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A clean Saturday

Posted on 27 February 2014

This weekend after 11 there will be a rubbish-collection effort led by Kremi the volunteer (meanwhile our own Kremi will be at Pets&U with the pups).

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We need to clear out the trash from the meadows just out front the shelter and there are some metal and glass pieces to be picked up from the walking grounds too.

The trash will be collected separately – nylon bags for all the plastic packages (so we can dump them for recycling later); construction bags will be used to separately store any glass and metal; all the rocks, bricks and organics will be for now piled up in a corner.

The coordination of the process will be taken on by the hard working volunteer Kremena – look for her when you are there.

The trash will have to be stored for now, as the amounts we need to get rid of would cost a fortune – we are looking for a way not to spend this money. Please, if you come to the shelter by car – pick up a few bags to drop off at any recycling bin, so we can clear out some space.

We thank each and every one who will join! There will be bags and gloves at the shelter, now all we need are the brave folk who will make our part of the city a little more civilized.

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Click here for the Farm coordinates.

To get a lift from someone who is going, join this group.

You are welcome!

Linda and Brownie – the first dogs to be adopted from the Farm

Posted on 26 February 2014

Local adoptions are so far going slow at our little Farm. The tough conditions hardly make people comfortable (yet another reason to salute the hard-working volunteers!); the dogs are more or less hidden behind the temporary enclosures; the place is not that well-known yet. But despite all this – we do have a few lucky souls that were chosen and adopted by wonderful families. And the very first to go are:

Brownie

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Brownie came to us as a little baby – she was brought by the municipal dog catchers after having spent a couple of months in Seslavtysi – the municipal pound.  This was all a long, long time ago – back in 2010. Brownie grew up with us and became a very social and playful dog. You would not believe the number of people we offered her to… She must have been waiting for her special folk – she is now very happy in her new house with a garden.

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Brownie went home with Larissa Bliznakova – a lady with a big heart, just as big as Brownie needs it to be!

Linda

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Linda is the name the adopters chose for the second dog to be rehomed from the Farm. She is a 6 year old German Shepherd lady that was dumped in front of the shelter some months before we left Bogrov to move to the Farm. Such a balanced, good dog – the Postolovi family made an excellent choice taking her – she is now their loved companion in a Sofia city apartment and probably cannot believe her own luck!

Best regards from Churchill!

Posted on 25 February 2014

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Or should we say – from d-r Zlatinov! This is the miracle he created after two 3-hour long surgeries with Mr.Churchill:

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In comparison, this is what the little lad’s leg looked like before the surgeries you gave him:

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The leg is now in a functional form, as we told you earlier – the difficult part was not straightening the bone, but putting together a decent hip joint. Nevertheless this medical adventure was successful!

Our hero can now stand up and walk, no matter how much he dislikes the idea – sadly, it’s always very difficult in the first days after such heavy surgery. The good news is that your generosity gave Churchill the opportunity of the best possible veterinarian care and we are taking our hero back today. The boy has a brave foster who wants him, but we still do not know his stance on living with other animals, so he will need some observation until his wound is closed-up and he is more stable.

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Once more – huge thanks on behalf of poor Churchill to all of you – the people who have him a chance to be healthy and happy! It will take some time, but he is on the right track, finally!

Pets&U updates!

Posted on 24 February 2014

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Two more lucky souls went home through the adoption weekends held at Pets&U! The sweet little black angels Kubrat and Kardam have gone home to lovely families!

Kardam was adopted by Miumin Emin and his girlfriend Meral Ssetstra:

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Silvester Ivanov and Magdalena Kartelska adopted his brother Kubrat:

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And we even have some photos from his great new life already:

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What an amazing weekend it was at the store! Super fun and lively! To all of you that came – see you soon! To those that didn’t make it – the same, but make sure you take a look at THIS album with super nice photos from the event made by Sim Chengelski.

The adoption weekends have been an amazing success, giving a new life to so many unwanted dogs! Some familiar faces send you their greetings from their happy new lives:

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Who will be expecting you on March 01?

