My motto for this year’s A to Z is “Animals in my life – stuffed or alive”.

As I mentioned before, both of our dogs are former strays from Romania, a country in South-East Europe. We didn’t look for dogs from this country, our heart made the decision.

The problem Romania has with stray dogs is not new. It can be traced back to the dramatic political changes that took place thirty years ago. As a result, the people moved from the countryside into the big cities and left their cats and dogs behind. The former pets reproduced rapidly and followed the humans into the towns, looking for food. The answer of the government was killing thousands and thousands of dogs. Only a small number of them is lucky and adopted into foreign countries.

“Our” shelter works together with organisations that brings dogs from Romania to Germany and takes dogs from them whenever they can, so other dogs can be rescued.

Janet (right) was very afraid of humans for years. But once she moved in with us, she soon relaxed. You wouldn’t believe today that she had such a hard time earlier in her life. She now is a very happy Lady that enjoys her remaining years in a loving family.

Sam (left) is another story. Even though he was broght to Germany as a puppy, he is clearly deeply traumatized. We try to help him and work with him every day on his problems, but obviously they are very hard to overcome. Good thing we are very stubborn and persistent, too! We knew about Sam’s problems before he came to live with us, but we hoped they would be settled in a matter of months. Well, seems we are talking about years, but giving him up is not an option. We see his good character traits, he is very loyal and really wants to please his humans. We believe in him, and we have celebrated so many small victories together, we won’t give up now.

But Janet and Sam show that problem of stray dogs still isn’t adressed properly in Romania. Simply killing them can’t be the solution – the problem was created by humans, after all. And sadly not all dogs can be rescued. I think TNR (Trap/Neuter/Return) programs work best here. This would reduce the number of strays and improve the situation in the long run.




5 thoughts on “R is for ROMANIAN STRAY DOGS

  1. It takes special people with good hearts to adopt animals they know will be more difficult to work with, you have done this and your dogs are beautiful and blessed! Dogs have an inborn desire to please, and even if they struggle due to trauma they will try their hardest to make you happy. I am so glad you are not giving up on Sam, he needs you! ❤ I agree with you that trap-neuter-release programs work very well for large populations of feral animals. It is becoming more common here with free roaming cats and I am so glad, so much kinder than just collecting them to eventually be euthanized after sitting in a holding pen and being terrified. With TNR they can go back to their territory and live out their lives naturally while the repopulation is slowly diminished. This program needs to be everywhere!


  2. It’s wonderful to hear Janet has settled in so well, but it’s such a shame about Sam having so much to overcome to adjust to the healthy new life he’s been given – you are doing an incredible job persevering, they are lucky to have you & I hope they bring you equal joy and happiness. It’s a wonderful thing to do, to give a loving home to strays, and to show such love when they’ve obviously had such traumatic/tough earlier years. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dealing with Sam may be nerve wracking at times, but it is no one-way-street. He is so goofy and loving. But seeing him in such distress makes me wish something like karma exists.


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