Or: “It is nice to meet you”, a story by Nadia, part one
I already mentioned that the people at our shelter are somewhat crazy. Last week, at our Christmas party this notion seemed to have grown and as a director of this wild circus, I decided to introduce you to the people who stand behind the miracles happening in Bogrov: the great love for animals concentrated here; the endless hard work; the care for each and every one of our animals. And also all the nonsense, arguments, slamming of doors, angry foot stomping and the all-favorite line “I can’t take this anymore”.
D-r Marietta Stankova (lately known under the code name of Margaritta) is my oldest acquaintance. We hated each other from first sight when she categorized me as a self-absorbed Barbie and I thought she was just a dog nut. So many things have happened since and today, in all honesty, we can say she was wrong and I was right.
Margaritta is a person who would get up in the middle of the night to cross the whole city just because a self-absorbed Barbie has found a dog in agony and can’t handle the situation alone. No joke, it is the truth. So if ever you hear some of our Dutch students greet you with “mamka ti” (sort of “go to hell!”), you should know it was Margaritta whotold the poor person this meant “Hello” in Bulgarian.
The “kids” – this is the word we use for our younger doctors – d-r Ralitza Gergushka, d-r Polina Ilieva and d-r Melinda Bryn. Ralitza came to her interview with a long manicure, a miniature and very cut blouse and an impossibly blond hair. She lasted a whole day at the shelter before she left upset and offended. We had quite the laugh on her account.
A few months later she came back and despite Marieta’s “I don’t want this one!” we decided to give her another try. To everyone’s surprise d-r Gergushka turned out to be a hard-working, light-handed and devoted doctor. So, to my dismay, when the time came for Marieta to pick one of “the kids” to train as a second surgeon – she picked Ralitza. All the hostility has been buried in the past and Ralitza proved to have all the good qualities of Margaritta, but (thank you, oh, Lord!) none of the bad ones. In other words we are 100% sure (well, almost) that she wouldn’t try and go beat up someone…
D-r Polina Ilieva is a little typhoon. Do not be misled by her fragile looks and humility. I did that in the beginning and am still winking with disbelief when I see her go around all furious and bossy. Polly has a true gift of a healer and though she does sometimes get signals form the Mothership we are sure her way is going all the way to the top.
It also turned out that we had been waiting for Polly for our team to become a united machine that can not only work, but also have fun together. True, she is always chasing her colleagues with: “we are collecting 3 leva for someone’s birthday gift”, “2 leva for Christmas decoration”, “5 leva for this-and-that”… but no one gets angry. The boys even suggested their paychecks should be first given to her and then she can give them what is left after all that “we are collecting for”.
Kremena Ivanova used to be a volunteer, a donor and an adoptive mom for the dogs of the Bogrov shelter. Only later she became a keeper. After that she became an administrator. And only after she became The Sis. She is the good cop in the office team. She is the friendly and polite one, no one gets angry at her when she gives away tasks, because after all she is the big sis. Not for her age. But for the respect she has earned.
Kremena is the one who will go and rearrange the storage, walk the ill dogs, do the laundry… when she gets tired of answering the phone. Perhaps you have seen her on TV? She is the only one in the whole shelter who doesn’t go into hiding when cameras are nearby. That’s what a sis is for!
READ MORE: Who is who at the Bogrov shelter (part 2)