Kind babies Emmy, Lidia and Mitko are only 50 days old, but already know what it is to be abandoned and found, to be dismissed as trash and be loved, to hope, to dream… Although their dreams are rather simple. To be honest, it is actually only one dream.

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When we look into their shiny eyes all we see is a hope for love, for a new family, for the true happiness of a loyal dog. They dream of no longer being unwanted street-mice. In their dreams they are loved, cherished and always near their people… They hope to find them this weekend!

How is our charity campaign going?

It is going more than well! This month, thanks to your generosity the dogs of the shelter got 260,63 leva! This may not mean much to you, but try and picture 217 kilos of food and you will quickly get it – with so many hungry throats at the farm this is amazing support, thank you!

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We cordially thank each and every person who shopped for their animals at Pets&U, thus helping us feed our heroes. Stay put for an even better campaign that will begin in March – Pets&U have firmly decided to change the way charity works here in Bulgaria, we cannot wait!

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Pets&U

Pets&U is located in Lozenetz, on the side of the Hemus hotel. The store is open every day from 10a.m. to 8p.m.

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The people on staff all love and own animals, the sales-people are both veterinarians. All pets are welcome at the facility!

Find them on FACEBOOK

CRY FOR HELP: Legs for Churchill

Posted on 19 February 2014

EDIT – 10.04.2014
Churchill 2 months after surgery

EDIT – 25.02.2014

Best regards from Churchill

EDIT – 21.02.2014

thanks churchill

Churchill has been successfully operated!
His surgeries (2×3 hours) took place yesterday and went well. From now on – he will go through serious physiotherapy, but hopefully will be able to walk normally in the future, although with a slight limb. The best of all is that the pain is gone! We will keep you posted. Thank you for all your help!
EDIT – 20.02.2014

THANK YOU!!!! YOU DID IT AGAIN!!!
The funds needed for Churchill’s surgery have been raised and the boy should be operated today (or if the doctor needs some more time of observation – tomorrow).
We will keep you informed about the outcome and recovery, thanks to two larger donations that were received he will be able to stay at the CVC for a few days after his operation.
Keep your fingers crossed!

Churchill was born in a desired litter and as you can see for yourself he is a husky – one of those that are most liked – fluffy, blue-eyed and kind-hearted. He was only a month old when they used him to pay off an old debt and thus – he found himself in a little yard in Chelopechene – an escape artist for a guard, with eyes as blue as the Arctic ice. At first it was all fine – Churchill was a most loved pet, they took him out on walks and it seemed like he is living a dream life. But then things changed.

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We don’t know how it happened exactly, perhaps the free Nordic spirit found his way to escape the prison – and more than once too. There is an old, badly performed operation on his hind left leg that testifies he has been hit by a car more than once. Whether because the veterinary bills were so high, or because his family was just sick of him, when a car hit him again on the right hind leg – he was not taken to the doctor.

And so, day after day, the Z-formed fracture was healing in the wrong way, Churchill began to grow shorter and limpyer  until finally he seized to be that good-looking shiny animal that a person can boost their redneck confidence with. He became weaker and weaker, his coat began to mat and finally – he became an ugly site – his broken leg, turned unnaturally in the wrong direction, the old fracture that made him limp with the other back leg… who needs a dog like this? That’s right, only “fools” like us. Thus – Churchill made his first stroll in the street as a homeless dog – broken, hungry and alone.

The Farm cannot take on any new animals and we have already said “no” to helping this boy once. But when we got a hectic call from his friend in Chelopechene yesterday, saying “some guy has tied the dog with a rope and is dragging him in an unknown direction” we had to act fast and quickly a place in a crowded foster home was found. We thought – all right, an amputation is not all that expensive, we can manage it somehow.

But when we took the boy to the Central Vet Clinic doctor Zlatinov had some terrible news for us: yes, the situation with this leg is a nightmare, but there is no way we can amputate, because the other leg has no joint at all – if we do not provide him with at least one hind walking cane the boy will begin to drag his butt, unable to stand up. Check and Mate! The operation that would save Churchill will be a hell of an expensive one, even with a discount, even with the doctor donating his working hours, even with an amazing person like d-r Zlatinov.

