B. is a lovely Norwegian lady, about 73 years old. The first time she read about ROLDA in a Norwegian magazine which publish an article about the Norwegians veterinaries students helping and sterilizing the dogs from our shelters.
B. was impressed to tears seeing the photos shown by Maria. Reading our appeal for renovating the Adoption Center, she generously responded being one of the top donors and she also promised to visit us after the new paddock will be built.
Two years were passing and B. postponed the travel because she tried to find a trip companion but no luck, as most of the close friends are not interested about Romania because “it is too far”.
Finally, being a brave lady, she decided to do this trip on her own, alone.
She wake up at 2am and traveled almost 20 hours, from Oslo via Vienna to Bucharest airport, from where she missed the first train connection but managed to take the last train (on that day) to Galati, arriving in our train station at 22.30 where we met her.
B. is a very active person with a golden heart. Retired now, she travels a lot because she doesn’t want to keep her eyes closed to others problems. She believes that Norwegians are not aware of how lucky they are – they take the things for granted and always complain – isn’t the humane nature to keep complaining?
Still, B. saw how other less lucky people live in India, Sri Lanka …and Romania, but also in other places all over the World. In the same time, she admired how these poor people live in a simple, natural happiness given by any insignificant reason for a great celebration.
She thinks that most of these people are happier, in a way.
B. declared she has no dogs’ experience. Living with her parents in a farm, she used to have a dog, but growing up – only several cats. After the last cat died, she said it’s time for no more animals in her life.
When she arrived at the shelter, she was greeted by a quiet Pufi and a noisy Dony. We advised her to keep the distance from Dony and leave him approach her, when he will be curious to smell her, take a treat, etc. B. slept comfortably in one of the small bedrooms upstairs.
The next morning, she met Dony, which got immediately friendly. I believe B. is the first stranger that is accepted instantly by Dony – which normally takes 1-2 days to like someone.
Because first day of B. in Romania was Sunday, we had more extra time to spend at the shelter. B. met firstly the small size dogs from the puppies running area. She had doubts to go inside the large running space where about 30dogs were sniffing (and barking) her from distance.
Click here for Photo Album
B. was happy like a child to meet every dog. She admitted she can’t remember all our dogs names, but she was laughing from her entire big heart when dogs were wagging tails, fooling and goofing around, giving her the paw, etc
Because it was a hot day, B. helped me replace the drinking water from the outside bowls. Than, we took B. to show her Galati city, which is not a tourist attraction, but mostly an industrial, dusty place. However, being the 5th biggest town of Romania, it’s enough for B. to see something different than Oslo.
Apart seeing some old buildings with interesting architecture, some churches, we stopped at the Danube Riviera where the locals walk or go with bicycle.
After that, we went closer to Moldavia country border. And after a short visit to the steel plant, we headed back to the shelter.
The next day, B. visited the large shelter were she was impressed not only by the big number of dogs but also by how beautiful, kind these dogs are, what wonderful companion most of them would be, if they would have a chance.
Click here for Photo Album
Many times I saw B. eyes in tears and I felt guilty that not every dog has already a home.
Each dog would deserve to have a home, a loving family. Sadly, thousands of dogs suffer on Romanian streets every day while hundreds others live in shelters.
While shelters should be a transit place from where a dog should go home, many dogs live many years inside a kennel, get old before being noticed and have a chance to be loved by someone.
Betinel is an exception. She was rescued with puppies and a tumor on her belly. After being treated and sterilized, she spent, day after day almost 4 years in our care. She was happy seeing a stranger visiting us. All dogs are happy when they smell something new, when they hear a new voice, when they see a new face – when a gentle human hand gives them petting and hugs. When a new person visits the large shelters, the dogs from the first kennels start barking and the next kennels follow them – after a general, loud barking which can continue for several minutes – after each dog barks louder to get the visitor attention and all the hugs just for him – it’s silence. And that, in my opinion, it’s the most beautiful silence to hear.
Betinel was adopted by a great family in UK who spotted her on our website, noticed that she is a senior but decided to give her some last years of happiness.
Betinel traveled to UK on 7 June.
photo: Betinel in UK
She adapted immediately in her new home because one of these Romanian dogs quality is the gratitude they show, enjoying every single moment in people’s company – being grateful for what people finally offered them after years of waiting. Most of these dogs couldn’t even hope or dream for a home, as they couldn’t know that dreams can be so beautiful.
Romanian dogs are also very smart, they learn instantly your instructions and will follow you to the Moon.
B. is decided to continue helping our charity for as long as she will can. One of her top priorities is the running spaces for the dogs at the large shelter, which is a complicated project that requires good planning. The happiness of these dogs can be sustained if more volunteers would come to interact, socialize with them. I can’t describe in words enough well selected, what means for these 600 dogs when they see a new person in front of their eyes.
During the last day from B. trip, a quick summer storm changed the routine. The wind blown the upstairs’ windows and one bedroom remained with no windows glass. Luckily nobody was hurted. This incident reminds us of the number of improvements that need to be done at the Adoption Center cottage, where others volunteers are scheduled to come during this summer/fall.
Our visitors’ safety should remain a top priority and this includes the changes needed to be done at the cottage.
Thanks to people like B. we continue to hope that our dreams and projects do not stop where we are today.
In case you’d like to support ROLDA work in Romania, please consider volunteer your next Holiday in our shelters, to meet our dogs. Or please make a donation, tax-deductible for American donors, to help us renovate the cottage and build new running spaces for the dogs from the large shelter.
P.O. Box 40, Greenbank,
roldausa (at) care2.com
phone: 360 678 1057
mobile: 360 969 0450
(Org.Nr. 998 398 495)
Contact person: Sandra Keim
Facebook page ROLDA Sverige
Interesting blog about Romanian animals charities.