One day, in early 2020, Kieran Hedley was walking along a beach with a friend in Bali, Indonesia, when it started to rain. The pair ran for shelter in a nearby temple, and as they entered, they heard people dancing and singing.

Amid the din, Hedley noticed a small dog, covered in scabs, refusing to stray from a ripped piece of cardboard on the ground.

Hedley knew he needed to help her.

“I felt like it was urgent,” he told The Dodo.

dog on cardboard

Hedley assumed the dog had been abandoned near the cardboard and was loyally staying put, sure that her owner would return for her.

His heart broke for the lonely pup. Trying to figure out what to do, Hedley called his friend at Bali Paws, an organization dedicated to re-homing stray animals. Comforted with the knowledge that he had expert help on his side, Hedley wrapped the dog in his T-shirt and took her back to the villa where he was staying.

He began to notice her bubbly personality and started calling her Bubbles.

man holding dog

With help from Bali Paws, Bubbles received treatment for her skin condition and necessary vaccines. During Bubbles’ first two weeks in the villa, Hedley helped her acclimate to being around people who cared for her.

“Those first two weeks were some of the most inspiring days of my life,” Hedley said. “Falling asleep watching this beautiful little puppy that was so timid, so terrified, so scared, so fragile.”

man stoops to pet dog

Soon, Bubbles gained confidence. The dog who once cowered in the corner was now begging for playtime and constantly running around.

When the COVID-19 pandemic became dire about two months later, Hedley was confronted with the difficult decision to leave Bali. He couldn’t take Bubbles with him, so he started scrambling to find her a permanent, loving family.

Hedley eventually found a woman on a trip to Bali from her home in Italy who was thrilled at the prospect of having a new friend. The woman and Bubbles grew acquainted during the woman’s last days in Bali, and eventually they returned to Italy.

Two years later, Hedley traveled to Italy and reunited with Bubbles, who immediately felt comfortable around her old friend and began licking him. Hedley was amazed at how far the little dog had come.

“It was an absolutely beautiful moment, one of the most beautiful moments in my life, getting to see Bubbles again,” Hedley said. “She transformed completely.”

man holding dog

Thanks to Hedley, Bubbles is now thriving with her new family. Hedley will never forget the sweet dog who defied the odds.

“She changed my life in a very positive way,” Hedley said. “She inspires me constantly whenever I think about her.”