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500 leva. It is 500 leva that this blue-eyed hero needs to ever be able to run again. He needs 500 leva to become handsome and wanted again. Medically speaking – 500 leva are the price to be paid for a correction of the tibia, shortening of the femur and putting his joint back together. Or simply speaking – 500 leva are a huge barrier on the road to Mr.Churchill’s happiness.

Facts will be facts. Without your decisive support – Churchill cannot make it. He will be another disfigured testimony of how Bulgarians keep their dogs and what they do to them if they get sick.

Still, we are terminally ill with optimism and have the stubborn belief that nothing is as bad as it seems. Countless animals owe their lives and happiness to you, friends. Perhaps you would do your miracle again, for Churchill?

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If you decide to help him – we will be very grateful. You can donate for him through PayPal, e-pay or by bank – all details can be found HERE.
Donations for Churchill can also be left at the front desk in the Central Vet Clinic, just don’t forget to say they are “for the bill of Animal Rescue Sofia”.

On behalf of the good little hero, who has so patiently put up with immense pain caused and neglected by people – we thank the donors who will help him in his quest. We want to, we must believe that the world is not such a horrible place and there is space in it for a Churchill. But a happy, jumpy, loved Churchill, not a matted limping stray who wanders hungry and hated through emptiness till the day he dies.

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Murphy – the movie star

Posted on 14 February 2014

We received a lovely short film from Elizabeth – the adopter of Murphy from Pernik. The author of the clip is Rozalia Grigorova, and here follow a few words from Elizabeth, for you:

I now officially know that dogs can make you do things you never expected you would, or could for that matter.

For example – to go out for a walk at 04a.m. because you work night shifts and there is no way you can wake up in the morning for a proper walk.

Or more – to let someone make a film about your Pernik dog (the city is obnoxiously known) – one that sees a stick game in the following steps: jump on the person holding the stick; take him down on the ground; retrieve the stick and quickly run to play on your own.

Now I am sure that when the robots finally rebel against humanity I will have a loyal protector. Even if this means that my vacuum cleaner be eaten up on a daily basis, hit, chased, hated until it finally hides somewhere or at least stops cleaning. It’s not the most functional thing, but it’s the effort that counts, right?

Every time a happy tail spills a cup of coffee on my keyboard I threaten the perpetrator that he will have to pay the next time. I don’t care how he does it, whatever – he can be a cop, a mountaineer or a movie star – it’s his choice. And now what? He really is in the movies :))))))

Pets&U miracle updates

Posted on 13 February 2014

Four more lucky little ones went home during the past weeks thanks to the adoption weekends held at Pets&U!

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Zacky was adopted by Stephanie Jenayat’s wonderful family, this is Stephanie’s mom on the picture holding him, just before they exit the store!

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Little Googie was adopted by Roza Kolchagova, you can deside for yourself what kind of a life she is leading:

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And here you see Pippi with her new best friend – Martina Ilieva!

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When our boy Zacky chose another family  Tommy had no idea how lucky he was! The next weekend Zlatka Shopova came back to Pets&U and adopted him, she had firmly set her mind to adopt a play-mate for her best friend from us and chose the golden boy:

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If you like pretty pictures and stories – take a look HERE and HERE – these shots have been made by Sim Chengelski in two consecutive adoption weekends – such games, such joy, such happiness, it really is a pleasure to see these jolly fellows!

The heroines of this week

Rudy and Mimmi are two lovely 3 month old girls. Refined, gentle and smaller in size, they will not grow up to be huge dogs when they grow up. Both are healthy, vaccinated, dewormed and have microchips and EU passports.

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Rudy is a calm, intelligent girl with an amazing attitude to Life, The Universe and Everything else. She will shine bright in her adopters home!

Mimi is an exceptionally lovable and huggable soul, very clever and attentive, always ready for a hug, as long as someone allows her to. She is very lonely and sad and craves to go home…

The Martenitzi!

Chose our charity martenitzi for the First of March! Each one of them is a full donation for the dogs and cats at the Farm.

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Our martenitzi will be sold at Pets&U from Saturday, 15.02.2014. You are welcome to come and chose yours, they do more than just bring luck, health and happiness!

