Or: “It is nice to meet you”, a story by Nadia, part two
Bogrov in the beginning – 2010 – only 80 dogs living at the empty shelter
Vessy is the first employee of the Bogrov shelter. My, what times those were – have you seen photos from back then? An empty shelter, a puppy here or there, but already fed up with people, baths, walks – because there were 10 volunteers for each dog we had. And after that, the shelter began to fill and thousands of dogs have passed through it. Vessy is the only person among us who can recognize a puppy we rehomed as a baby by a single photo, mailed to us 3 years later. She can tell you about each and every puppy in this one’s litter too! Where they came from, who was rehomed where…
Vessy always thinks of the dogs first. She has voluntarily given herself the longest working hours and often spends her days off… at the shelter, where she had work to do. I am a little shamed to say that as my deputy, I often pass onto her the tasks I really hate to do. Such as the monthly reports, the permits we need for each transport from the Veterinary Authority, the tons of paperwork at the shelter… Not that Vessy is an angel! It is impossible to have a short conversation with her – she has to talk for at least half an hour before she can hang up. Sometimes I feel sorry for all those poor people who call us to dump puppies, only to find themselves: 1. signing up to every dog forum possible and placing ads; 2. calling to make a Neuter appointment not only for theirs, but for the bitches in the neighbors’ yards. I am seriously considering to register our phone as charge-number – we would surely be able to buy 20 tons of food with what Vessy made…
It’s strange how people can change. When he started working with us, Miro was just a kid who would often be late for work, sleep standing upright next to a wall and be always one step away from being fired. He even quit work once for a whole month, because he was sick and tired with it. I have no idea what changed, but Miro is now in charge of the little building (clinic & quarantine & storage & service rooms), bossing the other keepers around carefully. As they say – it’s a total makeover.
As he is a veterinary assistant, he has other duties besides those of a regular keeper – he helps the doctors with administering treatments. For that reason he has been bitten tens of times, but luckily, he doesn’t take it personally. This is also an opportunity for me to spread a rumor: in the most romantic atmosphere of dog snot and the amputated testicles container, Miro and one of our lovely young vets started a romance! But I will not be telling you which one it is, because I fear that Ralitza Gergushka might be mad at me for interfering with her private life… Well, that’s it, but since I don’t want to end an evaluation with gossip, I will just add everything up: Miro, I hope you retire with us, no matter you are still twenty-something.
Emil “Casanova” Dimitrov
Emo is quiet. Emo is calm and friendly. All the dogs love Emo. Even the grumpiest. Also, all of the female volunteers. We had a hard time keeping him from them in the beginning, but he secured us a good female-volunteer line from abroad. And since most names are given by volunteers, there was a time when every second dog’s name was Emil. Thank God he is kind and mild and doesn’t speak English. All this only makes him blush.
D-r Ilieva and Emo deworming puppies
Back to his work. As I said – he is the one who gets the difficult dogs. It bites? Ah, no problem – pass it on to Emo. I once asked Vessy about the behavior of a dog “well… only Emil can take him out to pee” – and that tells me everything about it. He is a great guy, no doubt about it. His only fault is that he is horrible with sorting the laundry. But – that is Miro’s problem, not mine. We often meet him or another one of the keepers going down the hall in their underwear yelling: “Emooo, did you do the laundry yesterday? Where are my pants, goddamnit!?”