Written by Betty Heideman (Burgundy, France)
Published on: April 12th, 2012
My name is Sonia and I live in an animal shelter in Portugal. I have been here for a long time, and nobody really knows when I actually came here. I don’t know it myself either because I am very old. I cannot hear well and these days I sleep a lot. Whilst I sleep I have trouble with my bladder and wet myself, but can’t do anything about it. I know they are very busy and can not clean my basket, so I wait patiently till some one comes once a week to give me a dry blanket. I had given up all hope to ever find someone that would look after me and give me my own doggy basket to lie in. Around me I saw other dogs repeatedly leave with a happy snout but no one ever saw me. So I walk around a bit, and then go back to sleep. They are very kind to me here, but understandably they are very busy looking after all the animals.
Last week a small wonder happened. A two legged being came inside with a huge smile on her face and tears in het eyes. I didn’t understand too well, crying is for grief and sorrow isn’t it? But why is she smiling? She told me I am allowed to leave. ME? I can go? Where to? She told me I am going to my own home, with my own doggy basket and other friends. I have to travel a long distance but someone is waiting for me who is going to love me very much and where I will never have to leave. I didn’t understand, why would anyone want such an old dog like me? She said that where I am going there are a lot of old dogs living. I could hardly believe it and now I can cope with every day. I am going to get my own family!!
July 2011, the president of Djimba, a home for old and handicapped dogs flew to Portugal to get Sonia out of the shelter where she had been living for at least 12 years but maybe even longer.
She is now living in a loving home with 17 other dogs who are almost all abused, neglected or left behind to die. She gets medication for her incontinence and has her own chair where she feels safe.
She eats well and is a real huglover, when you only briefly touch her, her paws immediately ask for more.
Sonia is almost blind now and has to be carried out of the chair to go outside because she can not jump (she does not understand the height) but when she goes outside she does her thing on her own, walks around a bit and goes inside again. She then sits near the chair and makes an effort to jump in, with which we help her.
We are a small foundation, based in France. All our animals (18 dogs, 6 cats) live in the house together in harmony. We are depending on donations entirely. The president gives workshops Soft Touch (a special massage method for dogs) to raise money for the foundation. You can visit all the animals at www.dj-imba.com.Will You Help Rescue Others? You'll LOVE Our Work! Before: scheduled for euthanasia at the pound. After: His new family has a huge backyard!