May 2019 Visit to Boldesti – Olivia’s Journal

After a mad dash to the plane we are all boarded and ready to go!

So we have arrived! 👐 After a quick change of clothes we have headed down to the clinic to meet this little cutie. He was thrown over the shelter fence with a horrific wound. He was brought to the clinic so his wound could be cleaned and checked over. He is receiving treatment and recovery is going well although he still has a long way to go! Now to the shelter 😀

Day one: after arriving at the hotel and a quick change we headed to the clinic where treatment is given to sick dogs like Ruben (1st pic) after learning about the private clinic we were taken to the shelter.
I thought I had an idea and an understanding of what to expect. Within in 10 minutes of arriving at the shelter a dog was brought into the on-site clinic with Distemper. That now makes 5 been treated with the condition.
We were shown around the shelter and within 10 minutes I was in tears, I certainly had mixed feelings, it’s hard to take in, there are so many dogs here, all needing something from treatment to food to just love and a home.
After walking around and meeting different dogs and been able to see these dog want human affection was amazing even from extremely timid and nervous dogs was incredible.
I was then shown the “courtyard” by Janet and Madalina. I always knew not every dog makes it, but when you see them in the yard it really its home!
However, some will be saved at that is so important the ones that have a chance will be saved!!!
Even though today was emotional it was one of the best experiences I have ever had! And I’m so ready for tomorrow 😁

Day two: 8:30 and we were on our way to the shelter. Today was the day I noticed on the journey the dogs that are roaming through the fields. It’s was a bizarre feeling, I knew there would be dogs roaming around but I just wasn’t sure how to feel about it, it is different seeing it in the flesh.
We then arrived at the shelter to learn that two dogs that were being treated for Distemper had lost their battle 😔. However, there wasn’t to much time to let this affect you as tomorrow there is a spay clinic 😁 and the whole clinic needed to be disinfected and prepped for the dogs that will be coming it. I didn’t really understand the importance of a spay clinic, but having been here it is one of the most important things to do in order to tackle the stray and unwanted dog situation. And I’m ready to see how the clinics work.
Today mainly consisted of cleaning kennels and spending time with dogs. It is really interesting to look at the variation in the dogs’ looks and temperament. Day two for me was about learning things and really seeing the passion and determination of the people I came out here with but also the people here on the ground in Romania trying to make a difference and how much they care for each individual dog🐾

Day three: Today was extremely hard for me, while on the way to the shelter we abruptly took a detour so Mada could try and get a dog. The dog was scared and ran into a garden. The people who owned the dog wouldn’t hand over and as hard as Mada tried they weren’t having any of it. The passion and emotion that Mada showed towards this little dog was admirable. This really opened my eyes to how difficult it is to get people to change their mindset for the better of an animal. It was heartbreaking and infuriating for everyone. The journey also consisted of seeing/noticing more stray dogs.
However, it was spay clinic day and what a success this was! I got to see a different side to people and even though they are few and far between there are some people here that do care for their dogs. This in my eyes is hope, hope that perception will change towards animals, one day.
Like I said this day was hard for me for a number of reasons but when talking and listening to the people here at the shelter their love, passion and determination was so heartwarming.
Today wasn’t all about sadness for me but it was also about some amazing highs. Seeing dogs that were scared a couple of days prior to wagging their tails and jumping all over us was so rewarding. Playing with puppies and the older dogs was fun and the love you get from them is the best feeling in the world.
It was certainly a roller coaster for me, but it is a ride I can’t get off.

Day 4: Today I started watching Natalie and Janet help to try and rescue dogs from the courtyard along with Mada and Dennis.
This was the most stressful, emotional and intense experience you could ever feel everyone is on edge and determined to get as many as possible. The mood of everyone instantly changes. The pressure is immense.
It is a hard reality knowing that not every dog can be saved. Some dogs are just to aggressive to be saved.
Now you may off noticed a beardy looking dog in the courtyard. This lady caught my eye on Friday and I went everyday to check on her. I really didn’t want to go in to the court yard for a number of reasons but after seeing Janet go to her and sit with her gaining her trust and seeing Janet be tearful over her. I grew some balls, although rather small I went in and it was heartbreaking, she was very timid but allowed a human touch. She is covered in ticks and very very thin. We got her out. She has received treatment but although now she has a chance she still has a long way to go and a uphill fight to get better. A total of 10 dogs was taken from the yard. They are receiving treatment and now they have a chance. It hits everyone that not all dogs can be saved even though we want them to.
I can’t thank Mada, Dennis and Janet enough for getting this old girl out. She is my Angel. Janet said we all have an Angel. And this girl is definitely my Angel. 🐾

The Last Day: the last day is bittersweet, you are looking forward to going home but also gutted you can’t stay.
I had to see my beloved Hilda and I saw her eat drink and wag her tail. She was even following me around the kennel and very softly she was nuzzling her nose past the other dogs to get to me. This gives me hope. I went to say goodbye to some other special dogs and walked away with a heavy heart knowing I can’t do more.
This trip for me was all about learning, understanding and of course the dogs.
The work done over there for the dogs is vital. Without Mada and Dennis the dogs wouldn’t stand a chance, but also without your support they wouldn’t be able to help the dogs they do. So thank you!
This trip has changed me I am even more determined to do more in any small way. The support from the other ladies who I came with was beautiful. Your emotions are so high one minute and so low the next, it is important to have a group who can boost you up!
You can see how far the shelter has come but there is still a lot to do!
I loved this opportunity and I will 100 % be going again!

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