In going to Romania I was volunteering to help out at a dog shelter. Prior to heading, the main task highlighted was the socialisation of puppies. What I had not bargained for was the size of some of them.
There were three sisters around 4 months old (I was told) and I could not get over the size of their paws. They were huge. Any thoughts of alarm immediately evaporated as soon as I entered their kennel.
They had been found at a young age, emaciated and in poor health. It is a testament to the staff at the shelter to see how they are today. Jackie, Jazzie and Josie may be large, but they are also some of the softest dogs you will find. They really are beautiful, with each one being different.
These were probably the hardest to say goodbye to when I left at the end of my three weeks of volunteering. Many of the unwanted dogs in Romania are very large dogs, often the hardest to rehome due to their sheer size. So it was sad that in my time there, no expressions of interest were shown to adopt any of these three beauties.
While there, I put each of them into a dog harness for the first time. Jackie caused me to fall about laughing, but none of them were troublesome in being fitted. They were obliging and very trusting. For their first ever walk, I had to take each one individually, past the gauntlet of baying dogs in other kennels to the hitherto unknown world outside of the shelter. Each of them was a little nervous, outside of their own kennel, alone and being attacked with a wall of noise from the other dogs, but they were brilliant.
Once we were able to take them out on leads in a group, they really flourished.
The good news is that since I have returned I understand that interest has been shown in Jackie and she is expected to be homed within the town of Csíkszereda. Now that would be a real success story if seen through to completion. Fingers crossed, Jazzie and Josie will soon follow out the door.
The shelter is supported by a Romanian Charity and a German Charity, with a large proportion of the dogs finding homes in Germany. The list of dogs being housed in Miercurea Cíuc / Csíkszereda can be found on the link: Dog List.
The Romanian Charity is called Pro-Animalia – Facebook Page
BrunoPet is the name of the German Charity involved and, to find out more, why not visit their Website or Facebook Page.
I joined the volunteer programme through IVHQ, which utilises the local NGO, Care2Travel, for its volunteer programmes in Romania.