03 Sep

Birthday wish

My Birthday Wish

My birthday is on October 7, and it will be the first in 13 years without my doggy, Boss, by my side.
Boss was my companion since 2002. Together we created ROLDA and watched it grow into a safe haven for hundreds of rescued dogs. Managing an animal rescue charity is very rewarding, but it can be traumatizing. Images of animals suffering from neglect and cruelty become burned into one’s mind. Including a dog’s mind.

Because we were always together, Boss saw many of his fellow canines in pain, and I could tell it made him sad. But Boss also witnessed many miracles at ROLDA, and that made him very happy.

We were together for the good days and the bad days. Boss knew when I was happy or sad from my body language or the tone of my voice. He was there to share the joy with me, and to comfort me when I was feeling helpless.

We learned so much about each other and grew inseparable.
Boss never asked a lot from me, and I often wonder if my busy schedule affected our relationship. Nevertheless, Boss always greeted me with a wagging tail, and when he could hardly move at old age, he let me know he was excited to see me from the sound of his breathing.

Boss collapsed last July. He couldn’t stand up. We rushed him to a clinic in Bucharest where the vets discovered a tumor in his spine. The tumor was removed, but it took two more spinal surgeries before Boss could walk again.

Nobody believed Boss would survive the anesthesia because of his age, including me. I was so ashamed, but in my heart I hoped for a miracle. To be honest, I think I was too afraid to really believe it.
Boss survived 6 hours of surgery, and after 2 months of therapy, he was up and moving again. Everyone was amazed by his strength and determination. Boss really wanted to recover, and he did. Marian from our ROLDA team helped Boss and me during the recovery period.

Boss’s health had its ups and downs after the surgeries. In his final days, he could barely stand up without help and struggled to walk. He lost his appetite and had difficulty breathing.

When do you know the time has come to say goodbye to your best friend? What if he still had more time? Or what if you prolonged his suffering because you couldn’t say goodbye? It’s a tough decision. I decided to follow my heart, and his heart. When the day finally came, I stayed with my Boss during his last moments. He stayed with me for his 13 years. Where else could I be?

I have seen many dogs in agony, and I always considered myself a strong person to endure such horrible images, but Boss showed me my real limitations. It was probably the last lesson he taught me.

October 7 is just a few weeks away and I keep wishing for my Boss back. Silly, I know. But I still feel his presence every day. Every day I continue to work hard and save as many dogs as I can, and every day I feel Boss by my side giving me praise and encouragement.

I may not be able to get Boss back, but he will always live in my heart. He was always grateful to me and the ROLDA staff for saving his friends. He always wanted the best for them. He always wanted them to be free — to run and play without fear.

For years Boss and I tried to build running spaces at our shelters, but it was challenging. And unfortunately, it continues to be a real struggle.
But there’s still hope.

For my birthday, I wish for your generous donation toward the completion of the running spaces. You would be giving a gift to me and to the hundreds of dogs at ROLDA. And, of course, to Boss.

Boss never got to see the running spaces, but he entrusted me to finish the job. Now I am asking for your compassionate donation to help me fulfill Boss’s wish.I don’t want to disappoint him or the hundreds of dogs that are counting on us.

Boss wouldn’t want me to wish him back. He would want me to wish for help to complete the running spaces for his friends.
That’s how big and beautiful his soul was.