Pets&U

Pets&U is located in Lozenetz, on the side of the Hemus hotel. The store is open every day from 10a.m. to 8p.m.

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The people on staff all love and own animals, the sales-people are both veterinarians. All pets are welcome at the facility!

Find them on FACEBOOK

Life with Jeff

Posted on 12 February 2014

After his wonderful story about his life with Louie “Little Mook”, our dear friend Tom Chesser from Canada sends us a second one – it’s about our all-favorite boy Negarcheto whose new name is Jeff!
In case you don’t remember – Negarcheto was hit by a train and lost his tail and front leg in the adventure.
Enjoy!

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That’s MY ball!”, growled the gentlest dog I have ever met.

I’m guessing from his behavior that Jeff has never had a toy, or at least not one of his own.

Not surprisingly, this place is littered with balls and chew toys, both inside and out, and could be considered by many as a death-trap for old geezers who don’t watch where they’re going.

A few weeks ago, Jeff “discovered” a squishy yellow ball.  I was delighted.  While it’s a commonplace thing to see Louie express joy and excitement in all sorts of uniquely “Mookie” ways, such as running in great circles, gleefully jumping and yapping, and swinging from the overhead lights, it’s a rare delight to see Jeff actually “light up”.

At first, he seemed to enjoy it.  Then he Claimed It as his own.  No one was allowed near it or him.  (In case you were wondering, yes—he does know how to growl,)  There was a brief family meeting to discuss the ball’s ownership, but I was able to intervene before anyone needed a bandage—including me.  Yes, yes, Jeff had no intention of letting me take the ball either.

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Not to fear!  We talked privately about exactly who the hell supplies the dog food around here, and he grudgingly yielded the ball to me.

I immediately gave it back to him.

What happened next made me check the mirror—the look on his face assured me that he must have seen a second head on my shoulders.  He was much too stunned to be happy.  Then I started to trade him treats for the ball.  The treats were interesting enough that he would momentarily forget the ball, but as soon as I reached for it, he would lunge to get it first.  Of course, I started while he was still chewing, so I won.

And gave it back to him.

Thus we proceeded for a while—treat, ball, treat, ball, and very soon reached a point that touched me deeply.  This little street dog with such a harsh survival background let me hold the ball while it was in his mouth, and then gently released it to me.

And I gave it back to him.

The next day, we started this procedure over, but in a very different mood: it had become a happy game for him.  Eventually, he showed me how very well he could catch the ball when thrown from a short distance, and after a while he brought a tear to my eye—he laid the ball down and nuzzled me.  There was no longer any desperation to keep what was his, no worry that his treasure would be lost to him, taken by someone bigger and tougher (or me, either).  And then my little Oliver Twist started to play with other toys—things he had not noticed before, things he hadn’t realized were toys, and things he didn’t have to fear losing.

Jeff, my very dear little street urchin, had learned to play with me.

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* * *

I think, perhaps, Louie first told Jeff about training:

“Jeff, listen: when he makes a noise, you plop your butt on the ground and he’ll give you a cookie.”

“Bulls**t.  I don’t believe that for a second.”

“No, seriously.  He will give you cookies for doing the stupidest things.  Try touching his hand with your nose—see what happens!”

I did start training Jeff, but I really did not think it through.  The dog food is stored in cans in a small room which also has the door to the pen; it’s on the route to go outside to pee.  At the time, it seemed like a good idea to train near the food since I use it as a reward.  What I did not count on was how much Jeff would love training.  In every session, he happily dances about on his three legs, his stumpy tail wagging too fast to see and his eyes fixed on mine, waiting for the next command.  It’s truly a joy to work with him—usually. However, when one of the older dogs wakes me at 4:00 in the morning with a need to go out, we have to go through the training area to the door.  I don’t mind too much, but as soon as the dog has finished, I want to go back to bed.

Fat chance.

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As soon as Jeff gets to the training area, he begins his “happy dance”.  If I’m too sleepy to notice, no problem: he keeps doing it.  If I make it into the next room, he turns and bounces off the door.  Naturally, I assume this means he really did want to go out and waited too long.  Nope.  We go back into the training room and he dances over to the dog food can and stands up against it, and gives me the look—and there I am, 4:00 in the morning, manipulated into another training session by a pair of irresistible brown eyes.

