Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there
For the dogs in the Bucov shelter there will be no stockings. There will be no hope of St Nicholas coming with gifts. There will be little Christmas cheer tomorrow. Instead all the 1500 dogs, that now live in the shelter, face for Christmas is another freezing cold, wet miserable day. If they are lucky they might get a small feed, but there is never enough for all and there is never enough for them to feel really full.
There is no warm hearth or Christmas cheer. There is no happiness or love. For them Christmas will be just another day of misery. Perhaps if they are lucky they will be the lucky ones to get a cuddle from a volunteer like Aniela or perhaps a little extra food. For many, including the 300+ puppies, this will be there first Christmas. Others are not so lucky and have already, rather miraculously, survived at least one Christmas in the shelter. For many others this will be their last Christmas, as their spirits give up and their bodies lose their battle for life. They will die starving, cold, sick. They will never know what a warm hearth is or the love that so many of us take for granted. They will never go through the joys of Christmas or get to savour left over Christmas turkey. These poor souls will give up the ghost alone and unloved.
But there is hope. Thanks to the donation and support that Hope for Romanian Strays receives we are able to bring these dogs hope. Working with supports we hope to bring them a Christmas meal – food they would otherwise not get. Some of the dogs are having a better Christmas than last year thanks to donations which helped build improved kennels (sadly many more kennels remain as before – with limited shelter and sees of mud). Some of the dogs are alive today thanks to us stepping in as they were dumped, as puppies or injured dogs, at the shelter gates. Donations funded their vaccinations and vet bills. Little babies like Niko, dumped with two broken legs, got the help they needed, help they would not otherwise have got. Sadly there are so many more that we are not able to help as we just do not have the funds.
There are however all the dogs who will be enjoying a happy Christmas this year thanks for our network of supporters and angels who have opened their hearts and homes to these poor, stray souls. Hundreds of dogs, and a few cats, will be enjoying a warm hearth and Christmas treats in their forever homes, light years away from the cold despair of the shelter. We have been blessed to witness so many Happy Tails, including for dogs like Rubino, paralysed and with no hope of a better life, until that is a wonderful supporter found him a forever home. Rubino will be celebrating his first Christmas in the warm and surrounded by love. Without Hope for Romanian Strays and our fantastic supporters Rubino would be dragging his body along the cold, wet muddy roads, fighting withal his soul and battered body to survive.
I personally have been blessed by the shiny light that entered my life when I adopted my darling Ninja from Hope for Romania Strays. She brings such immense and immeasurable joy to my life every day, and at Christmas time her attack on baubles hanging off the tree is a pure delight to watch! I wish that more people could experience the joy and love that a rescue pet brings. A house truly becomes home when it is filled with the unwavering love that a rescue dog or cat brings.
Like Aniela and so many of our supporters my one wish this Christmas would be that more homes are found for these poor souls. I wish that we get more support and donations to help alleviate the misery that these poor dogs go through. I wish that we could build more enclosures, especially for the puppies and elderly dogs. I wish we could buy them enough food every day, that we could pay for more vaccinations, neuters and treatments, that we could add a roof over their heads. I wish that we could post more Happy Tails and that we no longer had to see these dogs, starving and covered in mud, struggling to survive. I wish we did not have to witness the daily deaths in the shelter. All I want for Christmas if for people to share some of that Christmas spirit and love with these dogs by opening their hearts and homes to them or by donating so that we can help them. So if you are wondering what to do this Christmas then stop thinking and act – support Hope for Romanian Strays and the 1500 dogs languishing in the Bucov shelter.