How was the adoption process for you?
It was all quite straight forward. Unfortunately it was during lockdown so everything had to be done via WhatsApp and video footage of my house, gardens and surrounding area.
You are given all the necessary paperwork on arrival including microchip details. You need to keep these for your own vet once they are registered locally.
However this was all so easy to do and the Stray2Me team were great and kept me informed on a regular basis throughout, including the journey on the ‘Happy Bus’ when Jessie was finally on her way. The Happy Bus is fully equipped and DEFRA compliant so the dogs do not get stressed out on such a long road trip plus regular breaks along the way. As I said the Stray2Me team were absolutely great and we still stay in touch now and I send updates and Photo’s through.
What was it like the first moment you met your rescue?
I admit I was apprehensive but also excited especially having tracked her Journey across Europe and then over the English Channel. Unfortunately due to my location I was the last drop off point so it was very late in the day when the Happy Bus finally pulled up at the end of my drive, and the poor little mite was the last one on there. Plus as it was lockdown I had a huge mask on which must have looked daunting.
The driver, a really caring guy carefully lifted this tiny bundle out of the bus and placed her in my arms. We looked each other straight in the eye and I got a big wet kiss on the nose (from Jessie not the driver!). I knew then we were going to have some fun years ahead of us.
How was the settling in process?
Pretty easy given her young age. I also had the advantage of having two other dogs, both female who helped her settle in. I did not need to house train Jessie, or teach her to walk on the lead – she just learnt everything herself from watching my two other girls. Jessie and my Red Fox Lab ‘Willow’ love each other to bits and stick together like glue.
Where are you now?
Luckily I live a 2 minute walk away from a huge sandy beach. So I am gradually getting Jessie to be brave enough to go for a swim. She currently gets so far and then a wave will come and go straight up her bum and she flies out and then spends 5 minutes barking at the waves. She is fully house trained, loves walks on and off the lead and has good (not great yet!) recall. After learning to swim my next challenge is to get her to play ball. At the moment she has no idea what to do and when you throw the ball towards her it just bounces off her head and she just stares at you wondering what that was all about. Willow and Hope love their ball games and swimming so I am sure she will not want to miss out on the fun come the long warm summer days and will join in.
Any advice for others considering to adopt a Romanian rescue?
First and foremost do not be afraid to ask questions and ask for pictures and video footage if available. Unfortunately you do not have the luxury of getting to meet and know your prospective new family member first so you are going on a leap of faith. With Jessie it nearly didn’t happen. She was only a couple of months old and was in a foster home but when it came time to get her to the Vet for her travel vaccinations she bit the foster carer as they tried to grab her.
As an experienced dog owner I know that when a dog bites it is normally through fear than aggression so I asked for video footage to see where she was living and any footage of her interacting with other dogs. Jessie was living outside and had made a home for herself under an out building and had very limited bodily contact with the foster carer, which when you have so many to look after I know can be difficult. This was clearly why she reacted the way she did especially with one so young.
I could also see that she sat and interacted with other dogs quietly and quite happily. She transferred to another foster home prior to transport, a Mother and Daughter who made her a home in doors and supplied ‘one on one’ cuddles, nose kisses and belly tickles. From the video footage they sent me I could see Jessie loved the attention and being cuddled and stroked and that she had a loving personality.
For other abroad rescues, my older ones, I asked to see video footage of them walking on a lead, being with other dogs so I can gauge the work needed and plan for when they arrive.