«I found a missing puzzle piece». Adopting a street dog in Georgia
Last May our colleague Alla met a street dog on Batumi beach. She saw other dogs treating the pup badly and decided to take the dog home. Alla shared her story — as well as some adorable pictures.
Meeting the dog
My friends were the first ones to see the dog. She was getting a bit too much attention from a pack of street dogs. They were either a bit too playful or low-key aggressive. My friends have a lot of experience with dogs, so they acted fast and made the pack go away. We took the pup with us and left it near our accommodation, so we could check on her in the morning. The local dogs acted welcoming.
I have always been fond of animals. I donated to various NGOs that take care of stray cats and dogs. But I had never thought I would adopt a street dog myself. Being in a different country and already owning a cat I was not sure it was a sound decision. But after meeting the pup, all I could think of was whether I should take her home.
The next day I called my husband — he had not moved to Georgia yet. I told him all about the dog and my thoughts. I asked him if he thought it was a crazy idea. He told me to bring her home. «We will manage» — he added, — «We have to help her».
I went outside to look for the dog, but she was nowhere to be found. So I called my friends and we began the search. One day later she was found — and I took her home with me.
Alla and Michelle
I called the pup Michelle. The first thing I did was take her to see the vet. She was malnourished and limped on one paw. She got a prescription for flea medicine and was advised on an appropriate food regimen.
Once we got home I bathed Michelle and was going to feed her. But she was so exhausted that she fell asleep before I could pour her food in the bowl.
At that time I was living with my friends who helped me find Michelle. They also had a dog and I needed to keep Michelle aways from their pet for 10 days. I rented a flat across the hallway so that Michelle could live there.
Judging by the dog's friendliness to humans she wasn't born in the streets. I suspect the previous owner kicked her out. She probably used to live in a house and was allowed to roam the streets freely, because at first she didn't understand why she would need a leash. Also at the beginning of our life together Michelle would eat anything she could find in the streets — bread, garbage, you name it. Sometimes at home she would gnaw on things because of the stress she was feeling. I consulted a dog handler and provided Michelle with proper training, so she would get used to her new life easier.
The missing puzzle piece
The first thing that changed after Michelle became a part of my life, was my daily routine. I had to schedule the walks and pay a lot of attention to the dog. My cat is not that sociable — so that was a big shift for me. I met a lot of new people on the walks — the dog lovers community here in Batumi is very welcoming. Sure, I faced some challenges after the adoption, but all in all I feel like I found a missing puzzle, and my family became whole, after Michelle joined it.