took a while for Kamper’s physical appearance to improve, but his spirit perked up almost instantly.
“As soon as he started receiving treatment, he just lit up,” SRSL wrote.
As Kamper’s skin healed, the team brainstormed ways to avoid any further infection or injury. They dressed Kamper in a cozy set of pajamas, and it soon became his signature look.
“He had to wear jammies so his skin wouldn’t flake and bleed in his foster home,” SRSL wrote, “but he loved his jammies.”
When they realized just how much he liked them, the SRSL team quickly collected different variations of Kamper’s favorite pajamas.
Thanks to their efforts, Kamper’s black coat slowly grew back and eventually replaced his pink and wrinkly skin.
Kamper continued to wear his pajamas for months, and he was hardly ever seen without them. Even when he went to a foster home, his pajamas went with him.
The sweet boy continued to receive regular baths and treatment in his foster home, and he began to thrive. But he was still waiting for his happily-ever-after.
Finally, on October 30, 2023, Kamper’s wish came true: A loving family stopped by SRSL with the hopes of finding a new dog, and they left with an excited Kamper in tow.
Today, Kamper is doing better than ever in his new home. And although he loved wearing his pajamas, he’s finally healthy enough to not need them anymore. With a new round tummy and thick black coat, the resilient dog is completely unrecognizable.
“Today, he’s a beautiful, shiny, healthy boy!” Natalie Thomson, SRSL’s director of marketing, told The Dodo.
Kamper’s fur may have finally come in, but his smile is still the same. And his new family can’t get enough of it.
Kamper’s friends at SRSL miss seeing him around, but they’re so glad that he’s right where he belongs. And they can’t believe just how far he’s come.
“[N]ow he’s a … supermodel!” SRSL wrote. “Best glow-up ever …”