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Thor was brought to the shelter by a man who claimed he was not his owner. He wanted to leave Thor with us because the dog consumed two pieces of bread a day…too much for his budget. Thor was in the man’s pushcart, inside a plastic sack. When I opened it, I saw a very large dog that appeared old.

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I let him get down off the pushcart and I saw that the dog was essentially a walking skeleton. Thor was a Great Dane mix, a breed that should normally weigh between 60-70 kg. Unfortunately, Thor barely weighed 40 kg.

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He moved very slowly, as if he were completely exhausted. He was very affectionate. He drank lots of water and he ravenously ate everything we gave him. It was obvious that he had not eaten for a long time. It was difficult for me to estimate his age because his teeth were very worn and some were missing. He was probably 10 or more years old. Louse and flea eggs were visible in his hair. He had a horrible appearance.

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It was clear that he had suffered greatly and that he had been neglected. Despite this, he did not hate people. He was very good and he did not object to anything, not even when I gave him painful vitamin or other injections. He was like an elderly person who had seen just about everything during his lifetime, someone who wasn’t surprised anymore by anything. For 3-4 days everything went fine. I brought him on walks and I set up a small pen where he had a basin. He liked to stay there.’  On the fifth day, in the morning when I took him out, I realised that he didn’t have the strength in his hind legs with which to stand up. He wanted to walk but he simply wasn’t able to.

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I brought him to his pen and I fed him. He refused the food. He only drank and then he fell asleep. After a few hours, we tried to feed him again, but he refused to eat again. He only wanted to sleep. He even continued to sleep while we hooked him up to the drip feed. He was sleeping very soundly. I remember that I brought him into the room where the animals are prepared for surgery and he slept in the middle of the room. Everyone passed him and he just continued to sleep. That night he ate a bit of meat. The following day Thor’s condition worsened. He began to vomit and he became jaundiced. Not even the vitamins and the drip feed were helping him anymore. Only one week after his arrival, Thor died. He had suffered too much and help had arrived late. Too late. He was an old dog and he should have had a certain lifestyle: he needed care and love but had not received either.

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The only consolation is that we helped Thor live out his last days in the way that he should have lived his whole life. Someone pet him, talked to him, gave him a name and felt sorry when he died. If it hadn’t been for our shelter in Medgidia, this dog would have ended up in the rubbish, right where that man would have liked to have brought him. Thor was our “gentle giant”.

Alina Vasile

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Voluteers of the Association for the Villotta Dog Pound promptly responded to our call for help, flying to Bucharest last weekend to pick up our puppies.The puppies flew to Venice and from there they were accompanied to the shelter, where they are waiting for new families to adopt them. Many thanks to Aurora, Marina, Francesca and all of the volunteers!

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From 1st June, three students from a Dutch school will be at our refuge in Cernavoda for a month’s voluntary work.’  The girls are studying to become ‘animal keepers’ (a professional position which cares for refuge animals) and will be caring for the many puppies that unfortunately live in our building.’  They will leave on the 30th June.

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To Hilde (see photo), Sara and Lianne-we thank you so much for your commitment and enthusiasm.

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