Winter is a tough season for travellers. It’s cold, you can’t sleep in a car, tent or simply outdoors. You can’t relax in the sun, do workout in fresh air and definitely you can’t swim in the lake or sea. To add to this, it’s rainy for the most part of cold season and with such weather the thought of spending time outside the flat is simply disdaining. At some point Nick was so desperate to get away from cold and rainy Germany that he started searching for cheap flights to Israel, Mallorca or, well, anywhere. Niki had a better idea, though.
A helping hand
There are literally millions of stray dogs. Thousands of them land in an animal shelter and these often can be called lucky. Some of them live their lives on the street. However, there is also a completely different dimension of the world cruelty. It’s called human.
There is a saying that if you want to have everlasting, unconditional love without borders, jealousy or drama… get a dog. These creatures love you whoever you are or whatever you do. And people simply hurt them in so many creative ways. Mutilate them. Starve them. Hit, shout, yank, beat, tie up,chain, throw, suffocate, humiliate, burn, drown, set on fire, blind, poison or abandon. And we encountered a dog like that. On Facebook. A friend posted that a dog searches for home. Young, 8 months old, chained for her whole life, having a filthy shack as home. There are so many posts like that, I can’t even count it. But we decided – if we are not going to Asia this year, we are going to save one of these wonderful creatures. We wrote to the man who posted the plea for help. There was a problem, though – we were in Portugal, it was October, and we could not come back and take the dog ASAP. So we told him that if until December nobody takes her, we will.
Time passed, we came back to Germany and I worked during Christmas in Leipzig (however this is a whole another post). The thought of a dog slipped in the depth of forgetfulness, we had so many other problems to deal with. Winter is never easy for street artists. I started to obsess about travel again and Niki tried to reason with me, however when it’s cold, wintery and grey everywhere, it’s not so easy, I assure you. Then she mentioned we forgot about a dog. THE dog. So we messaged the guy again. She was still there, nobody called. Nobody.
We also were informed that the mother of this dog “disappeared”. Suddenly, when the Police came to that house and told the owner to “do something about the dogs as it is illegal to keep them on a chain 24/7”. After short discussion we agreed – after Christmas we go to Poland, 750km altogether and we take her. No matter what. This is not a living for any creature.
Jan, gods bless him, kept her alive and told us everything we needed to know. So we packed Wolfie and went. He was so kind that he took a dog to his place to spare us the heart breaking view and we were so grateful. I would never shake a hand of the previous owner. Neither would Niki.
He took her out of a shed and there she was. Scared to the bone, trying to disappear but finally safe and sound. Yuki. Snow.
The New Beginning
On the way back we stopped on a gas station. We opened the door and she tried to run away. Our new companion, the third Gadabout, was terrified beyond anything. Anyway, we encountered two guys. Typical Slavic style – sweatpants and stuff. One of them gave to Yuki a small piece of sausage and we started chatting. When they heard the story, one of them took a wallet out, gave us a banknote and said that he knows it’s not much but maybe at least it will suffice for the food. It was so heartwarming…
The first moment she entered our flat in Poland we could see how new it was for her. For the next 10 minutes or so she was sniffing frantically getting to know new smells and a completely new environment.
It wasn’t easy in the beginning. We had to go to the vet with her, vaccinations, checkups, first dog gear, food and all that jazz. It strained our budget quite a bit, but there are no regrets. We would do this again. We washed her so she finally started looking pretty. Fortunately, previous owner didn’t starve her, but her stamina was completely non-existent. Whole life on a chain, I remind you. First days, weeks, she couldn’t move after a walk. But it got better. Much better.
After New Year we went back to Germany, we took her home and although it is still a long way to teach her everything, she is a healthy, happy and safe dog and we could at least do this much.
Now Yuki is a very happy dog which is still afraid of so many things. She’s afraid of car rides, cigarette smoke, people and many more. It took us two days to teach her stairs don’t bite. However, on every step she shows us how much she loves us so this also gives us patience to teach her not to be afraid. To be a self confident, brave dog which will travel and share its life with us.
The Third Gadabout.
P.S. There is a photo gallery with more pictures HERE. Just for you to know. ;)