How my Romanian rescue dog rescued me

WARNING: This post contains upsetting information. Readers’ discretion is advised.

Meet Lucky. Lucky had a bad start in life as he was captured in Romania by a group of people who are paid 35 euros to capture dogs and take them to public shelters.  

They will tie the dogs legs up and throw them on a bonfire.

However these shelters aren’t like UK shelters they are unclean, overcrowded and riddled with diseases. In some shelters they don’t feed the dogs so they are forced to eat each other. In some of the worst places they will tie the dogs legs up and throw them on a bonfire.

In 2016 the Daily Mail reported on the situation and cited that ‘a dog was so badly beaten its eyes had literally popped out when rescue workers found it in a pool of its own blood.’

The way the mayor of Bucharest decided to respond to this epidemic, was to call for a mass slaughter of dogs.

According to the website Friends for Homeless Dogs the problem started in the 80s when ‘dictator Nicolae Ceausescu aimed to industrialise Romania’ people were forced to move into the city and houses were demolished. People had to share apartments which meant they had to abandon their dogs. This led to lots of stray streets dogs, which then started to breed.

The way the mayor of Bucharest decided to respond to this epidemic, was to call for a mass slaughter of dogs. To any dog owner this is horrific.

The reason I am giving you so much context is because I want you to appreciate the circumstances Lucky managed to escape from.

Lucky at Tendercare Rescue centre.

Lucky came into my life by chance really. I was in my third year of university and I was making a documentary about kindness. I wanted to document ordinary people’s everyday kindness. Through this I came into contact with a women from Durham who ran a cattery and cat shelter and then ended up rescuing dogs. A colleague of hers told her about the situation in Romania and she had to felt like she had to help. Below you can see an episode of my documentary on the rescue centre called Tendercare.

During this period I was suffering from seasonal affective disorder and I was really struggling. When I went to Tendercare for the first time I took my brother, who fell in love with Lucky. We spoke to my mum about him and asked if we could adopt him. Two weeks later, Lucky came home with us.

When we first got him he was very anxious, he was scared of everything and almost everyone (particularly men). The first time we tried to take him on a walk he froze and wouldn’t walk. When he eventually got braver and walked on a lead he was frightened to cross roads so I used to have to pick him up. He was afraid of any noise and was constantly startled. I can’t even begin to imagine what he went through.  

Fast forward three years later and he is a happy dog, who loves walkies especially on the beach. He is still an anxious dog and I think he always will be, however he is so much better and a lot more friendly with strangers.

Watching an anxious dog come out of his shell has made me so proud and ridiculously happy. It’s been a long road for Lucky but he has made it and I don’t think there’s anything more rewarding than knowing that you’ve been a part of his journey.

Lucky’s first night with us.

Lucky rescued me because he’s taught me that you can overcome any obstacle that comes your way. He rescued me because he was a friend when I needed one the most. He rescued me because he’s always by my side. And most importantly he rescued me because he brought happiness into my family and for that I’ll be eternally thankful.


  1. Despite Pain

    Oh my…this is so so sad. I just despise animal cruelty. Well, any kind of cruelty. Animals give so much to us, don’t they, so how can anyone be so cruel. But, on the upside, you found each other and you helped each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mystyle5

    I’m so glad you found Lucky! I can say that being originally from Romania, I know how bleak the situation is there for abandoned and homeless pups. So I decided that when I adopt a dog, I will do my best to bring it from Romania and give it a new life here.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Réka Müller

    There’s no better feeling than seeing rescue dogs come out of their shell and live the life they deserve! Well done for adopting this cutie


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