A dog who arrived at the Nebraska Humane Society bound up in 9 pounds of matted fur has left the shelter as “the perfect match” for a 91-year-old Omaha woman.

The first time she saw the dog, Bette Mae Olson knew that 11-year-old Ellie Mae, a Shih Tzu mix, was what she needed. Megan Wilson, Olson’s daughter, said Wednesday that the pair are inseparable.

“When we got to see Ellie Mae, she was in isolation because of kennel cough,” Wilson said. “We gowned up and went in to see her. Mom said it was love at first sight and that Ellie Mae was the perfect match for her.”

The 11-pound dog came to the Humane Society on Aug. 29, encased in a shell of smelly, matted fur that nearly equaled her body weight, said Pam Wiese, a Humane Society spokeswoman. The dog was found in the home of her owner, who had died.

The dog owner’s family wasn’t aware that the woman had a dog. A search of the Humane Society’s records for that address turned up Ellie Mae.

Bette Mae hadn’t been doing too well, either, her daughter said. On Thanksgiving Day 2018, she suffered a severe stroke. In June, her own little dog died, and Bette Mae was feeling “really sad,” Wilson said. The family got Bette Mae a puppy, but that didn’t work out, and the pup went to Wilson’s daughter.

“Then the article came out, and I showed Mom the before and after pictures,” Wilson said. “Mom said, ‘I’d love to give her a forever home.’ I talked to the Nebraska Humane Society to plead our case, but we didn’t know if it would happen.”

Bette Mae and daughter actually were at the Humane Society building at 8929 Fort St. on Saturday, looking at older dogs, when Wiese called. She asked if Bette Mae would be interested in meeting Ellie Mae.

When the dog arrived at her new home, she immediately began to explore, Wilson said. The dog found her food and water bowls and later proved she was potty trained by parking herself next to the door when she needed to go out.

“In no time, she was giving Mom kisses,” Wilson said. “We feel very fortunate that we were chosen for Ellie Mae because those two were just meant for each other.”

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