It’s Christmas time. Most of us look back on all the events that happened this year, where we had been, where we are now and what we should change next year. We think about how our lives changed, we make big plans for the future and we are preparing for the greatest holiday: Christmas.
Members of the Hungarian Dalmatian Rescue team remember, as well. Yes, we do have a lot of memories to think of: one year ago, on 5 December 2013 we travelled to Kaba (Eastern-Hungary) and rescued 13 Dalmatians (4 adults and 9 puppies) from a small puppy mill. Poor dogs were almost freezing in the pigpens…For them, hunger and abuse were just as ordinary as sleeping on the cold concrete.
This anniversary is very important for us, because it put our 3-member team into an extremely difficult situation. Out of nowhere, nearly 20 dogs joined the 2-3 dogs in our care that night and the everyday work determined the whole 2014 for us. This number could be ridiculous for bigger animal rescue organizations but for us it proved to be a huge task.
Many of you already know the story but let us take a moment now to remember Szejke, the heavily pregnant mother Dalmatian who gave birth to 6 puppies the night the pack arrived and thus we the number of freshly rescued dogs went up to 19. Unfortunately, we lost Szejke on the last day of December… We were all shocked and the next weeks and months were all trying for us. We had to raise 6 babies and take care of 3 adult and 9 puppies of various ages. Regular visits to the vet, feeding the dogs, beginning their socialization, writing their ads, carefully hecking hundreds of applicants, organizing meetings with their candidates and giving them to forever homes seemed to be and endless task for our small team. One single fosterhome welcomed all the 19 dogs but we needed help hoping that help would be on its way.. It was indeed, the National Animal Guard gave us full support in all possible ways. Several dog trainers and volunteers offered to foster a dog and we managed to place them in loving fosterhomes, where they could finally spend the holidays surrounded by caring people – for the first time in their life.
We are thankful to all of you for your immediate help: Adrienn, Kitti, Mariann and Viola for taking Carmen, Samy, Szonja and Szejke together with her newborn babies. We received material and financial donations from private persons and firms, as well. We really needed all the help to provide proper care for all the Dallies during the upcoming months. We are also thankful to all of you who for giving us prompt help during the first medical bath of the dogs (it was another long and tyring task), for cooperating in their transport and for collecting donations from various parts of the country. You all contributed to the success of this special rescue and gave us a chance to change their future.
Yes, it took us a whole year to find loving homes for all the dogs. Forever homes, where they will never ever have to face hunger and abuse again. Each member of the pack will celebrate this year’s Christmas with a loving family and we hope that they have already forgotten all the sad things they had to go through during the first months or years of their lives in past. Szonja, the last adoptable Dally has also moved to a loving home a month ago and now that we are preparing to sign her adoption contract, we can finally celebrate the end of a long and exhaustive rescue.
Now, as we take a look back on 2014, all these memories return to us. We remember the pigpen, where they lived and we remember the stick they were beaten with. We remember all the young lives we rescued, we remember Szejke and the birth of her puppies. And we remember all the frightened dogs… the fear in their eyes and their skinny bodies covered in wounds. We also remember our despair – what to do now, where to start, how to handle them and how to solve this situation… We remember the endless veterinary visits, the surgeries and treatments we had to go through with nearly two dozens of dogs in our care. We remember us, getting more and more tired with each and every day, getting up at 5 am in the morning and giving them night caresses after 11 pm every night. We remember our families we hardly had time to see, the household we couldn’t keep up with, a career we could hardly concentrate on and Christmas, which didn’t knock on our doors last year.
We remember all of you, who contributed to our work with your kind help. Thanks to your donations, these dogs could sleep in comfortable dog beds under soft and warm blankets instead of the cold concrete of the pigpen. We remember all of you who gave us financial support to pay the expensive costs of the vet care.
We remember all the fosterhomes for taking over some of the dogs in a situation we found completely hopeless back then. We remember the National Animal Guard, the HopeOnline and all of you for keeping your fingers crossed all throughout this long process. We remember the look in the dogs’ eyes that beamed with light and happiness as time went by, as they learnt to play without fear and slowly learnt that being around people can actually be fun. They learnt to welcome our caresses and they gobbled up their delicious meals with such joy they had never experienced before. We remember meeting all our candidates and introducing the Dallies to their future families and we remember how happy we felt as we took photos and signed the adoption contracts.
We remember all the 19 Dalmatians one-by-one, to whom we managed to provide a happy life with a hard everyday work all thoroughout the year, sparing no time, money and energy. We are proud of helping you. Happy First Anniversary, Kaba-rescue!
Carmen, Szonja, Samy,
Szira, Silver, Star, Szikra,
Cherry, Chanel, Coco, Cliff, Casper
Zoé, Zira, Zora, Zazi, Zápor, Zack