Sunday, March 28, 2010

Our Homeless Dog

When we were renovating, we hired two women, Natasha and Yulia, to do much of the inside finishing work, wallpapering and such.  Yulia lived across the back garden and down the next street a bit from us.  She had three girls, oldest about 10 or 12 and a boy about a year old.  Yulia and her husband Sergei both had alcohol problems and Yulia often came to work showing the marks of their relationship on her face.  She was a good worker but undependable.

When they wore out the shack they lived in, her husband's mother moved into the city into an apartment and Yulia, Sergei and kids moved into the mother's home, about "two blocks" from the other house and still quite close to our house.  The mother's dog, a mostly German shepherd female, stayed with the house and became  Yulia's (well, Sergei's) dog.

Sergei got into hard drugs and eventually sold everything in the house to buy narcotics.  I mean everything.  Stove, beds, blankets.  there wasn't a stick left.  Yulia took the four kids and disappeared.  Sergei disappeared too.  And our dogs brought the dog home.  Actually she had been here several times, raiding garbage bags and we had fed her a few times out of kindness.  She decided she belonged to us.  We didn't need or want her though she was a lovely dog, very smart, well trained and a good watch dog.

Too good.  I put her in with my dogs until we could locate a home for her or a veterinarian to put her down.  When we were away, Roman came to look after the dogs and she wouldn't let him in the yard to feed them so they went hungry for three days.  When I got home, I put food out in three dishes so of course they all wanted to eat out of the same dish.  The female growled and my two dogs were all over her.  I called them off and put her outside the yard.  She was glad to go.  She slept in a shed next door and hung around the front in the day.

She was such a good dog.  We asked all around if anyone needed a dog and everyone has a dog and usually two.  Our veterinarian does not euthanize animals and we couldn't find the person who had looked after our neighbour Luda's dog.  Valerie had a rifle I could borrow.  The dog's days were numbered.  I have not put an animal down for many many years.  I hate it but I will not allow an animal to suffer.  I suggested Volk go and we keep her.  THAT went over well.

Yesterday Masha was here and playing with the dog who obviously missed Yulia's kids and was so glad to be with Masha and so patient.  We were dreading what had to happen.  Then the lady who delivers our mail came along with the weekly newspaper.  Tanya was working outside and they chatted awhile.  Valya said she really liked the dog and would come back next day and take it home as they needed a dog.

This afternoon, Valya, her daughter Katya and granddaughter Victoria (19 months and cute as a button) came by, put a collar on the dog and walked her home.  She called to say the dog was very well behaved, loved the little dog house they had for her with straw to sleep on and seemed all settled in.

Snowbrush, I don't pretend to understand it but sometimes He not only sees the little sparrow fall, He reaches out and catches it in His hand.  I am just thankful when He does.


  1. I'm so glad for the happy ending, but I see no reason to think that HE had anything to do with it. Surely, if you give HIM credit for saving one dog, then you must also give him blame for letting billions die miserably. I often think of the animals in the wild. Imagine having what would, with treatment, be a minor illness or injury, yet one that makes it impossible to go out and find food, and starving to death as a result.

  2. Al, you made a difference in one dog's life. That's much better than doing nothing.

    And I guess Volk, for all his "characteristics," is safe. At least for a while.

  3. Oh, on top of everything going wrong right now, I was afraid to finish your story. The dog has such a kind and trusting expression, there is no way he should have been put down and I would have just moved over and made more room on the couch.

    I'm SO glad you didn't turn into my nemesis out of necessity. whew.

    Snowbrush is right. You can't be the only survivor of a plane wreck and say "god heard my prayers and saved me" without also adding "I guess he wasn't listening to anyone else".

  4. It's always great to hear of an abandoned animal finding a safe place to live. My wife and I have taken in so many critters over the years that I can definitely relate to your situation. Sometimes they just don't mix well with the critters already in place.

    Glad it worked out.

  5. Last night before we went to sleep, Tanya and I confessed to each other, accompanied by much giggling, that in spite of our tough talk, that stray dog was in no real danger.

    If we had not found a home, we'd have ended up with three dogs and a litter of puppies. And my two mutts could have learned to live with it.

    Soft hearted or soft headed. Doesn't much matter.

  6. You both are wonderful and have huge hearts with lots of love. I'm thankful for that.


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