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In a country where the macho-culture dominates all spheres of social life it is no surprise that the word “Castration” sounds scary to people. Many even react with a shiver when we try to explain to them that Spay/Neuter is good for their dogs. “But that’s so inhumane!” they would say and stop all discussion.

It is an astonishing fact that many of these people are in the same time absolutely cruel to the unwanted offspring of their beloved animals. Some are drowned, some thrown in the garbage as newborns, some go after they have been weaned. But whatever kind of “cardboard box puppy”*- their destiny is almost always the same – short and painful. Even so, people find the prevention of this cruelty “inhumane”, “unnatural”, “unfair”…

This here is the story of Rufus – a little boy who has been through great ordeals, and is now safe in Holland where “cruel people” neuter their pets and there are no homeless dogs.

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His story begins just as with most unwanted cardboard box puppies – he was born on an icy night under some barracks in a yard. The air was freezing cold, but his mother’s body was warm. So Rufy curled up in-between his 8 siblings, drank milk for the first time and dozed off.

The new world is quiet and dark for little puppies. They are born blind and deaf. Only their noses are working, and of course – their eternal lust for life. In a few days Rufy and the other babies became a bit more round, learnt how to suckle and sleep, but most of all – learnt the smell of their mother and that they should always stick to her if they want to live. So it was impossible for them to hear or see the person who kicked their mother away from them before his rough hands threw them quickly in a bag. They smelt her fear and that was it.

It was the last time they smelled their mother.
Then it became cold. Then it became hungry. Then the time came for loneliness and death.

This is how the good man found them. 1,2,3… 9 newborn puppies. Out in the cold. He didn’t have the time, the strength, the money to take care of them. But he also didn’t have the heart to leave them in the snow. So he took them to his living block’s basement – at least they wouldn’t be so cold. He didn’t know what puppies ate, so he made them what he used to eat as a child – the only thing he could afford – bread and yoghurt. In the beginning it looked like things are going well. The babies seemed so determined to survive. But in the coldest days their luck turned again. One baby died. Then another. The old man didn’t know what to do. When only 4 puppies were left, he got on the bus and travelled all day. In the evening, he reached the Bogrov shelter. His eyes were full of tears when he was leaving them.

That night 2 more babies went to Heaven. They were not ill. They just didn’t have the strength to survive.  Just a handful of life, without a mother, in the cold… it takes a special kind of magic to make it. And they didn’t have it. Only 2 babies were left on the next morning. They went to Valya – a foster mother who hoped her love and care will turn things around for them. Hope dies last, that’s what they say.

The same night was the last one for the 8-th puppy. Only one left. Meet Rufus.

Contradicting all odds and laws of the Univerce – Rufus survived. Day after day on the gentle hands of Valya, warm, overfed and surrounded with love, he said a polite “NO, thank you” to Mr Death and grew to become a lovely puppy.

The kind eyes you see would have been just as kind on the face of his perished brothers and sisters. The ones who died despite the old man’s great efforts, alone and without a mother to nourish them.

Every week tens and tens and hundreds of puppies are being dumped on the streets of Sofia. Born in the yards of people who have not made the effort to neuter their female dogs – some because they didn’t know, some of hypocritical “humanity”, some just because they are too lazy to do it.

Are there any un-neutered free-roaming or chained dogs around you? On your parking lot? At the gas-station? In the yard of your company? Please, don’t pass them by. The destiny of their babies will be the same as the one that was suffered by the brothers and sisters of Rufus. Don’t  pass them by! Neuter them. It is free at Bogrov.

It may seem to you like it’s complicated – it isn’t! It will only take you a few hours to pick up, bring and return the dog to her living grounds. And the result will be so great! Tens of saved lives. Tens of agonizing deaths spared. It is up to us. No one else would help them.

Warm regards from Rufus, who has turned one in his lovely Dutch home. He is a happy, healthy, loved and loving dog. But what about his “brothers in arms”? Where are all those lives, dumped in the trash, in boxes, in forests and rivers…

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* Cardboard box puppies – unwanted babies of owned dogs that are dumped on the street at some point – in a cardboard box, in a bag or just like that.

1 Comment

  • Anonymous
    Posted 08/04/2012 22:46 0Likes

    Wat leuk, Marieke!

Comments are closed.

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