This is the heart-melting moment when a cruelly abused greyhound finds the courage to trust humans again.
Traumatised Rigel had suffered months of torment before he was found on the streets of the Spanish city of Seville, with chemical burns and one hind paw lost in a trap.
But now he is settling in to a new life in Finland – and as this video shows – he has finally found a special bond with humans.
Rigel is now living with vet Tanja Hakkarainen who founded the Galgos del Fenix (Phoenix Greyhounds), to rehome abused greyhounds in Scandinavia.
Astonishing footage from Tanja’s home has charmed millions of TikTok users.
In the video, Tanja’s boyfriend is on the couch sitting next to Rigel.
As Rigel gently edges towards him, he allows the man to touch his paws.
He bows and yawns while a screen caption reads, “Yawning is a calming gesture.”
The man in the video yawns as well, which convinces Rigel to get a little bit closer before he runs off to play with another greyhound.
Tanja’s rescue group was created eight years ago and has rehomed 700 greyhounds so far.
She told Newsflash that the special moment was filmed on 5th August at her home in Helsinki.
She added: “Rigel is still very, very scared of everyone, except me, but especially men.”
“His age is anyone’s guess but I would estimate about two since he is still very puppy-like.”
“The video shows the first time he approached my partner by himself, before this he only went to him when putting on his harnesses for a walk but otherwise, Rigel always fled.”
The video has more than two million views on TikTok and thousands of comments.
Netizen ‘Kimmo’ exclaimed: “Yess the calming signals are amazing. I do this all the time with my rescue. Gotta know your dog!”
While ‘Leanne’ added: “It made me cry as soon as he stood up with his leg missing there are some evil people in the world.”
Tanja explained that Rigel’s paw was most likely lost in a hunter’s trap.
She went on to say, “Many galgos (greyhounds) suffer such injuries after being abandoned.”
“He had extensive chemical burns, had lost a paw a long time ago and suffered from anaemia.”
“We decided on full amputation to ease his moving.”
“If you look at our other TikTok videos you can see him running very well.”
The Ananova page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.