This is Mia, she’s a Romanian rescue dog and she arrived with us a few days ago. Mia is one of the lucky ones, she was in a lovely foster home with her puppies before she came to us and her foster Mum has done an amazing job with her – she’s friendly, house trained, though we’ve had some accidents and has begun learning how to trust people. Prior to being rescued by the wonderful people at SOS Romanian Rescues Mia was a street dog, so her history is dubious.
Before I adopted Mia I really wasn’t in the market for another dog, I have one already, a Belgian Shepherd called Skylar and she is my soul mate, but I saw that little face on Pets4Homes and it was instant love.
So, on the 18th June, after four days of travelling by van, 22 Romanian Rescues arrived to be met by their excited new Mums and Dads. Just a few days later it’s heartbreaking to hear that some of these adoptions have already failed and the dogs have been put into foster care here.
Please know I do not judge anyone who has had to admit defeat, each dog has its own specific problems and issues, and sometimes it is simply not possible or safe to keep a dog where there are other animals, children and other factors involved. These dogs have been severely traumatised, abandoned and quite often very cruelly treated before they get to the shelter, they are unknown entities, nobody can say for sure how they will respond to their new homes.
These dogs will not come home with you and dance around showing undying gratitude for being rescued and promise to be the best dog ever, they will be traumatised and frightened and they will most likely resent the fact that you have taken them away from their puppies, their friends in the shelter and everything that up till now has been familiar and safe.
These dogs will keep you awake at night if you put them on their own in a cage in the kitchen away from you. They have for the most part never been alone, without other dogs to offer support and security.
These dogs will not immediately bond with your other dogs if you have them. They will see them as a threat and will most likely be aggressive towards them, remember, they have had to fight to survive up till now.
They will most likely pooh and wee on your carpets, especially your most prized and treasured, really expensive brand new living room carpet, and they will probably develop a very upset tummy for a few days. Think about how your tummy behaves in times of severe stress and trauma, or when you are suddenly introduced to different and very rich new food. They have been able to do their business wherever, and just like babies, they will need potty training.
Your rescue dog will bond with you almost immediately, simply because you will be the first person that shows them kindness and love when they come off the transport van – they are put straight into your arms as they are unloaded, they will not necessarily love you or trust you immediately, many will have been beaten, kicked, teased and starved by people who in their eyes are just like you, why would they trust you? Trust has to be earned and it will take time.
Your rescue dog will probably chew you favourite shoes, steal food, chase your cat, be aggressive around food, be possessive about you and his home and be really hard work. There will be times when you question the madness that made you take this dog on and there will be times when you despair, cry and feel like giving up, you will be tired and your quiet home life will be turned upside down at times.
But if you can stick with it, and make the commitment to see this job through the rewards outweigh the bad stuff every time.
If you can give your rescue dog unconditional love, patience and time, expect nothing and give everything, use kind hands and soft words, give them your trust so they can learn to trust you, then you will be rewarded each day by seeing your dog grow in confidence and learn new skills, he will learn to love and trust you, he will fit in and become best friends with your other dogs, your cat and the rest of the family and in time your rescue dog really will dance around showing undying gratitude and love for you, and yes he will promise to be the best dog ever.