I’ve always wanted a dog to take care of, but I could only fulfil this dream once we moved to Stanciova. As a small child living with my grandparents I had a huge crush on their dog, which was reciprocated only in dozens of bites as I kept forgetting the poor creature doesn’t like to be touched on the head. I kept hiding such incidents from the adults for fear they would punish him or put him on the chain.
Last year me and my partner Anselm decided to make the step and look for a puppy to adopt. His belief was that it is easier to mold a puppy into a well behaved dog than deal with past traumas of already grown dogs. I could not care less what age, color or sex our future friend will have, I was just happy that soon I would have a doggie to spend the rest of its days with.
We called Alina, from the Pet Hope NGO in Timisoara and she excitedly gave us the address where somebody was offering temporary foster to three puppies found recently in front of a cemetery. Oh, great! Let’s go meet them! But wait, first a trip to the market not to go to them pups emptyhanded. The most decent to do was to face the meat section and get some meat by-product, like the pig skin known as ’șoric’.
And we met them…it was love at first sight, two pitch black females and a male, who had been found in the middle of cold winter full of mud. We played with all and decided to take one of the females with a white spot on her chest. The NGOs policy is not to give the adopted dog on the spot, but to come meet the future caretakers in the future home of the doggie and to make sure it will have good living conditions and will not be put on a chain. All agreed, we were supposed to receive her in Stanciova in a few days, so that evening we were walking on clouds in Timisoara, debating what name to give our new friend. In the end, Anselm came up with Shoreeck, from the very first food she feasted on when we first saw her.
And so it started, we set up to making her own little doghouse and on a February Sunday Alina came to visit and brought the little treasure. She hit it off great with the neighbours’ dogs and with the cat, and she grew more confident of her surroundings day by day.
Shoreeck got to learn the village fast, is generally a tender dog, and I am forever addicted to her. I love her squeaky sounds in the morning or when we see each other after we ve been a little while apart. I love how she keeps searching your hand with her snout, how she extends her belly to the sun, how she runs in the forest, how her whole body shakes when she wags the tail. She s my totem, my weakness, and my joy.
But no light is without shadow, so our precious had a few instants of biting people, although not severely. I was in a depression, I blamed myself for not seeing it happen and controlling it. We called a specialist, we went online and found a few useful resources on how to deal with this, since it is not the norm, but a potential incident. We learned that many dog friends have this problem, which manifest when the dog feels afraid, so we are fully focused on reading the signs when she can feel threatened. Now she is mostly restricted to the inner yard but comes on village trips daily. We find it effective when visitors come that we give them some food to feed her, make friends and create a positive relationship at the gate. Then she is trusting, allows to be petted and the people can stay over with no worry. For visitors who dislike dogs and dont want to approach her and make friends we dont have a solution yet but to supervise her closely or take her away on a walk when they are in her territory. When we move next to the forest we plan to make her own large enclosure where she feels safe and can retreat when other people are in our yard and she may have doubts about them.
It is a bit like having a problem child. One that a few people may hate, some may like and that two parents really adore and cannot imagine their lives without her.
Here are some pics of Shoreeck growing up from a little bundle to a medium-large-sized young lady: