Since becoming involved in the social media aspect of dog rescue and advocacy, my knowledge of the abuse and troubles associated with dogs has grown. I’ve learned about bait dogs, kill shelters, PETA and fake rescues, crush videos, the Yulin dog festival, sled dogs, pet theft and flipping, class B dealers, dog racing, chaining, humane legislation, commercial pet food, and more. To tell you the truth, I’d rather not know about most of this stuff. Some days, the knowledge is like trying to shoulder the weight of the world.
One of the things that has repeatedly bothered me are the reports of dog abuse in other parts of the world. Most times, those posts don’t carry any useful information, such as when the abuse happened, who has the evidence, what official to contact, or even the country where it happened. Sometimes a country is mentioned, but often it’s one of those where the welfare of women, or other marginalized citizens are not respected — so how can I hope to obtain any kind of justice for animal cruelty there? Where does one even begin to vet a foreign rescue group to make sure it’s not some kind of financial scam?
Gradually, I came to hear of U.S. rescue groups that are rescuing dogs in places like Iraq and Turkey, by flying them to the states to find adoptive homes. I have not been a fan of this practice: not able to justify the cost, time, or effort involved when there are so many dogs right here in the U.S. who need help.
But then I met Dodi.
I was dropping Rocket Boy off to be groomed at Dog Days in Bath, and when I walked in a number of dogs were lined up behind the counter, standing on their hind legs, as if they were “working the counter.” This in itself was not unusual. There is always a group of friendly dogs there for grooming or day care to greet customers and new arrivals. On this morning, one of the dogs was a young golden, and as I handed Rocket over to Alyssa, I began to greet the smiling dogs at the counter. When I came to the golden, he leaned in for the attention, and I asked:
” Who’s this? ”
“That’s Dodi,” Alyssa said.
” Hello Dodi, ” I said, “you are a very sweet boy. Are you having fun here?”
” He probably doesn’t understand what you are saying, ” Alyssa said, “He’s a Golden Treasures dog from Turkey.”
So, I thought, this is one of those dogs rescued from overseas. I hadn’t known that Golden Treasures Rescue did that. Aren’t there enough goldens in need of rescuing here?
“You don’t understand English?” I said to Dodi. ” And I don’t speak Turkish.”
But then, Dodi and I made a connection. It was more than him deliberately placing his paw on my arm. It was more than the way he gazed deep into my eyes. It was more than the way he radiated love out of each and every golden hair.
I caught my breath. Gratitude was pouring out of him in a great wave. People had been kind to him. He was safe. He was fed. He wasn’t sick any more. He had a soft bed and a warm place to sleep. Life was good.
I hugged Dodi around his neck. What an extraordinary dog! Who was I to say which dogs deserved rescue and which ones did not? They are all deserving wherever they’re from. All dogs should feel safe and loved.
Golden Treasures Rescue teams up with other local rescues to each sponsor a dog. A rescue group in Istanbul provides the dogs in need, and the network transports them to America for medical treatment and adoption. As a team effort, the groups are able to keep their costs more affordable while helping multiple dogs at once. Golden Treasures places their dog in a foster home and sees to his medical needs. The foster home works with the dog to make him more adoptable, and to learn the dog’s traits and personality so he will be placed in a home that will help him thrive. Dodi was adopted shortly after I met him, and has a lovely family.
Golden Treasures Rescue (GTR) is an all-volunteer rescue, providing veterinary care, foster homes and permanent new homes for golden retrievers in the Ohio area. They rescue Golden Retrievers wherever they are found.
Their adoption fee rarely covers the cost of rescuing these wonderful dogs. They may take in a dog that is already spayed/neutered, but the next one that comes in may be heartworm positive. GT relies on donations, fundraising activities and grants for its income. They do not receive any state or federal funds. And, because GT is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax deductible.
Golden Treasures Golden Retriever Rescue, Inc.
P.O. Box 434, Bath, Ohio 44210