Date of Birth: 15/03/2014
Gotcha Day: 01/12/2018
Breed: Street Dog
We were looking for a companion for a depressed Hattie. We didn’t want any kind of dog, we wanted to rescue a dog who urgently needed to be adopted.
The first thing Ariane did was to look online on various shelters’ websites for urgent adoptions. The few dogs that needed to be adopted urgently didn’t get along with cats. Ariane thought about “La Ferme des Rescapés” because they had a little dog who needed to be adopted as soon as possible. The main concern was that the dog would not get along with the cats. Indeed, the lady from the shelter said he might not be a good fit but that she had about 50 other dogs who all came from the horrible Romanian dog pounds.
After a kid was allegedly killed by a stray dog in 2013, the Romanian government passed a law that all stray canines had to be brought to the pound and if they weren’t adopted within 14 days, they would be put down. These dog pounds are being described as “death houses” instead of shelters. A lot of the dogs are left to die of hunger or illness. The pound cashes in on the money for taking them in but does nothing for them once inside, some are even killed the day they arrive. You can read a report by Four Paws on the situation there.
We enquired whether one of them would get along with cats. We were told they had a dog that had been adopted 2 weeks earlier but who had just been brought back for “being too complicated, mean, and he was a biter”. She strongly suggested this dog to us. The lady explained he didn’t really like other dogs, he was quite possessive and he wanted to be with humans. Taking all of this into consideration, he did not seem like a dog who would fit at the sanctuary. However, we figured he might just not like being in a pack with 50 other dogs and might not be annoyed by the presence of only one other dog. Against all odds, we gave him a shot and went to pick him up. When we met he was very shy. He drooled the whole three-hour ride back to the sanctuary because he is quite carsick. He hasn’t been in the car since.
When he arrived, he didn’t pay attention to the cats at all. He wasn’t very interested in Hattie either. In the beginning, when Hattie would go to Ariane for some petting, Vali would sort of bite the air as a warning because he wanted to be the only dog allowed with our founder. Hattie didn’t really react to this behaviour, she would just leave and then come back later. She didn’t seem phased by his attitude at all.
Thankfully, the relationship between Hattie and Vali evolved pretty quickly. One month later they were playing together and running around a lot. They also enjoy running away together, which we are not delighted about… They generally come back, wet and smelly from having crossed the stream at the bottom of the property. Vali is a street dog so he is used to that kind of life, but we hope that he will find enough happiness and joy in our 20 hectares and no longer feel the need to explore outside the gates. It would certainly spare us the time it takes to go search for them with the car.
Nowadays, he’s ok with all the animals, he no longer runs after the goats, and he gets along with the horses too. The cats still don’t spark his interest, so he leaves them alone. However, he’s a dog who has known abuse so he is quite scared of humans, and especially men. We are getting him used to our species little by little and he is showing signs of progression.
Vali is very joyful and happy. He is also proving to be an excellent guard dog, and his hearing is as good as can be!