It was around Easter time that I got an email informing me that there was this big puppy --- 6 months old --- that was just horrible. He ate himself through the house when left home alone. The young man that had had him since he was a really young puppy declared that he would throw him in a shelter or out on the streets!
He had enough!
A woman that was dog sitting this hooligan contacted me, also saying it didn’t work with the Puppy. He was a destroyer!
His name is NATO and he is a strong 22 kg puppy. It was of course over the Easter holiday, when most everyone was gone or otherwise involved in family time. Even without the holiday, not many would like to volunteer for such a challenge. I asked the foster mother for some time.
I contacted my Swedish volunteer Maya, could she help me find a home, and quickly? At the same time NATO needed a passport, and to get a passport in Campania, Italy isn’t the easiest. It’s always complicated, changes to opening hours, and procedures, and then to find the office is a challenge. Our volunteer Sharon (UK) offered her time to pick up the foster-mom and NATO, and together drive them to the passport office. At the same time we were working 24/7 interviewing people in Sweden, making home visits, several phone-calls every hour to various possible adopters. I knew NATO was special, and it would take a special family to take him in and not damage him further. We couldn’t afford having him going back and forth to different families.
Maya loved the idea to fly down and pick up NATO and another dog. I took my Birthday money and bought a plane ticket (thank you Minna (SE) for helping me booking the ticket—flying with animals.) Our wonderful member Henrik (SE) sponsored the dog tickets.
Maya flew away from Copenhagen, Denmark to Rome, Italy where I had sent her the train guidance and timetable going to Napoli. Our other great volunteers Martina and Pio were waiting at the train station and welcomed Maya. She was escorted to our hospice to meet her dog that she had adopted, Leona. Leona would come a little later to Sweden. I couldn’t bear the thought that Maya would be in Rome over the night without meeting her beloved dog, if so only for one hour. Martina and Pio escorted her to Hotel Agora, our wonderful friendly hotel. Our volunteer Barbara (US) had donated a night stay there for Maya. At nine o’ clock that evening came the foster-mom and her husband with NATO. NATO slept on Maya’s arm until it was time to leave at 0400 in the morning. Flavia and her husband were outside the hotel waiting with the English Setter, Eva, that was also going to Sweden. Our volunteer Patrick (US) came at 04.15 and drove Maya, NATO and Eva to the Rome airport (a 2-hour drive) and helped Maya put the crate together and since we knew that NATO was a Houdini escape artist they put duct tape and white plastic zip-ties to secure him. Patrick left, and Maya went to check in the dogs, only to know that you had to take out the dogs and weigh the crates and then put the dogs inside. On top of everything, we’d tranquilized NATO since we were worried he would go wild. I told Maya to use her beauty, and blue eyes to get help. A security guard helped to secure NATO again.
At Copenhagen two hours later, were the family was waiting and they loved NATO. They had borrowed a car to drive down from Gothenburg. Eva went home with her family, adored and loved. Sadly, the boy in NATO’s family developed an allergy to him after several days, but we had kept contact with the most disappointed person that wanted to adopt NATO originally, Henrik (different Henrik than he who donated the tickets for the dog-flights). He was over joyed and jumped in the car, and drove 4 hours to pick up NATO and take him home. He loves NATO.
When I asked him if NATO was horrible, Henrik laughed and said, “He is not horrible he only wants company”
Thank you everyone in this big mission. One dog, one big crew! Happy Tears!