This year I am turning 35 on the 8th of March and I have moved to the country side to live my dream to do canine behaviour rehabilitation work. I have never been the "celebration birthday" type, but this year I am doing it big.
I have always loved dogs, but the desire to do more for them appeared after I adopted Momo, on the 7th of October 2015, a senior dog living on the streets, afraid of humans and other dogs. Nobody could approach her on the street, she was old, afraid and very sad. I managed to catch Momo - named after Michael Ende's book, and take her home. Two weeks after living with me and my cat, I discovered she was full of mammary tumors, she had arthritis, and she was allergic to almost everything. Momo acted like an abused dogs - she was afraid of everything and she was a sad dog. I was desperate to give her back the desire of life. Although many people advised me to leave her alone as maybe this is how she was - a quiet dog, with no desire to interact with other dogs or humans, I saw in Momo the miracle that she was and I knew that she could do more. It's like I also felt that she had little time with me here on Earth, and I wanted for her to fully enjoy it.
We went to dog training classes together - I could not find canine behaviour rehabilitation classes, so we went to dog training classes - the best ones I could find, and luckily I found a very good dog trainer. Because my main interest now was to offer Momo the best life ever, I started searching for people who knew something about fearful dogs. This is how I met Ana, who is an amazing dog listener, and I started following her everywhere to learn more about the behaviour of these wonderful creatures. Ana works only with positive reinforcement methods and I was amazed of the work she does - she lived with 50 plus dogs and she took care of them and helped them gain their trust back. Slowly, I started helping her, and I wanted more, so together we formed the Dogs on Hills team.
I am donating my birthday for my soul project - Dogs on Hills - we are a small team who truly believes that every dog deserves a second chance and no matter how hard the dog suffered it can be rehabilitated and integrated into a family. Because we truly believe in that, we do canine behaviour rehabilitation work with abused dogs, with fearful dogs, with dogs that stand no chance in the eyes of majority. In the same time, we try to educate the population in the idea that abuse of a dog can be active in the form of physical attacks or punishment, but it can also be passive, for example, neglect, inappropriate or lack of socialization. We also promote dogs for adoption and we try to find families for our dogs here in Romania, or in other countries like Germany and UK.
We finally managed to buy our own location to use for the dogs, at the country side, but to be able to do our job there is still a lot of work ahead of us. The barn where we want to keep the dogs needs a lot of work as it is made out of stone and during time the walls have started to crack. From what our friends and neighbors have told us, the walls will need support with wire bags, it will be mandatory to use concrete and at least 5 support pilings. We should also pour a tackle of concrete on the floor, then floor tiles. The walls should be isolated, the ceiling redone, the gate changed. And only then we will be able to start working on the houses for the dogs. More details you can check in this photo album. So I am trying to raise money to use for materials and everything else needed so we can restore the barn. We are trying to build a standard for the dogs that are in our care as they deserve the best possible conditions – we want to do our work at the highest level.
Part of our work can be found on our Facebook page - Dogs on Hills, and also in the links below:
- Duke: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bxy9YSlcWck
- How we caught Raava: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEn5oBblW9w
- Raava: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTyUIgHx3tE
- Raava: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_iWYfC9jdY
- Raava: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x04e5k8YKJs
- Walks with the dogs and volunteers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffB1vNM0H-8 , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Nn2U23VoRI
- Lisa learns to climb the stairs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5pxGRfBgjU
- Brick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3pyhNse28s
- Dogs that we managed to find families for till now: http://bit.ly/2FoCtTh
- Donations which we received up to this point: http://bit.ly/2CVGvEm
- Dogs which need canine behaviour rehabilitation: http://bit.ly/2mmwTJs
- Dogs with health issues which we try to help: http://bit.ly/2hq2Fpp
My dear Momo was with me for 511 precious days and she taught me the most precious lesson: only now exists and you need to fully enjoy it. She passed away on the 1st of March 2017, after 4 surgeries, 7 anesthesia procedures, she was a fighter, a superhero, and she changed my life completely, she was and she still is my miracle.
This year, I am dedicating my birthday to her, to the lessons I have learned from her - every dog, no matter how scared, old, fearful is, deserves a second chance - it is incredibly amazing to do canine behaviour rehabilitation work and I have to thank Momo for giving me the opportunity to understand this.
On the 8th March I will be 35. I don't want presents, I just want to help more dogs in Momo's situation. I have the land and the house, but I need to do a lot more so that I can have dogs there. So I am asking for presents to buy materials and start working on the barn. Thank you!