Who, exactly, is training whom?

He lies as close as he can to me, often with his head on my lap.  He will endure all manner of cuddling that would embarrass other dogs, and remain in place waiting for more.  If I get up, I get looks from him that say, “Where are you going?  Why aren’t you staying here with me?  Are you coming back?  When?  When are you coming back?  Do you have to go?”, and so forth.  If I make it to the door, then I will hear a three-legged thump behind me as he gets off the sofa and follows.

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Bathroom privacy is something I have long since realized is a ridiculous thing to hope for, and all that has changed is who is nuzzling me for attention.  Now Jeff is always in the front.  Even Woody no longer has the opportunity to drop a sloppy wet ball into my underwear which provides an opportunity for all to have a great laugh at dad’s expense when dad is too sleepy to notice and pulls up his shorts anyway.  I’ll leave the imagery to you.  But now it’s Jeff wanting to be petted and staring into my eyes with a look that says he wants to be near me—no matter what I’m doing. Then back to the sofa, and after waiting very politely for me to get comfortable—unlike some little three-colored, two-legged dogs—he hops back up into whatever space is available whether is fits him or not, and lies down as close to me as he can get.

There seems to be a “honeymoon” period with new dogs during which they glue themselves to their new human, but as they become comfortable and secure in their new surroundings, they also become more comfortable with independence.  But Jeff, I think, will always be at my side, firmly attached.

And that’s fine with me.

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Then and now 🙂

 

Thomas Chesser, 
Nova Scotia, Canada

CLICK HERE TO VISIT TOM’S WEBSITE – you’ll find plenty of photos of our boys.

Lora – hit, lost, dragged and found…

Posted on 11 February 2014

You know that until we have finished with the reconstructions and registration we cannot take on new cases. But a distress call about a dog that was dragged by a vehicle shot us out of the Farm with a huge speed to Drujba district last week.  On the spot where Tsvety, a volunteer who found the dog waited, appeared D-r Ilieva.

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There, she found a female dog about to go into shock having lost huge amounts of blood and with her tissues torn down to the bone after being dragged by a car for at least 40 meters, judging by the bloody tracks on the pavement. It was after either dumped, or crawled to the side-bank in agony. Dyeing from blood loss and minutes away from sinking into shock the girl was immediately loaded on to the car whilst d-r Ilieva was calling the boys at the farm to get her stuff ready to save the dog’s life.

Minutes later the dog was at the Farm where the guys were already waiting at the door with all the tools needed for blood transfusion and a generous shelter donor.  D-r Ilieva fought an epic battle to save the life of the poor tortured creature. After about two hours she raised her head “I think she made it” and whilst she was putting the dog on a new set of infusions the most unexpected thing happened – the owners were found.

It turned out this is not just a stray, but a run-away that has traveled a great distance in 10 days whilst her owners were searching for her in a totally different part of town:

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“On January 31-st Lora was lost in H.Dimitar – a car hit her and she ran away. It was a side hit only of her head and shoulders, I have no idea what her condition is, because she ran like the wind and I lost her from sight in seconds. She might have gone anywhere, it’s been days of search an no one has seen her around here. Until this winter she has only lived in a village and is not yet used to the noisy city, she is very scared! She has a leather collar on her neck. If you happen to know anything about Lora, I would be greatly obliged for you to call me!!!”

Soon after that the owners were at the shelter to pick up their Lora so she can be treated in appropriate clinical surroundings. And so, this girl (your call – do you consider her lucky or un-lucky?) survived a whole range of horrible situations, but despite everything managed to survive and return back to her people.

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And do you know what the strangest thing is? In the rush whilst we were fighting for the dog’s life, before we knew anything of her story, Nadia suggested: “Let’s call her Lora”…

Regards from Phoebe

Posted on 10 February 2014

To all the donors who gave her a possibility to recover from parvovirus in the Central Veterinary Clinic before the amputation could take place, Phoebe says a warm, big:

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It was a big adventure for such a small little soul, but the end is near. After fighting-off the horrid infectious disease and going through the amputation of her destroyed front paw, we only have to treat her skin and our fair lady will be all set and ready for her new life on three legs! To her great luck, she has found amazing fosters that make sure she gets the love and attention she needs to recover swiftly. The hard part is through, only good things to come from now on!

