This bright-eyed pup showed up on my grandmother’s doorstep in Maramures this past Sunday morning. Although happy to get my attention, he was clearly suffering: he looked as if he hadn’t had a decent meal in weeks, as his ribs were showing through the fur, and he was full of fleas. He had the outline of a collar around his neck, so from the looks of things, he’d escaped from a situation where he was abused. (The photos you see here were taken a couple of days after he’d been in our care, so they don’t show his initial state. The collar you see in these photos is a new one we bought him.)
I fed him and he practically vacuumed up anything I gave him. I started to pet him, and he had no idea how to voice happiness. He would begin screeching and yowling as if he was in pain, yet his face clearly showed he was happy. This was a dog that had been ignored, beaten and malnourished. That’s when I decided we’d keep him. He was happy to stay. After his meal, he fell asleep next to the house, in the sun.
Throughout that day and the next, he ate enormous amounts of food and he began to look better. At night, he slept on our doorstep. Although he could leave whenever he wanted, he stayed. (We don’t like to tie up our dogs.) The third evening, he disappeared, and he showed up the next morning a little bloody. Then, later that day, he disappeared again for a few hours. That’s when we decided to make inquiries. It was clear to us that he belonged to somebody and he still had ties to that place, in spite of the abuse and lack of food.
It didn’t take long to find the house of his former master; everyone knows each other in my grandmother’s village. Let’s just say that it wasn’t the kind of arrangement one would want, so I made the owner an offer: I told him we love the dog and we’d like to adopt him, and I’ll either pay for the dog or I’ll find him another. Happily, he chose the money. I paid him (there were witnesses), and took Costache to his proper home.
Costache is a funny name in Romanian, but everyone that knows him says it suits him perfectly. He’s very friendly and quite adorable with those floppy ears and bright eyes of his. He’s now almost flea-free and on his way to being fully de-wormed, and he has what the ASPCA likes to call a “forever home”. He’s still not tied up and never will be. He can leave whenever he wants, but we hope he’ll like his new home so much that he’ll stay. We’re bringing a companion for him, an adopted female dog named Tesa, and they’ll both have a nice, warm doghouse to sleep in this winter.