From stray dog to fashion star - Flora’s remarkable turnaround in fortunes

Flora the dog features in a new Oasis clothing line Picture: BLUE CROSS

Flora the dog features in a new Oasis clothing line Picture: BLUE CROSS - Credit: BLUE CROSS

When wandering the streets of Ipswich as a stray, Flora the dog would have given anything for just a warm bed and a bowl of food.

The Oasis jumper featuring Flora, who was cared for by the Blue Cross in Suffolk Picture: OASIS

The Oasis jumper featuring Flora, who was cared for by the Blue Cross in Suffolk Picture: OASIS - Credit: OASIS

But in a remarkable twist of fate, the Jack Russell Terrier has now not only got a loving new home but is a fashion star in her own right - having helped inspire a new UK clothing line.

Flora features in the new collection created by Oasis after the popular national clothes store chain used cats and dogs which have been helped by the Blue Cross, which helps care for and re-home animals.

At eight years old, the canine was found with fur so heavily matted she struggled to walk and a lump the size of a melon protruding from her side.

After several operations to remove the non-cancerous lump and a number of masses on her tummy, the team at Blue Cross’ rehoming centre in Wherstead found Flora a loving new home with Mike Elliston, who had recently lost his wife and dog in quick succession.

Flora pictured shortly after she was found as a stray in Ipswich Picture: BLUE CROSS

Flora pictured shortly after she was found as a stray in Ipswich Picture: BLUE CROSS - Credit: BLUE CROSS


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Flora now features on a selection of knits, blouses and dresses in the new range, available to buy in Oasis stores and online from Tuesday, November 27.

Mr Elliston, who lives in Essex, said: “In spite of all that she has been through, Flora is a happy little dog with a lovely personality and a tail that never stops wagging.

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“She has helped me through a difficult time and I am very grateful to Blue Cross for the help and care they gave her.

“I am so pleased that she has been selected to feature on the special Oasis collection as she is prime example of what Blue Cross achieves every day of the year.

Flora the dog features in a new Oasis clothing line Picture: BLUE CROSS

Flora the dog features in a new Oasis clothing line Picture: BLUE CROSS - Credit: BLUE CROSS

“She looks great on the jumper I have seen.”

Sally de la Bedoyere, Blue Cross chief executive, said: “We are delighted that Oasis chose our charity to benefit with this unique new range of pet-themed clothing and gifts - all inspired by the heart-warming stories of real cats and dogs who came to Blue Cross needing our help.”

Briony Garbett, customer director at Oasis, said: “Like much of the nation, Blue Cross touched our hearts with their campaign last Christmas highlighting how pets change our lives.

“Knowing that our customers, many of whom are pet parents themselves, love a fun print and a characterful jumper, we felt this was a perfect partnership and something we could really have fun creating.”

Flora the dog features in a new Oasis clothing line Picture: BLUE CROSS

Flora the dog features in a new Oasis clothing line Picture: BLUE CROSS - Credit: BLUE CROSS

Flora the dog features in a new Oasis clothing line Picture: BLUE CROSS

Flora the dog features in a new Oasis clothing line Picture: BLUE CROSS - Credit: BLUE CROSS

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