When German photographer Julia Marie Werner found a scruffy homeless dog hunting for scraps of food in her garage in Spain, she fell in love with him immediately. While other people saw nothing but a homeless mutt, she saw a brave little lion, and she now wants the world to share her vision with this heartwarming series of photographs.

Show Full Text

“He already looked like Simba to me,” Julia told Bored Panda. “And I am a big Lion King Fan. A friend of mine had some fabric left over so one afternoon we stitched the mane together.”

The cute canine model is named Tschikko Leopold von Werner, and the project is called Grossstadtlowe, which means “Big City Lion”. And as you can see from these pictures, he really does look like the king of the (urban) jungle!

“In the beginning he was very insecure,” said Julia. “Someone who knows a lot about dogs told me the best thing is “working“ with him and teaching him some tricks. He loves jumping on things and using the mane. The picture are both a game and teamwork between us.”

Julia believes that Tschikko was left to fend for himself after being thrown from a car in Spain. He’s come a long way since then, not just emotionally but also geographically, as after deciding to adopt him Julia brought Tschikko back to live with her in Germany.

“Everybody takes pictures of him,” said Julia. “Little kids often ask me if he is a real lion!”

More info: Julia Marie Werner | InstagramFacebook (h/t: featureshoot)

When photographer Julia was working in Spain she spotted a homeless dog in garbage

The poor dog was searching for food when their eyes suddenly met…

He reminded her of Simba from The Lion King

Julia just knew she couldn’t leave him behind

So she brought him back with her to Germany

He’s come a long way since then

Julia thinks Tschikko was thrown from a car and left to fend for himself

But she saw him as a brave little lion when others only saw a homeless dog

So she decided to show this side of him to the world

And as you can see, he suits his new role very well!

The photographs are part of a series that Julia calls “Grossstadtlowe”

In English this means “Big City Lion”

And he certainly looks the Big City Lion in these pictures

He looks like the king of the urban jungle!

He loves nothing more than exploring his new home with his owner

“Everybody takes pictures of him,” Julia told Bored Panda. “Little kids often ask me if he is a real lion!”

But Tschikko is still just a playful pup at heart