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The last Bogrovians, Part 4

Posted on 09 February 2014

And so, the last (but not least!) group of lucky souls to leave the Bogrov shelter in its last days of existence. These little heroes didn’t get to enjoy the variety and the cold at the Farm for which we congratulate them with all our hearts! Here are the very last – last Bogrovians:

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Ripley (until recently known as Kaleb) is a 2-year old dog who spent his whole life at the shelter. Dumped as a tiny baby and last to be adopted from his litter, he now has his own home! Ripley now lives in the home of Zoya and Kamen Kamenovy in a house with a yard and a dog-companion to share a long happy life with. Farewell, dearest, we thank you for being so patient and kind. Look at him – this is Ripley as a little boy, what a sweetheart:

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Shaggy

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Shaggy was adopted by Nathalia and Petko Lazarovi! He came to us after a kind foster family took care of him, his mother and a brother until we had space for them. Mom – who was as tiny as him – was adopted in Germany a year ago. The brother, who is a large dog to his misfortune, is still with us. Shaggy now lazes about his own home, sleeping was his main activity at the shelter, but it’s a whole other story to have your own warm bed to snuggle into!

Annie

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Do you remember Annie? She is that tiny and incredibly sweet dog that we took in with 2 bones broken on a front paw after getting hit by a car quite some time ago. The good little girl struggled to get back on her feet, but succeeded. After so many procedures and manipulations Annie became a total people-fanatic and it would break our hearts to see her sad and lonely in her otherwise very large dog companion group. Annie was chosen by Irena Gapova and is already enjoying all the pleasures of life as an apartment dog – loved and spoiled as much as she deserves!

Eva

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Eva is a lovely dog that was abandoned with our friends at the “Good Idea” veterinary clinic – she had a large unpayed bill and no prospect for anything more than a crate in the clinic’s overnight compartment. After she had lived with the good doctors for many months Eva came to us as a very kind, very people-oriented dog. Sadly, being large and brown she was not on the “rapid adoptions” list.

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And still – after such a long time in a cage, she finally got her chance of being happy – Eva was adopted by Tzvetan Tzvetanov and is already enjoying her spacious new yard! Stay safe, you sweet bear!

The last Bogrovians, Part 3

Posted on 08 February 2014

There was a lot of heavy work to be done during the last month – moving from Bogrov to the Farm at the brink of the New Year was really an adventure – we thank the brave volunteers again for helping out in the most difficult times. Unfortunately, with the many tasks we had during our first weeks at the Farm – we are somewhat behind on our happy dog stories. In a few consecutive days we present to you the last dogs to leave the Bogrov shelter – going to their wonderful new families here in Bulgaria. Today it’s the turn of Max and… Max who were adopted by Michail and Michaela!

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Max is a husky found wandering about the Ariana lake. He was dirty, skinny and not as cocky as his typical self, but quickly became a shiny, happy dog, being a strong Nordic soul. Adopted once and then returned to us (he is a very vocal character) he now has the pleasure of singing to Michail Nikolov!

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We all hope that now, gotten all the spoiling and attention he craves, he will no longer find it necessary to scream out his feelings. For now he is doing great, keep your fingers crossed for him, because no matter how handsome, smart and spoiled he is – there is still a northern hooligan with bad eskimo manners behind those clever eyes. Stay smart boy and take care of youself!

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And here is… Max. Only this Max came to the shelter along with his twin-sister Mory. No way to tell them apart, completely identical dogs. They were raised by a woman who had them for a few months, but then decided she couldn’t handle them and brought them to us. At first they were both very shy and easily startled, but managed to get over it and thanks to the effort of the awesome volunteers they both became friendly attention-seekers. Max was adopted by Michaela Kireva who wasn’t scared by our horrid descriptions of his enthusiastic trouble-making and is now reporting of an absolutely calm, obedient, careful boy with a great attitude!