Editor’s Note: This post is a Care2 Favorite. It was originally published on December 23, 2011.
Last night I received an urgent plea about a black and tan dog who was dumped by his owner at a train station in Sofia, Bulgaira. (photo below) A witness saw the car pull up, the door open and then the care drove away leaving the confused and worried dog behind.
“He has waited for 3 days now for his owner to return,” explained our Bulgarian rescue squad leader Candy Sasse. “He refuses to move from the spot, despite being attacked by another dog. He stays just in case his owner returns. With no street skills, Joseph’s future is bleak and he won’t survive long. Today it has started to snow and is bitterly cold here now. Joseph is lost in a place where he has never been before, frightened and lonely. What do we do? Our rescue funds are empty, and without funds, we can do nothing. All our foster homes are full to overflowing.”
“What do you need to get him out of there?”
I asked Candy exactly what she needed to get Joseph off the street and she explained, “We need to raise a month’s kennelling at 5 Euros per day to give us the time to get him ready for travel to a new life in Europe in mid January and an additional 125 Euros to cover all his preparation costs to allow him to go. We simply don’t have it.”
And with that, I had just three simple words for Candy. “Go get him.”
Though Joseph is a four hour drive from the headquarters of our Bulgarian teammates at Colonel Angels Bulgarian Street Dogs, there was no shortage of volunteers to immediately set out to save him. But on arrival, getting Joseph to leave the train station proved challenging.
He Wanted to Stay and Wait for His Family
“When I approached him I first gave him a bag with dog treats,” explains volunteer Nina Tchouparova. “It was no problem putting the leash round his neck. He is, however, difficult to walk on a leash. He walks you instead of the other way around and the only direction he wanted to go was back to the train stop to wait for his family who will, sadly, never return.”
In the end, Nina was forced to call a taxi, and much to her surprise, Joseph jumped right in the car.
“He hoped into the back seat and contently laid down,” Nina continued. ” The cab driver didn’t even realize Joseph had just been picked up off the street. He had definitely traveled in a car before and when we got out of the cab, he walked right into the veterinary clinic.”
Safe at Last & Making New Friends
Today Joseph is in a kennel next to another rescued dog named Buba who welcomed Joseph as though they’d been best friends for years. The video below shows Joseph arriving at the veterinary clinic’s kennel area.
Our gift to Joseph this Christmas is not only his rescue from the train station, but to find him the kind of family who would lay down their lives for him. This dog is incredibly loyal and he deserves to be on the receiving end of boundless devotion.
Truth be told, the rescue of Joseph comes at a time when the Harmony Fund has just exhausted it’s bank account for the year, but we put Joseph’s expenses on credit with the knowledge that donations will begin to come in again once the holiday festivities are over with. For today all that matters is that this dog is safe and now we begin the very tender work of healing his heart.
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