Whether he's rolling around outside or scooting around his new home in Maryland, special needs dog Omid exudes the confidence of a canine superstar.
And now the "born survivor" from halfway around the world has landed on the cover of local magazine, Novadog. He overwhelmingly won the top spot in the Washington Humane Society's dog cover contest with the help of 1,800 people from all over the world.
“It didn't matter if they were Iranian or not,” said Bany Alipour, who adopted Omid. “Everybody came together with one mission. Vote for Omid and bring his story out there.”
Likely hit by a car and paralyzed, Omid fought to survive on the streets of Tehran in a country where dogs are considered more of a pest than a pet.
“I don't know why but they're tortured and treated wrong,” says Alipour. “He suffered a lot. He had that kind of look he's asking for help.”
That help came when one of Tehran's only dog shelters rescued him and coordinated a widespread effort to bring him to the U.S. for treatment.
“When I saw video, it touched my heart. I told my wife we have to do something about it," says Babak Alipour. "Knowing he came from there, and being able to give him a better life here was definitely a priority for me"
The Alipours say Omid has been adjusting just fine to his new life, especially when it comes to the food.
As much as the Alipours have helped Omid, they say he has touched their lives too. He’s a constant reminder of their home and heritage.
“He's not just a rescue dog from out here. He's from Iran. We had to do whatever we could to save him,” says Alipour. “He's part of us.”