Local folk and tourists frequently stop a local Hull man and ask him about his big bear dog Teddy, so I thought: Why not tell Teddy’s story?
His life is one of happiness – but it wasn’t always.
Warning – upsetting content:
Teddy is 8, a Giant Crossbreed, nose to tail 52”, and paw to head 33”. Teddy (sometimes with me) is seen around Withernsea daily. Teddy plods along, rolling over for belly rubs, or gazing out to sea.
Dog Catchers: Teddy was caught by a dog catcher in 2020 for canine population control in Romania. Most dogs only know a life of brutality and fear, not love. The dog catcher is in business – he uses a catchpole that tightens around a dog’s neck, and that dog is often cruelly lifted as it struggles to free itself from capture. In 2013, the Government passed a law to capture and kill city street dogs, even abandoned family dogs. Given Teddy’s calm nature and adapting to domestic life quickly, he may have been a family dog.
Calarasi Public Shelter: Teddy was thrown into one of Romanian’s notorious public shelters – harsh conditions, fifthly crowded pens, disease, starved dogs fighting as they compete for what little food and water offered. Puppies and dogs with disabilities stand almost zero chance of survival. Fierce winters with deep snow and hot summers add to the horrendous conditions and death toll.
Although Teddy knows he is safe now, he avoids passing you to get to his food – maybe he was kicked at the shelter? He has numerous old scars across his body and has half an ear with an even cut line. Yet despite his abusive history, he is gentle to other dogs and loves a fuss, and similarly to other dogs with a horrific past, Teddy is forgiving.
2013 law of 14 days: In the UK, pound dogs have seven days before transferral to a rescue centre or humanely euthanised if there isn’t rescue backup. In Romanian public shelters, dogs have fourteen days in a hostile environment, then face inhumane euthanasia by painful injection, hanged, poisoned or shot. International rescues rely on donations, however small, to save God’s creatures and transport them to safe countries. Teddy had 24 hours remaining to live – his cash pot suddenly reached £300 of donations, which meant enough money was raised to be removed from the Calarasi shelter.
The Happy Bus: Teddy and other lucky dogs were put on the Happy Bus and transported to a safe location in Romania. The money raised allowed for medical treatment, a vaccination course, a microchip, a passport and travel. Teddy and the others then travelled in a van across Europe, the Channel, arriving in Hull in July 2020. Today Teddy has an issue with being in a car but is gradually associating the experience with fun outings.
So when you meet a dog, remember their past may have been very different to the one they have now.
Every animal deserves human love.
- Adopting a Romanian Rescue Dog – Teddy’s story continues
- Teddy’s holiday and walking YouTube playlist
- www.internationaldogrescue.org.uk – saving dogs in Romainia
Article published in the Withernsea & District Community News – 2021
Poppy’s Pets has a pet column in the Withernsea District & Community News