For the love of Dogs. | 500 Romanian dogs to be killed. Stand up for them!

Nothing staves off a spell of writer’s block like getting really angry. Gather round everyone, I’m about to get raging and make a small request.

You might remember a post I made a few months ago for National Dogs Day, about some dogs that I love. Namely my dogs. They’re all Very Good Dogs, but one of them in particular is a Very Good And Brave Dog.

This is Isla.

isla 2

Isla was a stray from Romania, where she spent time in a public shelter in the county of Valcea. These public shelters are…not very nice places at all, to put it mildly. Fortunately there’s a group of heroes, both in Valcea and the UK, who work to rescue these dogs, keep them healthy, and keep them safe and off the streets.

One of the biggest cheerleaders for these poor doggos is a charity called Rags 2 Riches, who bring dogs over to the UK for rehoming, and work to reduce the number of strays on the street in the first place through spaying etc. They do a lot of good work and help a lot of Very Good Dogs. Like Isla!

Cute Isla with ballA Very Good Dog.

If you follow me on Twitter you’ll currently be seeing me doing something I never do and asking for retweets. The dogs of Valcea are in limbo, as the Mayor of Valcea has ordered that a vet is to euthanise the 500 dogs currently in the public shelter.

No, that isn’t a typo. FIVE. HUNDRED. DOGS.

Why? God only knows. You can read one perspective here. Needless to say, the whole thing is a shitshow and these poor dogs and the volunteers who devote their lives to saving them are the victims.

This obviously hasn’t gone down well with anyone who has a soul.

Three amigos in seaOnce a public shelter dog, now playing in the sea with her friends.

Currently the ladies who work for the NGO “Save Valcea Dogs” have been prevented from entering the shelter after they created a petition to oppose the decision. These are the main caregivers for the dogs, so now there’s nobody to feed the dogs or administer any medicine. Literally nobody.

Five hundred dogs, either starving to death or being put to sleep. Try and picture five hundred dogs.

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So what can you do? Share this blog post. Share the petition I’m going to link at the bottom. If you have a Twitter account, tweet about it. Bonus points if you work in the media or know somebody with a large reach on Twitter, regardless of location. Make this a Big Deal everywhere. Five hundred dogs. Five hundred Islas. Deprived of a chance of love, killed for no reason.

Isla on leaves

If you’re considering getting a dog, why not consider a Rommie? They’re very cute and often look like bits of different dogs all stuck together. Plus, you’ll know that you saved it from what was at best a horrendous life in a miserable place – and at worst, something like this.

Put them on blast. Save the dogs of Valcea.

isla

If you want to find out more about Rags 2 Riches, why the work that they do is so important, read some happy stories about dogs they’ve saved or support the work that they do, visit their website.

Please sign this petition and this petition to support the dogs, and the people who care for them.

Thank you.

On Dogs: a National Dog Day special

I normally post on a Monday, but it’s National Dog Day today!

I love dogs. I’ll quite often break mid-conversation to shout DOG when I see one going past, alarming everyone around me. Puppies move me to tears. (As in, I cry literal tears of joy and love when I see them.) DOGS ARE AWESOME. Thus, in honour of this most special occasion, meet my dogs. DOGS!

Tess

Tess was found wandering the streets of Warrington as a puppy and brought up to Second Chance Kennels in Thornton, where we adopted her after YEARS of begging Mummy and Daddy Mac for a dog. She wasn’t there for very long before we were taking her home as a very, VERY bouncy puppy in a cardboard box in the back of the car. We later established she’s a Staffie cross, which explains the bouncing and the fact that she loves everyone she meets, without prejudice.

Aggressive kisses for Maw
“LOVE ME.”

The rules were clear from the start: she wasn’t getting into the carpeted living room until she was house trained. She wasn’t ever getting on the couch. She wasn’t ever EVER getting on the furniture on the caravan.

That went well.

She was in the living room on the first night, sleeping on the bed in the caravan on her first holiday and adopted a chair in the living room quickly thereafter. She discovered a penchant for disappearing in wooded areas and turning up cheerfully hours later. She destroys everything that goes into her mouth – sticks, plastic bottles, squeaky toys.

Whenever I go round to visit you’d think I’d been away for years. You can ask her where anyone in the house is and she’ll run to them. She talks to you when you ask her if she wants her tea. She’ll offer on command a paw, the other paw, and both paws. I love her.

Tess in wind (Eearrrs)

Isla

When my mum told me cheerfully that we were adopting another dog, I didn’t think we’d be getting one from continental Europe. The charity Rags 2 Riches bring dogs over from Romania, where dogs are often left in public shelters – horrible, grim places bereft of any sort of love and happiness, where the dogs are at best unloved and at worst actively mistreated. You can read more about them on the Rags 2 Riches website – they do a lot of good work bringing “Rommies” over and rehoming them in the UK. Including Isla!

Isla R2R photo
The photo that sealed the deal for Mummy Mac.

We don’t know exactly what happened to Isla before she came to us, but she’s uncomfortable with the following:

  • Cyclists
  • Spaniels
  • Any dog that gets right up in her grill
  • Sticks
  • Lorries/buses going past
  • Men (although she likes them more now!)
  • Barking dogs
  • People raising their hands
  • Fireworks (apparently people used to throw fireworks into the shelter to frighten the dogs, so whenever they start going off she hides behind the TV.)

She’s not as antsy as she was, and is now completely ridiculous. You have to run to get the post before she does or you’ll find pieces of it all over the floor. She managed to break the letterbox on the front door in a way that I didn’t even know it could be broken. If she’s pleased to see you she folds herself almost in half until her nose is in her tail. She’s cute and barks a lot. ❤

Cute Isla with ball

Meg

Meg is my gran’s Labrador, and she’s frankly ridiculous. She’s got a tail like a cricket bat and it’s merciless in its approach to everything in its path – glasses, faces, food, if it’s not nailed down it’s on the floor.

She’s the most anxious dog I’ve ever met. She’s frightened of everything. She’ll scream – like, actually full on scream – if you lift your arm to put your jacket on. She’s terrified of my cat, who’s never taken a claw to anyone in her life. If you touch her ears she’ll cry like you’ve set them on fire. You’d think she’d spent years being beaten within an inch of her life.

When she runs her legs all move independently of each other in absolutely no rhythm whatsoever, to the point where I don’t know how she’s travelling forwards. It’s hilarious and fascinating in equal measure.

Meg mid gallop
Deceiving photo of Meg in what looks like a normal forward trajectory.

She’s the biggest clumsy dope dog I’ve ever met, but I love her. The night before my Papa died I had to go home from the hospital in floods of tears after only being there for about ten minutes, and I sat on the floor on my own, completely inconsolable. Meg sat in front of me and shoved her big goofy Labrador face in mine and stayed there, completely still, for the rest of the evening while I cried into her neck.

What a good dog.

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In conclusion, dogs are awesome, and I miss mine now that I’ve moved out, but when I go round to visit and they’re falling over each other to throw themselves at me it’s pretty life affirming.

Happy National Dog Day – and please feel free to send me pictures of yours! I LOVE DOGS.